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 Erich Arnold Brill  (1895 - 1942)

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Lived/Active: Germany/Israel      Known for: landscape painting, country scenes

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Kleiner Platz in Paris
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Erich Arnold Brill (* 20 September 1895 in Lübeck , † 26 March 1942 in the concentration camp Jungfernhof Riga ) was a German painter and Holocaust victims. He earned a PhD in economics and then studied at art schools in Hamburg and Frankfurt. In 1920 he married a Jewess, Martha Leiser, and they had a daughter Alice in 1920.  By 1921, the couple was divorced.

Erich lived in Italy, Palestine, Switzerland and France. Initially expressionistic, his paintings during the 1920s were increasingly impressionistic. Until 1933, he had 25 exhibitions. His first patron was Alfred Lichtwark, who purchased three paintings.  Brill also painted portraits of the Emil Ludwig family.

After the transfer of power to the Nazis, Brill had to escape because he was of Jewish origin, and he went to the Netherlands. His now ex-wife also tried to emigrate in 1934 to Brazil, and she left the daughter with Brill in Amsterdam. In 1935 the two of them followed the former wife to São Paulo Brill, but in 1936 he returned back to Germany alone.  On 6 December 1941, he was taken from Hamburg to Riga and deported there in Jungfernhof concentration camp, where he became one of the victims of the Holocaust.

Now long gone, the Jungfernhof Concentration Camp was an improvised concentration camp in Latvia, at the village of Jumpravmuiža, near the Škirotava Railway Station about three or four kilometers from Riga. The camp was in operation from December 1941 through March 1942, and served as overflow housing for Jews from Germany and Austria, who had originally been intended for Minsk as a destination.

In his birth centenary year 1995, Brill;s daughter Alice Brill Czapski organized a gallery exhibition in his honor in the state of Sao Paulo.

Submitted by Carolyn J. Singer, who has been helped by a genealogist.


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

The following information is from Carolyn Singer, who wrote: "Attached is some information on Erich Brill from the Central Database of Shoah victims at Yad Vashem.  I inherited a painting by Erich Brill and was researching him, as my mother's maiden name was Bril (one L).  I believe he was cousins with my Grandfather, as the painting I have has a personal, handwritten note on the back from Erich to my Grandfather's sister.

His date of birth is consistent with my Grandfather's and his siblings, so they would be contemporaries.  I also have a postcard that Erich wrote to my Grandfather's mother, with a photo of him on the front, in what I believe is his German army uniform.

This is the notation from The Central Database of Shoah Victims:

"Erich Brill was born in 1895. Prior to WWII he lived in Hamburg, Germany. Erich was murdered/perished in Riga, Latvia. This information is based on a List of murdered Jews from Germany found in Gedenkbuch."

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