Forbidden Art Comes to Ephrata Public Library!

Ephrata Public Library Logo550 South Reading Road • Ephrata, PA 17522

Penny Talbert, Executive Director
717-738-9291 ext. 100
Cell 610-823-2707

EPL_Forbidden Art image

The Ephrata Public Library, located at 550 South Reading Road, Ephrata, will be featuring an exhibition, “Forbidden Art,” a collection of images of artwork created by concentration camp prisoners while imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II.

The Exhibit will be on display from September 2 through October 26.

The Forbidden Art educational program is a cooperative initiative undertaken by the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum (Poland) and The Polish Mission of The Orchard Lake Schools (Orchard Lake, Michigan). Exhibition hours are: Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Group tours are welcome during exhibition hours and by appointment on Sundays.

The Forbidden Art exhibition is an artfully rendered series of twenty depictions of the most fragile and rare examples of art created by prisoners during the camps’ operational history from 1940-1945. The works of art were made illegally in the camp, under grave penalties. They document the reality of the camp, but several examples of art reveal an escape from the cruelty of Auschwitz. Caricatures, albums containing greetings, and even fairy tales written by prisoners for their children, are among the examples in this category.

The artists featured in the exhibition include Zofia Stępień, Halina Ołomucka, Józef Szajna, Franciszek Jaźwiecki, Włodzimierz Siwierski, Mieczysław Kościelniak, Peter Edel, Josef Sapcaru and others whose names are unknown. Each of the depictions are presented within large illuminated panels, created by Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum exhibit designers to artfully relate to the shape, texture, and color of the barracks at Auschwitz II – Birkenau.

Each of the pieces were chosen specifically from the over 2,000 pieces of artwork in the collections of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum to invite guests to experience a degree of intimacy with not only the imprisoned people who created the objects, but also with the horrific concentration camp experience itself. The exhibited artwork allowed their creators to mentally and emotionally escape, albeit briefly, from the horrors of life in a concentration camp. Forbidden Art allows American audiences to see up-close depictions of original items, several of which that are not on public display at the Auschwitz museum due to their fragile nature.

The exhibition is made possible by financial assistance from Thomas A. & Georgina Russo, the Winters Leadership Memorial, KneadIt Massage & Bodyworks, Lanco Federal Credit Union, Penny L. Talbert and the Jewish Community Alliance of Lancaster.

To compliment the exhibition, the Ephrata Public Library is offering Holocaust remembrance program opportunities for children, teens and adults. For more information or to register for programs, visit the Library’s website at

For questions regarding the Forbidden Art exhibition, contact Rebecca Lawrence, Manager of Public & Outreach Programs at 717-738-9291 or