This document is one page of a letter from artist Esther Lurie, written after the war, asking for help in following down leads and locating the artwork she had created and hidden while imprisoned in the Kovno ghetto, Lithuania.
She wrote, "The matter concerns a collection of 200 pen-and-ink drawings representing scenes of ghetto life which I made during my internment in the Kaunas Ghetto (Lithuania) in 1941-1944.
I left the drawings buried in the earth as I felt that I had no hope of survival."
2nd November, 1945
His Excellency the High Commissioner,
I hope Your Excellency will forgive the liberty I am taking in writing to you but I do not see any possibility of succeeding in my undertaking without your help.
The matter concerns a collection of 200 pen-and-ink drawings representing scenes of ghetto life which I made during my internment in the Kaunas Ghetto (Lithuania) in 1941-1944.
I left the drawing buried in the earth as I felt that I had no hope of survival. With the collection I left a letter saying that the drawings are the property of my parents in Palestine and should be sent, by the finder, to the Museum, Tel-Aviv.
As I mentioned above, I had no hope of survival but fate chose otherwise. I was liberated by the Red Army in January 1945 when I was in a women's Labour Camp in Poland. The Russians concentrated all the liberated prisoners, military and civilian, in special spots and in one of them I met a party of British ex-prisoners of war. I was attached to the group as interpreter and as a Palestinian subject ( I obtained Palestinian citizenship in 1938 and was caught by the war in Lithuania in 1939 when I was there on a visit) - I came to this country in 1934 - repatriated with the group.
I wanted to go back to Kaunas to retrieve my drawings but I was advised by the British Military Mission in Odessa to wait until the end of the war and, as soon as I came back to Palestine, to get in touch with the representatives of the British Government there.
I was able to return to Palestine a few months ago and I have recently been informed that the collection of my drawings has been found and is now in the hands of a Mr. Ephraim Gutman ( a Jew) of Visiuskio g-ve 66, Kaunas, Lithuania (Soviet Union).
It is impossible to get things out of Russia in the ordinary way, especially things of any artistic or documentary value. The only possibility is to have them asked for, officially, from Mr. E. Gutman through the British Embassy in Moscow. And that is why I am allowing myself to appeal to Your Excellency.
These drawings are of the utmost important for my future work and I am ready to face any difficulty to obtain them.
I hope that the fact that I am a Palestininan subject from before the war and the fact that I willed the works to the country will help my cause.
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