Variety theater. A provisionally lit stage and artists in the middle of a courtyard. Spectators approaching all around.

Bedřich Fritta

Drawings from the Theresienstadt Ghetto

Previously, the artworks that the Czech-Jewish artist and caricaturist Bedřich Fritta (1906–1944) created at the “Theresianstadt Ghetto” concentration camp from 1942 to 1944 have been regarded mainly as historical documents. In contrast, this exhibition focused on the artistic methods by which Fritta's drawings interpret and comment on day-to-day life in the camp. It explored the diversity of his visual language and the artistic quality of his drawings.

Past exhibition

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Libeskind building is marked in green


Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

On December 4, 1941, Fritta was deported to Theresienstadt, where the SS guards at the camp assigned him to supervise the drawing studio of the “Jewish self-administration.” There, as many as twenty artists detained in Theresienstadt were made to produce propaganda to reinforce the camp’s public image as a smoothly functioning “ghetto.”

Secretly, the artists also recorded everyday ghetto life. In October 1944, Fritta was deported to Auschwitz, where he died of an illness shortly thereafter.

The majority of his unofficial works, numbering more than one hundred, survived in hiding and later passed into the hands of his son Tomáš Fritta-Haas (1944–2015). This exhibition publicly presented the assemblage of large ink drawings and smaller sketches in its full scope for the first time ever.

You can still view many of the drawings that were exhibited on the exhibition's website (

Bedřich Fritta (1906–1944)

More on Wikipedia

Theresienstadt Concentration Camp and Ghetto

More on Wikipedia

“Jewish autonomy”

The Wikipedia article about “kapos,” or “prisoner functionaries,” explains how SS concentration camp staff used prisoners for the organization of everyday life in the camps
More on Wikipedia

Exhibition Information at a Glance

  • When

    17 May to 29 Sep 2013 and 28 Feb to 4 May 2014 (as part of the special program on the Terezín Ghetto)

  • Where

    Libeskind Building, ground level, Eric F. Ross Gallery
    Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
    See Location on Map

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