Steffi

These pictures were taken of my mother the last week of her life. My mother grew up in Berlin in a wealthy household with sixteen servants and two nannies, one to braid the right side and the other to braid the left side of her hair. They were a high society family. Supposedly Max Beckman painted a portrait of my grandmother’s sister, Cecelia. The painting was lost or stolen, and Cecelia did not survive the war. My mother said my grandmother was the best dressed woman in all of Berlin. In 1939 my mother was put on a train by herself to Holland with two potatoes in her overcoat pocket. Throughout most of my adult life, I wanted to photograph my mother. I would follow her around with my camera in hand, but she would always put up a fight and eventually I would back down. Therefore, it was amazing that in the last week of my mother’s life, she was so peaceful that even my picture taking didn’t bother her in the least. She smiled, didn’t argue at all, nodded her head in approval, and let me have these pictures.