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Caricature of a man seated with a paper by an inmate of Theresienstadt

Object | Accession Number: 2004.357.3

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    Caricature of a man seated with a paper by an inmate of Theresienstadt

    Overview

    Brief Narrative
    Ink line drawing of an apprehensive man sitting with a notice in his lap drawn by Annemarie Loewe Durra in 1944 when she and her husband Willi were interned at Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German occupied Czechoslovakia. Annemarie and Willi were deported from Breslau, Germany, on April 2, 1943. They were among the last remaining Jews in the city. Theresienstadt played a unique rule as a propaganda tool for the Germans. While by 1943, it was primarily a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killings centers in the east, the camp had an active cultural community. Annemarie, a professional cartoonist, continued to draw and Willi, who had been the choral director of the Breslau synagogue, directed a choir of inmates. On October 16, 1944, Willi was deported and murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau killing center. Annemarie was liberated on May 9, 1945, when the Soviet Army entered the camp, two days after Germany’s surrender. On August 9, she was transferred to Deggendorf displaced persons camp in Germany. 2004.357.1 has newspapers published in Deggendorf with illustrations by Annemarie; 2007.162.9 is a portrait she drew there. In February 1950, she emigrated to the United States.
    Artwork Title
    Worried Man on a Bench, Theresienstadt, 1944
    Date
    creation:  1944
    Geography
    creation: Theresienstadt (Concentration camp); Terezin (Ustecky kraj, Czech Republic)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Kathryn Sucher
    Signature
    front, lower right corner, black ink : ALoe / Durra / 44
    Contributor
    Subject: Annemarie Durra
    Artist: Annemarie Durra
    Biography
    Annemarie Loewe was born on June 23, 1909, in Breslau, Germany (Wroclaw, Poland), to Oskar and Margarete Kassel Loewe, and was Polish. Annemarie was a professional cartoonist. She sang in the choir at the Breslau Synagogue. She married the director of the choir, Wilhelm (Willi) Durra on January 7, 1941. Willi was born on December 7, 1882, in Brieg, Germany (Brzeg, Poland), to Benjamin and Minna Schlesinger Durra. This was his second marriage; he had three children with his first wife, who died in 1920 during the Spanish flu epidemic. Willi was an independent businessman.

    Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany on January 30, 1933. Anti-Jewish decrees were enacted to severely restrict Jewish participation in German society. In 1933, Breslau had a Jewish community of about 20,000, one of the largest in Germany. The main synagogue was destroyed by fire during the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938. The Jewish population now numbered only a little over 10,000. Those still in Breslau were in forced labor service. On April 2, 1943, Annemarie and Willi were deported on transport 57-IX/4 to Theresienstadt ghetto-labor camp in German occupied Czechoslovakia. The camp was primarily a collection center for deportations to ghettos and killings centers in the east, but Annemarie continued to draw and Willi directed a choir of inmates. On October 16, 1944, Willi was deported. Annemarie was liberated on May 9, 1945, when the Soviet Army entered the camp, two days after Germany’s surrender.

    On July 16, Annemarie was transferred to Deggendorf displaced persons camp in the American zone in Germany, arriving there on August 9. Other survivors from Theresienstadt were at the camp, and there was an active cultural community. Annemarie sang in some of the theatrical performances. She contributed illustrations to the Deggendorf Center Review, a newspaper issued by the Department of Culture of the Jewish Committee in the camp.

    Annemarie learned that Willi had been killed in fall 1944, not long after he arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Late in 1946, she filled out a US Army questionnaire about her status as a displaced person and expressed interest in emigration. On February 10, 1950, she boarded the USAT General J H McRae in the port of Bremerhaven and arrived in America on February 21. She settled near extended family in California. Several of her drawings from Theresienstadt and Deggendorf were included in books about the Holocaust published in the early 2000's. Annemarie, age 93, died on April 25, 2003, in Oakland, California.

    Physical Details

    Language
    Czech
    Classification
    Art
    Category
    Drawings
    Object Type
    Caricatures (aat)
    Physical Description
    Black ink line drawing on a rectangular section of repurposed, discolored brow paper depicting a caricature of a seated man holding a book in his lap. He is facing forward, but looking to the right and frowning. He is bald and wears a tilted military garrison cap with a blue chevron on the front and half-moon glasses. The jacket of his two piece suit is open, showing a collared shirt, a short, knotted tie with blue diagonal stripes, and a belt. The toes of his shoes are visible beneath the cuffs of his pants. The artist’s signature is to the right of the right shoe. On the back is part of a preprinted ledger in black ink with Czech text and numbers in blue colored pencil. There are remnants of blue construction paper adhered to the corners.
    Dimensions
    overall: Height: 10.625 inches (26.988 cm) | Width: 6.375 inches (16.192 cm)
    Materials
    overall : paper, ink, paint, colored pencil

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The caricature was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Kathryn Sucher, a cousin of Annemarie Durra.
    Record last modified:
    2024-01-26 11:00:25
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn86180

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