At Elsa High School we have been privileged to display art pieces from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Art Exhibition, kindly donated to us by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC).
I had the privilege to see for myself the full exhibition at HKU a few weeks ago where Professor Roland Vogt, Chairman of the HKHTC, explained how and why art was created by Holocaust victims: “It is important to remember that art was used throughout the Holocaust as a way to digest the trauma of persecution, discrimination, expulsion; to document what was going on; to resist against dehumanization by engaging in a fundamentally human activity; and to 'escape' from the hardship and suffering. Art was also a way to leave something behind by people who were murdered. Nowadays, we no longer remember the people as individuals but remember their art. This is a very powerful way to subvert the intention of the Nazis to wipe out all aspects of Jewish life in Europe.”
I want to thank Professor Vogt and Mr. Simon Li from HKHTC for always providing us with opportunities to educate our students and ourselves, for a better future.
Mr. Achiya Eliav
On Tuesday 30 January, my Jewish Studies class went to the auditorium to see the Art in the Holocaust exhibition. The auditorium had been transformed into an art gallery, filled with powerful artwork that told different stories. Our teacher, Mr. Eliav, guided us to learn about the Holocaust, one of the darkest periods in history, through the art of the victims. He started with an introduction, and then, encouraging us to share our thoughts and have open discussions as we moved from one display to another. It was a safe space where we could express our opinions and listen to each other. One piece that caught my attention the most was the drawing of the person observing earth from the moon. It had an impact on me, because the artist felt that, while in the camps, they were on a different planet. People on earth could not see what was happening to the Jews. The Jews felt removed from the world , on a different, dark planet.
Hillel, Grade 9
I connected the most with the art piece called Moon Landscape. I connected with it the most because the artist Petr Ginz was fascinated by space and he made it while he was at the theresienstadt ghetto in the Czech Republic. Fifty eight years after Petr Ginz made the art piece Ilan Ramon took it with him as part of his related holocaust items space flight in 2003. This was extremely special because Ilan Ramon's grandparents were Auschwitz survivors. Petr Ginz made this when he was 14 years old. This painting remembered me from where I come from because of my great grandmother that survived the holocaust. It also made me sad because a lot of people died there and not a lot of people remember them.
Romy, Grade 6