Artist and Zionist
1. Hermann Struck was born Chaim Aaron ben David to an Orthodox Jewish family in Berlin in March 1876.
2. He attended the Berlin Academy of Fine Arts, completing his studies in 1899. However, despite his artistic excellence, he was not permitted to teach there, because he was Jewish. Was it as a protest against such treatment that he signed his works with his Hebrew name and a Magen David?
3. In 1904, he joined the Berlin Secession – the modern art movement that had been formed in 1898 as an alternative to the state-run Association of Berlin Artists. He became an artist of world renown, known for his landscapes and portraits, completing commissions for such figures as Ibsen, Nietzsche, Freud, Einstein, Herzl and Oscar Wilde.
5. He was an ardent Zionist. He displayed his artworks at the Fifth Zionist Congress in 1901, and he was a founder of the Mizrachi religious Zionist movement (1902). He visited Palestine for the first time in 1903.
6. During World War I, he served in the German Army as a translator, liaison officer and military artist. He received an Iron Cross class I for bravery and was made an officer. The year 1917 found him on the eastern front serving the German Eastern Front High Command with regard to Jewish affairs. He made aliyah in 1922, settling in Haifa, where he fostered the cultural and artistic life of the city.
7. He taught at the Bezalel Academy and helped establish the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
8. He died in Haifa in January 1944.
9. In 2013, the Hermann Struck Museum (formerly the Struck House) opened in Haifa in the house where Struck lived at 23 Arlosorov Street.
In Tel Aviv, you’ll find Struck Street just east of Ibn Gavirol in the section of artist streets north of Rabin Square.