Eisenmann, Margarete (geb. Ledermann)
About the person
Margarete Eisenmann, née Ledermann (19.02.1867 Breslau - 29.09.1942, KL Treblinka) was married to Samuel Felix Eisenmann (06.08.1855 Berlin - 27.09.1918 Berlin), who lived in prosperous circumstances as Portuguese vice-consul and partner of the fuel factory R. Eisenmann founded by his father Raphael Eisenmann.
Margarete Eisenmann was the daughter of Wolf Wilhelm Ledermann, banker, privy councillor of commerce, owner of a town hall and knight's estate, and his wife Elise Ledermann, née Frankenstein. The couple had two children, Günter Bernhard Eisenmann (08.03.1890 Berlin - 15.08.1963 Berlin) and Raphaela Babette Eisenmann, divorced Kahn (02.05.94 Berlin - 31.12.1944 declared dead).
After the death of Samuel Felix Eisenmann and despite changes in the legal form, the company R. Eisenmann remained in the ownership of family members, most recently the two children of Samuel Felix Eisenmann, until the forced liquidation in 1939.
Ten years after the death of her husband, Margarete Eisenmann decided to sell parts of the collection. In 1928, an extensive collection of prints with works by Daniel Chodowiecki and Theodor Hosemann was offered at an auction at Paul Graupe. Two years later, at the antiquarian bookshop J. A. Stargardt, which specialised in autographs, further parts of the collection of graphic works by Daniel Chodowiecki were most likely put up for auction. But not only graphic works by the artist were part of the collection: the oil painting "Hahnenschlag", still attributed to Daniel Chodowiecki at the time, was still in the possession of Margarete Eisenmann in 1926.
After the National Socialists seized power, the omens changed. In the course of the incipient and intensifying persecution measures against Jews after 1933, the room for manoeuvre of the wealthy Eisenmann family also became smaller and smaller. A process of economic plundering began. As a result, Margarete Eisenmann lost her life and her fortune, including her extensive art collection.
The consignment of large parts of the "Kunstsammlung und Wohnungseinrichtung Generalkonsul Eisenmann" to Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus was most likely connected with the planned conversion of Margarete Eisenmann's house. The spacious city villa at 84 Tirpitzufer was divided into nine rental flats in the course of 1936. The division of the house into smaller rental units initially promised tax advantages in addition to rental income, but these had already been suspended for Jews in 1938.
The auction offered a total of 1072 lots, including old and new master paintings, graphic art, numerous pieces of furniture and arts and crafts. In addition to European and Chinese porcelain, faiences of primarily German provenance were offered, including a collection of various jugs. Sculptures and bronzes were also on offer, as well as a small collection of cast iron objects from Berlin. Among the Dutch masters were paintings by Franz Mieris the Elder, Jan Miense Molenaer, Nicolaes Berchem and Johannes Cornelisz Verspronck. A remarkable "Caritas" from the Cranach workshop was offered under lot 102.
A second auction at Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus in February 1936 offered the unsold objects from the first auction. Another auction at the Union auction house offered another 30 groups of objects, probably all of which had already been offered by Lepke. In the printed catalogue of this auction, these objects (lots 250-279) are counted but not listed. The objects that were again not sold were offered again at Union on 24-25.03.1937. There are also indications that there was another auction at Union.
In 1938, one of the most valuable paintings in the collection, the "Resurrection of Christ" by Lucas Cranach, was seized by the Tiergarten tax office to be offset against the so-called Judenvermögensabgabe (JUVA). A painting by Cranach was presented to the Reich Chancellery for viewing in the same year. However, there is no further evidence as to whether the Reich Chancellery acquired the work. The Reich Chamber of Culture was also involved and set the purchase price of the painting "Resurrection of Christ". The sale of the painting was then brokered by the art dealer Erna Gerlach (Berlin, Grolmannstraße 29). The buyer is unknown. The painting resurfaced at Sotheby's in 1949, supposedly as a consignment from Hans W. Lange, who, however, had already died in 1945. This painting was settled in 2021 according to an agreement between the current owner and the heirs after Margarete Eisenmann.
Three years later, Margarete Eisenmann had to sell the property she owned at Tirpitzufer 84 (until 1933 Königin-Augustastraße 46, today Reichpietschufer) to the High Command of the Navy, which resided in the neighbourhood. Parts of the proceeds of the sale were seized by the tax office for further JUVA levies. Certainly in preparation or in the course of these events, a large part of the paintings and the valuable home furnishings were moved to a depot of the company Berthold Jacoby, Internationale Möbeltransporte. A witness viewed the objects in 1941 in the aforementioned storage facility.
At the age of 75, Margarete Eisenmann was deported from her last address in Berlin, Bleibtreustr. 17, to KL Theresienstadt on 1 September 1942. She was murdered in KL Treblinka on 29 September 1942.
At the beginning of 1943, at a time when her son Günter Eisenmann and his wife Grete (née Binte), due to persecution as a family living in a so-called "mixed marriage", were forced to vacate their flat, the painting "Caritas" mentioned above was sold. Formerly attributed to Lucas Cranach, it may have been in the family's possession since 1913. It was offered at the Lepke and Union auctions in 1935 and 1936, but was not sold. The art commissioner Helen Siodmak, née Vocke, stated the following after the war: "[I]t may have been in January or February 1943 - Mr Günter Eisenmann brought me the copy painting 'Madonna with the Cherubs' late in the evening on behalf of his wife Grete Eisenmann. I was supposed to sell it, but could only get rid of it for a few hundred marks at a dealer." In addition, Helen Siodmak had taken on commission more than 30 objects - furniture, jewellery, antiques and two paintings - from the estate of Grete and Günter Eisenmann, which she sold during the years 1937 to 1945. Whether these included other objects from the Margarete Eisenmann collection is still the subject of investigation.
It was Helen Siodmak who witnessed an auction of Margarete Eisenmann's (remaining) collection stored at the Berthold Jacoby company after her deportation in 1942: "The auction took place on Kottbusser Ufer on behalf of the Oberfinanzpräsidium by a publicly appointed bailiff". The objects auctioned there are as yet unknown.
The paintings of the Margarete Eisenmann Collection known so far will be announced first, the remaining groups of objects will follow in due time.
• Adress-, Telefonbücher, Handelsregister von Berlin.
• [Anzeige]. In: Die Weltkunst. IX(1935)23, S.3.
• D - LAB, A Rep. 243-04, Nr. 38, Margarethe Eise[n]mann, (Union, Leo Spik, Auktion vom 07.-08.10.1936)
• D - LAB, A Rep. 243-04, Nr. 50, Eisenmann, Margarete (Rudolf Lepke's Kunst Auctions-Haus, Auktion vom 12.-13.02.1936)
• D - LAB, A Rep. 243-04, Nr. 50, Eisenmann, Margarete (Union, Leo Spik, Auktion vom 24.-25.03.1937)
• D - LAB, A Rep. 243-04, Nr. 70, Karteikarte Eisenmann, Margarete
• D - LAB, B Rep. 025-01, WGA 2080/51, nach Eisenmann, Margarete
• D - LAB, B Rep. 025-06, WGA 1299/50, nach Eisenmann, Margarete
• D - LAB, GDB
• D - LABO, Entschädigungsamt Berlin, Reg. Nr. 991, Margarete Eisenmann
• D - LABO, Entschädigungsamt Berlin, Reg. Nr. 992, Günter Eisenmann
• D - LABO, Entschädigungsamt Berlin, Reg. Nr. 993, Grete Eisenmann, geb. Binte
• D - ITS Arolsen, AJDC Berlin Kartei (Deportationen), DE ITS 220.127.116.11
• D - ITS Arolsen, Ghetto Theresienstadt-Kartei, 11422001
• D - ITS Arolsen, Welle 28 - Alterstransporte 51-57 nach Theresienstadt, 27.08.1942 - 05.09.1942, 15510021a
• Caroline Flick: Die Verwertung von Emigrantengut durch den Oberfinanzpräsidenten Berlin-Brandenburg am Beispiel der eingelagerten Mobilien von Georg und Martin Tietz. Umzugsgüter Tietz (Teil 2). In: KUR. 1(2019), S.11-23, hier S.20-22.
• Max J. Friedländer, Jakob Rosenberg: Die Gemälde von Lucas Cranach. Berlin 1932.
• Paul Graupe: Die Sammlung des Herrn Generalkonsul Eisenmann und Beiträge aus anderem Besitz: eine Sammlung seltener und kostbarer Porträtstiche von Friedrich Bause, das fast vollständige graphische Werk von Daniel Chodowiecki und Theodor Hosemann, mit vielen frühesten Zustandsdrucken, Probedrucken und zahlreichen Handzeichnungen. Alt-Berlin, Pläne, Ansichten, Militaria, Karikaturen und Volkstypen, Porzellan. Auktion vom 08.-10.10.1928. Berlin 1928.
• Jahrbuch des Vermögens und Einkommens der Millionäre in Preussen. Berlin 1912. S.90.
• Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus: Kunstsammlung und Wohnungseinrichtung Generalkonsul Eisenmann, Berlin. Auktion vom 19.-20.06.1935. Berlin 1935.
• Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus: Antiquitäten, Gemälde alter und neuerer Meister: Renaissance-, Barock-, Rokoko-Möbel, Gobelins des 17. Jahrh., Bronzen, Porzellane, Fayencen, Steinzeug, persische Teppiche, Kleinkunst, moderne Möbel: Herrenzimmer, Speisezimmer, Einzelmöbel, silberner Besteckkasten, Bechstein-Flügel. Auktion vom 12.-13.02.1936. Berlin 1936. (Lot 1-72, 432-523 Ei.)
• Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus: Antiquitäten, Möbel, Tapisserien, Kunstgewerbe: Gemälde alter und neuerer Meister. Auktion vom 08.03.1938. Berlin 1938. Lot 501/502.(?)
• [Rubrik] Auktions-Vorschau. In: Die Weltkunst. IX(1935)22, S.3.
• J. A. Stargardt: Berlin seit 200 Jahren. Generalkonsul Eisenmann und anderer Besitz. Gemälde, Graphik, Porzellan, Eisen, Chroniken, Illustrierte Bücher Berliner Künstler, Scherenschnitte. Auktion vom 16., 17.-18.10.1930. Berlin 1930.
• editionhansposse.gnm.de/wisski/navigate/3247/view [DKA, NL Posse, Hans, I,B-3, 05.1940 (0088)]