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Children's Artwork During the Holocaust

During the Holocaust, a major way for people to speak out was through their artworks. Commonly seen images of oppression were secretly documented and hidden so that the Nazis would not discover and destroy them.

Artwork during this time was one of the only ways to express emotion secretly and be able to go against the Reich secretly. This is an example of social art in history.

The photos below belong to the Theresienstadt ghetto, drawn by children.

These artworks, displayed life before the ghettos, as an attempt to normalize the place that they lived in. The artworks also sometimes portrayed how life was in the ghetto itself. The voice of children, who were exposed to such experiences, was fundamental and also heartbreaking during this time.

Even children were taking part in social art. I believe that this exhibit of the Theresienstadt ghetto is one of the most expressive ones on the third floor of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. It's the only colorful and vibrant exhibit on the entire floor, and it gives the visitor a refreshing break from death and destruction through the pictures drawn by children, giving a sense of humanity. I smiled while looking at these photos, aware of the fact that they were doing this to try to humanize themselves and grasp onto their former lives. I believe that during the Holocaust, the impact and the number of children killed were a major part of the atrocities during this genocide. Unfortunately, the majority of these children in the Theresienstadt ghetto didn't survive.

As you take a look either in the museum or on the website, make sure to note the differences in the color in each of these exhibits. The children's drawings will certainly catch your eye, as an effective display of social art and protest.

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