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Biographical/Historical Information

Theresa Dittman was the mother of artist Elisabeth Model. After Kristallnacht, her daughter helped her escape from Germany to the Netherlands. She later died of a heart attack in 1942 at Westerbork, a Dutch transit camp.

Elisabeth Model (née Dittmann) was a German-born painter and sculptor. Model studied sculpture in Munich, Paris, and Amsterdam. While in Munich she met her husband, Max Model, whom she married in 1922. The couple moved to Amsterdam, where Max worked for a U.S. brokerage firm, and obtained citizenship. During Nazi rule, she helped her mother escape to the Netherlands and Max was briefly imprisoned, after which they secured visas and made their way to New York. Members of Model's family that didn't die in the Holocaust were able to escape to Great Britain. In the U.S. Model designed costume jewelry for Hattie Carnagie, and continued her work as an artist and teacher.

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Model, Elisabeth: My mother Theresa (1865-1942), Leo Baeck Institute, 90.15.