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Drawing of trees, vegetation and buildings at Dachau concentration camp made by a recently liberated inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2007.271.3

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    Brief Narrative
    Drawing of Dachau concentration camp created by Fred Rudkowski, a former prisoner. It depicts several tall pine trees, a street, and buildings. The three story building had formerly housed the German SS unit and now was used to house hospital personnel; the one story building became a patient unit. When he left the camp n July 1945, Rudkowski entrusted the drawing to one of his nurses, Irene Halmi, in the US Army hospital where he had recovered from the inhumane conditions he endured as an inmate. Halmi thought the drawing significant because of what it did not show – the barbed wire behind the tall pine trees which hid the prison status of the camp. Dachau was liberated by US troops on April 29, 1945. Lieutenant Halmi was a nurse in the 127th Evacuation Hospital which arrived in Dachau on May 2, 1945, soon after its liberation on April 29 by American troops.
    Artwork Title
    US Hospital Buildings at Dachau post-liberation
    creation:  1945 May 06
    received:  1945 July
    creation: Dachau (Concentration camp); Dachau (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Irene Halmi
    front, lower left corner, pencil : Dachau / 5.6.45 / [illegible signature]
    Artist: Fred Rudkowski
    Subject: Fred Rudkowski
    Subject: Irene Halmi
    Fred Rudkowski was a patient at the 127th Evacuation Hospital, United States Army, at Dachau concentration camp after its liberation on April 29, 1945. He recovered following treatment and was able to leave the camp in July 1945.
    Irene Halmi was born in 1921 in Palmerton, PA, to Lajos and Julia Nemeth Halmi. She had three sisters and three brothers. She graduated from the Palmerton Hospital School of Nursing. During World War II, she was a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Nursing Corps in both in the US and in the European Theater. Dachau concentration camp was liberated by the United States Army on April 29, 1945. The 127th Evacuation Hospital, the unit with which Irene served, arrived on May 2, 1945, to assess and to care for the thousands of former inmates of the just liberated camp. The three story building occupied by the hospital personnel was previously the headquarters for the German SS [Schutzstaffel, Protection Squadrons] unit of the camp. A nearby one story building housed the patient care facility. After leaving the military, Irene received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 1950. She returned to Palmerton and resumed her career as a nurse. She died, age 91, on August 14, 2012.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Pencil drawing (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Pencil and ink drawing on rectangular white cardboard depicting a row of two buildings on the right, a street in the center, many tall pine trees scattered throughout, and a patch of vegetation on the left. The artist’s signature and the date are inscribed in the front lower left corner.
    overall: Height: 7.880 inches (20.015 cm) | Width: 6.620 inches (16.815 cm)
    overall : cardboard, graphite, ink, adhesive
    reverse, handwritten in blue ink : Drawn by / Fred Rudkowski / on / Digitalis / May 1945

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The drawing was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007 by Irene Halmi.
    Record last modified:
    2023-08-25 16:50:21
    This page:

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