Picasso’s words resonate, “I have always believed that artists should not remain indifferent to a conflict in which the highest values of humanity and civilization are at stake.” The mission of As Seen Through These Eyes is to combat prejudice, intolerance and bigotry through a series of moving interviews with these survivor-artists. Each conversation brings with it the realization that every painting or sketch on a torn scrap of paper is its own Holocaust diary. Their words—and their images—are profoundly moving, communicating horror and hope artistically.
One only needs to absorb the evocative drawing of train tracks leading into the mouth of Death’s head, its victims’ plight compassionately captured by the artist, whose signature reads Simon Wiesenthal. His art, and that of all the other survivor-artists, are documents echoing the message “Never again!”
What is most heartrending is the art of the children; images from creators who were forced to become immediately what they would not have time to become naturally. Ela Weissberger, one of the few surviving child artists also performed in a rare camp opera. Having played the “Cat” in Brundibar, she is one of merely 100 child survivors among the 15,000 children who lived in the “model ghetto” Theresienstadt. In her interview, she speaks on behalf of the murdered children, “Please remember my friends. They cannot speak for themselves so I speak in their words.” We see children’s artwork and images of the ghetto and its random camp deportations, revealing what life was like for these innocent victims.