JANUARY 21st Is DINA'S BIRTHDAY--HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DINA!!
YOU WILL LIVE IN US FOREVER!
Babbitt survived imprisonment at Auschwitz through her own sheer strength, her impressive courage, and the fact that she could
paint. Without her consent or knowledge, these paintings were used by the extremely repugnant camp physician, Dr. Josef
Mengele, as part of his theories of racial superiority. She traded the those paintings for her life and that of
her mom, also a prisoner. Since learning sometime in 1973 that the paintings survived intact, she has been fighting
a losing battle to have them returned to her. Against international agreements on property restoration, international
law, and common sense, they are now considered the property of the Auschwitz Museum by Museum officials, who refuse to return
them despite acknowledging her authorship.
Dina’s story has recently been the focus
of journalists, but more visibly, an internationally known group of leading comic book artists who have created an unusual
petition demanding justice in this face of this injustice. Palo Alto High School students have been given the rights
to re-publish significant parts of this amazing comic by Marvel Comics, through the efforts of the David Wyman Institute
for Holocaust Studies and Dr. Rafael Medoff, a true friend of this project. Students have published their own book
about Dina, called Justice For Dina. That publication and the accompanying DVD, shot by then-sophomore Wes Rapaport,
are now available for purchase.
It is with great sadness that I share the news that Dina Babbitt died, Wednesday, July 29, 2009.
Her memorial service was held on Saturday, August 22nd in Santa
Cruz and was a lovely tribute to this courageous artist, mother, grandmother, friend, and teacher.
One hundred fifty 11th grade students and their teacher have written a book about a courageous woman who defied
the infamous Nazi Josef Mengele and was able to negotiate her life and that of her mom because she could paint. Dina
Babbitt survived Auschwitz and, since 1973, had been on a quest to have these paintings returned to her. Unfortunately,
she died before the museum the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum acted. All along, museum officials asserted that the
paintings were their property, not hers. On this website, we'll highlight our efforts to join the many people working to have
the paintings returned. These efforts are the subject of a book and an accompanying DVD of Babbitt's appearance at Palo
Alto High School on March 5, 2009. This book is now available by emailing email@example.com.
| January 21, 1923-July 29, 2009
|Illustration by Sacha Seraia
This book was made possible by a Viking Grant. The DVD
was funded by the PALY Site Council.
CORRECT E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR THE AUSCHWITZ MUSEUM IS:
WE REGRET THAT IN OUR BOOK WE ACCIDENTALLY PUBLISHED THE INCORRECT