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Mizrach, a sign designating the direction of Jerusalem, with a personal inscription created by a sofer

Object | Accession Number: 1992.8.36

Mizrach poster created by Isaac Ossowski in honor of his wife, Frida's, birthday. A mizrach [mizrachl means east] is a decorative item placed in a traditional Jewish home to indicate the east, the direction of Jerusalem and the direction to face for prayers. This work was originally framed and hung on the east wall of their home. 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 or 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
Mizrach for my Wife
creation:  1928-1929
emigration:  1938
creation: Berlin (Germany)
Jewish Art and Symbolism
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Sol Oster
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 18:22:10
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