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Watercolor of two rooms painted by a French Jewish boy in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2001.328.7

Small watercolor by Simon Jeruchim done by Simon Jeruchim while a hidden child in Normandy, France. He began painting after a schoolteacher gave him a painting kit in 1943. The work depicts 2 views of the interior of one of the homes where he was hidden. Simon shared the sleeping area pictured on the top with Madame Prim; he slept on the right, she on the left. Madame was arthritic and needed the chair to get in and out of bed. There were dirt floors, no electricity, and they used slate tiles on the floor near the fireplace for cooking. There were pictures of saints on the mantel and near the fireplace. The bottom image depicts the other side of the room which had beds for the two younger children also hiding in the home. Simon, age 11, his parents, Samuel and Sonia, and his siblings, Alice, age 14, and Michel, age 5, lived near Paris until summer 1942. In July, Sonia heard of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, when 1000s of Jews were arrested. The family hid with their gentile housekeeper and then asked the Bonneaus, members of the underground, to hide the children in Normandy. Simon often posed as a Catholic and did farmwork, moving often. After the area was liberated on August 6, 1944, Simon returned to the Bonneaus' in Paris; 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
Vues de la maison de Mdm Prim
Alternate Title
View of the house of Madame Prim
Date
1943-1944  (creation)
Geography
creation : in hiding; Normandy (France)
depiction : Normandy (France)
Language
French
Classification
Art
Category
Children's art
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Simon Jeruchim
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Record last modified: 2018-01-11 14:25:09
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn520505