- Leo Haas, Portrait of Bedřich Fritta, 1943
Ink, pen, wash, 44 x 30 cm
© Thomas Fritta-Haas, photo: Terezín Memorial, accession number: PT 1575
Bedřich Fritta (Friedrich Taussig)
Weigsdorf (Višňová), Northern Bohemia 1906–1944 Auschwitz
Bedřich Fritta received his artistic training in Paris around 1930, then moved to Prague. There he worked as a technical draughtsman, graphic designer, and cartoonist, for clients including the exile edition of the Munich satirical weekly Simplicissimus.
On December 4, 1941, Fritta was deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto in the second "construction commando," made up of engineers, craftsmen, and physicians. He supervised the drawing studio in the Jewish self-administration's technical department. Up to twenty imprisoned artists worked in the studio, producing construction plans and illustrated supplements for the reports that had to be sent to the SS commandant's office. These officially commissioned works underpinned the ghetto's public image as a smoothly functioning, self-governed model settlement—but the artists secretly used the studio materials to record the misery of everyday ghetto life.
- Leo Haas, Drawing Studio in Theresienstadt, 1943
Pencil and black chalk on paper, 36 x 53 cm
© Thomas Fritta-Haas, photo: Terezín Memorial, Radim Nytl, accession number:PT 1541
The SS discovered the unofficial drawings in summer 1944. They convicted Bedřich Fritta and his colleagues Leo Haas, Otto Ungar, and Ferdinand Bloch of "atrocity propaganda." On July 17, the artists were sent to the Small Fortress with their families and were incarcerated in the Gestapo jail, where Fritta's wife Johanna soon died. Bedřich Fritta and Leo Haas were deported to Auschwitz. Fritta died of exhaustion there in November 1944. Leo Haas survived, and adopted Fritta's son Tomáš.
Duration of the Exhibition
17 May to 29 September 2013
open daily from 10 am to 8 pm,
Mondays from 10 am to 10 pm
7 euros, reduced charge 3.50 euros
Children up to the age of 6 years free
Family ticket (2 adults, up to 4 children): 12 euros
Jewish Museum Berlin
Lindenstr. 9-14, 10969 Berlin
Libeskind Building, ground level,
Eric F. Ross Gallery