Pratt BFA Communication Design Thesis

Michelle London Illustration

The Silent Years; Deportation from Hungary

Activism
Animation
Comics
Editorial Design
Education Design
Fine Art
Human-centered
Illustration
Print
Social Change
Storyboards

My thesis project is a series illustrating my grandmother’s story of survival and perserverance through the Holocaust. My grandma helped to raise me when I was little. She was super loving and fun, and she is a huge source of my inspiration today. Her painful life story has always deeply affected me.

She grew up in a small town in Hungary, called Nyirmada. Her family was one of few Jewish families in the town. They were deported to Auschwitz, the largest Nazi extermination camp, in . Seven members of our family were killed there, but my grandmother managed to survive. She survived a 35 mile death march in mid-January just before being liberated by the British troops. Three of her brothers also survived and made it out of Hungary. After recovering from starvation and illness, she reunited with them in America.

My grandmother’s story, and those like hers, couldn’t be more relevant than they are today. It’s been 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz. We’re coming to a time in history where many of the survivors have since passed, my grandmother included. There are fewer and fewer survivors left to share their stories with the younger generations, and unfortunate parallels between America today and Nazi-Germany in the . I feel this aching responsibility, as the granddaughter of a survivor, to use my artistic voice to help keep their voices heard, so that we may never forget.

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