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Homage to Betje Polak


59 x 46 cm (h x w)

acrylic on paper

Betje Polak was born on the 6th of December 1928 and was murdered in Auschwitz on the 19th of October 1942, with only 13 years of age. I made this portrait as part of a series “Resonance - Never Forget”. What were her hopes (as a 13-year-old)? What were her dreams? What could Betje have still brought to life if her life wasn't taken away from her?


For me the painting of the portraits, who were murdered in Auschwitz, is a chance to never forget to honour their lives. Their fate is infinitely tragic and their death unfathomably senseless. I can not change the past, only the now. With these portraits, I want to celebrate their lives and all their unflowered potential. Painting these children has made each of them come alive in my life. It is, in a certain way, as if I were taking them home with me. I now know each of them by name and although I know little of their short lives based on the few details I could find on the internet, I, for one, will certainly never forget them.

Links to Betje Polak:

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