Shall Paint It Someday is devoted to the art of former Auschwitz prisoner Wladyslaw Siwek. It is something of a catalogue of selected works that are found mostly in the collections of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum or held privately by the artist's family. Wladyslaw Siwek, one of many painters imprisoned in the camp, drew and painted in Auschwitz and after the war. In the camp, he painted both legally and illegally as a way of surviving and forgetting, even for an instant, about what surrounded him.
Siwek's work is presented under several thematic headings, including - "Works from the Camp and Immediately after Liberation" (portraits, landscapes, and caricatures); - "Fragments of Camp Life" (postwar works); - "Caricatures of SS Men" (drawn in Cracow in 1947 during the trial of the Auschwitz SS Garrison before the Supreme National Tribunal); - "Works from Before World War II."
The book has a clear educational purpose. For the younger generation, the Second World War is already a remote historical event, and the Nazi concentration camps are a phenomenon that is extraordinarily difficult to imagine and understand. When talking with young people about the history of Auschwitz, it is no longer possible to appeal to their personal experience, or even to their parents' recollections of the German occupation and the concentration camps.
Art, and above all images that are the work of an eyewitness, should therefore join literature and film as valuable aids in evoking "the world of Auschwitz." This is why the works that date from the camp, or that look back to the camp from a postwar perspective, are given pride of place here, while Siwek's work from before the war or on other themes is included to the degree that it shed's light on his artistic development