Persecution, Deportation, and Emigration

Born in Brünn, Austria-Hungary (now Brno, Czechoslovakia) in 1896, Norbert Troller served as a soldier in World War I. After the war he studied architecture in Brno and Vienna. He was deported to Theresienstadt in 1942, where he worked as an architect for the Jewish self-administration of the camp, and produced works of art as well. In 1944 he was imprisoned by the Gestapo and then sent to Auschwitz.  He survived and emigrated to the United States in 1948 where he designed many Jewish Community Centers.

Among the artworks in DigiBaeck are many works that attest to the experience of German-speaking Jews under the Nazi regime. These include works secretly created in Theresienstadt by architect Norbert Troller, depictions of refugee and internment camps by Samson Schames, and David L. Bloch’s extensive body of work documenting the Shanghai Ghetto.

Illustrators – Hermann Struck, Hugo Steiner-Prag, E.M. Lilien

Czech-born painter and illustrator Hugo Steiner-Prag, who was partial to tales of the fantastic, illustrated the Gustav Meyrink novel, "The Golem", published in a luxury edition in Leipzig by Kurt Wolff, 1916. In most of the illustrations of the old Jewish quarter of Prague is the protagonist as much as the Golem. In this later drawing, however the bulky figure of the Golem looms on the page in isolation accompanied only by what appear to be a double shadow.

Among the many art books in DigiBack are limited edition volumes containing most of the major works of the illustrators E.M. Lilien, Hugo Steiner-Prag, and Hermann Struck.

Expressionists – Ludwig Meidner

Meidner, Ludwig, Prophet (1915)

Exponents of German Expressionism, an early 20th century movement that shaped many other avant garde movements over the course of the century, and artists influenced by it are well-represented in DigiBaeck, from Ludwig Meidner to Peter Lipman-Wulf.

Impressionists – Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury

The painting shows a figure bending over to attend the plants in a cabbage field, probably planted during WWI at the artist's summer house in Wannsee outside Berlin.  The handling and colors are close to Impressionism, but the brushstrokes are wider than French impressionism.

DigiBaeck includes many original works and rare prints of works by Max Liebermann an important German impressionist, and founder of the Berlin Secession. Lesser Ury (1861-1931), another Berlin impressionist who had a complicated relationship with Liebermann, is also represented in DigiBaeck.