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Biographical/Historical Information

Börries Münchhausen (1874-1945) was a German poet and Nazi activist. He published his first collection of poems in the German Romantic style in 1898. When his popularity dwindled after the First World War, he founded the Deutsche Dichterakademie [German poets academy] in 1930 along with his cousin, Hans von der Gabelentz. In 1933, he was among 88 writers who vowed allegiance to Adolf Hitler. Münchhausen overdosed on sleeping pills in 1945 as Allied troops advanced near his estate, Windischleuba, only a few months after the death of his wife.

Struck was a master of etching and book illustration. He taught the art of printmaking to Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Arno Nadel and his monograph on the art of etching is a classic in the field. Struck was both an Orthodox Jew and a Zionist, however, his outlook on the world was decidedly cosmopolitan. This is also evident in his countless portraits, from Friedrich Nietzsche to Sigmund Freud, and impressions from his wide travels. While on service in the German Army during WW 1 he came into contact with the Jewish Communities of Galicia and Lithuania. During this time he created a series of sketches in Eastern Europe, which he lated turned into a book together with Arnold Zweig, titled "The Face of East European Jewry". In 1923 he emigrated to Palestine, where he was among the Bezalel School in Jerusalem.

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Struck, Hermann: Portrait of Baron Börries von Münchhausen, Leo Baeck Institute, 78.213.