Theodore Kerners after 20 years.

Theodore Kerner after 20 years.

Theodore Kerners after 20 years.

1935 - 1945

Almost 20 years later, at the age of 69, Kerner would once again make models for the Rosenthal factory, this time as a freelance employee. Starting in 1953, the sculptor made 28 models for them and, if we count all the works in general for the factory, their number would exceed 100.

Allach store in Warsaw, Hotel Europa.Allach store in Warsaw, Hotel Europa.Allach store in Lviv, June 1942.Allach store in Lviv, June 1942.

The next chapter in Theodor Kerner's biography could be called Porzellan Manufaktur Allach. In any case, that was the original name of a small factory in the suburbs of Munich. Allach—Untermenzing, one of the oldest communities in Germany, was incorporated into Munich in 1938. The porcelain factory, now known as SS Porzellan Manufaktur Allach, was preceded by a private enterprise founded by Franz Nagy, Karl Diebitsch, and Theodor Kerner. This is well documented in the biography of Franz Nagy, one of the founders of the factory, and in the material "History of Origin and Ideology". The subsequent acquisition of the factory by the SS apparatus and its transfer under the control of the Main Administrative and Economic Office of the SS occurred in 1936, and the initiator of the process was likely Karl Diebitsch, a trusted person and personal friend of Heinrich Himmler. The formerly private factory became a limited liability company (GmbH). As a result, the house and land plot previously owned by Franz Nagy also became the property of the factory, so to speak.

By 1939, the factory had expanded and "divided" - the porcelain department was located on the grounds of the SS camp in Dachau, while the ceramic department remained in Munich-Allach; Franz Nagy worked there as both a sculptor and a specialist in technology. Both Allach factories in Allah and Dachau were located near train stations. This was important because the necessary raw material for porcelain production, kaolin (white clay), was delivered by rail. The kaolin used exclusively by the Allach manufactory was supplied from deposits in Zettlitz (Sedlec) near Karlsbad. In 1937, the first exhibition space of the factory opened in Berlin. Other exhibition halls were opened at the beginning of the war in Poznan, Warsaw, and Lviv. Interestingly, Munich did not have a single exhibition hall or sales office for the factory. To be honest, even compared to the Nymphenburg factory, the volumes of artistic porcelain and ceramic items produced at Allach were so small that the factory was practically unknown to the general population. Plus, another important factor influencing the "popularity of the brand" was that Allach products were never supplied to "ordinary" porcelain stores.

Allach shop in Warsaw, hotel 'European', photo Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Poland
Allach shop in Warsaw, hotel "European", photo Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Poland
Allach shop in Warsaw, hotel 'European', photo Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Poland
Allach shop in Warsaw, hotel "European", photo Narodowe Archiwum Cyfrowe, Poland
I will take the liberty to suggest (until there are no documents confirming otherwise) that Kerners's appearance as the chief sculptor of Allach is directly related to his model of the SS officer mounted figure, released in late 1934 at the Rosenthal factory under number 1549, and then becoming the first in the range of Allach manufactures. In the literature dedicated to the factory, there is mention of negotiations with Rosenthal about mass production special orders for Himmler with the involvement of the factory's sculptors, but they were unsuccessful. There is only one model that actually indicates that such negotiations did take place. The sculpture of the SS officer mounted figure was the last in the series of Rosenthal figurines produced in 1934, and just a few months later, the Allach factory started operating, and this figure appeared as number "0" in its price list. It is possible that it was this figure that served as a "trial exam" for Kerner and, in general, for the future factory. It is also not a coincidence that almost all the sculptors who were involved in the "Allach project" had previously worked at the Rosenthal factory. Theodor Kerner, not being a permanent employee of Rosenthal and, therefore, not bound by contractual obligations to the factory, could easily accept the offer to head the new porcelain factory, especially since he did not previously hold such a significant position. Kerner is 51 years old; at the Allach factory, he is both the chief sculptor and the artistic director - complete freedom for creativity and, importantly, practically without too tight deadlines for work on models, at least in the first years of the factory's existence, the main result. Here is a simple example: two very similar models - a sitting dachshund puppy. And again, not by chance, but probably out of a desire to bring the work to a perfect example, Kerner based his own "Rosenthal" model on it.In 1933 (number 1247), he made a new sculpture for the Allach factory (model number 2). Undoubtedly, the Rosenthal dachshund is good in everything, but the Allach dachshund is simply magnificent.

Left - Dachshund puppy No. 2 [ALLACH]; Right - Dachshund puppy No. 1247 [ROSENTHAL]
Left - Dachshund puppy No. 2 [ALLACH]; Right - Dachshund puppy No. 1247 [ROSENTHAL]

Here are some of the most famous sculptures by Theodor Kern, produced by the factory in its early years.

Beggar Bear, model No. 5, AllachFighting Bears, model No. 6, AllachGerman Shepherd, model No. 76, AllachFawn, model No. 41, AllachBear with Ball, model No. 9, AllachLying Bear, model No. 8, AllachDeer, model No. 20, Allach

Except for items that were produced as state gifts or city orders, the factory's products could be purchased very cheaply in specially equipped exhibition spaces. Allach porcelain was clearly the cheapest of everything produced in Germany at that time. An example of this not being an empty statement is the following. In 1914, TheoDor Kernner created the model of a lying fox (number 481) for the Nymphenburg factory. This is, without a doubt, one of the best sculptures he created for them. According to the price list, the figure cost 21 gold marks in white and 42 gold marks in color. A similar model can be found in the Allach price list (number 79), which cost 3.92 reichsmarks in white and 6.25 reichsmarks in color - this was the price with the minimum monthly salary of a skilled worker at 150 reichsmarks and an average doctor at 500 reichsmarks in 1938. When reviewing the models of Porzellan-Manufaktur Allach-München GmbH, it is noticeable that, for example, candlesticks, figures in national costumes, soldiers, or Moorish dancers - were released as a series by one of the sculptors of the factory. Alongside numerous animal figures, horse figures have been a recurring theme throughout Kerner's work. In the factory's monthly planning report for December 1941, there is a record that "Professor Kernner is working to complete a series of horseback riders; Förster is working on a series of infantrymen." Here is what the monthly magazine "Münchner Mosaik" wrote about Kernner in 1938: "When it comes to historical groups, he (Kärner) thoroughly studies costumes and historical sources related to the subject, makes pencil sketches, and then models the horse and rider with a firm hand. They are his favorites."Del №17, Allach"> Seydlitz-Kürassier, model №17, AllachSeydlitz-Kürassier 1760, engraving 1913Seydlitz-Kürassier 1760, engraving 1913

Hussar of the Guards, model № 93, AllachHussar of the Guards, model № 93, AllachDragoon, model № 97, AllachDragoon, model № 97, Allach

From 1936 until the beginning of the war in 1939, Kern designed over 43 models for PMA. Among them were "Seydlitz-Kürassier" (Seydlitz-Kürassier, model № 17), "Officer of the Guards Hussar" (model № 29), "Amazon" (model № 82), "Hussar of the Guards" (model № 93), and also "Friedrich the Great" (model № 94). I would like to note that in the "Preliminary price list and model catalog" (Price lists "A" and "B"), as well as in the "Price list II", model number 29 was mistakenly attributed to Franz Nadya. The error was later corrected in the 1938/39 catalog, which was probably checked more critically and in more detail than the hectographic lists, partially typed with a typewriter. In the same catalog, "Amazon" is also mentioned in the row of three figures sonderanfertigungen (individually designed) together with "Athena" and "Munich Child", as an honorary gift in the equestrian sport competition "Braune Band". After the competition, the figure was produced for sale.

Amazon, model No. 82, AllachAmazon, model No. 82, AllachGuard Hussar Officer, model No. 29, Allach

Guard Hussar Officer, model No. 29, Allach

If we dwell in more detail on orders from the municipal authorities for the production of figures, then in this regard it is necessary to note Kerner's letter to the director of the Department of Culture of the City of Munich Reinhard, in which he writes: "Returning to our recent conversation, I would like to inform you that, unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to finish the Hussar model on time, as I am overloaded with various urgent work." The letter refers to the model of the "Hussar of the Guard", number 93. Perhaps there was an oral agreement on the timing between Kerner and Reinhard. May 20 In 1938, Kärner wrote to the chief burgomaster of the city of Munich: " Currently, the model is in plasticine in my studio. It will have to be cast in plaster, which will take quite a long time." Finally, on September 21, 1938, the figure was completed. It took quite a considerable time until it was mass-produced by the factory. The figure was not included in the catalog of 38/39, but the "Hussar of the Guard" in the appendix to the report on the state of affairs by December 31 , 1939 is indicated as executed in the number of 21 models in white and in 8 color models. Before the war , the Allach factory was model number 94 "Frederick the Great" ("Old Fritz") was released in 32 white and 4 color copies, as well as model number 97 "Dragoon" in 13 white and 2 color copies.

Theodor Kerner is working on the model Ziethen-Husar 1765
Theodor Kerner is working on the model "Ziethen-Husar" 1765
Ziethen-Husar 1765, AllachZiethen-Husar 1765, AllachMalachowski Husar, Allach

Malachowski Husar, Allach

During the war, the factory produced: model number 115 "Zieten-Husar 1756", model number 121 "Malachowski Husar", as well as model number 163 "Gendarme riding on horses", which was also designated as "Police Gendarmerie", the image of which is still missing. "Zieten-Husar 1756", as well as the still unconfirmed "Panduhr" are designated by Kerner in the monthly report for December 1941 as "under planning". Managing PMA Dachau Rudolf Dippe (Rudolf Dippe) on December 20, 1943 reported to the personal headquarters of the Reichsfuhrer SS: "As another special The model "Gendarmerie Officer" was created for the Reichsfuhrer-SS . Model according to the letter of Lieutenant Colonel CC Doctor Brandt from 30.11.(1943)...completed. We ask you to give us an order for this model." Three months later, on March 3, 1944, Dipp writes the following: "As for equestrian sculptures, unfortunately, the production situation at the beginning of this year was catastrophic. The only specialist still available is seriously ill and is unlikely to be able to appear on factory more than once a month." On March 24, 1944, Dipp wrote to Fraulein Lorenz, the adjutant of the Reichsfuhrer-SS, who was responsible for the gift fund: "Unfortunately, the sculpture of the horseman, as previously announced, is canceled, since the only specialist who can be entrusted with this work has fallen ill and probably won't be able to work until the middle of this year." April 17 , 1944 Rudolf Dipp reports to the personal headquarters of the Reichsfuhrer SS: "After several orders for horsemen figures have been received from the SS Reichsfuhrer recently , we would like to draw your attention to attention once again to the fact that at the moment the production of riders is impossible. The only specialist who can perform these complex tasks has been ill for quite a long time; probably only in in June or July, if his health allows, he will be able to start work. Other workers who are taken into account when such work is carried out are called to the front; meanwhile, one specialist has died. So we we would like to ask you to inform the Reichsfuhrer that only a small stock of figures is available, which should be enough until the end of August. Attached below is a list of equestrian sculptures available in stock.

  • In color:
  • 2 Seydlitz-Kurassier,
  • 2 Frederick the Great,
  • 1 Hussar of the Guard,
  • 1 Hussar Zieten,
  • 4 Hussars Malachowski,
  • 1 Dragoon,
  • 3 SS Riders.
  • White:
  • 4 Hussars of the Guard,
  • 1 Hussar Malachowski,
  • 3 Police gendarmerie,
  • 4 Riders SS.".

The Catholic situation in the 1944-45 production at the factory helped attract prisoners of the Dachau concentration camp to work, and saved some prisoners' lives. The prisoner of the concentration camp, Hans Landauer recalls: "After the death of Adolf Sauer, the chief designer of the manufactory, masterline recommended me to work on the figures "Stryjgrich", "Hussar Zieten" and "Pandur". For these shapes that they consist of several dozen separate parts, it was also necessary to add handmade reins and stirrups, which were made from a mixture of gum arabic with porcelain mass .... Thanks to my work, I was needed for the porcelain factory. Moreover, Master Gain fell ill with pneumonia and also died suddenly." Hans Landauer further writes: "When I was already making horsemen, he (Professor Kerner) came one day with Josef Torak and I told him that I had recently finished the figure of the "Old Fritz".

Frederick the Great (Old Fritz) mod. No. 94, Allach
Frederick the Great (Old Fritz) mod. No. 94, Allach

As the artistic director of the manufactory, Theodor Kerner managed to assemble a "wonderful team" of high-class sculptors from freelance employees . Among them are Wilhelm Neuhauser and Karl Himmelstoss, Professor Wilhelm Krieger, Ottomar Obermayer and Professor Willy Zugel. All of them knew Kerner from work either at Nymphenburg or at the Rosenthal factory. If you trust the rumors about the exclusively Nazi ideology of the factory, which have been spreading for a long time about porcelain Allach, it would be possible to defame all the mentioned artists only because they worked at the factory for several years. It is also necessary to comprehend the fact that Theodor Kerner, an absolutely non -political artist, was arrested by the occupation authorities in 1945 and placed in the Moosburg internment camp, a political prison in which he spent two years. Theodore Kerner was in a rather low rank SS-Hauptsturmführers (Haupt-sturmführer = captain). On November 9, 1936, he received, or rather accepted it because he could not refuse without certain consequences for himself. For comparison, imagine for a second such an analogue from the recent past of our country – can, for example, a factory director not be a member of the CPSU?

And given the "guilt complex" persistently instilled in the Germans after 1945, that is why his name is not mentioned among the outstanding sculptors of Germany. The same thing happened until recently with the aforementioned freelance sculptors of the Allach factory. There was even such a stereotype "worked for Allach = served in the SS". But here 's what's interesting and it's downright bizarre, if you remember that immediately after the end of the war in the field of trade works of art in the USA and England, the works of the politically outlawed artist Theodor Kerner in Germany reached unusually high prices, by no means such as were once established in Allach.

Not to mention today's prices for factory products (but this is from "another opera".) Works of art have always been highly valued and I, as far as possible, in all materials and studies , try not to give them any political assessments, but I cannot pass by double morality.

After being released from Camp Kerner was in 1947 – 1953 the head of the art department of the Eduard Haberlander porcelain factory (Porzellanfabrik Eduard Haberländer), then Oscar Schaller (Oscar Schaller & amp; Co) and his branch – the porcelain factory in Windischeschenbach. In January 1950, a report appeared in the magazine Schaulade that part of the collection "of the former Allach porcelain factory, received from this company, was re-released at the Eschenbach factory." Models were produced at the Oskar Schaller porcelain factory in Windischesenbach riders in the forms of PMA – "Amazon", (model number K 43 for Eschenbach), as well as Frederick the Great (model number K 100 for Eschenbach). The letter "K" indicates the art department, not Kerner. Also, the models of other employees of Allach, for example, Franz Nagy, produced after the war by this plant have the letter "K" in the number.

It must have been a great satisfaction for the aging sculptor to see most of his models back in production. A richly illustrated special catalog was published in his honor at the Eschenbach factory. Together with a large the artist's photo, in which he is depicted working on a model, has a preface: "Professor Theodor Kerner... enjoys a reputation as one of the best porcelain artists of our time." Since 1953, Kerner again collaborated with the Rosenthal plant as a freelance employee. A few years before his death, he, in close collaboration with his cousin, the engraver Karl Neidhardt, worked on a series of 12 decorative "animal-themed" wall plates made in steel engraving and porcelain. Kerner was drawing and sketching all the time future paintings and sculptures. In my collection there are some wonderful pencil drawings from 1961-62, when the master was under 80. His gaze was just as sharp and his hand was still firm.

Theodore Kerner died on September 6, 1966, at the age of 82.

As an afterword, I would like to highlight one important point – the models produced at the Allach manufactory were the property of artists. Karl Mummentey, head of the department of the SS General Administrative and Economic Department, wrote to his boss Oswald Pohl: "Most artists have signed a contract, after which they receive a fee for using their models in the amount of 15% of their value and sale ........ Colonel Wartenberg is negotiating with Professor Kerner and a fester about buying them models. Both refused to sell their PMA models and state that they insist on keeping the contract."

Porcelain production at the Allach factory continued until 1945. Albert Noll in the book "Die Porzellanmanufaktur München-Allach. Das Lieblingskind von Heinrich Himmler" writes the following: "During the last days of the war, all porcelain products, ceramics and molds allegedly had to be buried near the enterprise. None of this has been found until today." Dachau camp was liberated by the 42nd Division of the US Army on April 29, 1945 years. That was the end of the history of the Allach porcelain manufactory.

Judging by the large number of items of the Allach manufactory that settled in the United States and appear with constant frequency at American auctions, as well as put up for sale from "individual citizens", most likely officers and employees of the 42 division found them abandoned in the production premises or in the warehouses of the factory. And then they took him home as souvenirs and war trophies. It was also a difficult story with Theodore Kerner's models. According to Gustl Ullrich, Kerner's niece, he is in At the end of the war, he handed over his own forms for safekeeping to his friend, the artist Franz Xaver Stahl. These forms were then used Kerner in Eschenbach after his release from the Moosburg camp.

Of course, this study does not cover all of Kerner's models made by him at the Allach factory. Even now, decades after the closure of the porcelain manufactory, there are items that are not described in reference books and catalogs and in general in special literature. Such findings should be the subject of further research. Among them, for example, porcelain chess pieces. It is possible that this is also someone's special order. However, these are questions that currently have no answer.

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