Vacation Greetings from Bad Reichenhall

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Memories of Bad Reichenhall: At the photo studio, three visitors to this Bavarian resort town gather around Berlin businessman Sally Israel, owner of the Kaufhaus des Westens department store on Kleiststrasse. The mountains behind them are just a painted backdrop, with a few rural props to match, but the guests make a perfect picture amidst the fake scenery. They have dressed up in folksy costumes with the basic trappings of alpine tradition.

Souvenir Photo in Traditional Regional Costumes

With its wild romantic scenery, Bad Reichenhall was a popular resort from the mid-nineteenth century onward. It also found favor among Jewish seekers of rest and relaxation and offered synagogues and kosher restaurants. It was customary for these middle-class visitors, most of whom lived in cities, to pose for souvenir photos in the local costumes, even if these outfits were made expressly for this purpose or provided by the photographers. A favorite backdrop was a blue-and-white sky – a painting of one, that is. Sent as postcards to friends and relatives at home, the photos attested to a pleasant and restful stay.

Vacation Paradise Lost

In the early 1920s, clouds began to gather on this idyllic horizon. Bavarian spas were not exempt from the virulent antisemitism in Germany, which now targeted Jewish holidaymakers. As the years passed, more and more articles appeared in the Jewish press warning travelers to avoid Bavaria. In its publications, the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith likewise alerted readers to antisemitism in specific towns. In 1931, Bad Reichenhall was added to the list of dangerous places to visit.

Title Sally Israel (1872-1937) with three friends in Bavarian costumes
Collection Photography
Location and year of origin Bad Reichenhall, 1920
Medium Photograph
Dimensions 13,6 x 8,6 cm
Acquisition Gift of Monica Peiser
Central Association

The Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith was founded in Berlin in 1893. It represented the majority of middle-class, liberal Jews in Germany and advocated for their equal rights in society.

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Black-and-white photograph of four people in traditional Bavarian costumes

Sally Israel with three friends in Bavarian costumes; Jewish Museum Berlin, Gift of Monica Peiser

Selected Objects (6) Photographic Collection Show all

Photographic Collection

From an early promotional photograph by Yva to documentation of Jewish life in Germany before and after the Shoah, discover selected objects from our Photographic Collection and the stories behind them.

"Amor Skin"

The vintage print is an example of early promotional photography. Using multiple exposures, the photographer Yva was able to produce unreal and dreamlike images.

"White Weeks" at the Ury Department Store

With a brightly lit façade, the Ury brothers promoted "White Weeks" to their customers in February 1930. The promotional campaign testified to their modern business practices and their resulting success.

Hugo Spiegel as Champion Shot

The photograph by Leonard Freed depicts the father of Paul Spiegel, who would later be president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany. The Holocaust survivor was probably the first Jewish champion marksman in Germany.

Sally Israel in a Bavarian Costume

Three vacationers in folk costumes gather around the Berlin businessman for a souvenir photo from Bad Reichenhall. The spa town had been a prime destination for Jewish vacationers since the mid-nineteenth century.

Synagogue in the Jewish Retreat Center in Lehnitz

The synagogue was one of the last in Germany to be dedicated before the Second World War. For many, the retreat center became a place where Jews could assert their identity and culture in a hostile environment.

Rededication of the Synagogue at the Jewish Hospital

One year after the end of the Second World War, in 1946, the synagogue at the Jewish hospital on Iranische Strasse in the Berlin district of Wedding was rededicated. Gradually, it became the center of community work in Berlin.

Antisemitism

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Family Stories

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