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Elizabeth Rynecki

While helping her parents sort out her grandfather George’s possessions after his funeral in 1992, Elizabeth Rynecki discovered a memoir he had been working on for more than fifteen years. In this record, George described his experiences living in Poland during World War II. Although he and his mother, Perla, managed to survive, his father, the artist Moshe Rynecki, was deported from the Warsaw ghetto by the Nazis and murdered at Majdanek. The author tells us that Moshe’s death “had a profound impact on my choice of study and my interest in both my family history and the broader history of the Holocaust.”

Moshe Rynecki, a highly regarded painter of Jewish folk scenes and Polish life, completed over eight hundred works of art before the German occupation of Poland in 1939. After the war, Perla was able to locate 120 of them; these she brought to the United States when she and her son immigrated. Elizabeth Rynecki grew up surrounded by her great-grandfather’s vibrant paintings of Jewish life in the 1920s and ’30s. CLICK FOR MORE

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