Category Archives: Terezin Artists

The Artists’ Affair Part 2: Otto Ungar

Otto Ungar was another artist who along with Leo Haas, was interrogated, tortured and imprisoned in the Small Fortress for depicting the truth of Terezin. Far less is known about Ungar than Leo Haas, unfortunately. It is known that he lived for most of his life in the Czech city of Brno. Before the war, Ungar resided in Brno with his wife and daughter and was a teacher at a Jewish secondary school and an artist. He was described as a very reserved, sensitive and anxious man, which makes it all the more remarkable that he took tremendous risks by creating raw and brutally honest drawings of daily life in Terezin.

Ungar worked in the drafting office at Terezin, along with fellow artists Leo Haas and Bedrich Fritta. All three men were aware of the deception the Nazis were perpetrating at Terezin and sought to record the truth of what happened in the camp in sketches and paintings. Ungar secretly painted the arrival of transports (The Coming of a Transport), and the despair and suffering of elderly adults at Terezin, many of whom had been deceived and told they were being sent to a retirement community (Portrait of an Old Woman).

After being interrogated in July 1944, Otto Ungar was also imprisoned in the Small Fortress, where he endured daily beatings and torture by the prison guards. His right hand, the hand he drew with, was savagely broken by the guards. Two of his fingers had to be amputated as a result, and he lost the use of his hand.

Later that summer, Ungar was sent to Auschwitz, where he managed to survive the selection, despite his injuries. He remained there until January 1945, where he was forced on a death march across the frozen Polish countryside to the camp Buchenwald. Incredibly, Ungar survived the march despite being severely malnourished and ill with tuberculosis. He and the 14,000 other survivors were crammed into Buchenwald’s “Little Camp”, where a typhus epidemic raged. In these final terrible months of the war, in unspeakably horrific conditions, Otto Ungar did something remarkable. He scavenged scraps of paper and small pieces of coal, gripped the coal in his broken and mutilated right hand and slowly, painstakingly began to sketch his surroundings. Even after all the suffering and tortures he endured, despite his sensitive and anxious nature, he never lost his will to create, to reveal the truth. The Nazis could not break his resilient spirit, even though they broke so many others.

Otto Ungar survived the war and was liberated from Buchenwald in May 1945, but died a few months later in a hospital in Germany from complications of tuberculosis and typhus. His wife and daughter both survived the war in Terezin and returned to Brno.

The images that Ungar created in Buchenwald were lost, but many of the works he created in Terezin have survived. They remain today to show us the truth of Terezin and are the legacy of a gentle and sensitive soul that the Nazis could never break.

Further Reading

The Artists of Terezin by Gerald Green

The Artists’ Affair Part 1: Leo Haas

On July 17th, 1944, a group of artists were summoned to the office of Terezin Commandant Karl Rahm. Their names were Leo Haas, Otto Ungar, Bedrich Fritta and Felix Bloch, and they worked in the drafting office at Terezin. Their crime: drawing and painting the true nature of the ghetto. They were interrogated by Rahm, and SS officers Captain Moes, Captain Hans Gunther and the infamous Colonel Adolf Eichmann. The officers wanted to know why the artists painted what they did, and accused them of being part of a Communist plot. The artists denied the Communist accusations, and stated that they simply drew and painted what they saw, the reality that surrounded them. The men were then brought to the damp cellar of a barrack, where they were again interrogated and questioned about their alleged Communist ties. Ultimately the officers stopped questioning them and transferred them and their families to the Small Fortress, where they endured more interrogations, beatings and torture.

Enrtance to the Small Fortress at Terezin

The interrogation and subsequent imprisonment of these men and their families in the Small Fortress of Terezin would come to be known as “The Artists’ Affair”. What follows are the stories of these men, beginning with Leo Haas, the one member of the group who survived the war.

Leo Haas was born in 1901 in Opava, Czechoslovakia and was interested in art from a young age, showing promise in painting and as a piano player. As a teenager, an art teacher recommended that he continue his art studies, and Leo moved to Karlsruhe, Germany to study at an art academy there. To fund his studies, Leo played the piano in local bars and restaurants – and painted the scenes he observed around him. In 1921 he moved to Berlin where his finished his studies and began working in a graphic design studio. He spend time in Paris and Vienna before marrying Sophie Hermann in 1929 and settling in his hometown of Opava. Haas became an established portrait painter and director of a local printing house, and was also known as a caricaturist.

Leo’s first encounter with the Nazis came in 1937, who declared his caricatures “degenerate” and “Communist”, which foreshadowed the events that would happen at Terezin. Haas, his second wife Erna, and her family were sent to Terezin at the end of September 1942. Haas was soon transferred to the graphic department of the ghetto, where his primary task was making architectural charts. Other well-known artists also worked in the department, including Otto Ungar and Bedřich Fritta, who would become a close friend of Haas. The men were often able to visit other parts of the ghetto, and they secretly began to paint and draw what they observed. Haas depicted transports, scenes from the ghetto café – where no food or drinks could be found, performances, bread rations being transported in a hearse, and many other aspects of life in the camp. He was known for being very politically minded, but known for his compassion and unflinching depictions of ghetto life in all its brutality.

He created a secret compartment in the paneling of the wall of his barrack where he hid many of his works. The works remained hidden during Haas’s interrogation and imprisonment in the Small Ghetto of Terezin, where Haas was sentenced to hard physical labor. After three and a half months, Haas and Fritta were again interrogated and accused of distributing Communist propaganda.

At the end of October they were sent to Auschwitz for their supposed crimes. Fritta was ill with dysentery and died a week later. Haas was soon transferred to another camp called Sachsenhausen where he was put to work in a counterfeiting unit due to his artistic talents. He was transferred twice more before being liberated by the Allies on May 5th, 1945. His wife survived the war but was in very poor health, and would remain sickly for the rest of her life. They adopted Fritta’s son Tomáš and moved to Prague, where they lived until Erna’s death in 1955. Haas then moved to East Berlin where he remarried, and worked as a caricaturist and cartoonist. He also exhibited his art around the world, up until his death in 1983.

Not long after the war, Haas bravely returned to Terezin in the hopes of recovering the paintings he had hidden in a wall panel of his barrack. He found all the paintings he had hidden there, as well as some of Fritta’s works, works of art that showed the world the truth of Terezin.

Further Reading
The Artists of Terezin by Gerald Green

http://art.holocaust-education.net/explore.asp?langid=1&submenu=200&id=14

http://www.theholocaustexplained.org/ks4/the-nazi-impact-on-europe/theresienstadt-a-case-study/leo-haas-living-culture-in-the-ghetto/#.WPPA3NLyvIU

http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/exhibitions/last_portrait/haas.asp

Alice Herz-Sommer: A Musician Until The End

Professional pianist and Terezin survivor Alice Herz-Sommer played her beloved aliceinstrument daily until her death at age 110 in 2014. She fell in love with the piano at an early age and her love for music quite literally kept her and her young son alive during the years they spent in Terezin. Alice, originally known as Aliza Herz, was born in Prague in 1903. She was a member of a well off German-speaking Jewish family, and her parents sponsored a cultural salon that attracted some of the most gifted minds of the time. Young Aliza met Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud and Gustav Mahler, among other writers, intellectuals and composers. In time, she too would become a prominent pianist in her own right.

Alice first learned the piano as a child from her older sister, Irma, and even at a young age, was a dedicated pianist, practicing hours each day. A family friend and composer named Artur Schnabel expressed his belief that Alice was suited to be a professional musician. Alice later decided that this was the career she wanted and entered the Prague Conservatory of Music, where she was the youngest student in the school.
In 1931, at the age of 26, Alice married a businessman and musician named Leopold Sommer, and they had one son, Raphael. Alice established herself as a concert pianist and became known throughout Europe. She was forced to stop performing after the Nazis took control of Prague and forbade Jewish musicians to perform in concerts and music competitions.

Most of Alice’s family managed to flee to Palestine, but her elderly mother was unable to travel and Alice, her husband and Raphael stayed behind to help care for her. Alice’s mother was sent to Terezin in 1942, and Alice accompanied her to the train station. On this journey, Alice realized just how dire the situation had become, and she found solace in music, teaching herself the incredibly challenging 24 Etudes of Frederic Chopin, often up to eight hours a day.

In July 1943, Alice, along with her husband and son were sent to Terezin, where she performed in over 100 concerts. She continued to find strength in performing her music, which helped to free her from the daily horrors of life at Terezin. Alice also did all she could to provide stability for Raphael, and together they survived the war in Terezin. Alice’s husband and mother were transported to Nazi extermination camps and murdered, and Alice never learned the details of their final moments.

After the war, Alice and Raphael moved to Israel, where they reunited with their relatives. Alice continued to perform and taught at the Jerusalem Conservatory for 35 years, until she moved to London in 1986. Raphael also became a highly accomplished concert cellist, but he died tragically and suddenly in 2001. Alice continued to live on her own in a London apartment, where she continued to play the piano for hours each day, up until her death at age 110.

Alice’s life inspired several books and documentary films, most recently, The Lady in Number 6, which won an Oscar in 2013 for Best Short Documentary. The documentary, filmed about a year before Alice died, is a remarkable tribute. We hear Alice’s story in her own words and learn of her natural optimistic and joyful personality, which the Nazis failed to take from her. It was clear that her passion and love for music and her family were the driving forces in her life, and her ability to see the beauty in music and life is deeply moving, especially after all she endured at the hands of the Nazis. I encourage you to see this film, so that you may see for yourself this gifted, passionate, resilient woman named Alice Herz-Sommer.

Children’s Stories and Poems: Terezin 1942-1944

Recently, I had the good fortune to read and examine one of the original 2000 English copies of the book Children’s Drawings and Poems: Terezin 1942-1944. Two friends who work in Special Collections at the University of Colorado generously gave me a tour of the archives after hours and located a sole book on Terezin in the collection. I returned to Special Collections a few weeks later to review the book in more depth. This hardcover book with its slightly worn dust jacket featured a child’s collage of a solitary humanoid figure. It was published in 1959, an English translation with an initial print run of only 2000 copies. A sticker on the inside cover read “Gift of Professor U.K. Goldsmith, 1973.” I wrote down the name, curious about the person who donated this book.

I own a later edition of this book, which features drawings and poetry from children who were in Terezin. Most of these drawings and poems are owned by the State Jewish Museum in Prague, and they were selected from more than 4,000 drawings and poems in the museum’s archives. Many of these works of art were created from any materials the children could find, such as scraps of paper, office forms, wrapping paper…This original edition featured reproductions that were far clearer and more vivid than the later editions. The paper felt heavy and opaque with beautifully vivid illustrations. Yet for me, two of the most poignant drawings were simple pencil lines depicting the outline of a child’s hand and sketches of butterflies. The hand was drawn by a boy named Frantisek Brozan and the butterflies by Eva Bulova. Almost nothing is known about them, but they were among the thousands of children who were sent to Auschwitz and murdered. There was a section in the back that featured biographical information on the authors and artists, but for most all that is known is what is gleaned from camp records: date and place of birth, date of transport to Terezin, whether they survived or died. In later editions, this section is still included, but all these years later no more biographical information has been discovered. Most of these young creators have been all but lost to history. That was the thought that stayed with me as I closed the book, leaving the two ribbon bookmarks at the page containing the poem “The Butterfly”, the one that captivated me from the start.

A memorial in Prague, illuminated by candles. May we never forget.
A memorial in Prague, illuminated by candles. May we never forget.

Later, after the visit, I researched the professor who donated this book. His name was Ulrich K. Goldsmith, and he was born to a Jewish family in Freiburg, Germany in 1910. He fled the country in 1932, passing through England and Canada before settling in the United States, where he received a PhD in literature from the University of California at Berkley. In 1957 he arrived at the University of Colorado, Boulder where he was the chair of the Department of Germanic languages and literature and co-founded the Comparative Literature department. He was known as a remarkable humanist and scholar of Stefan George and Rainer Maria Rilke. After his death in 2000, the university established a memorial prize in his name. Little else seems to be recorded about him, though surely his former students and colleagues have memories of him. Unfortunately, I don’t know how he acquired one of the original English translations of Children’s Drawings and Poems, or how he came to know the story of Terezin. If Professor Goldsmith were alive today and I had the chance to speak with him I would have asked him about these stories. Most likely, I will never know, but I will always be grateful to him for leaving this remarkable book with the library so that future generations may know the story of Terezin.

Terezin: Why It Matters Today

082Today I opted to write a slightly different post, focusing on the significance of Terezin for today. I often fear that the stories of the artists of Terezin will be regarded as a part of history, and it seems that the lessons of history are so easily overlooked in the present. The stories of the past are sometimes regarded as no longer relevant, as they seem so far removed from today, from our daily lives.

A friend of mine who teaches language arts to middle school students told me that Anne Frank’s diary had very little impact on her students. Many of her students live in impoverished inner-city neighborhoods and face incredible hardships. Still, they were simply unable to relate to the intense struggles and fears of a young Jewish girl living in hiding during the Nazi regime. It was the same when I read Anne’s diary as a middle school student and most of my classmates showed little interest in her story. Even then, I was saddened by this lack of interest, and I wanted to do something about it.

Sharing the stories of the artists of Terezin is a start, and those who take the time to read them have been deeply moved by these individuals. I have also incorporated some of these stories into my young adult novel, which I am trying to publish. But there is so much work to be done, as these stories remain largely unknown. This is such a shame, because these artists can inspire us and teach us about empathy.

Many psychology studies on empathy, such as Philip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment, show that it is very easy for people to quickly lose all compassion for those they perceive as different from themselves. We see this and hear the news reports every day: people who are different in some way from the dominant social group are bullied, persecuted and killed. And the perpetrators are not usually violent people or criminals, but ordinary people who feel threatened by the “outsiders” and who have no empathy for them. But other studies have shown that it is possible to cultivate empathy towards others. Studies that required people to get inside another’s head and understand their perspective, such as by reading a personal account or identifying with a complex literary character, later displayed increased empathy toward the other. In the case of Terezin, we know so little about most of the artists, which makes it harder to truly understand who they were and to feel a connection with them. But I believe we can glean something of their individuality through the works they created, and empathize with them if we are truly listening carefully.

Above all, we need to remember the lesson of Terezin, that even in the face of human brutality, even during the most devastating genocide the world has ever known, the human spirit endured, and creativity flourished. If the artists of Terezin could keep on creating during such a time, it seems to me that there is hope for humanity. It is up to us, those who came after, to listen to their words, to their music, to view their art and try to understand and empathize with the individuals who created these beautiful works. The artists of Terezin can teach us a great deal about empathy and compassion if only we take the time to listen.

Ilan Ramon and Petr Ginz: The Astronaut and the Prodigy

There is an incredible and tragic connection that exists between the young prodigy Petr Ginz and the astronaut Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in space. He was born Ilan Wolferman in Ramat Gan, Israel. His father’s family fled Germany in 1935 and his mother and grandmother were Holocaust survivors who were imprisoned in Auschwitz. They left Poland after the war, and emigrated to Israel.

Ilan graduated from Tel Aviv University with a degree in computer engineering in 1987 and joined the Israeli Airforce, where he became a highly accomplished fighter pilot and earned the rank of Colonel. During his fighter pilot training he adopted the surname Ramon. In 1997, he was accepted by NASA and began training to be a Payload Specialist, a process which took five years. He participated in the 113th mission of the Space Shuttle Program, aboard the shuttle Columbia.

Though described as secular, as the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan saw himself as a representative of the Jewish people. He opted to eat kosher food on the mission, and consulted with a rabbi on how to keep Shabbat in space. Ilan also brought with him a variety of objects that held special significance. These objects included a small Torah scroll that was saved from the Holocaust, a dollar bill with the image of the Lubavitcher Rebbe – and a copy of a drawing by Petr Ginz.

Petr’s drawing depicted a lunar landscape, mountainous and desolate, with an image of the Earth shining in the distance, though Petr did not live long enough to see the first pictures of Earth taken from space. Ilan took the image to commemorate Petr, who died in Auschwitz, and all the others who were affected by the Holocaust.

**To view Petr’s drawing and NASA portrait of Ilan, please visit: http://www.science.co.il/Ilan-Ramon/

 

Ilan and his crew members completed their mission, but tragically, their Shuttle Columbia broke apart on re-entry, killing all on board. The disaster happened on February 1, 2003, which would have been Petr’s 75th birthday. The copy of the drawing was destroyed, but part of the diary that Ilan kept on the mission survived the disaster. Though badly damaged, after 5 years forensic scientists were able to restore about 80% of its content. One of the pages was a handwritten copy of the Kiddush prayer, another way Ilan expressed his pride in being part of the Jewish people. The diary that Petr kept, along with many poems, stories and articles have been saved. These writings give us greater insight into who this man and boy were, and ensure that some part of them lives on. I greatly admire their many achievements, but they shared other qualities that impress me even more than what they accomplished. Most of all, I remain in awe of how they were able to look beyond their immediate surroundings, to imagine all that lies beyond the confines of Earth and how they had the courage to envision and to work for a better world.

Further Reading

Memorial site for Ilan Ramon:    http://www.science.co.il/Ilan-Ramon/

Petr Ginz: A Prodigy Behind Walls

Petr and Eva Ginz with their parents before the war.
Petr and Eva Ginz with their parents before the war.

The life of Petr Ginz, an artist, writer, Esperantist, magazine editor and scholar, dramatically illustrates the creativity and talent of so many children who died in the Holocaust.

Petr was born on February 1, 1928 in Prague to Otto and Miriam Ginz. His father was a manager in a textile company, and both his parents were passionate about Esperanto. In fact, his parents met at an Esperantist convention and taught the language to Petr and his younger sister, Eva. The children were from an interfaith background; Otto was Jewish and Miriam was Christian.

From a young age, Petr’s intelligence, curiosity and passion for knowledge was evident. He wrote his first novel at age 8 and wrote 5 novels in all before he was deported to Terezin. A skilled artist, Petr also illustrated the novels himself. He was interested in a wide variety of subjects, including literature, art, science, history and geography, was an avid reader and also recorded his experiences in a diary. Petr’s enthusiasm for the arts and learning did not diminish after he was transported to Terezin at age 14, in October 1942. He continued his studies and borrowed countless books from the makeshift Terezin library, and wrote short novels. He also made a major contribution to the cultural life of Terezin when he established a literary magazine called Vedem (We lead), which he published weekly. Petr wrote many of the pieces himself, and other boys from his barrack contributed work as well. The magazine featured pieces on daily life in Terezin, satirical essays, short fiction, poetry and artwork.

A close bond developed between the boys of Petr’s barrack, L417. They called their barrack the Republic of Shkid, and created a flag and national anthem. Their creativity and imagination in such circumstances were remarkable, as was the amount of work they produced for Vedem, much of which survives today.

Petr often wrote very matter-of-factly about the events he experienced and life in Terezin, and even managed to insert some humor. He did write some poignant pieces as well, most notably a poem in which he described how he missed Prague, though he knew it did not miss him. He described how he could not return because he was living like a caged animal but would always long for Prague, his “fairy-tale in stone.”

Tragically, he would never see Prague again. Petr was assigned to one of the last transports to leave Terezin, in September 1944. His sister Eva, who adored him, wrote about the day Petr left in her own diary. After Petr boarded the train, Eva spotted him at one of the windows and managed to pass some bread to him through the window, to hold his hand one more time before she was chased away by guards. Eva wrote honestly and poignantly about how she worried about her brother and wondered if he was still alive.

At the age of 16, Petr was murdered in the gas chambers of Auschwitz, like hundreds of thousands of others. A prodigy was lost that day, and we will never know how many other gifted, talented young people were lost that same day. What remains are the writings and drawings he left behind, which his sister Eva preserved and shared with the world after the war, a poignant reminder of all that was lost the day Petr Ginz died.

Picture of the Ginz Family from Krizkova, Marie R., Kotouc, Kurt J. & Ornest, Zdenek. We Are Children Just the Same: Vedem, the Secret Magazine of the Boys of Terezin. The Jewish Publication Society, 1995. Print. Used with permission.

Further Reading
We Are Children Just the Same: Vedem, the Secret Magazine by the Boys of Terezin (by Marie Krizkova, Kurt Jiri Kotouc and Zdenek Ornest)

The Diary of Petr Ginz (edited by Chava Pressburger)

Raja Englanderova and Willy Groag: Keepers of the Art

Terezin motif collage by Margit Gerstmannova (1931-1944)
Terezin motif collage by Margit Gerstmannova
(1931-1944)

It seems such a shame that there is so little information available about the two people who preserved the poems and drawings of Friedl’s students. In Raja’s case things are more complicated because a famous play entitled I Never Saw Another Butterfly presents a fictionalized account of her Terezin experiences. Given the lack of information available about her, it becomes difficult to understand who Raja (pronounced Ry-ah) truly was.

We do know that she was a teenager, an older student of Friedl’s and had a leadership role in the one of the camp barracks known as “the Girls’ Home”. It appears Friedl trusted that Raja would do as much as she could to preserve the children’s drawings. Why else would Friedl have selected Raja for this task? Raja was somehow spared from the transports to Auschwitz and managed to safely hide the suitcases until the liberation of Terezin.

Willy Groag was a chemist, teacher and leader of a Zionist youth organization called Maccabee Hatza’ir and at Terezin was appointed to manage the Girls’ Home along with Raja and some others. He did what he could to improve the barrack, though there was little that could be done in the ghetto. At night he would make rounds to check that everyone was in bed and no one was missing, and would tell stories to children who were unable to sleep.
When liberation came, Willy was one of the few men in the camp who was strong enough to work. He was appointed Director of Children and Youth, and worked tirelessly to reunite children with their parents. Often it was an impossible task since many of the children were orphaned.

In August 1945, several months after liberation, Raja approached him and revealed Friedl’s suitcases, which she had succeeded in hiding to the end of the war. She turned the suitcases over to him, and he returned the suitcases to the Prague Jewish community. At the time, the community leaders did not express much interest in them, and they languished in storage for over ten years, when some members of the community discovered them. Since then they have been exhibited worldwide, even to this day. For the most part, they are kept safely in Prague, at the Jewish Museum and the Pinkas synagogue and have been published in a number of books and volumes.

Though little is known of Willy and Raja, together they brought the poems and drawings of the children of Terezin to the world. These small works of art are all that remain of so many of the children of Terezin, their only legacy, preserved thanks to the efforts of Willy and Raja.

“Terezin motif” from Krizkova, Marie R., Kotouc, Kurt J. & Ornest, Zdenek. We Are Children Just the Same: Vedem, the Secret Magazine of the Boys of Terezin. The Jewish Publication Society, 1995. Print. Used with permission.

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis: Extraordinary Artist and Devoted Teacher

Frederika Dicker-Brandeis, better known by her nickname Friedl, was an artist and teacher who saved many of her students’ drawings and poems. Born in Austria, she studied at the prestigious Weimar Bauhaus art school and was a student of famous artists such as Paul Klee. She also taught at the Bauhaus, and later worked as an artist and textile designer in various cities including Berlin and Prague. A letter she wrote to a friend in 1940 gives us insight into her philosophy of creativity and teaching. She wrote that when she was a young art student her desire was to protect her future students from unpleasant experiences and uncertainty but that as an adult her view changed. By 1940 she expressed the view that it was most important to inspire creativity in others, to help them develop that creativity, and to encourage them to always pursue that creativity no matter what obstacles they might face.

In December 1942, at the age of 42, Friedl and her husband Pavel Brandeis were transported to Terezin. Despite the terrible conditions in the ghetto, Friedl held fast to her determination to inspire creativity in others. She arranged art classes for children, and was strongly convinced that through art the children could express and better understand their emotions and better cope with their experience of living in the ghetto. As described by Chaim Potok in the introduction to I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Friedl used many techniques in her classes such as breathing exercises, the study of texture and color, and an emphasis on close observation of the environment. She would sometimes tell stories and have the children draw objects that she mentioned twice. After each class, she would instruct one student to collect the drawings and store them in her room, a tiny closet-sized space in one of the camp barracks which she decorated by draping blue sheets on the walls and hanging paintings of flowers.

Just what kind of person was Friedl Dicker-Brandeis? What was her personality like, and how did she relate to others? Various sources agree that she was highly intelligent, energetic, charismatic and talented in a number of arenas, including teaching and many art forms. She was very knowledgeable and insightful about children’s intellectual and psychological development and believed that art could be used as a form of therapy before art therapy was an established field. She also was kind-hearted and related incredibly well to children, and those who survived the camp stated that she made a profound impact on their lives, that her classes allowed them to experience a taste of freedom and to find solace through imagination and the pursuit of creativity. Friedl was also described as incredibly generous and self-giving, and never accepted any form of compensation for her classes or lectures. I was especially moved to learn that she rarely painted or drew while in Terezin because materials were scarce and she saved them for the children.

In 1944, as the transports increased, Friedl hid the children’s drawings in suitcases, which she entrusted to one of her art students. Her husband was placed on one of the last transports to Auschwitz in October 1944, and Friedl volunteered to be included in the transport. Tragically Friedl died in Auschwitz, but her husband survived the camp.

But the suitcases Friedl hid away survived, thanks to a young Terezin artist, a girl named Raja Englanderova.

Further Reading
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/10/arts/design/10SALA.html?_r=0
Jewish Women’s Archive: http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/dicker-brandeis-friedl
Elena Makarova: Friedl, Dicker-Brandeis, Vienna 1898- Auschwitz 19 (Paperback), Publisher: Tallfellow Press; 1st ed edition (December 31, 1999)