The Holocaust was one of the most horrendous times in European history. Many families today, remember stories from survivors in their own bloodline. Others can relate the stories of family members who lost their lives during this time in history. Today, we can still see the pain and suffering from it. Artists have put their brushes and canvas to use, depicting scenes of the Holocaust and accurately portraying the horror and hope that filled the victims on a daily basis. Carl Michael Von Hausswolff is no exception to artistic renditions, but his latest painting could land him in the slammer. Hausswolff claims to have used the ashes of Holocaust victims in his most recent work. A move that could land him in prison for quite awhile.
The Swedish artist claims that he took the ashes from a creamtorium in Poland, at the Nazi death camp of Majdanek. He said he took the ashes in 1989 during a visit to the death camp, while studying Nazi presence in the area. The claims are still under investigation as to whether the ashes were really used in his painting or not, but many people are up in arms over this disrespectful and sacreligous move. Others believe this is simply a publicity stunt to push the artist's work into the limelight. As of yet, there has been no evidence to show Hausswolff actually used human ashes in his painting.
Hausswolff faces charges of desecration if found to have used the ashes as claimed with a sentence of up to eight years in Polish prison. The problem with this case is that although he claims to have taken the ashes, in 1989, there were no surveillance cameras at the site to prove he did anything. Investigators say that proving his claims will be difficult, and his painting, dubbed "Memory Works" just finished exhibition at a gallery in Lund, in November and December. Art gallery spokesmen are not commenting on the artist or the claims. One thing that is obvious, if ashes of Holocaust victims were indeed used in his painting, Hausswolff could be looking at an end to a very short-lived career in the art world.