In such a world it was necessary to learn new ways of surviving, and to compromise on completely basic human needs. Jytte Bornstein was only seven and a half year old when she and her mother were torn from their everyday life and sent to Theresienstadt, an experience they both survived, but which can never be erased.
Only many years after her stay in Theresienstadt, Jytte Bornstein started to draw the pictures that were so persistently present in her memory, and express her difficult memories in words. Notwithstanding, the text possesses an almost frightening immediacy, which cannot but touch the reader. Picture after picture, story after story, the reader must wonder – both at the persecutors’ dehumanization of their victims and at the victims’ stubborn will to survive and keep their personal integrity.
The book was published in Danish in 1994 by Munksgaard/Rosinante.
Jytte Bornstein tells: After the war I didn’t talk much about what I had seen and experienced, but it was always present. In my adult life I have been through several operations, and each time I have re-experienced our capture at the big raid in October 1943 and our stay in the concentration camp, among other things due to the anaesthetic, which peeled away my defenses.
After my last operation, in 1989, it suddenly became possible for me to make drawings of situations from a period that has always been a painful part of my life. This came as a gift from heaven, and I understood that it was demanded of me that I talked about what had happened, that I bore witness to what had happened to me, as my contribution to the efforts against holocaust denial.
Thus, pictures became my first language for communicating that part of my life. Only far later and after difficult processes in which I had to cross borders I once had fixed inside of me, the words for every single picture came as an explanation of what they showed.
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Get a discount of 10% at selected cafés by showing your ticket from the museum (Photo: Eddie Michel Azoulay).
- an exhibition about Jews in Denmark
The exhibition is a broad story of Jewish life in Denmark and focuses on co-exixstence and indentity through 400 years. Read more...
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