Nathan Rapoport Biography – Jacob Samuel

Nathan Rapoport was a Polish Jewish sculptor. As a holocaust survivor who lost his entire family during the war, he devoted his work to the subject of the memory of the holocaust.

Nathan was born in Warszawa, Polnad in 1911 to a religious family household. He was sent to study Torah in the Jewish school “Leo’or”, but following his father illness he quitted school so he can help support his family. In 1927 Rapoprt study sculpture at the local municipal academy of art. After three years of studying in the academy he earned a scholarship to travel to Italy and France.

Although he won first place in an art competition in 1936 with a sculpture he made called “The Tennis Player”, he refused to accept the prize in an exhibition that took place in Germany, which was then under Nazi Party and therefore was disqualified from the competition.
In 1938 he earned a scholarship for studying in Paris but with the outbreak of World War II he fled Poland to Russia. After the war ended he returned to Warszawa and in April 1948 he made the memorial monument for Warszawa ghetto rebels- Jewish Warrior Organisation. Copy of the Monument was also created in Yad Vashem in Jerusalem. This monument is one of the most recognized symbols of heroic heritage of the holocaust. Rapoport also created the sculpture of Mordechai Anielevich in Kubbutz Yad Mordechai and the monument “Defenders of the Negev” in Kibbutz Negba describing the defence battle in Negba.

Best Known work is “The Parchment” Monument which was created in 1972. The monument consist of two giant bronze parchment, one describe the Holocaust, while the other the foundation of the state Israel.

Rapoport’s studio – “Rapaport’s House” is located in Ramat Gan and operates as an art education centre which houses some of his sculptures.

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