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Caricature of a Jewish man in a top hat with exaggerated facial features

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.6

Small, color print with a crudely exaggerated caricature of a Jewish schnorrer. The print may be a trade card, an illustrated advertising card distributed by businesses to promote their goods or services. The cards often featured colorful and vivid images designed to attract consumer’s attention. However, some images played on popular prejudices and stereotypes of Native Americans, Near and Far Eastern cultures, and Jewish minorities. A widely held antisemitic stereotype of the time was the schnorrer, a Judeo-German term for a Jewish beggar. During the Chmielnicki pogroms in Poland (1648-57), hundreds of Jewish communities were destroyed and thousands of Jews fled west after the destruction of their homes and way of life. Afterward, the influx of destitute Jewish refugees in central Europe helped create the archetype of the Jewish beggar, or schnorrer. Unlike a beggar or panhandler who could be distinguished by their ragged outward appearance, a stereotypical schnorrer dressed respectably. Schnorrers were characterized as impudent, with an air of entitlement to disguise their true needs from charitable individuals. They were evasive about why they needed assistance, and were not satisfied with small favors. Typical reasons given for a schnorrer’s collection included recovering from the destruction of their home, or funding the dowry for their daughter or another relative. Schnorrers were said to invert the act of charity by asking for handouts. They give the affluent members of society a chance to do a good deed, which complies with the Jewish communal practice of providing aid to those less well off in the community. This act of kindness meant the charitable patron should be thankful to the schnorrer for providing the opportunity. This print is one of the 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

copyright:  1882
creation:  1882-approximately 1900
Information Forms
Object Type
Trade cards
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:12:34
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