On a rainy afternoon in 1943, in Ghetto Terezin, or Theresienstadt, a group of prisoners was digging ditches. While the storm was raging, sheltered temporarily by a shed, Fred Terna found a scrap of paper, and started sketching. It was his first serious work as an artist.
Frederick Terna was born in Vienna in 1923 to a family from Prague. When he was 3 years old, the Ternas moved to Prague where Fred was raised and educated. After Theresienstadt, in 1944 he was shipped to Auschwitz, and from there, late in 1944, to Kaufering, a sub-camp of Dachau . He was liberated near Landsberg in Bavaria. Upon returning to Prague he discovered he was the only survivor of the Terna Family.
In 1946, Mr. Terna relocated to Paris and studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere and the Academie Julien.
In 1952, he moved to New York City, and became a full-time artist. His work is included in a variety of collections including the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.