recent post about the Rosenblats, whose touching Holocaust love-story turned out to be fabrication. She described the hoax as a tragedy, and went on to share an inspiring story about Dina Gottliebova Babbitt "the beautiful young art student who painted Snow White and the Seven Dwarves on the children's barracks at Auschwitz."A blog reader, Vanessa, recently commented on a
I had never heard of Dina, so I decided to do a little research of my own and discovered that this story was not only true and fascinating, but the subject of a six-page comic book by industry legends Neal Adams, Joe Kubert, and Stan Lee.
Artist Dina Gottliebova was sent to Auschwitz when she was about 20 years old. While there, she was asked by the unofficial head of the children's barracks if she would be willing to paint a mural for the children to help liven their spirits: risking death, she painted a mural of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves with smuggled paints. Her talents were brought to the attention of Mengele, who wanted her to paint portraits of Romany inmates - he did not feel that black and white photographs properly captured the darker tones of their "genetically inferior" skin. Dina agreed to paint, but demanded her mother be spared from the gas chambers. Mengele agreed.
The comic features five of the nine portraits, and ends with her 1945 liberation, and her life as an animator in California. Her work on Loony Toons characters like Daffy Duck and Speedy Gonzales, among others, continued to bring children joy for years.
So thank you, Vanessa, for bringing this incredible (true) story to our attention!