Fourteen photo booth photographs pinned to a wall, glass plate, 20th century 
© mahJ collection, gift of Ariel Fenster

Fourteen photo booth photographs pinned to a wall, glass plate, 20th century 
© mahJ collection, gift of Ariel Fenster

Enquiry on Hersh Fenster

The mahJ is preparing, based on its archives, the "Hersh Fenster and the lost shtetl of Montparnasse" exhibition, which will highlight the figure of Fenster and his work on the artists of the School of Paris. We need your help ! We are looking for information on about twenty of these artists for the book that will accompany the exhibition.

Hersh Fenster (Baranów, 1892 - Paris, 1964), journalist and writer, is the author of Undzere farpaynikte kinstler (Our artists martyrs), published in Yiddish in Paris in 1951. It is a unique testimony to the life of 84 artists in France deported or who died during the Second World War. Some are famous like Otto Freundlich or Chaïm Soutine, others are less famous like Etienne Farkas, Jacob Macznik or Léon Weissberg, and finally others are forgotten.

Known only to specialists, this major text, prefaced by Marc Chagall and printed on behalf of the author in 375 copies, will finally be accessible to a large public in a French translation, published by the mahJ and the Hazan editions with the support of the House. of Yiddish culture - Medem library.

For months, to complete the publication and better document the milieu of Jewish artists active in Paris in the interwar period, the museum team has been carrying out investigative work to find photographic portraits and works of the artists mentioned in the book. Despite research, some still do not have the required information.

We need your help: if you have a photograph or work of any of the artists listed below, or if you have information on their location, contact us at



Photographic portraits sought for: 

Bernard Altschuler, Sophie Blum-Lazarus, Paul Dœry, Elie Grinman, Karl Klein, Marcel Lherman, René Lévy, Jane Lévy, Samuel Liebewert, Ary Lochakow, Abraham Mordkhine, Jacques Ostrowsky, Elisabeth Polak, Hirsh Poustchevoy, Raphaël Schwartz, G. Stuman, Yehiel Spoliansky

Artworks sought for:

Sophie Blum-Lazarus, Aron Brzezinski, Paul Dœry, Pierre Grumbacher, Frania Hart, Jacob Krauter, David-Michel Krewer, René Lévy, Israël Lewin, Samuel Liebewert, Abraham Mordkhine, Paul Pitoum, Elisabeth Polak, Hirsh Poustchevoy, Felix Roitman, Abraham Rosenbaum, Meyer Cheychel, Manfred Starkhaus, G. Stuman


The exhibition "Hersh Fenster and the lost shtetl of Montparnasse" will be presented from May 15, 2021, next to "Chagall, Modigliani, Soutine ... Paris for school, 1905-1940", which will open its doors on June 3, 2021.