Illustrated Testimony of a Holocaust Survivor

The terror of the Holocaust still haunts many and the survivors still get flashes of the nightmare even today. Every survivor has a different story to tell, the near-death experience and how they managed to escape such indescribable horror. On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Montreal Holocaust Museum witnessed an illustration workshop by  Holocaust survivor Fishel Goldig and Éléonore Goldberg, filmmaker and writer, who also teaches animation, illustration and drawing. For the dozens of people who gathered at the museum, Goldberg provided tips on drawing. Éléonore Goldberg also showcased her award-winning animated film My Yiddish Papi which was based on her grandfather’s Holocaust memories.

The workshop witnessed the transformation of the story of a Holocaust survivor into an illustration that depicts the terror of what he had gone through. Goldig narrated his story of the Holocaust experience and escape, and the participants of the workshop created illustrations based on his story. He narrated what he had gone through as a child during the Holocaust, how he had lost his family and his near-death experience.

Goldig lost his grandparents, two uncles, two aunts and three cousins on one such killing day. The picture of his friends, whom he used to play with just the other day, lying on the streets, dead, still remains in his head. Later Goldig was reunited with his father. A Ukrainian Potato farmer took Golding and his family in and hid them in a crave space that was used to store potatoes. They continued to live in such condition for two years. After the liberation by the Soviet Army in 1944, Goldig and his family relocated to Canada in 1948.

Being a performer in Yiddish theatre, Golding knew who to paint a clear picture of what he had gone through. His presence was so strong that the participants listened to him in total silence. The participants listened keenly to every word utter by him, which helped them in capturing the emotions as illustrations. They created illustrations based on his story and some of them included the death of his aunt and cousin and some on the hiding of the family behind a potato cellar.

As a Holocaust survivor and an active volunteer at the Montreal Holocaust Museum, Goldig urges other survivors to tell their stories.

You can read more about the illustration workshop at  Montreal Holocaust Museum and Holocaust experience of Fishel Goldig here

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