The special exhibition »Manfred Bockelmann. Drawing against Oblivion« at Vienna’s Leopold Museum from May to September 2013 showed large-scale charcoal-on-jute portraits of children and youths who fell victim to the Nazi’s reign of terror. The artist Manfred Bockelmann wants to »take a stand against forgetting«.
For him, as he puts it, it’s about »giving a face to at least a few names and numbers, lifting a few individuals out of the anonymity of the statistics«. These portraits of the then so-called »Impure« exude pure humanity.
André Heller confesses that these works “without warning, drove tears to my eyes and held me spellbound as if I were hypnotised”. Not only he feels that way: Many of the approximately 100,000 visitors at the first public viewing in summer 2013 left Vienna’s Leopold Museum with watery eyes. Manfred Bockelmann is pleased about that, because as he puts it: “Back then, no one cried for these children because everyone who could have cried was dead already.”