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Print and explanatory page depicting the refugee committee from the Hollandia Regenerata series

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.371 a-b

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    Print and explanatory page depicting the refugee committee from the Hollandia Regenerata series


    Brief Narrative
    This etching of the Committee for Refugees is the twelfth in the twenty plate series, Hollandia Regenerata. The series was originally illustrated by Swiss soldier and caricaturist, David Hess, as a satirical commentary on the newly created, French-supported Batavian Republic. The images were refined and etched by James Gillray, and published in 1796, likely by Hannah Humphrey of London, England. In December 1792, the French Republic decreed that it would declare the sovereignty of the people in nations it helped liberate. The Batavian Republic (now the Netherlands) was one such country, formed in January 1795. Prior to the successful revolution, several failed attempts had forced former combatants, known as Batavians, to flee as refugees. After 1795, many of these refugees returned looking for assistance, military positions, and other advantages provided by the Committee for Refugees. The print’s explanatory text suggests that if they are not needed to serve the Roman god of war, Mars, they are experienced in serving the god of deception and trickery, Mercury. To reinforce the theme, the image is framed by a man identified as a thief on the right, and a Jewish man identified as a tailor and broker on the left. Due to religious strictures regulating clothing, it was common for Jewish communities to have their own tailors. Economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews also forced many into occupations such as money changing or money lending. This added to the antisemitic stereotype of the greedy Jew who exploits Gentiles for their own economic advantage. They were perceived as morally deficient and willing to engage in unethical business practices. The etching is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Het Committé van Uitgewekenen
    Alternate Title
    The Committee of Refugees
    Series Title
    Hollandia Regenerata
    publication/distribution:  1796
    publication: London (England)
    depiction: Netherlands
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    a. front, within image, upper left corner, printed, red ink: 12. [plate number 12]
    a. front, within image, upper left, banners along brick wall, printed, red ink: Capt.s PACK Lts PACK / Courage Militais [Captain’s pack Lieutenants pack / Military Courage]
    a. front, within image, left sign, printed, red ink: Nathan Levi / Uitdraager / en Kleermaaker. [Nathan Levi / Broker / and Tailor]
    a. front, within image, man being measured, jacket, printed, red ink : No. 25 [Number 25]
    a. front, within image, central figure’s sash, printed, red ink: Representant [Representative]
    a. front, within image, on paper, held by figures on the right, printed, red ink: Request
    a. front, within image, right sign, printed, red ink: Vaderlandsche / Societeÿt / Vry Wÿn en Moll [Patriotic / Society / Wine and Beer Free]
    a. front, within image, right, lower sign, printed, red ink: gebranndte / Waateren te Koop. [Brandy for sale.]
    a. front, below image, center, printed, red ink : HET COMMITTÉ VAN UITGEWEKENEN. [THE COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES.]

    b. front, top center, printed, black ink : 12. HET COMMITTÉ VAN UITGEWEEKENE. / Prov. xiii. 21. “Het quaedt zal de zondaers verfolgen.” [Plate 12. THE COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES / Proverbs 13:21 “The evil will pursue the sinners.”]
    b. front, center, printed, black ink : EXPL: / Les voila! ces martires de la liberté! ces heros, connus sous / le nom de Bataves, qui ont si bien merité de la patrie. Aussi / le Committé les habille et les comble de ses bienfaits. Admiréz / cette fierté républicaine dans le maintien de ces petitionnaires! / Ils sont prets à deffendre la patrie dans le sein de laquelle ils / viennent de rentrer. Leur courage et leurs talens sont à toute / epreuve. Si Mars n’a pas besoin de leur assistance, ils sont / d’avance accoutumés à server Mercure. / Note. La lanterne dans la poche d’un de ces officiers / Bataves tient à une anectodte véritable. Cet individu / vint à 11 heures de la nuit chez un sellier à la Haye, / pour l’engager d’acheter, à bas prix, deux lanternes / de carosse. Quoique l’heure incongrüe pourrait don- / ner quelque soupçon, la charité Chrétienne nous def- / fend de croire qu’il les avait volées. / Proverbs, xiii. 21. Evil pursueth sinners. [EXPLANATION: / Here they are! those martyrs of freedom! those heroes, known as / the Batavians, who deserved the homeland so well. Also / the Committee dresses them and fills them with its benefits. Admire / this republican pride in the maintenance of these petitioners! / They are ready to defend the homeland in which they / have just returned. Their courage and talents are unfailing. If Mars does not need their assistance, they are accustomed to serving Mercury. / Note. The lantern in the pocket of one of these officers / Batavians is a real anecdote. This individual / came at 11 o'clock in the night to a saddler in The Hague, / to hire him to buy, at low cost, two lanterns / carriage. Although the incongruous hour might give / some suspicion, Christian charity forbids- / us to believe that he stole them. / Proverbs, 13:21. Evil pursueth sinners.]
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Printer: James Gillray
    Artist: David Hess
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Etching (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    a. Print of an etching in red ink, and an explanatory text page (b), on tan paper, removed from a bound set. The image depicts a street scene with several men arranged between two storefronts identified by Flemish signs. On the left, a tailor’s shop with a proprietor that doubles as a broker, has several objects hanging on the wall including two military officers’ uniforms, a bag of “military courage,” and a mask. In front of the building, standing on the far left, is the tailor-broker: a Jewish man with a long coat, full beard, and large nose. He is measuring a young man wearing a tricorn hat and clogs. To their right, a rotund man in a sash holds a pair of breeches in one hand, and drops a coin into the outstretched hand of a man in the opposite group. Just behind him stands a man with his hands on his hips. The group on the right side of the image stands in front of a Dutch Patriotic Society that doubles as a liquor store, and has a liberty cap above the door. The man receiving the coin stands beside a man holding out a pamphlet titled “Request.” A similar document is visible under the arm of the uniformed man just behind him, with a carriage lamp in his back pocket. A fourth man, wearing a tricorn hat, stands to his right. The Dutch title is centered below the scene, and a plate number is printed in the top left corner. There are handwritten, pencil markings on the lower front and back center. The image is off-center on the page, which has irregular edges where it was cut from the binding and possibly trimmed. The edges are discolored, and there are small, brown and black spots throughout.

    b. Explanatory text for a print of an etching (a) printed on tan paper removed from a bound set. At the top of the page is the plate number followed by the Dutch title. Just below is a short Bible verse. In the center of the page are two blocks of French text printed in black ink; the upper one an explanatory paragraph describing the context of the print, and the lower one an additional note about a particular detail. Beneath the blocks, the Bible verse is reprinted in English. The edges of the paper are discolored and irregular where cut from the binding. There are several small, brown spots throughout.
    a: Height: 12.875 inches (32.703 cm) | Width: 9.875 inches (25.083 cm)
    b: Height: 12.750 inches (32.385 cm) | Width: 9.875 inches (25.083 cm)
    a : paper, ink, pencil
    b : paper, ink
    a. front, bottom left corner, pencil : 2
    a. back, left center, pencil : 1798

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    London (England) Netherlands.

    Administrative Notes

    The print was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:13:43
    This page:

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