Goldschmidt Thea, , 1888-1944 / Goldschmidt Fritz,  1871-1944 - Breslau

Thea and Fritz Goldschmidt

Thea Goldschmidt (1888-1944), Fritz Goldschmidt (1871-1944)
Creators of the collection:

Fritz Goldschmidt was a prosperous entrepreneur of Breslau. In 1898 he and Meyer Koppenheim founded a company „Koppenheim & Goldschmidt” whose main area of operation was trade in cereals and cereal products. Owing to the success of the project they purchased many prestigious properties, among them the Blue Sun House on the main square of Breslau (Wrocław), as well as the houses on the Tauentzienplatz. Fritz Goldschmidt was also entrusted with public functions, he was e.g. judge in commercial matters at the National Court (Landesgericht). In 1910 he married Thea Cohn who came from a family of jurists from Beuthen O.S. (Bytom). The married couple were involved in social and cultural life in the city. The renowned merchant provided financial assistance for the erection of the Jewish hospital designed by the architects related to the family, brothers Paul and Richard Ehrlich, the merchant’s wife lead fundraising for the School of Paula Ollendorf. Fritz Goldschmidt was also one of the founders of the Jewish Museum in Breslau (Wrocław), along with other art collectors meritorious for the city, like Leo Lewin, Felix Perle, Max Pinkus, Max Silberberg, Leo Smoschewer and Paul Schöttlander.

Duration of this collection in Silesia: - 1943?
Description of the collection:

Thea Goldschmidt was an art lover and with her husband’s support she assembled in the villa in the Kommendeweg an impressive collection of artworks. Among the Godschmidts’ favourite artists was Max Liebermann, highly esteemed as a painter of Jewish origin who achieved huge success in Germany. In the Goldschmidts’ villa were at least four paintings on canvas by this artist, among them one of his self-portraits, as well as his drawings and engravings. The collection consisted of paintings by other favourite painters of the Wrocław’s collectors as well, like Max Slevogt, Lovis Corinth, Wilhelm Trübner, Hans Purmann and of sculptures by August Gaul. The villa housed also the works by French artists: Lucien Andrion, Maurice de Vlamick, Eduard Vuillard and Maximilien Luce. In the possession of the Goldschmidts was also the collection of drawings and engravings (a. o. by the already mentioned Liebermann, as well as by Ernst Barlach, Lesser Ury, Käthe Kollwitz). Many artworks had been purchased by the Goldschmidts in the Berliner Paul Cassirer Salon. The artworks from the Goldschmidts’ possession were hired for exhibitions, e.g. for the exhibition organized in 1920 by the Silesian Association of Artists (Künstlerbund Schlesien).

As the Nazis rose to power the Goldschmidts were forced to cash the artworks from their possession (e.g. in June 1936 nine sculptures from the series „Little Animal Park” by Gaul were offered on auction in the Berliner Paul Graupe Salon). At the turn of 1930s and 1940s the collectors were forced to leave their spacious villa and move to a much more modest locale on the Tauentzienplatz. Their possession, along with artworks, were sequestered, the Goldschmits themselves were deported to the concentration camp in Auschwitz and exterminated.

Categories of works of art in this collection: Painting (5)

Ernst G. Lowenthal, Bewährung im Untergang: Ein Gedenkbuch, Stuttgart 1965, p. 187

Localization: Breslau (Wrocław) - Kommendeweg 3-5 (ul. Oficerska)
Authors of this entry:
  • Magdalena Palica
Published on: 29 / 01 / 2014
Project co-financed by Ministry of Labour and Social Policy under Government Project – Civic Benefit Fund.
All information published under license: Creative Commons