My Brother's Gift: Heinz Geiringer's Paintings
The paintings below are just four of the seventeen paintings that are used as the set in My Brother's Gift. Anne Frank’s family and Heinz Geiringer’s family were neighbors in Amsterdam. After both Heinz and Margot were “called up” to work in a Nazi Labor camp, they went into hiding at roughly the same time. Anne Frank left a diary while Heinz Geiringer left over twenty paintings and a book of poetry which show us both his hope for the future and the terror of the time. Heinz loved the arts. A trained musician, Heinz turned to painting and poetry in hiding to expand his artistry. He painted on tea towels, pillowcases and any surface that he could find. During the play, we witness his artistic growth through his paintings, poetry and his sister’s remembrances. The paintings vary from a nostalgic love of the life he once led to the fears that were now part of his everyday existence. From the tender age of fifteen to seventeen, Heinz created a body of work that exists to this day. After liberation, Otto Frank formed a close friendship with Fritzi Geiringer and Eva. When Otto was given Anne’s diary, Fritiz (Mutti) and Eva set out to recover Heinz’s paintings. (The paintings are housed in the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam.) Fritzi married Otto Frank and they dedicated their lives to bringing Anne Frank’s diary to the world. Today, Eva Schloss travels the world as a speaker of peace and tolerance. She works to bring her brother’s artistry to the world and to celebrate her brother’s ability to find hope and healing in art. Through his paintings and poetry, Heinz kept his fears at bay. The play shows us how art can bring hope in unconscionable times. My Brother's Gift celebrates Heinz’s life and depicts his journey as an artist and a loving brother.