Jakob Zim (Cymberknopf). "View of Buchenwald, a Few Days after Liberation"

Jakob Zim (Cymberknopf)
(1920 - 2015)

View of Buchenwald, a Few Days after Liberation

Buchenwald, 1945
Watercolor on paper
18.7 x 29.3 cm
Gift of the artist

Jakob Zim (Cymberknopf) Born in Sosnowiec, his father was a sign painter. He joined a Zionist youth movement and studied art. Following the German occupation in 1939, he was deported with his family to the ghetto. There he and his brother Emmanuel were assigned to the applied arts workshop. In August 1943, his parents and brother Emmanuel were transported to Auschwitz, where they were murdered. Jakob was transported to the Annaberg labor camp, and from there, in 1944, to Blechhammer. There, he was reunited with his brother, Nathan. In 1945, they were evacuated on a death march to Buchenwald, where they were later liberated. The OSE organized their removal to France as part of the “Buchenwald Children” group. They immigrated to the Land of Israel in 1945. Zim studied at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design with Jacob Steinhardt and Mordecai Ardon. In 1948, he fought in the War of Independence. He made his career as a graphic designer. Zim's art has been displayed in numerous exhibitions in Israel and abroad.

This watercolor, created several days after the liberation, expresses the artist's renewed feeling of freedom, asserted in his ability to view the surrounding beauty and to paint.

"In one of the rooms I found a small box of watercolors and brushes… of one of the perpetrator's kids…. I sat and painted the view outside of the grey camp. It was not a German landscape that I painted on that small piece of paper, but a Spring landscape, the landscape of my Spring. I only painted that one small piece of paper, no more. That landscape, cursed is it."

Jakob Zim