The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

November 17, 2011

Nov. 17 1946

Baron Max von Oppenheim  (July 15, 1860, to November 17, 1946) was a member of the German diplomatic corps in Cairo, and so could satisfy his interest in travel and history.  An amateur archeologist he accumulated artifacts from ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and Syria). Oppenheim served his country on several levels--as early as 1898 he outlined to the Kaiser the advantages of manipulating an Islamist identity to destabilize their perceived rivals, by, for instance, instigating Moslem rebellion in British India, in French North Africa, and Russian Asia. This information is outlined in the book  Islam in inter-war Europe, written by Nathalie Clayer, and Eric Germain. (2008).
Oppenheim's  collection of 3,000 year old art,  was shattered, destroyed-- in November, 1943, by an incendiary bomb. Because Oppenheim's collection was in private hands it was not protected along with other German treasures, during the war. Oppenheim envisaged the damage being repaired, and by 2010, 30 sculpture and relief panels were restored, though not to their original state. The restored statuary includes a sphinx.

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