Photo exhibition: Talmud Tora School Hamburg

Jewish Museum Rendsburg 2013 - 2014


The photo exhibition of Gisela Floto “the Talmud Tora school in the Grindelhof put the starting signal of the traditional November days in Hamburg between yesterday and today” which is still to be seen till the 2nd of February, 2014 in the Jewish museum of Rendsburg. In from the savings banks in Schleswig-Holstein promoted project it is about destroyed and Jewish life appeared again in Germany. For five years there is in Carlebach-SchuleFoto: Gisela Floto in the Hamburg Grindel again a school company. Here was found before the Talmud Tora school which pursued the Jewish municipality of Hamburg from 1805 to 1942, since in 1911 in the building preserved even today directly beside the synagogue on the spring place which had been initiated five years before. At times were informed up to half of all Jewish boys in Hamburg here. In the centre stood the religious lessons, however, the general fields were extended bit by bit. During the imperial-wide pogroms in 1939 – the neighbouring synagogue was violated and had to be torn off in 1940 – all teachers were arrested. The building had to be removed in 1939. Only three teachers and 76 schoolboys survived the Shoah photo: More than 800 schoolboys had informed in 1937 still Gisela Floto of 33 teachers!

With these survivors Gisela Floto has got in touch and has received countless answers. This correspondence shows the basis of the artistic employment of the Talmud Tora to school. Name giver of the today’s school is Joseph Carlebach who became in 1921 a rector the Talmud Tora school and 1926 upper rabbis of Altona, the Prussian city which was a reference point also for the Rendsburger municipality.

The exhibition is owed to a long employment of the photo artist Gisela Floto who has got in touch with former schoolboys the Talmud Tora school. The idea of the exhibition was “to swear to the minds in the rooms of the school”, says Gisela Floto (photo Re.). The artist explains her access: “For me the Talmud has Tora school of something quiet – a quiet secret. For many years I go about the adjoining place Carlebach – on which the former synagogue stood, and I was surprised over and over again that behind the windows no life was to be seen. About the entrance of the school Talmud Tora secondary school stands in 1911 – in 1939. In my imagination I saw bright girls running through the rooms – now I know that in 1934 the first high-school graduates passed there her exam. The house has been returned by the city of Hamburg in 2004 to the Jewish municipality in Hamburg. And on the 30th of March, 2005 there was the 200-year-old jubilee to which also former schoolboys were invited. I had the possibility to add a letter to the Christmas letter of the Hamburg senate office to former Jewish fellow citizens all over the world to tell briefly about my idea and to ask documents from the school hours. Deeply has touched me the reaction of the former schoolboys who have made available very personal photos and reports to me. This so frank and positive reaction has encouraged me once again in my plan to show these minds in the rooms of this school also to other people here in Hamburg – particularly with the documents from that Time before 1940. Since 2003 I work on this idea to swear to the minds in the rooms of the Talmud Tora school. Young girls in white clothes have run with me through the stairs and through the rooms. An appeal is to be moved to the past, to the imagination and to the consciousness, in a special school. My resulted photo works are black and white and in colour. The unsharpnesses are wanted, also by the different moods of the girls between silence and dancing cheerfulness. With the children Carlebach-Schule we have come in 2013 in the present and future of the former Talmud Tora school. And the present closes with admissions in Carlebach-Schule 2013.”

The exhibition is supported by the savings bank endowment Schleswig-Holstein and the Hamburg institute of the history of the German Jews.

Jewish museum of Rendsburg
Prinzessinstrasse 7-8 in 24768 Rendsburg
Gisela Floto – The Talmud Tora school in the Grindelhof in Hamburg between yesterday and today!

Exhibition catalog on the website (PDF)
Sparkassenstiftung Schleswig-Holstein