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Metal doorstop with a bas relief of 3 Jews on a red bench

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.107

Painted, cast metal doorstop with an image of three Jewish men talking on a bench made in the 19th century. Doorstops were an important household item in the nineteenth century. They kept doors open to ensure the circulation of air throughout the house and became fashionable decorative items. The doorstop represents a stereotypical scene in 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 doorstop is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Date
creation:  1800-1899
Geography
creation: Europe
Classification
Tools and Equipment
Category
Hardware
Object Type
Doorstops (lcsh)
Genre/Form
Metalwork.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
 
Record last modified: 2021-04-08 12:41:16
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn537353