Showing posts with label W. Collin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label W. Collin. Show all posts

Sunday, April 19, 2015

War Production - W. Collins "Affe"

Working on my Ernst Collin bibliography that also has a great deal of content on the bindery of W. Collin... While writing, sorting sources, ... also just seeing what I might be able to find elsewhere online – I've had a great last few weeks/months!

Bin dabei an meiner Ernst Collin Bibliographie zu arbeiten die auch sehr viel zu der Buchbinderei W. Collin haben wird. Also schreiben, Quellen sortieren, ..., und zwischendurch sehen was sonst noch zu finden ist. Die letzten Wochen/Monate waren gut zu mir!

On eBay, from Latvia, a military pack identified as W. Collin, Berlin WWII. Well, by 1939 the firm and name of "W Collin" had been "liquidated" by the Nazis, but the firms best days were well behind it due to a variety of factors including the economics of post WWI Germany... Also a number/date on the pack 1[rivet]17 indicating the date of mfg/model. That could only be 1917! In German these are called "Affe" (monkey) for the way they rode on the back and because of the fur. So got the monkey for my back last week, and what a great find. 

Bei eBay aus Lettland, ein Tornister der als W. Collin, Berlin, Weltkrieg II identifiziert wurde. Interessant, aber die Firma W. Collin wurde 1939 von den Nazis "liquidiert," hat aber auch wegen der Wirtschaftskrise und anderen Gründen seine besten Tage hinter sich. Die Nummer gab auch 1[Niete]17 an, was nur 1917 bedeuten konnte, Modell/Entwurfsjahr. (Lasse mich gerne anders belehren) Auf Deutsch hießen die auch Affen. Meiner kam letzte Woche an, und was für ein Fund.

Like many industries, binderies (and binders, if not drafted to fight) were pulled into the (total) war effort.Among the goods they produced were Tornister (military backpacks), bags, cartridge belts and pockets and similar items.[1] Some of these were related to peace-time Galanteriewaren, too, some of which were described in the bookbinding manuals of the day. War production also impacted the availability of materials for binding, topics Ernst Collin wrote about. Among the articles were “Technische Kriegserfahrungen in der Buchbinderei”[2], "Die Buchbinderei im Weltkrieg"[3], and “Papier als Spinnstoff”[4]. All of these addressed the need for substitute materials and other rationalizations, in the case of the latter about producing textile fibers from coniferous ground-wood chemically extracted cellulose. Fish leather was also a measure applied to save war critical materials, something Paul Kersten and Ernst Collin, among others, wrote about. In addition, "Die Buchbinderei im Weltkrieg" examined the economic impact of the war on binderies, mentioning on page 277 the large-scale cancellation of orders, the introduction of "make-work" to keep binders occupied, and the ordering of things like Tornister and cartridge belts from selected binderies." He also dealt with the overall economic situation in Germany, a topic he would address in further articles.

I'd love to get the textile on this tested to see what it is. Anyone here able to do some fiber analysis? Would be to fitting if at least some of it was "paper."

Wie in den meisten Gewerben wurden Buchbindereien (und die Buchbinder wenn nicht an der Front) in die Kriegsproduktion einbezogen. Unter den Produkten die hergestellt wurden waren Tornister, Patronentaschen, Taschen, und ähnliches.[1] Diese waren auch den Galanteriewaren aus Friedenszeiten sehr ähnlich, Waren von denen einige in den gängigen Fachbücher beschrieben wurden. Der Krieg hatte auch folgen für die Verfügbarkeit von Materialien für die Buchbinderei, Themen über die Ernst Collin schrieb in “Technische Kriegserfahrungen in der Buchbinderei”[2], "Die Buchbinderei im Weltkrieg,"[3] und “Papier als Spinnstoff”[4]. In beiden Aufsätzen ging es die Entwicklung von Ersatzstoffen für die herkömmlichen Materialien und andere Rationalisierungen in der Produktion. Im Letzteren ging es um die Herstellung von Textilfasern aus Sulfit- und Natron-verfahren gewonnene Zellulose von Nadelhölzern wegen der längeren Faserlänge. Fischleder war auch eines dieser Sparmaßnahmen, etwas worüber Paul Kersten, Ernst Collin und andere schrieben. Zusätzlich schrieb Collin auf Seite 277 von "Die Buchbinderei im Weltkrieg" von der großflächigen Abbestellung von Aufträgen, die Einführung von Arbeitsbeschaffungsmaßnamen für Buchbinder, and die Bestellung von Artikel wie Tornister und Patronentaschen von einzelnen Betrieben. Auch schrieb er von den gesamt wirtschaftlichen Zuständen in Deutschland, ein Thema das er in weiteren Aufsätzen beschreibt.

Obwohl ich mir keine großen Hoffnungen mache, würde ich liebend gerne eine Faseranalyse machen lassen... Wäre einfach zu zutreffend wenn wenigstens ein Teil davon aus "Papier" wäre.



eBay page... | Bei eBay

The package arrived from Latvia.
Das Paket aus Lettland.

W. Collin Berlin, 1[rivet]17. Compare to similar pack on ebay.
Mit ähnlichen Tornister bei eBay vergleichen.

Cowhide with fur on to back.
Fell zum Rücken.

This one only has fabric facing outwards, but others also had the furry skin.
Due to numbers of manufacturers and economizations in course of war variations are common.
Dieser hat nur Gewebe auf der Vorderseite, aber Andere hatten auch hier Fell.
Wegen der Anzahl von diversen Herstellern gab es einiges an Variationen.

Interior compartments.
Innenansicht.

Wooden frame, with system for attaching (removable) straps.
Holzrahmen mit System für die Befestigung der Schulterriemen.

Detail of attachment system. The horizontal element slides on the post so it can go vertical and slide out via a slot in washer. On the other side a big rivet. At least that's how it seems. Need to look at more, clean, and see what I can do without breaking...
Detailansicht des Systems zur Befestigung der Schulterriemen. Das horizontale Stück kann senkrecht gestellt werden damit es durch die Unterlegscheibe gedrückt werden kann. Auf der anderen Seite eine große Niete.
Muß das ganze näher ansehen, reinigen, aber ohne das Metall zu brechen.

Technical description of pack which this one largely conforms to including dimensions, interior, buckles... Only fur on exterior was different.
Technische Beschreibung des Tornisters. Paßt zu meinem mit Ausnahme des Fells auf der Vorderseite.
Description from/Beschreibung aus Roth, Wilhelm and Rudolf Lex. Handbuch der Militär-Gesundheitspflege, Volume 3, Berlin,1877 (Tornister p127-128)

How the pack was worn. The bottom of the pack has hooks that attach to the belt with the shoulder straps attaching to the belt/harness  at front.
Description from/Beschreibung aus Roth, Wilhelm and Rudolf Lex. Handbuch der Militär-Gesundheitspflege, Volume 3, Berlin,1877 (Tornister p127-128)

How items were packed per regulations...
Wie alles verstaut wird...
From/aus Der Feldgraue Leitfaden für den Dienstunterricht des ... Oldenburg i.Gr.: Stalling, 1917 (114)

Finally, archivally packed in Talas' finest custom T16 2-piece (drop-front) box in E-PLUS Heritage corrugated board.
Zum Schluß, alles archivalisch ausgefüllt und verpackt.





1: Brüntgens Beate. 400 Jahre Buchbinder-Innung Berlin-Brandenburg 1595-1995. Berlin: Buchbinder-Innung, 1995. (76)
2: Colin, Ernst. "Technische Kriegserfahrungen in der Buchbinderei". Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Leipzig: A. Waldow - Verlag des deutschen Buchgewerbevereins, Vol 55, 1918. (136)
3:Colin, Ernst. "Die Buchbinderei im Weltkriege". Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Leipzig: A. Waldow - Verlag des deutschen Buchgewerbevereins, Vol 53, 1918. (275-279)
4: Colin, Ernst. "Papier als Spinnstoff". Archiv für Buchgewerbe, Leipzig: A. Waldow - Verlag des deutschen Buchgewerbevereins, Vol 55, 1918. (17-19)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Stolpersteine for Ernst and Else Collin

Family members examine the stones before they are laid into the walk.
Photo Gerhard Schumm, 4.1.2014

Photo Gerhard Schumm, 4.1.2014


On April 1, 2014 two Stolpersteine (Stumbling Blocks) were laid to memorialize Ernst Collin and his wife Else (nee Cronheim) in front of the entrance to their home at Cicerostr 61 in Berlin. Stolpersteine are “monuments" created by Gunter Demnig that commemorate victims of the Holocaust. They are small, cobblestone-sized memorials for an individual victim of Nazism – both those who died and survivors – who were consigned by the Nazis to prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics, concentration camps, and extermination camps, as well as those who responded to persecution by emigrating or committing suicide.” The “stones” record the name of the individual, their birthday, and their fate. In Berlin the Koordinierungsstelle Stolpersteine works together with Stolperstein Initiatives in the various city districts, in this case Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.


Ernst as editor, apartment on the ground floor
From the Adreßbuch for Berlin, 1929

Ernst Collin, born on 31.5.1886 was the son and grandson of court bookbinders to the Prussian Kings and German Emperors. His grandfather W(ihelm) Collin (12.7.1820 – 1893) was the son of a [Beuthener/Bytom] physician Isaac Collin and Blümche (geb. Kircheim) who moved to Berlin in 1832 [Kaiserstr 13, Berliner Addressbuch]. Wilhelm apprenticed with the Prussian Court Bookbinder Mossner in Berlin  1835-40, and is shown as starting his own bindery in Berlin in 1845. He was later awarded the Preussischer Kronenorden.

Binder's ticket ca. 1886-1887 from a volume at the
Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library.

Ernst’s father Max Georg Collin  (10.22.1851 - 12.24.1918) followed in his father’s footstep learning the trade with the Meister Hunzinger, followed by journeyman years in Vienna, Paris, London (with Zaehnsdorf), among others. He returned to Berlin to work in the family firm. During the winters between 1873 and 1875 he instructed Prince Heinrich (brother of later Kaiser Wilhelm II) in bookbinding.  An anecdote from this experience is his response to complaints from the court about smelly glue – his response, well we can’t put Eau de Cologne in it, and that was that. [Bedeutende Männer des Buchbinderhandwerks, Der Buchbinderlehrling, 6. Jg., Nr 9, 1932] From 1878-1881 he studied painting at the Berliner Kunstakademie. In 1886 he became co-owner of the firm W. Collin, continuing it after the death of his father in 1893. Georg Collin was one of the leading binders in Germany, helping to revitalize the artistic expression of the craft with his prize-winning bindings and “Addressen,”  presentation portfolios for decrees and other official pronouncements. Among the binders who credit Georg as their Meister are Paul Kersten and Maria Lühr. Lühr apprenticed with W. Collin, and it was Georg’s connection to the German court that ultimately led to the breakdown of prohibitions against women learning the trade and practicing as Meister, something for which Ernst was also a strong advocate. Like his father Wilhelm, Georg was awarded the Kronenorden and was the last to carry the title of Königlicher und Kaiserlicher Hofbuchbinder. He had three children with his wife Regina: Gertrude, who learned the family trade and carried on the family business, Elsa, and a son Ernst 31.5.1886.  After Georg’s Death on 24.12.1918, his widow Regina continued to manage the firm of W. Collin until Gertrude took over. After 1930 the firm was continued as 1930 Spezialbetrieb fur Druckarbeiten unter Paetsch & Collin. The firm moved about in Berlin over the years, finally settling along the Kurfürstenstr.  It was “liquidated” in 1939.

Following in the family tradition, Ernst learned the trade of bookbinder. Where he apprenticed is not known, but he describes studying with Gustav Slaby and Paul Kersten at the Berliner Buchbinderfachschule Klasse für Kunstbuchbinderei for a semester in 1904 – he  was a student in the first class. Ernst, however, chose to follow a different path, that of writer in particular for the arts of the book and graphic arts. His first as yet discovered articles appeared in Volume 3 (1907-08) of Die Werkkunst: Zeitschrift des Vereins für deutsches Kunstgewerbe and identify him as "Ernst Collin, Kunstbuchbinder" (Fine Bookbinder). He was also a journalist and art critic, writing on topics relating to economics and politics, as well as an antiquarian bookseller of fine press books via his Corvinus - Antiquariat Ernst Collin, located at Mommsenstr 27 in Charlottenburg.In addition, he was on the editorial board of the Berliner Volkszeitung.

The list of his publications continues to grow having begun with 44 titles between Mejer’s Bibliographie der Buchbindereiliteratur (1925) and the 1937 volume of the Meister der Einbandkunst’s Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst, to over 200 with significant gaps in the chronology that hint at a far greater professional output.

His first book was Buchbinderei für den Hausbedarf ([1915]) a manual of basic bookbinding aimed at laypeople. His iconic Pressbengel was published in 1922 and was followed by his biographical Festschrift Paul Kersten (1925) in honor of his 60th birthday. Kersten was one of the most seminal German fine bookbinders, and his Der Exakte Bucheinband (1923) helped define German fine binding Ernst also wrote essays for Festschrifts published by the highly regarded  trade binderies. These were Vom guten Geschmack und von der Kunstbuchbinderei  for the Spamersche Buchbinderei, Leipzig (1918) and Fünfzig Jahre deutscher Verlegereinband  for Hübel & Denck (1925). He was also the publisher of and author of numerous articles in Die Heftlade (1922-24), the journal of the Jakob-Krausse-Bund, an organization that was absorbed into Meister der Einbandkunst, a group that included the most significant names in German bookbinding of the late 19th and early 20th century, among them Paul Adam, Otto Dorfner, Paul Kersten, and Franz Weiße. Collin also edited and wrote in the Jakob-Krausse-Bund’s 1921 exhibition catalog, Deutsche Einbandkunst. Degeners Wer Ist's (10th Ed., Berlin, 1935) also gives pseudonymes Collenoni and Nicoll for him, but no writings under these names have been discovered as yet.

His articles were published in at least 36 periodicals and serials between 1907 and 1936, among them Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien; Archiv für Buchbinderei; Archiv für Buchgewerbe; Börsenblatt für den deutschen Buchhandel; Buch und Bild: Berliner Herbstschau im Staatlichen Kunstgewerbe-Museum 1921; Das Echo: das Blatt der deutschen im Auslande; Das Plakat: Zeitschrift des Vereins der Plakatfreunde e.V.; Der Buchbinderlehrling; Der Kinematograph; Der Kunstwanderer; Der Papier-Markt; Der Qualitätsmarkt; Der Sammler; Der Sturm; Deutsche Frauenkleidung und Frauenkultur; Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration; Deutsche Verleger Zeitung; Deutsch-nordisches Jahrbuch für Kulturaustausch und Volkskunde; Die Heftlade: Zeitschrift für die Förderer des Jakob-Krausse-Bundes; Die Kunst: Monatshefte für freie und angewandte Kunst; Die Werkkunst: Zeitschrift des Vereins für deutsches Kunstgewerbe in Berlin; Gutenberg Festschrift; Gutenberg Jahrbuch; Moderne Buchbinderei; Sammlerkabinet; Scherls Magazin; Tägliche Rundschau; Textile Kunst und Industrie; Verhandlungen, Vereins zur Beförderung des Gewerbefleisses; Volksverbandes der Bücherfreunde; Westermanns Monatshefte; Zeitschrift des Deutschen Vereins für Buchwesen und Schrifttum; Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde; Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde. N. F.; Zeitschrift für Neue und Alte Kunst, Graphik, Kunstgewerbe; Zur guten Stunde.

Der Pressbengel (1922) dedicated to his father Georg is Collin’s best-known work. It was later republished by the Mandragora Verlag (1984) with an introduction by Gustav Moessner, and later translated into Italian as Dal Rilegatore d’Arte (1996). A translation into English as The Bone Folder by Peter D. Verheyen first appeared in the Guild of Book Workers Journal (2009). Der Pressbengel is a dialogue between a bibliophile and a master bookbinder on all aspects of the bookbinding craft as well as specific techniques. Throughout the work, Collin himself is very frank in addressing the conflicts between quality and cost, as well as the positive and negative impacts of “machines” throughout the work.



The introduction to the 1984 republication of Der Pressbengel stated that Ernst Collin was considered lost after 1933. Despite the ever-tightening spiral of restrictions on his work by the Nazis, first in the form of the Schriftleitergesetz that removed him from his editorial positions and later laws that eliminated his ability to work, Collin continued to write for the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien at least until 1936 when he wrote on article on “Otto Pfaffs 25 jähriges Berufsjubiläum.”

Ernst Collin was also politically active, being listed as a contributor to Die Deutsche Nation: Eine Zeitschrift für Politik, along with the great bibliophile Graf Harry Keßler. The publication that was aligned with the Deutsche Demokratische Partei (DDP), a center-left social liberal party whose members included among others, Foreign Minister Walther Rathenau, party leader Friedrich Naumann, and Theodor Heuss who would become the first President of the German Federal Republic in 1949.

The 1947 issue of the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, the first published after the war included a notice (Randbemerkung) about the Collins (W. Collin, Georg Collin, and Ernst) in which it gave a brief history of these individuals and their work, also mentioning that Ernst had written for this publication for decades, and that as a Jew he had tried to emigrate in 1939, leaving a letter with the publishers. Nothing was heard from him thereafter.

From the Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Bd 60, Nr. 5, 1947 (S. 68-69)

During his life, Ernst lived at Sachsenwaldstr 25 in Stegliz, moving to Cicerostr 61 in Wilmersdorf in 1929.

Unfortunately, nothing is yet known about his wife Else Collin (nee Cronheim, born 18 March, 1890). The couple had no children.

The Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nazionalsozialismus (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Zentralinstitut fuer sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1995) shows Ernst and Else Collin as being deported to Auschwitz on 12.9.1942 where they were murdered.

Photo Gerhard Schumm, 4.1.2014

Stolpersteine for Ernst und Else Collin, Wiki photos by "OTFW"

The Stolpersteine were sponsored by his surviving great-niece, Dr. Rita Jenny Kuhn; Dr. Kuhn’s daughter, Ruth C. Wiseman; and by Peter D. Verheyen. Dr. Kuhn is the author of Broken Glass, Broken Lives (Barany Publishing Co., 2012), a memoir of her survival in Berlin during the Second World War. Verheyen translated Der Pressbengel into English.

Working together with Ruth to honor Ernst and Else this way has given my interest in Ernst and his writings as well as the Collins a much deeper meaning that has touched me, and for which I am thankful.

The pictures below were taken April 3rd. The flowers are still there.

Photo Regina Klein

Photo Regina Klein
See also The Story of Two Ernsts, clarifying the details of Ernst Collins' life and death; disambiguation of the Ernst Collin discussed here and  Ernst Heinrich Collin-Schoenfeld.

Sources:
In addition to the sources cited in the post above, the following were also important:

    Stolpersteine für Ernst und Else Collin

    Familien Angehörige betrachten die Steine vor der Verlegung
    Photo Gerhard Schumm, 4.1.2014

    Photo Gerhard Schumm, 1.4.2014


    Am 1.4.2014 wurden zwei Stolpersteine für Ernst Collin und seiner Frau Else (geb. Cronheim) vor dem Eingang zur Cicerostr 61 in Berlin gelegt. "Stolpersteine sind Gedenksteine, die für Opfer des Nazi-Terrors vor deren einstigen Wohnhäusern verlegt werden. Es sind Betonwürfel, die in das Pflaster des Gehsteigs eingemauert werden, mit einer eingelassenen 10x10 cm großen Messingplatte. Darauf sind Name, das Geburtsjahr und Stichwörter zum weiteren Schicksal des Opfers eingraviert." In Berlin arbeitet die Koordinierungsstelle Stolpersteine zusammen mit Stolpersteine-Initiativen in den Stadtteilen, in diesem Fall Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Hier die Seiten zu Ernst und Else bei der Koordinierungsstelle und in Wilmersdorf.

    Ernst als Redakteur, Wohnung im Erdgeschoß
    Aus dem Adreßbuch für Berlin, 1929


    Ernst Collin, geboren am 31.5.1886, war der Enkel und Sohn von Hofbuchbindern der Preussischen Könige und Deutschen Kaiser. Sein Großvater W(ilhelm) Collin (12.7.1820 – 1893) war der Sohn von dem  [Beuthener/Bytom] Arzt Isaac Collin und Blümche (geb. Kirchheim) die 1832 nach Berlin gezogen waren. Wilhelm machte 1835-1840 seine Lehre bei dem preussischen Hofbuchbindermeister Mossner, ging auf Wanderschaft und etablierte 1845 seine eigene Werkstatt “An der Schleuse 2.” Ihm wurde der  Preussiche Kronenorden verliehen.

    Aus einem Einband ca. 1886-1887 in der Sammlung des
    Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Library.

    Die Eltern von Ernst Collin waren Max Georg Collin (22.10.1851-24.12.1918) und Regina (geb. Joseph). Georg folgte in seines Vaters Fußstapfen,  legte seine Lehre bei Meister Hunziger ab, auf diese folgten Wanderjahre nach  Wien, Paris, London (u.a. bei Joseph Zaehnsdorf, einem der renommiertesten Buchbinder seiner Zeit).   Danach kehrte er nach Berlin zurück, um in der väterlichen Buchbinderei zu arbeiten. In den Jahren 1873-1875 führte er  Prinz Heinrich (Bruder des späteren Kaiser WIlhelm II) in die Technik der Buchbinderei ein.  In einem Aufsatz über diese Zeit erwähnt  Ernst Collin im Buchbinderlehrling [Bedeutende Männer des Buchbinderhandwerks, Der Buchbinderlehrling, 6. Jg., Nr 9, 1932] gegenüber seinem Vater  Klagen seitens des Hofes über den auffallenden, unangenehmen Geruchs des Kleisters. Es wird gefragt,  ob man etwas dagegen tun sollte. Georg Collins Antwort fiel kurz aus, man könne schließlich dem Kleister kein Eau de Cologne beimischen und so blieb es dabei.  Von 1878-1891 studierte Georg Collin an der Berliner Kunstakademie Kunst, besonders  Malerei, was seine Einbandkunst stark beinflußte. Nach dem Tode Wilhelms 1893 übernahm Georg die Firma W Collin. Georg Collin wurde einer der angesehensten Buchbinder Deutschlands und trug maßgebend dazu bei, dass  die deutsche Einbandkunst an Bedeutung gewann, auch unter Mitwirkung seiner  "Schüler" wie z. B. Paul Kersten.  Georg ist es mit zu verdanken, dass  von nun an Frauen den Buchbinderberuf erlernen  und sich bis zum "Meister" hocharbeiten konnten. Unter ihnen trat seine Schülerin Maria Lühr durch besondere Leistungen hervor, sie brachte es als Erste zur Meisterin, leitete lange die Schule für Buchbinderinnen im Letteverein, und schrieb selbst eifrig, u.a. im Buchbinderlehrling. Die Beziehungen zum Hof, die die Einbeziehung von Frauen in diesem Beruf unterstützte,  ergaben auch, dass Collin sich dem Widerstand  seiner  Gesellen und der  Innung  gegen dieses Novum  im Beruf durchsetzen konnte. Wie sein Vater Wilhelm, war auch Georg Collin Träger des Krohnenorden.

    Georg und Regina Collin hatten drei Kinder, Gertrude, Elsa, und Ernst.  Nach dem Tode Georg Collins am 24.12.1918 wurde die Firma W. Collin von dessen  Frau weitergeführt, bis Gertrude die Firma übernahm. Nach 1930 war die Firma als “Spezialbetrieb für Druckarbeiten” unter Paetsch & Collin bekannt, bis sie 1939 “liquidiert” wurde.

    Ernst Collin folgte zunächst der Familientradition und wurde Buchbinder. Wo er seine Lehre absolviert hat, ist nicht bekannt, jedoch erfahren wir von ihm selbst, daβ er 1904 mit Gustav Slaby und  Paul Kersten als Mitglied der ersten Klasse ein Semester lang an der Berliner Buchbinderfachschule für Kunstbuchbinderei  eingeschrieben war.  Ernst schlug letzten Endes eine völlig andere Laufbahn ein, wurde Schriftsteller und Redakteur und schrieb überwiegend über die Buchbinderei und graphischen Künste, die er so gut kannte, ebenso befasste er sich mit der Kunst allgemein, Wirtschaftsthemen und Politik. Seine ersten, bis jetzt gefunden Aufsätze erschinen 1907-08 in Band 3 von Die Werkkunst: Zeitschrift des Vereins für deutsches Kunstgewerbe und identifizieren ihn als "Ernst Collin, Kunstbuchbinder." Über sein Corvinus - Antiquariat Ernst Collin in der Mommsenstraβe 27 (Charlottenburg) verkaufte er “Erstausgaben, Seltene Bilder, Luxus.- und Pressedrucke, Bibeldrucke, schön gebundene Bücher u.s.w. Er hatte auβerdem eine Stellung in der Schriftleitung der Berliner Volkszeitung inne.

    Die Zahl seiner bislang entdeckten Schriften wächst weiter an –angefangen mit 44 Titeln in Mejers Bibliographie der Buchbinderei - Literatur (1925) und dem 1937 erschienen Band  Jahrbuch der Einbandkunst , herausgegeben von den Meistern der Einbandkunst. An einer umfassender Bibliographie seiner Schriften wird gearbeitet - Bis dato sind über 200 Titel (Aufsätze und Monographien) mit bedeutenden  Lücken in der Chronologie erfaßt wurden, die weitere in Aussicht stellen könnten.

    Sein erstes Buch Buchbinderei für den Hausbedarf ([1915]) war eine Einführung in die Buchbinderei an Laien gerichtet. Dieser folgten Der Pressbengel (1922) und die Festschrift Paul Kersten (1925),   anlässlichseines 60. Geburtstages und zu Ehren dieses sehr einflussreichen deutschen Buchbinders. Ernst Collin schrieb auch Aufsätze für Festschriften einiger der bedeutendsten deutschen Buchbindereien, zum Beispiel Vom guten Geschmack und von der Kunstbuchbinderei  für die Spamersche Buchbinderei (1918) und Fünfzig Jahre deutscher Verlegereinband  für Hübel & Denck (1925), beide in Leipzig. Auch war Collin der Herausgeber von Die Heftlade (1922-24), das Organ des Jakob-Krauße-Bunds und dessen Mitglieder, die zu den gröβten deutschen Buchbindern der Zeit gehörten. Er war  Herausgeber des und schrieb Aufsätze fuer den Katalog  Deutsche Einbandkunst (1921) vom Jakob-Krauße-Bund. Degeners Wer Ist's (10. Ausgabe, Berlin, 1935) nennt  die Pseudonyme Collenoni und Nicoll für ihn, Schriften mit diesen Namen sind jedoch  bislang nicht gefunden wurden.

    Collins Aufsätze  erschienen zwischen 1907 und 1936 in mindestens 36 Zeitschriften (und Monographien). Unter ihnen: Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien; Archiv für Buchbinderei; Archiv für Buchgewerbe; Börsenblatt für den deutschen Buchhandel; "Buch und Bild : Berliner Herbstschau im Staatlichen Kunstgewerbe-Museum 1921 "; Corvinus Antiquariat Ernst Collin; Das Echo: das Blatt der deutschen im Auslande; Das Plakat: Zeitschrift des Vereins der Plakatfreunde e.V.; Der Buchbinderlehrling; Der graphische Betrieb; Der Kinematograph; Der Kunstwanderer; Der Papier-Markt; Der Qualitaetsmarkt; Der Sammler; Der Sturm; Deutsche Frauenkleidung und Frauenkultur; Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration; Deutsche Verleger Zeitung; Deutsch-nordisches Jahrbuch für Kulturaustausch und Volkskunde; Die Heftlade: Zeitschrift für die Förderer des Jakob-Krauße-Bundes; Die Kunst: Monatshefte für freie und angewandte Kunst; Die Kunstauktion; Die Werkkunst : Zeitschrift des Vereins für deutsches Kunstgewerbe in Berlin; Exlibris, Buchkunst und angewandte Graphik (N.F. 15.); Euphorion Verlag; Gebrauchsgraphik; Graphische Jugend; Gutenberg Festschrift; Gutenberg Jahrbuch; Hübel und Denck; Journal für Buchbinderei- und Kartonnagenbetriebe sowie für den Papier- und Schreibwarenhandel; Klimschs Jahrbuch; Moderne Buchbinderei; Monatsblätter für Bucheinbände und Handbindekunst; Offset-, Buch- und Werbekunst; Sammlerkabinet; Scherls Magazin; Schweizerische Fachschrift für Buchbindereien, Geschäftsbücher-, Kartonnagen-Fabriken und Papeterien; Spamersche Buchbinderei; Taegliche Rundschau; Textile Kunst und Industrie; Verhandlungen Vereins zur Befoerderung des Gewerbefleisses; Volksverbandes der Bücherfreunde; Westermanns Monateshefte; Wilhelm Leo's Buchbinder-Kalender; Zeitschrift des Deutschen Vereins für Buchwesen und Schrifttum; Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde; Zeitschrift für Bücherfreunde. N.F.; Zeitschrift für Neue und Alte Kunst, Graphik, Kunstgewerbe; Zur guten Stunde..

    Sein bekanntestes Werk, der ikonische Pressbengel (1922), ein “Gesprächsbüchlein zwischen dem ästhetischen Bücherfreund und seinem in allen Sätteln gerechten Buchbinder” widmete er seinem Vater Georg. In dem Werk stellt Collin die verschiedenen Techniken vor, und beschreibt die Lage des Handwerks in Deutschland in jener  Zeit. Der Mandragora Verlag brachte 1984 eine neue Ausgabe heraus, und 1996 wurde der Pressbengel als Dal Rilegatore d’Arte vom Atelier Josef Weiss heraus gebracht. 2008 erfolgte die Übersetzung ins Englische als The Bone Folder von Peter D. Verheyen. Eine zweite englische Ausgabe mit biographisch korrigierter Einleitung wird vorraussichtlich 2015 bei der Boss Dog Press vom amerikanischen Buchbinder und Drucker Don Rash als Pressedruck erscheinen.



    In der Einleitung zum Nachdruck von 1984 schrieb Moessner  “Ernst Collin ist seit 1933 verschollen.” Trotz der immer enger werdenden Schlinge von Schikanen und Drohungen von Seiten der Nazis, unter anderem in Anlehnung an das Schriftleitergesetz von 1933, gelang es Collin zumindest bis 1936 seine Schriften im Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien herauszugeben, ein Beispiel dafür der Aufsatz über den Buchbinder “Otto Pfaffs 25 jähriges Berufsjubiläum.”

    Ernst Collin war auch politisch aktiv und wurde als beitragendes Mitglied der Schriftleitung von  Die Deutsche Nation: Eine Zeitschrift für Politik, eine Zeitschrift, die auf die mitte-links soziale Deutsche Demokratische Partei (DDP) ausgerichtet war. U.a. gehörte der große Bibliophile Harry Graf Kessler zur  Schriftleitung. Die DDP wurde 1933 aufgelöst. Andere Mitglieder waren der damalige Auβenminister Walter Rathenau und Theodor Heuss, der erste Bundespräsident.

    In der Ausgabe des  Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien von 1947, dem ersten Jahrgang seit  Kriegsende, gab es unter den Randbemerkungen eine Eintragung über die Collins (W. Collin, Georg und Ernst), in der die herausragende Bedeutung dieser Menschen und deren Schaffen hervorgehoben wurde. Auch  wurde  dort u.u. erwähnt, daβ Ernst jahrzehntelang für die Zeitschrift tätig war und er, als Jude, noch im Jahre 1939 versucht hatte, zu emigrieren. Von einem “Abschiedsbrief” war die Rede, danach gab es keine Nachricht mehr von ihm.

    Aus dem Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien, Bd 60, Nr. 5, 1947 (S. 68-69)

    Während seines beruflichen Lebens wohnte Ernst Collin in der Sachsenwaldstraβe 25 in Stegliz und zog 1929 in die Cicerostraβe 61 in Wilmersdorf um.

    Leider sind keine Informationen zu seiner Frau Else Collin, geb Cronheim am 18.3.1890, bekannt. Das Ehepaar hatte keine Kinder.

    Das Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Natzionalsozialismus (Freie Universität Berlin, Zentralinstitut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1995) dokumentiert die Deportation der Eheleute  Ernst und Else Collin am 9.12.1942 nach Auschwitz, wo sie ermordet wurden.

    Photo Gerhard Schumm, 1.4.2014

    Stolpersteine für Ernst und Else Collin, Wiki Photos von "OTFW"

    Die Stolpersteine wurden gestiftet  von:
    Die Stolpersteine wurden von seiner Großnichte, Dr. Rita Jenny Kuhn; Dr. Kuhns Tochter, Ruth C. Wiseman; und von Peter D. Verheyen gestiftet. Dr. Kuhn beschreibt in Broken Glass, Broken Lives (Barany Publishing Co., 2012) wie sie und ihre Familie den Krieg in Berlin überlebt haben. Verheyen übersetzte den Pressbengel ins Englische.

    Die Zusammenarbeit mit Frau Wiseman die zu dieser Ehrung von Ernst und Else führte hat meiner Interesse an Ernst Collin und seinen Schriften, sowie die Geschichte der Collins eine viel tiefere Bedeutung gegeben und mich sehr gerührt. Dafür bin ich sehr dankbar.

    Folgende  Aufnahmen wurden am 3. April gemacht. Die Blumen liegen noch da.

    Aufnahme Regina Klein

    Aufnahme Regina Klein

    Siehe auch The Story of Two Ernsts (auf Englisch) wo die verflochtenen Lebensgeschichten von Ernst Collin und Ernst Heinrich Collin-Schoenfeld disambiguiert werden.

    Quellen:
    Neben den Aufsätzen in vielen Zeitschriften wurden unter anderem folgende Quellen benutzt:

      Thursday, October 31, 2013

      Bindings by W. Collin

      Syracuse University Libraries' Leopold v. Ranke Collection can be considered as a time-capsule of sorts in that all books were bound before 1888 when the collection came to Syracuse to form the core of the new university library, largely as a circulating collection. Exceptions are (few) volumes that were rebound by library binders and conservation rebinds/treatments completed after the conservation lab was established in 1995 by me as a part of a grant funded project.

      "Leopold von Ranke (1795-1886), a German historian and historiographer, was highly influential in shaping the modern approach to history, emphasizing such things as reliance on primary sources, narrative history and international politics. Ranke's personal and professional library, consisting of more than 10,000 books, several hundred manuscripts and approximately 5 linear ft. of personal papers, was purchased for Syracuse University in 1887 and formed the nucleus of what is now the Syracuse University Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)." (cite)

      An Address by Professor C.W. Bennett Read at the Dedication of the Leopold von Ranke Library (pdf page 14), states that after the sale of the Ranke Library to Syracuse University during 1886 - 1887:
      And now began the Herculean task of removal from the Royal Library, the completion of imperfect serials, the repairing of worn and damaged volumes, the binding of unbound numbers, the careful classification and binding of thousands of pamphlets, the complete cataloging of the entire collection, the examination and estimate of the more than four hundred manuscripts by a professional paleographer, etc. This work required many months of time and involved the expenditure of a very large sum of money.
      Additional information about the sale can be found in Morrison, John J. "Charles W. Bennett's 'The Purchase of the von Ranke Library.' A Prefatory Note. The Courier 15.2 and 15.3 (1978): 15-18.

      Image from: Dohrmann, Inken.
      150 Jahre Jahre Verein Berliner
      Buchbindermeister
      . Berlin:
      Verein Berliner Buchbindermeister
      1849, 2001: 147
      Having worked on the collection since coming to Syracuse in 1995 and knowing the variety of bindings in the collection, I decided to see whether there were any bindings identified as being bound by W. Collin, the firm started by Ernst Collin's grandfather in 1845. W(ilhelm) Collin was born 1820 in Beuthen/Bytom (PL) the son of a physician. He moved to Berlin with his family, and apprenticed with the Court Bookbinder Abraham Mossner from 1835-1840. In 1859 he was named Court Bookbinder by the Princess Victoria (later Empress). As a binder, he was especially known for his fine gilding. [Dohrmann, Inken. 150 Jahre Jahre Verein Berliner Buchbindermeister. Berlin: Verein Berliner Buchbindermeister 1849, 2001: 147].

      A search of Syracuse's catalog revealed 135 titles (a few being multi-volume sets) in the collection, and all in the v. Ranke Collection. This was indicated by a note that said "Binder's label: W. Collin." and 3 cases "Binder's label:  W. Collin, K.K. Hofbuchbinder, Berlin." Things were starting to get interesting. Thanks to the generosity of a colleague in Special Collections I was able to go in the stacks with her, spreadsheet and pencil in hand, and in the course of 2 hours examined every binding on the list. Only two or three were rebound, and all had their binder's labels. Jackpot.

      So, what were the results of this survey? All binder's tickets were of the "W. Collin, K.K. Hofbuchbinder, Berlin" variety indicating that the books had been rebound between 1871 when the Kings of Prussia became the Kings of Prussia AND German Emperors (formation of a unified German Empire), and the death of Ranke when the collection was boxed for sale in 1886-1887. The "K.K. Hofbuchbinder" means "Royal and Imperial Court Bookbinder." There was more than one of those a Carl Wilhelm Vogt being another, but still. Below a scan of the binder's ticket.

      Click on image to see the small label at bottom left in its original size.
      All tickets were pasted to the verso of the front flyleaf.
      This date range puts the firm under the control of W. Collin and his son Georg who became co-owner with his father in 1886 after returning from his journeyman years in Vienna, Paris, Switzerland, and England, there studying with Joseph Zaehnsdorf, "one of the most well-known German binders" [Inheim, Heinrich. Georg Collin [obituary]. Archiv für buchgewerbe. v.56 (1919)]. W. Collin died in 1893. The firm was continued as W. Collin under his son Georg from 1886 until his death in 1918. Georg's daughter Gertrud (sister of Ernst) also learned the trade, and took over the firm following her father's death. In 1930, it become a part of the firm of Paetch & Collin until liquidation by the Nazis in 1939. [Dohrmann, Inken. 150 Jahre Jahre Verein Berliner Buchbindermeister. Berlin: Verein Berliner Buchbindermeister 1849, 2001: 181].

      Even though the firm was W. Collin was "Court Bookbinder" and produced exquisite work for the Court, it was also a trade bindery that was involved in the binding of books for a variety of customers, from individuals (like Ranke) to libraries to publishers in all manner of techniques. There is scant mention of W Collin. An example of a cloth case trade binding by the firm of W. Collin can be seen in the University of Wisconsin's digital collections. I have found no information about the size and scope of the firm thus far, including advertisements/images, and whether it would have been described as a "dampfbuchbinderei" is unknown. Regardless, it is unlikely either W. or Georg did much binding except for the most exclusive commissions.Dampfbuchbinderein were large industrial trade binderies (dampf = steam) described in the catalog to the 1994 exhibition Gebunden in Der Dampfbuchbinderei: Buchbinden Im Wandel Des 19. Jahrhunderts.

      From Inheim, Heinrich (Ernst Collin
      pseudonym).
      Georg Collin [obituary].
      Archiv für buchgewerbe.
      v.56 (1919)
      The perceived state of German bookbinding at this time was described in The Profession Of Bookselling: A Handbook Of Practical Hints For The Apprentice And Bookseller by A. Growoll, London, 1895. A snippet describing this can be seen on pg 108, and was posted to this blog in March. Georg Collin himself is quoted as saying in an article about the 1900 World Exposition in Paris published in the Allegemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbindereien ( v.15-16 1900-1901: 267-270) that "bookbinding has attained the highest steps in France. Unfortunately we must stand back and let this happen, because even if we have the strength, drive, and talent to create work at this level, we just don't have the clients..., Germans just won't pay what the French and other foreigners will." The article concludes by saying that in binding at the highest levels, the honors go to France and England, with Germany being the leader in publishers' bindings. Bernhard Harms' Zur entwickelungsgeschichte der deutschen buchbinderei in der zweiten hälfte des 19. jahrhunderts. Technisch--Statistisch--Volkswirtschaftlich (Tübingen und Leipzig: Mohr, 1902) provides a great deal of statistical information about the bookbinding trade in German in the latter half of the 19th century, but unfortunately does not have any detailed information about the firm of W. Collin. Likewise, Hellmuth Helwig's Das Deutsche Buchbinder-Handwerk (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1961-1965).

      Georg went on to redefine and elevate German bookbinding in the late 19th early 20th century, created many presentation bindings and "adressen" (presentation portfolios for official declarations...), and contributed to the development of Paul Kersten, perhaps Germany's first and best known "fine binder." Later, Ernst Collin wrote and published a biography of Kersten as a Jakob-Krause-Bund festschrift under his Corvinus-Antiquariat imprint  in 1925. Kersten himself was a noted author of binding texts, his most noted title being Der Exakte Bucheinband first published in 1909. But back to the books at hand.

      So, what did these bindings look like? The imprint dates of titles in the collection that we examined ranged from the late 18th century up to 1876. Some were monographs, some selected volumes from series or serials. Due to condition (spines missing or damaged), we could examine the structure on some of the bindings. All were rebinds in some form. NONE were stapled, but sewings were uniformly on recessed cords, with stuck on endbands, and quarter leather case bindings featuring a variety of marbled papers on the sides sides. Leathers were goat, sheep, and calf. Endpapers were all of the same gray paper as a reinforced single folio hooked around the first and last text signature sections and then sewn. This endpaper construction and others are described in the article "Die Vorsätze im Buche," Archiv für buchbinderei, v.13, 1913-1914. (66-71) that is preceded by an article about the firm of W. Collin, with image of Georg Collin. A translation of the endpaper article can be found in HathiTrust (as can Archiv für Buchbinderei...). Archiv für Buchbinderei was published by Paul Adam, and no authors are indicated for the articles, although W. Collin is listed among the contributors, many of whom were illustrious during that time.


      Overall I would describe these as competent trade bindings, not glamorous, not especially precise, with some interesting quirks such as in the example below.

      Exterior detail of the above book showing mismatched leathers on spine and corner.

      Overall binding, sheepskin with fading due to exposed spine and smaller adjacent binding.

      Below a selection of other representative bindings by W. Collin in the v. Ranke collection. Unfortunately no paper cases, pastepaper, vellum, or full leather... Still, great to see them all, especially knowing something about the history of the firm and people behind it. Important to remember when viewing these (and their wear) is that the v. Ranke Collection was a Syracuse's circulating collection for some time before it became a special collection.








      All binding images permission of: Special Collections Research Center, Syracuse University Libraries.

      Thank you also to Stephen Ferguson, Assistant University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections Curator of Rare Books at Princeton University Library for examining the W. Collin bindings in their collections. Unfortunately they had been rebound. His blog, Notabilia, is worth following.

      Thursday, March 14, 2013

      The Story of Two Ernsts

      Written with Ruth Wiseman

      When I began translating Ernst Collin's Pressbengel (The Bone Folder) it was because I felt such an affinity for the text that wonderfully portrays the state of early 20th century binding in Germany and the tension between art, craft, and industrialization, all in the form of a charming dialog. There was actually very little information available to me about Collin, and what there was raised more questions than I could find answers for. As a result I focused on the dialog itself, a context for the work, and tried to provide some biographical information about Collin himself. Sources for this biographical information were Gustav Moessner's introduction to the 1984 illustrated reprint/new edition of the Der Pressbengel and Karl Wolfskehls Briefwechsel aus Neuseeland 1938-1948, the published correspondence of German emigre Karl Wolfskehl who corresponded with many of the creative elite who were able to flee Germany. Below the excerpt from page 1215 for Ernst Collin with a birth year matching that in Moessner's introduction (5/31/1886), as well as the direct link to two of Collin's most significant publications.

      Ernst Collin came from Berlin and worked in publishing both there and in Munich
      and was also active as a bookbinder and literary critic married M[argarethe] Pohl in 1924.
      He was youth friend of the painter Albert Weisgerber, the first husband of M. Pohl. "Deutsche
      Einbandkunst, 1918, and "Paul Kersten, the leader of German fine binding," 1925, were written by him."

      For purposes of my introduction this was the best I could find in 2008, and while I was curious to learn more and had lingering doubts, I did not dig deeper with any urgency. It turns out that Moessner was also a bit confused on some of the other details in his introduction, that like mine focused more on what Collin's work meant for the craft of bookbinding. While the Wolfskehl Correspondence raised many questions, the linkages were there in the form of the specific titles, no Pressbengel however.

      In late February, I was contacted by a Ruth Wiseman on the East Coast who is researching her genealogy, and believed she was related to Georg Collin (Ernst's father and the Hofbuchbinder/Courtbookbinder to the German Emperor) and Ernst Collin. She found my translation online (a benefit of "open access"). This intrigued me deeply and on many levels, and we have been actively corresponding ever since, 100+ emails since 2/20 with lots of shared resources. Given some other changes in my life related to work this was a very welcome diversion. So now, listening to the music of Kurt Weill that helped define the artistic life of Berlin between the wars, we will tell the story of two Ernsts. The video in my previous post frames this era visually.

      A starting point was Wolfskehl's correspondence that provided several names including his wife, Margarethe whose first husband was the painter Albert Weisgerber. Weisgerber fell in WWI (ironically serving in the same unit as a certain Corporal), and his work as a painter was later labeled degenerate. Since originally translating Collin's Pressbengel, the papers of an Ernst Collin[-Schönfeld] (According to inventory 1886?-1953, but birth year of 1882 in biographical sketch in collection and death year of 1954 on headstone) came online at the Center for Jewish History/Leo Baeck Institute in NYC showing an Ernst married to just this Margarethe Collin. According to a biography provided by Margarethe, this Ernst was born in Nordhausen; lost his father, a Fritz Schönfeld at a young age; and his mother remarried Adolf Collin, a businessman who adopted Ernst and his older brother Paul. No mention of a Georg Collin or bookbinding. There was also information on the page of a genealogist that even included a picture. Dates were wrong though, never mind the fact that none of the publications were familiar. If this was "our" Ernst, it showed him as having gotten out of Nazi Germany and having died in London.

      Naively, I had never thought of Collin as Jewish, "subversive," or degenerate, but the period in Germany between "The Wars" was very turbulent with civil war, hyper-inflation, depression... Moessner in his introduction had written that Collin was missing since 1933 (when the Nazis took power)... The book, Broken Glass, Broken Lives: A Jewish Girl's Survival Story in Berlin 1933-1945 written by Rita J. Kuhn, the mother of Ruth with whom I am corresponding, (and Georg Collin’s great-niece), provided a very good picture of the situation in Berlin during that period from the perspective of a child who survived it. Highly recommended reading on many levels, it also provided some good starting points for researching further. Anything could have happened to “our” Ernst.

      I had also recently read Anna Nyburg's, From Leipzig to London: The Life and Work of the Émigré Artist Hellmuth Weissenborn (New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press 2012. ISBN 9781584563143. 192 pages. $29.95), a book that was just reviewed for Bonefolder Extras. While focusing specifically on the illustrator Hellmuth Weissenborn it did a very good job describing the period leading up the takeover of the Nazis in Germany, the increasing spiral of anti-semitism, emigration, and life in the diaspora.

      After finding the obituary below for Ernst Collin in the April 1954 issue of the Association of Jewish Refugees Information I wrote to Professor Nyburg in London, this émigré community is her special area of interest and research, and I asked if she had any leads I could follow. That correspondence is still ongoing, but so far no leads. Another obituary written by Julius Bab, a German dramatist and theater critic, appeared in the Aufbau. Why would there not have been any mentions in the obituary of the prolific writings on bookbinding by Collin? Concurrently, my partner in this research was reaching out via the genealogy networks to peers in the UK and elsewhere, netting the gravesite below. Despite mounting evidence to the contrary they still believe that this is "our" Ernst.



      Ernst Collin's grave in London. From https://www.usintranet.org.uk/burial_system/web_images/
      ?plot_id=13064&download=1&filename=Ernst%20Collin.jpg


      Muddling the situation further was the catalog of the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek that showed 2 Ernst Collins (records 46/47 and 50), the writer of so many articles and a few monographs on bookbinding (with a birth year of 1886 but no death date). and a Collin-Schönfeld (1882-1953) with few known publications (just one if Bab is correct).

      Two Ernsts married to the same woman? So, who's who? What's the truth?

      Our "other" Ernst studied at universities, enrolling in many classes primarily in literature, but never testing/completing these to the annoyance of his step-father who worked in banking in Berlin. He wrote poems, and was known to have affections for men and women. At age 19 he showed series of poems to the publisher now known as Axel Juncker who published a selection under the title of "Lieder eines Knaben," "Songs  by/of a Boy." Julius Bab's obituary indicated that he only published one work, most likely this one. Ernst also associated himself with the "art scene" in Berlin and Munich. To become more independent he moved to Great Britain to teach at the Berlitz School, spent some time teaching for Berlitz in Constantinople, and returned to Germany to fight in WWI. He was initially in the Bavarian cavalry, but was was then transferred to an artillery unit because he was Jewish. There he served with distinction, was awarded the Iron Crosses 2nd and 1st class, and reached the rank of Captain. It is not clear when he married Margarethe Weisgerber. Following the war he found it hard to reestablish himself, losing much of his assets during the period of hyper-inflation, but finally finding employment as an archivist among other things with the Berlin banking firm of Dreyfus & Co., working there until its "aryanization" in 1939 when he emigrated to Great Britain to work as a secretary with the Dresdner Bank. When WWII broke out he, like all "enemy"/German émigrés, lost his position, and began a gradual decline until his death. [From Ernst Collin Collection, biographical info and writings, Center for Jewish History/Leo Baeck Institute.]

      This could not have been the Ernst Collin who wrote Der Pressbengel and other bookbinding related publications...



      Digging through my own research library that contains among other things the complete set of the Meister der Einband Kunst's (MDE) Jahrbuch der Einbankunst, several of Collin's other writings, the 1927 Allgemeiner Anzeiger für Buchbinderein, HathiTrust, Worldcat, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, Google...,  I began to develop a better picture of the extent of his publishing, the date range (well into the mid-1930s refuting Moessner's 1933 date), and became friends with our inter-library loan department requesting just about everything I could not find in my own library or online.

      I also wrote to the archives of the MDE in Münster, the Jewish Community of Berlin, and other bookbinders and bookbinding organizations in Germany, with but a very small number of helpful leads. In one case, the response was does it matter and why are you doing this...?

      The inventory for the archives of MDE is online and showed little, with the archivist making an effort - travel there is not really an option, though at some time I may engage a proxy researcher. However, Die Heftlade No. 1, 1922 did provide an address for Ernst Collin in Berlin. This was a journal produced by Collin for the Jakob-Krause-Bund, the precursor to MDE, and published by the same Euphorion Verlag as Der Pressbengel.



      An address! Wandering through the myriad of archives and other collections I discovered the address/telephone for Berlin online, searchable and browseable back to 1799. Below the entry for [Collin], Ernst from 1922 at Sachsenwaldstrasse 25 in Berlin-Steglitz, a mixed residential commercial district with little pre-war architecture left.


      A match! Note also the "Schriftsteller" following Ernst. This indicated profession/trade for many, and made it easier to distinguish between entries. "Our" Ernst lived here from 1922-23 as a Schriftsteller (writer), then 1924-28 as Redakteur (editor). Below the 1928 entry. Note that there is an Ernst described as a "bank beamt." above his listing.


      Directly above "Ernst Schriftstell" is an Ernst working at a bank.Our other Ernst?

      Meanwhile, Ruth had contacted the Jewish cemetery in  Berlin and located the grave of Georg Collin (10/22/1851 – 12/24/1918) whom we both believe to be the father of "our" Ernst. That W.  Collin was the father of Georg is established, but there was still no direct linkage between them and Ernst. Thanks to inter-library loan, I was able to read a number of articles written by Ernst and found the missing link in the 1925 article "Die deutsche Kunstbuchbinderei der Gegenwart," published in the Gutenberg Jahrbuch. A birth certificate for Ernst would still be desirable though.

      "Around the turn the turn of the century, the Berlin bindery of W. Collin (at that time on the direction
      of my father Georg Collin (Deceased in 1918), one of the best bookbinders of all time)
      worked with artists like Sütterlin, Eckmann, Christiansen..." [Pg. 79)

      "I'd also like to refer to the Pressbengel, my book that was published by
      the Euphorion Verlag, and attempts to bring together traditional craft bookbinding
      with the expectations of bibliophiles. My book about Paul Kersten, a festschrift in honor of
      his 60th birthday, and the first biography of a bookbinder, was recently published for the
      Jakob Krause Bund, of which Kersten was honorary president,
      by my Corvinus-Antiquariat, Berlin Steglitz." [Pg.81]

      Whether Ernst was also trained as a bookbinder is uncertain at this time, but what is known is that he was an antiquarian bookseller and publisher, doing business as the Corvinus-Antiquariat Ernst Collin Gmbh (Inc) at Mommsenstrasse 27 in Berlin Charlottenburg, a rather nice district. The listing below is from 1925, the same year as the article above.



      In 1929, Collin moved to  Cicerostrasse 61 in Berlin Wilmersdorf where he lived into 1939, first from 1929-32 as Redakteur, then again from 1933-39 as Schriftsteller. Listing below from 1929.

      Directly above "Ernst Schriftstell" the other Ernst still working at a bank.


      Wilmersdorf was a fashionable area, and Cicerostrasse a beautiful apartment block designed and built by the architect Erich Mendelsohn between 1927-31. Mendelsohn was on the cutting edge of architecture at the time, also designing the Einstein Tower, an observatory in Potsdam near Berlin. Ernst was doing quite well for himself. Note, however, the "demotion" from editor to write in 1933. This would have been a result of the Schriftleitergesetz of October 4, 1933 that removed non-Aryans (Jews) from editorial positions, one of the early steps to isolate and marginalize in the Nuremberg Laws. These also forbade contacts between  the groups and made it increasingly difficult for the two groups to interact on any levels and for either Ernst to work. MDE decided to disband in 1937 because according to the MDE archive site it did not want to bow to the laws, laws that would have had an impact on some members and friends of the group such as Martin Breslauer, the famous bibliophile and antiquarian.

      The last listing for Ernst from 1939.


      After 1939 no more addresses or listings could be found for him. The Nuremberg Laws forbade Jews to live in the same buildings as Aryans (non-Jewish Germans), those that owned property had to sell it at staggering losses, and move to mini-ghettos that could be as small as an apartment house, so-called Judenhäuser, that were often over-filled. The impact of these laws on a personal level is well described in Broken Glass, Broken Lives, and a recent article in the New York Times entitled "The Holocaust just got more shocking." Ernst would probably have been relocated to one of these...

      Putting together these different pieces I took the step of going to Yad Vashem, to the Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names where I found an Ernst Collin. His name is linked to both the List of murdered Jews from Germany (known as the Memorial Book/Gedenkbuch) and List of deportations from Berlin with links to the sources of that information.  Below are the search results for Collin, Ernst. The birth date matches that provided by Moessner in his introduction, the one biographical fact he had right.


      From Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nazionalsozialismus, Freie Universitaet Berlin,
      Zentralinstitut fuer sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, Edition Hentrich, Berlin 1995. Note that the
      print version also included the street address of Cicerostr. 61 we saw in the Adressbuch above...

      While there are still loose ends to wrap up, we both believe we have sorted out the Ernsts, and given both back their own identities. Questions as to Ernst's professional activities, i.e. did he apprentice as a bookbinder or as an antiquarian, did he study...? What was his family/marital status. Some details may be still be uncovered, some lost in the mists of a turbulent time.

      Subsequent posts here will describe the father and grandfather of Ernst, the Court Bookbinders W. Collin and Georg Collin, followed by an expanded bibliography of Ernst's writings.

      A new edition of my translation of Collin's Der Pressbengel (The Bone Folder) will also appear in time and incorporate some this new information.