University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Mindy Wiesel

    Mindy Wiesel

    Mindy Weisel is an artist who was born in Bergen-Belsen Displaced Persons camp after the war. Her work suggests personal reflections through abstraction and solitude.

    Artist Statement

    "My parents are survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp. I was born in 1947 in Bergen-Belsen, Germany, in a displaced persons camp after the war. While growing up, I was told stories not only of the horrors of Nazi Germany and what my parents endured, but also of the beauty of their lives before the war. These paintings deal with the destruction of beauty as well as hope and survival. The numbers 'A3146' are those on my father's arm from the camps; the color blue, my mother's favorite color, expresses the beauty and spirituality I was raised with."

    Art Works: Witness and Legacy

    Barbed Souls

    Mindy Weisel
    Barbed Souls, 1980
    Oil on paper
    40 x 60

    The artist's father's Auschwitz number appears repeated around the outside of the painting.

    The drowned and the savedThe drowned and the saved

    The drowned and the savedThe drowned and the saved

    Mindy Weisel
    The Drowned and the Saved,1994
    Canvas with suitcase
    66 x 78

    The Drowned and the Saved reflects on a statement by Primo Levi that the best were those who drowned, while the saved often had to make uncomfortable moral compromises. On the suitcase are her father's Auschwitz number, the work Shema (Listen) in Hebrew (in red), and in the small postage stamp-like area in white, green and blue is painted over the text of the Tefillat Ha Derekh.

    Top, left to right: full view; detail.
    Bottom: suitcase details.

    Just Mindy Weisel


    Mindy Weisel

    "Eydel" was the name of the artist's mother, a survivor of Auschwitz. The name appears in Yiddish & Hebrew in the paintings, as well as the Auschwitz Camp number. The image suggests the isolation and dangerous spaces of Holocaust memory.

    Top, left to right: full view; detail.
    Bottom: detail.

    Page updated 2013.