Paula Jordan (illustrator)

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Paula Jordan (born March 15, 1896 in Strasbourg , † August 18, 1986 in Stuttgart ) was a German book illustrator , author and painter .


Schwibbogen based on the motif designed by Paula Jordan in 1937

The daughter of a Catholic painter from Strasbourg and an originally Evangelical-Lutheran mother who had converted to Catholicism, transferred to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church as an adult. She studied at the Academy for Graphic Arts and Book Trade in Leipzig , where she worked as a freelancer from 1922 to 1952. As an artist, author and book illustrator, she was involved in the design of at least 100 books and magazines and was best known for depicting biblical motifs, mostly in children's books. Among her most important works, the illustrations in 1941, first published religious textbook include Jörg Erbs shield of faith , the total of 1.6 million copies printed. In connection with a revision of this book because of a possible subliminal anti-Judaism, she had to change some of her pictures in 1970, which she herself described as "still romantic drawings".

In 1937 she presented the design for Germany's first large Schwibbogen , which became the symbol of the successful Feieromd show in Schwarzenberg / Erzgebirge , organized by Friedrich Emil Krauss , and which was widely used. She also designed church windows, including for the Evangelical Methodist Kreuzkirche in Leipzig and the Evangelical Lutheran St. Laurentius Church in Leipzig-Leutzsch , and made woodcuts and drawings.

In 1952 she left the GDR and moved to Stuttgart . From then on she worked for the publishing house of the Junge Gemeinde and for the Stauda publishing house in Kassel. She spent the last years of her life in a Christian retirement home in Stuttgart, where she died in 1986.


Paula Jordan is accused of portraying the positive heroes of the Bible as purebred Aryans; their counterparts, however, were committed to the National Socialist stereotype for Jews. In that the “Shield of Faith”, for which she was responsible for illustrative purposes, shaped the post-war Christian generation in Germany, she continued the relevant image of an Aryanized Jesus.


  • Bernhard H. Bonkhoff: She did what she could, the artist Paula Jordan and her works in the Südwestpfalz district. In: Home calendar of the Pirmasenser and Zweibrücker Land. 2006, pp. 195-202.
  • Jochen Walker: Paula Jordan (1896–1986). Life and work , published on behalf of the Advisory Board of the Herbergen der Christenheit by Markus Hein ( Herbergen der Christenheit special volume 21), Leipzig 2015. ISBN 978-3-374-03921-0
  • Marion Keuchen: Art. Jordan, Paula Luzia Maria (1896-1986) , in: Biographisch-Bibliographisches Kirchenlexikon (BBKL) - Supplements XL , Nordhausen 2019, Sp. 167–177, (in press) (also: , Reading date February 8, 2019).

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. taz from December 25, 2018: Nazi bells and NS church buildings , accessed on July 23, 2019