A holocaust survivor, is a tragic story;
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Her amazing paintings reveal Elsa’s way of losing her family to a life of faith and hope.
Elsa was born into a religious Jewish family around 1932, apparently in Austria or Germany. Her parents, Aaron and Hilda Sokolowski, gave her the name Hydrilka.
Her childhood memories point to Aaron who was apparently a biologist at the University of Vienna, with “Anschluss” the most likely reason later to move his family to Baden, Baden, Germany. With the rise of Nazi Germany, Baden-Baden became the place of family disintegration.
In 1940, Hydrilka’s parents managed to smuggle her brother, Arnold, out of the area. Any contact with him from that time was lost; And were unable to return to their relationship.
In 1941 the Nazis came to their house and murdered Elsa’s grandmother while she was a little girl hiding under the table.
Soon after, the rest of the family, grandfather, father, mother, and Hydrilka were taken to concentration camp Terazin.
They were later transferred to Bergen-Belsen, where Heydrica was hit by typhus. For Hurrilka and her family, the horrors of the Holocaust lasted almost three years.
Perhaps because of her father’s importance, a “passport suit” was arranged to enable the family to leave Bergen-Belsen and travel to South America, first arriving in Paraguay and moving on to Uruguay.
But hope was elusive to the family of the Hydrilka; South America has become another disaster. Looking for a job that her father had left for Chile. The relationship through correspondence lasted a while, diminished, and finally stopped.
Desperation brought her grandfather to commit suicide. Feeling destitute, Hydrilka’s mother put herself and her daughter on the railroad, wanting to end their lives.
Her mother had died, but herrilka survived with broken bones, a scarred body and soul.
In 1944, when Hydrilka was around the age of eleven years, still recovering from surgery, she was given the adoption of a Catholic family that lost their daughter. They named her Elsa Shoshana Garcia (the name of another girl who died a few years earlier).
The adoptive family did everything in their power to eliminate Elsa’s previous identity; For example, speaking in German was strictly forbidden at home, and every stumble was severely punished.
This is where her art was born; Every day she would find pieces of paper on which she could paint the faces of family members she had to forget.
Aware of her alienation and confusion about her true identity, Elsa’s sensitive and artistic spirit often attracted the displaced; Her sympathy was with a broken heart, empathy, and deep distress.
Unable to express herself in speech, she began drawing from her imagination and her memory all that she had experienced in her youth.
At the age of 33, they told Elsa that she was adopted and her mother was Jewish. It broke her.
Much of her past was an elusive shadow until 1965. A conversation with Amit, who knew her adopted family, confirmed to Elsa that she was adopted.
At the age of thirty-three, Elsa began to understand the mysterious fragments of her life … why she was always so excited when she heard the spoken Yiddish … why her art teacher thought that Elsa’s art was more European than South America style … why is it “Sokolosky” “He went on imagining. In search of her wounded memories, Elsa returned to an area in South America where she lived and found people who remembered her, her parents, and confirmed her suspicions that she was Jewish.
Hoping to find her brother Arnold, Elsa immigrated to Israel in 1970, but hope was disappointed. The members of the kibbutz in which she stayed gave Elza a new Hebrew name, “Aliza,” meaning “cheerful, cheerful.” Even though at the time it was a name that barely suited her inner condition, the name she remained cheerful to this very day.
In 1971 Elsa married and became a mother of two children. In 1978, her two children suffered serious medical problems, and in the midst of these days Elsa came to personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. From then on, Elsa began a journey of growing faith and her new name.
In 2002 Elsa’s husband died and in 2006 left Israel to be with her daughter in Argentina and returned to Israel in 2009.
She taught art and in 2018 in May she died.
I have decided to set up this virtual museum, in memory of the Holocaust survivor Miss Elsa Langer (1933-2018), which was a great artist who did not become famous and did not really get a chance in her life, to reap the fruits of her amazing works of art.
Within the virtual museum, artists & art collectors from all over the world are invited to publish and display their works of art to the general public and share the stories that stand behind their works. The audience members are invited to be impressed, respond and even initiate a purchase of works of art directly from the creators themselves.
I am here in the name of the art, and in the name of all transparent artists who did not get the proper chance nor the place to display their works of art and participate in exhibitions, because their names are unknown, or because they did not meet curators’ expectations or any other reasons.
In my virtual museum – Everyone is accepted!!!
With a blessing of friendship and brotherhood,
Founder & director of the Virtual Museum
ELSA LANGER – VIRTUAL ROOM