University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


  • Wolfgang Hergeth

    Wolfgang Hergeth

    The Cycle

    portrait janusz korczak

    Portrait of Janusz Korczak. 23.6 x 27.6 inches.

    cycle 2

    I do not wish to save myself. 23.6 x 31.5 inches.

    cycle 3

    We know the names of a few. 31.5 x 39.4 inches

    cycle 4

    Farewell, angel of peace. 23.6 x 19.7 inches

    cycle 5

    No child will be abandoned. 19.7 x 27.6 inches.

    cycle 6

    I watered the flowers. 19.7 x 27.6 inches.

    cycle 7

    Now began the march. 19.7 x 27.6 inches

    cycle 8

    Let us not go back to Warsaw. 19.7 inches x 27.6 inches.

    cycle 9

    Do you want to know how it felt? 23.6 x 19.7 inches.

    cycle 10

    These children did not cry. 23.6 x 31.5 inches.

    cycle 11

    And you, do you stand for something? 23.6 x 19.7 inches.

    About the Artist

    Artist Wolfgang Hergeth
    Freie Malschule
    MaxEythStrasse 3
    73249 Wernau / Germany

    Wolfgang Hergeth was born on January 21, 1946 in Silberbach, the Czech Republic. He learned decorative and liturgical painting in his family firm and later under the painter Friedrich Schoch.

    His education includes studies in Munich at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Handicraft School), at the Fachhochschule f├╝r Farbe and Gestaltung (High School for Color and Form), and at the Stuttgart Academy, where his professors included Studienprof. Sterback, H.G. Stockhausen, Harry Elsner, Metzger, Gast and Krauss. Under Diether Kast Hergeth further studied the oil painting techniques of the Old Masters. At the University of Stuttgart he studied art history under Professor Sumowski:

    Wolfgang Hergeth has worked with R. Hergeth and F. Schoch in the Italian and Spanish alps. His work experience includes restoration, fresco, secco, and facades, especially marbled, and gilding.

    Later he taught painting and drawing at the Esslinger School, gradually limiting his own work to these media.

    In 1985 Hergeth established the School of Free Painting in NT-Oberensingen, which moved to Wernau in 1997. After years of following the techniques of the Old Masters he turned to the free form (Fl├Ąchengestaltung) as first introduced by Harry Elsner and later taught by Prof. Sumowski. Hergeth's palette became lighter and his form freer

    He has exhibited his work frequently in Germany. The "Janusz Korczak cycle" was introduced in 1998 at the Uhlberghalle in Filderstadt, Germany.

    Janusz Korczak: One Life for the Children

    German Artist Wolfgang Hergeth has created a cycle of eleven paintings dedicated to this Polish Jewish pediatrician,professor, and founder of an internationally respected children's home.

    Children were his life and he gave his life for those under his care. His personal sacrifice is beyond measure. After the fall of Poland, when the Germans proceeded to transport to the Warsaw Ghetto Jews from all over Warsaw and beyond, the orphanage was overwhelmed. Yet from beginning to end Korczak was the shield that protected all who were under his care -- his children. He resolved to go with them wherever they might be taken. As it turned out, this meant to Treblinka and to death.

    In the decades since the Holocaust, tales of this martyred Jewish doctor have taken on a legendary quality, especially the spectacular drama that unfolded on his last journey with the children.

    The Way of Death as Leitmotiv

    Wolfgang Hergeth has given expression to Korczak's own views of the calamity unfolding in his midst, including the expected fate that awaited his condemned children. Hergeth's medium of expression: A linen canvas and his own unique color mixture-egg, Quark, flax oil and pigments. Each painting boldly confronts the viewer even as it triggers the viewer's more subtle emotions. One can easily discern the intensity with which the themes drive the artist's inner creative process.

    "More often than not, something outside of me guided my brush."
    Wolfgang Hergeth

    Enter the Cycle

    Books by and about Janusz Korczak

    Janusz Korczak's biography - a summary of Korczak's life adapted by Jane Pejsa.

    Site constructed with permission of the artist.