Snow White in Auschwitz
October 30, 2013 10:59 AM Subscribe
posted by Atom Eyes (36 comments total)
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"Knowing of Dina's artistic ability, Freddy asked her to paint a mural on the wall of the barracks to cheer up the children. She agreed, although she expected she would be executed if the Germans caught her. This was some time if February 1944. Using paints that were smuggled from various sources, Dina set to work painting a scene of Snow White looking out over the Swiss countryside
. Dina knew that some of the children had seen the movie and would recognize the character. She had seen the movie 'seven times in a row' back in Czechoslovakia."
The amazing, sad, triumphant story of Dina Babbitt (née Gottliebová)—artist, animator, concentration camp survivor."Babbitt's artistic talent was spotted at Auschwitz by notorious Nazi doctor Josef Mengele, who forced her to paint portraits of condemned Gypsies in support of his crackpot theories about physical attributes and racial superiority."
"After the war she pursued work as an animator in Paris and was hired by the American who would become her husband, Art Babbitt. They married, moved to California and had two daughters. The Babbitts divorced in 1962, and Mrs. Babbitt returned to animation, working on characters like Tweety Bird, Wile E. Coyote and Cap’n Crunch."
"The postwar history of Ms. Babbitt’s watercolor portraits is unclear, but in a 2001 statement, the Auschwitz museum said that six were acquired in 1963 from a camp survivor and a seventh was acquired in 1977. Ms. Babbitt learned of the existence of the first six in 1973.
She traveled to Poland to authenticate her works and, she thought, to take them home. But the museum directors would not allow it, saying the paintings’ historical and educational value superseded her right of ownership
. It is the position they maintained to the end of her life, at one point, her daughter said, informing her in a letter that if anyone other than the museum had a right to the paintings, it was the heirs of Mengele.
They Spoke Out: The Dina Babbitt Story (Adapted from the comic strip created by Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and Rafael Medoff)