Opening of the exhibition "I am Yehuda Bacon. I did not want to become a professional concentration camp inmate"


Opening of the exhibition
Representatives of the project partners (photo credits: Municipality Gunskirchen)

Yehuda Bacon was 16 years old, when he was liberated from the Concentration Camp Gunskirchen in early May 1945. He was first detained at the Theresienstadt Concentration Camp, subsequently transferred to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp, and finally he arrived at the Mauthausen Concentration Camp in January 1945. From there he was sent on the death march to Gunskirchen in April 1945. When he was liberated, Yehuda Bacon weighed only 34 kg.

As only survivor of his family, Yehuda Bacon was admitted to a Czech orphanage after his recovery, where his artistic talent was discovered and encouraged. Since 1947, he has lived as internationally renowned artist in Jerusalem. His works, which at the beginning showed explicit motive of his traumatic experiences from the detention in concentration camps, slowly developed to become works representing also joy of life by showing dancing characters, bright colours and colourful forms.

On the occasion of the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the Gunskirchen and Mauthausen Concentration Camps, the works of Yehuda Bacon will again be shown in Austria for the first time since 1968. The exhibition “I am Yehuda Bacon. I did not want to become a professional concentration camp inmate” under the curatorship of Jens Oertel, was opened on 21 April 2016 at the Music School Gunskirchen. Mayor Josef Sturmair bid welcome to the numerous guests. Angelika Schlackl, initiator of the exhibition project, presented an empathic film portrait on Yehuda Bacon. Gudrun Blohberger, educational manager of the Mauthausen Memorial, talked about the genesis of this cooperation project sponsored by the municipality Gunskirchen, the Austrian Mauthausen Committee (local groups Wels and Ansfelden), the Rhema Community Linz, the Christians for Israel and the Mauthausen Memorial.

On 13 May 2016, starting at 7 pm, there is an opportunity to get to know Yehuda Bacon during a discussion with the artist at the Music School Gunskirchen. Subsequently, the exhibition will move to the Mauthausen Memorial, where it will be opened in the presence of the artist on 19 May 2016 at 6 pm.