This mosque was erected during World War I for Muslim prisoners of war, held at the Wünsdorf POW camp outside of Berlin, called Halbmondlager (Camp Crescent). This was the first mosque to be erected on German soil, completed in 1915 and demolished a decade later.
Hermann (Chaim Aaron ben David) Struck was born in 1876 in Germany. He is best known as a master etcher, lithographer and early Zionist. He studied for five years at the Berlin Academy and in 1908 wrote "Die Kunst des Radierens" (The Art of Etching), while mentoring artists such as Marc Chagall, Max Liebermann and Lesser Ury. His art was included in an exhibition at the Fifth Zionist Congress and he helped establish the religious Zionist movement called Mizrachi. Struck was an Orthodox Jew but believed that culture and religion could thrive cooperatively in the Land of Israel. He emigrated to Haifa where he created an artistic community and participated in the development of the Tel Aviv Museum and the Bezalel art school in Jerusalem. Hermann Struck died in 1944.
During World War One (1914-1918), Hermann Struck participated in an ethnological project with the anthropologist Felix v. Luschan that found full support of the Imperial German Ministry of War. Struck’s portraits of “orientalist” prisoners of war and other drawings were published in Berlin in 1917 under the title “Prisoners of War” [Kriegsgefangene; ein Beitrag zur Völkerkunde im Weltkriege / Einführung in die Grundzüge der Anthropologie; LBI Library call number GN 24 L8 Online].
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Struck, Hermann: Mosque, Wünsdorf POW Camp, Leo Baeck Institute, 81.464.