Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Henri Pieck

Henri Christiaan Pieck (1895 – 1972) was a Dutch architect, painter and graphic artist.
During the 1930s, Pieck operated as an agent for Soviet intelligence under the name Ignace Reiss. During this time he cultivated friendship with several British Foreign Office clerks, including Captain John H King, who handed over to Pieck many telegrams, code books and other Foreign Office correspondence.
After being arrested on 9 June 1941 for resistance activities, Pieck spent the rest of World War II in German custody, first in the “Oranjehotel” (a detention center used at the beginning of the war by the Dutch as a POW camp that was later taken over by the Germans), after which he was deported to Buchenwald via the Nazi transit camp Amersfoort.
At the Oranje Hotel, Pieck made ​​drawings of the guards, who in return  offered him small favours, such as leaving his cell door open. In the Buchenwald concentration camp, Pieck makes sketches of the cruel slavery of the prisoners, which he further elaborated after his release. His works show several Basque berets, as well as the striped “beret” that was part of the inmates uniform.
After the war, Henri Pieck was questioned extensively by the Dutch National Security Agency about his contacts with the Soviet Union and Communists in the concentration camps. 

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