Pat Mercer Hutchens, teacher and accomplished practicing artist, has completed a series of forty paintings to remember and honor those who perished in the Holocaust. All the paintings were motivated by the Auschwitz Album, the only surviving photographic evidence of Jews arriving and being “processed” at a Nazi death camp.
Although the historical purpose of the Aushwitz Album is unknown, the photographers are most likely SS officers given the task of taking photo IDs of all inmates. The photographs document the ‘selection process’ of Hungarian Jews who arrived to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Those ‘fit to work’ were registered, deloused, and robbed of all their personal effects. The woman, elderly, and children deemed ‘unfit to work’ were brought straight to the gas chambers, under the guise of taking a harmless shower. In 200 photos, the Auschwitz album documents everything from the arrival on the train ramp to each phase of the selection process. The album was used as evidence of the Nazi’s mass murder in the Frankfurt-Auschwitz trials.
Lilly Jacob-Zelmanovic Meier recently donated the album to Yad Vashem, the Holocaust museum in Israel. Lilly, a Holocaust survivor, miraculously found the album on the day of her liberation in a cupboard in an abandoned SS barracks. Providentially, the album contained the last pictures of Lilly’s family and friends, right before their extermination.
Pat’s paintings particularly focus on the women and children in the Auschwitz album. Pat says, “I know well the heart of a loving, protective mother who would gladly give every bone in her body to save her babies. May their God and ours use these paintings for His eternal purpose.”
Regent University Library hosted the world premier of “The Auschwitz Album Revisited” (Read Press Review of Event or watch the video of the ceremony). Last summer the paintings were brought on invitation to the Krakow Jewish Cultural Festival in Poland.
The Jerusalem Connection is offering archival prints (giclees) of these original paintings, personally signed by the artist to you, for a suggested donation of $75. One hundred percent of your donation goes to help support the work of The Jerusalem Connection. Measure of all artwork in this series is 10″x10″. Copyright by Pat Mercer Hutchens 2012.
Lama Li, Emma? (Why me, Mommie?)
The full statistics of how many little ones perished in the Holocaust is impossible to calculate, but it has been estimated that 1.5 million were murdered. That would include those who died from starvation, exposure, lack of adequate clothing and shelter, those who perished in the ghettos or suffocated on cattle cars en route to various concentration camps, those shot for looking at a guard or asking a question and all those sent to be gassed and burned immediately after arriving at a death camp. At Auschwitz, the children were either separated or sent with their mother or siblings to waiting fields called “not fit for work.” Thinking they were going for a shower, they were then made to undress and crammed like sardines into gas chambers. When the doors were locked, Zyklon B was dropped in from above. Witnesses tell of hearing screams for up to 20 minutes before they finally died. As Hitler’s plan sped up, many children were thrown, clothes and all, into fire pits. The prophet Jeremiah speaks of a “Voice heard in Ramah, Lamentations and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more (Jeremiah 31).” Although nothing could ever replace a single slaughtered precious child, in that same passage in the Hebrew Scriptures, the LORD promised Israel a future, a hope and a return to their Homeland, Eretz Israel. “Your children will come again to their own borders.”
Good night, you prince of Judah, you king of Israel
Many times I heard my mother say,”Always remember when you speak to a child – you never know who you are talking to.” She would go on to say something like “You may be speaking to a child who will find the cure for cancer, or a child who will grow up and save your life – or your child’s life. You may be looking at a great pastor or teacher or leader of people.” When I saw this child I immediately thought of her words. I also remembered the old doctor in Cider House Rules who, just before bedtime and lights out, lovingly called out to the young orphans, “Good night you princes of Maine, you Kings of New England.” This little one represents the countless babies and children whose lives and destiny were snuffed out before their time. Below is an adaptation of part of the prayer that a Cantor chants in memory of those who were murdered in the Holocaust:
God, full of mercy, Who dwells on high, grant proper rest under the wings of the Divine Presence in the lofty levels of the holy and pure ones, who shine like the glory of the firmament – for the soul of our little brother, this innocent child of the Jewish people, who fell at the hands of murderers, whose blood was spilled in Auschwitz, who, with his mother, brother and sister, was slain, slaughtered and burned. May they repose in their resting place With God as their inheritance. (Click here to view original photo)
Because they called you an outcast
There will be accountability for the countless young lives of these precious children who were cut off before their time. In the Sovereign LORD is hope, justice, and redemption. Notice the young boy is carrying a flashlight in his right hand and the older boy at the left in uniform stands with his little brother (also in uniform) and holding his little sister with the red shoes. The look and stance of the little toddler at the right is haunting.
The Scripture that keeps coming to me regarding these children who were literally taken from the cattle cars at Auschwitz and murdered within minutes is this: “All they who devour you shall be devoured; all your adversaries, everyone one of them shall go into captivity; they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon you will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto you, and I will heal you of your wounds, says Yahweh, because they called you an Outcast, saying, ‘This is Zion, whom no man seeks after or cares about’….I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents and have mercy….and out of them shall proceed thanksgiving….and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few…their children also shall be as before, and their congregation shall be established before me…and you shall be my people and I will be your God.” (Jeremiah 30:17f)
Woman in Black
Many of these precious victims no doubt tried to be positive and keep on believing something good or someone would eventually come and save them. Most could not even grasp the degree of The Evil confronting them and thereby continued to go forward. However, at some point on the long path to slaughter, all but the innocent babies and toddlers would have seen what was coming. There were those, however, who “knew” from the beginning, either by intuition or from rumors back in the ghetto of mass murders of Jews by the Nazis. Or just from being one who “knows.”
Whenever the time came for her, this woman now knows. She has no naïve thoughts left. She makes no effort at hope. She has pulled her black shawl over her head and now grasps it with a strong hand. She walks straight toward the storm. Perhaps she is already at the door of the fake “showers” and hears the screams of those being gassed. Perhaps she knows the smell of the burning flesh coming from the crematoria. Perhaps she passed the Fire Pits of ’44 and saw babies being tossed in alive, clothes and all. Whatever the reasons, the woman in black now knows.
The small Album photo did not give a clear picture of her hand, so I painted my strong Irish hand as her own, symbolically giving a sister in death the hand which I could not give her in life – thereby bonding our destinies.
My God is able to deliver me from the fiery furnace, but even if He does not…
When Lili Jacobs accidently discovered the Auschwitz Album at the close of WWII, the very first person she saw when she looked inside was Rabbi Naftali Zvi Weiss, the chief rabbi of Bilke, her Rabbi from her home town. He is the man on the left in this painting. The man on the right is not yet identified but obviously is a fellow orthodox Jew. These spiritual leaders of Zion would quickly have their beards and payot chopped off by the Nazis and their hats removed – just for sport – to bring more humiliation and shame a few minutes before they were murdered. I was struck by the Yellow Star on the Rabbi’s jacket; it actually appears to be cringing. (Click here to view original photo)
Little Pink Rose of Hungary
I was so struck by this beautiful baby girl, one of the myriad of babies and small children murdered immediately upon arriving at Auschwitz. Here she hangs her arm peacefully over her mother’s back while being held close, safe and warm at her mother’s breast. This child hasn’t a care in the world and has no idea of what is soon to happen. While another young child and the mothers huddle and gaze at distant dangers, she feels completely safe with her Emma (Mommie). How many times I used to pull the sleeves down over the arms of my babies because I had no gloves to keep their little hands warm. The longer I painted on this artwork, the more I wanted to reach out and pluck her right out of the painting. I so longed to be able to save this Little Pink Rose of Hungary, but must settle for making her precious little face known, remembered and not forgotten.
Brought As Lambs to the Slaughter
In the Spring and Summer of 1944 alone, 450,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered in Auschwitz. Of that group, 75% were women and children and upon arriving were sent to their death immediately. From the time they got off the cattle cars until they were stuffed into the gas chambers was usually no more than one to two hours. This mother appeared to me to be saying, “These, my beautiful children, are being brought as lambs to the slaughter!” (Isa.53) Scripture point to a future judgment for these evils: “Woe to whoever causes one of these little ones to stumble – it would be better if a millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea.”(Matt.18.6)
I have read about the holocaust for many years, and it still almost tears me apart when I read it again. It’s hard to believe the inhumanity of some people who think nothing of destroying lives. My heart feels like it is bleeding, as I have had a heart for the Jewish people for most of my 75 years of life. I wouldn’t want to be these people who seem to enjoy destruction of others, when they have to stand before Almighty G-d. I tremble at the thought. G-d always was G-d, He is G-d, and He will be G-d. Also, He doesn’t alway ‘pay His bills in October’, as the saying goes.
I am glad to see this rememberance. A fine way to use an artistic gift. Never must the lies against the holocaust be allowed to stand. It happened. It must never happen again.
Each time I see the horror of what humans choose to do to humans I am sickened. This artwork is lovely and softens the photos. I have visited Dachau and Yad Vashem and will never be the same. My heart weeps for these people. The audacity of those who say it never happened.
The art is very well painted, depicking the photographs. I am a messianic of mixed familys, Jamiaca, scotish,and Jewish, These paintings, photos are a reminder of the wickness and evil, that is in the world. It shows the satan will do everything in this power to over turn Gods plan.. But he will not win Praise Adonai
All of us one day must stand before GOD to bear witness for all that we have done and all we have left undone. Many stood by and did nothing,said nothing, and did not tell anyone. They are just as guilty as the one that turned on the gas……closed the door……….ran them from their homes………made them line up…..made them undress……and so goes the ways of the seamedly superior human beings, NOT. Is there ever anything that would be cruel enough for these non-human beings to be subjected too, ah, they shall burn in HELL for ever, and ever and E V E R!!!!!!!!!
these pictures and painting brought tears to my eyes and a prayer to YHWH for all those victims… may they be soon in HIS presence.
Such heart-rending pictures are a poignant reminder of human depravity. All these events happened KORAM DEO [Before the Face of God!] Justice is getting what WE deserve. Mercy is not getting what we deserve. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve… God’s love, and everlasting life in His presence. What a day of horror to those who have not made peace with Him that Messiah has provided.
I can find no words to explain the tears that flood my face and soul when looking at the horrible things these wonderful Jewish people had to endure. They were, are and will always be God’s choosen people and its our responsibility to make sure that no one ever suffers this again, this shouldn’t have happened the first time but we can’t change the past, we can only learn from it……
Thank you Gwen. I know Pat has dreams about these innocent murdered children. In the dreams, she sees the children dying and tries to give them CPR but it never works. She wakes up crying that she couldn’t bring them back to life and is inspired once again to give them life by painting them, by honoring their memory.
For the past 12 years I have taught on the Jewish foundations of Christianity. We have been to Dachau, Auschiwitz, Berkinau and lived in Germany for three years, taking our children to places in Europe that increased their knowledge of the Holocaust. This subject and these paintings by Pat Hutchins touch my heart and I will never stop sharing the ‘history’ of the Church and the Jews until God takes me home. Pat’s heart for this subject and paintings touch me deeply. I have had the priveledge of being in their home and seeing the paintings.
I visited Israel first in the late seventies in my 20’s and 2 years ago @ the age of 63.I Saw the holocaust museum both times and was told that the soldiers go there every few months to never forget what they need to remember and fight for in Israel.Ihave always known they are Gods chosen people and the US needs to stand by them always and do what our Lord would want us to do and support them.Seven of us from my church in SC went with our Pastor and a tour group.We visited all the sites,but the museum was a vivid reminder of what they faced and we may face until Jesus come back for us and we leave this wicked world.These paintings tell many stories but also all tne shoes they now have in the museum tell a story. I stood there in tears just hearing the stories and seeing the pictures. We have a loving Father and He will revenge the evil in this world.May You come soon Jesus!.
To day let us determine never again shall we stand by and do nothing in the face of rising ant-semitism .Support Israel though all the challenges to her existence and restoration to the Land. These are they who have come out of the Grave of the Holocaust. And stiil there are those who would pursue them unto death. But our God is with them.
Feeling helpless is not a good feeling. I see all the hell the Jews and others have endured from the evil greedy people that one day they all will burn. After all is said and done, Thank G-d we KNOW that when HE stands on the MT OF OLIVE, HE will bring up the dead, pour pure water on them, take away all their sin, give them a heart of flesh, and they will look upon whom they pierced and moan like for a first son, and ALL ISRAEL will be SAVED. Those who love , suport and pray for Israel and the Jews will be rejoicing with them in that DAY FOREVER,, G-d bless all who love HER and the precious Jews. Shalom
What you have done is awesome-thank God for your ability and ‘commission’ to do these paintings.
The CBN interview is a testimony in itself and I am sending it to many of my friends or/and acquaintances.
I love you, Pat, even though we have only been together one time. I love your heart for God’s people and desire for ‘the world’ to know. Having the opportunity to ‘be in that place’ myself and absorbing the ‘pain’ for God’s children I rejoice in the fact that God has given you the opportunity and ‘mission’ to make sure we remember.
…and louis farrakahn still lives???
Shalom Israel, Adonai abençoe o seu povo, os seus escolhidos, ainda que todos se levantem contra eles, o Eterno sempre guardará sete mil, como no tempo de Elias, e sempre levantará um remanescente… até que chegará o dia em que serão a cabeça e não mais a cauda…
Muita dor e lágrimas têm sido derramadas dentro das tuas portas óh Jerusalém, mas o teu Rei virá para reinar e libertar o seu povo…
“Prosperaram aqueles que te amam óh Jerusalém”
The LAMB in Isaiah 52-53 refers to whom?
shalon, gerações após gerações Israel é eterna, os ímpios não a destruirão,jamais!
It is obvious that my feelings run as deep as the aforementioned comments.
It is extremely enriching to witness the deep feelings of non Jewish people who fully understand the love and warmth that their Messiah has preached.
We recognize the righteous gentiles in Israel at the Holocaust Museum and in our hearts.
Be with us and enjoy the wonderfulness of all good people.
Shalom to Tzion ! ! !
We don’t forget this chime.
O Senhor Deus, o único Senhor, é o Deus de Israel!
Heaven is full of Jews as a result of this genocidal atrocity. The victims won. Praise God.
These paintings are so moving, plainly done by a woman of grace and love. I just want to honor Patricia Hutchins. I am so grateful that she dedicated her talents to the Lord’s use in this way. Let us do whatever we can to demonstrate support for Israel. When lies and propaganda appear in our newspapers, we must refute them. Recently, on the religion page of our local newspaper there was a column dedicated to the “brave” writings of a young muslim girl, who “fights injustice with her poetry.” In one of them she mentioned the “tyrants and their wall.” (Mmmmm, wonder what she could have been referring to)? So I wrote a letter to the editor taking note of this column and then quoted and honored a young Palestinian Christian woman who saw the wall, (which runs near her family home in Bethlehem) in a completely sympathetic light for Israel and their need to fight terrorism. We mustn’t just ring our hands. We must speak out and do whatever we can to fight the propaganda and the anti-Israel bias that seems to be everywhere these days.
Just so amazing. Pat had a true gift and what is beautiful is how she used it to bless the Jewish people and serve our King. These paintings are exceptional on so many levels.