'Life? or Theatre? That is the name Charlotte Salomon (Berlin 1917 - Auschwitz 1943) gave to her autobiography, which comprised more than 700 paintings. Just before she was deported she gave it to a friend and said: 'Keep this safe, it is my whole life!' While the feature film 'Charlotte' (1980) was being made, Charlotte's stepmother Paula Salomon-Lindberg handed the makers a letter that had never been published, but she asked them not to use the content of the letter in the film. In this letter, written to her one great love, Charlotte describes the circumstances in which 'Life? or Theatre? came about and provides us with an insight into the 'real' Charlotte and into the meaning of the question marks in 'life? or Theatre?