FREDERIKA DICKER BRENDEIS
(1898 – 1944)
Brendeis was born in Vienna, Austria to a poor jewish family on July 30, 1898. She passed away in the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. (1)
Brendeis’s father, Simon Dicker, was a shop assistant and her mother, Karolina Dicker, died in 1902, a fact of which Friedl remained very sensitive about. In 1936, she married her distant cousin, Pavel Brandeis, who was an accountant, and changed her last name to Brandeisova.
When the jews were deported to Theresienstadt ghetto from Prague in 1942 their belonings each had to total 50kg. Most people packed clothes, photos and special house hold items. Frediel packed minimal clothing and chose to fill the rest of her weight with art supplies. Her aim was to not only fulfil her own need to do art but more so to help the traumatized child victums by teaching them how to paint. This kind act describes Freidl’s whole personality. She never had children but over the years many, many children saw her as a surrogate mother.
Friedl pursued a life of art and creativity. She was a student at the Weimar Bauhaus and her art teachers were very well known in their field, Johannes Itten and Paul Klee just to name a few. The Bouhaus was not just a design academy but a way of life, the students were encouraged to have feelings about the whole object they were working on. To not see an object through a camera lense but to seek the objects essence and empathize with it.Friedl was known for her textiles designs, printmaking, bookbinding, typography, costumes, and artwork, but is best known for educating the children in the ghetto of Terezin with drawing lessons.These principles became her whole life incorporating them in her art through to her lifestyle, as well as teaching these principles to the children she would instruct. (2)