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Hand crafted wooden pull toy of a Jewish man praying

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.566 a-c

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    Hand crafted wooden pull toy of a Jewish man praying

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    Brief Narrative
    Large, hand crafted wooden pull toy with a Jewish figure of a rabbi seated in a chair with an open book before him. When the toy is pulled, the head rocks back and forth and the mouth moves, as if the figure is "davening," the Yiddish word for praying. This type of object is known as a spottfigur [figure of scorn] and this model type was used at religious processions or Church festivals, dating back to Rhenish festivals. The phrase, Nach Leipzig [to Leipzig] is stencilled on the seat. From the early medieval era, Leipzig was a commercial center with a famous annual Grand Fair to which merchants traveled from all over Europe. Jewish attendance and participation was restricted, but many sought to attend. "Nach Leipzig" became a sarcastic phrase referring to the "pushiness" of the Jew. This toy was featured in the first major Judaica exhibition after World War II (1939-1945) in Cologne, Germany, in 1963. The pull toy is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.
    creation:  approximately 1800
    creation: Germany?
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
    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

    Wooden toys
    Object Type
    Pull toys (lcsh)
    Physical Description
    Hand crafted wooden pull toy of a man with Jewish features seated on a chair supported on a wheeled frame. A wooden book with illegible German text rests in an open position on the chair arms before him. When the toy is pulled, the head rocks back and forth and the mouth moves. On the side of the solid block of wood on which the figure sits is the phrase: "Nach Leipzig" [to Leipzig].
    overall: Height: 25.000 inches (63.5 cm) | Width: 14.500 inches (36.83 cm) | Depth: 22.000 inches (55.88 cm)
    overall : wood, metal

    Rights & Restrictions

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

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    The pull toy 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 18:13:48
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