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Self portrait by George Byfield given to an Australian solicitor

Object | Accession Number: 2016.77.1 a-b

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    Brief Narrative
    Self portrait by Gyorgy Beifeld (George Byfield) given as a gift to H.W. (Peter) Tebbutt, an Australian solicitor. Beifeld was deported from Budapest, Hungary, in March 1944 to Auschwitz concentration camp. He was later transferred to Dachau where he was liberated by American troops of the 7th Army on April 19, 1945.
    Artwork Title
    Self Portrait, Gyorgy Beifeld, 1945
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Estate of H.W. (Peter) Tebbutt
    a : upper left corner
    Artist: George Byfield
    Subject: George Byfield
    Gyorgy Beifeld (born Gyorgy Beamter, later George Byfield, 1902-1982) was born in Budapest, Hungary, on April 4, 1902 to Wilhelm and Hermine Hacker Beamter. His father was killed in 1917 while serving in the army during World War I. Gyorgy attended university and was trained as a lawyer, but earned his living as a stockbroker in Budapest. He was also an accomplished artist and was fluent in Hungarian, English, French, and German.

    On April 1, 1942, Gyorgy was conscripted into the Hungarian Labor Service (Munkaszolgalat) and sent to a camp in Pomac, Hungary. Gyorgy began painting immediately after his induction, creating watercolors of the base camp in Hungary where the company was initially stationed. On April 20, 1942, Gyorgy's company departed by train for the Russian front in Orel. Their duties included building fortifications, transporting ammunition, constructing bridges and roads, laying mines, burying the dead, and carrying away the wounded. During this time, he made a visual record of his experiences, creating over 400 drawings and watercolors. He was wounded on August 28, 1943 at Prilutskiy. At the end of 1943, Gyorgy was sent home to Budapest.

    On May 12, 1944, Gyorgy was arrested and held in a camp in Velence near Budapest for six months. He was assigned prisoner number 27990. On December 25, he was deported to Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany and worked as a draughtsman. In January 1945, he was transferred to Offenburg. In April, he was sent on a death march to Dachau concentration camp. The camp was liberated by the United States 7th Army on April 29, 1945.

    Gyorgy returned to Budapest then immigrated to Australia in 1948. Following his move to Australia, he changed his name to George Byfield and opened a tobacconist shop with his wife. He later ran a successful interior design studio.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Self-portraits (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    a. Self-portrait in tempera and watercolor on paper with collage element (cap) with the artist wearing military uniform; garrison cap painted on separate piece of paper and adhered on to original image; partial date, artist's initials and "Vienna" in upper left corner.
    b. Square frame made of pressed wood and stained a dark brown
    a: Height: 14.750 inches (37.465 cm) | Width: 11.000 inches (27.94 cm)
    b: Height: 15.625 inches (39.688 cm) | Width: 15.625 inches (39.688 cm) | Depth: 1.000 inches (2.54 cm)
    overall : paper, tempera, watercolor, adhesive
    b : wood, stain
    a : upper left corner

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The painting was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by David Tebbutt, Jenny Tebbutt, and Lynda Tebbutt on behalf of the Estate of their father, Harold Wheen (Peter) Tebbutt.
    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:
    2024-01-09 13:18:33
    This page:

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