Studio portrait of the Eisenstab family.
Photograph | Photograph Number: 66662
- Variant Locale
- Photo Designation
JEWISH LIFE IN NAZI AUSTRIA -- Daily Life/Portraits/Street Scenes
- Photo Credit
- United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, courtesy of Paul Peter and Lucie Porges
Studio portrait of the Eisenstab family.
From left to right are Elfi, Jetty, Lucie and Eisig Eisenstab.
- Paul Peter Porges and Lucie Eisenstab Porges were born within three months of each other in the same maternity hospital in Vienna, Austria. Paul Peter Porges (known as PPP), is the son of Gustav Porges and Jenny (Jeanette) Wagschal Porges. Gustav Porges (b. Scheibbs, Austria on April 28,1892) was the son of a department store owner, Adolf Porges. Born in Scheibbs in Lower Austria, Adolf was a veteran of World War I. Jenny was born on November 11, 1900 in Cernauti, Romania. Gustav and Jenny owned a grocery store in the Rudolfsheim district of Vienna. Paul Peter was born on February 7th, 1927, and his older brother Kurt was born in 1920. When Paul was still young, Gustav decided to develop his artistic talents and enrolled him in a children's art class at the local art college. The family's situation changed markedly following the Nazi take-over of Austria in March 1938. Hitler Youth attacked Paul Peter on the way to and from school and customers stopped shopping in his parent's store. Gustav's brothers managed to escape to Palestine, but he felt he could not leave Austria since he felt responsible for the care of his mother and his disabled brother, as well as his sisters-in-law and their children.
On March 15, 1939 Paul left Vienna on a Kindertransport to France. He lived in La Guette, a children's home sponsored by the Rothschild family, for a little more than a year. After the German invasion of France in May 1940, the children were evacuated to La Bourboule, in central France. Paul Peter was sent to Nice to attend high school in the summer of 1940, and he also spent some time with a distant relative in St. Etienne. Using forged papers, he joined the French Fascist youth movement in order to travel with them to the south of France. After a failed attempt to escape to Spain, he returned to St. Etienne in early 1941. From there, Paul Peter attempted to escape to Switzerland in October 1942, but he was arrested and taken to the Rivesaltes internment camp. He escaped from the camp and with the help of a Jewish organization attempted a second escape to Switzerland. In late 1942, a smuggler took him and 15 other juveniles across the border. The Swiss authorities sent all of them back to France with the exception of PPP as he was the only one under sixteen. Paul Peter resumed his art studies in Switzerland, where he met Lucie Eisenstab.
Lucie Eisenstab was born in Vienna on November 23rd, 1926. She has a sister Elfi, four years younger. Her father, Eisiq Eisenstab (b. 1896, in Drohobycz), sold textiles and window dressings. Lucie's mother, Jetty Rosner (b. 1898, Dorna Watra, Bukovina) was the daughter of a lumber merchant and had five siblings. Lucie's parents had moved to Vienna during the World War I. Her grandparents also came to Vienna, and Lucie visited them frequently, particularly her mother's parents. Her maternal grandmother left Vienna to join her sons in Palestine. In November 1938, during Kristallnacht, Eisiq was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. After a few weeks, he was released on the condition that he would leave the country. The family took a train to Cologne and from there crossed the border into Belgium together with a group of 16 or 17 people. They arrived in Brussels in reduced economic circumstances; Lucie's parents sewed slippers to make more money. After the Nazi invasion of Western Europe in 1940, the family fled to southern France only to have the French police intern Lucie's father in Saint Cyprien as an enemy alien. Lucie, then only thirteen years old, went to the camp to help secure her father's release. Soon after, the family was placed in Brens, another camp, but after a few months they escaped to Lyon and went into hiding. Lucie earned money painting scarves. After the start of the round-ups in 1942, Lucie's family escaped to Switzerland. They arrived in Geneva on Rosh Hashanah and stayed in the Eriswil refugee camp. Her paternal grandparents both died in the Holocaust.
While Paul was in France, his parents remained in Vienna, until they were deported to Theresienstadt. His older brother Kurt managed to come to the United States via England and served with the American army. After Paul Peter's parents were liberated from Theresienstadt, Paul reunited with his mother on the Swiss-Austrian border. Owing to his army service, Kurt obtained a preferential visa for his parents, and they immigrated to the United States. The rest of his extended family perished.
Lucie had been awarded a scholarship by an American committee to study art in Geneva. From 1945 to 1948, she studied fashion, illustration, and drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts. Paul Peter and Lucie met in a modeling class. He had to leave for the US in 1947 because he had acquired a visa which he was obligated to use. Lucie continued studying until 1948 and then moved to Paris to work as a fashion illustrator for a fashion house. While Lucie was in Paris, Paul lived with his parents in New York, with the exception of four or five months spent traveling the country with the Ringling Brothers circus. He hoped to return to Europe to marry Lucie, but meanwhile was drafted. He was stationed in Georgia and began drawing cartoons for the army. In 1951, Lucie moved to New York, and she and Paul married in July 1951 while he was on furlough. Lucie worked with the Pauline Trigère fashion house into the 1990's. After his discharge from the army, Paul Peter attended the Cartooning and Illustrator School on the GI Bill. He has sold his cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post, Mad Magazine, and The New Yorker.
- Photo Source
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Copyright: United States Holocaust Memorial MuseumProvenance: Paul Peter and Lucie Porges
Record last modified: 2005-04-22 00:00:00
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/pa1156120