Abraham Icek Tuschinski

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Abraham Icek Tuschinski (Polish spelling: Tuszyński) (Brzeziny (near Łódź), May 14, 1886 – Auschwitz, September 17, 1942) was a Dutch businessman of Jewish Polish descent who ordered the construction of the Tuschinski Theater, a famed cinema in Amsterdam.

While emigrating to the United States in 1903 Tuschinski decided to remain in Rotterdam during his stopover there. He found success as a movie theatre owner, opening his first four cinemas in 1911: the Thalia, Cinema Royal, Scala and Olympia. His most luxurious cinema in Rotterdam, the Grand Theater, opened in 1928.

His crowning achievement, the Tuschinski Theater, opened its doors in Amsterdam on October 28, 1921. The theater had an audience capacity of 1620, which made it the largest Dutch cinema at the time. The unique design of this building was a mix of three modern styles: Amsterdamse School, Art Deco and Jugendstil. The elaborate exterior and opulent, richly decorated interior were restored to their former glory in 1998-2002. Tuschinski also opened another famed Amsterdam cinema, the Roxy Theater, in 1928.

When World War II broke out, Tuschinski lost all his cinemas in Rotterdam when the city was bombed by the Germans on May 14, 1940 (see Rotterdam Blitz). On July 1, 1942, he was transported to the Westerbork concentration camp in the northeast of the Netherlands, and from there to Auschwitz, where he was murdered.