Saar Roelofs


Inner world
The girl and the wolf

BoOkS (in Dutch)
Even now (life story of an Auschwitz survivor)
Turning point - About personal crises and chances 
Who is crazy, actually? - About the therapeutic relationship  
Do not disturb - A critical discussion about the mental health care
Ten composer portraits in word and image




A remarkable true love story

New York, William Morrow and Company Inc. (1982)

The storyline of the cycle of paintings The girl and the wolf by Saar Roelofs is partly based on Simons Wiesenthals book Max and Helen, a true story. The core of this story is as follows.

At the beginning of World War II are Max and Helen young lovers. Both are Jewish. Together with Helens sister Miriam they end up in a concentration camp, run by the sadistic camp commander Werner Schulze. Max and several others escape from the camp. Helen refuses to escape because Miriam is too weak to join them. She decides to take care of her sister.*

Helen is raped by the camp commander, who is committing - in terms of Nazism - ‘miscegenation’, for which there was a high penalty in Nazi Germany. He becomes attached to his victim and forces her to live in his house. Helen continues to submit to him in order to keep Miriam alive. The price she pays for this 'favor' is that she despises herself. 

In the end, Miriam is killed and Helen gets pregnant. The camp commander spares her life. Helen survives. After the war she gives birth to a son. 

Max and Helen tells furthermore about Wiesenthals decision not to persecute the camp commander in order to spare Helens sun, who does not know that his father is Nazi.

The girl and the wolf is no literal representation of Wiesenthals book. In the cycle of paintings is for example a female perpetrator added.

Wiesenthals story is filmed twice, in 1990 by Philippe Saville and in 2015 by Giacomo Battiato.

* Wiesenthal fictionalized all names in his book.

See also:

A story of many times
Introduction by the artist 

Like an axe in hard frozen ice
Introduction by Hans Paalman