Samuel von Fischer

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Samuel von Fischer
Gravesite in Weißensee Cemetery

Samuel Fischer, later Samuel von Fischer (24 December 1859 – 15 October 1934), was a Hungarian-born German publisher, the founder of S. Fischer Verlag.


Fischer was born in Liptau-Sankt-Nikolaus/Liptószentmiklós (now Liptovský Mikuláš), northern Hungary. After training as a bookseller in Vienna; Fisher moved to Berlin where he joined the bookseller and publisher Hugo Steinitz. Fischer took on increasing responsibility for new publishing endeavours and launched his own firm in 1886, the S. Fischer Verlag.

The Fischer publishing house first became known by introducing the works of Ibsen to German stages and by supporting the naturalist circle in Berlin. Samuel Fischer founded the theatre society Freie Bühne with Otto Brahm to avoid censorship.

Art collector[edit]

Fischer collected artworks, including Pissarro's La Quai Malaquai, Printemps,[1] Cézanne's Still Life with Commode,[2] Max Liebermann's Two Riders on the Beach to the left [3] and El Greco's "Veil of Veronica".

Nazi persecution[edit]

When the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, Fischer and his family were persecuted because of their Jewish heritage. The S. Fischer Verlag was "Aryanized", that is, transferred to non-Jews.[4]

Fischer died in Berlin, Germany in 1934. He was survived by his wife Hedwig, and his children. His granddaughter was the actress Gisela Fischer. Restitution claims for property seized by the Nazis or lost through forced or duress sales were filed by his heirs.[5]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Nazi Art Theft: Pissarro's "Le Quai Malaquais, Printemps"". Retrieved 2023-10-25. The tale of the recovered Pissarro begins with Samuel Fischer, a prolific art collector and founder of the renowned German publishing house S. Fischer Verlag – which counted Thomas Mann and Herman Hesse among its most famous authors – who purchased the painting in 1907.
  2. ^ Harvard. "Still Life with Commode | Harvard Art Museums". Retrieved 2023-10-25.
  3. ^ ONLINE, RP (2015-07-02). "Düsseldorf: Zweite Version der Reiter am Strand". RP ONLINE (in German). Retrieved 2023-10-25.
  4. ^ "Glücksstunde oder nationalsozialistisches Kalkül? : Die "Arisierung" des S. Fischer Verlages 1935-1937 | Article RAMBI990002258300705171 | The National Library of Israel". Retrieved 2023-10-25.
  5. ^ "Pissarro Lost and Found". Retrieved 2023-10-25.

External links[edit]