July 30, 1898 • Born in Vienna as the only child to Simon Dicker (1857–1942), originally from Uzhhorod/Ungvár in today's Ukraine, and Karolina, née Fantová (1865–1902) whose family came from Bohemia. After Karolina’s death, Friedl's father remarries to Charlotte Schön (1866–1943).
1914-1919 • Studies photography at the Graphische Lehr- und Versuchsanstalt (GLVA) in Vienna while also seeking other learning opportunities at the School of Applied Arts (k. und k. Kunstgewerbeschule) where she meets Franz Cizek (1865-1946), the founder of the Child Art Movement and the Kunstgewerbeschule's Juvenile Art Class. In 1917, she enrols in Johannes Itten’s private school and, in 1919, when Itten accepts a teaching position at State Bauhaus, follows her teacher to Weimar, Germany along with fifteen other of her fellow students.
1919-1923 • Studies at State Bauhaus in Weimar where she belongs to the inner circle of Itten's followers. She is also influenced by other artists brought to Bauhaus by the school's director, architect Walter Gropius (1883-1969), namely by Paul Klee (1879-1940), Wassily Kandisky (1866-1944), Lyonel Feininger (1871-1956), Oskar Schlemmer (1888-1943), Georg Much (1895-1987), Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (1893-1965), and Gertrude Grunow (1870-1944).
1923-1924 • After graduating from Bauhaus, she lives in Berlin where with former classmates Franz Singer (1896-1954), Naum Slutzky (1894-1965), and Franz Skala (1892-1975) they found the Werkstätten bildender Kunst. At the same time she and Singer continue their work for the theater, in particular for the stage director Berthold Viertel (1885-1953).
1924-1926 • Returns to Vienna and shares an atelier with friend and former classmate Anny Wotitz-Moller (1900-1945), and later collaborates with Martha Döberl (designing fashion accessories from textiles and leather, as well as bookbindings).
1926-1931 • Together with Franz Singer opens an architecture and design studio that soon becomes renowned under the unofficial name of Atelier Singer-Dicker. During its five years in existence, Friedl and Franz take commissions mostly from private investors (reconstruction of private residences and interior apartment design), however, in 1930 they realize their own design for the Montessori kindergarten at the Goethehof public housing project.
1931–1934 • Atelier Singer-Dicker officially closes with the work being taken up by a wider collective (Ateliergemeinschaft) among whom was also architect Leopoldine Schrom (1900-1984), who later saved the plans and prototypes produced by both studios. Friedl becomes more closely involved with the communists, creating agitprop photomontages for the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ), which activities lead her to prison in 1931 and 1932.
1934-1938 • Permanently settling in Prague in 1934, she lives and works in an atelier on Jaromírova Street in the Nusle district, teaches refugee children from Austria and Germany, gives private lessons to Edith Kramer (1916-2014), Vienna-born art student who followed her to Prague, establishes contact with the Prague Psychoanalytic Circle headed by Otto Fenichel (1897-1946), which gives her the opportunity to delve into child psychology and psychoanalysis, frequents the Black Rose bookstore, where she and her friends form a loose communist group, and in 1936 marries her cousin Pavel Brandeis (1905-1971), allowing her to obtain Czechoslovak citizenship.
1938-1942 • Friedl and Pavel move to Hronov, a small town in Eastern Bohemia, where they work for the Spiegler brothers’ textile mill. Friedl has her first solo exhibition in absentia in 1940 at the exile Arcade Galleries in London, refuses a visa to Palestine as well as offers to go to Great Britain, maintains a robust correspondence, reads voraciously, stays in contact with a small circle of her closest friends ... On December 17, 1942, Friedl and Pavel are deported to the Ghetto Theresienstadt.
1942-1944 • Shortly after arriving in Terezín Friedl's stepmother, Charlotte, dies, the only family member she manages to see in the ghetto. In spring 1943, she begins to organize the drawing lessons in the children’s dormitories. On September 28, 1944, Pavel Brandeis is deported to Auschwitz, and on October 6, 1944, Friedl volunteers for transport and is murdered in the Birkenau gas chambers as soon as she arrives. Pavel Brandeis survives and is liberated at Sachsenhausen, returning to Prague after the war.
1945 • At the beginning of June, one of Friedl's closest collaborators, Willy Groag (1914-2001), brings two suitcases with children’s drawings from Terezin to Prague and gives them to the Jewish Museum. As the largest collection of children’s art from the Shoah period in the world, it quickly achieves international renown.