Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content


Object | Accession Number: 1996.47.1

Search this record's additional resources, such as finding aids, documents, or transcripts.

No results match this search term.
Check spelling and try again.

results are loading

0 results found for “keyward


    Brief Narrative
    Folio cover for a collection of 7 print reproductions of drawings by Henri Pieck, a survivor of Buchenwald concentration camp, of daily life in the camp.
    Artwork Title
    Henri Pieck : Buchenwald
    publication/distribution:  approximately 1945-1946
    publication: Hague (Netherlands)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jacqueline C. Hijmans Harris
    Artist: Henri Pieck
    Henri Christiaan Pieck was born on April 19, 1895, in Den Helder, Netherlands. He had a twin brother Anton. Both brothers would have successful careers as artists. Henri’s talent was recognized early, and he began drawings lessons while a young boy. In 1912, he moved to Amsterdam where he joined the Communist Party in 1914. Pieck became a painter, with a special interest in portraits of dancers and scenes of working class life. He was also a commercial artist and illustrator. By 1920, he was receiving major commissions, such as a series of paintings for the Scala Theater in The Hague. Pieck married Geziena van Gelder in July 1922 and they had a son. The couple divorced in May 1928, and later that month, Pieck married Bernharda van Lier in England. They had two daughters. He divided his time between Geneva, London, and Paris and sometimes worked as a courier for the Dutch Foreign Ministry. By the 1930s, Pieck and his second wife Bernharda were spies for the Soviet Union. His Soviet handler was Ignacs Reiss. Pieck cultivated several contacts in the British Foreign Service, who provided him with code books, correspondence, and other official documents.

    In May 1940, Germany occupied the Netherlands. They installed a civil administration under the control of the SS, staffed chiefly by German and Austrian born Nazis. Pieck was a member of the Communist underground and helped produce the journal De Vonk. He was arrested by the Germans on June 9, 1941, for resistance activities. He was interned in Scheveningen prison and the German police transit camp Amersfoort. In April 1942, Pieck was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. His artistic talent gave him some protection in the camp and he did portraits and other drawings and paintings for the SS guards. Pieck was part of the Dutch section of the International Camp Committee, and they provided him with materials to record the atrocities and dreadful conditions in the camp.

    In early April 1945, as the Allies approached, the Germans began to evacuate the camp. On April 11, the prisoners seized control of the camp, and later that afternoon, US troops entered Buchenwald. Germany surrendered on May 7, 1945. Pieck was repatriated to the Netherlands. In 1945-46, a portfolio of the drawings he made in Buchenwald were published. He created drawings of the devastation caused by the war the Netherlands which were also published in the immediate postwar period. He had a postwar career as a commercial artist and designer. Pieck, age 77, died in The Hague on January 12, 1972.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    contains reproduction drawings published by "Uitgeversmij 'Het Centrum' Den Haag"; with Preface and table of contents.
    heavy paper sleeve folded horizontally at center; far right edge of interior is folded inward to hold drawings; recto: front cover, titled "HENRI PIECK/'BUCHENWALD'" and reproduction of charcoal drawing depicting a man standing wrapped in blanket behind barbed wire fence with caption, "His Excellency the Minister"; back cover also has title, "HENRI PIECK/'BUCHENWALD'"and reproduced charcoal drawing of large, uniformed man supervising emaciated men working with shovels and picks with caption, "In the Quarry"
    overall: Height: 13.500 inches (34.29 cm) | Width: 8.875 inches (22.543 cm)

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Pieck, Henri.

    Administrative Notes

    The folio cover was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 1996 by Jacqueline C. Hijmans Harris.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-05-31 06:56:25
    This page:

    Download & Licensing

    In-Person Research

    Contact Us