2020

RKD BULLETIN

Hans Schneider and David Reiling’s sales catalogues

Ruth Kaloena Krul

In 1938 Hans Schneider (Basel 1888-1953), director of the Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), received an interesting tip from a Munich art dealer: a colleague from Mainz had for some time been trying to sell his extensive collection of sales catalogues but without success. Always on the lookout for such catalogues for the RKD’s library, in May of that year, Schneider contacted the art dealer in question – the Kunst- und Antiquitätenhandel David Reiling, Hofantiquar, on the Flachsmarkt in the historic centre of Mainz. For more than four decades the firm had been directed by Hermann and Isidor, the sons of David Reiling (1833-1889), who despite the long period that had elapsed maintained the curious habit of signing all business letters with their father’s name.1 Following this first contact with the Reilings, a correspondence ensued between Schneider and the younger of the two brothers, Isidor [1], which lasted for more than a year and constitutes a microcosm of the events of the time.2

Isidor Reiling wrote to Schneider that he wanted to sell the collection of catalogues because he was in the process of liquidating the business. Having gained an impression of the collection through the card index which Reiling had obligingly sent to The Hague, Schneider indicated that he would like to come and negotiate the purchase at the gallery in Mainz. And so, as soon as he could in the summer of 1938, Schneider stopped off in Mainz while on his way to Switzerland, where he regularly spent a few weeks on holiday, to get the ball rolling.3 Once there, he must have realised very quickly that the reason why the Reilings were winding up the company was not their age, but rather because the increasingly stringent anti-Jewish laws were making it impossible for them to continue.

#

1
Anonymous
Isidor Reiling with his daughter Netty Radványi around 1930
Akademie der Künste, Berlin, Anna-Seghers-Archiv, Fotokartei 63A
Photograph: copyright Anne Radvanyi

For a while the uncertain political situation in Europe made it difficult to pay another work visit to the Reilings. Hitler threatened an armed invasion of the Sudetenland, a plan that would have resulted in war breaking out before the end of the year. It was only when tension was reduced by the Munich Agreement of 30 September 1938, by which Britain and France conceded the annexation of the Sudetenland by Germany, that Schneider felt he could make a new promise. Before returning to Mainz in the autumn of 1938, he received a letter from Isidor asking him which day he would be visiting, as the gallery would close temporarily in October because of a number of Jewish festivities.4 Towards the end of that month Schneider left The Hague to attend the congress of the International Museums Association in Kassel, and travelled back via Mainz [2]. He followed up his visit with a letter in which he makes coded reference to a special agreement with Reiling, including a promise to also take receipt of the gallery’s reference library. Schneider would then send this collection of general art history books on to Reiling’s daughter, Netty, who had fled to Paris with her family in 1933.5

#

2
The Reiling Gallery at nos. 2 (with swastika flags on the facade) and 4 (with closed roller shutters) Flachsmarkt, Mainz 1939
Mainz, Stadtarchiv, inv. no. Bpsf / 21154 a
Photograph: copyright Stadtarchiv Mainz

Reiling’s daughter
Netty Radványi-Reiling was the only child of Isidor and Hedwig Reiling. After graduating in sinology and art history in Cologne and Heidelberg, she went on to obtain a doctorate under Carl Neumann in 1924, though not with a view to taking over the family art dealership. She had chosen a different career, making a reputation for herself as a politically engaged writer under the pen name of Anna Seghers. From Paris, she had kept in written contact with her parents; however, this did not mean that she had been informed by her father that he intended to pass on his books to her.6 In their letters, Schneider and Reiling wrote in veiled terms about ‘the uncertainty of the political situation in the world’ and the ‘dark clouds over Europe’; they clearly had an understanding about the risks attached to their plan. In Germany it had no longer been possible to take for granted that correspondence was confidential and so they chose their words carefully. Schneider asked Reiling for a detailed list of the books belonging to the reference library, because of ‘the interested party in France that I have found,’ suggesting, in other words, that there was a second buyer.7 He also wrote that he had recently received a series of photographs of paintings belonging to the Mainz collector Rudolf Busch, who had previously been Reiling’s client, and asked if there was a collection or sales catalogue which Reiling might be able to obtain for him. A copy of the catalogue of the Busch collection can indeed be found in the RKD’s library.8

Schneider was happy to help the Reilings move their reference library to Paris, but he remained strictly businesslike with regard to buying the catalogues. In his capacity as director of the RKD he was neither able nor willing to acquire more than about a third, or at the very most half, of the collection. Furthermore, there could be no question that the RKD would pay the price of 3,000 Reichsmarks initially proposed by Reiling – something Schneider had discussed with Frits Lugt. In the end, he agreed to buy a selection of catalogues for 1,000 guilders, promising to see to it that the remaining catalogues would be sold at auction in the Netherlands.9 In early November 1938 Reiling announced that both the Reichsbank and Customs office had authorised the transaction. The catalogues and books were to be packed in a few days’ time and shipped to The Hague by steamer: things seemed to be moving in the right direction.10

The first letter from Schneider to Netty Radványi, in which he told her about her father’s wish and cautioned her not to mention the matter in her correspondence with Reiling, dates from 7 November, two days before Kristallnacht. The Reilings’ gallery and their home were targeted that night, but the extent of the damage is not documented. As far as we know, the Reilings themselves remained unhurt. Their synagogue on the Flachsmarktstraße was completely destroyed. Netty replied to Schneider’s letter the day after Kristallnacht, expressing her gratitude and responding to his questions and suggestions regarding the books that had been earmarked for her.11 Was she still unaware of what had happened in Germany? Schneider wrote back four days later: ‘It seems to me that in times such as these it is only sensible to bring to safety everything of value, so that it can still be of use to you, and indirectly perhaps to your father.’ It was not until December that a brief reply came from Netty Radványi. She began by telling Schneider how ‘recent events in Germany’ caused her great concern for her parents and that she was doing everything in her power to get them asylum. As for the books, she agreed that it would indeed be opportune if as many of them as possible could be removed from Germany.12

Transport along the Rhine
On 14 November 1938, Schneider informed Reiling that although he would be going to Berlin that month he would unfortunately not be able to include Mainz in his itinerary. He promised to pass on his address in Berlin. The sole purpose of this journey was to ensure that the art historian Max Jacob Friedländer could leave Berlin and take up an offer of asylum in The Hague.13

A good week later Reiling wrote a long letter to Schneider telling him that he had only been able to dispatch the goods that day ‘on account of the extraordinary circumstances’ – an allusion to the events of Kristallnacht. When examining the contents of the boxes, Schneider would find, so Reiling told him, a large number of books, albums, and catalogues in addition to the agreed sale; he explained that these had been added because, on reflection, he had decided to dispose of everything. ‘While this gives you the opportunity to find further items of interest and value to add to your collections, it will also help bring things to a conclusion in a way that is more economical and advantageous for me.’ Along with the letter he sent a photo of ‘the painting that you saw here’ as well as the catalogue in which it was reproduced. It would please him if Schneider could find someone interested in the work, and if necessary, he could send it on approval. Reiling did not mention who the painting was by.14

By early December Reiling’s shipment had reached the German border on board a Dutch ship. Even though permission had previously been given for the books to be exported to the Netherlands, all of the boxes were unloaded at the port of Emmerich [3]. The Customs Office there maintained that the foreign capital control law – one of several measures employed by the National Socialists to prevent capital leaving Germany and to impede foreign trade by Jewish merchants – had not been implemented correctly when the cargo left Mainz. Reiling’s trusted shipper in Mainz, Hillebrand, immediately sprang into action. He wrote to Schneider assuring him he had complied with all the formal requirements and that he would do whatever it took to get the consignment to The Hague as quickly as possible. He had heard that the Customs Office had written to the Reich Chamber of Culture to ask if the boxes needed to be checked by an expert to assess the value of the books. Since an answer was not forthcoming, he approached the president of the Reich Chamber of Fine Arts in Berlin himself, offering a lengthy explanation and an assurance that no buyer in Germany could be found for Reiling’s library. He signed the document in a different manner to his letters to Schneider, ending diplomatically with ‘Heil Hitler!’. Schneider received a carbon copy.15

Although Hillebrand’s intervention did not actually speed up the transport, his efforts eventually meant that the library was released by all the authorities involved. After an almost two-month delay at the German-Dutch border, 23 boxes containing a total of 47 metres of books and catalogues finally reached The Hague on 1 February 1939. Box number 23 included the books which would be of interest to the French collector, as Reiling put it. In an effort not to hold things up any further Schneider did his best to transfer the purchase price promptly once the contents of the boxes had been checked.16

#

3
The River Rhine at Emmerich, with cargo ships 1930s
Glass slide, hand-coloured
Photograph: copyright foticon images/Collection Carl Simon und Co, Lichtbildatelier & Kolorieranstalt

Wrapping up in the Hague
In July 1939 Reiling, who was growing more anxious by the day, appealed to Schneider not to defer payment for the items that had been put aside for auction until 1940, as previously agreed, but to send him whatever seemed reasonable, at Schneider’s discretion, straight away: ‘I am in the middle of liquidating my business and intend to emigrate.’17 Schneider replied that the economic situation was such that he was no longer sure he could sell the very large number of remaining books and catalogues in the foreseeable future. However, he offered to pay Reiling 200 guilders, which the latter accepted. The transfer of this sum is documented in a brief note dated 3 August, which includes the following handwritten annotation: ‘N.B. the 200 guilders have been paid from a private donation.’18 Did a colleague of the Reilings come to the rescue? Goudstikker, Bachstitz or – most likely – Frits Lugt? The RKD library has a lavishly bound catalogue of sculptures belonging to the Roman collector Alfredo Barsanti, Bronzi italiani, which is registered as a book coming from Lugt and contains the following personal dedication: ‘To David Reiling in memory of our good friendship of long standing’ [A David Reiling in ricordo della nostra buona e vecchia amicizia]. This precious volume was not among the items bought for the RKD; the fact that it ended up in Lugt’s library makes it highly likely that he was indeed the person who funded the last payment – in exchange for a selection of surplus publications.19

No response to this last business communication from Schneider to Reiling has surfaced in the RKD archives, nor are there any further letters to or from Netty Radványi. After the summer Schneider was fully preoccupied with placing the RKD’s most important holdings in safe storage as a German invasion seemed imminent: the art collection as well as the Rembrandt documentation were transferred to depots the same year, followed by the collection of visual documentation in the spring of 1940.20 Did Schneider even send the list of titles requested by Netty in the eight months between Augustus 1939 and May 1940? Or was their contact broken off at this point? Netty used all her time and energy to get on with her work, while trying to secure asylum oversees not just for her parents but, from early 1940, her own family as well.21

In the library
With a few exceptions, we can no longer ascertain which of the thousands of catalogues and an undisclosed number of books were eventually kept for the RKD. Schneider’s own estimate for the original purchase included less than a third of the goods Reiling had sent to The Hague, which still came to some sixteen metres. The inventory of the RKD library lists all the books that were acquired through purchase or donation during Schneider’s directorship, but does not include sales and exhibition catalogues. Only nine titles from the Mainz gallery have made it into the inventory; one, the Festschrift des Münchener Altertums-Vereins (1914), bears the stamp DAVID REILING, MAINZ.22

In his Verslag van den directeur [Director’s report] for 1939, Schneider mentioned the purchase of 3,400 sales catalogues without revealing their provenance. In a handful of cases sales catalogues in the RKD library can be identified as originating from the Mainz art dealership because the name DAVID REILING is stamped or inscribed on the endpaper.23 One such example is a catalogue compiled by the Berlin Lepke auction house for the sale of Adolf Schiller’s collection of antiquities in 1929. Reiling filled a gap in the RKD holdings by providing Schneider with a copy of the illustrated deluxe edition of the catalogue with a gilt stamped ornament on the cover [4]. From the admission ticket with a seat number preserved inside the catalogue we can deduce that one of the Reiling brothers, presumably Isidor, attended the sale in person.
The fate of the catalogues and books turned down by Schneider and Lugt, and which the former initially proposed to put up for auction on behalf of Reiling, was not documented at the time. In his annual report Schneider notes simply: ‘checking, and inserting the very large number of sales catalogues that were acquired in 1939, demanded a great deal of time of the officer in charge.’ Were the surplus catalogues stacked away on the wooden shelves in the storeroom behind the main building on Korte Vijverberg, along with other duplicates earmarked for the trade?24 While any form of registration is missing, it is worth pointing out that once he had decided to send the entire library to The Hague, Reiling never again mentioned returning the card index.

Isidor Reiling died from the complications of a stroke six months after the last written contact between Mainz and The Hague. His wife, Hedwig, was deported in 1942.25 In 1940 Netty Radványi was able to flee to the south of France with her children, and she and her family eventually survived the war in Mexico. After the liberation her son returned to the family’s former house on the outskirts of Paris to see what remained of their possessions. He found his mother’s library unscathed in the basement. However, the art books Schneider had intended to send her were not there.

#

4
Sammlung Baurat Schiller
sales catalogue Berlin (Lepke), 19/20 March 1929
gilt stamp on cover
Photograph: Vicky Foster, RKD

After Liberation
Schneider had returned to his native Basel at the end of 1940. Lost among the letters to his successor at the RKD is a loose sheet from 1946 in which he punctually listed some issues that still had to be settled. Point 3 states: 'I have verbally informed F.L. [Frits Lugt] about the cat.i Reiling. These are quite available. Though not the few books that were included. Please leave these until I come to The Hague.' The answer from Horst Gerson, researcher at the RKD, shows that the superfluous catalogues were indeed – but only then – added to the collection of duplicates. However, Gerson had yet to find any trace of Reiling's books. ‘Perhaps they will surface when the other stuff is cleaned up.’ Schneider came to the Netherlands in the summer of 1946.26 Had the books turned up in the meantime? He had every reason to believe that Netty Radványi was no longer in Paris. Did he try to trace her? Did he check with the Red Cross? We do not know the answers to these questions. All that is certain is that even after so many troubled years, Schneider had not forgotten his promise to Isidor Reiling.

Today, Netty Radványi's thousands of books are administered by the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Whether the art books from her father's library destined for her are among them remains a question mark for the time being.27

Epilogue – a lost gallery
Reiling and Schneider’s correspondence does not disclose what art objects the latter saw when he visited the gallery in Mainz. Only twice is a painting mentioned in their letters. The first occasion has already been noted; the second was when Schneider refused to provide Reiling with a copy of an appraisal by Hofstede de Groot on the grounds that duplicates could no longer be issued – there was no precedent for doing so after the art historian's death. Schneider confirmed nonetheless that in 1918 Hofstede de Groot had written an appraisal of the painting in question, ‘a life-size, three-quarter portrait of a standing gentleman’ by the north Netherlandish painter Pieter Nason (1612-1688/1690). From this can be deduced that the picture was then with Reiling. A painting by Wolfgang Heimbach [5] is recorded in the stock of the Mainz dealership as late as 1938.28 A few objects seem to have been bought in the years 1937-1940 by a colleague in Wiesbaden. Two weeks before Reiling’s death, some silver objects described in the catalogue as sent in by ‘D.R. Mainz’ were offered by Hans Lange auctioneers in Berlin: a seventeenth-century ‘small serpentine goblet, in engraved and gilded mounting’ and a ‘round ornamental plate, richly chased and lightly gilded,’ produced in Augsburg around 1700.29 The subsequent fate of these items and of the other objects that remained in the Reilings’ gallery on the Flachsmarkt during the drawn-out liquidation process is a mystery waiting to be unravelled.30

5
Wolfgang Heimbach
Christ appearing to Mary after his resurrection 1652
oil on panel 46 x 57 cm
Whereabouts unknown


Notes

1 Letter from the Munich art dealer Walther Bernt to Hans Schneider, dated 29 September 1938, The Hague, RKD ̶ Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD), RKD Archive 1932-1974 (0328) (RKD 1932-1974), inv. no. 10; ibid., letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 30 May 1938. The name Reiling appears with some regularity, especially in the provenance histories of Germanic antiquities and medieval art objects, cf. the collections of the Germanisches Nationalmuseum and the British Museum: purchases through David Reiling and his sons.

2 Christiane Zehl Romero, Anna Seghers. Eine Biographie. 1900-1947, Berlin 2000, p. 17: signature. RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10 and inv. no. 162: the correspondence ran from 30 May 1938 to 3 August 1939. Schneider continued to address his letters to ‘Herrn David Reiling’ even after his visit to Mainz.

3 Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 20 June 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10: liquidation of the gallery, card index; letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 10 June 1938, ibid.: card index; letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 12 August 1938, ibid.: holiday. See also Friedrich Schütz, ‘Die Familie Seghers-Reiling und das jüdische Mainz,’ Argonautenschiff II (1993), pp. 151-175.

4 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 16 September 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10: travel plans uncertain; letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 30 September 1938, ibid.: political de-escalation, Jewish feast days. Reiling was thus still using the premises on the Flachsmarkt at that moment. I would like to thank Regina Zölßmann, Stadtarchiv Mainz, for helping me interpret the photograph of the Flachsmarkt reproduced here.

5 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 6 October 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10: Kassel; letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 29 October 1938, ibid.

6 Netty’s dissertation was entitled Juden und Judentum im Werke Rembrandts. A copy of this study, which must have come from Reiling, is in the RKD library (copy of typescript with handwritten annotations). A shorter version of the present article appeared in German in the 2017 yearbook of the Anna-Seghers-Gesellschaft: Argonautenschiff XXV (2017), pp. 149-154.

7 Zehl Romero 2000 (note 2), pp. 40-41, 285, 289: Reiling had sent his daughter her furniture and books in 1933 and was able to post parcels and letters to her until at least 1937. Apparently he felt it was no longer possible to do the same with his reference library. Such a gift meant a reduction in the market value of the library as a whole. The liquidation of the company was overseen by the Reichsbank in Mainz, which would not have authorised this devaluation. In his letters Schneider described Netty Radványi to her father as the ‘von mir gefundenen Mitinteressenten in Frankreich’ or ‘der Partner’, letters from Schneider to Reiling, dated 29 October 1938 and 7 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10.

8 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 29 October 1938, ibid. Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 4 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162: Reiling sent more than one copy of the Busch catalogue; there is another in the Utrecht University Library.

9 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 16 September 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10. 1,000 guilders was equal to roughly 1,330 Reichsmarks, see Anlage II: Währungstabellen, https://www.preussischer-kulturbesitz.de/fileadmin/user_upload/documents/mediathek/schwerpunkte/provenienz_eigentum/rp/151005_SV-Web_AnlageII_Waehrungstabellen.pdf (consulted November 2018).

10 Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 4 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162.

11 Letter from Schneider to Netty Radványi, dated 7 November 1938, ibid., inv. no. 10: ‘Unnötig zu sagen, dass hierüber nichts Tatsächliches nach Deutschland verlauten darf’ [Needless to add, nothing real about this can be reported in your letters to Germany]. He furthermore asked her to come and look at the books at the RKD herself, if she were in the Netherlands for a meeting with her publisher (Landshoff). Zehl Romero 2000 (note 2), p. 211: from 1933 Landshoff was in charge of the German division of Querido Publishers, which looked after many German authors in exile; ibid., p. 41 and Schütz 1993 (note 3), p. 168: attacks on the gallery and on Reiling’s home. Letter from Netty Radványi to Schneider, dated 10 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10.

12 Letter from Schneider to Netty Radványi, dated 14 November 1938, ibid. Letter from Netty Radványi to Schneider, 7 December 1938, ibid.

13 See Suzanne Laemers, Max J. Friedländer. 1867-1958. Kunst en kennerschap, een leven gewijd aan de vroege Nederlandse schilderkunst, (doctoral dissertation, Utrecht 2017), pp. 161-165.

14 Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 23 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162. Reiling’s discrete wording makes it difficult to know with certainty which painting was being referred to.

15 Letters from the shipper Hillebrand to Schneider, dated 1 December 1938, 13 December 1938 and 27 December 1938, ibid.; letter from Hillebrand to the president of the Reichskammer für bildende Künste, dated 27 December 1938, ibid.

16 On 2 January Reiling wrote to Schneider that the shipment had been released, letter dated 2 January 1939, ibid.; according to Schneider, letter dated 16 February 1939, ibid., a ship carrying the consignment had only departed from Emmerich on 28 January. Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 23 November 1938, ibid.: ‘für den französischen Liebhaber’ [for the French connoisseur]. Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 2 January 1939, ibid.: the Reichsbank checked if a bank transfer matching the purchase price indeed went through to Germany. Letters from Schneider to Reiling, dated 31 December 1938 and 16 February 1939, ibid., show that the former had understood the severity of the financial pressure on Reiling.

17 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 29 October 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162: agreements regarding the purchase. Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 19 July 1939, ibid. As the Reilings were planning to emigrate, this sum would have been needed towards the Reichsfluchtsteuer [Reich flight tax].

18 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 21 July 1939, ibid.: offer; letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 25 July 1939, ibid.: acceptance; note from Schneider to Reiling, dated 3 August 1939, ibid.

19 Lugt had known Reiling from auctions in Germany for many years, see for example: sales catalogue Berlin (Cassirer), 4 December 1917, with various annotations by Lugt including nos. 47, 69, 97 as well as on the cover. Letter from Reiling to Schneider, dated 4 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162, in which he mentions, among other things, the album of the Barsanti collection. In the same letter he also refers to Die Miniaturen-Sammlung seiner königlichen Hoheit des Grossherzogs Ernst Ludwig von Hessen und bei Rhein, which the RKD curiously enough bought from a Swiss book dealer in 1968: RKD Archive Library (0670), inv. no. 2.

20 Letter from Schneider to Walter Cohen, Düsseldorf, 12 September 1939, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 11: ‘Ich fand ihn [Cohen’s letter] bei meiner Rückkehr hieher unmittelbar vor Kriegsausbruch, hatte aber bisher sehr viel zu tun mit der Sicherung unseres Kunstbesitzes’ [I found it [Cohen’s letter] on my return here just before the war broke out, but I had a lot to do with securing our art possessions]; letter from Schneider to Otto Benesch, dated 9 December 1939, ibid.: all the RKD’s Rembrandt material was put into safe storage elsewhere. Schneider, Rijksbureau voor kunsthistorische en ikonografische documentatie tes-Gravenhage, Verslag van den directeur over het jaar 1939 (Departement van opvoeding, wetenschap en cultuurbescherming) [(Department of education, science and cultural heritage)], p. 1: throughout the spring of 1940 and even after the start of the German invasion parts of the RKD’s collection, including the visual documentation, were removed from the institute and put into storage elsewhere.

21 Letter from Netty Radványi to Schneider, dated 10 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10: requesting a list. The mere fact that the RKD has a ‘draft version’ of Netty Reiling’s dissertation suggests that not everything – or perhaps nothing at all? – from box number 23 was sent on to Paris. Zehl Romero 2000 (note 2), pp. 348-375.

22 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 21 July 1939, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 162: extent of the selection that was officially bought. In the library inventory of the RKD (RKD Archive Library (0670), inv. no. 1) the books were entered as purchases made in 1939/14-21 and 1940/60-63. It is not clear why one book was entered separately in 1940.

23 Schneider, Rijksbureau […] (note 20), p. 2. No doubt the majority, if not all, of these 3,400 catalogues came from Reiling.

24 Ibid., p. 1 and p. 4.

25 Zehl Romero 2000 (note 2), p. 41, Schütz 1993 (note 3), p. 169: in 1938 or 1939, following Reichskristallnacht Isidor and Hedwig Reiling were forced to leave their home on the Fischtorplatz and move into a so-called Judenhaus. The firm’s two premises on the Flachsmarkt were ‘aryanised’ on 8 March 1940, by which time the gallery’s liquidation was complete. Isidor Reiling died two days later. His brother Herman died in March 1942 in Mainz and Herman’s widow was deported a few months later.

26 Loose sheet with handwritten notes by Schneider, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 20; letter from Gerson to Schneider, dated 4 April 1946, ibid., Jenny Schneider, Hans Schneider-Christ Dr. Phil (1888-1954), Zurich 2004, p. 18.

27 Zehl Romero 2000 (note 2), p. 449. Random checks in the library of Anna Seghers, kindly carried out by Monika Melchert, retired curator of the Anna-Seghers-Gedenkstätte in Berlin, did not uncover any books bearing the David Reiling stamp or labelled ‘Reiling’. Netty’s son, Pierre Radványi, cannot recall a consignment of books arriving from the Netherlands: communication with Monika Melchert, 23 March 2017.

28 Letter from Schneider to Reiling, dated 2 November 1938, RKD 1932-1974, inv. no. 10, and Reiling to Schneider, dated 4 November 1938, ibid., inv. no. 162. Appraisal for the art dealer Hageraats in The Hague, see The Hague, RKD, Cornelis Hofstede de Groot Archive (0356), inv. no. 76 (1918), and RKD, Hofstede de Groot index cards, box 183, card no. 1362569. Was this painting by Heimbach the same as the one mentioned by Reiling in his letter of 23 November 1938? See RKD, collection of visual documentation (on the back of the photograph: acquired in 1938) and Catalogue dune belle collection des tableaux anciens […], sales cat. Bruges (Alphonse Storie), 20 March 1929.

29 United States National Archives and Records Administration, M1947, film reel 0019, Ardelia Hall Collection, Wiesbaden Administrative Records, pp. 39-40. During this period the Wilhelmine Heinemann Gallery, with which Reiling had been doing business since before 1933, bought seven works consisting of furniture, applied art, and a painting. Sammlung List, Magdeburg, II. Teil/Chinasammlung Prof. Wegener †, Berlin/Verschiedener Kunstbesitz, sales cat. Berlin (Hans Lange) 25/27 January 1940, nos. 221 and 232.

30 It should be noted that the Mainz City Archive contains documentation concerning the compulsory surrender of personal valuables: jewellery belonging to Reiling’s wife and silverware, including cutlery, tableware, coins, and a rattle, in March 1939, see Schütz 1993 (note 3), pp. 168-169.

Cookies disclaimer

I agree Our site saves small pieces of text information (cookies) on your device in order to deliver better content and for statistical purposes. You can disable the usage of cookies by changing the settings of your browser. By browsing our website without changing the browser settings you grant us permission to store that information on your device.