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Portrait of an old woman walking behind barbed wire drawn in Gurs by a German inmate

Object | Accession Number: 1988.4.5

Pencil drawing of a stooped woman walking in mud behind a barbed wire fence drawn by Gert Wollheim while a prisoner in Gurs internment camp in late 1940. Wollheim, who fled Nazi Germany for Paris, was arrested by the French in spring 1940 as an enemy alien. France was invaded by Germany in May 1940 and surrendered in June. Northern France was controlled by the Germans and a collaborationist French government was set up in Vichy. Wollheim's work was in the Nazi Degenerate Art exhibit and he was active in leftist, radical politics. Gurs at first interned political prisoners, and then Jews. Wollheim was sent there in November. Camp conditions were primitive; it was overcrowded and water, food, and clothing were in scarce supply. Wollheim was transferred to Septfonds on January 1, 1941. He escaped and went into hiding until the region was liberated in August 1944. He emigrated to New York in 1947.

Artwork Title
Frau hinter Stacheldraht
Alternate Title
Woman Behind Barbed Wire
Series Title
Gurs Interment Camp, November 1940-January 1941
creation:  1941 January 01-1941 January 07
creation: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
depiction: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:21:02
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