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Portrait of a fellow inmate in Terezin ghetto created by Bedrich Fritta

Object | Accession Number: 2003.396.1

Ink wash painting of Wilda Petschau created by Bedrich Fritta in 1942 in Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp where both men were imprisoned. Petschau was killed soon after the portrait was completed. The drawing was hidden in the walls of the ghetto and recovered after liberation in May 1945. Fritta, a Czech Jewish cartoonist and graphic designer, was deported to the camp from Prague on November 24, 1941. He was assigned to head the Graphic Department. Fritta was part of a tight knit group of artists determined to secretly document the wretched conditions of daily life in the camp. In summer 1944, they were accused by the Gestapo of smuggling their 'gruesome', atrocity propaganda, that is realistic, work out of the camp. Fritta, his wife Hansi, and son Tomas, 3, were sent to prison. Fritta was tortured. His wife died of starvation or typhus. On October 26, Fritta, with artist Leo Haas, was deported to Auschwitz, where he died, age 37, on November 9, 1944. His son Tomas survived and was adopted by Leo Haas. Nearly 200 of Fritta's drawings were hidden and preserved by other inmates.

Artwork Title
Wilda Petschau, Theresienstadt 1942
creation:  approximately 1942
recovered:  after 1945 May
creation: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
recovery: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp) after liberation; Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jules Bernstein
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:16:54
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