Channel the entity "Jeff Parker" from beyond the Ether

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Kubert Activism 

Since I don't have any world shaking things to expound upon today like the overuse of high-fructose corn syrup as a sweetener or my latest Marvel book, I'll pass on this open letter that Joe Kubert has sent out. The end source of the petition seems more specific than most email petitions (which are largely useless because they're not acceptable as political petitions) and maybe the Polish museum will heed these things more than we do. Here's Joe, laying it out for you...

from the desk of

August 30, 2006

Dear colleague:

I don't usually get involved in international controversies. But I am
outraged by the refusal of the Polish government to return artwork
belonging to a fellow-cartoonist and Auschwitz survivor, Mrs. Dina
Babbitt. And I am writing to ask you to join me in protesting this

Deported to Auschwitz as a teenager, Mrs. Babbitt's life was spared by
the infamous war criminal, Dr. Josef Mengele, after he saw a mural of
Snow White that she had painted on the wall of the children's barracks
to soothe the children in their final hours. He then compelled her to
paint portraits of Gypsies upon whom he was performing his barbaric

After the war, Mrs. Babbitt relocated to California, where she worked as
an animator for Warner Brothers and Jay Ward Productions. Among other
things, she illustrated such characters as Wile E. Coyote, Cap'n Crunch,
and Tweety Bird for many years.

Some years ago, unbeknownst to Mrs. Babbitt, eight of the paintings she
did at Auschwitz resurfaced and were acquired by the Auschwitz-Birkenau
State Museum, a Polish government institution on the site of the former
death camp. Mrs. Babbitt visited the museum and verified that they are
hers (they are even signed "Dina 1944"), but the Poles refused to give
them back, claiming they are legally the property of the museum.

Four years ago, when I wrote the book "Yossel," about a teenage
cartoonist whose life was spared by the Nazis because they were amused
by his drawings, I did not know that there had been a real-life case
that bore similarities to my book. I was stunned to learn of Mrs.
Babbitt, and even more stunned by the Polish government's position.

Together with officials of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust
Studies, an organization with which I have been active, I have prepared
a petition to the Polish authorities. It is intended to be signed
specifically by cartoonists, animators, and comic book artists. Adam,
Andy, and I are very much hoping that you will join us.

To have your name added to the petition, please send an email to the
Wyman Institute's director, Dr. Rafael Medoff, at: rafaelmedoff

With thanks in advance for your support,


Joe Kubert,
Joe Kubert School of Cartoon
& Graphic Art, Inc.
37 Myrtle Avenue
Dover, NJ 07801


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