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)

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 excellent chronicle of a existence in diaspora. just a son may well catch 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, a super and lovely lady who escaped the Holocaust and took part in lots of of the main severe classes of the twentieth Century. One half old biography, weaving global struggle II period ecu cultural relationships with the heritage of recent paintings, and one half inspirational romance, it paints a bright portrait of Felice as an indomitable spirit, her boldness and resilience a beacon of wish.

"The so much transparent divulge 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 awesome 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 percentage them. She was once an escapee from a Polish shtetl burnt up via the Nazis, a high-school political activist in Lithuania, a college scholar in France who misplaced her old flame tragically, a partisan for Arab-Jewish co-existence in Palestine who used to be stuck within the first intifada in 1936, and a penniless arrival to the US in 1937.

Yet while she died she had accrued probably the most very important collections of recent paintings on the earth and was once a college lecturer at the subject.

When she was once lecturing on glossy artwork at Washington college in St. Louis, Missouri, younger ladies flocked to her. She urged them on their love-life and mentored them of their schooling. She by no means referred to the Feminist move, even though considered one of her students stated top of feminism within the Nineteen Seventies, "She was once the integral sleek girl. That brief hair [like Audrey Hepburn's], these outfits [colorful folkloric through the day, black skirt to the knee with a black best within the evening], that beautiful petite physique with the massive brown eyes. She was once alive, forceful, self sufficient and challenging."

In writing approximately her, I understood for the 1st time how her adventure of wasting household 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 exhibits lots resilience within the face of bad emotional trauma. Her lifestyles dramatizes how simply maintaining on via days of getting not anything yet a trust that "someday i'm going to have something," could be a robust survival device.

Excerpt:

Inside the stone construction, a British officer tested passenger's commute 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 way of a rabbi in Beirut stated they have been husband and spouse. the fellow regarded malnourished. He had a pink beard and lengthy ear-locks, and big spectacles lined his face. His black swimsuit was once all dusty, and his head was once coated with a wide Hassidic black fedora. The couple didn't communicate to one another. The colonel used to be below orders to do his half on the border to forestall the stream 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 responded him.

"What language do you will have 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 ideal melodious French, no longer lacking a beat, flirting with the colonel.

He stamped her access visa.

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The stories have been in entrance of me at the video display, and that i couldn’t steer clear of confronting the horror of what occurred any more. analyzing the survivors’ narratives and the letters of coming near near doom the perished had despatched overseas within the weeks prior to the Nazis invaded reduce via me like a knife. i may basically keep it up a number of paragraphs at a time; then i'd say to myself, this can be too bad, I can’t pass on. i'd positioned down what i used to be interpreting or flip off the pc and stroll away. however it saved pulling me again hours or days later to benefit nonetheless extra.

It used to be a significant tuition, and that i labored very challenging. i used to be a major scholar and had little or no loose time, yet i used to be lovely and had many dates. i'll opt for the lads i wished. I enjoyed to visit the flicks and theater with them. ” close to the place she lived used to be a good park that she cherished, a wide park with a bit lake and café and such a lot of little birds she beloved to watch—pigeons, nightingales, woodpeckers, sparrows, and robins looking worms within the spring. Felice and her buddies enjoyed to satisfy for ice cream and little tarts, however the boys she went with weren't severe relationships simply because she was once a diligent scholar first.

He proceeded to hear rigorously to the painter’s center and chest, think the energy of his pulse, and realize the pallor of his dermis. He implored him to forestall smoking and attempted to assist him locate care with a heart specialist. Edward understood that the superb portray will be Kline’s final enormous paintings, and he and Felice desired to buy it. The painter died the subsequent 12 months of middle affliction. a brand new York occasions overview of the 1997 Franz Kline retrospective at Alan Stone Gallery in ny describes the portray: “It’s any such gorgeous factor, with its tough, off-kilter field of black paint floating in a box of noble blue during which a ghost of rose-red pulses and glints like a heart…This mix of parts outdated and new achieves a gradual apotheosis within the show’s ultimate portray, ‘Scudera’.

She was once not consuming. A hospice nurse used to be vacationing her house two times every week, leaving a drugs the aide may well supply that dissolved underneath her tongue. It took away the panic and the hard actual exertions of straining her entire physique to beat her shortness of breath. And it additionally made her sleep extra deeply. The evening of December 30, 2007, she passed on to the great beyond at ninety-seven. Afterword Felice had requested to be cremated. In lifestyles, while she thought of dying, she actually shivered on the considered mendacity by myself in a chilly, darkish position.

Might be she had a psychological block opposed to fake tooth simply because her mom had instructed her that Felice’s start was once liable for her wanting fake enamel. definitely her family’s destiny within the coming near near cataclysm in Europe distracted her from institution. Felice knew concerning the voyage of the send St. Louis, for the tale used to be plastered at the entrance pages of the newspaper. Named for the thirteenth Century saint recognized for piety and equity between countries (not recognized for his decree expelling Jews from France), as was once town within which Felice had landed, the St.

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