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Object | Accession Number: 2005.464.2

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    Brief Narrative
    Hitler in der Karikatur der Welt, a book of caricatures of Hitler that belonged to Mara Vishniac. This is a 1938 edition of a book originally published in 1933 with the phrase "approved by the Fuhrer" printed on the cover. Mara lived in Berlin with her parents, Roman and Luta, and brother, Wolf. After Hitler's appointment as Chancellor in 1933, life became very precarious for Jews in Germany. Following the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9-10, 1938, Mara, age 12, and her 16 year old brother Wolf were sent to stay with relatives in Riga, Latvia. Soon after, Mara was sent to a home for refugee children in Sweden. In 1940, Mara, her mother, and brother moved to Stockholm and obtained visas to travel to the United States. Her father was arrested as an enemy alien in German occupied Paris and imprisoned. He escaped after three months and, with the aid of the JDC, which had sponsored his photography, he obtained a visa to the US. The family reunited in Lisbon, Portugal, and left on the SS Siboney, arriving in New York on December 31, 1940.
    Hitler in der Karikatur der Welt : Tat gegen tinte: Ein Bildsammelwerk
    publication/distribution:  1938
    publication: Leipzig (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Mara Vishniac Kohn
    Author: Ernst Hanfstaengl
    Publisher: Gustav Weise Verlag
    Distributor: Braune Bu?cher : G. Weise
    Subject: Mara Vishniac Kohn
    Mara Vishniac was born in Berlin, Germany, in 1926 to Luta Berg, born on June 16, 1899, and Roman Vishniac, born on August 19, 1897, in Pavlovsk, Russia. Her brother, Wolf, was born on April 22, 1922. Roman was a trained biologist but was prevented from working in his field due to war and political strife. He moved to Berlin in 1920 and while working various jobs, embarked upon a career in photography. The family considered themselves emancipated Jews and did not practice Jewish rituals. Her father often attended synagogue, though her mother did not. Mara was more religious, reciting prayers daily. In 1932, Mara joined the Werkleute, a Zionist youth organization, and Wolf was a member of the Hashomer Hazair [Young Guard of the Zionist Left Wing].

    Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor on January 30, 1933, led to increasingly severe restrictions on Jews. Propagandist and political posters began to appear and Mara’s father wanted to document the relationship between Hitler and President Paul von Hindenburg, while Hindenberg was still a part of the political landscape. He used Mara as a prop, photographing her in front of election and anti-Semitic posters. If questioned, he could tell people that he was taking pictures of his daughter. Mara remembers not being allowed to go to the movies, play tennis, ice skate, or freely take part in most childhood activities. Stores no longer welcomed Jews; Mara and her friends would debate whether they should go in, afraid that they would be physically thrown out or get their parents in trouble. In 1935, her father was commissioned by the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) to photograph Eastern European Jews. He traveled across Eastern and Central Europe until 1938. On November 10, 1938, when Mara was 12 years old, she witnessed the events of Kristallnacht. Two American visitors from the JDC had come to see Roman and during their visit they heard a commotion in the street. Going out onto the balcony, they watched as Germans willfully destroyed Jewish owned stores and property. Mara, after viewing such great acts of cruelty, deliberately ended her faith in God.

    After Kristallnacht, Mara and Wolf were sent to stay with Luta’s family in Riga, Latvia. A few months later, Mara was sent to a center for German refugee children in Sweden. In the spring of 1940, Mara, Wolf, and Luta moved to Stockholm. That summer, Roman, who continued to photograph Jews after his commission with the JDC ended, was arrested as an enemy alien in Paris and imprisoned at Camp du Ruchard, a deportation camp in Clichy, France. He escaped the camp after three months with the help of Luta and the JDC, who procured him a visa to the United States via Lisbon, Portugal. At this time, Luta decided to leave Sweden for the U.S. She secured visas for herself and the children with the help of relatives in America. Mara and Luta traveled separately from Wolf and the three met in Lisbon. Neither Roman nor Luta knew that the other was there. The family was reunited by chance as they were staying at the same hotel. They sailed for the U.S. on the S.S. Siboney and arrived in New York on December 31, 1940. They settled in New York City and Roman worked as a photographer. He and Luta divorced in 1946. Roman died on January 22, 1990, Wolf on December 10, 1990, and Luta on November 4, 1998. Mara married and divorced her first husband with whom she had two children before marrying her second husband in 1955. Mara passed away on December 17, 2018.

    Physical Details

    Object Type
    Books (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Book has a plastic laminate cover and some stamped markings. 158 p. ; ill. ; 25 cm.
    On cover: Vom Führer genehmigt.
    Originally published: Berlin : C. Rentsch, 1933.
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    No restrictions on access
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The book was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2005 by Mara Vishniac Kohn.
    Record last modified:
    2023-01-19 12:53:04
    This page:

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