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Silver colored iron dish with bas relief of 3 Jewish men on a bench

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.101

European cast iron dish with a bas-relief of three Jewish men talking on a bench, captioned with three Jewish sounding surnames, “Mandelblüh, Afterduft, Finkelstein” made in the 19th century. The second name, Afterdruft, translates roughly to “fecal smell.” In the 18th and early 19th centuries, central and eastern European Jews were compelled to adopt surnames. Some Jews who did not comply, had low social status, or did not have the funds to pay an official for a pleasant-sounding name, were assigned uncomplimentary, malicious, or antisemitic names. The relief represents a stereotypical scene in European spa towns such as Carlsbad (now Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic), or Marienbad (now Mariánské Lázně, Czech Republic). These are towns located on thermal springs, and have accommodations that use those springs for their medicinal and rejuvenating properties. Many European spa towns can trace their histories back to ancient Roman settlements. During the 18th and 19th centuries, European spa towns became increasingly popular as centers for health and social destinations for the affluent, the nobility, and European royalty. During this time, seemingly large numbers of Jewish guests also frequented the spa towns. However, antisemitic sentiment was also present. Derogatory postcards, called Judenspottkarten [Jew-mocking cards], and other souvenirs were produced and sold. A commonly depicted scene on these items includes a portrayal of three, usually older Jewish men, sitting on a bench sometimes with their umbrellas. The scene is possibly a modernized version of an older theme of three Jewish peddlers. Some versions replace the men with pigs who display stereotypical Jewish physical features, which mocked both Jewish spa culture and Judaism. This souvenir dish is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
undated: 
Geography
creation: Europe
Language
German
Classification
Decorative Arts
Category
Metalwork
Genre/Form
Decorations.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-04-08 12:32:53
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537339