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ViewMate Posting VM 15514

Submitted by Marc Robert Piel

Information Picture Question
Category: Interpretation
Approval Date: 6/20/2010 5:00 PM
Family Surname: Friedlander
Country: Austria
Town: Wein
Date of Image: Before WWII
Click the picture to enlarge

I found this image in family album.
No other info.
Can someone tell me what the scene represents and how I can use it to research further information on the scene and the people in it.
The man on the right is my grandfather.

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On  Response 
6/6/2010 11:29 AM The robes and medals look like academic regalia. Have you tried blowing up the medals? Maybe a closer look at their actual shape would give a clue.
6/8/2010 9:43 AM Hello,

If you can tell me the name of your grandfather, I might be able to figure out what is going on in this photograph for you.

Sincerely,

Michael Simonson
Archivist
Leo Baeck Institute
6/15/2010 11:31 PM This is a very interesting photo, indeed, and it begs the question: what's a nice Jewish boy like your grandfather doing with a group like this? The photo appears to have been taken in a public room someplace, perhaps academic or perhaps religious.

Note the cardinal standing next to your grandfather, and the man next to him who might also be religious (note the collar lacking white) A monastic? Pity we can't see the back of his hair.

The large cabinet has small crossed carved in the decoration, so I wonder if this might have been taken in a Catholic setting. (Or, perhaps I'm wrong, and it's just the style of carving.)

It is interesting that everyone but your grandfather and the gentleman on the far left, is wearing a medallion. Two have pentagrams as their predominant element, one is different. I searched through military decoration web sites, and could not place the awards. This suggests that they might be academic orders.

I'm sorry that I don't have answers for you, but I hope that I might at least have given you some ideas for further research.
6/21/2010 1:19 AM I think it's likely that these are Freemasons. I'm pretty sure that I recognize the symbol that's on the pendant hanging at the waist of figure on the left.
6/21/2010 1:46 AM Marcīs grandfather also has a white ribbon around his neck with a medallion hanging at the bottom. Iīm not sure if his medallion is like the others, but probably it is. The pictures that are hanging on the wall do not show religeous characters, and I donīt see any sign in the decoration of the room that would have a religeous meaning.
Eliana Aizim - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
6/25/2010 4:00 PM It appears this picture is early in the 20th century. If you could find pictures of Austrian cardinals of that period perhaps you could identify this cardinal which would give you a clue. Try Google images.

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