University of Minnesota
Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies


Charlotte Salomon

Charlotte SalomonCharlotte Salomon was a Jewish artist born in Berlin Germany in 1917. Salomon painted a very large collection of auto-biographical works known as Leben? oder Theater? (Life? or Theater?). In 1939 Salomon fled Nazi Germany, moving to the South of France to live with her grandparents who fled in 1933. The personal tragedy of the suicides of her mother in 1926 and her grandmother in 1940, led her to confront her famiy's past, as well as being Jewish in Nazi occupied Europe. From 1940-1942 she produced 1325 water colors. Of that number roughly about 800 went into Life? or Theater? In 1943 Charlotte Salomon was murdered at Auschwitz. She was 26.

Below are links to the most comprehensive sites on her work and life.

Charlotte Salomon: The Complete Work. Jewish Historical Museum, Amsterdam
Charlotte Salomon. Jewish Women's Archive




Recommended Reading:

  • Felstiner, Mary Lowenthal,To paint her life: Charlotte Salomon in the Nazi era,New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1994.
  • Salomon,Charlotte, Charlotte, life or theater?: An autobiographical play,New York: Viking Press; Maarssen, The Netherlands: G. Schwartz, 1981.