The exhibition of pictures made on forms of the German commandant’s office of the Auschwitz concentration camp opened in honor of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Kharkiv Holocaust Museum.
The author of these pictures is Ukrainian artist Zinovii Tolkachov. The members of the artist’s family, who now live in Kyiv and the USA, gave his works for the exhibition.
“Zinovii was a soldier and an artist during World War II. He quickly sketched everything he saw. There often wasn’t enough drawing paper, so the artist used various surfaces, including the forms Germans left when escaping from the Polish town of Osventsim, ” the museum director Larysa Volovyk admitted.
The artist depicted prisoners’ faces, including women and children. His works also show the mechanism of murder at work. Zinovii painted the camp’s facilities: gas chambers, crematorium furnaces, gallows, etc.
The first Ukrainian Holocaust Museum was established in Kharkiv in 1996. It has 6,000 documentary evidence of the shooting of 16,000 Jews in the winter of 1941. The tragedy happened at the Drobitsk Yar in the outskirts of Kharkiv. Nowadays there is a memorial complex built on citizens’ donations. The museum has data on 89 Kharkivites who saved Jews during the years of occupation.
Text: Iryna Klymenko