David Friedmann Freemason Collection
Scope and Contents
This collection contains documents related to the membership of David Friedmann in several Freemason organizations. The materials include correspondence; official documents; newspaper clippings; and photographs. The majority of the materials relate to the correspondence between David and three Freemason lodges he was a member of, namely “Johannisloge Germania zur Einigkeit” in Berlin, Ner Tamid in Tel Aviv, and Humanitas Lodge in New York.
Series I contains the correspondence between David and the different Freemason lodges to which he belonged. The bulk of this series relates to the correspondence of David with the “Johannisloge: Germania zur Einigkeit”. The content of the letters concerns the renewal of the membership of David in the lodge after the war as well as some personal exchange with individual members of the lodge in Berlin. Additionally, the series contains letters addressed to David Friedmann from the lodge Ner Tamid, of which he was a member while living in Israel. Also included is correspondence with the Humanitas Lodge in New York City, which he had joined.
Series II contains official documents of the different Freemason lodges of which David Friedmann was a member. There are indexes of membership from the lodges “Germania zur Einigkeit” and Humanitas. Also included is a guide about how to behave as a member of the Freemasons and a newspaper article about Freemasons.
Two compact disks have been separated from the archival collection. They feature material that has been digitized by Yad Vashem. The material consists of scans of the personal album of David Friedmann and display paintings, photographs, and notes which document Friedmann’s life from 1914 to 1954. Furthermore, it contains newspaper clippings, official documents from the lodge Ner Tamid, and photographs of his work. The separated material can be found in the audiovisual collection collection of the Leo Baeck Institute.
- Friedmann, David, 1893-1980 (Person)
Language of Materials
The collection is in German, English, and some Czech and Hebrew.
Conditions Governing Access
Open to researchers.
Conditions Governing Use
There may be some restrictions on the use of the collection.
David Friedman (Friedmann; 1893-1980) was an artist. Born in Mährisch Ostrau, Austria (now Ostrava, Czech Republic), he studied fine arts in Prague and Berlin. During the first World War, he volunteered for the Austrian-Hungarian army and became a painter of the war. During this time, Friedman was commissioned to draw battle scenes. He also sketched and painted portraits of generals and soldiers who had distinguished themselves in battle. After the war, he returned to Berlin. From January 26th, 1922, until the closure of the lodge by the German Reich, David Friedmann was a member of the Freemason lodge Johannisloge “Germania zur Einigkeit” in Berlin, Germany.
In December 1938, Friedman fled from the Nazis to Prague with his wife Mathilde and their infant daughter, Mirjam Helene. The Friedman family was deported on October 16, 1941, in the first transport from Prague to the Lodz Ghetto, in Poland. Neither his wife nor daughter survived.
After the war, he resumed his artistic career. In the time after the war, he met his second wife Hildegard Taussig whom he married and had a daughter with – Miriam. The family immigrated first to Israel where they lived from August 1949 to October 1954. In Israel, David Friedmann became a member of the Lodge “Ner Tamid” in Tel Aviv.
In 1954, the Friedman family immigrated to the United States. In the USA, he joined the Humanitas Lodge in New York. Furthermore, he re-joined the Lodge “Germania zur Einigkeit” and remained in close contact with its members in Berlin. In 1960, the family became United States citizens and dropped the double "n" in the spelling of their name. David Friedman continued to create and exhibit works of art throughout his life. In his art, he tried to process his experiences in the concentration camps. He died in 1980 in St. Louis, Missouri.
0.25 Linear Feet
This collection contains documents related to the membership of David Friedmann in several Freemason organizations. The materials include correspondence; official documents; newspaper clippings; and photographs. Most of the materials relate to the correspondence between David and the different Freemason lodges he was a member of as well as official documents documenting the membership of the lodges.
This collection is arranged in two series.
- Freemason Correspondence, 1952-1965
- Freemason Documents, 1946-1959
Materials were rehoused into acid-free boxes and folders and the collection was divided into two series during the processing of the archival collection.
- Guide to the David Friedmann Freemason Collection
- Processed by Marlene Wulf
- Language of description
- Script of description