Charlotte Salomon’s Paintings Highlight the Life—Not the Death—of a Holocaust Victim

This scene, in ominous blues and dark greys, depicts a scene of the young Charlotte confronting a series of real — and perhaps imagined — governesses and schoolmasters, the bête noire of a child’s life in the period. –Collection Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, © Charlotte Salomon Foundation, Charlotte Salomon®, www.jck.nl, www.jhm.nl/collections/specials/charlotte-salomon
In this frame, Charlotte depicts an intimate concert in a private home, a piano carefully studied and a somnolent cello, beautifully played. The scene seems to highlight the essence of her work, between genres. If it itself is an image, and a beautiful one at that, what it ultimately evokes is sound. –Collection Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, © Charlotte Salomon Foundation, Charlotte Salomon®, www.jck.nl, www.jhm.nl/collections/specials/charlotte-salomon
This image shows a young woman in love. As the inscription reads, in the voice of Charlotte: “When I see you, oh! My heart doth beat. As if to burst. It feels as if the whole world, the whole wide world, doth break apart.” –Collection Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, © Charlotte Salomon Foundation, Charlotte Salomon®, www.jck.nl, www.jhm.nl/collections/specials/charlotte-salomon
In this gouache, a group of Jewish women confront a pair of tall and imposing German soldiers. “We want to know where our men are!” the women demand. “How should we know where your men are?” the soldiers respond. “Go home or you’ll get yourself arrested, you little Jew swine!” –Collection Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam, © Charlotte Salomon Foundation, Charlotte Salomon®, www.jck.nl, www.jhm.nl/collections/specials/charlotte-salomon

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The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires people worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity. www.ushmm.org

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