10 March 1933
School diploma issued to Judith Rosenthal
Judith Rosenthal (1915–2002), a native of Berlin, was unable to fulfill this wish directly after graduating. However, after numerous detours she did manage to pursue a lifelong career in art. University was not her first stop on leaving school: whether or not she was barred from admission, we do not know. Instead, Judith, whose father and grandfather were rabbis, enrolled in the College of the Science of Judaism (Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums) in April 1933. One year later she transferred to a private school for fashion design and commercial art, where she remained until early 1936.
In August of the same year, at the age of 21, she married Simon Helfer, a bank employee and former religion student of her father’s, who had been prohibited from continuing his law studies in 1933 because of his Polish nationality. In 1939, the Helfers fled to London, where Judith studied art history at the Courtauld Institute of Art. In 1951, the couple emigrated to New York and Judith began working as an artist. From the 1960s until shortly before her death, she was also active as an art critic, primarily for the German-Jewish émigré newspaper Aufbau.
School magazine for graduation
In preparation for their graduation ceremony, Judith Rosenthal and her classmates produced a funny and witty magazine featuring comical verses about teachers, a poem about the “final exam nightmare” and student advertisements. Judith billed herself as a fashion adviser and offered “extreme caricatures.”