Still life with Self-Portrait Oil on wood by Gela Seksztajn (1907-1942).
(photo credit: COURTESY OF THE COLLECTION OF THE YAD VASHEM ART MUSEUM ON LOAN FROM THE LAHAV-LICHTENSTEIN FAMILY I)
Gela Seksztajn was a student in one of Warsaw’s prewar Jewish high schools. After she graduated Seksztajn enrolled in an art school in Krakow, and in the early 1930s, she went to Paris to paint. Subsequently, Seksztajn returned to Warsaw, married and had a daughter. In 1942, they were arrested by the Nazis, deported to Treblinka and murdered.In Seksztajn’s last will and testament, composed on August 1, 1942, she wrote, “As I stand on the border between life and death, certain that I will not remain alive, I wish to take leave from my friends and my works. My works I bequeath to the Jewish museum to be built after the war. Farewell my friends. Farewell my Jewish people. Never again allow such a catastrophe.”