Dina Gottliebová – Mother of Tweety and Willie E. Coyote
Dina Gottliebová survived Mendele’s selection in Auschwitz and became one of the most valued Warner Bros’ cartoonist. Photo: Peter DaSilva for The New York Times
Dina Gottliebová, also known as Dina Baddit, was born in Brno on January 21st, 1923. She was an artist and Holocaust survivor. In 1939, Dina Gottliebová enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, but she was expelled from the school for her Jewish origin during the war.
In 1942, she was deported to the concentration camp of Auschwitz. She escaped death as the infamous Dr. Mengele recognised her talent and used her for drawing portraits of the Romani to capture their skin color as black and white photography was lacking in that.
Gottliebová agreed with Dr. Mengele under the terms that he would spare her mom’s life. Seven of her watercolor pictures survived until now and they are displayed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
Once the war ended, she moved to Paris. There she met the American animator Art Babbitt and with him found a new home in the USA. Gottliebová worked as an animator in the States, including legendary Warner Bros studios.
She was the co-author of several well-known cartoon characters, such as the popular yellow bird Tweety and Willie E. Coyote.
A comics documentary was created based on her story. A copy of the documentary and a part of Babbitt’s situation were included in the final issue of the comic X-Men: Magneto Testament.
Dina Gottliebova-Babbitt was diagnosed with cancer and died on July 29, 2009 at the age of 86.