Swedish artist uses concentration camp ashes for painting

(JNS.org) A painting by artist Carl Michael von Hausswolff has stirred controversy after it was discovered that Hausswolff used ashes that he had collected during a 1989 visit to the Majdanek concentration camp for painting a small picture of gray streaks.

Click photo to download. Caption: A watchtower in the Majdanek concentration camp, where more than 80,000 people were killed during the Holocaust, mostly Polish Jews. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.Nearly 80,000 people died during the Holocaust in the Majdanek concentration camp. Hausswolff has said that the ashes in the picture appear to "contain the memories and the souls of people: people tormented and murdered by other people in the most viscous war of the 20th Century.”

But Salomon Schulman, a prominent Jew in Sweden who lost family members during the Holocaust, has called the painting—which currently hangs in a gallery in the Swedish city of Lund—"revolting,” according to The Telegraph. "Maybe some of the ashes originated from my relatives. No one knows where they were deported: all my mother's siblings and their children, and my grandparents…I will never go to this gallery and view it as the desecration of Jewish bodies," he said.

Posted on December 5, 2012 .