Memorial in Drohobych


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At the time of the Holocaust the town of Drohobych was part of Poland, but after the war it became part of Russia and it is now part of Ukraine. When the German Wehrmacht occupied Drohobych in 1941 Jews were murdered in the streets, shot in the forest of Broniza and brought by cattle truck to the death camp of Belzec where they met a terrible end. Only 400 of a population of 50 000 Jews of Drohobych survived the Holocaust. A memorial complex is located at one of the former shooting sites at a wall in the city centre. The memorial consists of several elements: a sculpture of two arms stretched upwards and a stone relief in the wall depicting faces.

In this scene the artist has created symbols of solace in a desert-like space. Symbols of transformation and peace arise from a memorial of destruction. A central oval encircles a relief of the memorial of two hands that reach up towards a bronze rose above a structure of a fountain without water. Abigail is seated below the oval, protected from it by a garland of roses, and seemingly unable to face the reality of the carnage of Drohobych. She is holding her paintbrushes as she records the scene and her visions of solace. On the right van Erkelens’ puppet, the “Carrier of Light” (Lichtdrager), is lifted upwards by a butterfly. The sky above vibrates with butterflies that rise up towards a string of roses being held up by another pair of hands. The scene is crowned by an angel holding a rose of compassion.

Additional information

Artwork Option

A4 Print (approx 21 x 30 cm), A3 Print (approx 30 x 42 cm), A2 Print (approx 42 x 60 cm), A1 Print (approx 60 x 84 cm)


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