76 Years Ago Today… William Sharp’s Smuggled Sketchbook…

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PM, October 21, 1940 (Drawings by William Sharp, photos by Alan Fiasher)

SMUGGLED SKETCHBOOK
The Nazi Terror
On the next four pages, PM presents the first in a series of pictures smuggled from Germany in the early days of Hitler’s reign.
They were drawn by William Sharp, now an American artist…”

William Sharp:
“Born Leon Schleifer in Lemberg, Austria (now part of Ukraine), [on June 13, 1900], Sharp studied fine art in Austria and Poland before finishing his studies at the University in Berlin in 1918. After serving briefly in the German army at the end of World War I, he stayed on in Berlin and worked as a book illustrator, painter, etcher, and lithographer… In the late 1920s, as Adolph Hitler’s National Socialist Party grew, Sharp, under various pseudonyms, drew political cartoons satirizing the party and its leader in the anti-Nazi press. After being threatened with imprisonment by the Nazis in 1933, Schleifer and his wife Ruth fled the country and arrived in New York the following year. In 1940, Schleifer became a United States citizen and changed his name to William Sharp. The Sharps settled in Forest Hills and stayed in the same apartment until William’s death in 1961 and Ruth’s in 2002.” Queens Museum website

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