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Internee-made carved wooden head

Date made: 1940

Description: Small carved wooden head, in the form of a troll or other mythical monster. Appears to have once had a lower jaw which has broken off. The original purpose is unclear though a hole in the neck suggests it was intended to be mounted on something, a walking stick perhaps. Carved by donor's father Hans Schwarz whilst interned on the Isle of Man during the Second World War.

Schwarz was born in Vienna, Austria. After fleeing Nazi persecution as a Jew, in 1940 he was working for Cadbury's in Birmingham. After arrest he was sent to a transit camp at York Racecourse, then to Huyton. Finally he arrived at Peveril Camp, Peel, where it is stated that he crossed paths with another artist, Kurt Schwitters. Schwarz's Alien Registration book shows that he was released from Peveril Camp 13 January 1941.

There were many celebrated modern artists interned on the Isle of Man during the Second World War, they were forced to flee Nazi Germany as the regime suppressed so called ‘degenerate’ art. Jewish artists were doubly vulnerable. Manx National Heritage have an internationally significant collection of works created in the internment camps, with many of those artists going on to have high profile careers after the war.

Materials: wood

Object name: carving

Collection: Social History Collection

ID Number: 2021-0009



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