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Biographical/Historical Information

The conductor Leo Kopf was born in Targovicz, Lower Silesia (Targowica, Poland) in 1888. He was a noted figure in the musical world in Germany, specifically after 1933 when he was musical director of the Berlin Jewish Community and conducted concerts presented by Jüdischer Kulturbund. In 1939 he escaped Nazi Germany to London, where he formed a choral society and a string orchestra, and then to the United States. Leo Kopf died in New York in 1953.

Gertrud Sax-Bernhard (1885-1962) was a painter of still lifes, landscapes and portraits. She received her initial training with Martin Brandenburg and Leo von König in Berlin and was a member of the Association of Women Artists and the Association of Visual Artists in Germany. She emigrated to Paris after the Nazis came to power in 1933. She had numerous exhibits in Paris as well as Nice and participated in shows organized by the artists' organization Artistes Libres together with Eugene Spiro and other prominent émigré artists. In 1939 she married Georg Bernhard, the noted journalist, who was interned in the internment camp of Bassens near Bordeaux the following year. She and her husband came to New York in 1941 with the help of Varian Fry, who secured a visa for them. Further information on Sax-Bernhard's activities after her emigration to the U.S. could not be ascertained.

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Sax-Bernhard, Gertrud: Portrait of Leo Kopf, Leo Baeck Institute, 97.13.