The “Joseph Bau House” Museum located at 9 Berdechevsky Street, in the heart of Tel-Aviv remains as it was, an authentic artist’s studio and workshop that conveys the amazing life story of Joseph Bau through his wide range of creativity that dealt with the Holocaust, including paintings, graphics, and publications. Joseph Bau was also one of Israel’s earliest creators of animated movies. Joseph Bau was born in Krakow, Poland in 1920 and educated as a graphic designer at the University for Plastic Arts. As the Nazi occupation of Poland became more entrenched, Joseph and his family were deported to the Krakow Ghetto. The German’s discovered Joseph’s talents and began using him to make signs in Gothic letters and other specialized printed materials. At the same time, while as a clandestine member of the Jewish underground, Joseph used his artistic skills to save the lives of many fellow Jews at the camp by forging false identity documents to help them escape. From the Ghetto Joseph Bau and his family were sent to the Plashow concentration Camp. During his imprisonment at Plashow, he met and fell in love with Rebecca, his future wife (Rebecca and Joseph Bau are the original couple whose wedding was portrayed in the movie "Schindler´s List”). Through Rebecca, Joseph was able to gain a place on Oskar Schindler’s list of factory workers that were sent to Schindler’s factories in the Republic of Czechoslovakia.
After surviving the war, Rebecca and Joseph left Poland and arrived in Israel during her formative years. Fulfilling his dream of making animated movies in the Promised Land, Joseph established his studio and for over 40 years producing a prolific and significant collection of art, paintings, creative writings, and of course his works of original animated short movies. Israel during the early 1950’s, a country challenged by existential threats and far removed from the creative environment of the movie industry, was far from being the ideal place to develop animated movies. With his never ending ingenuity, enthusiasm, and positive approach to life, Joseph scoured the disposal sites of factories that dumped their disabled machines, creating from parts left to waste, working projectors and gadgets to enable him to create literally from nothing, a significant volume of Israel’s earliest animated movies. The museum still has the original projectors and equipment that Joseph assembled from useless machinery giving an authenticity to the uniqueness of the period and the dreams of Holocaust survivors.
To make the tale even more astounding, after Joseph passed away, his unique paintings about the Hebrew language were exhibited in the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem. Joseph Bau’s family were invited to a special ceremony, in which his two surviving daughters, Hadasa and Clila discovered that their father, Joseph was clandestinely recruited by the Mossad upon reaching the shores of Israel by Israel’s nasal spying agency to forge and recreate documents and assorted materials to assist with Israel’s security needs. While Joseph was alive, his family never knew about his clandestine professional career. Only after Joseph’s death, it was revealed to them that he had worked for the Mossad as a graphic artist forging documents for Israeli spies, including Eli Cohen and also for the Mossad agents that were sent to capture Adolf Eichmann in Argentina.
Today, the Joseph Bau House Museum is able to share with today’s generation a living testimony of the Holocaust and provide a personal perspective of this dark period in Jewish history. This legacy is kept alive and passed on to new generations through his two daughters, Hadasa and Clila Bau. The two daughters have provided audiences throughout the world with a personal perspective of living through the Holocaust and the personal perspective and life story of a survivor. Joseph Bau’s works have been displayed in museums and institutions around the world, including Yad Vashem, the Spanish parliament in Madrid, The Art Gallery in Schindler’s factory in Krakow, Auschwitz and the United Nations in New York. In Israel, Hadasa and Clila have hosted thousands of visitors over the years at the Bau Museum presented a thrilling and memorable presentation of their parents’ life story and the Holocaust from a personal perspective; Joseph Bau’s unique research and artistry about the Hebrew language, and the personal journey of survivors once in Israel, marching on in life and giving meaning to the loss of those that perished in the camps. Joseph Bau, in addition to his large body of work that can be seen at the Bau Museum wrote his memoirs about the Holocaust in his book “Dear God, Have you ever gone hungry?”
Hadasa and Clila want to continue to fulfill their mission by sharing their unique family story spiced with the special humor of their father Joseph stemming from his optimistic view of life. The Bau sisters, Hadasa and Clila are struggling to keep their father’s legacy on public display. Your support will help to keep the “Joseph Bau House” Museum open for all. TripAdvisor has designated the “Joseph Bau House” Museum as one of Tel-Aviv’s top 10 must visits and below is just a small example of previous visitors:
“Excellent presentation by Joseph Bau's daughters. He was an inspirational man who liked to make people laugh even when he was in a concentration camp, and he was a pioneer of modern animation and fonts. Also he made excellent paintings that make you think”
“Very special place telling the story of Shoah , State of Israel, Mossad, animation and all of it having one smiling face- Joseph Bau. Story told by his daughters. Highly recommend”
“Fantastic interesting museum. What it lacks in size it makes up for with a fascinating story highly recommended”.
“Very interesting, heartwarming and different. A must for everyone”.
To receive more information, schedule a visit, or to communicate with Hadassah and Clila directly, please review below all the necessary contact information.
Donations can be made through the Joseph Bau web site: http://www.josephbau.com/?module=category&item_id=26
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