Verblasste Spuren

Obermayer German Jewish History Award 2015 


Artist Edith Altman dead

EdithHttmannAs it became known today, the artist Edith Altman, born in Altenburg in 1931, died on Monday of this week, October 19, 2020.

Edith Altman was born in 1931 as daughter of trader Abraham Mordko (Markus) Hittmann and his wife Ruchla (Rosa) née Zoldan. Her parents, who were also known under the surname Hüttmann, moved to Altenburg in 1928. Edith's brother Fred was born in 1929. Markus Hittmann later became a board member of the small Jewish community of Altenburg and the advisory board of the afternoon school in the prayer room (Pauritzer Straße). Already in 1933, when the ′′boycott of the Jews′′ corroborated the ever-increasing anti-semitism in Germany, US relatives proposed emigration to the USA. But Markus Hittmann, who now also led the local group of the Jewish welfare office to support destitute families, wanted to stay. In 1938 Fred and Edith were excluded from attending public schools, the father even victim of Pogromnacht ("Kristallnacht"). Until 13th December 1938 he was interned in the Buchenwald concentration camp. After his release leaving the family´s apartment in Friedrichstraße 3 (now Friedrich-Ebert-Straße 10) was officially limited.

In May 1939, Edith´s father was able to emigrate to the USA, Rosa, Fred and Edith Hittmann had to wait until the end of August for their departure. They fled to the USA via the Netherlands and England. But it almost didn't happen twice: First the Dutch people didn't want to let Rosa Hittmann and her children into the country, then the ship with which the departure was planned was torpedoed. It wasn't until October 1939 that the family was reunited in the USA.

The experiences of Jewish persecution and the numerous Shoah victims in the family also deeply influenced Edith Hittmann's (later married Altman) later artistic work. In addition to her own artistic work exhibited in the big galleries of the USA, Edith Altman also taught at various art colleges. She was also involved in exhibitions in Germany. In 2003, Edith Altman returned to her hometown for an exhibition at the Lindenau-Museum.