Since 2005, on the occasion of the Day of Holocaust Remembrance and Counteracting Crimes against Humanity celebrated in Poland on 19 April, the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre has organized the artistic and educational action "Letters to Henio."

Since 2005, on the occasion of the Day of Holocaust Remembrance and Counteracting Crimes against Humanity celebrated in Poland on 19 April, the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre has organized the artistic and educational action "Letters to Henio."

NN Theatre
About the project

About the project

Since 2005, on the occasion of the “Day of Holocaust Remembrance and Counteracting Crimes against Humanity” celebrated in Poland on 19 April, the “Grodzka Gate – NN Theatre” Centre has organized the artistic and educational action "Letters to Henio."

On this day, citizens of Lublin send letters to Henio Żytomirski – a Jewish boy who was born in 1933 in Lublin and was murdered by the Nazi in a gas chamber, probably in November 1942. The life story of this boy became the inspiration for the “Grodzka Gate - NN Theatre” Centre to prepare the exhibition entitled “A Primer,” devoted to the life of children in Majdanek concentration camp.

Idea. Tomasz Pietrasiewicz

Idea. Tomasz Pietrasiewicz

The photograph of a little boy you can see in front of you was taken in one of the main streets of Lublin. There is nothing particular in this picture and you cannot say much about it. Some citizens of Lublin may be able to recognize the place where the boy stands. People pass it every day, not paying attention to it. When we look at this photograph, we cannot even specify when it was taken. Perhaps before the war? Or maybe after the war, in the 1950s or the 1960s? Thousands of similar pictures of kids are taken in the streets every day.

However, behind this seemingly casual photo there is the life story of a little Jewish boy, born in 1933 in Lublin, whose name was Henio Żytomirski. He is the kid in the picture.

Six year old Henio was to start primary school on 1 September 1939. Yet, World War II broke out on that day and Henio never went to school. He died in 1942 in a gas chamber of Majdanek concentration camp.

This photograph is the last in the series of his pictures taken by his father every year.

 

Translated by: Piotr Wojcieszuk