“Aesthetics are the ultimate authority, the moving force, the motor capable of creating production, while defending man from forces over which he has no control.” Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, 1940
Friedl Dicker-Brandeis devoted herself to teaching art to children during her internment in Terezín. Based on her experience at the Weimar Bauhaus, Friedl encouraged the children to work with color and light, to develop their feeling for form and composition, and apply rhythmic drawing grounded in the interpretation of auditory perceptions.
She never signed her own work from the camp but did require the children to sign their drawings. She graded the work on a scale of 1 to 6 in the categories of strength, intensity, dimensions, form, character, composition, and color.
It was difficult to find art materials in the camp forcing the young artists to make the best of what little they had. Old scraps of paper with printed forms were put to great artistic use. This lack of materials led to an economical approach to drawing and collage that resulted in a remarkably powerful form of expression.
Friedl was deported from Terezín to Auschwitz on a liquidation transport in the autumn of 1944. Only two suitcases of student work were recovered after the war.