Frank Meisler (30 December 1925 – 24 March 2018) was an Israeli architect and sculptor. Meisler was born in the Free City of Danzig and grew up in England, before moving to Israel in 1956.
Frank Meisler was born into a Jewish family in Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland), he was evacuated by the Kindertransport in August 1939, travelling with 14 other Jewish children via Berlin to the Netherlands and then to Liverpool Street station in London. His parents were arrested three days after his departure, held in the Warsaw Ghetto and later murdered at Auschwitz concentration camp. He was raised by a grandmother, who lived in London. He attended school in Harrow, and then did national service in the Royal Air Force. He studied architecture at the University of Manchester, and was involved in the construction of the Heathrow Airport.
He moved to Israel in 1960, where he has a workshop in the Old City of Jaffa. His public works include a memorial to Ben Gurion in Israel, Eternal Kiev in Kiev, and a series of Kindertransport memorials: Kindertransport – The Arrival erected at Liverpool Street station in London in 2006, Trains to Life – Trains to Death erected at Friedrichstraße station in Berlin in 2008, The Departure erected at Gdańsk Główny station in 2009, and Crossing to Life erected at the Hook of Holland in 2011. Each includes bronze statues of a group of children, with luggage. He also designed the interior of the Holocaust Memorial Synagogue in Moscow, and sculptures for Russia's National War Memorial. A memorial of the death march of Jewish prisoners (and subsequent murders at Palmnicken) was erected in Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg) in 2011. He published an autobiography. On the Vistula Facing East, in 1996.
Awards and recognition
The Czech Academy of Art awarded Meisler the Franz Kafka gold medal in 1999. He was made an honorary academician by both the Russian Academy of Arts and the Ukrainian Academy of Arts in 2002. He was awarded the Federal Republic of Germany's Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit (Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse) in 2012, in recognition of his services to German-Jewish and German-Israeli relations.
Kindertransport – The Arrival, Liverpool Street station, London
Trains to Life – Trains to Death, Friedrichstraße station, Berlin
Frank Meisler's monument in front of Gdańsk Główny station
"Channel Crossing to Life", Hook of Holland