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Sketch of a large ocean liner drawn by a former hidden child

Object | Accession Number: 2002.420.12

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    Brief Narrative
    Sketch of a large ocean liner drawn by Charles (Charly) Weingarten, 4, circa 1944. Charles was born in 1941 in Italian occupied Nice, France, six months after his mother Margarethe was released from Gurs internment camp. She had fled Nazi Germany for France in the early 1930s. When Germany invaded in May 1940, she was jailed as an enemy alien, then released after the German victory. They lived openly until September 1943, when the Germans occupied southern France after Italy surrendered to the Allies. Margarethe got them false papers as Catholics, and they wore cross pendants (see records 2002.420.23-24.) But they went into hiding because of the danger of deportation. They lived in poverty, in a cellar on the grounds of an estate. Charles was ill with bronchitis and severe malnutrition. Nice was liberated by American troops in August 1944. After the war ended in May 1945, Charles was sent to a children's home in Switzerland to recuperate.
    Artwork Title
    Ocean liner sketch, Nice, France, ca. 1944
    creation:  approximately 1944
    creation: Nice (France)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Charles Albert Weingarten
    Subject: Charles A. Weingarten
    Artist: Charles A. Weingarten
    Charles Albert Weingarten was born on January 13, 1941, in Nice, France, to Margarethe Weingarten, an actress, and Rudolf Gelb. Margarethe was born in 1904 in Leipzig, Germany, to a family of Belarusian and Polish furriers. She and her first husband, Karl Albert Foerst, left Germany for South America in the early 1930s, but Margarethe became ill and they moved to Paris, France. On November 7, 1938, Herschel Grynszpan, a Jewish youth walked into the German embassy in Paris and shot Ernst vom Rath, a German diplomat, who died two days. Nazi Party officials claimed it was the act of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy and used it as a pretext for Kristallnacht, the violent anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany on November 9-10. Margarethe and Karl, who were active in left-wing politics, were arrested by the French police and deported to Germany. Karl was shot in Buchenwald on January 20, 1939.

    Margaret was able to return to Paris, accompanied by her mother, Glika Chaya Weingarten. In May 1940, Germany invaded France and Margarethe fled to Nice where she met Rudolf Gelb. Rudolf was a married Austrian Jew who had escaped from Dachau concentration camp in Germany and was in France as a foreign worker. In 1940, not long after Margarethe became pregnant, she was were sent to Gurs internment camp. Her mother was able to bribe someone in the camp and she was soon released. They returned to Nice and settled in the Italian occupied section where Charles was born. In 1943, the Germans occupied southern France. Margarethe hid with Charles in a basement. In July, she obtained false papers for them as Catholics and moved with Charles to the grounds of a villa owned by the Matteudi family. Rudolf escaped to Switzerland. Glika was given a hiding place in the convent of the Sisters of the Poor in Nice. Margarethe made canvas shoes to sell, but she made very little. They often had little to eat and Charles suffered from severe malnutrition and chronic bronchitis. Nice was liberated in late August 1944 and the war ended in May 1945. Charles was sent to recuperate in a Jewish children’s home in Switzerland. Rudolf survived the war in Switzerland and returned to Austria. Margarethe married Karl Ferdinand Delius, a photographer and journalist originally from Berlin. Margarethe, 65, passed away in 1969. Charles immigrated to the United States in the late 1960s, but returned to France in the 1990s.

    Physical Details

    Children's art
    Physical Description
    Child's sketch in pencil on paper with torn edges of an ocean liner with portholes, a pennant, and a large central stack with curls of smoke. The back is blank.
    overall: Height: 5.000 inches (12.7 cm) | Width: 6.625 inches (16.827 cm)
    overall : paper, graphite

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The sketchbook was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2002 by Charles Weingarten.
    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:
    2023-09-29 08:39:12
    This page:

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