New York: Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, 1944. Item #04621
A Remarkable Survival
"We call upon the free peoples of Europe and Asia
temporarily to open their frontiers to all victims of oppression…" (Theodore Roosevelt)
SZYK, Arthur, illustrator. Save Human Lives. They must not die. New York: Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, 1944.
A booklet of 100 unused postage stamps on ten gummed sheets and the original perforated order-form. Oblong quarto (8 5/16 x 4 inches; 214 x 102 mm.). Original wrappers printed in blue. Mint as issued.
The ten leaves of stamps which each contain two sets of five, are printed in red, blue, purple, brown, red, blue, purple, brown, red & blue.
"The Emergency Committee welcomes this opportunity to reproduce the inspiring creations of the virile pen and the creative heart of Arthur Szyk, in the form of Poster Stamps. The Committee hopes that generous support in contributions for and distributions of these Poster Stamps, will be forthcoming from the American people, to enable it to carry on its emergency mission for the rescue of some four million martyred humans. Let it not be said that the two million who have been exterminated have died in vain. The grim stories of Nazi atrocities are true and they cannot be dismissed like a bad dream. Such crimes are a challenge to all civilized persons…" (inside back cover).
Arthur Szyk (1894-1951) was a graphic artist, book illustrator, stage designer, and caricaturist. Szyk was born into a prosperous middle-class Jewish family in Lodz, in the part of Poland which was under Russian rule in the nineteenth century. All of his life he worked both for his homeland and his faith. Before the second world war his work was renowned in Poland, France, and Great Britain. He moved to London in 1937 where he spent four years creating the magnificent paintings for the Haggadah. He moved to the USA in 1940 and his work became truly popular for his scathing caricatures of the Axis leaders Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito. His work was characterized by a rejection of modernism and its embrace of Medieval and Renaissance traditions, especially illuminated manuscripts. He illustrated such traditional works as Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales, the Haggadah, and Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.