31 Hadkalim Street
Kfar Sirkin 49935, ISRAEL
At the age of fifty, Sara began painting with a community circle once a week. There were group exhibitions, but even as she painted flowers and oranges, she was certain that this was only in preparation for her real aims. When she returned from a trip to Hungary and Austria she began to put her memories of her horrible experience during the Holocaust onto canvas.
Sara Gottdiener-Atzmon was born in Hahdunanas, Hungary in 1933, the fourteenth of sixteen children. At the age of seven, her father and four of her brothers were taken to a forced labor camp. The family was deported to Auschwitz in June of 1944 with the old people’s and children’s transport. In the same year Sara witnessed her father’s death as a result of hunger and deprivation.
At the end of 1944, the family spent four days undergoing disinfection at Strasshof. They were stripped naked and “were taken care of”. Half clothed, they were shipped to Bergen-Belsen. There they were made to stand outdoors in the snow for many hours during role call. As a small girl, she had a red child’s shoe on one foot and a woman’s high-heeled shoe on the other.
In April 1945, the family was liberated by the American army near the town of Magdeburg. At the age of twelve, weighing seventeen kilograms, Sara was given back her life. Her father Israel, three of her brothers, four nephews, her grandmother, brother-in-law, uncles, cousins, and many other family members (60 people altogether) had not returned from the camps.
The American army gave the survivors two alternatives, either to go to Palestine or to the United States. Without any hesitation, Sara and her family traveled via Buchenwald to Palestine. Once in Palestine, they had to go through a British transit camp in Atlit. Sara was in the first immigration group to arrive in Palestine in 1945 after the “deluge”.
After the War of Independence, in 1949 Sara graduated from the seventh grade. She began to work in various jobs and completed her education in evening courses. In 1951, she was drafted into the Israeli Army.
About twenty years ago Sara began to lecture at schools on the Holocaust. Despite some of the children’s tears, Sara felt that most of the students did not really comprehend what she wanted them to. The thought occurred to her that perhaps professional actors could bring the message home more clearly. Otherwise the Holocaust might be forgotten.
During recent years, Sara has arranged sixty important exhibitions about the Holocaust in Israel. She has shown them in the Knesset, the Israel Parliament, and Yad VaShem, the Holocaust Museum, where her paintings are permanently exhibited. Also her works are shown at community and educational centers throughout Israel. Her paintings have been shown at Catholic cultural centers in Graz, Austria, in Budapest and throughout Hungary. For all her endeavors Sara received the Sussman Prize.
Her works are being studied by students at the Sherover Center, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and by university students of history and art.
At the beginning of 1996, Sara opened several exhibitions in the United States.
Her most recent art words have been documented in the form of a commemorative stamp. The first issue was printed on the occasion of the signature of the peace treaty between Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan.
In 1997, Sara attended the International Conference in Memorial of the Holocaust in Brussels. Immediately afterwards, she arranged additional exhibitions in Jerusalem and at the Tel Aviv University.
In 1998, she hosted several exhibitions in Israel. At every event, Sara talks about her experiences during the Holocaust and explains the meaning of her paintings. She speaks to different Arab, Jewish and German groups.
During 1999, 20 exhibitions took place, eight in Hungary and at the Villa Wannsee, in Berlin, where the conference about the destruction of all Jewish Communities was held.
In 2000, an exhibition was held at the Stockholm Historical Museum to mark the International Conference of the Holocaust. Currently, Sara is exhibiting in several German cities, including Emmendingen, Neuwied and Stuttgart.
A successful exhibition was also held at the Madrid Parliament.
Sara has been invited to hold an exhibition at the site of the former concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.
The Israel Foreign Office has agreed to take upon itself the patronage of these exhibitions and to forward the art works through diplomatic channels.
2001 – Germany: Sara held an exhibition and workshop at the diplomatic school in Bonn. Other exhibitions in Germany were held at the Hannover Parliament; Bergen-Belsen; Bischofsheim Mission Camp; and at the Berlin Foreign Office.
Czeck Republic: Terezin Ghetto Museum Prague, New City Hall.
Ukraina Kiev, Babi-Ya’ar 60 years after the great murder of tens of thousands of Jews.
Israel: Kochav Yair, Nir Galim, Kfar Sirkin.
2002 – Israel: Petach Tiqva and Kfar Sirkin.
Germany: Koblenz “Florens Kirche”, with about 13,000 visitors.
A permanent exhibition has been held in “Beit Haedut Lashoah” in Nir Galim since 2001. Thousands of students and soldiers are visiting the exhibition every month.
2003 – Israel: The Bible Museum, Tel Aviv; and in many education centers throughout Israel.
2004 – Stockholm, to mark the International Conference of the Holocaust. Germany, several cities.
2005 – Israel: Chulon Education Center,Ramat-gan, Beer-Sheba
Germany: Exhibition and workshops secondly in Diplomatic school, November-Hohenwart-Forum,-Forzcheim
2006 - Israel: Drom Hasharon, Beit-Chasmonaim, Rechovot Jad-loBanim
2007 - Israel: Massada, Modiin, India-Mumbay, Germany Nirenberg
2008 - Israel "mossad", Education center's Germany-Drezden-Pirna
2009-israeli "mossad",cfar-semaryahu,cfar-sirkin cutler centers germany wulsdorff. participate a delegation to polnad to extermination camps.
2011-yangon-miamanr(burma)germany :grossbotwar,potsdam,israel:ramat-gan diamond exchange,the peace center of president shimon peres.