Sigismond SIGUR-WITTMANN

BUDAPEST 1910 – BELFORT (FRANCE) 1944

Sigismond Sigur-Wittmann’s parents divorced when he was a child. He was raised by his grandmother, who was very poor. His precocious talent enabled him to earn some money. He drew landscapes and figures with chalk on the pavements of Budapest and worked in a glass factory. His dream was to study at the School of Fine Arts. He worked as an acrobat at a circus and earned enough money to make his dream come true. He studied under Karoly Rethy at the School of Fine Arts in Budapest. In 1930, he studied at Karl Hoffer’s academy in Berlin.

In 1933, as Hitler came to power, he was an activist against Nazism and produced posters against the “black plague,” which he distributed from city to city. In 1939, he arrived in Paris and continued to paint. He took part in the Salon des Indépendants. When the war was declared, he enlisted in the French army. He was discharged from service in Marseille and traveled to Pau. He was arrested by the pro-Franco police in the Pyrenees, imprisoned at the Pamplona prison, and later interned in the Tiranda camp. He was freed ten months later and left for North Africa. In Casablanca, he joined the Free French Forces. He worked on the decoration of several synagogues in Tunis and in Italy. In 1944, he was parachuted into France with the American army. In November 22, 1944, he was shot and died in Belfort.