Old Jewish posters at the Antwerp Archives

the 'Felixarchief' - (c) photo by Gershon Lehrer

The archives of the city of Antwerp (Felixarchief) mentioned in their last monthly e-newsletter the following interesting subject (source):

Vooroorlogse Joodse affiches duiken op
Vier jaar geleden ontdekten we in het Modern Archief twee dikke pakken met affiches.

Het bleek een uiterst interessante verzameling van 144 affiches en pamfletten van Joodse verenigingen uit 1932-1934. De meeste zijn aankondigingen van culturele evenementen: concerten, toneelvoorstellingen maar ook lezingen, bals en feesten uit die periode komen aan bod. Over de herkomst weten we enkel dat een zekere heer Prinz ze al in 1934 aan het stadsarchief schonk.
Het Joods Museum van Deportatie en Verzet reageerde enthousiast op de ontdekking en stelde meteen voor om de Hebreeuwse en Jiddische opschriften voor het FelixArchief te vertalen. Het leverde een schat aan informatie op.

De reeks illustreert immers als geen ander het bruisende culturele en politieke leven van de Joodse gemeenschap tijdens het interbellum: het dynamische verenigingsleven, de culturele diversiteit, maar ook het onderbelichte verzet tegen Hitler-Duitsland, de Joodse Socialistische Partij en de immigratie naar Palestina. Een uiterst boeiende momentopname, voer voor verder onderzoek en uniek illustratiemateriaal.

De affiches zijn nu deskundig beschreven, gereinigd, gevlakt en gedigitaliseerd. U kunt deze affiches hier digitaal bekijken. (Klik hiervoor op het plus-teken.)

Nieuwsbericht gepubliceerd op 02-03-2012


Prewar Jewish posters emerge
Four years ago we discovered in the Modern Archive 2 large packages of posters.

It was a very interesting collection of 144 posters and pamphlets of Jewish organizations from 1932-1934. Most of these are announcements of cultural events: concerts, theater performances but also lectures, balls and parties held from that period . About the origin, we know only that in 1934 a certain Mr. Prinz donated the posters to the city archives.
The Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre (Kazerne Dossin) responded enthusiastically to the discovery and immediately suggested to translate the Hebrew and Yiddish inscriptions for the FelixArchief. This yielded a wealth of information.

The series illustrate like no other indeed the lively cultural and political life of the Jewish community during the interwar period: the dynamic associations, cultural diversity, but also underexposed resistance to Hitler’s Germany, the Socialist Party and the Jewish immigration to Palestine. A very interesting snapshot of further research and unique artwork.

The posters are now expertly described, cleaned, flattened and digitized. You can view digital posters here. (Click on the plus sign.)

News published on 03/02/2012

As mentioned in the e-mail, you can get the files yourself from the website of the archives, you only need to register once (which is free). I did download the files, but if you are trying to get all 144 files, it’ll cost you a couple of hours and nerves.

Therefore I’ve created an overview in the form of a table which links to the images locally. When you move the pointer of your mouse on one of the lines in the table, you’ll see the photos in a ‘ToolTip’ box.

I based the table on the descriptions as found on the website of the Felixarchief. Please note that I myself still need to study myself all images, it is partly therefore that I’ve reserved the last column for my own comments which I may add from time to time, so feel free to come back for more details in the near future (please feel free to add your own comments, use the forms below this post).

Note: Other noteworthycollections of Belgian posters are:

  • Collection of posters at the Belgian Jewish MuseumMore than 5000 posters recount the most varied aspects of daily life (political, cultural and social) from the Jewish communities in Belgium and worldwide.
    (See  http://www.new.mjb-jmb.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=372&Itemid=112)
  • Collection of printed material at the Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre (Kazerne Dossin) The collection of printed material consists of a variety of pamphlets, posters and valuable books. The collection includes originals from private donations and digital versions of printed material that was digitalised and catalogued, which is currently the property of other institutions. These documents can be consulted in digital form at Kazerne Dossin. The collection consists of 463 documents and 3,353 pictures.
    (See  http://www.kazernedossin.be/en/content/2-collection-printed-material)
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