Holocaust survivor displays artwork, new book at museum

by Justin Costley

Having survived a Nazi concentration camp at 19, Dr. Robert Fisch knows the true value of freedom.
Now, after a world-renowned career as a University pediatrician, Dr. Fisch has created two books attempting to teach youngsters about love and freedom through his powerful words and inspirational illustrations.
Fisch will be on hand at the Weisman Art Museum Store on Sept. 13 to sign his most recent book, titled “The Metamorphosis to Freedom,” from 4 to 6 p.m.
The Weisman store, which also displayed his previous work in 1994, will be selling the current book and offering people an opportunity to hear Fisch’s story in person.
“He’s a really inspiring person,” said Weisman store manager Kay McGuire. “His story is worthy. It’s very hopeful and just truly, truly inspiring.
“We thought this would be a nice opportunity to again highlight his most current work and reach out to the University community,” she added.
In the book, Fisch uses the image of a butterfly to recount his own struggles for freedom.
Mixing poignant paintings with powerful words, Fisch relates his own view of freedom as it was impacted and changed by a Nazi concentration camp, Communist oppression and his eventual citizenship in the United States.
Through his struggles, Fisch said, he wants to make people aware and hopeful about their own freedom, which he said many people take for granted.
“When I go to the school and talk to young people about freedom, they know they are free, but they do not know what it means because for them, it’s a natural phenomenon,” Fisch said. “I cannot tell you about what health is until you become sick. Then you appreciate what you had when you were healthy.”
In his first book, “Light From the Yellow Star: A Lesson of Love from the Holocaust,” Fisch created vivid artwork to describe and depict his experiences and emotions as a Holocaust survivor and to teach people to embrace humanity.
Currently, his work on the new book is on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, where the previous book was also shown.
Fisch said he is proud of the opportunity for his work to be shown at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Weisman Art Museum.
“We are trying to make this available for the public to know about (the Holocaust),” he said. “That is the whole importance here, not what happened to me but what can we conclude from this.”

Justin Costley welcomes comments at [email protected] He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3224.