World War II prisoner of war to display art

The paintings of Gustav Potthoff, a World War II prisoner of war, will be on display in “Room to Breathe” at the Columbus Learning Center until Wednesday.

Gustav Potthof was born in Indonesia. In 1941, he enlisted in the Netherlands Army Tank Battalion. Japan invaded Indonesia in January 1942; after two months of fighting, 40,000 soldiers, among them Potthoff, were taken captive and sent to prisoner-of-war camps. Potthoff survived but remained haunted by his captivity experience in Thailand.

Decades later, he began painting detailed scenes of POW camp life, including the guards, beatings, the jungle, escape attempts and those left behind.

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