The Klemperer Collection - a collective comic

Gustav and Charlotte von Klemperer assembled probably the most important private collection of historic Meissen porcelains. They inherited their passion 1926 with the collection to the sons Victor, Herbert and Ralph von Klemperer. The Jewish family was forced to leave Germany in 1938 and their art possessions were confiscated. Restitution took place in 1991 and 2010. Part of the pieces could remain in the porcelain collection as a generous gift from the family.

In cooperation with the Körber Foundation and the German Lost Art Foundation, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden have invited young people from Germany, Great Britain, Israel, Latvia and Spain to deal with Nazi persecution, provenance research and restitution and to report on them in a contemporary, appealing form. With the comic-strip artist Elke Renate Steiner a comic was created, which as a duet tells about the fate of the family and the collection Klemperer.

Interaktiver Comic

Making of

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Die Sammlung Klemperer - ein kollektiver Comic
Die Sammlung Klemperer - ein kollektiver Comic

[Translate to English:] videos

Anete 21, Latvia

A silver pocket watch

My family has owned a silver pocket watch since 1884. As far as we know, my great-great-grandfather received this watch from his father as a gift. Then my great-great-grandfather left the clock to his son’s family, and sometime in the 1950s or 1960s my great-grandfather gave this clock to my grandmother. About 10 years ago my grandmother gifted this watch to me. In a way this clock represents the social status my ancestors had at that time.

Latvian peasants

Latvian peasants in the territory my ancestors lived in were emancipated by Russian Empire at the first half of the 19th century which means my ancestors have worked really hard to climb socially and to be wealthy enough to order a custom made silver watch like this one in 1880s. This watch also makes me think about the two world wars Latvia went through and how my family was lucky enough to not only live through them without serious consequences but to keep a lot of stories and a huge legacy behind. This might be a small object but it’s really impactful to my family. An interesting fact about the silver pocket watch – it stopped working only 5 years ago, after around 130 years of ticking tirelessly.

Beatriz 19, Spain

An ivory necklace

The first object that came into my mind when talking about provenance was an ivory necklace that has belonged to my family for almost a century. My great-grandmother’s brother gifted it to her after he came back from war in Morocco at the beginning of the twentieth century. This conflict, known as the Rif War, left a deep impression in both Spain and Morocco. In those years, Spain was under the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, who sent the Spanish army to fight against the Berber tribes of the Rif mountainous region in order to gain back some lost territories.

The conflict

The conflict ended in 1927, after Spain and its ally France defeated the tribes and regained the territories. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that the Riffian insurgency is considered to be a precursor to the Algerian War of Independence, which started three decades later.

Franziska 18, Germany

An old chessboard

When I think about an object with a special story of provenance, the old chessboard which belonged my grandfather comes to my mind. Long before World War 2 the family of my grandfather moved to a suburb of Belgrad. He was born there, learnt Serbian, only had Serbian friends and went to a Serbian School. His German was very poor and he identified himself as Serbian not as German. During World War II he was part of the Serbian Resistance.

A lot of those German

A lot of those German settlers who have been living there for generations were supposed to move back to Nazi Germany during World War II. As he want part of the resistance against the Nazi regime he couldn’t move back, so he was hidden by his Serbian friends. When Nazi Germany was finally defeated in 1945 his Serbian friends couldn’t hide him anymore because he had German origins and was seen as the enemy by manys, although he defined himself as Serbian and couldn’t even speak German properly. The only thing which he took with him to Germany was the wooden chessboard on which he always played with his friends. When he met my grandmother in Austria during his way to Germany they fell in love and she started to teach him German.

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[Translate to English:] Klemperer Konvolut

To the Collection of Gustav and Charlotte von Klemperer



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