Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Calligraphy of a graveside Kaddish created by a sofer [scribe]

Object | Accession Number: 1992.8.35

Calligraphy with the text of a graveside prayer created by Isaac Ossowski, which was originally framed and displayed in his home. A Kaddish prayer comes in many forms, but all praise God and sanctify his name. This is a more expressive version of the Kaddish than that which is commonly used today. Mourners would stand near the grave and face Jerusalem while reciting the graveside or burial Kaddish. Rabbi Ossowski was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Berlin. He was head shochet [ritual slaughterer], mohel [practioner of ritual circumcision], sofer [scribe], and hazan [cantor, musical prayer leader] at the Alte Shul [Old Synagogue]. After Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933, increasingly severe sanctions were enacted against Jews. The Ossowski family was repeatedly questioned by the SS (Schutzstaffel; Protection Squadrons) who gathered intelligence on opponents of the Nazi state and policed racial purity. In 1934, Isaac sent his youngest son, 14 year old Sol, to Lithuania to study at a yeshiva. In 1936, his sons, Joseph and Leo, left for the United States. In 1938, Isaac and his wife, Frida, and their daughter, Nettie, escaped Nazi Germany and joined Joseph in the US. Sol joined them there in 1939.

Artwork Title
creation:  approximately 1930-1933
emigration:  1938
creation: Berlin (Germany)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Object Type
Kaddish (lcsh)
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sol Oster
Record last modified: 2021-02-10 08:56:25
This page: