Jewish teenager Ava Hegedish drew this poignant picture of her mother's well-worn shoes while in hiding.
It was drawn while Ava was in hiding at a farm near Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia), between 1941 and 1944. Once Nazi Germany and its Axis partners partitioned Yugoslavia and Belgrade fell under German control, Ava’s father thought the family’s best chance of survival was to separate and go into hiding. Ava ended up at a farm with some extended-family Serbian relatives. Because she didn’t speak the local dialect, Ava pretended to be deaf and mute. She occasionally made drawings on whatever scraps of paper she could get.
After the region was liberated in October 1944, Ava learned that her father and sister had been killed. She reunited with her mother Beatrice and settled in Belgrade, where Ava attended art school.
She later worked as a set designer in film and theater. Ava and her mother immigrated to Israel in 1949, and some years later, after her mother died, she eventually settled in Chicago. Now known as Ava Kadishson Schieber, her work has been shown in galleries throughout the United States. The young girl in hiding who once drew on scraps of paper has also published poems and stories about her ordeal, and given presentations to schools and community groups.