Satu Mare, 1917 - Israel, 1996
The life story
A struggle. Adolf Adler tried rebuilding his life after he was held captive. Twice!
The art story
Remembering those lost in the Holocaust. The artist is also known for his figurative and landscape paintings.
Captive times two
dolf Adler was born in Satu Mare in 1917. He moved to Cluj in 1936, where he manifested an early interest in the arts; which he started to study shortly after relocating.
Six years later, in 1942, with the rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe, he was deported by the Hungarian authorities to a forced labor camp in Ukraine. After two years he managed to escape this camp, only to be re-captured in Russia where he was again held captive until 1945.
IAs the war ended Adolf returned to Cluj, only to find that most of his family were killed in a labor camp at Auschwitz. But this didn't stop him from starting a new chapter in his life, that of rebuilding himself with what remained untainted by WWII. He married, finished his studies (in 1950), and joined the Union of Fine Arts of Cluj, where he became a member and assistant to professor Ion Andreescu. Along with a group of artists, his wife and their two daughters, Adler Adolf relocated to Israel in 1963, where he reunited with his brother after a separation of 25 years.
Once an artist, forever an artist
The artist was generally known for his figurative and landscape paintings realized in oil, watercolor, acrylic, charcoal, and felt-tipped pens. When it came to the subject matter, he painted from memory and approached the Holocaust from a unique and seemingly unsaturated perspective, making it still a very vivid happening.
His career as a painter continued in Israel until the day he died, in 1966. Adolf Adler’s work has been on display in numerous international exhibitions, and some of it has been purchased by a few Romanian state museums. His work is part of the permanent collection at the Yad Vashem Art Museum, the world’s largest collection of artwork created by victims of Nazi occupation from 1933 to 1945. Amongst them, two large scale dramatic pictures of a young girl and boy glancing through the barely open side of a train cart: the green hue and the facial compositions strike a similarity to the picture held in this collection.