It’s My Whole Life: Char­lotte Salomon: An Artist in Hid­ing Dur­ing World War II

  • From the Publisher
January 3, 2022

A grip­ping mid­dle grade biog­ra­phy of Char­lotte Salomon, and an ode to how art can cap­ture both life’s every­day beau­ty and its mon­u­men­tal horrors.

Char­lotte Salomon was a Ger­man-Jew­ish artist born in Berlin. She is remem­bered for her auto­bi­o­graph­i­cal series of paint­ings, Life? or The­ater?, which con­sists of 769 indi­vid­ual works paint­ed between 1940 and 1942 while she was in hid­ing from the Nazis in the south of France, and which has been called a paint­ed par­al­lel to Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and an ear­ly graph­ic nov­el. In 1943, she entrust­ed her col­lec­tion of paint­ings to a friend. In Octo­ber of that year, she was cap­tured and deport­ed to Auschwitz, where she and her unborn child were gassed to death upon arrival.

It’s My Whole Life cov­ers Charlotte’s remark­able life from her child­hood and art school days to her time as a refugee in Nazi-occu­pied France, where she cre­at­ed the largest sin­gle work of art cre­at­ed by a Jew dur­ing the Holo­caust. Com­pelling­ly writ­ten and accom­pa­nied by vivid col­or pho­tographs of Salomon’s art­work, Susan Wider has craft­ed an illu­mi­nat­ing por­trait of an enig­mat­ic and evanes­cent young artist.

25 col­or illustrations

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