Bearing Witness: Stories Behind the Artifacts in the Yad Vashem Museum Collection

Scroll of Esther illustrated by artist Otto Geismar, who escaped Germany in the late 1930s

Title page of the Megillah illustrated by Otto Geismar and published in Berlin in 1936Title page of the Megillah illustrated by Otto Geismar and published in Berlin in 1936 Megillat Esther (Esther Scroll) illustrated by Otto Geismar, a series of illustrations depicting the chain of events impacting the Jews of Shushan as described in the MegillahMegillat Esther (Esther Scroll) illustrated by Otto Geismar, a series of illustrations depicting the chain of events impacting the Jews of Shushan as described in the Megillah Immigration card of Otto GeismarImmigration card of Otto Geismar

The Megillah is written in ten columns accompanied by nine pages of illustrations relating the Purim story. It was illustrated by the Jewish artist Otto Geismar who was active in Berlin before the war.

Otto Geismar (1873 – 1957) was an art teacher in the Jewish community school in Berlin until 1936. In 1939 Otto and his wife managed to flee Germany and find asylum in Brazil. After the war they moved to England. Geismar's unique style of drawing can be found also in a Passover Haggadah, as well as in illustrations related to the story of Chanukah that he produced in those years.