07 June 2018
The Chancellor of the Republic of Austria H.E. Mr. Sebastian Kurz will visit Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, on Sunday, 10 June 2018. Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev will accompany the Chancellor throughout his visit, which will include a behind-the-scenes tour of Yad Vashem's Archives, the world's largest repository of Holocaust-related documentation. The Chancellor will also participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children's Memorial, sign the Yad Vashem Guest Book and tour the Valley of the Communities.
There will be photo-ops in the Hall of Remembrance, at the signing of the Guest Book and agreement signing in Janusz Korczak Square and in the Valley of the Communities. Media interested in covering the visit must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, and arrive at the Hall of Remembrance with a valid GPO card, by 11:30.
Following the Chancellor's signing of the Yad Vashem Guest Book, in Janusz Korczak Square, Chancellor Kurz and Chairman Shalev will sign an Agreement of Principle ensuring that Yad Vashem will be granted access to the Austrian State Archives and the Mauthausen Memorial, and the ability to copy documents relating to the Holocaust.
Chancellor Kurz will also announce that the Republic of Austria will contribute to the establishment of the new Shoah Heritage Collections Center at Yad Vashem, providing additional storage and preservation labs for artifacts, artwork and documentation from the Holocaust era.
As part of the ceremony at Yad Vashem, Chairman Shalev will present the Chancellor with a token of remembrance and appreciation: a facsimile copy of the collection of 99 works of art created by Holocaust victim Carol Deutsch for his daughter, depicting scenes from the Bible. Deutsch was murdered after arriving in Buchenwald camp on a death march. On display during the ceremony will be one of the drawings from this collection, entitled "Where Art Thou?" that will also be presented to the Chancellor by Shalev.
Austrian Minister of Education Heinz Faßmann, a member of the Chancellor's delegation, will sign an extension to an educational agreement between Yad Vashem and the Austrian Ministry of Education in the presence of the Chancellor. The agreement will allow hundreds of Austrian teachers and educators to visit Yad Vashem for educational seminars.
About the Token of Remembrance and Appreciation
Carol Deutsch created a series of 99 illustrations depicting stories and figures from the Bible. In Antwerp 1941, in the midst of the war, despite the curfew and the terror of persecution, Carol Deutsch toiled on this set of artworks, which proudly declared his Jewish identity, gifting it to his two-year-old daughter, Ingrid. The colorful illustrations are replete with influences of Art Nouveau ornamentation, as well as the Bezalel School style with which the painter became familiar during his stay in the Holy Land in 1935.
One particular item from the collection is the "Where Art Thou?" drawing which displays the question asked by God to Adam hiding in shame after the Original Sin. With the use of fire-toned chromaticity for the leaves concealing Adam, a vivid yellow background and numerous intersecting diagonal lines, the painter skillfully conveys the drama present in the scene. In the context of the Holocaust, "Adam, where art thou?" receives special significance and resonates unanswered.
Short Biography of Carol Deutsch
1894, Antwerp - 1944, Buchenwald Camp
Hailing from an observant family that worked in the diamond business, Carol Deutsch married Esther Lauffer, daughter of the head of the Ostend Jewish community in 1922. The couple managed a fur salon. Under the influence of the artist James Ensor, Deutsch began to paint. During the years 1930-1935, he served as president of the Ostend Jewish community. In 1934, he met Felicia (Fela) Bronsztajn, a Jewish refugee from Poland, and the two fell in love, but Deutsch was still married and Bronsztajn's family disapproved of their union. In 1935, Deutsch traveled to the Land of Israel for a year, where he painted landscapes. Upon his return, he and Esther divorced. In 1939, Deutsch married Bronsztajn, who gave birth to their daughter Ingrid in 1940. The couple hid in a rural area near Brussels between 1942 and 1943, but were informed upon, arrested, and deported to Auschwitz in September 1943. Fela was murdered there; Deutsch was deported to the Sachsenhausen camp and then forced on a death march to Buchenwald, where he died. Ingrid and her grandmother—who had been hidden by a Catholic family—survived, together with the set of artworks.