Art of a Jewish Woman by Henry Massie

By Henry Massie

Excited about his excellent and lovely mom, Felice, Henry Massie explores the numerous worlds she inhabited--and conquered--in this memoir.

Possessed with a amazing present for reinventing herself, Felice used to be despatched to Paris to be knowledgeable, and later fled her Polish shetl for Palestine while the Nazis got here to strength ahead of global struggle II. Having escaped the Holocaust, she immigrated eventually to the United States.

She arrived penniless, labored first as a nanny for the president of Yale, and at last married and settled in St. Louis. attracted to the paintings international, she all started accumulating works within the new box of summary Expressionism, changing into lively within the big apple urban paintings international, lecturing on smooth artwork at Washington college, and at last accumulating a set that integrated works via Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning.

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When columns of soldiers carrying guns passed by on their way to manoeuvres, my friends and I used to march behind the columns, carrying pieces of wood on our shoulders in place of guns. We used to watch, in admiration, the ceremony of swearing allegiance to Poland, held in the market square with lines of infantry and cavalry all lined up in uniform. I was born in 1928, the fourth in a family of five children. The eldest was my sister Mania, a dynamic, intelligent and ambitious girl, who at the age of fifteen went to live in Pabianice with my Uncle Benjamin and Aunt Hela as there were more opportunities there for her than there were in Sieradz.

We walked through some orchards and picked some fruit as we were getting low on food. There was very little bread left and as there were no shops in the villages, we had to make haste for Lask where we hoped to buy some provisions before dusk. At last the town came into view. Everything looked so peaceful, but we found, when we got there, that the shops were closed. Our first task was to find a place to sleep and to wash and to be able to put our luggage down. That, especially, seemed important; the longer we walked, the heavier our legs seemed to get.

The night passed peacefully, and the next morning I went into the yard that was at the back of my cousin’s house. At the end of the yard was a fence and then fields, growing maize. Suddenly there came the deafening roar of engines as several planes started dive-bombing. I looked up and saw the German Cross on the planes’ fuselages. There were no Polish planes in sight or any sound of anti-aircraft guns to be heard. The planes started strafing and dropping bombs all around, and then wave after wave of other planes came, filling the sky, their noise deafening.

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