Ghetto Character

We are privileged to house a small collection of artworks from Edith Birkin née Hofmann, a Holocaust survivor who used art and poetry as an outlet for the trauma she sustained during the Holocaust. Edith was born in 1927 in Prague. In 1941 Edith and her parents were deported to the Lodz Ghetto where within a year her parents died, and she was left alone. Edith was deported to Auschwitz in 1944 when the ghetto was liquidated. She survived the camp, and then a labour camp in Silesia and eventually the death march to Bergen Belsen. She was liberated from Bergen Belsen on 15th April 1945 by the British Army.

In the 1970’s Edith decided to join a fine art class where she learned to paint. The result can be seen in the small selection of her paintings pictured below. These paintings provide a small glimpse into some of the horrifying scenes Edith witnessed during her time in the Lodz Ghetto and in Auschwitz.

Edith was determined to show the individual behind each of the six million who died or were murdered by the Nazi regime. This is why the people in her paintings are painted with a vast pallet of vivid colours, to show that they each were individual people, with dreams and stories of their own.

“Most of all I wanted to show what it felt like to be a human being in the starved, emaciated, strange looking body, forever being separated from loved ones.” - Edith Birkin née Hofmann in The Last Goodbye (2001).

- Posted Oct 2021

The Sick Mother

Sewage Disposal

They Took My Child