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Painting of a building complex given to an UNRRA official

Object | Accession Number: 2015.110.7

Painting of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) Aglasterhausen Children’s Center, in Unterschwarzach (now Schwarzach), Germany, painted by Henryk Michniak and given to Rachel Greene Rottersman, director of the Children’s Center. Henryk (or Henry) Michniak arrived at Aglasterhausen in November 1945, at age 16. While at Aglasterhausen, Henryk became known for his artwork, including cartoon characters painted on the walls of the nursery. The children’s center opened in October 1945, and employed UNRRA personnel, skilled staff from the displaced persons (DP) population, and local German maintenance workers. The children lived in a structured environment, received classroom instruction, participated in music and arts, enjoyed planned recreation time, and were responsible for regular chores. The UNRRA ceased its DP operations in June 1947. However, the children’s center remained open with the assistance of the Preparatory Commission of the International Refugee Organisation (PCIRO). During Rachel Green Rottersman’s tenure, between September 1945 and February 1948, 1,000 children had been cared for at Aglasterhausen. Of those, approximately one-third were repatriated to their native countries in Europe, 100 were reunited with their parents in Germany, and 350 were sent to the United States and Canada for adoption or foster care. Henryk left Aglasterhausen for Fellbach Emigration Center on May 22, 1946, and immigrated to the United States on June 8. Henryk became a naturalized citizen in 1951, served in the Korea and Vietnam Wars, and was awarded the Purple Heart. Henryk retired from the Army at the rank of Sergeant Major in November 1974, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery after his death.

creation:  1945 November-1946 May
depiction: Aglasterhausen (Displaced persons camp); Schwarzach (Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
Object Type
Painting (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of John Blair Rottersman
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:51:13
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