The Uniform of Shame and Pride, as felt by a 16-year old in 1941

Museum Work

Resource TypeStill Images
Date of Creation1941
GenreArts & Culture
Object ID2012.009.006
CreatorGerry Waldston
Place of CreationSherbrooke, Quebec
Place of Creation NoteInternment camp 42, also known as Camp N
DescriptionPainting is an invitation to the internees' "arts and crafts exhibition" in December 1941. It depicts an artist's model wearing a blue-and-red camp uniform looking towards the horizon. 
Materials/Techniqueswatercolour on paper
Measurements20.32 x 27.94 cm
InscriptionsSigned and dated by the artist
ProvenanceGifted to the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in 2012 by Gerry Waldston 
Classificationwatercolors (paintings)
Legal Statuspermanent collection
Note"When I was an art student in Berlin, I studied the movements and positions of the human body by means of a wooden puppet. It seemed to me that this puppet represented the typical internee. Dressed in the mandated uniform with a red circle on the back and red stripes on the pant legs, it could be manipulated into any position and stay within the barbed wire fence. The large red circle was designed to offer an easy bull's eye of an escapee, while I looked that this shameful symbol with a certain pride of belonging to this wonderful group of men. When our classification as "Enemy Aliens" became invalid, we were actually forbidden to wear the red dot uniform which made me sad to lose that sign of distinction." -- Gerry Waldstein, artist #794 Group 10