Chana Gitla Kowalska

1907 1941
(Pologne) 1907 /   (Unknown) 1941

Chana Gitla KOWALSKA


Chana Gitla Kowalska grew up in a religious family. Her father, rabbi Kowalski, was a member of a religious Zionist movement as well as a senator. Her father’s strong personality left a mark on the artist’s childhood. Their home was a meeting point for intellectuals and Sholem Asch wrote his first book there.

Chana Gitla Kowalska began drawing at the age of 16. In 1922, she moved to Berlin to study painting and met her future husband, the writer and essayist Baruch Winogora.


In Paris, Gitla Kowalski settled in 171 Avenue de Clichy. As she did not have her own studio, she had to borrow the studios of her friends to paint. She was actively involved in the Paris branch of Kultur-Liga and in Jewish communist circles. She also worked as a journalist, and wrote about painting in Yiddish journals including Presse Nouvelle (New Press) and Le Journal de Paris (The Paris Journal). She was the Secretary of the Jewish Painters and Sculptors Association, and participated in the 1937 Jewish Cultural Congress. During the Second World War, she was involved in the French Resistance and was arrested by the Gestapo. She was imprisoned at the Prison de la Santé and was transferred to the Prison des Tourelles. She and her husband were deported in 1941 on convoy number 34. They were murdered by the Nazis