Wooden marionette dressed as a Jewish banker

Language of Description
Alt. Identifiers
  • 2016.184.1
Level of Description
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

overall: Height: 33.000 inches (83.82 cm)


Biographical History

The Katz Ehrenthal Collection is a collection of more than 900 objects depicting Jews and antisemitic and anti-Jewish propaganda from the medieval to the modern era, in Europe, Russia, and the United States. The collection was amassed by Peter Ehrenthal, a Romanian Holocaust survivor, to document the pervasive history of anti-Jewish hatred in Western art, politics and popular culture. It includes crude folk art as well as pieces created by Europe's finest craftsmen, prints and periodical illustrations, posters, paintings, decorative art, and toys and everyday household items decorated with depictions of stereotypical Jewish figures.

Archival History

The marionette was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2016 by the Katz Family.


United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of the Katz Family

Funding Note: The cataloging of this artifact has been supported by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

Scope and Content

19th century German marionette dressed as an Orthodox Jewish banker in a somewhat shabby black suit. The carved, painted face has a large, curved nose and peyots (sidecurls), but these Jewish features are not overly exaggerated. Marionette shows were a popular form of entertainment in the 19th century for adults as well as children. Germany was now the banking center of Europe, after the chaos of the French revolution and Napoleonic wars, and the house of Rothschild had emerged in Frankfurt. Jews were still linked to the stereotypical evils of money lending, and while the banker was a more respectable figure, Jews were now also viewed with jealousy and suspicion as the creators of capitalism and its evils. This marionette is one of more than 900 items in the Katz Ehrenthal Collection of antisemitic visual materials.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions on access

Conditions Governing Reproduction

No restrictions on use

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Carved wooden marionette, an Orthodox Jewish banker with the original outfit. His carved facial features include a large, curved nose, and thick, textured, black painted peyots, long sidelocks or curls, short sideburns and beard, mustache, and thick eyebrows. His face is painted a light complexion with slightly pink cheeks, very large brown eyes, and full, closed red lips. He wears a soft, black felt brimmed hat with hat, a double breasted, hip length, black cloth jacket with 2 sets of double buttons and wide notched lapels. It has 1 narrow flap pocket on the left breast and 1 flap pocket at each hip. The sleeves are long, but too short, ending above the wrist. He wears a long sleeved, collared white shirt and may have a white scarf around his neck and tucked into the jacket front. The loose trousers are of cloth patterned with alternating black, white, gray, white black pinstripes. The attached feet are painted white and with plain, gray loafers with heels.



This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.