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Walter Spitzer allegorical drawing of three children seated in a concentration camp

Object | Accession Number: 2008.350.1

Drawing created on June 21, 1947, by Walter Spitzer, and given to Hana Jane Barton in a cafe in Paris, France. The drawing depicts three children, sitting on the ground. According to the artist: “ the boy will grow up to be a criminal; the girl will become a bitter woman; and the child on the right will be an idiot - after all, what can you expect them to be, after what they experienced.” Each child represents a different characteristic: despair, cunning, obliviousness. Spitzer, born in 1927 in Poland, was imprisoned in multiple concentration camps during the Holocaust. The 17 year-old Spitzer began drawing in Buchenwald. He promised a fellow inmate to tell with his pencils all that he saw in the camps. He settled in France after the war and became a professional artist, creating a harrowing artistic record of the Holocaust. Hana Jane Barton and her husband, Fred, a cultural attache to UNESCO, met Spitzer by chance in the cafe where he was drawing, and spent the afternoon talking with him about his experiences in the camps.

Artwork Title
ON JOUE PAPA ET MAMA [We play Papa and Mama]
creation:  1947 June 21
creation: Paris (France)
Object Type
Drawing (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Hana Jane Barton
Record last modified: 2020-06-30 09:25:40
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