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My Jewish Childhood Blog – Musee d’art et Histoire du Judaisme – Paris 2016
Saturday, 18 June 2016 14:51

I sit in the foyer of the Jewish Museum in the 3 Arr. in Paris, the Marais, where in 1998 this hotel in particular was given by the city of Paris as a museum celebrating Jewish heritage from the early 1600s to the current time. It is located in the Hotel de St. Aignan, 71, rue du Temple.

I sit here and eat an apple. A simple act happening all over the world, 2pm. 6-16-16.

I fortify myself for the journey that lies ahead. This visit is my ninth time to visit.

Trepidation: I am a Jew in Paris, a woman, a lesbian. There are three armed soldiers guarding the entrance. I place my pack, my umbrella on a belt to be scanned. See, no guns, just armed with pen and paper.

I walked here from the flat, a new one for me, where I am staying for this trip also in the 3rd. It has been raining, some wind. The bottoms of my pants are wet. My shoes are wet. My pack is damp.

Now I sit here eating my apple. I can see through the entrance doors that the sun has returned.

I pay my entrance fee and get pamphlets for the two special exhibits, Lore Kruger, A Photographer in Exile, 1934-1944. Edouard Moyse, painter of Jewish life in the 19th Century.

I am happy to be back within these walls.

I start with Moyse. He was born in the Lorraine, in France and was the first artist to show scenes of Jewish life and the beginning events of the Jews’ emancipation at the Paris Salon. His paintings showed “…the ideal mingling French and Jewish values in a synthesis that was described as ‘Israelitism’.” He was known as the painter of the rabbis.

He painted religious and family scenes. I particularly liked one portrait of a Passover Seder. He emphasized themes of study and theological and Talmudic discussion.

In 1807 Napoleon enabled Jews’ integration into French society, but by 186l, the art critic Isidore Cahen, wrote in Archives Israelites, “Family life, memories of persecution and the rituals of the synagogue still provide a vast field of study for him”

Moyse painted about anti-Semitism turning to the theme of anti-Judiasm, “whose persistence in the form of anti-Semitism runs through his entire oeuvre.

Lore Kruger’s development as a photographer took the path of “exile.” Her parents took refuge from Nazism in Majorca in 1933. She was nineteen when Hitler came into power.

Although little remains of her work, one suitcase consisting of 100 prints taken over a decade. Two young researchers from Berlin, Cornelia Bastiein and Irja Kratke discovered the prints at Kruger’s home in 2008. Kruger died in 2009. She never saw the exhibition these two organized at C/O Berlin Foundation in 2015.

 Click here: Lore Kruger - AOL Image Search Results

 On the outside wall, there are lists of names of those who lived in this building in 1939, and of those taken away in boxcars of slaughters to the camps, who never returned. Although I could not list all of the names, I will list the ones I can in order to honor them:

Chana Rothsten, Jeanne Bernegtt, Denis Delille, Jacque Kerschen, Adele Drouin, Nicholas Reiner, Joseph  Mircamond, Paula Kraemer, Hugtelle Rosenweig, Lucie Drugan, Fabnnby Rosenweig, Miriam Zoulty, Adele Schenlier, Louis Vernon, Gilbert Denis, Yehiel Ber Zolty, Davis Sorine, Helene Fryland, Lucie Schiller, Leyuh Topotansky, Paul Frend.  

May their names and their lives be for a Blessing.

Thank you for reading my Jewish Childhood Blog.