Collections

WWI Art—Hermann Struck’s portraits of Muslim POWs

Raupratta Chan, Punjabi, 1916, Etching by Hermann Struck.

As empires clung to their supremacy and nationalist movements advanced an opposing vision of the link between ethnicity and state, troop movements and migrations brought people from across the globe into contact with one another. Artists like Hermann Struck, a Zionist and orthodox Jew from Berlin, turned an ethnographic lens on various groups of “exotic”…

WWI Photographs—Bernhard Bardach, an Austrian military surgeon

A German cavalry regiment (Uhlanen))

Bernhard Bardach was a 48-year-old career medical officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army when war broke out. He served on the Eastern and Western fronts, but he was able to spend much of his time during the war painting, writing extensive diaries, and taking over 900 remarkable photographs which have been digitized by LBI. Bernhard Bardach…

WWI Memoirs—Helmut Freund, a physician from Berlin

A page from Helmut Freund's Memoir

About 300 memoirs in LBI collections describe the experiences of Jewish soldiers in the German and Austro-Hungarian armies, from ordinary infantrymen to celebrated pilots to physicians and Jewish field chaplains. Helmut Freund was born around 1896 in Berlin and served as an auxiliary physician in the German Army. Like many highly assimilated, middle-class German Jews…

WWI Correspondence—Karl Henschel, a Volunteer from Berlin

Karl Henschel Collection, AR 6433

During the first year of the war, German soldiers sent six million letters every day, and received another 8.5 million. Soldiers’ letters were almost immediately instrumentalized to shape public perceptions about the war, and the publication of letters quickly became an important way of memorializing the fallen, who came in unprecedented numbers. Among the first…

Mahlzeit! German-Jewish Cuisine in LBI Collections

A plate from, Morgenstern, Lina. Illustriertes Universal-Kochbuch für Gesunde und Kranke. Berlin. 1907.

As anyone who has traveled abroad knows, food is one of the most important aspects of culture. Many a journey, and a good bit of global trade, was launched in search of new flavors. For the displaced, uprooted, or simply homesick, familiar foods provide a comfort and connection to home that is second perhaps only…

Lene Schneider-Kainer: Diary of an Incredible Journey Translated into English

A portrait of Lene Schneider-Kainer.

The year she turned 41, Lene Schneider-Kainer divorced her husband, closed her fledgling business selling designer lingerie to upper class Berlin ladies, and embarked on an 18-month journey to the near East, India, Southeast Asia, and China. Jewish publishing pioneer Rudolf Mosse’s liberal daily, the “Berliner Tageblatt,” had hired Schneider-Kainer to illustrate dispatches from an epic journey along the route traveled by Marco Polo in 1271.

Conservation of the Fürth Megillah

The Fürth Megillah drying under tension during conservation efforts at the CJH. Fürth Jewish Community Collection, AR 994

This colorfully illustrated Megillah from Fürth originated in the 18th century, when Jews comprised a fifth to a quarter of the city’s population and enjoyed freedoms unheard of elsewhere in Bavaria. Felicity Corkill, a conservator at the Center for Jewish History, describes how she prepared this treasure for public display at the CJH during Purim in 2014.

Archives: Hoerlin Collection Combines Intrigue, Alpinism, and Physics

Folders from the Hoerlin collection. Visible are correspondence between Käte and Hermann Hoerlin, Herman Hoerlin’s reports on the observation of nuclear tests from space, and a hand-drawn map of a region in Germany. AR 25540

The Kate and Herman Hoerlin Collection, recently added to the LBI Archives, contains the papers of a couple whose lives took a dramatic course shaped by events as diverse as the Rohm Putsch, a German expedition in the Himalayas, and US nuclear testing in Los Alamos. Kate Tietz was born to a Jewish family but…

Library: Sparrow Makes her Way

Samson, Meta and L. Szkolny (illus). Spatz macht sich. Berlin: Jüdischer Buchverlag, 1938.

“Wishing that you may make your own way just like this ‘sparrow.’ Love, Evi, your Aunt Becker. Cologne, Rosh Hashanah 5699,” reads the inscription in this slender volume. The sparrow (in German, “Spatz”) in the inscription refers to the title character of the book, Spatz Macht Sich (Sparrow Makes her Way). This children’s novel by…

Art: Lotka Burešová and her Terezín Friends

"Calm and prudence—breathe deeply!" reads the Czech inscription on
this drawing by Lotka Burešová. Franz Feigl Collection AR 5269

Anna Hájková, a scholar of the Theresienstadt Ghetto, describes how the discovery of a small watercolor painted there in 1944 led to insights into the cultural dynamics of the ghetto’s transnational enforced community.