This book is a legacy of enormous historical importance. At a time when many are actually denying the existence of the Holocaust, we have decided to publish for the first time this important visual eye witness evidence. David Olère, the only artist to survive imprisonment in Auschwitz, drew upon his own experiences as a laborer in the gas chambers, furnaces, and examination rooms to illustrate what actually went on within the crematorium and other places that no photographer entered until after the war. The drawings are accompanied by a moving text written by Olère’s son, based on his father’s experiences. This book will make you feel like an eye witness yourself. This work is published so that those who never experienced the Holocaust and all future generations may witness themselves, through Olère’s eyes, the terrible cruelty of which political systems with unchecked power are capable.
Some of the images in this book are very disturbing. We do not recommend it for children.
An estimated six million Jews were systematically exterminated by Hitler’s SS during World War II. This slaughter took place at several camps throughout Europe. Primary among these was Auschwitz II at Birkenau, Poland, where more than a million people were sent to the gas chambers—most of them Jews. The SS offered a few prisoners the chance to work in exchange for a little more time to live, but this usually was only a slower form of death. Only about one out of a hundred people deported to Auschwitz survived the war. One of the cruelest forms of forced labor was the corps of SonderKommando, prisoners who had to work in the crematoria. They were constantly driven to work faster to keep up with the intense schedule of slaughter. When they were too exhausted to satisfy their persecutors, they were sent into the gas chambers themselves. The typical life span of these unfortunates ranged from a few hours to a few weeks. Only a handful of SonderKommando survived the war.
One of these was David Olère, a Jewish artist who was born in Poland, but had emigrated to France. He was arrested in 1943 and managed to survive nearly two years at Auschwitz, primarily because the SS desired to make use of his artistic and linguistic skills.
While his wife and son hid out in France, Olère witnessed unbelievable sights never recorded by cameras: the rape and murder of young women; live babies being thrown into burning trenches; Jews, Christians, and Communists celebrating Christmas together at Auschwitz, a Catholic priest who elected to go to the gas chambers himself rather than abandon a young Jewish boy whose care had been charged to him; and worst of all, the horrendous work in Crematorium III.
As soon as he was liberated, Olère began to sketch scenes, portraits, and diagrams from memory. These constitute the only visual record of much of what went on at Auschwitz. His drawings were used by those charged with investigating the Holocaust and now hang in museums around the world.
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"essential to understanding the Holocaust" —Elie Wiesel
"Stunning!" —Trevor Witcher, Gazelle Books
"I am speechless!" —Pnina Rosenberg, Curator, Ghetto Fighters’ House
"The read is as compelling and memorable as the book’s illustrations." —Independent PublisherAbout the Author:
Alexandre Oler was born in Paris in 1930. He experienced the persecution of Jews and himself was forced to wear the yellow star of David as a schoolboy. When his father was arrested, he went into hiding, assisted by the Jewish underground. His mother also went into hiding. The family was reunited after the war and Alexandre resumed his education, which had been interrupted at the age of ten. He went on to establish a successful career in business and finance. After his father’s death in 1985, Alexandre donated his father’s drawings and sculptures to various museums and reluctantly became a noted lecturer on the Holocaust. He has a son, Marc Abraham, by his first wife. Alexandre and his second wife, Alice, live today in Nice, on the Riviera.
Biography Of David Olère
1902 Born in Warsaw on January 19.
1918 Already a trained artist, he left Poland for Danzig and Berlin, where he exhibited woodcuts on the Kantstrasse.
1921 Employed by the Europäische Film Allianz in Berlin as a painter, sculptor, and assistant architect.
1923 Moved to Paris, where he designed sets, costumes, and publicity posters for films, in particular for Paramount Pictures.
1930 Married Juliette Ventura. They had a son, Alexandre.
1937 Moved to Noisy le Grand.
1943 Arrested by the French police on February 20 and interned in Drancy transit camp. Deported from Drancy to Auschwitz on March 2 in transport number 49, with some one thousand other Jews. Worked as a trench digger, then as a Sonderkommando of Krematorium III, emptying the gas chambers and burning corpses in the ovens.
1945 Sent on death march to Mauthausen on January 19. From therel was transferred to the Melk camp on the Danuben Liberated from Ebensee camp in Austria by the U.S. Army on May 6. Immediately began his sketches of the horrors he had witnessed.
1985 Died in Paris on August 21. Although he was 83, he died not from disease, but from despair at hearing university "intellectuals" say that the genocide which he personally witnessed did not exist and was mere Zionist propaganda.
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Descrizione libro West Wind Press 1998-09, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 094103769X. Codice libro della libreria 540186
Descrizione libro West Wind Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P11094103769X