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Children of Shoah

Children of Shoah

Symbolic richness in mixed media.
By Constance Demuth Berg And Sonja L. Cohen
Spring 2006 2.15.06

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Children of Shoah © 2004 by Constance Demuth Berg. Mixed media. 6 foot 3 inches. (Photo by Joseph Sterling)

Terezín concentration camp was the site of the largest mass extermination of Czech citizens in World War II. In 1944, during the filming of a propaganda film, child prisoners performed the children’s opera, Brundibár. It is Terezín, and haunting memories of a visit to Prague and the Jewish ghetto, that inspired artist Constance Demuth Berg to create Children of Shoah. The sculpture is full of symbolism; even the artist sees different things the longer she looks at the piece. The children of Terezín stand on the cross beam, made of old barn beams; barbed wire reaches toward a strainer at the top. The strainer was originally conceived of as a halo-like image, but others have seen it as a searchlight, and Berg has come to think of it as a spider in her web, a creature of power, if not of protection. Above all, Berg feels it is important that viewers be free to experience their own symbols in the work.

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