Mon, Sep 16 | Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut

1:15pm Mon. “Also Life Is An Art - The Case Max Emden”

Almost no one knows the name Max Emden today - but his department stores are already familiar: the KaDeWe in Berlin, the Operpollinger in Munich, the Allas department store in Stockholm or Corvin Ahuraz in Budapest. During the Nazi occupation his wealth and art collection were confiscated leaving...
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Time & Location

Sep 16, 2019, 1:15 PM – 2:45 PM
Jewish Federation of Western Connecticut, 444 Main St N, Southbury, CT 06488, USA

About The Event

“Also Life Is An Art - The Case Max Emden”

1:15pm

Directors: André Schäfer, Eva Gerberding

Almost no one knows the name Max Emden today - but his department stores are already familiar: the KaDeWe in Berlin, the Operpollinger in Munich, the Allas department store in Stockholm or Corvin Ahuraz in Budapest. 

Born in Hamburg in 1874, the son of a respected Jewish merchant family, he was more than a department store king. He was a patron of the University of Hamburg, donated the first golf club and a polo club to his hometown - and built up an unique art collection. In 1928 Emden moved to Switzerland because of the burgeoning anti-Semitism, he acquired the picturesque Brissago Islands in Lake Maggiore and equipped a villa with his breathtaking art collection of painters such as Van Gogh, Canaletto or Monet. Emden mastered the art of living like no other - always tanned on his motor yachts and with lightly clothed young women at his side, who caused scandals in the prudish Ticino. But the Nazis gradually confiscated Emden's assets; he had to sell most of his art - his numerous properties throughout Europe were expropriated - and so he died impoverished on Lago Maggiore in 1940.

Almost 80 years later, the film follows together with Juan Carlos Emden, Max Emden's grandson, in the footsteps of his grandfather to find out what really happened to the famous art collection and real estate property.

The German government has not returned one of the works of art from the Emden Collection to its heirs. Nor has the Hamburg Senate tried until today to make amends or compensation for the Emden family. 

The film rolls up the case of Max Emden in detail and with the help of explosive documents, private film footage never shown and many historical testimonies, while at the same time recounting the rise and destruction of a Hanseatic family through propaganda and the violence of the Nazi regime. 

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Jewish Film Festival of Western Connecticut 2019