The Ghetto King is based upon stories told to me by my Grandmothers “Uncle Joe” Joseph Kalina.
“Uncle Joe” as we called him was a Holocaust Survivor from what was then the republic in Europe.
Starting at the top of the drawing the crown represents the aspirations hope that Uncle Joe had while inside the camps, the cards hanging off of the barb wire represent the “golems” that protected Uncle Joe while he was in the concentration camps.
Between the crown and the head is an abstract drawing and digital transfer. This represents an influencing change agent that a non-Jew played in Uncle Joe’s life. He met a non-Jewish SS soldier who exchanged papers with him. The SS solider escaped the camps while Uncle Joe took on his identity which eventually enabled him to escape the camps.
Uncle Joe’s escape was a true miracle, after the SS discovered that he was Jewish and not German he fled the post he was occupying and managed to run into a train and hid in the back of a car. Then the train pulled out of the camp and he made his way to America.