Nelly S. Toll

Biography project for Mrs. Hemry's 8th grade Language Arts class
made by B.R. hour 6

Nelly S. Toll was born in Lwow, Poland in 1936 and she is still alive today.

Significant Events in History that Affected Nelly's Life

  • Holocaust
  • World War I
  • World War II

Nelly's Childhood

Nelly lived a very happy childhood with her Mama, Papa, and Janek (brother), cousins, small friends, and grandparents. She would often go to Papa's store as well. In 1941 the Germans had entered Lwow and she had been placed into hiding two years afterwards.

People Who Influenced Nelly's Life

  • Little brother - Janek
  • Parents
  • Pan Wojtek and Pani Krysia - Nelly and her mother
  • Grandpa Henryk
  • Pan Henek - her mother got married to him after Nelly's father passed away.

Unique Facts

  1. painted a lot of pictures while she was in hiding to keep herself thinking of happy things
  2. she also liked writing stories to distract herself
  3. thinking of happy things helped her get through that tough time
  4. she wrote a "Behind the Secret Window" in memory of her dad, brother, and other holocaust victims.
  5. she would think of happy memories of her family together to also keep her happy


  • 64 watercolor paintings
  • hid for 13 months in Poland and survived
  • masters degree in counseling
  • masters degree in art and art history
  • wrote "Behind the Secret Window" and "Without Surrender: Art of the Holocaust"

The Theme of Nelly's Life

The theme of Nelly's life was that she had kept her head up in the holocaust even after her brother and dad had gotten killed. Then Nelly went to America and had gotten college degrees and made her life successful.  

Nelly's Words of Advice and What She Has Taught Me

  • "Don't slip, don't make a mistake..." Aunt Krajterowa assured me. page #39
  • To cheer me up, Mama would suggest that I think of new picture stories and paint them. page #102
  • At other times when I was sad, Mama would try to divert me by telling me about her life before the war. page #102

Nelly has taught me that I really shouldn't take my rights and freedoms for granted because a lot of people had to fight for their rights and freedoms.

Work Cited

"Dr. Nelly Toll Childhood Fantasy Artwork Created While Hiding As A Small Child During The Holocaust." Dr. Nelly Toll Childhood Fantasy Artwork Created While Hiding As A Small Child During The Holocaust. N.p., n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2014.

Comment Stream