Uriel Birnbaum

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Portrait of Uriel Birnbaum taken in 1947
Uriel Birnbaum, 1947

Uriel Birnbaum (November 13, 1894, in Vienna − December 9, 1956, in Amersfoort, Netherlands) was an Austrian painter, caricaturist, writer and poet.


Birnbaum was the youngest son of Nathan Birnbaum, a Jewish philosopher, and Rosa Korngut. Reportedly, his art education consisted of only one month at a Berlin art school in 1913.[1] He served in the Austro-Hungarian Common Army during World War I as a lieutenant in the k.u.k. Feldjäger Battalion No. 17,[2] and was severely injured during the Eleventh Battle of the Isonzo[3][4] where he completely lost one foot, and "shattered" the other;[3] he was confined to a wheelchair thereafter.

He illustrated a number of books, including works of Edgar Allan Poe, Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass (Alice im Spiegelglass, Vienna, 1923), and his own Weltuntergang[5] (1921).

Birnbaum survived the Nazi period at first due to the special status conferred to him by his non-Jewish wife (the Nazi concept of geschützte Mischehe, "protected mix-race marriage"; German article here), and then by going into hiding from 1943 until the end of the war in 1945.


  1. ^ Timothy O. Benson et al., Expressionist Utopias, Berkeley, University of California Press, 2001; p. 193.
  2. ^ "AT-OeStA/KA NL 1078 (B,C) 1078 (B,C) BIRNBAUM, Uriel, 1894.11.13-1956.12.09 (Bestand)". www.archivinformationssystem.at. Retrieved 2023-11-27.
  3. ^ a b Weixlgärtner, Arpad. "Der Maler-Dichter Uriel Birnbaum". Heidelberg University Library. Die Graphischen Künste #50, 1927.
  4. ^ Birnbaum, Uriel. "In der Kaverne - Isonzo Front".
  5. ^ "The End of the World."