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Prints of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer hanging in his cage on the gallows

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.238

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    Prints of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer hanging in his cage on the gallows

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    Brief Narrative
    Two prints, one a text only sheet with historical background for the other, a colored engraving of Joseph Süss Oppenheimer (1698-1738) in the cage made to hang and display his body after his execution on January 4, 1738, in Stuttgart, Germany. The undated engravings are from a three page publication issued by Johann Andreas Mattsperger around the time of the execution. Oppenheimer, known as Joseph or Jud Süss, was a Jewish banker who administered the finances of Duke Karl Alexander of Wurttemberg, enriching the Duke and himself. Others were envious and resentful of his success, feelings increased by his actions, such as granting contracts to Jews and easing settlement restrictions. When the Duke died unexpectedly in March 1737, Oppenheimer was arrested, tried for fraud and treason, and sentenced to death. A huge crowd watched the hanging and the body was left hanging in public for six years. In 1939, a film, Jud Süss, was produced by Goebbels's Nazi Propaganda Ministry. The inflammatory, antisemitic film portrayed Jew Süss as a grotesquely exaggerated, greedy, unscrupulous Jewish businessman who rapes a non-Jewish woman. The film was a major success throughout Europe. The print is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    The hanging of Joseph Suss Oppenheimer
    depiction:  1738 January 04
    publication/distribution:  1738
    publication: Augsburg (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    left print, top paragraph : Wahrhafftige Abbildung Des Bey Stuttgard erbauten Galgens, woran vor 141 Jahren Georg Honauer, und vor gar kurzer Zeit der berichtigte Joseph Süss Oppenheimer Jud, dessen beede Portrait zu sehen, aufgehangen worden [True picture of the iron gallows constructed in Stuttgart 141 years ago for Georg Honauer and now used for Joseph Suess Oppenheimer, Jud]
    left print, second paragraph : DIeser Galgen / so an Enfen 25. Centner wigt/ und 3000. Oberlandische Gulden gekostet/ / wurde zu Beftrassung deß George Honauers/ aus Mahren geburthig / so sich fur einen grossen Herrn / außgegeben und die Leuthe salschlich beredet / aus / Enfen klares Gold zu Machen / auf hochsten Befehl / Sr. Hochsurstl. Durch laucht Herrn Friederich Her- / tzogs zu Wurtenberg / new erbauet / gantz verguldet / und hieran gemeldter Alchymiste, so hochst-gedach- / then Hertzog um viele Tonnen Golds gebracht / und deffentwegen gefangen gesetzt auch / nachdeme solcher echappirt / wieder zur Stelle gebracht und dem / so ihn geliffert fl. 300. Verehretworden den 2.ten Aprilis 1597. in seinem schon-verguldten Klend / aufge- knupfft worden. [The gallows, at the end of the fifteenth century, cost 3000 gulden, and was paid for by George Honauer, from Mahren, a gentleman who persuaded Prince Friedrich of Wurtenberg that he could make gold from iron. Honnauer, dressed in a gold encrusted outfot was hanged from a gallows made from the same amount of iron that Honnauer promised he could turn into gold....]
    left print, third paragraph : Anno 1738. den 4.ten Februarii wurde an eben / diesen Galgen / Joseph Süß / Oppenheimer Jud / von dessen srechen Lebens-Lauff / nächsthin gewisse / Nachrichten erfolgen werden / in einem schön-rothen / / und mit einem schmalen guldenen Bortlein gezierten / Klend aufgehangt / und nach der Hand / in ein enser- / news roth-angestrichenes Kafichtvershcloffen. [Anno 1738. On the fourth of February, on this gallows, Joseph Süss Oppenheimer, Jew, has hung up in a beautiful red coat...]
    left print, bottom : Augspurg / zu finden und zu haben ben Johann Andreas Mattsperger / Mahler am mittlern Lech.
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

    Physical Details

    Physical Description
    Two prints, removed from a book, and adhered side by side in a double paned red matboard frame. The left sheet (10.875 x 5.750) has 4 paragraphs of German fraktur text in black ink. The right sheet (10.875 x 7.625) has a hand colored copper engraved print of a metal frame cross bar gallows with tripod supports and 4 ground anchored poles set on an equilateral cross shaped platform of large blocks. A pole with a decorative top point is attached vertically to the crossbar; near the top, another pole extends horizontally to the right. Hanging from the end of this pole is a flat bottomed oval cage in which stands a man in a red frock coat and white wig. A sign on the pole to the left announces: "Jud Süss gehenckt morden A. 1738 4 Feb : atat Jud 40" [Jud Süss dead Feb. 4, 1738, age 40.] In the upper right corner is a framed portrait of a man in a white wig and red coat, with the caption: "Joseph Süss Oppenheimer, Jud. A. 1738 Ja. 40."
    overall: Height: 13.250 inches (33.655 cm) | Width: 16.625 inches (42.228 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, mat board, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The prints were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.
    Funding Note
    The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
    Special Collection
    Katz Ehrenthal Collection
    Record last modified:
    2022-07-28 18:30:21
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