Touring War Memorial exhibition contains rare Australian war artists works on the Holocaust

October 13, 2019 by J-Wire Staff
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NSW Shadow Treasurer and NSW Parliamentary Friends of Israel deputy chair Walt Secord is pleased that an Australian War Memorial touring exhibition to rural art galleries contained a number of rare works on the Holocaust including one by an Australian war artist, Alan Moore on the Nazi concentration camp – Bergen-Belsen.

The Holocaust

Mr Secord, who is also the Shadow Minister for the Arts recently visited the Blue Mountains City Art Gallery, which presented Reality in Flames: modern Australian art and the Second World War.

As well as the haunting work by Mr Moore, entitled SS Guards burying dead, Belsen, which he painted after witnessing the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, there were four works by Bernard Slawik, a Jewish architect and scholar who depicted the burning of synagogues and the loading of Jews in open boxcars in 1943 in Poland, which were purchased by the national war memorial in 1995.

The burning of a synagogue

Furthermore, there were paintings by Jewish official war artist Sali Herman who served in the Australian Imperial Force in New Britain and Papua New Guinea and works by Israeli painter, Yosl Bergner who depicted life for refugees in Melbourne and their experience of antisemitism here.

“It was an extraordinary exhibition,” Mr Secord said.

“I encourage anyone who gets an opportunity to visit a regional art gallery mounting the show to go immediately. It was a rare opportunity to see these rare works.

“Previously, I had only seen art works by Sali Herman and Yosl Bergner in text books.

“I did not know that official Australian war artists saw and depicted the horrors of the concentration camps until I saw the exhibition.”

Walt Secord at the exhibition

This was the first exhibition dedicated exclusively to exploring the reactions of Australian modernist artists to the Second World War. The entire show contains 88 works drawn from the Australian War Memorial’s collection.


2 Responses to “Touring War Memorial exhibition contains rare Australian war artists works on the Holocaust”
  1. Avigayle Chanah Manryk says:


    I have a niche Jewish art gallery in downtown Brisbane in the Brisbane Arcade called Glaser Galleries. I am interested in displaying some paintings from the above article’s exhibition. Would you be able to connect me with the artist’s?



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