Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Plate 55, Herbert Sandberg series, Der Weg: memorial service for Ernst Thalmann (1886-1944)

Object | Accession Number: 1988.12.55

Aquatint, Thalmann celebration, created by Herbert Sandberg. Ernst Thalmann was the head of the Communist Party in Germany. After Hitler came to power in 1933, Thalmann was arrested, jailed in solitary confinement, and finally shot in Buchenwald on August 18, 1944. It is from his autobiographical series, Der Weg (The Way), a limited edition of 70 intaglio prints created from 1958-1965 for Buchenwald Museum for the 20th anniversary of liberation. Sandberg was imprisoned for 11 years by the Nazi regime, 7 under brutal conditions in Buchenwald concentration camp. Der Weg is a comprehensive autobiographical cycle, made to remind people of the day to day life destroyed by the Nazi dictatorship, as well as the horrors and immorality of the camps. The main sections are: prints 1-25, pre-1933 life; 26-60, resistance and persecution, including reconstructions of drawings Sandberg made while incarcerated; and 61-70, survivors postwar and the making of a new Germany. Sandberg, 26, was arrested in Berlin in 1934 for distributing anti-Nazi literature. He was convicted of treason and jailed. In 1938, he was transferred to the recently opened Buchenwald, as prisoner 3491, marked as both a Jewish and a political prisoner. In 1944, ill and in the infirmary, Sandberg created his first artworks as a prisoner. Buchenwald was liberated on June 12, 1945, by US troops. Sandberg returned to Berlin and resumed his career.

Artwork Title
Alternate Title
Thalmann celebration
Series Title
Der Weg 70 Aquatinta-Radierungen
creation:  1958
creation: Berlin (Germany : East)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:29:33
This page: