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A Challenge Trophy for the Best Rower of the Year

From Our Holdings

The member of the Oberspree Jewish rowing club who logged the most kilometers in the water over the course of a year was awarded a challenge trophy.

Bronze sculpture of a man rowing

Challenge Trophy from the Jewish Rowing Club Oberspree, which Fred Eisenberg won as a young athlete in the mid-1930s; Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Fred Eisenberg, photo: Jens Ziehe.

Rower's Logbook

To determine the year's winner, the rowers kept a logbook in which they got someone impartial working at a restaurant, filling station, or shop to confirm their location at the furthest point of their rowing trip. In the mid-1930s, Fred Eisenberg won the distinction for three consecutive years, at which point the trophy, more than 50 centimeters long, became his private possession.

Rower, Emigrant, and Soldier

Fred Eisenberg worked at Nussbaum, a textile company in Berlin. He emigrated to join relatives in London in 1939 and served as a soldier in the British Army in the Second World War. After the war, he worked for a clothing company in Scotland. He married in Glasgow in 1948 and later emigrated to the USA. In 2006, he gave the challenge trophy along with his winner's certificates, photographs, and a BRC Oberspree boat flag to the Jewish Museum Berlin. Fred Eisenberg died in 2012, in Atlanta.

Black-and-white photograph of a rowing team holding a trophy

Rowing team B.R.C. Oberspree with Fred Eisenberg, 3rd from right (born 1918); Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Fred Eisenberg.

Title Challenge trophy from the Jewish Rowing Club Oberspree
Collection Material Culture
Location and year of origin Berlin, 1919
Medium Metal
Dimensions 23 x 52 x 15 cm
Acquisition Gift of Fred (formerly Manfred) Eisenberg

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Selected Objects: Material Culture Collection (10)

Material Culture Collection

Our objects from material culture recount Jewish life stories from Germany, attesting to athletic achievements, weddings, professional and military careers, but also disenfranchisement, persecution, and emigration.

Flag with the Star of David

In 1935, Martin Friedländer hung a blue and white flag from his window, making a confident statement against the racist Nuremberg Laws.

Frieda Neuber's Leather Pouch

Shortly before being deported to Theresienstadt, Frieder Neuber gave this leather pouch to her niece. The letters inside it document her desperate attempts to leave the country.

Various crumpled documents with Hebrew letters, a shoe and a bag

Memmelsdorf Genizah

In February 2002, workers renovating a house discovered a burlap sack filled with papers and personal items when they opened up a section of the ceiling. The house had been owned by Jews from 1775 to 1939.

Model of the Cargo Steamer Max

The Hamburg shipowner Arnold Bernstein received this model of his first ship in 1929 as a gift for his company's tenth anniversary. Eight years later, his career ended abruptly. He was detained and only managed to escape Germany at the last minute.

Dr. Oscar Hirschberg's Office Signs

A total of seven office signs used by Dr. Oscar Hirschberg document both his career as a practicing physician and the political changes and antisemitic exclusion during the period of Nazi rule.

Challenge Trophy from the Oberspree Jewish Rowing Club

The member of the Oberspree Jewish rowing club who logged the most kilometers in the water over the course of a year was awarded a challenge trophy. Fred Eisenberg won the award three years in a row.

Stamping Hammer, Invented by Gustav Maletzki

This stamping hammer, made around 1930, is one of the patented inventions for which the apparel furrier earned several awards. In 1938, Gustav Maletzki was forced to escape Germany and brought the hammer to exile in Bolivia.

The Sommerfelds’ Thirty-One Keys

Thirty-one keys – that's all that remains of the luggage the Sommerfeld family took with them when they emigrated from Berlin. They only managed to leave for England at the very last minute – just before the Second World War broke out.

Max Haller's Collection of Medals

Max Haller fought in the First World War for the Imperial German Navy. When SA members threatened him during the April Boycott of 1933, he pointedly placed a velvet cushion with his military distinctions in the shop window.

Cardboard Key for the Korants’ Wedding

Margarete Apt and Georg Korant received an unusual gift for their wedding on 4 October 1903 in Breslau. The dark brown key is made of cardboard and can be opened.