Children of Shoah
Symbolic richness in mixed media.
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.