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Watercolor scene of barracks and snowy mountains at Gurs internment camp made by an inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2004.233.4

Watercolor made for 16 year old Johanna Hirsch by another prisoner, E. Ettlinger, in Camp de Gurs, France, where she was interned from 1940-1941. It depicts barracks with laundry and trash outside and barbed wire fence poles receding towards distant snowcovered mountains. See 2004.233.4 and 5 for other drawing by Ettlinger. For Hanne, one of the worst things about the camp was that there was nothing for the inmates to do. Many crafted items to fight the tedium, and also to possibly earn a few pennies or barter with the items. Hanne and her mother Ella were deported from Karlsruhe, Germany, to Gurs in October 1940. In September 1941, Hanne was rescued from the camp by OSE (Oeuvre Secours aux Enfants/ Aid to Children) and placed in a children's home in Le Chambon. When the Germans started rounding up Jews in the countryside, OSE found Hanne hiding places on two farms. In 1943, Hanne obtained false identity papers and escaped over the Alps to Switzerland. After the war ended in May 1945, Hanne married Max Liebmann, a fellow deportee from Germany whom she had met in Gurs. Ella had been deported and killed in Auschwitz concentration camp. Hanne and Max emigrated to the United States in 1948.

Artwork Title
HP II Camp of Gurs
creation:  1940 October-1941 September
creation: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
depiction: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
received: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Johanna Hirsch Liebmann
Record last modified: 2023-05-30 16:35:23
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