Heinrich and Elisabeth Bamberger

Heinrich Bamberger, born in 1871, was the son of department store owner Jacob Bamberger and Frieda Strauss.

Jacob Bamberger opened his first clothing store 1876 in Worms under the name of Bamberger & Hertz. After Jacob’s death, his sons took over and successfully expanded the business. Heinrich married Elisabeth Bamberger who was born in 1889 in Saaz, Bohemia as the oldest daughter of Joseph and Martha Mendl. Elisabeth was a member of the "Frauenliga fuer Frieden und Freiheit" and the "Weltfriedensbund der Frauen und Muetter".  Heinrich was a member of the Centralverein and became active in attracting the attention of foreign countries to the sad happenings in Germany.

Mr. Bamberger died in 1934.  By the late 1930s, his widow, as was the fate of other German Jewish citizens, was subject to persecution by the Nazis which included the confiscation of property.  Inquiries in German archives turned up a November 1938 valuation list of Mrs. Bamberger’s property, prepared by a Frankfurt auction house, in accordance with the April 1938 decree requiring the registration and valuation of all Jewish-owned assets.

Before she fled Germany for the United States, Mrs. Bamberger took steps to protect her belongings and left her property -- largely household furnishings -- behind at the home of the cantor of her synagogue, Mr. Siegfried Würzburger.  Along with his wife, Gertrude, Mr. Würzburger was deported to the Lódz ghetto in 1941.  Both later perished during the Holocaust. The contents of the Würzburger home were seized by the Gestapo upon their deportation, including Mrs. Bamberger’s property.

Mrs. Bamberger was able to flee Germany in 1940. Her long journey of escape took her from Berlin to Moscow, through Siberia, Manchuria, Korea, and Japan, until her arrival in Ecuador.  Mrs. Bamberger began searching for her lost artworks after the war, a task carried on by two successive generations of Bamberger heirs.

Recovered Works from the Bamberger Collection