Friedl Dicker-Brandeis: Vienna 1988 - Auschwitz 1944

Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, a remarkable woman, was Viennese-born and Bauhaus-trained. She earned an excellent reputation as an artist when the Nazis came to power. In December 1942, Friedl was deported to Terezin. 

Intending to work with the Jewish children incarcerated there, Friedl packed art supplies and personal items into the limited luggage she was permitted. At Terezin, her creativity and passion for teaching allowed her to connect with the children in a unique way through drawing lessons. She brought hope and beauty to young people in a place in which there was neither.

During the time that Friedl was in Terezin, she lived in the children's dormitory and worked as a tutor and art teacher. In October 1944, she was deported to Auschwitz, where she did not survive.

After the Nazis were defeated in 1945, former prisoner of Terezin, Willy Groad, brought two suitcases from the camp to the Prague Jewish community. Packed by Friedl before her deportation to Auschwitz, the suitcases were stuffed with 5,000 drawings -- a remarkable legacy from the children of Terezin.

For the next ten years, the suitcases sat on a shelf collecting dust until the drawings were rediscovered and exhibited. In 1964, the children's legacy was brought to a worldwide audience and the publication of the book I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Some of the Friedl's pupils survived, as did her lesson plans and teaching techniques. The methods Friedl employed with the children form the foundation of modern art therapy.

Source: The Los Angles Museum of Tolerance