Free Dina’s Art

The Museum’s Prompt Reply
February 12, 2009, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Active Decency | Tags: , , , ,

Tuesday’s letter got a prompt reply. Either it was sufficiently polite, or the copy to ICOM helped persuade the museum. In either case, the stance apparently hasn’t changed at all, yet.

For what it’s worth, here it is:


Oświęcim, February 11th, 2009 11/         /2009

Mr. Tim Thibeault

Dear Mr. Thibeault,

Reffering to your e-mail dated February 9th, 2009 we would like to confirm that we have received your letter to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in the issue of the watercolors by Mrs. Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt on the order of the SS-Haupsturmfuehrer dr. Joseph Mengele.

Once again we want to stress that we fully understands Ms Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt’s emotional attitude towards the works made in the past in conditions which undoubtedly influenced her life. However, our moral and statutory duty obliges us to preserve all evidence dating back to the wartime and related with the Auschwitz concentration and death camp and to prevent this evidence from being dispersed in any way.
Every single loss of even the smallest part of the documentation will be an irreparable loss and a shadow on the memory of Auschwitz Concentration Camp victims.

These water-colours depicting Gypsies who perished in Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp contribute significantly to commemoration and the increase in the awareness of the mass murder of Sinti and Roma and they are also an example of a cruel pseudo-scientific activity performed by Joseph Mengele, the result of which was murdering thousands of human lives. In the connection with a small number of objects documenting the extermination of Gypsies in KL Auschwitz, these portraits have paramount meaning as a historical document and play the role of the evidence of the crime, which cannot be replaced with a copy.

Below you will find the link to the extensive article concerning the issue of the portraits, made in Auschwitz Concentration Camp by Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt on SS-Haupsturmfuehrer Josef Mengele’s orders:

We hope that this information will help you closer familiarize with the issue and understand our statement.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Piotr M.A.Cywiński
Museum Director


Now. I’m going out for a nice, calm walk, and I’m going to scream at some birds and wildlife, and vent my feelings as much as possible.

(Right this minute, I think the intransigence of this response would be enough to make Mother Theresa shake a baby.)

Then, I’m going to reply to this letter in as calm and rational a manner as I can possibly force myself to do.  But I will say right now that I’m not very impressed with this dude’s grasp of the concept of Human Rights.


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