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Watercolor painting of people in line for lunch acquired by an American internee

Object | Accession Number: 2018.426.20

Watercolor painting of the dining room during lunch at Vittel internment camp in German-occupied France, originally owned by Gertrude Hamilton and eventually given to Leonie Roualet. Gertrude and Leonie became friends while interned together in Vittel. Both women were from the United States, but were living in France when Germany invaded in May 1940. Leonie was taking care of ailing relatives, while Gertrude worked as an ambulance driver for the American Hospital in Paris. In July 1941, Gertrude started working for the bureau for civilians set up by the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association), where she took care of civilians released from prison camps. On September 24, 1942, the Gestapo arrested Leonie as an enemy alien and sent her to a prison in Châlons. From there she was transferred to Frontstalag 194 in Vittel. She remained there for two years until the camp was liberated by Free French forces on September 12, 1944. Gertrude was also arrested in September 1942, and she lived in Vittel for two months before the YMCA secured permission for her release from the Germans. She was arrested again in September 1943, and sent back to Vittel for another six months. Following the liberation of Paris, Gertrude continued her work with the YMCA helping civilians released from prison camps, while Leonie worked for the Red Cross and helped establish the first displaced persons (DP) camp in Paris.

creation:  1943
creation: Vittel (Concentration camp); Vittel (France)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mark Roualet
Record last modified: 2023-08-25 13:00:30
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