I’m using this pattern here … and it’s much easier than I thought it would be. Labyrinthos is a website I found very helpful in figuring out how to do this project.
to press (a thing) into or on something.
to produce (a mark, figure, etc.) by pressure; stamp; imprint:
to apply with pressure, so as to leave a mark.
I love art journals. Or, rather, I love the idea of art journals. I’ve never been able to keep one. I get a few pages in and mess up a page or look back and want to change things around. But I need a place to put sketches and ideas … So, this is a flexible art journal that can be added to and changed at any time.
The covers of this journal are made of 1/8 inch thick, double sided masonite. I like this as a foundation for small paintings and it’s thin enough to work for covers, about the same thickness as book board and very smooth and sturdy. I’ve cut two pieces of this to approximately 5 x 7 in and drilled three holes in both to fit rings.
I covered most of the masonite with a thin coat of light modeling paste. This will hold impressions made with stamps or anything else. The depth of the stamp will determine how thick the modeling paste should be.
After letting this dry for about fifteen minutes or so, until it was just starting to harden on the surface, I used rubber and metal stamps dipped in water to stamp into the paste. Here, I’ve made this a quite subtle effect. But any stamp or any size can be used and thicker or thinner layers of paste.
Once dry, I sanded the impressed modeling paste and painted a few thin washes of magenta and turquoise, masking off the stripes with tape.
On a small, stretched canvas, the effect is more obvious because I’ve used larger stamps and a thicker layer of paste. The technique is the same … I used a palette knife to put on a thin coat of modeling paste (which will also act as a resist), allowed it to dry for fifteen minutes or so, then used stamps dipped in water.
Here’s a bit of what I was able to learn about Heinz so far …
Heinz Wertheim was born in Bremke, Germany, on June 26th 1921. He was a shoemaker and married Ruth Zeilnziger. They were deported together to the transit camp, Westerbork, near Assen, in the Netherlands.
Heinz and Ruth had a baby, Paul Freidrich, who was born in Westerbork on May 6, 1943. The postcard is dated May 5th, but was postmarked on May 8th. I imagine it likely that the money he was sending the thank you note for was sent to Heinz to help with the baby.
Baby Paul died six weeks later, on Heinz’ 22nd birthday.
Paul Friedrich Wertheim died on 26 June 1943 in Westerbork transit camp and he was cremated on 28 June 1943. The urn with his ashes was placed on the Jewish cemetry in Diemen on field U, row 10, grave nr. 6.
Register van joden die in het kamp Westerbork zijn gecremeerd, 1943-1944; archief van de gemeente Westerbork, opgenomen in het archief van de gemeente Midden-Drenthe te Beilen, inv. n 3789
The Community Joods Monument site also has two photos of Heinz.
This is what he looked like …
Nationaal Archief, Rijksvreemdelingendienst, inv. nr. 891
Copyright: Yad Vashem, Jeruzalem
From Westerbork, Heinz and Ruth were sent together to Auschwitz in 1943. Heinz went on to Monowitz, a subcamp of Auschwitz which provided slave labor to the IG Farben company.
Heinz died at Monowitz, December 3, 1943.
Despite the extremely unusual last/maiden name (I could find only one Ruth Wertheim in the US), and that the two women have similar birth dates, are from Germany, went through Westerbork, and survived the Holocaust, they are not the same people.
One of my next options is to contact Yad Vashem. I’m pretty sure the right way to look is to Israel, which is where the records say Ruth emigrated in the late 1940s.
As well, the family of the other woman is also being very helpful (after all, they share a somewhat unique last name with Heinz’s wife). I’ll be talking with them further and may find out more. It’s actually been quite a powerful experience to be able to hear some of this other family’s experience. Theirs is also a story of magnificent loss, survival, and triumph.
I just wanted to give an update. Things are rarely as simple or cut and dried as we would like, and certainly to locate someone 65 years later may not be easy. I will continue to look for Ruth and/or any of her relatives or descendants, or any relatives of Heinz.
And the story continues …
I emailed back and forth with a very helpful researcher from Westerbork, who couldn’t find any record of a Henry Wertheim … so I sent a copy of the postcard, and it turns out that the first name on the card is actually Heinz.
They were able to tell me that Heinz Wertheim was a shoemaker apprentice who was born on June 26th, 1921 in Bremke, Germany. He married a Dutch girl named, Ruth Sara*, and they lived in the Netherlands and were sent together to Westerbork. They were so young. He would have been 22 and and she just 21.
In Westerbork, on May 6, 1943, they had a baby and named him Paul Freidrich.
The baby died six weeks later.
I just noticed that the postcard was written on May 5th 1943, the day before the baby was born, and postmarked May 8th, two days after. Perhaps they got money from someone outside Westerbork because they were expecting a baby (the postcard said, “Many thanks for the money you sent.”) … and I imagine Heinz wrote the card on the 5th, then was busy with the new baby and didn’t get a chance to mail the card until the 8th.
Shortly after the baby died, on September 14, 1943, Heinz and Ruth were sent together to Auschwitz.
Heinz died at Monowitz, which was a labor camp at Auschwitz, on December 12, 1944, after surviving there for more than a year. He was 23. His wife, Ruth, survived Auschwitz and was sent to Ravensbruck and then Malchow, a subcamp of Ravensbruck. She survived the death marches from Ravensbruck before being liberated in Neustadt.
“I have a suitcase full of these cards,” the dealer said.