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Yad Vashem The Story of the Jewish Community of Plonsk

Jiří Valdštýn-Karlínský

  • Dr. Hermann Strauss, Theresienstadt Ghetto, 1944
  • Rabbi Dr. Benjamin Murmelstein, Theresienstadt Ghetto, c. 1944
  • Dr. Rudolf Freiberger, Theresienstadt Ghetto, c. 1944
  • Karl Stahl (?), Theresienstadt Ghetto, c. 1944
  • Dr. Desider Friedmann, Theresienstadt Ghetto, 1944
  • Portrait of a Man, Member of the Ältestenrat (?), Theresienstadt Ghetto, 1944
  • Portrait of a Man, Member of the Ältestenrat (?), Theresienstadt Ghetto, c. 1944

Born in Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1894. Died in Prague, Czechoslovakia, in 1971.

Valdštýn-Karlínský studied painting under Prof. Ferdinand Engelmüller in Prague, and later continued his studies in France and Italy. He excelled at calligraphy, and specialized in font design and advertisements.

In December 1941, Karlínský was deported to the Theresienstadt Ghetto, where he was employed in workshops designated to producing ornamental items for the S.S. In May 1945, following the liberation of the ghetto by the Red Army, Valdštýn-Karlínský returned to Prague, where he continued his artistic pursuits. His artworks were on display in numerous group exhibitions.

During his internment in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, Karlínský painted landscapes and portraits, in particular those of members of the Ältestenrat. These official portraits were painted in oil, a rare commodity in the ghetto, which he obtained from the workshop where he was employed. He signed his works: "Karlínský", a pen name inspired by his birth place, the Karlín neighborhood of Prague. These oil portraits were apparently painted at the request of the internal Jewish leadership of the ghetto. Following a Red Cross visit in June 1944, most of the members of the Ältestenrat were transported to death camps, thereby making Karlínský's portraits their last documented image.