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February 01, 2003

Holocaust-era Art from Yad Vashem’s Collection sent into space with Israeli Astronaut
... Israel’s first-ever astronaut, Colonel Ilan Ramon,was launched into space on January 16, 2003 with Holocaust-era art from Yad Vashem’s Art Museum.

Ilan Ramon, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force, contacted Yad Vashem requesting a Holocaust related item to take with him on his launch into space on the shuttle Columbia, due to the significance of the Holocaust to him as a Jew and as an Israeli. On a personal level, the Holocaust is even more meaningful to Ramon as his mother is an Auschwitz survivor, and his grandfather and other members of his family perished in the death camps.

Yad Vashem chose “Moon Landscape”, created by Petr Ginz, a 14-year-old Jewish boy, during his incarceration in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Petr Ginz was multi-talented and had, at a young age, already written stories, articles and poetry, and continued to do so after being sent to the ghetto in 1942. During his incarceration Ginz traveled to places near and far within the depths of his imagination, and with great longing, he visited Prague, the city of his birth, in a poem written from behind the ghetto walls. In 1944 Ginz was killed in Auschwitz

The moon landscape depicted in Petr Ginz’s drawing attests to his aspiration to reach a place from where the earth, which threatened his life, could be seen from a secure range. Even more so, the picture reveals a young man who, in addition to his other talents, was both a researcher and scientist full of optimism that science precedes all and would ultimately bring a remedy for humanity
"Moon landscape"