First Posted Nov. 18, 2008
Warning: This article is of a serious nature.
After this first panel I left to get some lunch so I missed most of Neal Adam’s panel (Adams is pictured above), but I did catch the end of it. Adams was talking about a cause he supports. Dina Gottliebova Babbitt was a prisoner at the Auschwitz concentration camp. In exchange for her own life and her mother’s life she drew a mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves that the Jewish children looked at right before they were murdered. Dr. Josef Mengele wanted the children to be calm. Mengele also forced Babbitt to paint portraits of various victims because he believed photographs didn’t show the “inferior skin tones of the Jews, that proved they were subhuman.” She even did portraits of Mengele himself.
Today, the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum refuses to give Babbitt back her work. They argue that if they open the door to this kind of thing they will lose their whole museum right down to the gate, which they say will be taken by the man who originally made it.
Neal Adams believes that the man who made the gates was paid for his work and that Babbitt was forced by pain of death to make these paintings and “They belong to her you fuc$ing idiot!”
He told this story because Marvel and Darkhorse are getting involved and printing a special comic to help her cause. He said that in the Marvel one there will be a story about fictional Auschwitz survivor Magneto. (I couldn’t help but wonder with Marvel’s constantly sliding timescale how Magneto could still be a Holocaust survivor, while I think now Ben Grimm and Reed Richards are now Vietnam vets when they used to be Korean War vets, or WWII vets, but that’s a detail for another time.)
Here is a link to a NY Times article about this controversy
In this article there is a link to the online version of the 6 page comic about Babbit penciled by Neal Adams, inked by Joe Kubert and supposedly containing an introduction by Stan Lee.
Part 4 returns to happier subjects. I’ll report on a Jack Kirby Tribute Panel.