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Prayer, 1943
Abraham (Abramek) Koplowicz (1930-1944)
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A replica of "Prayer" was presented to His Holiness Pope France upon the occasion of this visit to Yad Vashem.

Thepainting "Prayer" depicts aJewish man praying dressed in traditional Hassidic garband wrapped in atalith(prayer shawl).The 13-year-old artistalludes to the misery of the ghetto with a number of details: thecracked andpeeling paintexposingabrick wall, thedistortedchinks 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 statureof the figure holding a prayerbook in the center of the composition suggests theinner strengthofthepiousJewclinging tohisfaithduringthistime of crisisand 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 occupationof Lodz,Abramekand his family were incarcerated intheghetto that was established inSpring1940. 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.

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