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Lot 149: Album with Photographs, Collages and Hand-drawn Illustrations - A Jewish Family from Bratislava during the Holocaust

Auction 53 - Rare and Important Items

by Kedem Public Auction House Ltd

November 15, 2016

Jerusalem, Israel

Live Auction
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  • Album with Photographs, Collages and Hand-drawn Illustrations - A Jewish Family from Bratislava during the Holocaust
  • Album with Photographs, Collages and Hand-drawn Illustrations - A Jewish Family from Bratislava during the Holocaust
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Description: Illustrated artistic photo album created by Eva Kov?? (n?e Schillov?, April 1924, Bratislava), a Jewish Czechoslovak woman, detailing her life and the lives of her family and friends from her childhood in Bratislava in the 1930s, through the Holocaust and her immigration to Israel in 1949. The album was carefully illustrated by Eva, with photographs, collages and hand-drawn colorful illustrations, annotated with handwritten notes and captions in Czech, Slovak and scattered German, English and Hebrew. Shown in the many hundreds of images, photographs and illustrations are family members, locations where the family lived and to which they traveled, scenes from their personal lives, and Holocaust, She’erit HaPleita, Zionist and Aliyah-related themes. The first 83 pages of the album cover the period from the early 1930s to the early 1940s, with photos and descriptions of family, friends, holidays, travels, school, work and leisure. This seemingly cheerful mood makes an ominous change for the worse in the following pages. On page 84, Eva draws a swastika and announces, “July 12, 1944: I received my ID card” and “September 1, 1944: The Germans occupy Bratislava.” Attached to the page is a German-Czech ID card, its cover stamped with an ink-stamp stating “?id” [Jew]. On page 85, the handwritten captions next to two of the photos state “March 7: Sered” and “March 9: Terezin”, indicating that Eva and her family were deported from Bratislava, first to Sered labor camp and from there to Theresienstadt concentration camp. Page 86 illustrates the family’s incarceration at Theresienstadt. The page is headlined “Terezin!” and it has a Jewish Yellow Star attached. Also attached are a Theresienstadt Ghetto Health Service label, a photo of a Theresienstadt 100 Mark bill, and a caricature of a man wearing a concentration camp uniform - with Eva’s father’s head pasted on - pushing a wheelbarrow. At the bottom of the page are two handwritten texts, stating “April 21, 1945: The Red Cross comes to Terezin” and “May 10, 1945: Victory of the foreign army!” [Theresienstadt was liberated by Soviet troops two days earlier.] The following page describes the journey back home from Theresienstadt (“Repatriates’ journey to his homeland”), with photos of friends of the family and the different concentration camps (eg Auschwitz and Mauthausen). Page 89 is a memorial page dedicated to friends who did not survive the Holocaust: “Where are their graves? Where are their ashes?” with photos of these friends and the names of the death camps in which they were murdered. Pages 90-126 cover the years 1945-1947, illustrated with depictions of family, friends, leisure, work, etc. Mention of Palestine appears for the first time on page 127: “The path to a new life - the path to Palestine!” References to aliyah and Zionism appear at an increasing rate over the next few pages. Page 135 describes a family visit to Palestine in November 1947. However, this was only a holiday, as pages 139-140 describe Eva’s engagement and wedding to Ladislav Kov?? (1921-1988), on May 9, 1948 in Bratislava. The wedding invitation - with the wedding date in Hebrew - is attached to the back of page 139. Page 144 and its facing page are dedicated to the Gordoniada, the Young Maccabi Jewish sports event that took place in Bratislava on July 4-5, 1948, “in celebration of the founding of the state of Israel.” On page 147, we see an illustration of suitcases and the text “Beginning a new chapter - our life in Israel.” The following few pages show the family’s journey to Israel via ship. Eva traveled first, arriving in Israel on January 1, 1949 (page 148), and she was followed soon after by Ladislav (page 149). The couple reunited in Tel Aviv on February 13, 1949. The last few pages of the album (pp 150-155) describe the couple settling down in Israel, their new home in Shchunat HaTikva in Tel Aviv, the arrival of Eva’s parents to Israel, and the birth of their son Gabriel in July 1949. The combination of imaginative illustrations and handwritten annotations in the album transform it from a mundane photographic record into a unique visual diary, a fascinating graphic document offering an important insight into the lives of one European Jewish family during the tumultuous years of the middle of the 20th century. Included with the album are a few associated documents and items belonging to the family, a number of which are related to She’erit HaPleita: · Czechoslovakia ID card, in the name of S?imon Schill [Eva’s father]. Bratislava, October 14, 1946. With photo. · Central Zionist Federation of Czechoslovakia membership card, in the name of Eva Schillov?. Bratislava, August 1, 1947. · Czech Federation of Anti-Fascist Political Prisoners [SPROV] membership card, in the name of ?imon Schill. Bratislava, April 24, 1948. With photo. · American Joint Distribution Committee (Austrian Operations) Health Card, in the name of Ladsilau Kovacs. January 7, 1949. With photo. · Jewish Agency for Palestine Immigration Certificate [Te’udat Aliyah], in the name of Ladislav Kova?. Vienna, February 1949. With photo. · Histradrut HaMizrachi in Eretz Israel membership card, in the name of Ladislav Kov?? (stating his Hebrew name, Menachem Kovac). Tel Aviv, September 19, 1950. With photo. 194 leaves, of which the first 155 are illustrated and the remainder blank. 33.5 cm. Original half-cloth marbled boards. Overall Very Good condition, with age-related spotting and stains. Scuffs to the covers. Split along the middle half of the back external joint.

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