Ishbel Myerscough and Stuart Pearson Wright Holocaust Survivor Commission
Portraits of seven Holocaust survivors by seven artists (Paul Benney, Clara Drummond, Peter Kuhfeld, Ishbel Myerscough, Massimiliano Pironti, Jenny Saville and Stuart Pearson Wright) have been commissioned by The Prince of Wales to go on display at Buckingham Palace.
Rachel Levy by Stuart Pearson Wright (left): As Jewish people became more and more excluded, life grew increasingly difficult for families such as Rachel’s during the early years of the war. The non-Jewish families from the remote village where she lived allowed most of her family to evade capture until 1944, when they were rounded up and taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Rachel and her brother were spared because they were able to work; their mother, younger sisters and baby brother were sent to the gas chambers. At the start of 1945 she survived a death march to Bergen-Belsen before being liberated from there by British troops on 15 April 1945.
Lily Ebert by Ishbel Myerscough (right): Lily was the eldest child born into an established Hungarian family; she also has the distinction of being the eldest of the sitters portrayed here.
Lily’s father died in 1942, leaving her with a sense of responsibility for her younger siblings. Two years later she and her family were forced to endure unimaginable conditions on the terrible five-day journey by train to Auschwitz-Birkenau. During her time there, Lily managed to conceal the small gold pendant, a gift from her mother, depicted in this portrait. Lily and her two sisters were liberated from Auschwitz by American troops on 13 April 1945. Her mother, youngest sister, and brother perished there.
The artists will feature in a BBC Two documentary Survivors: Portraits of the Holocaust, which will share the stories of the survivors experiences as they are painted. Click here to watch.