Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Portrait of a pipe smoking man interned at Gurs drawn by another inmate

Object | Accession Number: 2013.486.2

Pencil portrait of his father Ernst with pipe and beret owned by Fred Vendig. It was done by an unknown inmate when Ernst was imprisoned at Gurs internment camp in France in 1940. A few years after the Nazi dictatorship took power in Germany in 1933, Ernst's business was taken from him when it was Aryanized, or cleansed of Jews. In November 1938, Ernst was arrested during Kristallnacht. On May 13, 1939, Ernst, wife Charlotte, and sons Fritz, 7, and Heiner, 2, and his mother Pauline sailed for Cuba on the MS St. Louis. Cuban authorities refused entry to nearly all passengers. Appeals were made to the Cuban and US governments, but the ship had to return to Europe. The family was given refuge in Belgium. In May 1940, Germany occupied Belgium and Ernst was deported to France and imprisoned in St. Cyprien and then Gurs. In 1941, Charlotte, the boys, and Pauline obtained false papers and illegally entered France to be near Ernst. In August 1942, they were all interned at Les Milles and then Rivesaltes, until Charlotte's sister in Switzerland got them smuggled into Zurich. The war ended in May 1945 with Germany's surrender. The family emigrated to the United States in 1946.

Artwork Title
Portrait of Ernst Vendig, Gurs, 1940
creation:  after 1940 May-before 1940 December
creation: Gurs (Concentration camp); Gurs (France)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Stephanie Vendig
Record last modified: 2023-06-02 09:15:40
This page: