Ludwig Meidner's Drawing in Memory of the Destruction of the Synagogues during Kristallnacht
In this drawing, Meidner reacts to the violence and destruction he witnessed in Cologne on Kristallnacht. He creates a parallel between the burning of the synagogues in Germany and the destruction of the First Temple, thus expressing his hope for the end of the Third Reich, in much the same way that the Babylonian Empire collapsed.
1884, Bernstadt, Silesia – 1966, Darmstadt
Ludwig Meidner began studying at the Royal School of Art, Breslau, in 1903 and later graduated in printmaking with the artist Hermann Struck. In 1906 he studied in Paris at the Académie Julian and Atelier Cormon. In 1912 he founded the artists’ group Die Pathetiker, with the artists Jakob Steinhardt and Richard Janthur. In 1927 he married Else Meyer, who was also an artist; their son David was born two years later. With the Nazis’ rise to power in 1933, he was no longer allowed to publicly engage in art nor were his works allowed to be exhibited. After the Kristallnacht pogrom, in November 1938, Meidner sent his son to England via the Kindertransport; the couple followed in August 1939. Considered an enemy alien, Meidner was held in British internment camps in 1940-1941, first at Huyton, near Liverpool, then at Ramsey on the Isle of Man. After his release in 1942 Meidner settled in London until 1953, when he returned to Germany and continued his diverse artistic work.