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Fritz Ascher Society

Mar 29, 2023

“Sweet Kitsch, I can’t do that.”
Maria Luiko (1904-1941)
With Wolfram P. Kastner and Mascha Erbelding, both Munich (Germany)

2023-01-26T21:24:32-05:00March 29th, 2023|, |Comments Off on “Sweet Kitsch, I can’t do that.”
Maria Luiko (1904-1941)
With Wolfram P. Kastner and Mascha Erbelding, both Munich (Germany)

The artistic work of Maria Luiko (1904-1941), born Marie Luise Kohn in Munich, is characterized by an impressive diversity. In addition to drawings, watercolors and oil paintings, she created prints using various printing processes and paper cuts, and designed book illustrations, stage sets and marionettes. Already during her studies at the local Academy of Fine Arts and her training at the School of Applied Arts she was included in exhibitions in the Munich Glass Palace (Münchner Glaspalast). Her career was brutally cut short by the Nazi regime. In 1933 Luiko was expelled from the Reich Association of Fine Artists and was banned from exhibiting. Until 1939 she contributed to the Jewish Cultural Association and the Marionette Theater of [...]

Mar 15, 2023

The Art of Felix Lembersky (1913-1970)
Yelena Lembersky and Ori Z Soltes

2023-01-24T20:12:37-05:00March 15th, 2023|, |Comments Off on The Art of Felix Lembersky (1913-1970)
Yelena Lembersky and Ori Z Soltes

The program features a talk by Lembersky’s granddaughter, Yelena Lembersky, co-author of the recent and highly acclaimed memoir, Like a Drop of Ink in a Downpour: Memories of Soviet Russia. Yelena will be introduced by Georgetown University professor, Ori Z Soltes, who has known her for many years and has written extensively on the work of Felix Lembersky. “We are merely honest people and see what is good and bad, and we cannot be confused.” – Felix Lembersky, Leningrad, the Soviet Union, 1960 Image above: Felix Lembersky, At the Train Station, ca 1960-64. © Felix Lembersky estate REGISTER FOR THIS ZOOM EVENT HERE Felix Lembersky (1913-1970) was a Soviet Jewish painter, teacher, theater sets designer, and an organizer of [...]

Mar 1, 2023

DOROTHY BOHM (B. 1924): A WORLD OBSERVED
Lecture by Monica Bohm-Duchen, London (UK)

2022-12-12T13:44:39-05:00March 1st, 2023|, |Comments Off on DOROTHY BOHM (B. 1924): A WORLD OBSERVED
Lecture by Monica Bohm-Duchen, London (UK)

Dorothy Bohm was born Dorothea Israelit in Königsberg, East Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia) in 1924 into an assimilated, affluent and cultured Jewish milieu. In 1932 her father chose to move the family to Memel (now Klaipeda) in Lithuania, but following the Nazi occupation of Memelland in March 1939, her parents decided to send their daughter, aged 14, to the safety of England, where she arrived in June 1939. She wasn’t to see her parents and sister again for over twenty years. Image above (appears as detail): Dorothy Bohm, Venice Carnival, 1987 © Dorothy Bohm Archive REGISTER FOR THIS ZOOM EVENT HERE Dorothy Bohm, Self-Portrait, 1942, age 18. © Dorothy Bohm Archive Dorothy Bohm, [...]

Feb 15, 2023

Seven Murals by Philip Orenstein (b. 1938)
A French-Jewish Perspective on France During World War II
Philip Orenstein and Dr. Nadine M. Orenstein in conversation

2023-01-22T11:50:11-05:00February 15th, 2023|, |Comments Off on Seven Murals by Philip Orenstein (b. 1938)
A French-Jewish Perspective on France During World War II
Philip Orenstein and Dr. Nadine M. Orenstein in conversation

Inspired by a visit to his birth country in the 1990s, American artist Philip Orenstein (b. 1938) created seven murals about the French complicity in the persecution of Jews in France during World War II. At that time, the French government had not admitted it had taken part in the persecution. The murals have been shown in various galleries and museums in the United States. In 1999, William Zimmer wrote in the New York Times, “Mr. Orenstein’s method involves combining poignancy with the determination that the viewers not miss the story. To this end, Mr. Orenstein skillfully, and wittily, employs the look of today’s splashy graffiti.” The works have not yet been shown in France. Born in Paris, France, in 1938, [...]

Feb 1, 2023

CASTAWAY MODERNISM. Basel’s Acquisitions of “Degenerate” Art
Presentation by Dr. Eva Reifert, Kunstmuseum Basel
followed by discussion with Rachel Stern

2023-01-27T07:38:15-05:00February 1st, 2023|, |Comments Off on CASTAWAY MODERNISM. Basel’s Acquisitions of “Degenerate” Art
Presentation by Dr. Eva Reifert, Kunstmuseum Basel
followed by discussion with Rachel Stern

The Kunstmuseum Basel’s department of classic modernism houses one of the most prestigious collections of its kind. It was in fact assembled at a comparatively late date. In the summer of 1939 — shortly before the outbreak of World War II — Georg Schmidt (1896–1966), the museum’s director at the time, managed to acquire twenty-one avant-garde masterpieces all at once. The works were among those denounced in 1937 by Nazi cultural policy as “degenerate” and forcibly removed from German museums. The Third Reich’s Ministry of Propaganda correctly assumed that a portion of such works would find buyers abroad and bring in foreign currency. In this way certain artworks deemed “internationally exploitable” reached the art market via various channels. [...]

Jan 25, 2023

AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES
Conversation with Film Director Hilary Helstein, Los Angeles

2023-01-27T06:57:30-05:00January 25th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on AS SEEN THROUGH THESE EYES
Conversation with Film Director Hilary Helstein, Los Angeles

In honor of UN Holocaust Remembrance Day, Hilary Helstein, director of the award-winning documentary "As Seen Through These Eyes" spoke with Rachel Stern, director and CEO of the Fritz Ascher Society New York, about the making of her documentary. As poet Maya Angelou narrates this powerful documentary, she reveals the story of a brave group of people who fought Hitler with the only weapons they had: charcoal, pencil stubs, shreds of paper and memories etched in their minds. These artists took their fate into their own hands to make a compelling statement about the human spirit, enduring against unimaginable odds. Featuring interviews with Simon Wiesenthal as he talks about his art, never before appearing in a film, [...]

Jan 11, 2023

Back into the Light.
Four Women Artists – Their Works. Their Paths.
Lecture by Eva Atlan, PhD, Frankfurt (Germany)

2023-01-11T15:05:48-05:00January 11th, 2023|, , |Comments Off on Back into the Light.
Four Women Artists – Their Works. Their Paths.
Lecture by Eva Atlan, PhD, Frankfurt (Germany)

Erna Pinner, Rosy Lilienfeld, Amalie Seckbach, and Ruth Cahn were among the first women artists in Frankfurt to enjoy professional success. Throughout the Roaring Twenties, these four Jewish women left their mark on Frankfurt’s art scene, published and exhibited internationally, cultivated a cosmopolitan lifestyle, and competed with their male colleagues. When the National Socialists seized power, their careers came to an abrupt end. From then on, they were persecuted as Jews and their works ostracized; later, after the end of World War II, they were largely forgotten. Now, “Back into the Light” is at long last bringing them back to the public eye. The departure point is an article by art historian Sascha Schwabacher, published May 1935 [...]

Dec 7, 2022

The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

2022-12-07T18:53:36-05:00December 7th, 2022|, , |Comments Off on The Shape and Color of Survival.
Samuel Bak (born Vilnius, Lithuania, 1933)
Lecture by Ori Z Soltes, PhD

Image above: Samuel Bak, Warsaw Excavation, 2007. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. Image Courtesy Pucker Gallery © Samuel Bak Samuel Bak was 6 years old when the Nazis began ending his childhood, as the war that they engendered would soon extend to his native Vilnius. The number “6” became an important element in his art, since it is also the number of the Commandment with which God enjoins us not to commit murder, for which the Holocaust represented such a profound abrogation. His father smuggled him out of the ghetto in the sack that he was still permitted to use to gather firewood—and was subsequently murdered by the regime. By then Bak himself had already [...]

Nov 21, 2022

RECKONINGS – The First Reparations
Film Screening at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig

2022-11-24T05:24:57-05:00November 21st, 2022|, |Comments Off on RECKONINGS – The First Reparations
Film Screening at Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan
Followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, the unprecedented destruction and plight of survivors prompts the unthinkable - German and Jewish leaders meet in secret to grapple with the first reparations in history, resulting in the groundbreaking Luxembourg Agreements of 1952. Screening followed by Q+A with Gideon Taylor and Karen Heilig, from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.   Watch the Trailer: SCREENINGS In the aftermath of the Holocaust, German and Jewish leaders met in secret to negotiate the unthinkable – compensation for the survivors of the largest mass genocide in history. Survivors were in urgent need of help, but how could reparations be determined for the unprecedented destruction [...]

Nov 14, 2022

IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

2022-12-11T20:29:13-05:00November 14th, 2022|, |Comments Off on IN-PERSON CONFERENCE: Welcoming the Stranger.
Abrahamic Hospitality and Contemporary Implications
Fordham University, New York

One of the signal moments in the narrative of Abraham is his insistent and enthusiastic reception of three strangers. That moment is a beginning point of inspiration for all three Abrahamic traditions as they evolve and develop the details of their respective teachings. On the one hand, welcoming the stranger by remembering “that you were strangers in the land of Egypt” is enjoined upon the ancient Israelites, and on the other, oppressing the stranger is condemned by their prophets. These sentiments will be repeated in the New Testament and the Qur’an and elaborated in the interpretive literatures of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Such notions have been seriously challenged on many occasions throughout history—at no time more profoundly than in [...]

Nov 2, 2022

Out of Exile.
The Photography of Fred Stein (1909-1967)
With Son Peter Stein and Curator Ulrike Kuschel, Berlin (Germany)

2022-11-02T14:42:41-04:00November 2nd, 2022|, , |Comments Off on Out of Exile.
The Photography of Fred Stein (1909-1967)
With Son Peter Stein and Curator Ulrike Kuschel, Berlin (Germany)

Fred Stein lived through some of the greatest upheavals of the 20th century. He escaped Nazi Germany; he mingled with Chagall and Brecht in Paris; and he debated with Einstein in New York. He was a scholar, a refugee, and an idealist. But above all, he was a photographer. An early innovator of hand-held street photography in 1930s France and 1940s New York, his images are sophisticated, beautiful, and touching; his portraits include some of the most important people of the mid-20th century, like Albert Einstein. Image above: Fred Stein, Americans All, New York 1943 © Fred Stein Archive Fred Stein, Paris Evening, Paris 1934 © Fred Stein Archive [...]

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 [...]

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