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Ryszard Horowitz

Of late I only seem to have news of  the deaths of Auschwitz survivors, here’s a happier story.

The renowned photographer and Auschwitz survivor Ryszard Horowitz has received an honorary doctorate from the Fine Arts Academy in Wrocław, south-western Poland.


In his thank-you remarks, Horowitz, a Krakow contemporary to Roman Polanski who now lives in the US, said he could not believe he gained such a prestigious distinction considering that, as he put it, “not long ago I left communist Poland with a five-dollar banknote hidden in the heel of my shoe”.

His luggage included a folder with his drawings and paintings which were supplied by an official with the stamp reading “the articles do not have any artistic merit”.

Horowitz, who emigrated to the United States in 1959 after being born in 1939 and enduring time in concentration camps with his parents while under Nazi occupation, also told those attending the ceremony, who included President Bronislaw Komorowski, that he has not forgotten Poland and has not changed his name into Richard.

“It was thanks to very hard work and a little of bit of talent that I managed to achieve something,” he said.

Ryszard Horowitz was four months old when he and his family were ransported to Nazi German concentration camps, including Auschwitz. He was one of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz when it was liberated in January 1945.

As a student at the Fine Arts Academy in Kraków, he developed an interest in photography, which he continued in the United States. He studied at the Pratt Institute in New York City. Upon graduation, he worked for several film and design companies, before opening his own photography studio in 1967. He has earned a reputation as a pioneer of special effects photography prior to digital technology, and has updated his techniques as technologies have changed.

October 9, 2012 Posted by | Auschwitz, News | , , , , | Leave a comment


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