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Long Island

New exhibit at Holocaust museum in Nassau

Silvia Fishbaum at The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance

Silvia Fishbaum at The Holocaust Memorial and Tolerance Center of Nassau County in Glen Cove, which is featuring an exhibit dedicated to Holocaust survivor and artist Ludovit Feld. (April 13, 2012) Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

Amid a grim landscape of ash and smoke, a man raises his eyes to the heavens. A sad boy, his son, rests his head on the man's shoulder.

Shadows of captives move in the background, where the smokestacks of a Nazi crematorium spew the souls of Holocaust victims.

That drawing, "Father and Son," is one of 11 black-and-white artworks that will go on exhibit Sunday in Glen Cove at the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center of Nassau County.

They are the works of Ludovit Feld, a Jewish artist from the former Czechoslovakia -- now Slovakia -- who survived Auschwitz. He is known as "The Little Giant" because of his dwarfism.

Some of the works have never been shown before. All but one come from the private collection of Silvia Fishbaum of Long Beach, a fellow Slovakian who was the late artist's student and friend.

Fishbaum, 58, sees chilling messages about genocide and hate in "Father and Son" and the other works in the exhibition.

"It's just so mesmerizing to see the ashes in the shape of human beings, and to know that, really, they were people, just like you and I, who suffered because of what? Because they were Jewish? Such hideous crimes," she said.

The exhibition's opening, which will include a formal presentation Sunday at 2 p.m., is just days before Holocaust Remembrance Day, which will be observed Thursday on the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943 -- when Jews in Poland resisted being taken to the death camps.

The exhibition, which ends June 30, denounces the "brutality of the Holocaust" and is a good fit with the center's mission of fighting intolerance, education director Beth Lilach said.

Fishbaum says there's also reason for hope in the artist's legacy. "It shows me the strength, the power of not giving up, and expressing yourself and leaving something behind for the world to see," she said.

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