Krakow Home Page
Krakow Stories Menu
Krakow Stories
Joseph Bau
Click on Photos to Enlarge

Joseph Bau

For more information go to: http://www.josephbau.org/index.html

Painter, Graphic Artist, Animator, Author, Poet and Publisher

(1920 - 2002)

Mr. Bau was born in Krakow, Poland in 1920. His education in The University for Plastic Arts in Krakow, was interrupted by World War II, when all the Jews were interned in concentration camps by the Nazis. During his internment Bau never lost his spark of humanity, humor and hope. He fell in love with another inmate, Rebecca, whom he married in Plashow Concentration camp despite the prohibition by the Germans. Mr. Bau smuggled himself into the women's camp and there they got secretly married.

This unique wedding is featured in Spielberg's film "Shindler's List". The art saved his life. He worked as a draftsman and also wrote signs in Gothic letters. He also forged documents and identity papers for people who managed to escape from the camp. This way he saved 400 people. Bau wrote and illustrated a miniature book the size of the palm of his hand. It contains beautiful poems and drawings that did not mention at all the horrors occurring around him. After Plashow he was transferred to Gross-Rosen and then to Oscar Shindler's camp where he stayed till the end of the war. After the war, Bau graduated from the University of Plastic Arts in Krakow.

During his studies he worked for three newspapers as a graphic artist and illustrator. In 1950 he immigrated to Israel together with his wife and three-year -old daughter. He was recruited to a secret unit of the intelligence corps that dealt with technical covert operations that utilized his talent for art and graphics. Later he was transferred, together with other Intelligence corps personnel to a similar unit that was formed and worked as part of the intelligence community belonging to the Prime Minister's office. Joseph never spoke of these activities. In 1956 Bau opened his own studio in Tel-Aviv and enriched its walls with his prolific art creations. He drew the titles for almost all the Israeli movies of the 60's and 70's. At the same time he authored a number of Hebrew books interspersed with artistic drawings. He drew the titles of almost all the Israeli movies of the 50's, 60's and 70's. Movies like: "Kazablan", "Salach Shabati", "Lupo in New-York" and many more. At the same time, he authored a number of Hebrew books interspersed with artistic drawings. "Dear God! Have you ever gone hungry?" has appeared in several editions, Bau translated and published the book in Polish and its English version was published by Arcade Publishing in New-York in 1998. The Chinese version was published in China in May 2002. The book deals with the author's experiences during the Holocaust. The specialty of the book is its humoristic style. Another book, "Brit Mila", which is on the recommended reading list for the schools, is an amusing "dictionary" of the Hebrew language containing fascinating illustrations relating to the text. Bau wrote, illustrated and published another three books. All of them are written in his humoristic style.

Another accomplishment is his origination of animated films in Israel. Mr. Bau has been referred to in the press as the "Israeli Walt Disney". He built his own animation studio and created short movies and commercials for television. Mr. Bau painted and drew paintings in a special style and has had many art exhibitions in Israel, U.S.A, and Canada. Bau created special New-Year cards every year, his aim was to make people happy and to cause them to laugh. He was a member of the Israeli Painters and Sculptors Association, the film and TV Directors Guild, and the Israeli Writer's Guild.

His studio where he worked for 40 years is now a museum. He built all the equipment for making animated movies all by himself. He also built a small cinema where he showed his movies. It is located on 9 Berdichevski street in Tel Aviv Israel.

Joseph Bau has two daughters and four grandchildren