Chana Kowalska

Polish 🇵🇱 1899 - c.1942

Chana (Anna) Kowalska Winogora (1899–c.1942) was a Polish Jewish painter and journalist whose artworks reflect her rural origins. After studying painting in Berlin, where she met her husband, writer Baruch Winogóra, the couple moved to Paris. Kowalska painted in the studios of friends, due to financial constraints, and became active in Jewish Communist organizations. Her work, particularly the paintings “Shtetl” and “The Bridge,” is appreciated for its representation of small Jewish towns in Eastern Europe. Active in the French Resistance, Kowalska was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Auschwitz in July 1942, where she was murdered by the Nazis.

Chana Kowalska's father, a Zionist rabbi and politician, made their home a meeting point for intellectuals, among them the Yiddish writer Sholem Asch, who is said to have written his first book there. Her artistic and journalistic endeavors in Paris intertwined with her active resistance against the Nazi occupation, showcasing her multifaceted contributions to culture and history.