Made in Gurs

Alongside written accounts from Gurs, many drawings also have been passed on which give insight into the daily life of the camp from the perspective of the inmates.

Eva Liebhold, born in Mannheim in 1921, recorded her Memories of Camp de Gurs in her sketchbook. The drawings exclusively depict women in everyday situations of the camp: on the way to the lavatory (Hochburg, literally “the stronghold”), hanging up laundry, retrieving coffee, standing in line for food or bread, women working on trench duty or in the washroom.

In the sketchbook there is also a picture of a delivery van leaving the camp, with the caption: “What we long for: the barrier opens and we are free!” This yearning would never be realised. Eva Liebhold was deported with her mother, first to Drancy and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau where she was murdered.

Further drawings of prisoners are contained in the collection of the Swiss nurse Elsbeth Kasser who worked in Gurs at the time.

© Mémorial de la Shoah, DS_O_3771
Mickey au camp de Gurs, Horst Rosenthal, 1942

With a skilful hand and a decent portion of sarcasm, Horst Rosenthal, who had fled to France in 1933 and been held in Gurs from 1940, designed the comic strip Mickey au camp de Gurs (Mickey in Gurs camp). He was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau in September 1944, where he was murdered.