Buenos Aires, Argentina
Artist paints haunting images of Nazi death camp ovens
Inspired by his father, a Holocaust survivor who built the furnace used to cremate the body of executed Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962, Israeli artist Tuly Ziv has created over 100 haunting paintings of furnaces.
Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff
Tuly Ziv has created over 100 haunting paintings of furnaces, inspired by a sketch of the furnace his father, a Holocaust survivor, built and used to cremate the body of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann after he was executed by Israel in 1962.
Ziv's father, Israel Zaklikowski, was the only one of his family to survive the Holocaust, first in the Lodz Ghetto in Poland and then in the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. Ziv's mother survived Auschwitz, where she was one of the prisoners who sorted the possessions of the Jews killed and cremated in the extermination camp.
After the war, Ziv's father immigrated to British-administered Palestine, where he worked in a factory for commercial baking ovens.
Ziv says he recalls his father returning home from work on June 1, 1962, and saying, "Last night I cremated Eichmann."
Eichmann was one of the architects of the Final Solution, the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people, and he oversaw the rounding up and deportation of Jews to death camps such as Auschwitz.
In 1960, Israel's Mossad intelligence agency abducted Eichmann from Argentina, where he was living under an assumed identity.
An Israeli court found him guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes against the Jewish people. He is the only person to have been executed by Israel since its founding in 1948.
Zaklikowski prepared a sketch of the furnace he designed and built exclusively to cremate Eichmann's body after he was hanged. His ashes were later scattered in the sea far beyond Israel's territorial waters.
Ziv said he remembered his father saying, "They chose me to build the furnace that turns Eichmann ... to ash."
The sketch he discovered in his parents' attic, alongside a pile of photographs of relatives who had been killed in the Holocaust, laid the foundations for over 100 paintings that were later displayed in a Tel Aviv exhibition called "The Furnace."
During an interview at his home in Tel Aviv on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, Ziv described his painting of furnaces as an obsession that helped him put his demons to rest.
The second generation of Holocaust survivors, he said "usually ... doesn't want to awaken anything."
Left an only child after his sister died young, Ziv said he recalled his mother once telling him, "After what I saw in Auschwitz, I didn't want children at all."
Using dark colors, Ziv paints furnaces of all sizes, as well as train tracks leading to crematoria, and piles of bodies at the edges of the ovens.
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