Skip to content

Straus-Ernst, Luise

    Full Name: Straus-Ernst, Luise

    Gender: female

    Date Born: unknown

    Date Died: unknown

    Place Born: Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

    Place Died: Auschwitz, Silesian Voivodeship, Poland

    Home Country/ies: Germany

    Subject Area(s): Modern (style or period)


    Straus was born to a middle-class Jewish family. She married Max Ernst in 1918. Her husband soon began an affair with Gala Eluard (who later married Salvador Dali). The couple divorced and she continued with her art history career, caring as well for their son. The ascension of the Nazis to Germany in 1933 caused Straus to flee to Paris where she remained and later had a comfortable life in the countryside. She sent her son to London in 1938. After France’s fall to the Nazis in 1940 Jews were again being arrested there. Straus attempted to leave France herself. In 1943, after 2 years of moving from Paris and the South of France to Drancy, under increasing threat and aware that she was watched, Luise Straus-Ernst was finally captured. In June 1944 she was deported on the next-to-last train to Auschwitz where she was executed.


    • Straus-Ernst, Louise. Richter, Marilyn and Marietta Schmitz-Esser, trans. The First Wife’s Tale: a Memoir by Louise Straus-Ernst, Art historian, Critic, Journalist, Intimate of Europe’s Avant-garde Artists in the 1920s and 30s. New York: Midmarch Arts Press, 2004.


    • Personal diary, written from 1941-1942.

    Contributors: Lee Sorensen


    Lee Sorensen. "Straus-Ernst, Luise." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

    More Resources

    Search for materials by & about this art historian: