Krewer grew up in a family of musicians. His father taught piano and singing classes at a progressive Jewish school in Vilnius. As a child, he studied in Yiddish. When he was twelve, he studied the piano with his father and took an interest in sculpture. His first work represented a rabbi and three students. As he sculpted during his German classes, his professor advised him to adopt an artistic career path. Krewer arrived in Paris in 1924 and started to paint. In Montparnasse, he painted and drew anywhere and anytime. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and then at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere with Antoine Bourdelle. His nickname was “le petit Krewer” (little Krewer). At Le Dôme and at La Coupole cafés, he used to have long discus- sions with Charles Rapaport, a socialist Jewish thinker.
When the war broke out, he stayed at his studio in Cachan. He did not believe that the situation was serious and, unconcerned, went to a police station where he had been summoned. The police chief handed him over to the Nazis. He was interned at the camp in Beaune-la-Rolande. Despite the difficult life at the camp, Krewer continued to paint. Although he had no illusions about his future, he wrote his mother that he was going to survive this hell and that everything would be fine. Shortly after he wrote this letter, on September 18, 1942, he was deported on convoy number 34. He was murdered by the Nazis.
Nieszawer & Princ
"Artistes juifs de l’Ecole de Paris 1905-1939"
Editons Somogy 2015
Capitale des arts, le Paris des années 1905-1939 attire les artistes du monde entier. De cette période de foisonnement, un terme est resté, celui d'Ecole de Paris, qui recouvre une grande diversité d'expression artistique. Dans ce brassage dont Montparnasse est le creuset, un groupe se distingue : celui des artistes juifs venus de Russie, de Pologne et d'Europe centrale. Si leurs styles sont variés, un destin commun les rassemble : ils fuient l'antisémitisme de leur pays d'origine. Certains ont connu la célébrité dès les années 1920, tels Soutine, Lipchitz ou Chagall. D'autres n'ont pas eu le temps ou la chance d'y accéder. Près de la moitié a péri dans les camps de concentration nazis.
From 1905 to 1939, Paris attracted artists from all over the globe as the capital of the art world. This period of artistic proliferation became known as the School of Paris, and includes a great diversity of artistic expression. Within the teeming art world centred on Montparnasse, one group set itself apart: Jewish artists from Russia, Poland, and Central Europe. Although their styles were diverse, they shared the common fate of fleeing anti-Semitic persecutions in their home countries. Some became famous in the 1920s, such as Soutine, Lipchitz, and Chagall, while others did not have the time or the luck to gain renown. Nearly half of these artists died in Nazi concentration camps.