Ernst Freudenheim Judaica Inventory Photo album, 1929 [2018.13.1]
Ernst Simon Nathan Freudenheim (Berlin 1904-Buffalo, NY 1986)
Photosammlung: Ernst Freudenheim, Jüdische Altkunst (Photo Collection: Ernst Freudenheim, Ancient Jewish Art)
Photographic album
Berlin, Germany, 1929
Gift of Tom Freudenheim, 2018.13.1

Ernst Freudenheim (1904-1986) was a Judaica collector and art dealer living in Berlin, Germany during the interwar period. This album shows a selection of images of Jewish ritual objects in his inventory for sale, circa 1928-1929.



The interwar period marked a time of turbulence for Jewish culture and tradition in Europe. The First World War had left multiple Jewish communities destroyed and torn apart. Survivors managed at times to rescue Jewish ritual objects, which they often sold to collectors and dealers in order to fund their migration process. Jewish art dealers and collectors expressed interest not only in the quality of the objects, but also in the aspect of cultural salvage. In a joint effort to secure Jewish culture for posterity, they established networks, and sold to other local and international collectors and museums. A method frequently used to facilitate the sale of objects was to create catalogs and photographic albums showcasing the items available for purchase.

Ernst Simon Nathan Freundheim (Berlin 1904-Buffalo, NY 1986) was a businessman and an art dealer who specialized in Judaica. He grew up in Berlin's Hansaviertel district where he lived in the same building as the famous Jewish artist, Hermann Struck (1876-1944). Struck designed a bookplate on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah, which Freudenheim later donated to The Magnes. After the implementation of the Nuremberg Laws (1935), as a Trustee of the Jewish Community of Berlin, Freudenheim became active in Jewish educational activities, in the Zionist cause, and in the attempts to free young Jewish men arrested by the Nazis. He immigrated to the United States in 1937, settling in Buffalo, New York, and was joined later that year by his wife, Margot, and his two sons, Robert and Tom.
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