My Grandfather in Auschwitz

© the artist's estate / Bridgeman Images. Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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The blood-red setting sun and scattered corpses, together with the yellow star, striped pyjamas and identity card held by the artist’s grandfather invoke the systematic destruction suffered by the Jews during the Holocaust. Dora Holzhandler is the daughter of Jewish-Polish émigrés. After the collapse of her father’s business, she spent her first six years with a Catholic family in Normandy before the family was reunited and moved to London in 1934. Much of her extended family, including her grandfather and half-sister, who remained behind, perished in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. After the war, Holzhandler studied at the Anglo-French Art School (1948–1950), where her now celebrated, naïve style of painting was first recognised and encouraged.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



My Grandfather in Auschwitz




oil on canvas


H 125.5 x W 100 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

gift from the artist, 2006

Work type



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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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