Holocaust monument artist dead at 88

Artist Ralph Prins died at the age of 88 yesterday. One of his best known works is the design for National Monument Kamp Westerbork, which was unveiled by Queen Juliana in 1970.

The work in the former transit camp for Jews, Sinti and Roma in World War II, shows tracks that go up at the end as a sign of desperation and ruin. Prins, Jewish himself, also spent time in the camp. Prince also desinged war memorials for Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Barneveld, Borne, Coevorden, Gouda and Strijen. His designs, portraits and posters are included in collections of, among others, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Hague Municipal Museum, Jewish Historical Museum and the Netherlands Photo Museum in Rotterdam. Prins was a photographer, graphic designer, painter and sketcher.

Prins, who was born in Amsterdam, was deported to Westerbork in 1943, and later to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. With pen and brush he made the lettering on cases of those who were sent to Auschwitz and made portrait sketches of anyone who asked. By the end of the war he was involved in an exchange of prisoners and ended up in Switzerland. There he attended an art school. Back in the Netherlands he studied at the Academy of Art in The Hague. From 1966 to 1986 he taught at the Art Academy Minerva in Groningen.