Literature of the Holocaust
maintained by Al Filreis
Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943)
Dear Professor Filreis:
I recently discovered your website. I found a link to it through an organization called, "The Holocaust Resource." The reason I am writing to you is because of your interest in the literature and art of the Holocaust. I am writing to tell you about my great-grandfather, Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943), an artist and painter in Warsaw , Poland , primarily in the 1920s and 1930s. I thought that perhaps you and your students might be interested in exploring our virtual museum. Below is a bit of information about Moshe and his life.
Moshe painted scenes of Jewish life (e.g., men studying the Talmud, Simhat Torah, etc.), scenes of everyday life (e.g., women doing household chores, men playing chess, men kibitzing and reading the daily news, etc.), and scenes from inside the Warsaw Ghetto (three paintings are known to have survived his time in the Ghetto. One is now on permanent display at Yad Vashem and can be seen online at: http://www1.yadvashem.org/new_museum/Galleries/gal4_art.html). While Moshe Rynecki perished in the Majdanek concentration camp, many of his paintings survived the war. In 1949, when my father and his parents came to the United States , they brought many of the surviving paintings with them.
In 1999 my family created an online museum (www.rynecki.org) to display many of his paintings. Our goal was, and continues to be, to share Moshe's works with the world. We get a steady stream of visitors and are proud to report that many schools and Holocaust education programs use our website in their curriculum. You can visit our "academic corner" online to see some of the ways the paintings have been used in the classroom: http://www.rynecki.org/academic.html.
In addition to the website, we now have two books available. The first is, Jewish Life in Poland : The Art of Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943). It is a full color book featuring 40 of Moshe's paintings. The second book, Surviving Hitler in Poland: One Jew's Story, is a memoir written by my grandfather, George Rynecki. We found it in 1992, in the trunk of his car, as we were cleaning up his home and belongings after his funeral. The book is a collection of vignettes including his Holocaust memories, his memories of his father, and his father's drive and ambition to paint and document the Jewish community. You can read an excerpt at: http://www.trafford.com/4dcgi/view-item?item=10702&67125008-26906aaa. It can be purchased online at the Amazon or the Barnes and Noble website.
Thank you very much for your time. I greatly appreciate your taking the time to read my email. If I can answer any questions or be of any further assistance, please do call or email.
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