Marcus Weisberg or Weissberger or Veiszberger… (d. 1880)

Some people ask me about my last name. “Hey Aharon, where does your last name come from?” etc. It’s a question I’ve long wanted to know myself. I know Varady is a common Hungarian last name and I knew that it was probably something else before it became Varady (or Varadi as some living relatives still spell it). . . . → Continue reading: Marcus Weisberg or Weissberger or Veiszberger… (d. 1880)

Reszi Sunshine (1885-1970)

1913, Regina and Coleman

I look for them in the past and I find their remains, enough to resemble a person, even someone whose passions I can identify more than vaguely with my imagination. Again, I have this feeling that the historical researcher is more than part necromancer. Not only do we create . . . → Continue reading: Reszi Sunshine (1885-1970)

On Frida Kahlo’s Jewish Identity

Frida Kahlo’s genealogy, at least on her father’s side, was finally established by historical researchers Gaby Franger and Rainer Huhle for their book on Guillermo Kahlo’s photographic work, >Fridas Vater: Der Fotograf Guillermo Kahlo (2005). The historians learned that Guillermo Kahlo was the scion of a long line of German Lutheran Protestants. Left uncertain was whether Frida’s Jewish ancestry was 1) via her paternal grandmother, Henriette Kaufmann, 2) via crypto-Jewish roots on her mother’s Spanish-Mexican side, or 3) a complete fiction. Personally, I’ll take Frida at her word. As cruel as it seems to me for an art exhiition curator to ignore Frida’s Jewish identity, it seems even more obnoxious to question it. I imagine that Henriette Kaufmann’s family was Jewish and hailed from Arad, not very distant from my own ancestral roots in Nagyvárad, Transylvania. . . . → Continue reading: On Frida Kahlo’s Jewish Identity