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Print from a German periodical depicting two Jewish theatergoers conversing

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.399

Full-page print from German humor magazine, Düsseldorfer Monathefte, with a satirical illustration and commentary on Jewish theatergoers complaining about prices being too high. Both men are depicted in evening attire and have prominent, stereotypical Jewish features: bushy eyebrows, hooded eyes, and hooked noses. This illustration is from 1854, printed in Volume 7, Issue 2 of the magazine, which was produced for 14 years in Düsseldorf, Germany. Satirical humor magazines that commented on social, economic, and political situations emerged in Europe during the mid-19th century and grew in circulation and popularity through the early 20th century. The discussion about spending money on the theater alludes to the common canard of Jews being too cheap or greedy to spend money. A Jew with this mindset was often considered a miser, a person who greedily hoards money, often to the detriment of themselves and others. Jewish misers are frequently portrayed expressing an exaggerated desire for hoarding and counting money or actively doing so. 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 moneylending, professions which were perceived as morally deficient, greedy, and unethical. 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. This illustration is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

publication/distribution:  1854
publication: Dusseldorf (Germany)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:13:45
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