Sunday, May 9, 2010

Peter Kubicek makes correction to New York Times obit headlined "Avigdor Arikha, Artist of Everyday, Is Dead at 81"

The New York Times
Dear Editor:

re the recent obituary: "Avigdor Arikha, Artist of Everyday, Is Dead at 81"

I refer to the above obituary which you published on May 1, 2010. Mr. Arikha was an artist whose work I admired. But the article contains a reference to the Holocaust which I consider implausible, to say the least. Here is the quotation.

"In 1941, at 12, he was deported by the Nazis to a Ukranian labor camp.
In 1944, he and his sister were rescued by the International Red Cross and transported to Palestine. Their mother was able to follow them there.”

This asks readers of the Times to believe that the International Red Cross was capable of gaining entry to a labor camp in the Ukraine run by Nazi Germany and pluck two Jewish children out of it. The further reference that their mother was able to follow them is totally unclear and ambiguous. As a Holocaust survivor and a careful student of the Holocaust, I find these sentences wholly incredible.

There is, of course, the possibility that this rescue occurred in late 1944 when this camp had already been liberated by the Soviet Army. That would put an entirely different complexion on the matter. In such a case the Times obituary should have made that clear.

Sincerely yours,

Peter Kubicek

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