“Kalman Aron, Whose Art Spared Him in the Holocaust, Dies at 93”

Unbelievable story. Simply a must read. RIP

Kalman Aaron began drawing pencil and crayon portraits of his family in Latvia when he was 3. A child prodigy, he mounted his first one-boy gallery show when he was 7. He was commissioned to paint the official portrait of the Latvian prime minister whne he was 13. He enrolled at an academy of fine arts in Riga, the capital, at 15.

Then, in 1941, when he was 16, the Germans invaded, and his parents, who were Jewish, were murdered. But Kalman’s artistic talent would spare his life. Over the next four years, he would survivie seven Nazi concentration camps by swapping sketches of his captors and their families for scraps of food.

And he lived to become a prominent American portraitist. He died at 93 on Feb. 24 in Santa Monica, Calif., the Los Angeles Museum of Holocaust said.

Please continue reading this amazing life story at NYTimes