Miscellany Monday – Historical Comic Books and Action

“As freedom-loving people across the globe hope for an end to tyranny, we will never forget the enormous suffering of the Holocaust.” –Bob Beauprez

Usually, I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve. I am who I am and my religion is a part of me but not the ultimate reason why I am who I am. My family’s history has had an affect on how I perceive things that have happened in the world and the current climate but I don’t ask for someone to think differently about me because of my religion and the persecution and extermination of family members. I don’t hold any individuals accountable because most of those men are now dead and buried. No reparations. No pity.

Having said that, when I see or hear of something that needs to be fixed from the past, something that is possible to fix, I will do what I can to assist and make it right.

I first picked up X-Men: Magneto Testament because the theme was World War II and more specifically the Holocaust. It was unlike any comic book I read before and certainly left me feeling differently. This is a historically accurate series.

This weekend, I finished reading the last issue (5 of 5). In the back of it there is a section that is called The Last Outrage and it recounts the true story of Dina Gottliebova-Babbit in the form of a short sequential art piece.

In 2006, Dr. Rafael Medoff, who is the director of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies organized Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and J. David Spurlock to rise up against “a terrible injustice.”

Dina Gottliebova entered Auschwitz in 1943 along with her mother. Her artistic abilities came to to attention of Josef Mengele in 1944, and the Angel of Death enlisted Dina to paint watercolours of some of the gypsies that he was doing inhuman experiments on to prove their inferiority to the so called Aryan race. She complied with Mengele because he promised to spare her mother from the gas chamber. 2009-02-22-220835

Until January, 1945, Dina created approximately 11 portraits. By May of 1945, Dina and her mother were liberated by the allied troops.

Many years later the water colors came to light and were been displayed in the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum. Dina Gottliebova-Babbit, now 84, rightly believes that the paintings are her property and has been fighting to get them back from the museum. Even though public sympathy is in Dina’s favour, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum refuses to yield to the true owner’s desires.

I feel so strongly about this that I have chosen to sway from our usual frivolity here and bring this outrage to your attention.

E-mail Dina at michele@dinababbitt.com and e-mail your support of Dina to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum at muzeum@auschwitz.org.pl

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