Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Every Picture Tells a Story #7

"Guard with Stick",
Collage depicting a puppet show
made from red paper and scraps of an account book
Sonja Spitzova
(Feb 17, 1931- Oct 6th, 1944)

Sonja Spitzova scribbled her name in pencil on this piece of artwork in 1942. She was able to make this collage thanks to Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, an extraordinary artist and art-therapist who gave drawing lessons to hundreds of children in the "model" Terezin ghetto /concentration camp during the Second World War.
Before being transferred to Auschwitz,
where she died, Friedl Dicker Brandeis managed to hide over 4,000 children's drawings in two suitcases which were discovered after the war.
550 of the 660 authors of the hidden drawings were killed in the Holocaust.
The drawings are now in the Jewish Museum in Prague's collection, with some on display in the Pinkas Synagogue in Prague.
You will find more of these children's drawings in this book.

via Le Divan Fumoir Bohémien


  1. What a beautiful yet tragic story. How sad the circumstance & the end; yet the beauty of the art remains & prevails. My heart breaks at the thought of this doomed little art class, but at the same time, it is my hope, that these young artists found pleasure, perhaps even joy, in the act of creation, in spite of their dire situation. I enjoyed reading about the amazing Friedl Dicker-Brandeis & now have an enormous admiration for her.

  2. Thank you for sharing this. I had not heard about this lady, she sounds like an incredible person. Her presence in the camp must have brought a ray of hope into those children's lives. Xx

  3. what a beautiful but sad story, thanks for sharing this, i've never heart of this amazing lady before.
    i love that collage!

  4. I went to Terezin a few years ago and came away very unsettled by the sense of loss that still pervades the place.
    Many thanks for sharing this - at least some spirit of the children lives on through their art, that was created under the most unimaginable conditions.

  5. Thanks for sharing this.I have not heard about her. I would like to look for this book.

  6. jfidz - I wasn't sure whether I should post this collage because I found it very incredibly painful and moving and have been thinking about it for days. I'm sure your visit to terezin was an unforgettable and very unsettling experience. Thank you for commenting.

  7. I have goosebumps, of course, as I always do on hearing stories like this... It still blows me away. Lovely post Deb. Kx

  8. Oh Deb - this gives me both goosebumps and an overwhelming sense of sadness and loss too. Luckily you posted it though. We need more hope in the world...


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