I was deeply moved to receive this message. This is the very first time that Opatow has commemorated the deportation of the Jews from the Opatow Ghetto to their death in Treblinka 66 years ago. Mayer's paintings were exhibited (scroll down for photos of the opening and the exhibition itself) in Opatow in the summer of 2008, The town's embrace of him and his work have inspired the commemoration and also the creativity of Opatow youth who participated in the art contest. We are gratified beyond words. Here is the message that Leszek Tybon sent, along with photos. More photos and information about the contest here.
"On the 22nd of October 1942, Nazi leaders decided to close Opatow’s
Ghetto, relocating almost 6000 Jews to Treblinka. To commemorate this event
Bernardine’s Monastery Church
At the conclusion of this service a new exhibition of paintings by Mayer Kirshenblatt was opened to the public. Although most of the paintings were reproductions there were also many original works of art made by students of the 2nd High School in Opatow who participated in the competition “Mayer’s Apt –Opatow 2008”. The most prestigious awards were received by Jakub Janik for the “Spiderman” photograph and Alicja Śpiewak for the “Bernardine” drawing. Considering the enormous public interest the exhibition organizers are planning to continue the competition by involving students from other High Schools in the region."
We thank our friends in Opatow from the bottom of our hearts.