ILEX BELLER Nave Painter. Part 2
Ilex Beller was born in 1914 in Grodzisko a Jewish village in the south of Poland. In 1936 he joined the International Brigades in Spain and was wounded in the Battle of Teruel. In 1939 he served as a volunteer in a French army infantry unit. In 1940 he was severely wounded during the campaign of Peronne on the River Somme and was decorated for bravery. In 1944 after the liberation he worked as a furrier in Paris. He had always dreamed of painting so after his retirement at the age of 59 he devoted himself to art. His works have been exhibited in the cultural center of the Marais in Paris and in the Gallery of Fine Arts in Brussels. Some of his paintings are now in the Museum of Arts Nave on the Ile de France and the Yad Vashem Museum in Jerusalem. His paintings emulate his childhood memories he portrays a vanished world a thousandyear-old Jewish life on Polish soil which the Nazis have destroyed forever. He belongs to the last generation of Polish Jews and thus is cognizant of the life in the Schtetl. As a painter of memory he gives us the Schtetl as seen through the eyes of a young boy in a mixture of reality and dream where his colors delight us.
Paintings of Ilex Beller collected by Arthur Oyfn veg shteyt a boym Sung by Chava Alberstein