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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)