Born in Berlin in 1876 to an Orthodox Jewish family, Hermann Struck was an enthusiastic and prominent Zionist who by 1910 had established himself as a leading figure on the German art scene. He was commissioned to create lithograph portraits of such prominent persons as Henryk Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, and Friedrich Nietzsche, and his art was displayed at the Fifth Zionist Congress in 1901. When World War I began, Struck encountered new artistic opportunities, as Amit Naor writes:
Then thirty-eight years old, Struck wasn’t required to enlist. Nevertheless, like many other Jews, he eagerly volunteered to serve his country. . . . After undergoing basic training, he worked as a translator and censor assigned to the press department of the German Supreme Command on the Eastern Front.
Later on he was sent to the frontlines, where he took part in combat against the Russians. His actions during this period resulted in Struck being awarded the Iron Cross for “courage in the face of the enemy.” In July 1917, he returned to headquarters and served as the officer in charge of Jewish affairs in the [formerly Russian territories under German military occupation]. It was in this role that Struck came face to face for the first time with the Jews of Eastern Europe. . . . In his wartime sketches, Struck drew portraits of the Jews he met, their towns, and their way of life.
After the war, Struck also served as a consultant to the German delegation at the Paris Peace Conference on issues pertaining to East European Jews. He continued his activity in the religious-Zionist Mizraḥi movement and in 1923 . . . settled in Haifa, where his former home [now] serves as a museum for his work and that of other artists who work with printing and lithography.