Benno and Martha Mühsam

Exlibris Dr. Benno Mühsam

Exlibris Martha Mühsam

In 2021, nine books and five bookplates from the libraries of Benno and Martha Mühsam could be returned.

Benno Mühsam was born on 6 November 1855 in Pitschen (Kreuzburg district, Silesia). He was a lawyer and lived and worked in Berlin since at least 1889. Martha Cohn was born in Posen on 13 March 1860. In 1887 she married Benno Mühsam in Berlin. The couple had two children, Anna Charlotte (b. 23 June 1889) and Ernst Julius Max (b. 30 August 1896). Martha Mühsam died in Berlin on 20 December 1916. An exact date of death for Benno Mühsam has not yet been determined. Based on address book entries, it can be assumed that he died around 1926.

Ernst Mühsam lived in Berlin. He was a merchant and lived at the same address (Genthiner Str. 5 = 1935-1947 Woyrischstr. 12) until 27 November 1941, when he was deported to the Riga Ghetto and murdered there on 30 November 1941. It can be assumed that Ernst Mühsam was the last owner of the looted books and bookplates before they were seized.

Charlotte Mühsam also lived at Genthiner Str. 5 until at least 1909. In September of that year, she married Dr. Carlo Moreschi, a physician from Milan, in Berlin. It is likely that she then moved to Italy with Carlo Moreschi. The couple had two children, Silvia and Elsa Maria. Carlo Moreschi died near Milan in 1921. Anna Moreschi and her daughters survived the Holocaust in Italy.

The looted books were identified in "Zugang J," unprocessed holdings, the Berlin City Library's bookplate collection, and its old holdings. The volumes incorporated after 1945 were all attributed to the supplier "Kulturamt," a supplier designation often used for holdings from "Zugang J." It can be assumed that all objects were part of this purchase of looted books from the Städtische Pfandleihanstalt in 1943.