January 2, 2019
January 2, 2019

Ernest BIRO


Andres Biro worked for an insurance company in Budapest. His son Ernest studied drawing at the School of Fine-Arts and later asserted himself as a caricaturist. He painted the portrait of powerful men of his time, which he signed with his nickname Biri-Biri. Ernest Biro traveled to Greece and to the Balkan countries before going to Paris in 1932. There, people called him the “Charming Bohemian.” He often visited Geneva and the League of Nations assemblies in order to paint the pictures of diplomats. His drawings were published in the French and Hungarian press.

During World War II, he was involved in the struggle against Nazism and produced libertarian tracts. On November 22, 1943, he was arrested by the Gestapo and was interned in Drancy. On December 7, 1943, he was deported on convoy 64. He was murdered in Auschwitz.

Stories of Jewish Artists of the School of Paris 1905-1939


Capitale des arts, le Paris des années 1905-1939 attire les artistes du monde entier. De cette période de foisonnement, un terme est resté, celui d'Ecole de Paris, qui recouvre une grande diversité d'expression artistique. Dans ce brassage dont Montparnasse est le creuset, un groupe se distingue : celui des artistes juifs venus de Russie, de Pologne et d'Europe centrale. Si leurs styles sont variés, un destin commun les rassemble : ils fuient l'antisémitisme de leur pays d'origine. Certains ont connu la célébrité dès les années 1920, tels Soutine, Lipchitz ou Chagall. D'autres n'ont pas eu le temps ou la chance d'y accéder. Près de la moitié a péri dans les camps de concentration nazis.

From 1905 to 1939, Paris attracted artists from all over the globe as the capital of the art world. This period of artistic proliferation became known as the School of Paris, and includes a great diversity of artistic expression. Within the teeming art world centred on Montparnasse, one group set itself apart: Jewish artists from Russia, Poland, and Central Europe. Although their styles were diverse, they shared the common fate of fleeing anti-Semitic persecutions in their home countries. Some became famous in the 1920s, such as Soutine, Lipchitz, and Chagall, while others did not have the time or the luck to gain renown. Nearly half of these artists died in Nazi concentration camps.