The Lonka Project, 2020
The Lonka Project created by Rina Castelnuevo and Jim Hollander is a photographic tribute to the last Holocaust survivors with us today. Throughout 2019 some 250 of the world’s leading professional photographers, in some 24 countries, generously contributed their time and talent, each capturing a Holocaust survivor in the context that makes a unique and memorable statement about their lives. The Lonka Project was launched in January 2020 marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
When asked to participate in the project, I contacted Dr. Klapish who had been my psychoanalyst 30 years ago and with whom I still kept close contact. Our meetings took place in her small office where she receives her patients, it was now my turn to listen to her moving story. A hidden child together with her mother in Southwestern France during the WWII, Dr. Nicole Klappish was only 5 years old when her father, a well-known practicing dental surgeon, David Wittman was arrested in Paris in 1941 while attending to a patient. He was sent to the internment camp of Compiègne before being deported to Auschwitz where he died in 1942. The story of Dr. Klapish thereafter is a long lesson in courage. Eventually she immigrated to Israel with her husband and two children in 1970 and 4 years later she opened her own clinic in Jerusalem, exercising both as a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst, often volunteering her skills to those in needs till these very days.
Photo Ariane Littman, assisted by Udi Katzman