A man in a turban
In 1995, while preparing an exhibition and its catalogue Culture and Barbarity I came across a drawing by an unknown artist Leo Mayer. All I could learn about him was his date of birth and dates of his arrival in Terezin and deportation to Auschwitz.
The small watercolor, one of hundreds of items on display, caught my eye even though the drawing itself was quite unremarkable. A man in a turban and baggy trousers – it looked like a sketch for a Terezin stage show. I remember wondering at the time whether to include this work in the exposition or not. But the drawing appealed to me, and once something captures your attention without any visible reason, it starts to live.
This sketch triggered the whole story. The plot started to unfold. A big article was printed in Dagens Nyheter about the exhibition Culture and Barbarity, and a fair-haired girl read it on a train going from Goteborg to Stockholm. That morning the article must have been read by thousands, but what is relevant, it was read by this girl, daughter of a certain Leo Kramar. After reading the article Helena decided to go to the Kulturhuset. The Leo Mayer sketch had caught Helena’s attention. Then it hit her – yes, this was her grandfather’s work! To be sure she called her father in Lund and told him the artist’s dates of birth and death. The dates coincided.