The collage by 12-year- old Hanuš Richard Weinberg was created in the art classes that were organized in the Terezín ghetto by the artist and teacher Friedl Dicker-Brandeis (1898–1944). The piece reflects the experimental teaching method Dicker-Brandeis had adopted from her own years an art student at the State Bauhaus in Weimar between 1919 and 1923. As Dicker-Brandeis herself emphasized in her notes for a lecture on the children’s art classes that she delivered in Terezín as part of the specially organized evening lecture series, she used this method primarily not to educate artists, but to strengthen interpersonal relationships and social skills of her young students by stimulating their creativity and emotional potential. Given the extreme conditions that existed in the ghetto, the art classes also proved to be a powerful therapeutic tool and an outlet for the emotional expression for each individual child.
Terezín (Theresienstadt), an 18th-century military fortress located 60km northwest of Prague, was converted by the Nazis into a concentration camp and a Jewish ghetto in the fall of 1941. In less than four years, more than 155,000 prisoners were deported to the ghetto from Bohemia and Moravia, as well as from Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark. Over 35,000 prisoners died there as a consequence of stress, hunger, and the appalling sanitary conditions.