Berlin: Magischer Zirkel e. V., 1937. Original document Original photographs. Hardcover. Oblong Quarto. 24 leaves. Original design on tan, string-bound cloth. Collection of 105 sepia-toned photographs (3 1/2 x 4 1/2") with calligraphic captions and headers, documenting the 25th Anniversary Conference of the "Magischer Zirkel (Magic Circle)" in Berlin. The first page features a certificate for Dr. K. Langowski for his significant cooperation and participation at the anniversary conference, signed by the director Helmut Schreiber and two additional members, printed in red and black on handmade cream paper. The Magische Zirkel was an association founded in Hamburg, 1912, to promote the art of magic.
The first photograph shows the "Haus der Kameradschaft der Deutschen Künstler" in the Viktoriastraße in Berlin. Die "Kameradschaft der Deutschen Künstler" was a National Socialist organization for stage and film actors. In 1943 Gustaf Gründgens gave a lecture for the members entitled "Der Hund des Aubrey," one of the most successful dramas of the 19th century by René Charles Guilbert de Pixérécourt, coining a theatrical concept that was culturally conservative and anti-French.
The photo-album is divided into eight chapters following the photograph of the venue itself: 1. General Assembly, showing director Schreiber addressing the members (3). 2. Magisches Seminar, showing various magicians performing their art, e.g. Max Felmy, Ottokar Fischer, and others (25). 3. Festbankett (Festival Banquet): Performances by various magician, e.g. Ludwig Nannemann, Willy Messinger, Alfred Köhler, Gus Davenport, and others (14). 4. Festvorstellung (Festival Performance): Showing various magicians performing, e.g. Max Felmy, Heinz Seemann, Helmut Schreiber, Emil Thoma, and others as well as some pictures of members socializing (22). 5. Magische Messe: Introduction of magic paraphernalia (2). 6. Amerikanische Versteigerung (American Auction): showing the proceedings and the winners (14). 7. Anniversary Performance: Showing various disappearance acts (16). 8. Preisverteilung (Awards): the winners Rolf Nansen, Alfred Köhler, Max Felmy, the German actor and opera singer, Richard Röhl, Marvelli, Ludwig Nannemann, and Bruno Naydas, among others. The final photograph is entitled "Die Konkurrenz" showing the audience and a photographer with a camera on a tripod (8).
During the 2012 meeting of historians (Historikertreffen) of the Magic Circle a number of members were designated to investigate the fate of the Magic Circle after the takeover by the Nazis in 1933. This contribution was to remember the ostracized Jewish members of the Magic Circle who were suspended in 1936: Günther Dammann (Robertini), Cornel Hauer (Larette), Dr. Kurt Heinrich, Eve Herrmann (Blanche Corelli), Siegbert Jaks, Dr. Hans Katzenstein, Ludwig Katzenstein, Arthur Kroner (Zauberkönig), Charlotte Kroner, Meta Kroner, Ludwig Lebram (Leonardi), Alfred Rosner (Fred Rosner), Michael Seldowitz, Hans Spitzer, and Ruth Iris Wachsmann (Miss Blanche). Despite the impartial treatment of Jewish members in the Magic Circle during the time of Helmut Schreiber, the Reichsbürgergestz from 1935 had drastic consequences. A questionnaire was circulated to determine whether members were "Deutsche Reichsbürger." As a result the membership of the Magic Circle was reduced from 1,370 to ca. 400. Of the few Jewish members who remained in Germany, Günther Dammann und the family Kroner, Dammann and Meta Kroner were murdered in a concentration camp.
Headers and captions in German. Binding lightly rubbed. Tissue guards with wear, some of them loose. Binding and interior in overall good+, photographs in very good+ condition. g+ to vg+. Item #45664