Where are the Children of the camps ?

Where are the Children of the camps ?


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This painting is a special lament for the orphaned children that survived the death camps, and directly confronts the question posed by Henry Moore:  “Is it in fact possible to create a work of art that can express the emotions engendered by Auschwitz?”[1]

The painting asks difficult questions that emphasise the terrible dilemmas faced by the surviving children. What happened to them after their liberation, without their parents or homes to return to? What happened to them during the subsequent 70 years up until the present?

It is a brightly lit night scene. In the background the topography of Auschwitz has remained tangibly intact. The dark figure of a girl standing in the death camp is an icon of the past. She is alone and exposed to the vast, freezing expanse of the universe.

But there is an energy surrounding the orphaned child. The universe, including multiple moons and stars, focusses on the girl. The winged figure of the Shekhinah hovers over her protectively, fulfilling G-d’s covenant with the Jewish people. A host of souls, who represent the child’s mother and other departed female members of her family, approach her from all sides in the heavens with open arms. Despite her isolation, they come to her aid unseen to watch over her during her life on earth.

Abigail has stated that this painting addresses much debated aspects of Holocaust theology and presents a view that the Holocaust does have meaning. Thus, notwithstanding that G-d acted unfathomably by allowing His people to suffer as they did, this work presents the view that He was present with them throughout the horrors of the Holocaust.

Abigail appears at the bottom left of the painting seated within the realm of the present where she directly engages the viewer. She is declaring that of itself the cruelty, pain and suffering of the Jews in the Holocaust is a Jewish offering and sacrifice to the world to enable all people to understand and ensure that a catastrophe of this enormity must never happen again. Allied to this view, a phoenix is arising from the ashes of Auschwitz as a symbol of hope and rebirth.


[1] Henry Moore. The Auschwitz competition, 1964, quoted by Young, 1994: 24

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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