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Isis Kischka (1908-1973)
Portrait of David Goychman
Compiègne Camp 29 March 1942

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 © Beit Lohamei Haghetaot

Colored chalk on paper, 42.5 x 29 cm

David Goychman (1900-1942) was born in Bogopal, near Kirov in the Ukraine. He was the youngest of three sons of Rabbi Woolf Goychman, a grain merchant. All three sons received both general and Jewish education, which included Yiddish and Hebrew language and culture. One son, Abraham, fought for the French army in the First World War and was killed in battle. David and his brother Eliezer were victims of a pogrom in which David suffered a head injury and witnessed his brother being killed before his eyes. In 1919 Goychman moved to Palestine as a pioneer, where he began to paint. Three years later he returned to Europe to study at the Academy of Art in Paris. He made a living retouching photographic portraits, while painting portraits and landscapes for pleasure. In the 1930s the situation of Jews in Europe deteriorated. David’s sister, who had immigrated to the USA, invited him to join her, but he did not wish to leave Paris. On 17 June 1941 Goychman was arrested in his house in Villeban, in the Vallée des Chevreuse near Paris. This followed the declaration of war on Russia by Germany, as a consequence of which he was now citizen of an enemy state. He was interned in Compiègne, where he continued to paint and took part in an exhibition held in the camp, along with other interned artists. On 11 September 1942 Goychman was transferred to Drancy and, three days later, deported to Auschwitz in convoy no. 32. He never returned. None of Goychman’s paintings from the camp are known to have survived, but the Ghetto Fighters' House art collection contains some of his pre-war paintings, donated by his relatives. Portraits of Goychman, done in Compiègne by Jacques Gotko and Isis Kischka, also form part of the collection.

Signed and dated, lower right: Isis Kischka, 787122 [his camp number], 20.3.42. Inscribed (in French), lower left: portrait de GOYCHMAN, par KISCHKA [Portrait of Goychman done by Kischka]

© Beit Lohamei Haghetaot, Museum Number 1713.
Donated by the artist, Paris, 1969