Id no. 118.97, Artwork, German
Czech artist Leo Haas was deported to the Terezin Ghetto in 1942, where he and other artists worked for the Nazis and also secretly created drawings and sketches based on their own experiences of ghetto life. In June 1944, some of these clandestine drawings were smuggled out of Terezin, and discovered by the Nazis. They arrested Haas and other artists (Ferdinand Bloch, Bedrich Fritta, and Otto Ungar) and brutally interrogated them in the Small Fortress prison to discover who created the ?atrocity art.? Refusing to talk, all four men and other artists were deported to Auschwitz. Bloch and Fritta did not survive, while Ungar was sent to Buchenwald and Hass to Sachsenhausen, where he was forced to work as a counterfeiter. After the war (1946 ? 1964) Haas used his sketches to produce prints such as this one. This black and white print entitled ?Double Holds Better? (in German, ?Doppelt Haelt Besser?) shows the hanging of two prisoners on a gallows in the ghetto. Several Nazis stand in the foreground, one smoking, one laughing, and one holding a noose in his hands and pointing an accusatory finger. Haas later commented that ?The quality of the hemp left something to be desired, so the commander of Terezin always arrived with a replacement rope in his pocket.?