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Horst Rosenthal

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Petit guide sheet 2 (1942)

Horst Siegmund Rosenthal (born 19 August 1915 in Breslau; died September 1942 in Auschwitz concentration camp) was a German draughtsman who emigrated to France in July 1933. After several internments, he was deported to Auschwitz in 1942, where he was presumably murdered.[1] He became known for three illustrated booklets created in 1942, in which he satirically dealt with camp life in the Camp de Gurs. The best known is the first booklet – Mickey au camp de Gurs – in which he has the character Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney, interned in Gurs.

A cartoonist forgotten in Germany

On the website Lambiek Comiclopedia: Horst Rosenthal states, “Horst Rosenthal remains a mysterious person. There are no photographs or personal documents of him, other than his asylum papers. A report dated 20 May 1940 describes him as 1.70 meters long, brown-haired and -eyed, with a normal nose (…) and oval face’. The report also mentions that his left arm was paralyzed.”[2] But a few more data about him are now known after all, and they are mainly due to the research of Pnina Rosenberg[3] as Joël Kotek and Didier Pasamonik[4] in their new edition of Rosenthal’s comics:

“Despite three years of research throughout Europe, in the French camps (Horst went through nearly seven internment camps), and new internet resources, we have barely gotten beyond the groundbreaking research of Pnina Rosenberg. Sure, we have discovered two brothers of his and the reason why he had to flee his beloved Breslau as soon as possible (he was a member of the Reichsbanner, the self-defense militia of the Weimar Republic), but we have not managed to put a face on him despite the valuable help of the best archivists in Poland […] and France […] or in Switzerland […] and Israel. This absence of a photographic trace reinforces the horror of the Shoah. It testifies to the posthumous victory of the Nazis in destroying the face of the Jews forever.”[5][6]

There are no further works or personal documents from Rosenthal himself beyond the three booklets of caricatures produced in Gurs.

“Most of the information available today is based on documents produced by various administrative officials, as well as by the artist himself, in the course of the endless official procedures he had to undertake in order to be allowed to remain on French soil, and in the course of his subsequent internment. The documents are in the National Archives in Fontainebleau, as well as in the records of the Oloron sub-prefecture in the archives of the Departemnets Pyrenées-Atlantiques in Pau.”[7]

In Germany, Horst Rosenthal – in contrast to the French- or English-speaking world – is virtually unknown, which may ostensibly have to do with the fact that he wrote his three small works in French. In contrast, Pnina Rosenberg notes that these “comic booklets […] are today an integral part of the well-known iconographic testimonies about the French internment camps and the ‘undesirable foreigners’ imprisoned in them. Mickey Mouse, the character from American cartoons who was already very well known at the time, appears here in a satire of the hardships suffered by many refugees from the German Reich during the war.”[7] This was first brought to attention in Germany in more detail in 2017 by Jörn Wendland as part of his book Das Lager von Bild zu Bild and, moreover, in a 2018 workshop he co-organized at the FU Berlin.[8] A less scholarly approach to Rosenthal is owed to Christian Berkel, whose mother was interned in Gurs at the same time as Rosenthal; he created a small literary memorial to him in his autofictional novel The Apple Tree.

The short life of Horst Rosenthal

From Wroclaw to Paris

The parents of Horst and his twin brother Alfred, as well as another brother born in 1920, were the merchants Ernst Nathan and Frieda (née Zöllner).[9] According to the Memorial Book for the Victims of the Persecution of Jews under National Socialist T yranny, Frieda Rosenthal was born in Breslau on 6 April 1890.[10]

How involved the Rosenthal family was in Jewish life in Breslau is not known. Due to their home in a middle-class residential area, Rosenberg assumes that the family must have achieved a “certain prosperity”. The fact that Frieda Rosenthal was later still able to support her son Horst, who lived in France, with money supports this thesis of a “certain prosperity,[11] supports this thesis of a “certain prosperity” of the family, which, however, had to get along without the father, who had died at an early age.

Rosenberg spoke of Rosenthal, who was eighteen in 1933, having begun his university studies. Not much else survives about his Breslau years. In early July 1933, he left his hometown and moved to Paris.[11] There he gave as reasons for his entry into France that he had been a member of the SPD. Kotek & Pasamonik also wrote that Rosenthal had had to flee Breslau because he had been an active member of the Reichsbanner.[5] Clearly wrong, however, is the statement on the website memoriart33-45, where it says: “With his parents Horst Rosenthal fled to Paris in 1933. They live on the Rue de Clignancourt later on the Rue Richomme.”[12] These home addresses are correct for Horst Rosenthal, but unfortunately not the statements about his family. “Frieda Rosenthal is taken to the Riga Ghetto on January 13, 1942, at the age of fifty-two, and is murdered there.”[11] From Kotek & Pasamonik comes the supplementary note that she was shot on January 19, 1942.[5] In the Memorial Book for the Victims of the Persecution of Jews under National Socialist Tyranny, however, 19 January 1942 is noted as the deportation date; Frieda Rosenthal had started her last journey from Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Nothing is known about the fate of Horst Rosenthal’s brothers; Kotek & Pasamonik assume that they were also deported to Latvia.

The period up to the outbreak of the Second World War

As little is known about Rosenthal’s motives for choosing Paris as a place of escape as about his knowledge of the political situation in France. This country “did not welcome the refugees coming from Germany with open arms in the summer of 1933, nor with great confidence, but rather subjected them to scrupulous control and required them to submit to rigid official procedures.”[11]

Rosenthal soon had to experience all this for himself. He first received a visa for two months and for the time being found himself in a Paris refugee camp. Still from here, he applied for a permanent residence permit on November 17, 1933 – an application for asylum, as Rosenberg later specified. He soon found an apartment and received support from the Comité national de secours aux réfugiés allemands victimes de l’antisémitisme.[13]

The application for political asylum was rejected in the spring of 1934. The Paris Police Prefecture informed the Ministry of the Interior on 31 March 1934 that Rosenthal’s mother was not subject to any harassment in Breslau and that he could return there at any time. Consequently, this “foreigner should be asked to leave the country as soon as possible”.[14] Information was also obtained from the French consul in Dresden, who stated that Rosenthal was an “Israelite whom he saw “no reason whatsoever” to call a political refugee.[15] On August 9, 1934, Rosenthal’s expulsion was decreed.

The fact that none of this had any direct effect on Rosenthal is due to the fact that he was no longer within the jurisdiction of the Paris police prefect as of 1 March 1934. He was attending a trade school in Romans-sur-Isère in the department of Drôme, where he intended to train as a shoemaker in order to emigrate to Palestine.[16] Of course, the authorities found him there too, but the prefect there informed his superior authority that there were no complaints about Rosenthal and that he should therefore be given the opportunity to complete his training. Rosenthal also received support from other quarters and was thus able to achieve that he was granted a residence permit limited to the duration of his studies.[16] It is not clear whether he continued his education in Romans-sur-Isère or in Paris, as he had expressed the intention of studying at the Arts et métiers trade school there.[17]

In new proceedings, Rosenthal applied for a residence permit in December 1936, and with it recognition as a political refugee. He was presumably living in Paris again, but there is no concrete evidence of any activities he might have carried out there. On a form in connection with this requested residence permit he had stated “Profession and occupation: Draughtsman”,[15] but Rosenberg’s research revealed no evidence that he worked as a cartoonist, and whether, as the Lambiek Comiclopedia website states, “for most of the decade (…) he led a quiet life in the Rue de Clignancourt in Paris”[18] seems rather dubious, given the domestic political situation in France and the difficult social situation of most refugees living in Paris. Rosenberg also reports nothing about whether Rosenthal possessed a work permit at all.

Rosenthal’s further legal status is somewhat confusing. Wendland speaks of recognition as a political refugee in 1937,[19] while Rosenberg says nothing about the outcome of proceedings that had been ongoing since December 1936. The Lambiek Comiclopedia website says: “His application for political asylum was denied in March 1934, but finally granted in December 1936. His grant ran from July 1938 to June 1940.”[20] In a review of the Kotek & Pasamonik book edition, Bernard Marx writes: “Application for asylum in November 1933, rejection in March 1934, refugee status for the duration of studies in August 1934, application for recognition as a political refugee in December 1936, identity card valid until June 1940, received in July 1938.”[21] Rosenberg also speaks of Rosenthal having “applied for the so important identity document” in July 1938[16] and in a note also names the period of validity of the document issued in Paris: July 28, 1938, to July 15, 1940. As to the nature of the document, she writes: “It will in all probability have been an alien’s identity card, which foreigners over the age of fifteen must normally apply for within eight days of their arrival in a département if they wish to stay in France for more than two months – even without entering into employment. This document is issued after payment of a fee – occasionally free of charge – and after information has been obtained. It is usually valid for three years and also serves as a residence permit.”[22]

Rosenthal’s way to Gurs

Legally, then, Rosenthal’s status in France had apparently been secure for the time being since July 1938. But a good year later, with the outbreak of the Second World War, everything suddenly looked quite different. “With the declaration of war, Jewish and non-Jewish persons from Germany and Austria, mainly those who had fled the Nazi regime, were designated by the French government as ‘undesirables’ and taken to ‘collection camps’ hastily set up in various locations.”[16] This also affected Rosenthal, and he was taken to the Stade Olympique Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes, near Paris, on September 9, 1939. From here he was transferred to the Marolles camp in the Loir-et-Cher on September 19, 1939.[23] Rosenthal was lucky, he was classified there as hardly suspicious and was released on 29 November 1939.[24] He returned to Paris.

On May 10, 1940, the German Wehrmacht began its campaign against the West. On May 13, notices were posted in Paris..:

“German citizens, Saarlanders, Danzigers and foreigners of unclear nationality but of German origin, residing in the department of the Seine, must obey the following instructions […]: the men on 14 May 1940 [to] Buffalo Stadium; the women on 15 May 1940 [to the] Vélodrome d’Hiver.”[25]

Horst Rosenthal answered this call and went to Buffalo Stadium on May 14. At the end of May 1940, he was transferred to Dreux. The Alençon and Tence camps followed.[26] This odyssey ended for the time being on 28 October 1940 in Gurs.[24]

Interned in Gurs

What awaited Rosenthal in Gurs is summarized succinctly by Pnina Rosenberg:

“On Horst Rosenthal’s arrival in Gurs, the camp is completely overcrowded, many of the prisoners speak only German, and many are confined to a camp for the first time in their lives. Whole families suddenly find themselves behind barbed wire entanglements, without the necessary equipment, fearful, unprotected, and forced to wait idly.”[24]

Rosenthal spent almost two years in this environment, and in 1942 he caricatured everyday life in the camp with drawings and short texts. Beyond these caricatures, there are few clues about his life in the camp.

On 1 August 1941, presumably voluntarily, he became a member of the 182nd group of foreign workers (Groupement de travailleurs étrangesrs – GTE),[27] which was responsible for the upkeep of the camp.[28] This had been preceded by a positive assessment of his conduct in the camp by an inspector, and this provided Rosenthal with some advantages. The GTE members had to take care of the upkeep of the camp, but this came with some privileges for them: They could move freely between the individual camp blocks (îlots), received extra food, lived in a separate block, and were given 10 days’ camp leave. Horst Rosenthal was one of them. He was allowed to leave the camp for ten days in January 1942 and returned on January 17.[29] Rosenberg does not know where Rosenthal spent his camp leave, and it remains difficult to understand why Rosenthal did not use his leave to go into hiding.

Previously, Rosenthal had applied for release from the camp on 15 November 1941, but this was rejected in January 1942, after his return from leave. Nevertheless, such applications continued to follow, and he also applied for a new identity document, since the one he had received earlier (see above) had expired in the meantime. He did not achieve any success with this, and unlike Mickey at the end of the booklet Mickey au camp de Gurs, who, as a drawn figure, assumes the right to erase himself and disappear into the land of freedom, Rosenthal had to persevere in the camp and was once again transferred,[29] for Rosenberg, this symbolizes “the tragic discrepancy between the little comic hero and his creator.[30]

Saving the Rosenthal Comics

During Rosenthal’s internment in Gurs, the Swiss nurse Elsbeth Kasser worked there as a volunteer. She “recognized the importance of artistic creation as a survival strategy and spiritual resistance in the existentially threatening situation”[31] and helped camp inmates to deal with their situation artistically. “Out of gratitude, she was given many drawings and watercolors, some she bought from artists with the little money she had. To keep them safe, they were smuggled into Switzerland and are now looked after by the Elsbeth Kasser Foundation, kept in the Archives of Contemporary History at ETH Zurich.”[32] This is how Rosenthal’s Petite guide à travers le camp de Gurs came to be. (A little guide to the Gurs camp) came into Kasser’s possession and was saved by her.[33]

According to Pnina Rosenberg, the fact that Horst Rosenthal’s two other comics still survive is due to the brothers Leo Ansbacher and Max Ansbacher (1906-1999), who were also interned in Gurs[34] to thank.[33]

Deported to Auschwitz

Rosenthal’s stay in Gurs ended at the end of July 1942, and he was transferred to the Barcarès internment camp along with the 416 group of foreign workers to which he had been transferred. But after three weeks, the odyssey continued: in the course of a wave of arrests carried out by the Vichy regime for the Nazi state, he ended up in the Rivesaltes camp. Rosenberg writes about the background: “This transfer is part of the wave of arrests carried out by the Vichy regime for Nazi Germany in August 1942. It culminates in the great arrest action of August 26. By that date, about 10,000 Jews of foreign origin were arrested in the unoccupied zone and taken to the Drancy transit camp. Horst Rosenthal is one of them.”[30]

According to Pnina Rosenberg, Horst Rosenthal’s name was on the list of Deportation Train No. 31, which left Drancy on September 11, 1942, bound for Auschwitz. He was presumably murdered there shortly after arrival.[30] He had turned 27 a month earlier.

Horst Rosenthal’s camp comics

There are different opinions in the literature about what Rosenthal’s three booklets should be described as,[35] and they also do not correspond to the classic definition of comics, since they are not about the continuous representation of a story in a sequence of pictures and their combination with text. They are rather sequences of individual scenes, always as image-text combinations, which, however, combine to form an overall picture, the framework of which is the situation experienced by Rosenthal in the Camp de Gurs. Nothing is known about the intentions he pursued with the three booklets, whether they served him to process his fate artistically or whether he wanted to entertain other camp inmates with them. In all the booklets the texts are written in French, although there were thousands of Germans in the camp. Only once, in the last page of the Petit guide à travers le camp de Gurs, do German words appear, which are also the last words of this booklet, and they occur in connection with the camp’s theater group, in which, allegedly under the direction of its director Nathan, the same program had always been presented for a year and a half – but always under a new title. The play had shown the French in the camp what true Parisian esprit was, and then the last French sentence is followed by the final German sentence: “As they say in German: Schall und … Rauch!”

In Rosenthal’s work, too, the interplay of drawings and text is what makes the notebooks so appealing. The sources mentioned below (see: Works) make this tangible. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a closer look at his texts, for which there are only scattered German (partial) translations. They are full of linguistic wit and caricature everyday life in the camps just as impressively as the drawings. Rosenberg speaks of sarcasm as a subtle form of resistance that characterizes them.[36]

Mickey au camp de Gurs

Although all three issues date from 1942, it is generally agreed in the literature that the issue with the main character Mickey Mouse was the first to be drawn by Horst Rosenthal.[37] The presentation and discussion of Rosenthal’s work is predominantly limited to this issue, while the other two, in which Mickey Mouse no longer appears, tend to lead a shadowy existence in terms of reception history. This is probably thanks to this main character, who “came out in France […] as early as 1934 and […] was extremely popular with 450,000 copies per week and […] as the “voice of America” contributed considerably to the spread of American culture and lifestyle”.[38] For the illustrator Rosenthal it must therefore have been obvious to fall back on this character, whom he then also has praise the ideals of the French Revolution, liberty, equality, fraternity, at the end – in 1942 under German occupation and the collaborating Vichy regime, however, as American values. What is also captivating is how close Rosenthal’s Mickey figure is to the Disney original.

  • Sheet 1 (title page)
    The title page shows the front of a camp barracks against the background of a fence. In a round cut-out in the barrack drawing, the profile of Mickey appears in the view through to the first page of the booklet. Rosenthal’s sarcastic humor is already revealed on this cover in its inscription Published without the Authorization of Walt Disney (Publié sans Autorisation de Walt Disney). “In view of the almost complete elimination of any rights for the inmates at Gurs, this excuse for not considering copyright seems positively grotesque.”[39]
  • Sheet 2
    The drawing shows a happy Mickey striding along, enjoying his good life somewhere in France (“Ah, c’est la bonne vie!”). For him, however, it is not 1942, but “a day in year II of the national revolution” (“C’etait un jour de l’an II de la révolution nationale”). This is an allusion to the French Revolutionary Calendar, which had its starting point in the abolition of the monarchy and the beginning of the Republic. Now, however, Mickey lives in year II of the national revolution, which sealed the end of the republic and with it the validity of human rights.
  • Sheets 3 & 4
    The beautiful day ends abruptly with the appearance of a gendarme who asks Mickey for his papers. First there are linguistic complications, and then, when it turns out that Mickey has no papers and is also a foreigner, there are the nasty consequences of this encounter: arrest and transfer to Gurs.
  • Sheet 5
    The sheet is a montage with a postcard showing, as a shot from above, the endless rows of barracks at Gurs: “As far as the eye can see, […] hundreds of small dog kennels […] between which a teeming crowd was occupied with mysterious tasks” (“A perte de vue, des centaines des petites niches de chien étaient alignées, entre lesquelles une population grouillante était occupée à des mystèrieuses besognes.”)
  • Sheets 6 & 7
    Mickey has to endure the admission procedure in the camp. This scene “shows all the bureaucratic arbitrariness and absurdity of a situation, created by orders, regulations and laws, by which thousands of ‘undesirables’ are made outcasts.”[36] It begins (also drawn) with an official emerging from a mountain of paper, who, looking down on little Mickey, begins an interrogation.
Mickey (translation) Original text
After a few minutes of waiting
a head emerged from the pile.
– What’s your name? – asked the head.
– Mickey. –
– Your father’s name? –
– Walt Disney. –
– Your mother’s name? –
– My mother? I don’t have a mother! –
– How? You don’t have a mother?
You’re kidding me…!!!!! –
– No, really, I don’t have a mom!-
– Seriously! I know guys who had no fathers
but no mothers …
Let’s get on with it already. – Are you Jewish?
– Please? –
– I’m asking you if you’re Jewish !!! –
To my shame, I was completely clueless about this
.
– Did you make any illegal profits
? Did
you make any black market deals? Did
you plot against the security of the
state? Did
you make any subversive statements?
– !!!??!!??????????????????!!! —! –
– What nationality? –
– Uh… I was born in America,
but I’m international!-
– International! INTERNATIONAL!!!!!! So,
you’re commu…
And with a horrible grimace, the head disappeared into
his stack of papers.
Après quelques minutes d’attente, une
tète émergeait du tas.
– Votre nom? – demandait la tète.
– Mickey.-
– Le nom de votre père? –
– Walt Disney. –
– Le nom de votre mère? –
– Ma mère? Je n’ai pas de mère! –
– Comment? Vous n’avez pas de mère?
Vous vous F[ous]… de ma gueule!!! –
– Non, vraiment, je n’ai pas de mère!!-
– Sans blague! J’ai connu des types qui
n’avaient pas de pères, mais pas de mères …
Enfin, passons. – Vous êtes juif? –
– Plait-il? –
– Je vous demande si vous êtes juif !!! –
Honteusement, j’avouais ma complète
ignorance à ce sujet.
– Vous avez fait de la hausse illicite? Avez-
vous fait du
Marché noir? Est-ce que
vous avez comploté contre la sûreté de
l’Etat? Avez- vous tenu des propos
subversifs?
– !!!??!!??????????????????!! —! –
– Quelle nationalité? –
– Hay …. Je suis né en Amérique, mais je suis
international !!-
– International ! INTERNATIONAL !!! Alors,
vous êtes commu ………….
Et avec une grimasse horrible, la tête rentrait
dans son tas de papiers.
  • Sheet 8
    Mickey is taken to a camp block and then learns about a run-down shack as his future home. The drawing shows him standing helplessly in front of a run-down shack, with the door just hanging askew on its hinge. First contacts with his roommates are made, and ambiguous offers are made to him, about which he prefers to remain silent, because – in an ironic allusion to the original Mickey Mouse – “this is a book for children” (“…… mais comme c’est un livre pour enfants, je préfère me taire !!!”).
  • Page 9
    The distribution of the bread rations bursts into the first conversation with his roommates. The ritual of distribution remained incomprehensible to him, but not its outcome: ‘When I finally received my ration, it was difficult to see it with the naked eye’ (‘et quand, enfin, je recevais ma ration, il était difficile de la distinguerà l’oeil nu’). The drawing shows Mickey, with an oversized magnifying glass in front of his face, looking at a tiny lump of bread lying on the table in front of him.
  • Leaf 10
    Mickey is attracted by a disgusting smell and encounters a man preparing soup on a small stove outside. When the man tells Mickey the ingredients for the soup, Mickey takes to his heels.
  • Leaf 11
    Mickey meets a companion who invites him to visit “the chickens” (“on va voir les poules?”). Mickey doesn’t get that this means a visit to the women’s block, but the excursion soon ends at a guard post anyway, where Mickey is asked for his credentials. (Mickey in front of the guard post at the fence gate is the graphic representation) Now believing he needs authorization to visit the chickens, he decides for himself to end this excursion.
  • Leaf 12
    Mickey meets a man who is trying his hand at gardening on a palm-sized piece of earth. Mickey ironically asks him if he too has returned to the land, but the man doesn’t understand the innuendo and replies, wide-eyed, that he has never left the land after all.
  • Sheet 13
    The picture shows a man in a suit and hat walking in front of the picture, who seems to be looking for something. Mickey stands aside and asks a companion what this is all about. The man, he says, is a police inspector disguised as a guest who is supposed to be fighting the black market in the camp. But the other day, he says, someone managed to sell him an overpriced pack of tobacco that he can no longer find. He is always looking for it.
  • Sheet 14
    The picture shows a man sitting at a table, his head buzzing from reading the many letters in front of him. This is Mickey’s encounter with “Monsieur Censure”, the censor. The latter is the man “who receives most of the letters,” even those “that are not for him” and which he reads anyway (“C’est un Monsieur Censure. Il lui arrive aussi de recevoir des lettres qui ne sont pas pour lui. Il les lit qunad même.”). Mickey is indignant.
    The text then segues to Mickey’s encounter with the ever-smoking most important and powerful man in the camp, the volcano man (“On l’appelle également l’homme volcan.”)
  • Sheet 15
    This Vulcan man, a fat man without a face but with a cigarette in his mouth, wears a suit and struts around in front of a barrack with a sign above the door that reads “Administration” (“Gestion”) – an indication that the Vulcan man is the camp director. Mickey tells of the rumor that it is this man’s wish to own a chest instead of his belly, a portable fortress even, in which this man could store his cigarettes. “But these are vile lies spread by subversive spirits, and every worthy Frenchman worthy of the name tramples them underfoot …” (“Mais ce sont là des meusonger abomirables, qui sont propagéer par des esprits subversifs et chaque Français digue de ce nom les repousse du pied …”)
  • Sheet 16
    Mickey has had enough of Gurs.
Mickey (translation) Original text
So really, the air
in the Pyrenees didn’t suit me
at all anymore. Since I
am only a caricature, I
simply erased myself with an eraser …..
And….. hop……… !!!
The gendarmes are welcome to come
pick me up, in the land
of F[reiheit], G[leichheit]
and B[rüderlichkeit].
(I’m talking about America!)
Mais, décidément, l’air des
Pyrénées ne me convenait plus
du tout. Alors, comme je ne suis
qu’un dessin animé, je m’
effaçais d’un coup de gomme …
Et … hop … !!
Les gendarmes peuvent toujours
venir pour me chercher, au pays
de la L…é, de l’E….é
et de la F…..é
(Je parle de l’Amerique!)

For Pnina Rosenberg, this last leaf of Rosenthal’s Mickey au camp de Gurs makes it possible to experience all the tragedy that manifests itself so seemingly wittily in the step of liberation via eraser:

“This last step painfully illustrates the tragic discrepancy between the fictional comic hero and his creator. Horst Rosenthal used graphic creation to fight against the reality of the barbed wire fences, giving expression to the thoughts of escape and the desire for freedom of all those trapped in the camps. Behind the drawing of Mickey Mouse, who masters all obstacles thanks to his inventiveness, appears the whole cruel truth of persecution: only a fictional character can manage to escape it with the help of an eraser.[30]

Petit guide à travers le camp de Gurs

As mentioned above, it is only acknowledged that the Mickey issue is the first of Rosenthal’s Gurs comics. There is no firm evidence about the order of the other two. What distinguishes the Little Guide to Camp Gurs from the other two is initially only formal: it comes from the estate of Elsbeth Kassert and not from the estate of the Ansbach brothers. In terms of content, the two Mickey successors have one thing in common: they have to do without the titular figure of the first booklet. In the Little Guide, there is only a sporadic character that establishes a connection across the individual sheets; it was reminiscent of the character of Tintin from Hergé s comic series Tintin, and only appears consistently in La Journée d’un hébergé. Nevertheless, the Little Guide is an ironic and sarcastic description of the Gurs camp in the style of a travel brochure consisting of 13 pages, including the title page and back cover.

  • Sheet 1 (title page)
    Once again a camp barrack can be seen, but this time with a front drawn as a happy, laughing face. In the foreground on the left a small piece of fence can be seen, from which, however, nothing threatening seems to emanate, and in the background a green forest greets us against the backdrop of the Pyrenees. On the right is the figure reminiscent of Tintin (red sweater, grey trousers and a beret on his head) who, with arms outstretched, seems to be praising the beauty of this tourist gem in the style of a guide.
  • Sheet 2
    The drawing shows a couple in travel clothes and with suitcases, standing under a station clock, looking at a poster. On it, under the heading “Visit Gurs”, a completely different image of the camp is drawn than on the title page. Two barracks can be seen standing deep in water, through which someone is wading, the water reaching up to his knees. Then the poster inscription: “If you want to lose weight / Go to Gurs! / Renowned cuisine! // For all information / please contact / your police station!” (“Si vous voule maigrir / Allez à Gurs! / Sa cuisine Renommée ! // Pour tous les renseignements, / adressez-vous à votre gendarmerie!”).
    The accompanying text then alludes to the posters that have supposedly been displayed everywhere for some time and defines the purpose of the brochure as wanting to satisfy the public’s curiosity about this enticing holiday destination.
  • Sheet 3
    In front of the image of a barrack, an elderly man with a long white beard lectures. The side of his lectern facing the audience bears the inscription “The teacher is a donkey” (“Le Prof est un Âne”). What he has to say, after a “scientific” introduction, harkens back to camp conditions that had already been thematized in the Mickey booklet.
Little guides (translation) Original text
First some biological details about the natives,
called “guests”. The guest, in Latin “homo pyrénensis”, lives
in the southern regions of France. He feeds on turnips,
Jerusalem artichokes, pumpkins and grey tobacco (when available!). He
dwells in curious dwellings, “camps,” where males
and females are strictly segregated. This is to prevent their
multiplication, which is monstrous. As the guests are of no
public use, their breeding is not recommended to people who are
willing to increase their income …
D’abord, quelques précisions d’ordre biologique sur les indigènes,
appelés “Hébergés”. L’hébergé, en latin “homo pyrénensis”, vit
dans les régions méridionales de la France. Il se nourrit de navets,
de topinambours, de citrouilles et de tabac gris (s’il en trouve!). Il
loge dans de curieuses habitations, des “camps”, à l’intérieur
desquels mâles et femelles sont rigoureusement séparés. Ceci
pour empêcher leur reproduction qui est prodigieuse. As the
hébergés ne sont d’aucune utilité publique, le élevage n’est
guère recommandé aux personnes désireuses d’augmenter leurs revenus……
  • Sheet 4
    Here the chief of the camp is introduced in words and pictures, although from behind, but nevertheless in the manner already familiar from the Mickey booklet: As a man in a suit and a hat (as a sign of his dignity) he is on his way to leave the camp, the exit of which is symbolized by a closed turnpike and a guardhouse standing next to it, in front of which a uniformed guard is standing. In front of the barrack, and even more so in the background, there is a lot of green. The director himself is characterized as a gentle and not cruel man.
  • Sheet 5
    In front of a sick barrack surrounded by green lawn, a person in a “glittering uniform” (“L’uniforme si brillant …”) (wrapped in a green poncho and wearing a green beret) and a “martial demeanor” (“l’allure sie martiale”) strides forward: a member of the 182nd G.T.E. (see above), to which Rosenthal himself belonged. Winking, the G.T.E. members are described as types who cause much chaos in female hearts, but there are also many sick and unsuitable people among them, and their black market skills are remarkable.
  • Sheet 6
    A man, a ghost, a rat. They find themselves next to a shack and under the crescent moon. The purpose of their nightly meeting: black market transactions.
  • Sheet 7
    But the guards are on their guard. The fleeing ghost can be seen, pursued by an inspector dressed as a ghost.
  • Sheet 8
    The person resembling Tim can be seen approaching the latrine, dripping with sweat. Caption: “Oh, those turnips!” (“Ah, les navets!”)
  • Sheet 9
    The camp is under water, even a fish is swimming around. In the middle of it all, a radio reporter, also standing in the water, announces for a fictional radio station, “Here are the latest falsities of the day !!!” (“Voici les dernières Fausses nou velles de la journée !!”)
  • Sheet 10
    The drawing is marked by a large censor’s stamp, and the reporter, present only in the text, announcing “sensational revelations” (“des révélations sensationelles”), is slowed down by a censor who disagrees. “She cuts mercilessly, and you are left only to admire the beautiful colors above.” (“Elle coupe impitoyablement et il ne vous reste plus qu’admirer les belles couleurs ci-dessus.”)
  • Sheet 11
    A couple passes by with a baby carriage containing three babies. Above the barracks and the mountains in the background a red evening sky, and the comforting message:
Little guides (translation) Original text
Despite everything, love does not lose its rights. To the appeal of the government to raise
the birth rate, the residents of the camp responded: IMMEDIATELY!
They kept their word.
Despite everything, love does not lose its rights. To the appeal of the
government in favour of nationality, the camp’s hostellers responded: PRÉSENT!
Ils ont tenu parole.
  • Sheet 12
    A man is seen speaking to the audience from a stage. The text warns against thinking that it is boring here, because there is, after all, a theatre group. Then follows the short passage of text already quoted above, with its allusion to true Parisian esprit, ending with the only words in German: “Wie man auf Deutsch sagt (Comme on dit en allemand) : Schall und….Rauch!”
  • Sheet 13
    Fin / Ende, and in addition the signature of Horst Rosenthal.

<span class=”mw-headline” id=”La_Journée_d’un_hébergé”>La Journée d’un hébergé

Like the Little Guide to Camp Gurs, the booklet about the daily routine of a guest is addressed to a fictitious external person interested in camp life, to whom it is to be explained. The little guest whose daily routine is to be portrayed has already appeared in the Little Guide (red top, grey or brown trousers, resembling Hergé’s Tintin), and other characters are also present in the same way in both booklets.

  • Sheet 1 (title page)
    The title page here is relatively simple in design. The arrangement of the title words is the essential design element; they are superimposed on a clock showing a time just before 2pm.
  • Leaf 2
    There is no drawing, and the text begins like a fairy tale (“Once upon a time, long, long ago, there was a little guest.” / “Il était une fois un petit hébergé.”), as if the narrator wants to give the impression that what he wants to tell about is already behind him. He introduces himself as “no special guest, he had no rank or function. He was not even the head of the barracks.” (“Ce n’était pas un super-hébergé, il n’avait aucun grade et aucune fonction. Il n’était même pas chef de baraque.”). For those who want to know more, turn the page.
  • Sheet 3
    The drawing shows the protagonist lying in a comfortable bed with neat bedding. In front of the bed, which stands in a barrack, a man is scooping a liquid from a bucket-like container into a bowl attached to the bed.
    The irony already conveyed by the bed is taken to extremes by the text: “8 o’clock in the morning! Time for the shepherd! The management takes care of its customers and has coffee brought to the bed (but not “with milk”).” (“8h du matin! L’heure du (é) Berger! La Direction soigne ses clients et fait apporter le café au lit (mais pas “au lait”).”)
  • Sheet 4
    The picture shows the little guest with naked upper body at the morning toilet at an outdoor washing trough. In the background: the mountains.
  • Sheet 5
    This is followed by the passage to the toilet, an open wooden shed over barrels for excrement. The depiction of this toilet is the almost mirror image of the latrine in image 8 in the Little Guide. Four exclamation marks replace the text.
  • Sheet 6
    The little guest is standing with two other guests behind a barrack on a grassy area. One is wearing shorts, the other a suit and beret. It seems idyllic, and even what the text adds only refers to different mentalities of the guests, who, however, do not seem to have any profound conflicts among themselves.
Daily routine (translation) Original text
Nothing like a little
political discussion. Some
always move forward
and others win every
battle. This way
everyone is happy.
Rien ne vaut une petite
discussion politique. Les
uns avancent toujours et
les autres gagnent toutes les
batailles. Comme cela,
tout le monde est content.
  • Leaf 7
    Then the little guest has to go to the post office. He is expecting a parcel, but is anxious because he fears they might not deliver it to him.
  • Leaf 8
    But beaming, he returns from the mail shack: “Everything went well.” (“tout a bien marché”)
  • Page 9
    Noon, the little guest sits on his bed and “enjoys […] his turnip soup in silence” (“le petit hébergé déguste sa soupe aux navets en silence”). But above him, in a speech bubble, his true thoughts are drawn: the dream of a roast and a glass of red wine (according to the text: old Burgundy).
  • Sheet 10
    “After Soup Comes Duty. Prelude for the afternoon……..” (“Après la soupe vient la corvée. Prélude pour l’après-midi…”) The drawing shows the littleGast and three other men sitting around a mountain of potatoes, peeling them.
  • Sheet 11
    In the background the blue mountains, in front of it a barrack and the fence. The little guest sits at a table in the courtyard and writes. The text describes him as an optimist who is writing his 517th application for release – a direct parallel to Rosenthal, who has written countless such letters himself. But whether the writing of these applications is optimism or occupational therapy in an almost hopeless situation (Rosenthal’s applications for release had been rejected) is an open question, because the addressees are, according to the picture text, the director, the prefect, the barracks chief, the Red Cross and also “the Under-Secretariat for the recycling of scrap metal” (“au sous-secrétariat d’Etat pour la récupération de la vieille ferraille”).
  • Sheet 12
    The little man stands somewhat perplexed in front of the censor’s barrack. The door sign reads “Censure” and shows a large pair of scissors underneath.
    He is excited, for he had been ordered to appear with all his identification papers. Why, he does not know, but he believes he may have a clear conscience. “He sent no letters to Aunt Lechem and Uncle Roof.” (“Il n’a pas adressé de lettres à la tante Lechem et à l’oncle Roof.”) This sentence is puzzling as to Aunt Lechem and Uncle Roof. Lechem in Hebrew stands for bread or food in general. Thus, it could be meant that the little guest wanted to say that he never begged for food in writing, which might have displeased the censor. Uncle Roof could stand for the (unspoken) wish for a better dwelling.
    The story ends peacefully, however; the censor was only interested in the stamp on a letter just arrived from Chile, which he would like to have, and “relieved, the little guest graciously agrees.” (“Soulagé, le petit hébergé l’accorde gracieusement.”)
  • Leaf 13
    The little guest listens to the news presumably coming from the ether (symbolized by a man reading from a leaf and speaking in circles formed by ether waves). But these messages are contradictory.
Daily routine (translation) Original text
Ah, here’s the information.
The Russians are out of troops
and the Germans are out of ammo?
Perfect. RAF
flew over New York and Gandhi
proclaimed insurrection in Yokohama?
Very good! Churchill made a speech
on the occasion of the arrival in London of a delegation
of Liberian contrabassists,
in which he declared, among other things: the war
will be over in 1953. There is hope!
Ah, voici les informations.
Les Russes n’ont plus de troupes
et les Allemands n’ont plus de
munitions? Parfait. La R.A.F. a
survolé New-York et Gandhi a
déclaré la révolte à Yokohama?
Très bien! Churchill a prononcé
une allocution à l’occasion de
l’arrivée à Londres d’une délégation
des joueurs de contrebasse de Libéria,
du cours de laquelle il a déclaré notamment :
la guerre sera finie en 1953. Y a de l’espoir!
  • Sheet 13
    The little guest is standing in front of a pot standing on the ground, from which steam rises steeply upwards, forming a large question mark at head height. It is six o’clock, dinner time. But after lunch was still clearly recognizable as beet soup, the futile question now arises, “what could the chef have put in the boiling water” (“On se demande (en vain, d’ailleurs) ce que le chef de cuisine a bien pu mettre dans l’eau bouillante.”)
  • Leaf 14
    A black area, from which only the little guest’s head protrudes, symbolizes the night and thus the opportunity for black market transactions. Because of the persistent hunger, he has purchased a pound of beans, but “due to our usual discretion and in order not to compromise anyone” (“Par suite de notre discrétion habituelle et pour ne pas compromettre personne …”) the name of the seller and the price remain undisclosed.
  • Leaf 15
    Closely embraced, the little guest and his blond companion (who is strikingly similar to the woman pushing the pram in picture 11 from the Little Guide; however, she had a different companion there) stride between two fences towards an evening sky crowned by a crescent moon.
    The text says that this is the time of outbursts, but also of lovers, and the little guest, thanks to a forged ticket, has made it to the women’s block, where he can walk with “the chosen one of his heart […], a young girl (!) […] who has 3 children in Brussels and whose husband has disappeared without leaving an address”. (“Le petit hébergé se promène jusqu’à minuit avec l’élue de son coeur, une petite jeune Fille (!) de l’îlot L, qui a 3 enfants à Bruxelles et dont le mari à disparu sans laisser d’adresse.”)
  • Sheet 16
    As at the beginning, the little man lies again in his bed standing freely in the room. With a kind of night prayer he says goodbye.
Daily routine (translation) Original text
Little man, it’s time to sleep !
Sleep, little guest, sleep, dream well !
Dream of your imminent deliverance, dream what you will eat tomorrow against
your hunger.
But before you go to sleep,
don’t forget to thank
the Home Secretary,
who sent you here,
and the manager of this hotel
for his continual care.
And thank the good guards,
for protecting you while you sleep.
So be it!
Petit homme, c’est l’heure de faire dodo!
Dors, petit hébergé, dors, Fais de jolis rêves !
rêves de ta libération prochaine, rêves, que tu
mangeras à ta Faim, demain.
Mais avant de t’endormir,
n’oublies pas de remercier
M. Le ministre de l’Intérieur
qu’il t’a envoyé ici,
et M. Le Directeur
de cet hôtel pour ses soins
incessants. Et remercie les bons gardiens
qu’ils te protègent pendant ton sommeil.
Ainsi soit il !
  • Sheet 17
    Fin / Ende, and in addition the signature of Horst Rosenthal.

Pnina Rosenberg considers the Little Guest (she translates the word hébergé as hostel guest) to be Horst Rosenthal’s drawn alter ego. He hides “not only behind the soul life of this fictional character, but also behind her figure, thus making her his mouthpiece against the Vichy regime. In depicting the absurdity of the situation, he exposes administrative lies and bureaucratic malfeasance as well as the hypocrisy of the official terms used to describe the camps, such as ‘reception centre’ or ‘hostel’. Given the sarcastic tone Rosenthal strikes, this terminology evokes a smile, albeit a bitter one, when it is used to describe a scene in which the character or internee lives as an ‘overnight guest’ at the expense of the Ministry of the Interior.”[40]

Reception history

Pnina Rosenberg’s interpretation of the three comics in the context of Rosenthal’s immediate camp experiences, expressed in the previous quotation, is clearly different from many other receptions. She gives the impression that Rosenthal’s person is always in the foreground, the person of a young man who tries to describe his situation ironically and sarcastically using his own means and thus also to come to terms with it for himself. Referring to the booklets Mickey au camp de Gurs and La Journée d’un hébergé, she states, “The humorous cartoon-like images, together with the naïve, amusing, and ‘childlike’ texts, stand in sharp contrast to the harsh reality of the camp and thus reinforce the criticism that lies behind them. In an ironic twist of history, Rosenthal’s Mickey Mouse can be seen as a precursor to Art Spiegelman’s Mouse, but tragically Rosenthal did not live to see his artistic legacy.”[41]

In referencing Spiegelman, however, Rosenberg also opens the door to a broad meta-discussion of the significance of Rosenthal’s drawings in the history and tradition of comics. This discussion, which mostly focuses on Mickey au camp de Gurs, explores the questions of what influence Walt Disney had on Rosenthal, whether Rosenthal’s drawings meet the formal criteria of a comic, whether they are political caricatures, and how at all they are to be defined conceptually.[42] The mouse as a symbolic figure is also up for discussion, and it has been suggested that Rosenthal’s recourse to Mickey was the positive use of a rodent against the dehumanization of Jews in Nazi propaganda, in which they were referred to as rats and vermin.[43] Morgan’s final verdict: “Ultimately, Rosenthal’s use of fantastical techniques enables him to use a point of view that would otherwise be unavailable to him, especially in a space as small as a thirteen-part comic. Mickey is able to embody the conditions of both the Jewish prisoner and the American outsider, while at the same time being an intrinsically metatextual being and thus able to interact with the text and situation in ways unattainable for a realistic protagonist. This allows Rosenthal broad avenues of criticism and darkly comic parody that give Micky à Gurs a unique feel and meaning, even compared to his other work, let alone the work of other contemporary chroniclers of life in the concentration camp.”[44]

Apart from the fact that the Camp de Gurs, for all the horrors that prevailed there, cannot be equated with a concentration camp, it remains questionable to what extent such interpretations have a sustainable basis. However, it is to their credit that Horst Rosenthal and his drawings have been saved from oblivion, at least in the academic environment – more so in English- and French-speaking countries, less so in German-speaking countries.

Works

  • Joël Kotek & Didier Pasamonik: Mickey à Gurs. Les carnets de dessins de Horst Rosenthal. Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 2014, ISBN 978-2-7021-4385-8. The book is an annotated new edition of the three works by Horst Rosenthal:

Literature

  • Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey Mouse in Gurs – humour, irony and criticism in works of art produced in the Gurs internment camp. In: Rethinking History: The Journal of Theory and Practice, Volume 6, 2002 – Issue 3, pp. 273-292. The essay was published online in 2010 under the title [doi:10.1080/13642520210164508 Mickey Mouse in Gurs – humour, irony and criticism in works of art produced in the Gurs internment camp], but is only accessible for a fee.
  • Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/Das Waisenkind Micky Maus, oder: das kurze Leben des Horst Rosenthal’, in: Anne Grynberg; Johanna Linsler (eds . ): L’ irréparable: itinéraires d’artistes et d’amateurs d’art juifs, réfugiés du “Troisième Reich” en France/Irreparable: Lebenswege jüdischer Künstlerinnen, Künstler und Kunstkenner auf der Flucht aus dem “Dritten Reich” in Frankreich, Veröffentlichungen der Koordinierungsstelle Magdeburg, Magdeburg, 2013, ISBN 978-3-9811367-6-0, pp. 349 ff. (French version) resp. 368 ff. (German version).
  • Glyn Morgan, Speaking the Unspeakable and Seeing the Unseeable. The Role of Fantastika in Visualising the Holocaust, or, More Than Just Maus, Lancaster University, no date.
  • Jörn Wendland: The Camp from Picture to Picture. Narrative Picture Series of Prisoners from Nazi Forced Camps. Böhlau Verlag, Cologne/Weimar/Vienna, 2017, ISBN 978-3-412-50581-3.
  • Christian Berkel: The Apple Tree. Ullstein, Berlin, 2018, ISBN 978-3-550-08196-5. Berkel uses the example of his mother in several chapters of his novel to describe life in the Gurs camp and pays tribute to the caricatured depictions of camp life in the comics by Horst Rosenthal.

Web links

Individual references

  1. As his deportation took place on 11 September 1942, this date is often given as his date of death; the exact time and cause of death are unknown.
  2. “Horst Rosenthal remains a mysterious person. There are no photographs or personal documents of him available, other than his asylum papers. A report written down on 20 May 1940 describes him as being ‘1.70 metres in length, brown-haired and -eyed, with a normal nose (…) and oval face.’ The report also mentions that his left arm was paralyzed.”
  3. USHMM: Professional Background of Pnina Rosenberg
  4. About Didier Pasamonik exists so far only one article in the French WIKIPEDIA: fr:Didier Pasamonik
  5. a b c Joël Kotek & Didier Pasamonik: Mickey à Gurs. This and all other quotations from this book are taken from its introduction, which can be viewed on amazon.fr.
  6. “En dépit de trois années de recherches aux quatre coins de l’Europe, de la France des camps (Horst passa par près de sept camps d’internement) et des ressources nouvelles de l’Internet, n’avons guère pu aller au-dela de la recherche pionnière de Pnina Rosen. Certes, nous lui avons découvert deux frères et la raison pour laquelle il dut fuir au plus vite sa chère Breslau (il militait au sein de la Reichsbanner, la milice d’autodéfense de la République de Weimar), mais nous n’avons pas réussi à lui donner un visage malgré l’aide précieuse des meilleurs archivistes en Pologne […] comme en France […], ou encore en Suisse […] et en Israël […]. Cette absence de trace photographique ajoute à l’horreur de la Shoah. Elle témoigne de la victoire posthume des nazis à effacer à jamais le visage des Juifs.”
  7. a b Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/Das Waisenkind Micky Maus. The Fontainebleau site of the French National Archives is also moved to Pierrefitte-sur-Seine by 1920.(Removal from Fontainebleau. Transfert des fonds d’archives de Fontainebleau à Pierrefitte-sur-Seine)
  8. Gesa Ufer: The Holocaust in Comics. In sharp contrast to the reality in the camps, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, 26 October 2018.
  9. Jörn Wendland: The camp from picture to picture. S. 205–206.
  10. The Memorial Book of the Federal Archives for the Victims of the National Socialist Persecution of Jews in Germany (1933-1945)
  11. a b c d Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 370–371.
  12. memoriart33-45 (see web links)
  13. On the history and mission of this aid committee for German refugees and victims of anti-Semitism, see: Anne Grynberg: L’accueil des réfugiés d’Europe centrale en France (1933-1939), and there especially the subsection L’attitude des milieux juifs français.
  14. Letter from the prefect of police, quoted from Pnina Rosenberg : Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/Das Waisenkind Micky Maus. S. 371.
  15. a b Quoted in Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/Das Waisenkind Micky Maus. S. 372.
  16. a b c d Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 372–373.
  17. It is not possible to ascertain whether the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers was meant.
  18. Lambiek Comiclopedia: “Throughout most of the decade Rosenthal led a quiet life in the Rue de Clignancourt in Paris.”
  19. Jörn Wendland: The camp from picture to picture. S. 206.
  20. “His request for political asylum was denied in March 1934, but eventually granted in December 1936. His license ran from July 1938 until June 1940.”
  21. Bernard Marx: Mickey à Gurs. S. 1.
  22. Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. P. 382, note 36
  23. Bernard Marx: Mickey à Gurs. Rosenberg cites October 11 for this, but this cannot be correct in the sequence of dates she cites.
  24. a b c Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 374–375.
  25. Quoted from Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The Orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 374.
  26. This list of camps follows the account of Pnina Rosenberg. Another source also mentions camps at Damigny (L’Orne) and Saint-Cyprien. (memoriart33-45: Artists persecuted and killed during National Socialism (1933-1945)) Since Alençon is also in the Orne department, the camp there could also be identical to the camp in Damigny.
  27. Rosenberg speaks in this context of both the Groupement de travailleurs étrangesrs and the Groupement de travailleurs Espagnols.
  28. There is no article about the foreign workers’ groups in the German-language Wikipedia, and the one in the French-language one is not very informative (see: fr:Groupement de travailleurs étrangers). The tasks of the foreign workers’ groups are described in somewhat more detail in connection with the Camp de Rivesaltes: Memorial Forum: Brief overview of the camp history of Camp de Rivesaltes
  29. a b Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 376–377.
  30. a b c d Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 378.
  31. Painting behind barbed wire. An exhibition at the Museum im Lagerhaus St.Gallen, January 2016.
  32. Flyer for the exhibition “Die von Gurs” – Art from the Internment Camp of the Elsbeth Kasser Collection in the Museum im Lagerhaus St.Gallen
  33. a b Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 379.
  34. There is very little information about Max Ansbacher. However, the fact that he came to France from Belgium, as Rosenberg reports, is substantiated, among other things, by the memoirs of Juliane Schramm. According to this, he lived together with his wife Bella Petach Tikva in 1985. Juliane Schramm:Stories and texts, from our grandma Juliane from the last century:Friday, Oct. 18, 1985. in: heiermann.de. June 7, 2019, retrieved 30 December 2019.
  35. Jörn Wendland: The camp from picture to picture. S. 98.
  36. a b Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 376.
  37. In the English WIKIPEDIA there is even a separate article dedicated to this booklet: Mickey au Camp de Gurs.
  38. Jörn Wendland: The camp from picture to picture. S. 97.
  39. Jörn Wendland: The camp from picture to picture. S. 95.
  40. Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey orphelin: la courte vie de Horst Rosenthal/The Orphan Mickey Mouse. S. 380.
  41. Pnina Rosenberg: Mickey Mouse in Gurs – humour, irony and criticism in works of art produced in the Gurs internment camp(Abstract). “The humorous cartoon-like images, together with the naïve, amusing and ‘childish’ texts, stand in sharp contrast to the harsh reality of the camp, thus enhancing the criticism which lies behind them. In an ironical twist of history, Rosenthal’s Mickey Mouse can be seen as the forerunner of Art Spiegelman’s Maus, but, tragically, Rosenthal did not survive to witness his artistic legacy.”
  42. All these questions are discussed by Wendland. There also the literature on which he relies.
  43. Glyn Morgan: Speaking the Unspeakable and Seeing the Unseeable. There is another broad discussion of interpretations of Rosenthal’s work. A good overview is also offered by the already mentioned WIKIPEDIA article Mickey au Camp de Gurs.
  44. Glyn Morgan: Speaking the Unspeakable and Seeing the Unseeable. “Ultimately, by employing fantastic techniques, Rosenthal is able to exploit a view-point which would otherwise be unavailable to him, especially in so small a space as a thirteen panel comic. Mickey is able to embody both the states of the Jewish inmate and the American outsider, simultaneously he is an intrinsically metatextual being and thus able to interact with the text and the situation in a manner unobtainable to a realist protagonist. This allows Rosenthal avenues of critique and darkly-comic parody which give Micky à Gurs a unique feel and importance, even amongst his other work, let alone the work of other contemporary chroniclers of life in a concentration camp.”