The Photo«

»8 Objects – 8 Fates« – panel 7

The photo shows Ludwig Rosenbaum, born in 1881 in Warburg, who survived the persecution of the Jews by emigrating to Shanghai (1940-1948). At the time, he was nearly sixty years old. The undated shot was taken in Shanghai after Ludwig Rosenbaum’s arrival in the port city in the spring of 1940.

Following a crossing that lasted many weeks and the uncertainty that went with it, the photograph (1940/41) was a tangible sign of life for his wife Jenny and their daughter Henny Rosenbaum in Hannover. In order to be able to see her father’s picture at any time, they put the photograph in a frame behind glass. One day it received a blow and shattered. Rosenbaum and his dog Mohrle are sitting noticeably straight with their gaze towards the lens. For the colour photograph, Ludwig Rosenbaum had put on his best suit. His tie sits perfectly on his starched white shirt collar. The silk handkerchief in the breast pocket indicates a festive occasion. Henny Simon, née Rosenbaum, remembers (2016):

“My father got his dog “Mohrle” during his stay in Shanghai. As far as I can remember, he sent the picture to my mother and I. Prior to our deportation to Riga, I left my photos with my family in Dortmund. My aunts gave the album to Christian friends and, on my return from hell, they gave my pictures back to me.”

After the liberation, Henny Rosenbaum and her husband Abraham Markiewicz settled in Hannover for several years. When they moved to the USA in 1949, the returned photograph was part of their emigration luggage. After the reunification with their father in the USA, the picture became a keepsake that reminded them of the difficult time when the father was separated from his wife and daughter.


Picture credits

Private Collection, Henny Simon


Exhibition: 8 Objects – 8 Fates
Duration: From 11th December 2016 to 7th January 2017
Location: Bürgersaal, Neues Rathaus, Hannover
Panel: 7 from 10 – The Photo
Size: 650 x 2050 mm
Technique: Digital print on Alu-Dibond