Leo Smoschewer (1875-1938)

Leo Smoschewer who was owner of the factory, lived with his wife Elise in the Lindenallee 12 in Wrocław. He ran a company named “Smoschewer & Co.“ which had been established in 1899 and produced locomotives and steamrollers. The company had its branch offices in Berlin, Gdańsk and in Prague. The “Smoschewer & Co.” was represented in Romania as well. Leo Smoschewer himself was Romanian consul in Wrocław, in the period between 1924 and 1938.

The family Smoschewer was of Jewish origin and they belonged to the synagogal community in Wrocław. Since 1927 Leo Smoschewer was chief-officer of the community mentioned above. He was involved in the cultural life as a member of the board, of Society of Friends of Arts and as a vice-chairman of the founding of the Jewish Museum in Wrocław. He become twice a member of the curatory of the Silesian Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1920 he donated to the museum a bronze bust of a poet Heinrich Heine, executed by Theodor von Gosen who lectured at the Wrocław's Academy of Fine Arts.

The persecutions of the Jewish population which commenced in 1933 encountered the family Smoschewer as well. The company run by them was arianized in 1938. In the same year Leo Smoschewer died. His wife was about to emigrate but she couldn't stand the oppression and in May 1939 she committed suicide.

The art collection, comprising about 75 paintings, watercolours, sketches and graphisc works, was sequestrated. Some of them came to the museums of Wrocław and Görlitz, the others were sold to merchants and to private owners.

Duration of this collection in Silesia: end of 19th century - 1940
Description of the collection:

The Smoschewer's art collection mainly consisted of works by important contemporary German painters, like Lovis Corinth (who portrtayed Mrs Elise Smoschewer in 1906), Wilhelm Leibl, Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt, Hans Thoma and Wilhelm Trübner. Equally rich was the collection with paintings by lecturers of the Wroclaw's Academy of Fine Arts, e. g. by Alexander Kanoldt, Konrad von Kardorff, Carl Mense, Oskar Moll, Hans Purmann and by Max Wislicenius. The collection comprised also sculptures by August Gaul, Theodor von Gosen and by Georg Kolbe.

Categories of works of art in this collection: Painting (8), Drawing (2)

Annerose Klammt, Marius Winzeler, "Die Moderne deutsche Kunst musste zur Geltung gebracht werden“ – Zur Erwerbung von Kunstwerken aus jüdischem Eigentum für die Kunstsammlungen in Görlitz, [in:] Beiträge öffentlicher Einrichtungen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland zum Umgang mit Kulturgütern aus ehemaligen jüdischen Besitz, Ulf Häder (ed.), Magdeburg 2001, p. 119-141

Marius Winzeler, Jüdische Sammler und Mäzene in Breslau – von der Donation zur "Verwertung“ ihres Kunstbesitzes, [in:] Sammeln. Stiften. Fördern. Jüdische Mäzene in der deutschen Gesellschaft, Andrea Baresel-Brand, Peter Müller (ed.), Magdeburg 2006, p. 131-150

Localization: Breslau (Wrocław) - Lindenallee 12 (al. Lipowa)
Authors of this entry:
  • Dr. Hans- Joachim Hinz
Published on: 07 / 12 / 2009
Project co-financed by Ministry of Labour and Social Policy under Government Project – Civic Benefit Fund.
All information published under license: Creative Commons