Henryk Hechtkopf. "Ruins of the Synagogue on Wolborska Street"

Henryk Hechtkopf (1910-2004)

Ruins of the Synagogue on Wolborska Street

Lodz, 1945-1946
33.3 x 45 cm
Brown ink on paper

Henryk Hechtkopf Born in Warsaw. Studied law and at the art academy concurrently. Between 1932-1939 he participated in the exhibitions of the city’s Jewish Society for the Advancement of the Fine Arts. Following the outbreak of the war, he fled to the Soviet Union. Almost all his family was murdered during the Holocaust. After the end of the war, he returned to Warsaw, and for two years drew the “Ghetto Warsaw” cycle. He moved to Lodz, reestablished that city’s Jewish Artists Society, and taught at the Lodz Film School. In 1949, he designed the first stamp issued in the world dedicated to the Holocaust. In 1957, he immigrated to Israel, where he illustrated children’s books and was a stamp and poster designer.

After the liberation, Hechtkopf returned to Warsaw with a yearning for a lost home and with the hope of finding surviving family. In the city of his childhood, he found destruction and ruin which he documented in a series of drawings concentrating on the Jewish neighborhoods. The depiction of the ruins and wasteland express the artist's distress and intensifies the feeling of loneliness he felt as a survivor after the Holocaust.