Alfred Schwarzschild (b. 1874)

Lot 691: A remarkable diary containing Alfred Schwarzschild (1874-) sketches, letters from famous people of the day c.1935


November 29, 2016
Lewes, United Kingdom

More About this Item

Description: A remarkable diary containing Alfred Schwarzschild (1874-) sketches, letters from famous people of the day c.1935 including his depiction of his daughter as an ''aryan'' child, see website for further details.
Condition Report: An extraordinary revelation regarding the Nazi Party and the German Jewish artist Alfred Schwarzschild has come to light in an old 1930s scrapbook. In the album is a short, handwritten account by Schwarzschild telling how he fooled the Nazi's by depicting what the perfect Aryan girl should look like when in fact the girl he had drawn was his own daughter, a German Jew. The drawing was distributed in Germany before WW2 as a postcard under the title 'Grup aus München!'

o German Jewish artist Alfred Schwarzschild fooled the Nazi Party
o Schwarzschild's extraordinary revelation comes to light in an old 1930s scrapbook
o Schwarzschild fled Germany in 1936 to escape Nazi persecution
o A Nazi spy reported Schwarzschild to the Nazi authorities who subsequently seized Schwarzschild's bank account

Article by Iain Williams

German artist Alfred M. Schwarzschild was born to Jewish parents on 18 November 1874 in Frankfurt am Main, which was then part of the Kingdom of Prussia. His family was related to the famous physicist and astronomer Karl Schwarzschild. Alfred chose art as a career and would later become associated with the Naturalist (or Realism) art movement, which existed in the late 19th/early 20th century. He married quite late in life (aged 49) and his German wife bore him three children. In the hope of building a better life, the family moved to Munich and resided at Holbeinstrasse and then Mauerkircherstrasse, where Alfred also had his artist studio. In Munich, Schwarzschild was commissioned to draw a typical Aryan girl, which was reproduced as a postcard under the title, Grup aus München! However, what he failed to tell the authorities was exactly who the little girl he had drawn was. This information he revealed later in a scrapbook entry after he fled Germany in 1936.

Grup aus München!
The original pre-war German postcard drawn and signed by Alfred Schwarzschild, depicting a typical Aryan girl, with the artist's revelation of the girl's identity written in ink beneath it.

When the Nazi party began placing restrictions upon the movements of Jews, Schwarzschild found it extremely difficult to sell his work. Living under such extreme conditions became intolerable and in 1936 Schwarzschild fled Germany to avoid Nazi persecution. He arrived in England in the hope of trying to earn a living. In doing so he left his wife and children behind in Munich.
In England Alfred stayed at 'Tuggall' in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, as the houseguest of travel writer Ethel Younghusband. It was inside Ethel's scrapbook that Alfred revealed exactly who the girl on the 'Grup aus München' postcard was:
"This is supposed to be typical of an (Aryan) German of Munich but it is a Jewish (German) portrait painted and the model was my little girl, half Jewish and half Bavarian (Mother) with München on the background. There is a subtle humour on this."
The girl who modeled for Schwarzschild was in fact his daughter, a German Jew.

In the scrapbook is a photograph of the artist Alfred Schwarzschild sketching whilst sitting in Ethel Younghusband's garden at 'Tuggall.'

An original hand-drawn postcard by Schwarzschild depicting 'Tuggall,' the country home of Ethel Younghusband in Beaconsfield where Alfred stayed as a guest, is also in the scrapbook.

In 1937, fearing for his family's safety, Schwarzschild bravely returned to Munich for a brief visit where he was reunited with his wife and children. He fled Germany for a second time soon after.

A hand-drawn postcard in the scrapbook by Schwarzschild depicting refugees in a boat on the sea insight of land - 1937

Alfred was finally reunited with his wife and children for good when they also fled to England in 1938, thereby escaping the Nazi holocaust. A Nazi spy subsequently reported Schwarzschild to the Nazi authorities and his bank account was seized. Soon after the Nazi Party stripped the account of its money.
Alfred Schwarzschild remained living in the UK until his death on 19 August 1948. His artwork suffered at the hands of the Nazi's where it was discriminated against on the basis that it was sectarian and therefore deemed unworthy. Thankfully, some of his paintings have survived and hang in European and Middle Eastern galleries.

An Alfred Schwarzschild drawing in the diary depicting Odysseus in the ocean reaching for the safety of land.
"Just as Odysseus was happy to come out of the stormy sea to the country of the (Phaeacians), I am happy to have come to England and to your house. Alfred Schwarzschild." 19. 7. 1937

Ethel Younghusband's scrapbook containing three original drawings by Alfred Schwarzschild and his fascinating account of a part of German Jewish history comes up for auction at Gorringe's Auction House in Lewes, East Sussex on 29th November.

Descriptions provided in both printed and on-line catalogue formats do not include condition reports. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Interested bidders are strongly encouraged to request a condition report on any lots upon which they intend to bid, prior to placing a bid. All transactions are governed by Gorringes Conditions of Sale.
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Gorringes Winter Fine Sale

November 29, 2016, 10:00 AM GMT

Lewes, United Kingdom

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