A replica of "Prayer" was presented to His Holiness Pope France upon the occasion of this visit to Yad Vashem.
The painting "Prayer" depicts a Jewish man praying dressed in traditional Hassidic garb and wrapped in a talith (prayer shawl).The 13-year-old artist alludes to the misery of the ghetto with a number of details: the cracked and peeling paint exposing a brick wall, the distorted chinks in the wood floor, the quivering lines on the man and his talith - all convey a sense of fragility and unstableness. In contrast, the upright stature of the figure holding a prayer book in the center of the composition suggests the inner strength of the pious Jew clinging to his faith during this time of crisis and persecution.
Abramek was the only child of Mendel and Johet-Gitel Koplowicz who lived in Lodz, Poland. A gifted artist and writer, Abramek received only two years of schooling before the outbreak of World War II. After the occupation of Lodz, Abramek and his family were incarcerated in the ghetto that was established in Spring 1940. When it was liquidated in the summer of 1944, Abramek and his parents were deported to Auschwitz. Abramek and his mother, Johet-Gitel, were murdered in Auschwitz; Mendel was the family's sole survivor.
After liberation, Mendel returned to the family's home in the ghetto and discovered the painting and a notebook that Abramek had left behind in the attic. The notebook included eight poems and two satirical skits written by Abramek. After Mendel passed away, Abramek's notebook was discovered by his stepbrother, Eliezer Grynfeld, who donated them to Yad Vashem to be safeguarded for future generations.