Henri Christiaan Pieck (1895-1972)- Buchenwald

Buchenwald / Pieck, Henri (Drawings by); Prof. R. P. Cleveringa (Preface by). Den Haag (The Hague): "Het Centrum" ND (ca 1945-46). First edition. Softcover. Folio (13 1/2 x 8 1/4"). 32pp. Original illustrated paper portfolio. Photo-illustrated title page. A collection of 24 drawings (including covers) by Henri Pieck, a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, depicting the atrocities and dreadful conditions in the Nazi death camp. Six of the twenty-four drawings are double-page, and all are signed and dated in the plate. Some age-toning, sporadic creasing and tiny chipping along edges of portfolio. Pages slightly and evenly age-toned. Text in Dutch and English. About the artist: Henri Christiaan Pieck (1895-1972) was born in Den Helder, Netherlands. He had a twin brother Anton. Both brothers would have successful careers as artists. Henri’s talent was recognized early, and he began drawings lessons while a young boy. In 1912, he moved to Amsterdam where he joined the Communist Party in 1914. Pieck became a painter, with a special interest in portraits of dancers and scenes of working class life. He was also a commercial artist and illustrator. By 1920, he was receiving major commissions, such as a series of paintings for the Scala Theater in The Hague. In May 1940, Germany occupied the Netherlands. They installed a civil administration under the control of the SS, staffed chiefly by German and Austrian born Nazis. As a member of the Communist underground, Henri Pieck helped produce the journal De Vonk. He was arrested by the Germans on June 9, 1941, for resistance activities. He was interned in Scheveningen prison and the German police transit camp Amersfoort. In April 1942, Pieck was deported to the Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. His artistic talent gave him some protection in the camp and he did portraits and other drawings and paintings for the SS guards. Pieck was part of the Dutch section of the International Camp Committee, and they provided him with materials to record the atrocities and dreadful conditions in the camp.

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