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Postcard of Fagin checking his treasure as Oliver watches

Object | Accession Number: 2016.184.854

Unused postcard with an illustration of a scene from the novel, Oliver Twist, written by Charles Dickens in 1837-8. The image was created by Arthur Moreland for C.W. Faulkner Ltd. postcard printers. It depicts Fagin, the Jewish fence and miser, fondling his hidden treasures in the middle of night, when he thinks everyone is asleep. Oliver, the young boy snatched off the streets to join Fagin's gang of child criminals, watches from his bed. Fagin's characterization is antisemitic and exploits many negative Jewish stereotypes. Referred to as The Jew, Fagin is greedy, vicious, and kidnaps small children and trains them to be thieves. Dickens said that if he had a character who was a fence, he had to be a Jew because "that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew." Some later adaptations of the novel try to sidestep Fagin's ethnic identity, or make him more of a comic figure, but his Jewishness is central to his depiction. The postcard is one of the more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic artifacts and visual materials.

publication/distribution:  approximately 1915-1928
manufacture: London (England)
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Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:30:48
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