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2-sided watercolor of an imagined village bombing by a French Jewish boy in hiding

Object | Accession Number: 2001.328.8

Small double-sided 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. Simon had heard of the Allied invasion and the aerial bombing of the coastal towns on a shortwave radio. The front image depicts his imagined view of the bombing of Savigny-le-Vieux; on the reverse is a sketch of a British fighter plane copied from a magazine left behind by the American GIs. 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, when 1000s 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 often 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
Souvenir au 6 Juin 1944 (front)
Mosquito (reverse)
Alternate Title
Memory of June 6, 1944 (front)
Date
approximately 1944 June  (creation)
1944 June 06  (depiction)
Geography
creation : in hiding; Normandy (France)
depiction : Savigny-le-Vieux (France)
Language
French
English
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: 2018-10-24 14:06:11
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn520507