Holocaust Hidden Child Survivor in town with Art Exhibit


SAN ANTONIO---Nelly Toll was six years old when the Nazi's entered her town in Poland in 1941, and like Anne Frank, she was forced into hiding and kept a diary of those terrible days.

Nelly was a hidden child during the Holocaust. But in spite of that she was able to transform fear and tragedy into beautiful images painted with water colors. For nearly two years nelly and her mom remained hidden from the Nazi's. It was during that time that nelly began to paint.

Dr. Nelly Toll explains, "We had to whisper so nobody would hear us and I got this little watercolor box and I started to imagine this different world, full of fantasy and good things. There was no evidence of war whatsoever. And then I made the booklets and I wrote about it and I sewed it together."

Sixty water colors of different fantasies, bright colors that was surprisingly good for a six year old. And there's one that especially stands out for her. It's named Sunflowers Growing in the Shadow.

Nelly says, "We were trying to escape to Hungary. Some people paid, about ten of us, paid a German Officer a lot of money to get us out of the city in Poland to get us to Hungary. Then as we were in this milk farm the word came that the Germans were coming and everyone ran into the woods and we ran into this swamp with sunflowers growing in the shadow."

Nelly says the painting kept her pretty busy.

"Then when we were liberated by the Russians I took the boxes and where ever we went I took the art with me."

I asked her if she had one message to give to everyone what would it be?

She responded, "Remember and don't dare to forget the tragedy that happened."

Dr. Toll is speaking tonight at the campus of the San Antonio Jewish Community beginning at 6:30pm and again tomorrow morning at Little Flower School at 10am.

Space is limited so call ahead. Her art exhibit will be on display at the Jewish Community through the 31st of March.

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