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Child’s crayon drawing of a flower in a pot made by an Austrian Jewish refugee for his mother

Object | Accession Number: 2005.282.2 a-b

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    Brief Narrative
    Crayon sketch of a flower made by 7 year old Hans Morawetz for his mother, Therese, on May 13, 1928, when they lived in Vienna, Austria. In March 1938, Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany. The Germans enacted persecutory measures towards Jews and the family apartment was confiscated. Hans’s father, Franz, was able to obtain US immigration visas for Hans, his mother, and his older brother, Walter. In May 1940, they left Vienna for Genoa, Italy, and sailed for New York aboard the US United States. His father was deported on July 29, 1942, from Vienna to Theresienstadt; two years later he was killed in Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
    Artwork Title
    Alternate Title
    My Mother
    creation:  1928 May 13
    emigration:  1940 May
    creation: Vienna (Austria)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Alice and John Morawetz
    Subject: John Morawetz
    Subject: Alice Morawetz
    Hans Morawetz was born on April 21, 1921, in Vienna, Austria, to Franz Josef and Therese Sinaiberger Morawetz. Franz was born on November 25, 1873 in Piessling, Czechoslovakia, and Therese was born in April 1894. Franz and Therese married on December 22, 1918, in Vienna. Hans had an older brother, Walter, born in 1919. His father was in business and they were a prosperous Jewish family. Hans was trained in the fine leather work trade.
    In March 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria and established punitive anti-Jewish policies. Hans and his family were forced to leave their seven room apartment and move into a single room. His father was able to obtain immigration visas for the United States for Hans, Therese, and Walter. His father had purchased an affidavit for Hans from the Jewish Cultural Organization of Vienna which testified that Hans was as essential employee who performed urgent work and his skills were necessary abroad. In May 1940, the three left Vienna by train for Genoa, Italy. From there, they embarked on the SS United States, one of the last ships to leave Europe during the war, arriving in New York on May 29. Franz was deported on July 29, 1942, from Vienna to Theresienstadt concentration camp. In 1944, he was transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp and murdered.
    Hans, now John, was drafted into the US Army in 1943. He participated in the Normandy invasion in June 1944 and remained in Europe through January 1946. He served in the Intelligence Corps, was a military policeman, and was decorated for his service. His brother, Walter, trained at Camp Ritchie and served in the US Air Force from 1943-1946, including a year and a half in the European theater. Hans married Alice Tauscher, a Jewish refugee from Vienna, in the Bronx on March 19, 1949. John became an economist and worked in book publishing. The couple had a daughter. His mother, Therese, died on March 2, 1963, age 69 years. John died on August 10, 2007, age 86 years, in San Diego, California.
    Alice Tauscher was born in Vienna, Austria, on October 10, 1928, to Erich, born June 16, 1891, and Bertha Stecher Tauscher, born March 2, 1896. She had an older sister, Trudie, born in 1926. Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in March 1938, and soon Jews were targeted with anti-Semitic legislation. The Gestapo confiscated Erich’s watch business and he was arrested during the November Kristallnacht pogrom. His wife was able to get him released prior to deportation to Dachau concentration camp by showing the German authorities their applications for immigration permits for Trinidad.
    The family fled Austria by train to Amsterdam on November 24, 1938. From there, they sailed on the Simon Bolivar to Trinidad. Upon arrival in Trinidad, they were interned as enemy aliens because of their Austrian nationality; men were held on Nelson Island and women on Caledonia Island. The family was joined by Bertha’s brother and his family, who also immigrated to Trinidad from Vienna. After a few months, they were moved to the newly constructed internment camp in Port of Spain. Alice and the other Jewish refugee children were allowed to attend Catholic school. In November 1940, the family left for New York on the banana boat, Medea. They were able to immigrate to the United States because relatives in the US, Becki Sender and Manny Hirsh, had submitted affidavits of support to the US consul.
    The family settled in New York City. Alice married a fellow Viennese refugee, John (Hans) Morawetz, in Bronx, NY, on March 19, 1949. The couple had one daughter. Alice’s father, Erich, died on April 8, 1949, age 58. Her mother, Bertha, passed away on January 28, 1962, age 66, both in New York. Her husband, John, died, age 86, on August, 10, 2007, in California.

    Physical Details

    Children's art
    Physical Description
    a: drawing
    b: piece of glass
    Rectangular, unbleached paper, now yellowed, with a child’s crayon drawing of a flower with elongated teardrop shaped petals in orange, pink, green, red, blue, and yellow that join at a center circle.The stem is a straight line that ends in a brown cylindrical brown pot that narrows at the base. It rests on a straight line which represents a table. Beneath this is a German caption handwritten in black ink with a small, stylized arrow below. The paper is adhered to cardboard, with a layer of black plastic-like coating, then another piece of paper which covers a cloth hanger with an attached metal ring.
    overall: Height: 7.625 inches (19.368 cm) | Width: 4.750 inches (12.065 cm)
    overall : paper, cardboard, metal, cloth, plastic, adhesive, ink, crayon, colored pencil
    front, beneath image, black ink : MEINER MUTTER [MY MOTHER]
    back, colored pencil : 19 13/V 28

    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 2005 by John and Alice Morawetz.
    Record last modified:
    2022-09-13 11:39:14
    This page:

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