Oil on Canvas 30x40
Original Image Taken: 1974
My grandmother Sophia was an incredible woman. When her husband was drafted to the Polish army during the Holocaust, Sophia was left alone with 3 small children to protect. She made sure they always had food; she identified Righteous Gentiles to hide my mother and her siblings when there were raids on the Krakow ghetto; Sophia was able to secure false Argentinian passports for her family – which saved them from Nazi firing squads on more than a few occasions. Sophia refused to leave Poland (even though the passports could provide safe passage out of Europe) because her sisters were interred in Auschwitz and she arranged to have food smuggled to them on a regular basis. Sophia was fearless and driven. When she immigrated to Canada she continued to lead. Sophia had her own small wholesaling business; she hosted her sisters (who survived) and the whole family for all the holidays; she ensured that her children had every opportunity. She took a job washing dishes at a Jewish overnight camp so that my mom and her siblings could spend the summers like all the other kids in their community. She supported my mother’s artistic and educational aspirations. She was extremely proud when her son Ronnie finished McGill medical school and did graduate work at Harvard. She treasured her grandchildren more than anything. My daughter Sophie is named for her - what a legacy.