ISIDOR – A Jewish life

Reading and discussion with Shelly Kupferberg


Isidor – A Jewish life

In cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Rudolf von Bennigsen Foundation, Villa Seligmann cordially invites you to a reading and discussion with the author Shelly Kupferberg.

Isidor – A Jewish Life Dr. Isidor Geller has made it: he is a commercial councillor, advisor to the Austrian state, multi-millionaire, opera lover and art collector and, after two failed marriages, lover of a beautiful singer. He has come a long way from the poorest, most remote corner of Galicia, from the shtetl to the upper echelons of Vienna. Isidor is convinced that no one can touch him. And certainly not these vulgar National Socialists.

“What kind of art hung in my great-granduncle’s magnificent Viennese home? My research began with this question and led to a completely different question: What remains of a person when nothing remains of them?” Using family letters and photos, old documents and archive finds, Shelly Kupferberg traces the contours of an astonishing career, a rapid rise in society. Great-uncle Isidor was a dazzling figure, a doer and a bon vivant who loved luxury, art and especially opera. In her search for clues, which takes her from Eastern Galicia to Vienna, from Budapest to Hollywood and Tel Aviv, Shelly Kupferberg comes across countless stories: exciting, astonishing, comical and always tragic. The story of Isidor and his family – a touching book about the fate of a Jewish family.

Eliah Sakakushev-von Bismarck (Managing Director of Villa Seligmann) will moderate the event.

Admission is free. Registration via the Friedrich Naumann Foundation website is required. If the security situation requires it, there may be security and bag checks at the entrance.

Information on visiting the exhibition: The reading takes place as a supporting event of the exhibition “Your Anne. A girl makes history.” which took place in the Villa Seligmann from 07.02. will be shown until 07.03.2024. The opportunity to view the exhibition before the start of the event from 6-7 p.m. is exclusively for participants of the subsequent reading.


Shelly Kupferberg

born in Tel Aviv in 1974, grew up in West Berlin and studied journalism, theater and musicology. She is a journalist and presents various programs on culture and society for “Deutschlandfunk Kultur” and “RBB Kultur”. Shelly Kupferberg lives with her family in Berlin.


6:00 pm
Individual visit to the exhibition “Deine Anne. A girl writes history” (Exclusively for participants of the reading, binding registration required)

7:00 p.m.
Eliah Sakakushev-von Bismarck (Managing Director, Villa Seligmann)
Knut Gerschau MdB (Chairman of the Society of Friends of the Rudolf von Bennigsen Foundation)

Reading and discussion with Shelly Kupferberg: ISIDOR – A Jewish Life
Musical accompaniment: Nicolae Gutu (accordion)

8:30 pm
End of the event