University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies
chgs@umn.edu
612-624-0256


CHGS

Judith Goldstein

Goldstein is a survivor of the Vilna Ghetto and Stutthof Concentration camp, near Danzig (Gdansk). Goldstein evokes childhood memories of how she saw the Swastika and other positive and negative themes around her. The triangular work is often said to look like a Native-American collage. It contains elements about the positive culture the Jews tried to maintain in the ghettos and camps, against all odds. Goldstein's medium is the collage.

Artist's Statement

I am a Holocaust survivor, born in Vilno (Vilna), Poland. In 1941, under the Nazi occupation, most Jews of Vilno were placed in the ghetto. About 50,000 Jews of the city were led to Ponar, a place in the forest outside Vilno, shot to death and thrown into pits. Most of my family are buried there. At the liquidation of the ghetto in 1943, I was shipped with my mother to concentration camps, Riga in Latvia, Stutthof and later Torun, Poland. There, I went through the tunnel of death, but survived by many miracles. My father never returned, my mother and brother survived. I am able to turn my experiences of horror and degradation into artworks. The Last Journey is from my memories of the Stutthof concentration camp. I saw these wagons with dead bodies taken to the crematorium.

Artworks: Witness and Legacy

The Last Journey

Judith Goldstein
The Last Journey, 1991 Collage
22 x 25

Goldstein reveals, "The Last Journey is from my memories of the Stutthof concentration camp. I saw these wagons with dead bodies taken to the crematorium."

Vilna Ghetto

Vilno Ghetto, 1994 Collage
51 x 30

This triangular work is often said to look like a Native-American collage. It contains elements about the positive culture the Jews tried to maintain in the ghettos and camps, against all odds. Goldstein's medium is the collage. What looks like two downward arrows is a stylized "VOV" in Hebrew. The backwards "h" is a Hebrew "GIMMEL," which together mean "VILNO GHETTO."

Crematories

Crematories, 1991 Collage
22 x 25

Crematories shows victims being burned and their faces emerging as clouds of smoke in the sky. This is an image used by Paul Celan, famous Jewish poet and survivor from Bukovina, in his poem, "Deathfugue."

Also see Joys and Sorrows.

Page updated 2012.