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Small watercolor of a woman with a halo created by a French Jewish boy in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2001.328.5

Small watercolor done by Simon Jeruchim while a hidden child in Normandy, France. He began painting after a schoolteacher, Mr. Crochet, gave him a painting kit in 1943. It depicts the Virgin Mary, a woman with a halo wearing a blue cloak standing under a golden arch with floral garlands. It is based upon a statue in a home in which Simon was hidden. But Simon was fascinated by the stained glassed windows and gilded statues in the Catholic churches and would sneak inside to sketch. (See 2001.328.3) Germany occupied France in June 1940. Simon, age 11, his parents, Samuel and Sonia, and his siblings, Alice, age 14, and Michel, age 5, remained in the Paris suburbs until summer 1942. In July, Sonia heard of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, when1000s of Jews were arrested. The family hid with their gentile housekeeper and then arranged for the Bonneaus, members of the underground, to hide the children in Normandy. Simon posed as a Catholic and worked as a farmhand, moving often. After the area was liberated on August 6, 1944, Simon returned to Paris and lived with the Bonneaus; his siblings returned after the war ended in May 1945. Their parents had been deported in fall 1942 to Auschwitz and murdered. Simon, Alice, and Michel emigrated to the United States in 1949.

Artwork Title
La Vierge aux Fleurs
creation:  1943-1944
creation: in hiding; Normandy (France)
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Simon Jeruchim
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 09:15:14
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