Ruth, a friend of many years spoke in the church in 1995, That week was the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the concentrations camps.
The picture here is very unusual and challenging – it was inspired through listening to Ruth’s testimony that Sunday night..
If I didn’t think the Lord called me to paint this picture, I think it highly unlikely I would go near the subject. Even during that week in 1995 – when the TV was announcing various documentaries and program’s which marked the anniversary. I made a mental note…I didn’t want to watch the programs..as they are too painful.
But I didn’t realize – that following Sunday in Church….I would be listening to a friend whose family perished during the Holocaust. I had never realized Ruth is Jewish, and had come to Britain before the outbreak of World War 2 with the Kinder transport.
So when Ruth spoke from the platform, my attention was certainly gripped. And what a story it was…….I believe the Lord called me to paint the picture seen here. Its a subject I believe the Lord would have us all take time to consider and remember, and also how we should be a blessing to the Jewish people alive today, Isaiah 40:1-2 says "Comfort, comfort my people,says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed……When Ruth spoke in our church I didn’t know Ruth’s past, it was very moving to hear her story unfold how she along with her brother managed to Escape the persecution in Germany, and find refuge in England, unfortunately Ruth’s parents were unable to escape, and perished.
A few years ago Ruth went to Auschwitz with a group of Christians, and laid flowers at the crematorium in memory of her parents. During her time of sharing with us, Ruth showed us nails used in Auschwitz to lay the railway track which transported so many to their deaths, these were not the usual kind of nails, these were brutal ugly nails, it spoke powerfully to me, they seemed to be the kind of nails that would have spiked Jesus on the Cross, it was then the thought came that I should make a picture, then right after the meeting. Without Ruth knowing – Ruth shared how she thought I ought to paint a picture about the Holocaust.
After this I set everything aside and concentrated for seven weeks or more on studying and making the picture seen here. Since the picture was painted, it was quite an experience taking it to exhibitions and wondering what would become of this unusual picture….so for a few years I exhibited…..but the Lord had an amazing plan I could never have imagined for this picture. but that’s a story for another time.
Ruth’s story is available as an E-book at Amazon “RUTH: A Kindertransport Life” By Andrew Welch