By Henry Massie
First she escaped the Holocaust and the poverty of the shtetl. After that, she moved in lots of worlds. And in each one she made her mark.
"Henry Massie by no means blinks as he creates an staggering chronicle of a existence in diaspora. just a son may possibly trap this passionate spirit, who escaped either Adolf Hitler and Joe McCarthy." -Patty Friedmann, writer of Too Jewish
Art of a Jewish Woman is a memoir and biography of Massie's mom, an excellent and gorgeous lady who escaped the Holocaust and took part in lots of of the main severe classes of the 20 th Century. One half ancient biography, weaving international struggle II period eu cultural relationships with the background of contemporary artwork, and one half inspirational romance, it paints a vibrant portrait of Felice as an indomitable spirit, her boldness and resilience a beacon of desire.
"The so much transparent reveal at the Holocaust and ecu background that i have learn open air of textual content books ... A mesmerizing, infrequent and unforgettable read." -A Bookish Libraria
"A biography that chronicles an grand lifestyles ... Vivid instead of stuffy." -A Universe in Words
From the author:
I had listened to my mother’s stories all my existence and desired to proportion them. She was once an escapee from a Polish shtetl burnt up by means of the Nazis, a high-school political activist in Lithuania, a college scholar in France who misplaced her past love tragically, a partisan for Arab-Jewish co-existence in Palestine who was once stuck within the first intifada in 1936, and a penniless arrival to the US in 1937.
Yet whilst she died she had accumulated the most vital collections of recent paintings on the earth and used to be a college lecturer at the subject.
When she was once lecturing on glossy paintings at Washington collage in St. Louis, Missouri, younger women flocked to her. She urged them on their love-life and mentored them of their schooling. She by no means referred to the Feminist circulation, despite the fact that certainly one of her students stated top of feminism within the Nineteen Seventies, "She used to be the indispensable smooth lady. That brief hair [like Audrey Hepburn's], these outfits [colorful folkloric through the day, black skirt to the knee with a black most sensible within the evening], that beautiful petite physique with the large brown eyes. She was once alive, forceful, self sufficient and challenging."
In writing approximately her, I understood for the 1st time how her event of wasting family to the Nazis were handed directly to her American son.
But as a psychiatrist, i used to be interested in Felice’s tale since it indicates lots resilience within the face of poor emotional trauma. Her existence dramatizes how simply conserving on via days of getting not anything yet a trust that "someday i'll have something," could be a strong survival device.
Inside the stone construction, a British officer tested passenger's trip records. while Felice's flip got here, the crisply uniformed colonel checked out her naked shoulders and her brief beige and cream linen gown. a wedding certificates issued the day earlier than by means of a rabbi in Beirut stated they have been husband and spouse. the guy seemed malnourished. He had a purple beard and lengthy ear-locks, and massive spectacles lined his face. His black swimsuit was once all dusty, and his head used to be coated with a wide Hassidic black fedora. The couple didn't converse to one another. The colonel used to be lower than orders to do his half on the border to prevent the circulation of unlawful immigrants into Palestine. He requested Felice first in English, which she did not recognize, then in French, "Are the 2 of you married?"
"Yes, of course," she replied him.
"What language do you've got in common?" he persevered, probing the ruse.
But Felice and her newly certificated husband had no language in universal. He spoke Arabic and Hebrew, and he or she Polish, French, German, Yiddish, and a few Russian. "The Language of love," she stated in excellent melodious French, now not lacking a beat, flirting with the colonel.
He stamped her access visa.
Read or Download Art of a Jewish Woman: The True Story of How a Penniless Holocaust Escapee Became an Influential Modern Art Connoisseur (formerly titled Felice's Worlds) PDF
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Extra info for Art of a Jewish Woman: The True Story of How a Penniless Holocaust Escapee Became an Influential Modern Art Connoisseur (formerly titled Felice's Worlds)
Digitized and enlarged, the pictures have been shiny, as though the folk had stepped out of them, off the wall and into the crowded room; the faces in them reflected the faces in their dwelling descendants peering at them. My mother’s relatives stood in a superb, poster dimension growth of a masterfully lit and composed studio portrait taken while Felice used to be domestic on holiday from college in 1931. She had carried a small unique reproduction along with her in her suitcase whilst she got here to the US. the subsequent morning some of us traveled jointly to Szczuczyn. there have been new vans at the street and clean paint on some of the homes. This time we talked with electorate. They have been fearful yet cordial. they have to have feared that we'd direct anger at them, or that we'd declare houses they have been residing in although estate claims had lengthy been settled. A middle-aged girl confirmed us the nonetheless untouched ruins of Moshe’s granary. The roof had fallen in, and goats chomped the grass that used to be starting to be contained in the crumbling brick partitions. the girl and her husband owned Farberovicz’s previous grain mill, the place horses nonetheless grew to become the grindstone as that they had performed in Felice’s time. She advised us that Faberovicz had come again after the conflict to assert the mill and had offered it to her mom and dad. yet whatever within the sale had now not been fairly correct, she recalled. Farberovicz, she heard, had performed anything with the taxes that will not were totally sincere. She remembered him simply as Felice and Moshe had defined him. the highschool primary prepared an meeting of the junior and senior sessions. the scholars have been desirous to make us think welcome and learn the way we have been associated with their village. yet at moments I stiffened with apprehension whilst participants of our workforce requested the scholars in the event that they knew whatever from their mom and dad approximately why their grandparents had performed the Nazis’ bidding. I feared that a few within the room have been approximately to make condemnations, and strength the townspeople to guard their pasts. It didn’t take place. The teenagers have been too younger to grasp a lot in regards to the conflict, for his or her personal mom and dad were born after the warfare. They have been really curious. Others in our team softened the tone of the collection via telling the scholars how they have been relating to the few survivors who were kept through neighborhood households who concealed them or left caches of nutrition close to the forests the place they have been hiding. I commented concerning the fantastic thing about the land and puzzled if there will be a opposite migration again a few day. It used to be a somber party. One highschool pupil invited a lady whose mom survived in a cave for 3 future years to their domestic for tea since it were the survivor’s residence sixty-one years past. different townspeople invited viewers from our crew inside of once they observed them a home. Bridget and that i have been invited into my mother’s outdated domestic at the nook of Church road and industry sq. through the kinfolk that lived there now. One street-facing room used to be now a undeniable, unadorned, easily useful good looks salon, and the nook room used to be a bit store with a couple of books, magazines, and children’s playthings on the market on racks that have been part empty.