If there was ever a man who rose from the ashes like a phoenix then it was the painter Felix Nussbaum. In 1944 his entire existence was burned to the ground. Nothing remained of his paintings or of the great fame he had enjoyed in Berlin between the wars. But half a century after his death in Auschwitz concentration camp, a museum was founded for him in his native city of Osnabrück, and today he is regarded as one of the most important Jewish painters of the twentieth century. It is a wonderful story that largely takes place in the Low Countries, yet it has waited until now for a narrator.
Words fail me. This is a book you will never forget.Geert Mak
Mark Schaevers follows Nussbaum on his wanderings through the Nazi years, from Rome to the Italian Riviera, from Paris to Ostend and Brussels. Along the way he looks at the many paintings in which Nussbaum expressed as no one else has done what it is like to be an artist in exile, an organ man without an echo.
Schaevers manages to get closer and closer to his characters until it almost takes the reader’s breath away.Geert Mak