Forgotten Architects
June 16, 2008 5:38 AM   Subscribe

Forgotten Architects: In the 1920s and early 1930s, German Jewish architects created some of the greatest modern buildings in Germany, mainly in the capital Berlin. A law issued by the newly elected German National Socialist Government in 1933 banned all of them from practicing architecture in Germany. In the years after 1933, many of them managed to emigrate, while many others were deported or killed under Hitler’s regime. Pentagram Papers 37: Forgotten Architects is a survey of 43 of these architects and their groundbreaking work.

The paper is based on the extensive research of architect Myra Warhaftig. Warhaftig spent twenty years investigating the fates of these architects and only recently published her findings in her book German Jewish Architects Before and After 1933: The Lexicon. David Sokol has written about Warhaftig and her project in an article published in the Jewish culture blog Nextbook.
posted by sveskemus (10 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Very cool, many thanks sveskemus!
posted by carter at 5:56 AM on June 16, 2008

Mindblowingly beautiful and sad at the same time.
posted by The Salaryman at 6:07 AM on June 16, 2008

Very cool. Thanks for the links.
posted by chillmost at 6:26 AM on June 16, 2008

Fred Forbat was born in Pécs, Hungary, in 1897 and lived and worked in Berlin until 1933 when he returned to Pécs. In 1938 he had to flee again, this time to Lund, Sweden, where he became a successful city planner of international acclaim. He died in Sweden in 1972.

There's a comprehensive collection of Forbats' work at the the Arkíekturmuseet in Stockholm.

But in general 1920's architecture and urban planning is less than soulless. It's awful and soul destroying. My street is populated by glorious buildings built in 1870-1890 and a few "funkis" eyesores that were put up in the 1920s. What on earth were people thinking?
posted by three blind mice at 6:27 AM on June 16, 2008

Yes, thanks for this. Of Course, Germany's loss was both Chicago and Tel Aviv's gain.
posted by MrMerlot at 6:41 AM on June 16, 2008

It's strange that there's no mention of Erich Mendelsohn and Einstein Tower.
posted by worbid411 at 10:57 AM on June 16, 2008

Intrigueing to watch all these pictures. Thank you.
posted by jouke at 2:10 PM on June 16, 2008

worbid411, I don't think the architect of the famous Einstein Tower can be counted as forgotten.
posted by jouke at 2:12 PM on June 16, 2008

Reminds me of the story about the German education minister asking David Hilbert (one of the greatest mathematicians ever) in the mid-1930s how mathematics at Gottingen was, now that the Jewish influence had been removed. Hilbert's response: "Mathematics at Gottingen? There really isn't much at all, any more."
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:48 PM on June 16, 2008

I was just in Tel Aviv which boasts the largest number of Bauhaus style buildings anywhere. I assume many of these architects immigrated there?
posted by JJ86 at 9:33 AM on June 17, 2008

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