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Ink drawing of a Paris street scene created by a Jewish refugee in the US

Object | Accession Number: 2004.649.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Ink illustration of a busy Parisian intersection created by Peter Paul Porges in 1950. In March 1939, Peter, 12, was sent from Vienna, Austria, to France on a Kindertransport. He lived in Chateau de la Guette, a refugee children's home supported by the Rothschild family. When Germany invaded France in May 1940, the children were evacuated south to La Bourboule. In April 1942, Peter was captured trying to enter illegally into Spain and was imprisoned in Rivesaltes internment camp. He escaped and, in January 1943, was smuggled into Switzerland. In May 1945, he met Lucie Eisenstab while attending art school in Geneva. Lucie, 12, left Vienna in early 1939 and went into hiding with her family in Belgium. When Germany invaded, they fled to Paris and later were sent to a refugee camp in Brens. In September 1942, they paid someone to help them escape to Switzerland. Paul's parents had survived Theresienstadt ghetto/labor camp and emigrated to the US in 1946. Paul left Geneva to join them in 1947. He had planned to rejoin Lucie in Europe but was drafted into the US Army in 1950. In 1951, Lucie arrived in the US and they married three weeks later.
    Artwork Title
    Rue Soufflot avec le Pantheon
    creation:  1950
    depiction: Rue Soufflot; Paris (France)
    creation: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Lucie Porges
    front, lower right within drawing, black ink : PPP
    Artist: Paul P. Porges
    Subject: Paul P. Porges
    Subject: Lucie E. Porges
    Paul Peter Porges, known as PPP, was born on February 7, 1927, in Vienna, Austria. His father, Gustav, was born in Scheibbs, Austria, on April 28, 1892. His mother, Jeanette (Jenny) Menschel, was born on November 11, 1900, in Cernovitz, Romania. Gustav served in the Austrian Army in World War I (1914-1918) and was stationed in Vienna. He met and married Jenny in 1919. Gustav had an import and export business and Jenny ran the family grocery store. Paul’s brother, Kurt, was born on July 23, 1920. The family was assimilated though they did observe holidays. Paul was aware that his family was different because they were Jewish. He attended a Catholic public school and, as a Jew, had to leave the room during catechism instruction. Paul attended a Jewish school each Sunday and took youth art lessons at the local college.
    German troops marched into Austria on March 12, 1938, and the next day, Austria was incorporated into the German Reich. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted. Gustav could no longer travel and conduct business and the Porges family store was boycotted. Eleven year old Paul was forced to leave public school and attend a Jewish school. He was spit on and called a Jew bastard by former school friends, and attacked by members of the Hitler Youth. Paul became ashamed of being Jewish and just wanted to be like everybody else. As a way to meet other young Jews, Paul joined Hashomer Hatzair, a Zionist youth organization. Gustav was still very well liked and gentile friends came to visit the family and store. A business partner, who was a high ranking member of the Nazi party, brought him a basket of food and said that if he had known how bad things were going to get, he never would have joined the party. During the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938, uniformed Nazis and a mob stormed the grocery store and painted “Jude” [Jew] and red Stars of David on the front. The family hid in the back room during the onslaught.
    In March 1939, Paul’s parents registered him with a Jewish organization which arranged for him to leave on a Kindertransport to France. A group of about seventy children, age ten to fourteen, sponsored by the Rothschild family, were transported on March 15 to the Rothschild mansion, Chateau de la Guette, outside Paris. Paul drew self-portraits, images of home, and violent images of war as a way to express his feelings. After the German invasion of France in May 1940, the children were evacuated to La Bourboule, a former spa in the unoccupied free zone in central France. That summer, Paul was sent to hotel school in Nice. In early 1941, he left to go live with his cousin, Max, and attend high school in St. Etienne. With Max’s help, Paul obtained documents which he falsified by forging signatures and dates, and changed the name to Georges De Nez. With the false papers, he was able to procure ration coupons. He joined a French fascist youth group to get further south where they performed agricultural labor. He left the group and attempted to escape across the border into Spain. He was caught and sent back to France. Paul headed for Lyon and was arrested, but was released when he showed his false papers.
    In April 1942, he attempted to escape to Switzerland and was arrested by a French gendarme. The officer brought Paul to his home and handcuffed him while he ate dinner with his family. Paul watched them eat and they offered him no food. The next day, he took Paul to the local jail. Paul no longer had his false papers as he had felt it was too dangerous to keep them. He was deported to Rivesaltes internment camp in France and placed in quarantine. The sanitary conditions were terrible and there was no food. Paul had boils on his neck, and he demanded, and got, medical attention. As a child, Paul had more freedom to move around and on October 3, he smuggled himself out in a garbage transport. He reached a Jewish community in Toulouse and was sent to a children’s home, Chateau de Montintin, in Limoges.
    On January 25, 1943, with the help of a Jewish underground group, Paul and fifteen others were smuggled across the Swiss border. The group was arrested. Paul was the only one allowed to stay as he was a minor and was sent to a refugee camp in Geneva. A Swiss welfare organization sent him to school. He was later sent to Zurich and admitted to a graphic arts school but could not attend because he could not pay the tuition. He was next sent to a juvenile delinquent camp. In 1944, Paul began studying art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Geneva. In a modeling class in May 1945, he met Lucie Eisenstab. Lucie and her family were also from Vienna and survived the war in hiding in Belgium and France, and finally, Switzerland.
    While in Switzerland, Paul was in touch with his nanny who told him that his parents had been deported to Theresienstadt concentration camp in October 1942. Paul sent them packages via Portugal. Gustav and Jenny were liberated from Theresienstadt on May 8, 1945, by the Soviet Army. Paul met his mother after liberation at the Swiss border. By October, his parents had returned to Vienna. Many of their family members had disappeared and were presumed dead.
    Kurt left Austria for England prior to the war, and then went to the United States, arriving on the SS Scythia on April 17, 1940. He procured visas for his parents and Paul. Gustav and Jenny arrived in New York on July 15, 1946, on the SS Marine Fisher. Paul did not want to leave Lucie but had to leave to join his parents in 1947. From 1947 until 1948, he traveled as an interpreter for Ringling Brothers circus. He planned to return to Europe and marry Lucie, but in 1950, he was drafted into the US Army due to the Korean War. He was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, and began drawing cartoons for the army newspaper. In 1951, Lucie emigrated to the US and the couple married. They had two daughters. Paul attended art school. He sold his first cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post in 1954. He later worked as a professional cartoonist for publications such as MAD Magazine and the New Yorker. Lucie became associate designer and artist-in-residence at the Pauline Trigere fashion house. Lucie, age 85, passed away in 2011 in New York.
    Lucie Eisenstab was born on November 23, 1926, in Vienna, Austria. Her father, Eisig, was born on May 15, 1886, in Drohobych, Galicia, (Ukraine). Her mother, Jetty Rosner, was born on March 14, 1898, in Vatra Dornei, Romania, the daughter of a wood merchant with five brothers. The family, including Eisig and Jetty’s parents, moved to Vienna during World War I (1914-1918). Eisig was an itinerant textile merchant and window dresser. Lucie had a sister, Elfie, born on October 13, 1930. The Eisenstab’s were assimilated Jews, but Lucie’s paternal grandparents were Orthodox. The family visited them every Sunday and during the visits, a bored Lucie began to draw fashion pictures for fun. Lucie attended a public school where she was one of only a few Jews.
    German troops marched into Austria on March 12, 1938, and the next day, Austria was merged with the German Reich. Anti-Jewish legislation was enacted and life changed dramatically for Lucie. The Germans confiscated the family’s possessions and they had to move in with Lucie’s maternal grandmother. Lucie was forced to leave her public school and had to attend a private Jewish school. She joined a Zionist youth organization. After Eisig’s business was boycotted, he decided the family would leave Austria. He tried to procure visas for various countries, but was unsuccessful.
    During the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 10, 1938, Eisig was arrested. Lucie, Jetty, and her grandmother had to move into an apartment which they shared with another family. Jetty got Eisig a lawyer and six weeks later he was released on the condition that the family leave Austria within two weeks or he would be sent to Poland. Jetty’s mother left to join her two sons in Palestine in late 1938. In January 1939, the Eisenstab family left for Cologne, with no passports or visas and only hand luggage. Eisig’s parents, too old to travel, stayed behind. The family was not disturbed by German soldiers on the train as they did not look Jewish. They took a room in a hotel and Lucie’s parents frequented a coffee house where they found someone to help them cross the border to Belgium. They left one night with fifteen others and arrived in Brussels eight days later where they stayed with an aunt. A Jewish committee provided the family with money and they moved into a one room apartment. Lucie and Elfie attended school and learned French. Her parents worked nights sewing slippers.
    Germany invaded Western Europe on May 10, 1940. Lucie and her family left by train for Paris, where they were to live with Jetty’s brother. The train was bombed and, after four days, the family arrived in Touilley, France. They were taken to an old factory where they stayed for a month. The girls’ started school but did not understand the dialect and stopped attending. The family lived on what they could buy from the local peasants. Eisig, and all male foreigners in the city, were arrested and sent to St. Cyprien internment camp. Thirteen year old Lucie went to visit him and, possibly because she was a child, the commandant released Eisig.
    In 1941, the family was sent to a refugee camp in Brens. There were no barbed wire fences and inhabitants could leave the camp during the day. Jetty crocheted items for barterer in the village for food which she then smuggled into the camp to supplement their meals of cow feed and potatoes. Because of a rumor that winter that the camp was to close and the inhabitants moved elsewhere, they escaped to Lyon. They lived in a cheap apartment in a dangerous part of town. Lucie found a job painting silk scarves in a rat infested factory and she had to keep stamping her feet to keep the rats away.
    In September 1942, the family paid a man to help them cross the border to Switzerland. Jetty’s brother, Herman Rosner, and his wife, Rozhi, also came. At a particular location, the smuggler told them to run. An old Swiss couple, watching from a nearby house, yelled for them to stop, that the Germans were nearby. Lucie and her family stopped and the couple took them in, fed them, and let them stay the night. The next day, the family was told to leave at noon for the village, and at a specific spot, to start running. At that place, they started to run but were caught by the Swiss border police. As Lucie and Elfie were under sixteen, the family was permitted to stay. They were sent to Geneva and housed in the sports stadium. The Jewish community arranged for meals and synagogue visits. The food was good and Lucie went to the movies, shopped, and walked along the streets. Her paternal uncle, who left for Switzerland prior to the war, came to visit. After a few days, the family was transferred to Eriswili refugee camp, where Lucie learned to ski. There was no formal schooling, but Lucie and Elfie were instructed by refugees who had teaching backgrounds.
    After a few months, Eisig was sent to a work camp and the girls and Jetty to a camp near Zurich. The family was reunited in Luzerne and moved into the Hotel Tivoli, which had been requisitioned for refugees. Lucie decided to become an artist or fashion designer. She was sent to a family in Bern who promised to send her to art school. Instead, they used her as a servant, so Lucie returned to Luzerne. Elfie went to live with a gentile family and attended school. After the war ended in May 1945, Lucie learned that her grandfather was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in 1939, and her grandmother to Theresienstadt in 1942. Both were murdered.
    Lucie got a scholarship to attend the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Geneva where she lived with a Jewish family. In a modeling class, she met Paul Porges, who had been rescued by a Kindertransport from Vienna to France. His parents emigrated to New York in 1946 and Paul had to join them in 1947. In 1948, Lucie went to Paris and worked in the haute couture fashion industry. She also did illustrations for the magazine, L’Art et la Mode. She and Paul had planned to marry once Paul retuned to Europe. But in 1950, Paul was drafted into the US Army because of the Korean War. Lucie’s sister Elfie left for Israel in April 1951. Lucie sailed for the US on the SS De Grasse and arrived on June 25, 1951. She and Paul married that summer. The couple had two daughters. Lucie began to work as an illustrator for the fashion designer Pauline Trigere. Lucia became the fashion house’s artist in resident and associate fashion designer. After Trigere closed her business in 1984, Lucie taught at Parsons School of Design. PPP became a cartoonist whose work was featured in the New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, and Mad Magazine. Eisig and Jetty arrived on the SS Queen Elizabeth in April 1955. Eisig died at age 66, in 1962, in Switzerland. Jetty died at age 91, in 1990, in New York. Lucie died at age 85, on June 17, 2011, in New York.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Ink drawings (tgm)
    Physical Description
    Black ink drawing on offwhite, lined notebook paper depicting an intersection of a wide boulevard lined with multistoried buildings and filled with horse drawn carts, pedestrians, and a trolley.The angled two point perspective focuses on a columned, domed building with pediment. On the left front is a mansard roofed building with windows, street level shops with awnings, and a Morris column between 2 trees. The deceptively simple drawing is filled with detail and conveys a sense of movement. The artist’s signature is in the lower right, with a caption handwritten below the image. The drawing is mounted in a blue, window mat board. The reverse of the drawing was not examined.
    overall: Height: 5.000 inches (12.7 cm) | Width: 7.000 inches (17.78 cm)
    pictorial area: Height: 3.250 inches (8.255 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, mat board
    front, lower right, below drawing, cursive, black ink : Rue Soufflot avec le Panthéon

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The drawing was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Lucie Eisenstab Porges, the wife of Paul Peter Porges.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-16 11:32:00
    This page:

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