Memoria [EN] No. 14 (11/2018) | Page 31

never occur again. He wanted people to experience peace," said Marc Oler.

David Olère was born on 19 January 1902 in Warsaw. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. In 1918, he went to Berlin, and then later to Paris where he settled permanently. He belonged to the so-called School of Paris. He worked for various film studios creating set designs, costumes and advertising posters for, among others, Paramount Pictures, Fox and Gaumont.

On 20 February 1943, because of his Jewish origin, he was arrested by the French police and placed in the Drancy camp. On 2 March, he was deported from there to the German Nazi concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz, where he was registered with the number 106144. Throughout his entire stay at the camp, he worked in the Sonderkommando, a special work unit forced by the Germans to assist in the operation of the crematoria and gas chambers.

On 19 January 1945, David Olère was evacuated from Auschwitz deep into the Third Reich. At first, he was sent to the Mauthausen camp and then to Melk, where he worked, among others, in the underground adit. On 7 April, he was transferred to Ebensee, where he was liberated by the American army on 6 May 1945.

Shortly after the war a series of about 70 drawings was created, which in later years served as an inspiration for David Olère to produce shocking oil paintings. The very detailed record of subsequent stages of the extermination and scenes from the camp prisoners’ life is of exceptional documentary value. It contains plans of the crematoria and gas chambers, as well as drawings depicting scenes taking place in these buildings.

In addition to the very moving works of Olère, the catalogue that accompanies the exhibition contains fragments of the accounts and records of Sonderkommando members.