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Modernisms anonymous architecture - The work of Jewish architects in Berlin

Berlin has a great architectural heritage from the first half of the 20th Century. However, many of the architects who significantly have helped shape the cityscape were persecuted by the Nazis and have been forgotten.

They were pioneers and exponents of modernism, the Bauhaus and the German Werkbund. Without architects such as Erich Mendelsohn, Martin Punitzer, Harry Rosenthal, Oskar Kaufmann, Erwin Gutkind,  Alfons Anker, Fred Forbat or Konrad Wachsmann, the dynamic development of Berlin in the 1920s wouldn`t have been possible.

In 1933, more than 450 Jewish architects were not allowed to practice their profession. They were forced to leave Germany. Those who remained were deported to concentration camps. Every memory of their names and work has been wiped out.

These architects were members of the German Werkbund, the Association of German Architects, the Architects and Engineers Association of Berlin and the Berlin Academy of Arts. Many of them were representatives of modernism. Their buildings still shape many cities in Germany, but especially in Berlin.

With their volunteer work, the "Gesellschaft zur Erforschung des Lebens und Wirkens deutschsprachiger jüdischer Architekten" wants to gain attention and help to preserve this remarkable architecture such as the work from architect Martin Punitzer (1889-1949), who worked in the 1920s in Berlin. In the 1930s, he was persecuted by the Nazis as a Jew and had to emigrate to Chile.

Buildings by Martin Punitzer:


1923/1924  Villa Schönbach, Württembergallee 31, Berlin-Westend,

1928/1929: Mechanic-Fabrik Abrahamsohn, Nicolaistraße 7, Berlin-Lankwitz, see photo,

1928/1929: House Abrahamsohn, Calandrellistraße 45, Berlin-Lankwitz,

1928/1929: Roxy-Palast, Hauptstraße 78/79, Berlin-Friedenau,

1932: Tool-factory Herbert Lindner, Lübarser Straße, Berlin-Wittenau,

1932: Hellas cigarette-factory, Gerichtstraße 27, Berlin-Wedding  

as well as the machine factory M.E. Queitzsch KG, Oranienburger Straße 170 und 172 in Berlin-Wittenau, built 1935/1936.