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Black and white linocut print of the Compiègne internment camp created by Jacques Gotko

Object | Accession Number: 2018.337.2

Linocut print of a yard in the Compiègne internment camp in German-occupied France created by artist Jacques Gotko in 1942. The print was acquired by George Waldman, who was held in Compiègne from December 1941 to July 1943. George, Betsy, and their teenage son, John, were American citizens who lived in Paris to manage their paper import-export business. In response to the German invasion of Poland, France declared war on Germany on September 3, 1939. In May of 1940, Germany invaded and quickly defeated France, occupying the northern half of the country. In 1941, the Germans began rounding up foreign born Jewish residents. Gotko, a native of the Soviet Union, was arrested in Paris in July 1941 and detained in Compiègne internment camp. In the camp Gotko painted watercolors, drew pencil sketches, and created linocuts of life in the camp and sent his earnings from portrait commissions to his wife. On December 12, 1941, a day after Germany declared war on the United States, George Waldman was arrested and detained at Compiègne as an enemy alien and later joined his wife and son in Vittel internment camp. In 1942, the Germans began to deport foreign born Jews to concentration camps in the east. In September, Gotko was transferred to Drancy internment and transit camp where he was reunited with his mother and sister. In November, his mother and sister were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in German-occupied Poland. On July 18, 1943, Gotko was deported to Auschwitz, given prisoner number 130612, and was selected for forced labor. Gotko died of typhus on January 2, 1944, in Auschwitz.

Title
Stalag 122 Compiegne
Alternate Title
Main Camp 122 Compiegne
Date
1942 January-1942 September  (creation)
Geography
depiction : Compiegne (Concentration camp); Compiegne (France)
Language
French
German
Classification
Art
Category
Prints
Object Type
Prints (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Prints.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum collection, gift of Deborah Pearson and Janet Waldman
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Record last modified: 2019-02-11 06:58:58
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn619220