That is what it looked like, my child, this world


Audio-Visual Collage, VBKÖ, Vienna, 2009-11

duration: 23'15''


2 audio-collages with interview-passages from 2 talks:

Narrator from 16.04.2010 in Vienna: Helga Pollak-Kinsky

Narrator from 12.06.2010 in Brno: Anna Flachová-Hanusová, Helga Pollak-Kinsky and Ela Stein-Weissberger


3 B&W-copies from collages of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, borrowed from the »University for Applied Arts Vienna, collection and archive«:

»This is how children live«, 1932-1933 (original size: 120x100 cm)

»That is what it looks like, my child, this world«, 1932-1933 (original size: 120x90 cm)

»The bourgeoisie becomes fascist«, 1932-1933 (original size: 120x90 cm)


Space element with materials of research


The audio-visual collage »That is what it looked like, my child, this world« which is shown at the Annual Exhibition 2011 in the VBKÖ refers to a collage of Friedl Dicker that she developped in Vienna - a B&W-copy of it can be seen as part of the installation: »That is what it looks like, my child, this world«, made in the years 1932-1933. By shifting the verb »to look like« into its past tense, it becomes clear that the narrations of three women which are made audible by using two loudspeakers, open a personal retrospection.


Anna Hanušová-Flachová, Helga Pollak-Kinsky and Ela Weissberger talk about their experiences during their internment as children in the Theresienstadt Ghetto, when they met Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and visited her drawing lessons.


In 1926 Friedl Dicker took part in the Annual Exhibition of the VBKÖ in Vienna.


Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (born in 1898 in Vienna) was deported to Theresienstadt as a jew and a political resistance fighter together with her husband Pavel Brandeis from Hronov near Prague in 1942, after she had fled from Vienna to Prague in 1936. In Theresienstadt she managed to organise drawing lessons for children. Furthermore Friedl Dicker-Brandeis produced stage designs and costumes for theater performances that took place inside the camp. Just before she was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944, she arranged to hide about 4000 children's drawings in Theresienstadt. In 1944 the interior architect, designer, painter and graphic artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis was murdered in Auschwitz.


Anna Flachová-Hanušová (born in 1930 in Tesin Polski) was deported to Theresienstadt with the first family transport from Brno in December 1941. She was one of the first children in the camp and was called »Flaška«. Room 28 in the Girls Home L 410 on the marketplace became her accommodation. Later on Helga Pollak and Ela Stein also lived there and they all got friends. Flaška survived the Holocaust in Theresienstadt where she was liberated in May 1945. She became a pianist, a singer and a teacher of singing and piano. Together with her husband, the oboist Vítěslav Hanuš, she did guest performances and residencies in Beijing (China), Beirut (Lebanon) and Sydney (Australia). Since 1970 she lives and works in Brno.


Helga Pollak-Kinsky (born in 1930 in Vienna) was forced to emigrate as 8-year-old girl to Brno respectively Kyjov.With her father and her relatives, she was deported to Theresienstadt in January 1943. Together with other children she visited the secret classes - including the drawing lessons with Friedl Dicker-Brandeis. Often together with Flaška and Ela. During her internment she wrote a diary which is the basis for the book »The Girls of Room 28: Friendship, Hope and Survival in Theresienstadt« (published by Schocken Books, New York, 2009) and it was written by Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick. Helga Pollak was deported to Auschwitz in October 1944. During the selection she was assigned to a group of women who were destined to do forced labor in Oederan in Saxony in an ammunition factory. With a misery transport she was deported back to Theresienstadt at the end of April 1945 where she and her father witnessed the liberation. Today she lives and works in Vienna since 1957 after stopovers in Bangkok (Thailand) and Addis Abeba (Ethiopia).


Ela Stein-Weissberger (born in 1930 in Lom u Mostu) fled with her mother and sister to Prague in 1938 after the Nazis had let her father Max Stein »disappear« after the incidents of »Reichskristallnacht« when 300 Nazis had smashed their house to bits. From Prague their emigration into the USA failed in 1939. Together with her mother, grandmother, her uncle and her sister she was deported to Theresienstadt in February 1942. She performed the role of the »cat« in the children's opera »Brundibár« with Flaška who sang in the choir of the school children. After she was liberated with her mother and sister in May 1945, she lived in Prague where she attended the Art School for Ceramics and Porcelain from 1947 on. She emigrated to Israel in 1949, since 1958 she lives and works in the USA near New York.