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Berlin History

Oct 23, 2022

Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

2022-11-02T01:09:36-04:00October 23rd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Flucht ins Überleben [Escape to Survival]. Four Berlin Biographies from the Time of National Socialism
Märkisches Museum, Berlin (Germany)

Four selected life stories tell of survival strategies in war, flight and persecution - and of the consequences of the traumatic experiences for those affected. EVENT RECORDING FORTHCOMING Today we believe that flight, expulsion, oppression and murder which dominated Europe 70 years ago have been overcome. Recent events in Ukraine show us that this is not the case. And again there are countless individuals whose lives are uprooted and who have to reorient themselves. But what does that do to those affected, what does it do to artists and how do they reflect on this experience? With four selected biographies of Berliners, we recall the survival strategies they had to develop during the National Socialist [...]

Sep 30, 2021

“Fritz Ascher: Themes and Variations”
A Digital Exhibition Experience

2023-09-21T06:11:30-04:00September 30th, 2021||Comments Off on “Fritz Ascher: Themes and Variations”
A Digital Exhibition Experience

This digital exhibition includes important examples from the oeuvre of the German Jewish Expressionist artist Fritz Ascher (1893-1970). Ascher’s career extended from prior to the First World War until the late 1960s. However, Ascher’s artistic trajectory was interrupted due to persecution under National Socialism, and he spent much of the Second World War in hiding, concealed in a family friend’s basement. Ascher’s work consequently encompasses both the vibrant artistic scene in early-20th-century Germany, as well as the trauma and aesthetic shifts consequent of Ascher’s persecution and deprivations during the twelve years of the Nazi regime. These selected works are representative not only of critical moments in Ascher’s personal and artistic development, but also of key themes that occupied Ascher’s [...]

May 27, 2021

#EVERYNAMECOUNTS
LIVE ZOOM DATA ENTRY EVENT

2022-02-18T06:42:00-05:00May 27th, 2021|, |Comments Off on #EVERYNAMECOUNTS
LIVE ZOOM DATA ENTRY EVENT

Join the Fort Tryon Jewish Center (FTJC) and the Fritz Ascher Society for a LIVE DATA ENTRY EVENT to help build the world’s largest digital monument to victims of the Holocaust: the Arolsen Archives’ #everynamecounts. THIS EVENT WAS NOT RECORDED. Opening Remarks Rabbi Guy Austrian Fort Tryon Jewish Center in New York Rachel Stern Director and CEO of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York Introduction and Moderation Elizabeth Berkowitz Digital Interpretation Manager of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York #everynamecounts is a crowd-sourced data entry initiative to return the names of Holocaust victims, their families, and details of their lives into the findable, keyword-searchable public record. Participants enter information about Nazi victims and family members from digitized [...]

May 5, 2021

Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980):
The Making of an Artist
by Rüdiger Görner, London (UK)

2022-02-18T06:04:58-05:00May 5th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980):
The Making of an Artist
by Rüdiger Görner, London (UK)

The Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) achieved world fame with his intense expressionistic portraits and landscapes. Rüdiger Görner, author of the first English-language biography, depicts the artist in all his fascinating and contradictory complexity. He traces Kokoschka’s path from bête noire of the bourgeoisie and a so-called ‘hunger artist’ to a wealthy and cosmopolitan political and critical artist who played a major role in shaping the European art scene of the twentieth century and whose relevance is undiminished to this day. In 1934, Kokoschka left Austria for Prague, and in 1938, when the Czechs began to mobilize for the expected invasion by the German Wehrmacht, Kokoschka fled to the United Kingdom, where he remained during the war. Although he [...]

Apr 7, 2021

Cartoon Crusader:
Arthur Szyk’s War against Nazism
Steven Luckert, Washington DC

2022-02-18T06:31:18-05:00April 7th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Cartoon Crusader:
Arthur Szyk’s War against Nazism
Steven Luckert, Washington DC

During the first four decades of the twentieth century, Polish Jewish artist Arthur Szyk (1894–1951) was best known for his richly detailed book illustrations and magnificent illuminations on Jewish themes. He portrayed the Jews as a heroic nation that had resisted oppression through the ages and eventually triumphed. His Jews were fighters for their own freedom and the freedom of others. Szyk sought to redefine how the Jews viewed themselves and how others viewed them. His works thus challenged the notion that Jewish history was merely one long saga of suffering and, at the same time, refuted the then common antisemitic canard that the Jews were a cowardly people. With the coming to power in Germany of Adolf Hitler [...]

Mar 10, 2021

Building the Largest Digital Memorial
to the Victims of Nazism:
The Arolsen Archives
with Floriane Azoulay and Giora Zwilling, Arolsen

2022-02-18T06:37:23-05:00March 10th, 2021|, |Comments Off on Building the Largest Digital Memorial
to the Victims of Nazism:
The Arolsen Archives
with Floriane Azoulay and Giora Zwilling, Arolsen

The International Tracing Service (ITS), since 2019 called Arolsen Archives, was established by the Allies in 1948 as a central search and information center. They house the world’s most extensive collection of documents about the victims of National Socialist persecution, including documents from Nazi concentration camps, ghettoes and penal institutions, documents about forced laborers, and documents from the early post-war period about Displaced Persons, mainly Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp prisoners, and forced laborers. People who had fled the sphere of influence of the Soviet Union for political reasons are also included. The archive's holdings consist of 30 million documents in total and belong to UNESCO’s Memory of the World. At this event, Floriane Azoulay (Director) and Giora Zwilling (Deputy [...]

Mar 3, 2021

Becoming Jewish:
The Sculptor Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
Christian Walda, Dortmund with
Wolfgang Weick and Ori Z. Soltes

2022-02-18T07:06:06-05:00March 3rd, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Becoming Jewish:
The Sculptor Benno Elkan (1877-1960)
Christian Walda, Dortmund with
Wolfgang Weick and Ori Z. Soltes

Born 1877 in Dortmund, the sculptor Benno Elkan (1877-1960) first studied painting in Munich and Karlsruhe. At the end of his studies, he turned to sculpture. As a young artist, he spent time in Paris, Rome, and Frankfurt. Elkan’s oeuvre was largely made up of commissions. In the beginning, he mainly created tombs. Medals, portrait busts of well-known personalities, monuments to victims and candelabras follow, partly for the religious (Jewish and Christian) context. Elkan fled persecution by the German Nazi regime to Great Britain in 1934and lived with his family in London until the end of his life. Perhaps the most important work besides the Menorah in Jerusalem (1956) was never built: Memorial to the Defenseless Victims of the Bombing [...]

Feb 10, 2021

Excluded and yet entangled in two dictatorships:
The political constructivist Oskar Nerlinger
Eckhart Gillen, Berlin

2022-02-18T07:13:15-05:00February 10th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Excluded and yet entangled in two dictatorships:
The political constructivist Oskar Nerlinger
Eckhart Gillen, Berlin

Oskar Nerlinger (1893-1969) was one of the most important artists of the committed art scene in the Weimar Republic. He was a member of the Association of Proletarian Revolutionary Art (ASSO for short), which was founded in 1928 and belonged to the KPD, which cooperated with the Soviet avant-garde artist group Oktober. At that time there was no conflict between positions of aesthetic modernism and KPD politics. In 1932 the political and artistic avant-garde in the Soviet Union fell apart, with serious consequences for left-wing artists in Germany. Almost at the same time, the Nazi system broke with all forms of modernity. With his idea of art suddenly doubly isolated within his own party, which followed Stalin's art verdict, [...]

Jan 27, 2021

Between Art and Record Keeping –
Artistic Representations of the Holocaust
Ori Z Soltes, Washington DC

2022-02-18T07:19:09-05:00January 27th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Between Art and Record Keeping –
Artistic Representations of the Holocaust
Ori Z Soltes, Washington DC

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THIS EVENT HERE. Visual art during and after the Holocaust, by victims and survivors eloquently contradicts the famous comment by Theodor Adorno that "after the Holocaust to make art is barbaric." On the contrary, it was and is necessary: as part of the record of events as they were transpiring, and as part of the human response to horror--to express anger, to raise questions, to offer healing--in the time after those events. Who creates the art and what kind of art is created? What role does it play in wrestling with the question of what God is and what we humans are? These issues have implications both from within the heart of the Holocaust and from well beyond its particular boundaries. [...]

Jan 6, 2021

Biala (1903-2000):
The Rash Acts of Rescue and Escape
Jason Andrew, New York

2021-01-11T06:14:12-05:00January 6th, 2021|, , |Comments Off on Biala (1903-2000):
The Rash Acts of Rescue and Escape
Jason Andrew, New York

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THIS EVENT HERE. More information about Janice Biala is available HERE. Lecture featuring Jason Andrew Independent Scholar, Curator and Producer in New York Introduced by Rachel Stern Executive Director of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York Biala (1903-2000) was a Polish born American painter whose career stretched over eight decades and spanned two continents. Through it all, she retained an intimacy in her art rooted in Old World Europe—sensibilities that began with memories of her childhood in a Polish village, shaped by School of Paris painters like Bonnard, Matisse and Braque, inspired by Velázquez and the Spanish Masters, and broadened by the community of loft-living artists in Post World War II Downtown New York. Her [...]

Dec 2, 2020

White Shadows:
The Photograms of Anneliese Hager (1904-1997)
Lynette Roth, Harvard Art Museums

2022-03-06T11:39:32-05:00December 2nd, 2020|, , |Comments Off on White Shadows:
The Photograms of Anneliese Hager (1904-1997)
Lynette Roth, Harvard Art Museums

Lecture by Lynette Roth Daimler Curator of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and Head of the Division of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museums Moderated by Rachel Stern Executive Director of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York Anneliese Hager (1904-1997) is one of a number of modern artists who began their artistic experimentation in Germany after National Socialist cultural policy began to harden against all forms of modern art. Her preferred medium was the photogram, a photographic image made by placing an object directly on (or in close proximity to) a light-sensitive surface and exposing it to light. Hager called the reversal of light and dark in the resulting contact print “white shadows.” [...]

Nov 4, 2020

John Heartfield (1891-1968)
His Political Engagement and Private Life in London
Rosa von der Schulenburg, Berlin

2020-11-04T15:01:37-05:00November 4th, 2020|, , |Comments Off on John Heartfield (1891-1968)
His Political Engagement and Private Life in London
Rosa von der Schulenburg, Berlin

WATCH THE RECORDING OF THIS EVENT HERE. Lecture featuring Rosa von der Schulenburg, Head of the Art Collection of the Academy of Arts in Berlin Moderated by Rachel Stern, Executive Director of the Fritz Ascher Society in New York John Heartfield (1891-1968) was a German visual artist who pioneered the use of art as a political weapon. This presentation starts with preliminary remarks about John Heartfield’s bequest in the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and shows how it is accessible nowadays. A short introduction of how all began follows, showing the background of the birth of Heartfield’s political photo-montages (World War I, Dada, Communist Party, Willi Münzenberg’s Die Arbeiter-Illustrierte-Zeitung in short AIZ), glances at Heartfield’s first exile stage in Prague and then focuses on [...]

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