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Print of a Jewish miser hiding his gold

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.281

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    Brief Narrative
    Black-and-white illustrated insert from the 1921 book, “Die Juden in der Karikatur: ein Beitrag zur Kulturgeschichte” [The Jews in Caricature: A Contribution to Cultural History]. Written by Eduard Fuchs, the book shows images featuring Jewish stereotypes to demonstrate the existence antisemitism in Europe. Markings on the object indicate the image is from the 17th century. However Philip Mercier likely created the original image in the mid-18th century. In the illustration, a Jewish miser is worriedly gathering his coins and locking them in a chest. The man has a beard and wears a kippah, a traditional Jewish head covering. Both are stereotypical features commonly attributed to Jewish men. A miser is a person who greedily hoards money, often to the detriment of themselves and others. However, the practice of hoarding money goes against the Jewish principle of giving charitable contributions to the less fortunate called “Tzedakah,” and there are several Jewish parables that warn against hoarding wealth. Misers are often portrayed as Jewish, and are frequently shown hoarding, counting, or handling money. This stereotype originated from the economic and professional restrictions placed on early European Jews. They were barred from owning land, farming, joining trade guilds, and military service. These restrictions forced many Jews into occupations such as money changing or money lending. Additionally, medieval religious belief held that charging interest (known as usury) was sinful, and the Jews who occupied these professions were looked down upon, predominantly by European Christians. They were perceived as morally deficient, greedy, and willing to engage in unethical business practices. The engraving is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Der Judische Ceizhals
    Alternate Title
    The Jewish Miser
    publication/distribution:  1921
    publication: Munich (Germany)
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, bottom center, black ink : Der jüdische Geizhals / Anonymer satirischer Schabstich. 17. Jahrhundert [The Jewish Miser / Anonymous satirical joke. 17th century]
    front, bottom left, black ink : Beilage zu Eduard Fuchs, “Die Juden in der Karikatur” [Supplement to Eduard Fuchs, "The Jews in the Cartoon"]
    front, bottom right, black ink : Albert Langen, München
    Compiler: Peter Ehrenthal
    Author: Eduard Fuchs
    Publisher: Albert Langen
    Artist: Philip Mercier
    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

    Book illustrations.
    Physical Description
    Print of an illustration in black ink on paper torn from a book. It depicts the image of a Jewish man wearing a kippah storing his money inside a wood and metal chest on a table in front of him. He has a large, pointed nose and his fleshy lips are pressed together. He looks over his shoulder at an open door, his thick eyebrows raised and his hooded eyes wide with concern. He clutches a cloth sack against his chest with his right hand while reaching for a pile of coins to fill it with his left. A padlock and key are on the table beside the coins. There is German text printed across the bottom.
    overall: Height: 8.250 inches (20.955 cm) | Width: 6.000 inches (15.24 cm)
    overall : paper, ink

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Geographic Name
    Munich (Germany)

    Administrative Notes

    The engraving was 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 18:12:44
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