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Cartoon of a mohel with big scissors approaching a toddler

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.292

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    Cartoon of a mohel with big scissors approaching a toddler


    Brief Narrative
    Hand drawn cartoon poking fun at the brit milah, the Jewish rite of circumcision, the removal of the penis foreskin. The picture shows an Orthodox Jewish man with oversize scissors making clipping gestures to an oversize baby. The man is presumably a mohel, a person qualified to perform the ritual. The brit milah is generally performed when a male child is eight days old, but it is a procedure that all males, including converts, must undergo to become a Jew. The work was crafted by an unknown person, likely in early 20th century America. The paperwork is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.
    Artwork Title
    Who Me?
    creation:  approximately 1900
    creation: United States
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    front, top, white ink : Who Me??
    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

    Object Type
    Cartoons (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Handcrafted picture consisting of a sheet of cardboard with a handdrawn ink cartoon of an Orthodox Jewish man on a red field with a second handdrawn cartoon of a baby drawn in ink on thick brown cardboard glued onto the lef of the sheet. The baby is mounted on thick cardboard to add depth. The man has a bald crown and long beard and wears a black skullcap and robe with circular glasses on his large, pointed nose. He hides an oversize pair of scissors behind his back and makes a pinching motion with his right thumb and forefinger at the baby. The oversize, pudgy, naked brown baby looks over his shoulder, the whites of his eyes large with fear, his hands clasped over his genitals. Four strips of balsa wood are stapled around the front as a frame. The top strip has 2 holes threaded with a red plastic lace, with a metal hanging loop on the back.
    overall: Height: 11.750 inches (29.845 cm) | Width: 10.125 inches (25.718 cm) | Depth: 0.250 inches (0.635 cm)
    overall : paper, ink, cardboard, wood, metal, plastic, adhesive

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The paperwork 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 18:30:22
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