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Franz Monjau

30/1/1903 (Cologne, German Reich) – 28/2/1945 (Ohrdruf concentration camp)

Private photo of Franz Monjau sitting, resting his arms on his legs.
Franz Monjau (1903-1945) in the Monjaus' apartment, Leopoldstraße, Düsseldorf, 1933.

Franz Monjau was born in Cologne on 30 January 1903. After receiving private tuition he studied at the art academy in Düsseldorf from 1922. As a painter he was a member of the Rheinische Sezession from 1916 onwards, and took an active role in art education.

On 2 June 1933 Monjau was arrested and held for a week by the Gestapo. In September 1933 he was banned from painting, exhibiting and teaching, both as a non-Aryan and because of his contacts with communists. He taught drawing at the Jewish school in Düsseldorf from 1936 to 1938, and at various Jewish schools in Berlin from 1938 to late 1941. Using a false name he carried out commissions for advertising posters. In 1939 he retrained as a draughtsman and was conscripted to work in that occupation. His artistic works and the greater part of his studio in Düsseldorf were destroyed in a bombing raid on 12 June 1943. In October 1944 he was arrested for "refusing to give the Hitler salute" and imprisoned in the Gestapo prison at Ratingen. In mid January 1945 Franz Monjau was transferred to Buchenwald Concentration Camp and later taken to Ohrdruf (S III) subcamp, where he died on 28 February 1945.

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