Drawing on Personal Experience

Illustrator Michel Kichka talks to 'Journeys' about his autobiographical comic book, which explores the condition of the children of Holocaust survivors.

Haaretz
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Haaretz

Michel Kichka is an award winning illustrator and one of Israel’s leading political cartoonists, having published his work both in Israel and abroad for over three decades.

Born to a Jewish-Belgian family, Kichka’s father is a Holocaust survivor who was arrested by the Gestapo at the age of 16, and managed to survive Auschwitz, Buchenwald and a series of death marches.

Kichka recalls that throughout his childhood, his father lived in the shadow of his memories, unable to speak about what he had gone through during the war. Many years later, in 2012, Kichka published an autobiographical comic book depicting his personal story as the child of a Holocaust survivor: “Second Generation: Things I Never Told My Father.”

In his book, Kichka also shares the painful memory of his younger brother’s suicide, which brought a surprising reversal of his father’s life; after having endured the loss of his child, he was overcome with the need to bring back his painful memories, talking endlessly about his experiences from the war.

Playlist:

אריק איינשטיין – שלום חבר

שלמה ארצי – תחת שמי ים התיכון

Jacques Brel – Les Bourgeois

Georges Moustaki Barbara – La Dame Brune

Georges Brassens - Chanson pour l’Auvergnat

Don McLean – Starry Night

Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah

Michel Kichka.Credit: Emil Salman

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