What a lovely thing to do Linda, thanks I am most humbled by it.
Hmmm I find these things difficult as there are so many wonderful bloggers out there. So if I have not got you this time I will hit you another time, lol.
Now to those five who I have marked as Rockin’ Girl Blogger’s
I wonder if i can do five Aussies also? Will let you know.
"NUMBERS": Part 4
It’s quite a job writing all the detail, my apologies for not having posted this part sooner however one must attend to the mundane things in life.
To the right of the woman you will see some Hebrew text which is resined paper.
Since no-one knows the date of most of the Holocaust victims’ deaths, once a year, on Yom Kippur, our Day of Atonement, the Holiest day of the year, this prayer called “Kaddish”, is read aloud in Synagogues throughout the world to commemorate the deaths of the Holocaust victims.
Hence I thought it fitting to place the text beside this lady and her brother.
Additionally, I symbolically added some aged fabric behind the text which is very similar to the uniforms worn in the concentration camps.
The frame is backed with layers of burnt paper as a lot of the homes were burnt down in the Warsaw Ghetto where these cousins resided.
On the frames are some of those rusted elements I spoke of in the last post and I decided not to add all four as would be the case if purchased new. I figured it would be a more realistic look some parts were missing.
The whole piece is sitting on a piece of wood which has many layers of paint and an antiquing medium.
Many survivors lost all their family, husbands lost wives and children and visa versa.
Back to the bottle… in it there is the following…
Mica – to represent Kristallnacht – The night of the broken glass.
Fragments of both German and Hebrew text to represent Kristallnacht.
Bits of the fabric of which I just spoke – to represent the slaughter of 6 million Jews and Esther’s Auschwitz experience.
The biggest one, in the middle has 2 words… ‘Chochmat Adam” – which translates to “The wisdom of man”.
I inserted that piece, sort of 'tongue in cheek'. This was the last element attached and after going through all the emotions associated with the piece, I looked and thought…
What wisdom was there is all of this?
My answer was NONE.
The second text has the word for book within it so that simply related to the burning of the books on Kristallnacht.
The bottle has some aged fabric within the neck of the bottle to stop the fragments falling out.
I did this as it reminded me of a Molotov cocktail – a crude form of artillery that was used when Sam was in the Warsaw Ghetto uprising.
The bottle is placed on top of a piece of aged and burned hessian, a fabric used widely at that time. Burnt for reasons explained above.
The annealed, wire, was used to symbolise the wire and or barbed wire on the gates of the ghetto and concentration camps.
The Partisan Song:
Partisans were groups of people participating in the Jewish resistance movement during WW2.
Of all the songs of all the Ghettos, the one which spread like wildfire, almost from the moment that it left the poet's pen, was this marching song by Hirsh Glik (image below).
It’s called ``Zog nit keynmol az du geyst dem letstn vet'' ("Never Say that You Are Tredding the Final Path'').
Set to a tune by the Soviet composers, the brothers Pokras, it became the official hymn of all the Eastern European partisan brigades and was subsequently translated into Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Rumanian, Dutch, and English.
With almost magical speed it was caught up by all the concentration camps and by the time the war was over, it was being sung by Yiddish-speaking Jews the world over and by a score of other peoples as well.
These street songs, a sub genre of ghetto music, emphasized four dominant themes: hunger, corrupt administration, hope for freedom, and a call for revolt.
At most Holocaust commemorations today, we all sing this song at the end.
Here is the translation…
Never say there is only death for you.
We’ll have the morning sun to set our day aglow, and all our yesterdays shall vanish with the foe, and if the time is long before the sun appears, then let this song go like a signal through the years.
Leaden skies may be concealing days of blue -
So never say that there is only death for you.
Because the hour we have hungered for is near;
Beneath our tread the earth shall tremble:
We are here!
A fact you may not know…
At each of the five extermination camps, the Nazis created orchestras of prisoner-musicians, forcing them to play while their fellow prisoners marched to the gas chambers.
The suicide rate among musicians was higher than that of most other camp workers except the death details. Many musicians had been forced to watch helplessly as their friends and families were destroyed. Auschwitz had six orchestras, one of which contained 100-120 musicians.
Fania Fenelon, describes her experience as a member of a women's orchestra in Auschwitz from January 1944 to liberation in her book 'Playing for Time'. Fenelon states that even though she had clean clothes and daily showers, she had to play "gay, light music and marching music for hours on end while our eyes witnessed the marching of thousands of people to the gas chambers and ovens."
Since Sam was a Partisan I wanted to honour his bravery by putting in the text of the song.
Remember the sneak peak I gave you here…
Well this is what they look like now…
There are a number of subtle differences between the two locks.
Sam’s lock has a very old and worn out Russian coin on top. Pictured on the coin is Vladimir Illych Ulyanov.
Why did I choose Vladimir Illych Ulyanov?
Well quite apart from Sam’s Russian links, Vladimir Illych Ulyanov was the real name for Lenin. He changed his name to Lenin while on the run from the Russian secret police to avoid arrest.
If you will recall, Sam changed his name from Sam to Stanislav Ribistiki in order to enter the Russian army, whilst on the run from the Nazi’s.
I thought it was appropriate.
Also Lenin's beliefs were developed from those of Karl Marx, who is considered the father of communism.
Bet you are wondering how does this girl get all of this stuff – sometimes I wonder myself!
The script layer on the photo is Russian.
On Esther’s piece are the numbers 52875.
Those are the numbers tattooed on her arm when she arrived at Auschwitz.
By the way the Nazi’s did not tattoo the numbers on the prisoners – they ordered other Jews to tattoo the numbers on them. Later on in her life, Esther met up with the man that tattooed her number which is very very large and crude as far as these numbers go. The man was so nervous having to do this to Esther, remember she was only 12, that he fumbled it.
The Myrtle Leaf:
You may have noticed a gold leaf that I placed above Esther's head.
You may recall that the name Esther, which in Hebrew is Hadassah - translated it means, a myrtle leaf.
The myrtle leaf is a small oval in shape and in Judaic terms it represents the eye.
I not only placed it above this photo of Esther to represent her name but also for the fact that the myrtle represents the eye. As you read on just below here you will understand why I placed it above this photo in particular - and not the very first one of Esther.
The Gold Rings:
Both Esther and Sam’s piece have a gold ring around their eyes.
Because they are witnesses.
Witnesses to what happened.
Witnesses to the numbers slaughtered.
Both their eyes are amazing.
So as you will see, in the next and final post of this panel, I placed the photos on opposing sides near the end of the piece.
I put them near the end (there is always a reason for my placement of things) as they were witnesses to all the images that went before this.
When you see the final pinal all together you will see that these lock images are facing each other - looking toward one another.
You will notice a rusted chain that I attached between Sam and Esther’s locks.
Why the chain and why the lock?
I will now bring it all together for you –
The gold ring
They met after the war. Esther was being nursed back to health by her host family and they suggested that she go and hear a man speaking about going to Israel. She did not really want to go as she was very reserved after having gone through everything she had, but they coaxed her along to hear a very charismatic leader speaking.
She entered the room and listened to the man speaking, their eye’s met.
He then came and spoke to her.
They then went out and three months later, Sam and Esther were married.
It was in their eyes.
Their eyes spoke to each other.
attached to the lock represents both their eyes being locked into each other.
As each chain has links -
So too Sam and Esther have links to the same past.
Even though Sam has passed on, Esther is obviously still linked to Sam.
But on a more spiritual level she is still to this day so besotted with him. You only have to see her chest push out with pride when she speaks him and all his achievements. They adore/d each other.
And the gold rings around the eyes symbolise their union in marriage.
By the way the ring in Judaism has to be completely round with no markings or engravings on it. There-by representing eternity.
Sam and Esther's love and respect for one another is eternal.
On that note, I bid you a good morning - as I have written this, the time has gone past midnight. Forgive me for not uploading the last images of this panel but I am sure you have had enough reading for one post plus I am bit drained from writing.
The next installment you will see not only the final elements but the entire piece in one photo.
Thanks so much for reading all of this and really truly I so appreciate all your comments - they are so uplifting and makes all the hours of writing this, very much worthwhile.
To be continued...