A bright and colorful painting of a man with a mischievous smile.
Arthur S. Obermayer, the son of Julia Sinsheimer and Leon Obermayer, came up with the idea for our museum and was its initiator.
Born in Philadelphia in 1931, with a doctorate in chemistry and a career as a successful businessman, he was tirelessly committed to keeping the memory alive and promoting reconciliation after the disaster of the Shoah
He donated the Obermayer German Jewish History Award, which is presented annually in Berlin. What originally brought him to Creglingen was the search for his ancestors on his mother’s side. Along with the town archivist, Claudia Heuwinkel, he tracked down the Sinsheimers, Blumenfelds and Oberndörfers. And finally, the idea of a museum came into being. In 1999, the foundation Stiftung Jüdisches Museum Creglingen acquired and restored this building. The museum was opened in November 2000, followed by the permanent exhibition in 2004.
Arthur Obermayer – meanwhile awarded the Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany—died in January 2016. Everyone who was privileged to know him personally can confirm that the painting has captured his impish smile and his approachable nature perfectly.
The picture was painted by the artist Marlis Glaser and is one of a series of portraits of Jewish figures known as the “Galerie der Aufrechten” – the gallery of righteous. Veit Feger, the former publisher of the regional newspaper Schwäbische Zeitung, bought the painting and has made it available to the Jewish Museum Creglingen on long-term loan – provided only that it is permanently on display.
This cheerful painting establishes a connection with our present day, and highlights Obermayer’s desire to showcase the lives of the people of Creglingen’s Jewish community as well as their achievements and their contributions to society – while expressly not reducing these people to the role of victims.
Now, if you move on to the top floor, you’ll discover a number of exhibits that refer to the time after the Shoah, and to how life went on.
Foto: © Martin Heuwinkel