A Brush with Death: An Artist in the Death Camps
In this memoir Morris Wyszogrod recounts his experiences from the time of the Nazi invasion of Poland to the liberation of the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1945. He describes in detail the time he spent in the Warsaw Ghetto; his work as an artist for various Luftwaffe personnel at the Warsaw military airport; his experiences at the BudzynŒ concentration camp, where he was assigned to decorate the living quarters of the SS and to produce drawings at an orgiastic Oktoberfest; his removal to P¬aszoŒw, where he was put to work digging up mass graves and burning the bodies to eliminate the evidence of Nazi war crimes; his witnessing of the firebombing of Dresden in February 1945; and his subsequent liberation at Theresienstadt by the Red Army in May 1945. Just as an artist may register what she or he sees against a sensitive visual and moral template, so Wyszogrod doubly registered what he saw and felt, both in his drawings and in his memories.
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