Jewish architects in Nazi Germany



 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Alfons Anker - Berlin 1929-30

The research done by Myra Warhaftig, who has recently passed away, brings an important contribution for 20th century history, in general, and for architecture, in particular. In her work she reveals the existence of almost half a thousand Jewish architects in Germany, most of them descending from families that had long been established in the country. These professionals lived and worked in the big cities, most of them in Berlin, and were fierce practitioners of modern, functionalist and expressionist architecture. The persecution they were target of, just like every other Jew at the time, almost wiped out their trace completely and they almost remained unfairly forgotten. This research work rescues them for History and identifies many of their projects and works, some of them still standing, miraculous survivors of the war brought on by the Nazi regime over Germany.

According to Warhaftig's studies, the publication of a decree banning Jewish architects from the Reichskulturkammer für bildende Künste, an association where they had to be signed in, in order to practice their profession, dates back to November 1933 (few months before the Nazi government came into power). Two years later, architects with a Jewish spouse would also be forbidden from practicing architecture. A while later, the circle would close and Jews would be forced to emigrate or, if they stayed, to spend the rest of their days in a concentration camp, were they architects, doctors, writers or scientists.

Unknown or forgotten architects, such as Bruno Ahrends, Georg Falck, Ernst Ludwig Freud (the son of Sigmund Freud), Harry Rosenthal, Martin Albrecht Punitzer or Hans Sigmund Jaretzki are only a few of the rescued names from a list of 43 names that Warhaftig studied and documented, a tip of the iceberg, really, that can be looked up here. Her entire work can be found in the book Deutsche jüdische Architekten vor und nach 1933 - Das Lexikon. 500 Biographien (German Jewish Architects before and after 1933 - the lexicon. 500 biographies).

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Hans Sigmund Jaretzki - Cinema Park-Lichtspiele, Berlin

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Martin Albrecht Punitzer - Herbert Lindner Factory, Berlin 1932

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Harry Rosenthal - Eisner House, Berlin 1927

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Bruno Ahrends - Weiße Stadt Urbanization, Berlin 1928-31

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Alexander Beer - Jewish Ward, Berlin 1930

 Germany Architect Architecture Berlin Modernism Myra Nazi Warhaftig
Georg Falck - Tietz Storage, Solingen 1930

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