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Painting of two Jewish men deep in conversation

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.257

Oil painting of two Jewish men in conversation, likely painted by German artist, George Burgstaller, in 1928. The men have several stereotypical physical features commonly attributed to Jewish men: large hooked noses, sidelocks, and long beards. They are also depicted wearing Hasidic garments. Hasidism is an Orthodox spiritual revivalist movement that emerged in the 18th century in what is now Ukraine, and spread throughout Eastern Europe. Hasidic Jews seek a direct experience of God through prayer and other rituals conducted under the spiritual direction of a rebbe. Each Hasidic sect has its own rebbe, a male who is a communal leader and spiritual authority, and often holds an almost mythical status among his followers. Male Hasidic Jews are often depicted wearing distinctive, traditional garb. The man on the left is wearing one such article, a fur hat, called a shtreimel. Men traditionally wear a shtreimel on the Sabbath, at festivals, and other significant occasions, such as weddings. The other man is wearing a black, suit-style jacket, either a "rekel" or a "bekishe." Men traditionally wear the fancier bekishe on special occasions such as Jewish holidays, weddings or on the Sabbath. The simpler rekel is worn on an everyday basis. Due to their clothing and other distinctive practices, Hasidic Jews were easy targets for the Nazis and their collaborators. A large number of Hasidic leaders and their followers were killed during the Holocaust. The painting is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

Artwork Title
Two Jews Making a Deal
creation:  1928
creation: Europe
Oil paintings.
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2021-03-09 09:12:49
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