Bau was born in Krakow, Poland in 1920. His education was
interrupted by World War II, when all the Jews were interned in concentration
camps by the Nazis. During his internment Bau never lost his spark of humanity
He fell in love with another inmate, Rebecca, whom he married in the camp despite the prohibition by the Germans. This unique wedding is featured in Spielberg´s film "Schindler´s List”.
The art saved his life. He was used as a draftsman and also wrote signs in Gothic letters. His access to pens and inks allowed him to forge documents and identity papers for people who managed to escape from the camp. In this way he saved hundreds of people. He was a very humble man and never talked about it. It was told by other people.
In the camp Mr. Bau wrote and illustrated a miniature book in the size of the palm of a hand. It contains beautiful poems that did not mention at all the horrors occurring around him. After Plashow he was transferred to Gross-Rosen and then to Oscar Schindler´s camp where he stayed till the end of the war.
After the war, Bau graduated from the University of Plastic Arts in Krakow. During his studies he worked for three newspapers as a graphic artist and illustrator.
In 1950 he immigrated to Israel together with his wife and three-year-old daughter. He was recruited to a secret unit of the intelligence corps that dealt with technical covert operations that utilized his talent for art and graphics. Later he was transferred, together with other Intelligence corps personnel to a similar unit that was formed and worked as part of the intelligence community belonging to the Prime Minister´s office. Joseph never spoke of these activities.
In 1956 Bau opened his own studio in Tel-Aviv and enriched its walls with his prolific art creations. He drew the titles for almost all the Israeli movies of the 60´s and 70´s. At the same time he authored a number of Hebrew books interspersed with artistic drawings.
Another accomplishment is his origination of animated films in Israel. Mr. Bau has been referred to in the press as the "Israeli Walt Disney”.
He painted and drew in a special style and has had many art exhibitions in Israel, the U.S.A, Canada, Poland and Spain.
Since his death in 2002, Mr. Bau´s two daughters, Hadasa and Clila, have tried to raise the funds to convert Joseph Bau´s studio into a museum commemorating his holocaust experiences and the artistic and literary works that are the fruits of his very creative life. The studio, which is under threat of closing, showcases his paintings and works of graphic art, as well as the animation equipment which he built himself. It also has a small cinema where he screened the cartoons and movies he produced.
He wrote his memories about the Holocaust in the book: "Dear God! Have you ever gone hungry?” accompanied with 40 paintings.
His book about the Hebrew language is called: "Brit Mila”