This is a poignant and graphic telling of the life of a young German Jewish woman taken and killed during the holocaust.
Charlotte Salomon (Berlin, 16/04/17 – Auschwitz, 10/10/43) was an artist from a prosperous family whose mother committed suicide when she was just nine-years-old.
One of several suicides within her family. She attended the School for Pure and Applied Arts until 1938 when the increasing antisemitic policies caused her to escape to the south of France to live with her grandparents.
It was not the best of times. In 1941, now living alone she began painting what became over 1000 gouaches which she edited and added captions and overlays to create her life’s work 'Leben?
Oder Theater?' consisting of 769 of the paintings depicting a somewhat fantastical autobiography preserving the main elements of her life. She also made notes on appropriate music to accompany the art.
In 1943 she handed the work over to the local doctor in a large suitcase with the wish that he “Keep this safe, it is my whole life.”
She had addressed it to wealthy American, Ottillie Moore in whose property she had stayed.
By September that year she had married another German Jewish refugee, Alexander Nagler, and the two of them were arrested and she was transported to Auschwitz to the gas chambers when five months pregnant.