This portrait of Peggy Roberts, painted in Auschwitz in 1942 hangs in my front room.
I was captured in Belgium in June 1940 and sent to Stalag VIIIB (Lamsdorf) in Poland. As a private, I was sent out of the camp on working parties. Some of these provided opportunities for temporary escape, but not the one in 1942, when I was sent for five months to Auschwitz, working in the machine shop. I always carried with me a photograph of Peggy, then my girlfriend, and the portrait was painted from this photograph by a Jewish prisoner, one of a group of artists, supplied with oil paints to make copies of looted paintings for the Nazis.
The painting spent the rest of the war rolled up and fixed around my waist with sticking plaster. It survived my escape from the Lamsdorf "Death March" my recapture in Prague and subsequent six months in the Gestapo prison in Terezin.
In 1945 I returned to England and to Peggy. We married in 1945 and in 2005 celebrated our Diamond Wedding Anniversary.
For me the painting sums up both my hopes of getting back to Peggy and the indomitability of the human spirit of the Jewish artist who created the painting for me.