This painting is a commission piece based on an old family photograph that belongs to a good friend of mine, Jim Rosenthal. This particular photo has great sentimental value to Jim, and it captures the moment in 1947, when Eric and Ilse Rosenthal visited Vienna, in allied occupied Kahlenberg, on a plaza overlooking the countryside.
One of the area’s last surviving World War II veterans, Eric Rosenthal was born in a small rural town in Germany in 1922.
Being Jewish, he escaped from Germany in 1937 to Boston, where he ran track, played in the high school marching band, and became a lifelong Red Sox fan. When his parents and younger brother escaped Germany the following year, the family reunited in New York City.
After attending City College for a semester, Eric was drafted into the US Army, and fought in the infantry against the Germans in North Africa, then liberated Italy. He re-enlisted after the war and met his future wife, Ilse, a war orphan, in Salzburg. They came back to the USA on Thanksgiving day, 1948, where they settled and started a family.