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07.04.2020    18:00

Romek Marber (1925–2020)

Mr. Romek Marber died in Braintree, UK on March 30th, 2020. He was 95.

Romek Marber was a distinguished Polish-Jewish artist who lived and worked in Great Britain since 1946. He was born in 1925 in Turek, Poland. After the outbreak of the Second World War he was deported to the Bochnia Ghetto. In 1942, thanks to the help of a German officer named Gerhard Kurzbach, he was fortunately spared the fate of being transported to the Bełżec death camp. In 1943, Marber managed to escape the ghetto, but was arrested by the Gestapo in Krakow and imprisoned. After a few weeks of being in prison, he was sent to the Płaszów concentration camp, and then to Auschwitz. From there, in January 1945, he was transported with a group of prisoners to Germany, where he managed to survive until the end of the war.

After the war, Marber immigrated to Great Britain. He created graphic works for "The Economist" and "New Society". His works were praised by the creative director of the Penguin Publishing Press, leading to Marber signing a contract to create graphic designs for one of Penguin's most popular series - The Penguin Crime Series. The layout Marber proposed is considered one of the most important achievements of British graphic design. In 1964, Marber was employed as artistic director of 'The Observer Magazine'.

In 2015 the Galicia Jewish Museum was honoured to present the first exhibition of Romek Marber's works in Poland. The exhibit was a retrospective – it included all of Marber's most important works: those created for magazines ('The Economist', 'New Society', 'The Observer Magazine', 'Queen Magazine'), book covers for the Penguin and Pelican Publishing companies, film animations and many more works by the prominent graphic designer, including posters, commercials, maps, logos and typography.

Romek Marber participated in the exhibition opening, travelling to Poland for the first time since 1945. His cordiality, eloquence, and sense of humour will remain in our memories forever. Let the Lord of compassion shelter him forever under the protection of His wings, and let his soul be bound up in the bond of life.

Photo by Ada Kopeć-Pawlikowska

Interview with Romek Marber during the opening of his exhibition at the Galicia Jewish Museum: