Israeli artist paints haunting images of Nazi death camp ovens

TULYThe artist’s mother survived Auschwitz extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where she sorted Jews’ possessions after they were cremated.

Tuly Ziv has created over 100 paintings of furnaces depicting haunting imagery, inspired by a sketch of a furnace that his father, a Holocaust survivor, built and used to cremate the body of Adolf Eichmann, an architect of Hitler’s “Final Solution” who was executed by Israel in 1962 after a war crimes trial in Jerusalem.

Tuly’s father was the only family member to survive Lodz ghetto in Poland and the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany in the killing of six million Jews during World War Two. His mother survived Auschwitz extermination camp in German-occupied Poland, where she sorted Jews’ possessions after they were cremated.

After the Holocaust, Tuly’s father, Israel Zaklikowski, immigrated to British-administered Palestine, where he worked in a factory for commercial baking ovens.

On June 1, 1962, Tuly says he recalls his father returning home from work, saying: “Last night I cremated Eichmann”.

Eichmann was one of the architects of the “Final Solution”, the Nazi plan to exterminate the Jewish people, and he oversaw the rounding up and deportation of Jews to death camps such as Auschwitz.

In 1960, Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency abducted Eichmann from Argentina, where he was living under an assumed identity.

An Israeli court found him guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes against the Jewish people. He is the only person to have been executed by Israel since its founding in 1948.

Zaklikowski prepared a sketch of the furnace he designed and built exclusively to cremate Eichmann’s body after he was hanged. His ashes were later scattered in the sea far beyond Israel’s territorial waters.

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Ziv said he remembered his father saying “they chose me to build the furnace that turns Eichmann…to ash”.

The sketch Tuly discovered in his parents attic, alongside a pile of photographs of relatives who were killed in the Holocaust, laid the foundations for over 100 paintings that were later displayed in a Tel Aviv exhibition called “The Furnace”..

During an interview at his home in Tel Aviv, on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, Ziv described his painting of furnaces as an obsession that helped him put his demons to rest.

The second generation of Holocaust survivors, he said “usually…doesn’t want to awaken anything”.

An only child, after his sister died at a young age, Ziv said he recalled his mother once telling him: “After what I saw in Auschwitz, I didn’t want children at all”.

Using dark colours, Tuly paints furnaces of all sizes, as well as train tracks leading to crematoria – and piles of bodies at the edge of the ovens. Source:Jpost