Frances Segelman sculpts Holocaust survivor Ivor Perl

19 Mar 2018

In commemoration of those who perished
and in recognition of those who survived

International sculptor Frances Segelman sculpted Holocaust survivor Ivor Perl BEM on 18 March at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors' Centre.

Ivor was sculpted in front of a live audience, including other Holocaust survivors, as part of a series of sculptures being created by Leeds-born Frances Segelman, who has sculpted HM The Queen, HRH Prince Philip and HRH Prince Charles.

Frances Segelman said, “I recently started sculpting Holocaust survivors living in the UK, and Ivor Perl is my latest subject. It is unimaginable to think what these extraordinary people went through, and it is a great honour to sculpt them."

Ivor Perl lived in Makó in southeastern Hungary, with his large family of 11. He had five brothers and three sisters, and in 1944 aged 12, was taken with his entire family to Auschwitz. When Perl arrived at Auschwitz, he joined Dr Josef Mengele’s selection line with his brothers and lied, saying he was 16 – a decision that saved his life. Only Ivor and one of his brothers survived. Ivor was liberated from Dachau by American soldiers in April 1945.

Ivor Perl said of being sculpted by Frances Segelman, “It was a lovely experience, it took two hours and I wasn’t allowed to talk, which was a challenge, as those who know me will know. In some ways, it feels as though I was reborn and was recreated by Frances. Many survivors ask the question, why did I survive to live through those terrible times? Being sculpted for posterity is a very healing process. In one hundred years’ time, people of the future could see that sculpture, find meaning in it and learn about what happened in the Holocaust. I would like to thank Frances and all the staff at Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre over the years, without their help and support, I wouldn’t have had this tremendous honour.”

Frances Segelman's daughter, Victoria Perloff, painted a portrait of Ivor Perl as part of the live sculpting event, which was hosted by Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors' Centre. The Holocaust Survivors' Centre offers a wide range of social activities and emotional therapeutic support to those who survived the Nazi Holocaust, along with others who have survived more recent conflicts.