As a person, Abbo was flamboyant and charismatic. Many of his wealthy and powerful patrons, clients and friends were Jewish. He was known for his bohemian and eccentric lifestyle, an exotic artist from the Orient, apparently living for sometime in a Bedouin tent in his large Berlin studio. He was part of the group of friends of the Expressionist poet and playwright, Else Lasker-Schüler, whom he portrayed on several occasions and who in turn wrote a poem about him.
With the Nazi takeover, Abbo was repeatedly branded-he was stateless after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, exposed by his Jewish ancestry to Nazi racial fanaticism and his girlfriend Ruth Schulz was illegitimately pregnant by him. In a dramatic way, the pair fled to England in 1935, where Abbo could not continue his career.
Jussuf Abbo died in his London exile in 1953.
In her presentation, Dorothea Schöne introduces this multi-faceted, unjustly forgotten artist and his traumatic experience of flight and exile from Nazi-Germany.