Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Collection

The Museum's Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Theresienstadt Collection of original paintings and ghetto pictorial diaries is the largest collection of this artist's work. Through their technical excellence, the works reveal defiance, humor, satire, and indifference to the madness of the world run by the Nazi regime. 

Theresienstadt (Terezin), besides being a main incarceration center for Central European Jews, also was used to deceive the world into believing that the Jews of Europe were alive and being treated well. The Nazi regime used Theresienstadt as a stage for filming propaganda and a tourist stop for international commissions. The Lichtblau-Leskly works capture the complications and ironies of Theresienstadt. They universally depict the fundamental desperation lurking in every moment of life in the show ghetto.

Erich Lichtblau-Leskly artworks significantly differ from a ‘typical' Holocaust graphic. Instead of barbed wire, striped uniforms, and death scenes, we see ghetto life through the prism of everyday errands and chores, depicted in caricatures. Erich Lichtblau-Leskly convincingly challenges the Nazi anti-Jewish concepts by depicting and interpreting ghetto life in a style he would use for a ‘normal' commercial advertisement in his prewar practice. 

In the spring of 1945, Erich Lichtblau-Leskly cut most of his pictures into pieces to protect himself and his wife. Fortunately, his wife hid these fragments, rescuing them for posterity. Our Collection includes these fragments as well as re-created watercolors done by the artist in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s. 

For more information about this special collection, please click here.