For over thirty years, Dina Babbitt, once a teenage girl imprisoned in Auschwitz, has been trying to reclaim paintings she made while in the concentration camp. Josef Mengele, the infamous Nazi doctor, took a liking to Babbitt's artwork and asked her to paint portraits of the gypsies on which he was performing his horrific experiments. It was, in fact, these paintings that kept Babbitt alive. After the war, Babbitt came to California and worked as an animator for both Warner Bros. and Jay Ward Productions. When it was revealed that seven of her Auschwitz paintings were on display at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland, she tried to get them back, but the museum has consistently refused, claiming the paintings are not personal works of art, but rather documentation of the events that occurred at Auschwitz created under the orders of Dr. Mengele. The artistic community, including former DC Comics artist Joe Kubert, have rallied around Babbitt's cause, as have congresswoman Shelley Berkley, and a former director of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Efforts to help the 83 year old Babbitt reclaim her artwork were stepped up recently due to a heart condition that is threatening her health, though I would assume that if she were to pass away before the issue is resolved her family would continue the fight.
[via Toon Zone]
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