Our History

The history of the Arthur Langerman Foundation is inseparable from the biography of its founder and his extraordinary collection of visual antisemitic artifacts. For most of his life, Arthur Langerman collected anti-Jewish imagery of various kinds, ultimately compiling an impressive archive on the history of visual antisemitism. After collecting materials primarily for private purposes for many years, he decided, in light of an increase in antisemitic statements, attitudes and incidents in the 2010s, to transfer his collection to a foundation with the aim of raising awareness of the dangers of antisemitism and counteracting its resurgence.

Signing of the founding contract of the Arthur Langerman Foundation.
From left: ZfA director Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, TU president Christian Thomsen, and founder Arthur Langerman, March 2019
Ceremony inaugurating the Arthur Langerman Foundation, in the atrium of Technische Universität Berlin. From left: Uffa Jensen, Steffen Krach, Stefanie Schüler-Springorum, Arthur Langerman, Michael Müller, Christian Thomsen, Sawsan Chebli, Felix Klein and Mathias Neukirchen, March 2019

Due to a relationship of trust developed over the years, Arthur Langerman announced in October 2017 his intention to donate his collection to the Center for Research on Antisemitism (Zentrum für Antisemitismusforschung – ZfA) at Technische Universität Berlin. The condition for doing so was that the Center for Research on Antisemitism had to provide a suitable location for the materials, as well as the organizational and personnel structures necessary for their use as a research and educational resource.

With the support of TU Berlin, the Center for Research on Antisemitism succeeded over the months that followed in gaining the backing of political decision-makers for the project: The State of Berlin committed to financing positions for the establishment of an archive and to enable the professional storage of the items and their use for research, exhibitions and educational work.

On 20 March 2019, at a ceremony in the atrium of Technische Universität Berlin, Arthur Langerman, Berlin’s governing mayor Michael Müller, TU president Christian Thomsen, ZfA director Stefanie Schüler-Springorum and deputy director Uffa Jensen announced the founding of the “Arthur Langerman Archive for the Study of Visual Antisemitism Foundation” (Arthur Langerman Foundation). The foundation is a non-profit, informal foundation; it is under the trusteeship of Technische Universität Berlin, and its foundation assets consist of the Arthur Langerman Collection.

Arthur Langerman attaches specific hopes to his choice of Berlin as the new home for his collection:

Arthur Langerman speaking at the ceremony launching the Arthur Langerman Foundation in the atrium of Technische Universität Berlin, March 2019

Berlin was the logical choice. It means the collection is returning to the source of evil. At the same time, I believe that Germany is the only country in Europe that has faced up to its history and learned its lessons from that history. For me, this fact is linked to my great hope that Germany and Berlin become pioneers in the fight against antisemitism and for democracy!

Arthur Langerman speaking at the ceremony launching the Arthur Langerman Foundation in the atrium of Technische Universität Berlin, March 2019

The Foundation’s Purpose

The main purpose of the Arthur Langerman Foundation is to preserve, conduct research into and make practical use of the Langerman Collection, which is an irrefutable testament to the long history of animosity towards Jews. The Langerman Collection represents a significant element of European – especially German – cultural heritage and a vivid expression of our historical responsibility. At the same time, it holds immense potential for research and remembrance work, as well as for the civic promotion and defense of democracy.

We wish to use the materials from the Langerman Collection to advance the scholarly debate on visual antisemitism, to sensitize current and future generations to the manifestations of antisemitic stereotypes and to their dangers, and contribute to the fight against antisemitism. To this end, the “Arthur Langerman Archive for the Study of Visual Antisemitism” (ALAVA) is being established at the Center for Research on Antisemitism at Technische Universität Berlin. In the coming years, the archive will make the Langerman Collection available for international research and pedagogical work and will also develop its own research projects and international exhibitions on the history of visual antisemitism. In addition, ALAVA will continue to collect materials in the genre of visual antisemitism, with the goal of documenting visual antisemitica from the past and present, and making its collection available for research and educational purposes.

Your Donation Is Needed to Purchase an Important Collection

A large collection of historical antisemitica, including posters, postcards, newspapers and more, will be auctioned on 28 April 2024. We estimate that a six-figure sum will be required. We intend to buy up these antisemitica in order to prevent them from potentially falling into the “wrong hands. We kindly ask you to support our efforts to preserve these historical sources and combat antisemitism. Further information here. More information here

Dear Friends of TU Berlin,

I am writing to you today with an urgent appeal for financial support:

A large collection of historical antisemitica, including posters, postcards, newspapers and more, will be auctioned on 28 April 2024. We estimate that a six-figure sum will be required.

As a trustee of the Arthur Langerman Archive for the Research of Antisemetica (ALAVA), TU Berlin sees it as its duty to acquire at least portions of this collection for research and teaching purposes. The foundation is part of our Center for Research on Antisemitism, a world-renowned research institution.

We intend to buy up these antisemitica in order to prevent them from potentially falling into the “wrong hands.” A large number of these items are rare, indeed even unique, and could be lost forever as contemporary documents for research on a national and international scale. Please help us to ensure that history is not forgotten. You can find further information on the auction on this website: https://www.valkyrieauctions.com/auction/243-antisemitic-collection-for/

We urgently need your support in order to realize this project before the end of the month. Every financial contribution, no matter how small, will make a valuable difference in helping us to acquire, preserve, and subsequently share this collection for research, education, and the public.

If you wish, your donation can be connected to a specific item and/or you can be listed as a benefactor on our website. The Arthur Langerman Foundation is a non-profit organization; donations are tax dedu

Payee: Technische Universität Berlin w/Arthur Langerman Archives
IBAN: DE97 1009 0000 2842 4630 10
BIC/SWIFT code: BEVODEBB
Reference: Auktion April 2024

We kindly ask you to support our efforts to preserve these historical sources and combat antisemitism. Further information here. Together, we can take an important step towards a more tolerant and just society.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions at alava(at)asf.tu-berlin.de

Sincerely, Lars Oeverdieck
Vice president for administration at TU Berlin and deputy chair of the Arthur Langerman Foundation