Our collection on Jewish life in Germany is enriched by many wedding albums. They give us a fascinating glimpse into the private space of family celebrations and show how people have remembered their wedding celebrations.
One prize example is the wedding album of Paula and Bernhard Lustig. Rather than photographs, this album assembles the guests’ table place cards, a celebratory song performed by the sister of the bride, Hanna Futter, and many other mementos.
The Nuptial Ceremony
On Sunday, 30 May 1920, Bernhard Lustig and Paula Futter said their vows in Munich. Rabbi Leo Baerwald, whose wife was one of the bride’s close friends, officiated in the main synagogue on Herzog-Max-Strasse.
At the wedding party, the Lustigs lived up to their name, which means fun or funny in German. The attendees sang humorous drinking songs and gave speeches.
The lovingly designed place cards, pasted into the album, presented the bride and groom and featured a drawing and a funny verse for each guest.
The Table Place Cards
The invitation, a newspaper announcement, and the dinner menu in the album reveal even more about this special day in the life of the new Mr. and Mrs. Lustig.
Trout and Champagne
To celebrate the occasion, a festive dinner was served. The artfully designed menu reflects a grand and sumptuous feast:
Trout with new potatoes
Tongue with assorted vegetables
Young goose roasted on the spit with various salads
Coffee and cakes
The trout and the goose were also illustrated on the menu alongside champagne bubbling in a flute. Unfortunately, the identity of who designed the menu and the attractive place cards has been lost.
From Munich to Jerusalem
Paula and Bernhard Lustig had four children between 1921 and 1928: Herta, Hans, Walter, and Franz. After the Nazis seized power, the family swiftly made the decision to emigrate. On 25 August 1933, they left Munich for Italy. From there, they took a ship to Palestine in October. They initially stayed in Haifa and later established Jerusalem as their new home.
Like many German immigrants , they changed their last name – from Lustig to Ron. The parents also Hebraicized their four children’s names: Hertha became Chana, Hans changed his name to Jochanan, Walter was renamed Zwi, and their youngest son Franz took the name Arie.
They brought their wedding album along when they emigrated. It was a special memento, and not only for the original Lustig couple themselves. Their children and grandchildren also enjoyed leafing through the album.
How It Reached the Museum
In 2013, for our online project 1933: The Beginning of the End of Germany Jewry, we were combing our holdings and the archive of the Leo Baeck Institute in New York for expressive documents from the year 1933. In the end, we chose a letter written by an eleven-year-old boy who was emigrating with his family from Munich to Palestine (read the letter by Hans Lustig here). He told his former teacher about the departure from Germany. What sounds like a carefree family trip in his childish words was actually a final goodbye.
The teacher was Robert Raphael Geis, and the letter was in his surviving papers. It was written by Hans Lustig, the second-oldest son of Paula and Berhard Lustig. We contacted his brother Arie Ron in Jerusalem to find out more about the story of the Lustig family. A year later, he gave his parents’ wedding album to the Jewish Museum Berlin as a gift. We would like to express our gratitude to him and his family here.
Susanne Schuur (2017), A Joyful Occasion for the Lustig Family. Paula and Bernhard Lustig's Wedding Album.
Leo Baerwald (Rabbi)
Documents about the lives and fates of German Jews and Jewish families from Germany
All About ...
1933: The Beginning of the End of German Jewry
Online project for the 2013 Theme Year “Diversity Destroyed: 1933–1938”
Wedding Album of Bernhard and Paula Lustig née Futter
You can find wedding mementos, gifts, and historical photographs in our collections (in German).