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Child's depiction of an imagined aerial battle drawn by a German Jewish refugee

Object | Accession Number: 2013.486.15

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    Child's depiction of an imagined aerial battle drawn by a German Jewish refugee

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Sketch of an imaginary aerial battle done by Fritz Vendig, 12, when he was living as a refugee from Nazi Germany in Maur, Switzerland, with his parents, Ernst and Charlotte, and younger brother Heiner. In the mid-1930s, Ernst's business was taken from him when it was Aryanized, or cleansed of Jews. In November 1938, Ernst was arrested during Kristallnacht. After his release, they prepared to leave. On May 13, 1939, the family, along with Ernst's 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 internment camps. 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 managed to get them out of the camp and smuggled into Zurich. The war ended in May 1945 with Germany's surrender. Fritz (later Fred) and his family emigrated to the United States in 1946.
    Artwork Title
    Krieg Saust Durchs Land, 1944
    Alternate Title
    War Rushes Through the Land
    Date
    creation:  1944
    Geography
    creation: Maur (Switzerland)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Stephanie Vendig
    Signature
    back, bottom, pencil : F. Vendig
    Contributor
    Artist: Ernst Vendig
    Subject: Ernst Vendig
    Biography
    Ernst Vendig was born in 1899 in Kauserlautern, Germany. He lived with his wife Charlotte in Kauserlautern where Ernst ran a haberdashery. They had a son, Fritz, in 1932. As soon as the Nazi regime took power in Germany in 1933, it pursued policies to exclude Jews from German society. Ernst's business was Aryanized, or cleansed of Jews, in the mid-thirties, and taken from him. The family, now including Heiner, born in 1937, moved to Berlin. In November 9-10, 1938, Ernst was arrested during the Kristallnacht pogrom. After his release, the family made arrangements to leave Germany. On May 13, 1939, Ernst, Charlotte, the two boys, and Ernst's mother Pauline sailed for Cuba on the Ms St. Louis. Cuban authorities refused entry to nearly all the 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. Ernst was deported to France and imprisoned in St. Cyprien and then Gurs internment camps. 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 camp, until Charlotte's sister in Switzerland managed to get them out of the camp and smuggled into Zurich. The war ended in May 1945 with Germany's surrender. Ernst and his family emigrated to the United States in 1946.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German
    Classification
    Art
    Category
    Children's art
    Physical Description
    Child’s crudely drawn pencil sketch of an imagined aerial battle. At the top, a plane on the left shoots at a plane on the right. A figure parachutes below the left plane. Below this is a semi-circular structure, perhaps a bunker. To the left is a long barreled cannon. In the center is a tiny falling plane. To the right is an oval shaped bomb with fins, plunging down above a plane, propellers aiming upward. Another plane dives down from the right towards the rising one. Near the bottom is an explosion, with dark lines extending in different directions. At the bottom center is an indistinctly outlined cityscape. It is signed and dated.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 6.875 inches (17.463 cm) | Width: 8.625 inches (21.908 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, graphite
    Inscription
    back, top right, pencil : Tounerge(?) 1944
    back, center, pencil : I Krieg / Krieg, saust durchs Land, / Die Welt liegt verbannt. / In manchen Nächten, / Ein Licht, blitzt auf, / Und bald liegt in Trümmemn ein Haus [1 War, War, rushes through the land, in some nights, a light flashes on, and soon a house lies in ruins]
    II Die Obdachlosen, sie irren umher, / Wo is ihr Haus ,ja in der Erd’. / Noch lang werden sie suchen / Bis ein neu Heim erscheint, / Dann ist das Böse vom Alten längst / verweint. [2 The homeless wander, Where is there house “yes it is in the Earth”. Still they will be searching for a new home to appear, that is the long weeping Evil from old.]

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Corporate Name
    St. Louis (Ship)

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The drawing was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2013 by Stephanie Vendig, wife of Fred Vendig.
    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:
    2023-06-02 09:15:40
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn526454

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