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Biographical/Historical Information

Leo Haas was born in Czechoslovakia in 1901. In 1937, he was accused of cultural Bolshevism because of the caricatures he had published. In October 1939, he was sent to Nisko near Lublin. Haas was transported to Terezin in September 1942. Here he worked in the technical-graphic department of the camp, which enabled him and his friend Bedrich Fritta to visit other parts of the ghetto. They secretly made many drawings documenting all aspects of ghetto life. Haas was interned successively in Terezin, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen and Mauthausen. In Sachsenhausen, Haas' group was given the job of counterfeiting American money. On 5 May 1945 the prisoners were transferred to Ebensee camp, where they were liberated the next day by the Allied forces. After his liberation Haas returned to Terezin and recovered his entire art collection, as well as many works produced by Fritta. In 1955 Haas moved to East Berlin, where he worked as the editor of a caricature journal called Eulenspiegel and designed movie sets for the DEFA Company and for East German television. He exhibited his works in East Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Israel, China and the United States.

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Haas, Leo: [Wishing you and all of us a better 1943, the Haasens!], Leo Baeck Institute, 82.178.