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Dr. Nelly Toll Childhood Fantasy Artwork Created While Hiding As A Small Child During The Holocaust.
Picture Gallery

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On this page you will learn about Nelly S. Toll, who was a hidden child during the Holocaust.


All Alone --- Nelly was very lonely while she was secretly hiding during the Holocaust. She painted this portrait depicting a girl getting ready to take a journey by herself. Just like the girl in the painting Nelly also had to leave her family.

Nelly Toll's memoirs resulted in a book that won seven awards and received a full page book review in the NY Times.
Behind the Secret Window (New York: Dial Books. 1993).


Kindergarten Class --- Nelly wished she could attend school like other children but she could only secretely watch the schoolchildren from the window.

Behind The Secret Window: A Memoir of a Hidden Childhood During World War II is a gripping autobiography with illustrations by Dr. Nelly S. Toll created during Nazi occupation. In contrast to fantasy pictures of innocent, colorful watercolor pictures of family, friends and children playing happily is her memory book which documented the reality of hiding Behind the Secret Window.
Mrs. M., the Christian woman who hid Toll and her mother, and risked her own life, was able to obtain for Nelly a small watercolor box of paints and brushes. Once Toll began to paint a new world opened up for her.


Summer House in the Country --- Nelly dreamed that one day she could go to the country and visit a beautiful house.


A Walk with Father - Nelly painted pictures of being with her father because she missed him so much.

Graphic of books; Actual Size=130 pixels wide

Girl With A Dog --- This is a picture of the front of Bajki street apartment and although Nelly has her arms around a dog she was terrified of dogs. The Nazis had used dogs to hunt Jews. But Nelly knew that dogs should be friendly to people.

This is an overview of the book, Behind the Secret Window A Memoir of A Hidden Childhood During World War II by Nelly S. Toll.
The book is is an autobiography of Nelly S.Toll as a young child in Lwow Poland during Nazi occupation. It is a story of love, fear, and courage.

Purpose: To implement Holocaust Education for upper elementary and middle school students.
Created by Barbara Temme-Soifer
Graduate student at Stockton College, NJ
Dr. Nelly S.Toll has given permission to use her artwork for this web site.

Dr. Nelly Toll Professor of Humanities at a university in PA lectures extensively with her art slides. The 60 watercolor images created in hiding have been exhibited in the US and Europe and are presently available for exhibition. Dr Toll has lectured to over 80 universities and in both public and parochial schools. Her book, Behind The Secret Window, has won seven literary awards and has had a full-page review in the NY Times and many other publications. Eight of her pictures are in the permanent collection at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and eight pictures are also on display at the Yad Vashem Childrens Museum in Israel. Behind The Secret Window was transformed into a play and was performed at: 92nd Street Y, NY, McCarter Theater Princeton, NJ, Annenberg Theater in Philadelphia, PA and Rotterdam, Holland. Postcards of her works are available in the US Holocaust Museum, Washington DC and the NY Jewish Heritage Museum. Hallmark Cards has created a series of cards using her pictures as well. Dr. Tolls book has been translated into many different languages including Chinese and would be available in paperback late 2002. For further information regarding lectures, exhibitions or purchasing prints call: (856) 428-1645.


Dr Toll has a Doctorate in Reading, Writing and Literacy from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters Degree of Fine Arts- Art History from Rutgers University. She is an author of three other books: When Memory Speaks, (Greenwood Press 1997), Without Surrender, (Running Press 1978), and Integrating Art and Literature for Elementary and High School Curriculum (using students own art work as a reflection of Holocaust pictures and stories) this book is presently at press.

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