Jewish Liberal Newspaper, June 17, 1921

Guidelines for Revising Our Religious Services

by Rabbi Dr. H. Fuchs (Chemnitz).

Revolutionary times demand that we don’t just make small or larger improvements here and there but discuss foundational problems. Normal times rarely have the energy for this. Most people and communities can only drink watered down wine. Even so, pressing the grapes, seeking ideals and acting on them, has value. In certain times, it is our duty.

It seems that the time is right for the problem of the religious service because of the new, deeply religious movement emerging.

That not everything in our religious service is ideal does not need to be examined at length. For a hundred years it’s been worked on without any satisfactory results. For one person it’s too long, for another there’s too much Hebrew; some pass the time with mischief, and others don’t even bother attending. But our young Jews long for a meaningful service. They don’t want to be caretakers of antiquities but want to get something for their souls. For them Jewishness mainly means (let’s not touch on political questions) a religious spirituality. That’s why they have started attending services. Woe to us if we can’t satisfy their longing. Then we are lost. Now, and most quickly, services must be designed so that young Jews don’t lose their passion: otherwise Judaism will vegetate toward its demise in the next generation.

We religious leaders of the Jewish religion must therefore ask ourself: Can individual reforms help or must we plow new ground? With the order: “You shall attend services,” or with pleading and convincing achieve nothing in the long run if people don’t want to gladly come to the synagogue for their own reasons. The willingness is now present. Are the problems with our services superficial or do they go deep?


The purpose of the Jewish religious service is, in the conservative perspective, the fulfillment of the relevant laws and the recitation of traditional prayers. The word of the wise one: “Don’t see your prayer as a fulfillment of a duty, but as an outpouring of your heart” refers to the attitude of the one praying, not to the meaning of the laws. These have been given us once and for all—applying them is Aboda, obedient “service” just as for all religious obligations whether rest on the Sabbath or honoring parents. The orthodox person does not have to question their outcome: that is God’s matter.

The so-called liberal Judaism has a fundamentally different attitude toward the rites. They should rise from our hearts to heaven, from the person to God. There is no fulfillment of an objective law, but the subjective wish of the conscience which pushed toward fulfillment. It follows that the religious service is not a “should”, but a “want.” The longing for a stronger awareness of our relationship with God, stronger than we could otherwise have, is what drives us to services. We feel that the everyday brings a degree of alienation from God, troubles and work darken and weaken the intensity of our love of God and distract from our striving for holiness. Piety dies when it’s not nourished enough—that’s why we go to services. The meaning of services is that they are for feeding the soul’s hunger for God! Prayers of thanks, praise, and repentance, teachings and profession of faith should all be seen from this perspective as should our requests for the necessities of life, health, food, honor, freedom, joy, peace, etc. These too are an “outpouring from our hearts” before God.

Why does one go to the synagogue to do this? Why not outside in God’s nature or through art, music and poetry? Above all, why not in that small still room where the soul, alone with its God, can more intimately open up? Typically the answer is that in the congregation devotion is more intense. And there is a lot of truth in that. When 500 men in the large, old synagogue process with the lulav and the processing palm branch mysteriously whispers and rustles, when 4,000 men in the large new synagogue acclaim “He gave us the strength,” when a boy who has become a bar mitzvah or a girl being confirmed pledges faithfulness to God the Father in front of the congregation, or just on a regular Sabbath the congregation stands for the Sh’ma prayer, something in the soul grows upward, something that can’t grow anywhere else, and the bond between person and God grows stronger, more here than anywhere else, simply from the force of a crowd that pulls in and overwhelms the individual.

But often enough this mass of people disturbs and erases this feeling, possibly due to less devout neighbors. In some the finest religious stirrings cannot come forth in the company of others. There must be other reasons for a communal religious service.

That is to say, what a service can’t create, let it lay the groundwork for it. It does provide motivation, teaching and development, strengthening, refining, and deepening to the spiritual life. However, the actual religious life takes place in the mind and character, in thought and deed, which  are properties of the fully developed individual soul. Religion can’t really be taught or otherwise passed on. That’s why Judaism reproaches its rabbis:  If the spark does not glow within then no other person can light it. But when it is there—and in the truly sensitive heart—then can it be fanned into flame!


Sunday,  June 19, 1921, 3 p.m:
Meet at the Kürassierkaserne
A Walk to Lohe
(2-3 hours)
On our return, we’ll have some social time in the South Park.

Monday, June 20, 1921, 8 p.m.
Social Get-together in the South Park

Announcement for Sunday, June 26, 1921:
Day trip to the so-called Silesian Spreewald (close to Breslau).
All members and supporters of our movement are welcome guests.

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, Berlin
Sunday, June 19, 1921

Day trip from Friedrichshagen to Königswusterhausen.
Meet at the S-Bahn platform at the Charlottenburg train station at 7:10 a.m., train leaves at 7:22 a.m.
Or meet at the S-Bahn platform at the Alexanderplatz train station at 7:35 a.m., train leaves at 7:47 a.m.  We will return between 7 and 8 p.m.
We will walk 30 to 35 kilometers.

Tuesday, June 21, 8 p.m.:
Social Get-together at Schloss Wahnsee near Beelitzhof
(Nikolassee train station).


Bolshevism and Jews

by Dr. August Müller, formerly Minister of Finance.


Going Home

by Bidsche Hohnsalz (Zehlendorf) Third Installment.

A new large offensive began. The earth shook quietly from the continuous firing of the funs that echoed over from the front that was only one and a half miles away. Nights, from the crest of the mountains, you could see the glow from the cannon flashes against the red sky. Read more…


Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. Emigration. Considering the great significance that Jewish emigration from Eastern Europe has attained and its impact on the masses of emigrants waiting in Poland, Romania, and the continents’ harbors, the Jewish Colonization Association called for a conference of the mostly Jewish Emigrants and Migrants committees in Europe to examine the emigration problem and discover methods for regulating emigration.

The conference took place in Brussels on the 7th and 8th of June.  There was an interesting exchange of opinions and experiences among the delegates but a decision was made to coordinate the various committees and organizations to work together under the aegis of the Jewish Colonization Association. The priority for a thorough monitoring of the health of all emigrants from departure and sailing to their destinations as well stops along the way. Only critical cases should be handled and no measures put in place that would encourage unnecessary emigration. [Link to the JCA’s 1921 annual report.]

Berlin. “Intellectual Elites“. Bad behavior of drunken students.  There was a very ugly adventure that Joachim Sachs, a businessman, had with a group of students on the Kurfürstendamm one night. Thus read the complaint of public insult and serious injury against students from the engineering college. The complaint named Friedrich Zillmann and the government’s head of construction, Gerhard Streit. This is the second time that the district III court had to deal with this dismal matter. Sachs’ co-plaintiff was walking along the Kurfürstendamm toward Hallensee around 3:30 a .m. on the night of November 28th. In front of him about 10 people got out of a bus, blocked the whole sidewalk and changed “We are stopping everyone and we’ll beat up the first Jew we find. Within a short time Sachs was surrounded and curse words were hurled at him. He says that he was told to take off his hat so that they could see whether he was a Jew. To that he said, that he doesn’t hide that he’s a Jew and asked to be left alone. Then Zillmann called the co-plaintiff “Jew-carrion” [Judenaas], kicked him and punched him in the face so that he bled heavily. Streit then said, “Such a cowardly bunch needs to be thrashed.” The co-plaintiff yelled for help which brought two policemen who could arrest only Zillmann since the others had already fled. As the co-plaintiff was being escorted to his apartment, the second defendant coincidentally crossed their path and could then also be arrested.

When the defendants saw the court summons and realized that this had become a serious matter, they sent the co-defendant an apology. His lawyer, Dr. Werthauer, would only accept the apology if the defendants retracted their claim that their actions did not stem from their antisemitism. Since this did not happen, the case came to trial. The defendants excused their behavior by saying that they had left a bar in high spirits, having celebrated a fellow student’s graduation. Because they were drunk, Zillmann had forgotten to put on his soldier’s cap.

The criminal court fined both defendants 200 Marks, and Zillmann was fined an additional 50 Marks for resisting arrest. Dr. Werthauer objected to the punishment. It was far too little for an incident of such brutality where ten people of the so-called educated class attacked one individual who had behaved completely correctly.

The defendants’ lawyer Arens admitted that truly regrettably the defendants had behaved in a dishonorable and improper [unmanierlich] way, but asked that one not make a drunken molehill into an antisemitic mountain. The court then fined each defendant 1,000 Marks since the incident was indeed a very terrible excess.

Görlitz. In its most recent meeting the city council approved allocating budget for Jewish religion classes in the upper classes and middle school, as long as they are taught by academically trained teachers, who will receive 18 Marks per hour.

Giessen. With regards to the incidents at the University of Giessen which had been mentioned in this newspaper [Heft 24 and Heft 25], the Dean communicated the following: “1. The university’s Senate has unanimously ruled that the medical student Falkenstein be permanently expelled from this university because of the serious injuries he caused to a fellow student. This incident took place on April 28, 1920. For the second incident, a fine 500 Marks had been set. It is not just that the court lifted this guilty verdict without further process.” Mr. Falkenstein immediately made a complaint to the state administration for education in Darmstadt. The decision on this complaint has not been handed down yet. 2. Because of the incident in July 1920, when a confrontation between Mr. Falkenstein and several students occurred the Senate was notified and three students named. One of these did not study in Giessen, but a disciplinary process was initiated which prevented leaving the university. Later, Mr. Falkenstein himself told the police that the notification incorrectly named one of the students, but the disciplinary process against him continues. – With regard to the other incident also mentioned in this paper [heft 25] where several students had assaulted a traveler, the rector stated that the police had reported that there had been a fight between a dental technician and a travelling salesman in which no students had participated.

As a result of the antisemitic excesses at the University of Giessen a representative to the state of Hessen’s government, Bauer, and some of his colleagues have sent an inquiry: “The violent behavior of certain student circles in Giessen and the unbelievable behavior of the Giessen Sentate, evidenced by their handling of the case of the Jewish student Falkenstein and the disciplinary action taken against him will damage the reputation of the University of Giessen. What does the government plan to do to repair this situation thereby preventing further damage to the university’s reputation?”

Kirchhain. A long-standing injustice against Kirchhain’s Jewish citizens has finally been absolved. As in countless towns in Hessen, there was an annual allocation of grazing land that went to a circle of interested parties. The lottery’s participants were selected via an application to the town’s administration. Town natives were included of course, and those who had moved to the town would be charged a buy-in fee. Jewish citizens were in principle denied participation. The town’s administration wanted to reserve the right to participate in this lottery for its Christian citizens. All appeals and complaints lodged by Jewish citizens were fruitless. In 1919 five Jewish citizens applied for use of the common grazing rights and when they were once again not accepted they turned to the lawyer Dr. Weisbecker in Cassel who made a complaint to the town’s tribunal. The superior court in Berlin has finally ruled that the exclusion of Jews is unlawful and these should be allowed the same access as the Christian citizens.


Aus der Presse.

The Unrest in Ostrowo.
The “Posener Tageblatt” contains a thorough report on the serious problems in Ostrowo which have partially been reported on by the German daily papers. It casts a much harsher light on the unbelievable events there. The paper depicts the events as follows:

On Thursday afternoon Ostrowo because the stage for highly suspect events, which will best prove where we are headed if the conscience-less powers don’t quickly put a stop to a certain kind of Polish partriot. Eyewitnesses and victims have told us about the events: At five o’clock in the afternoon about 500 workers from the rail car factory gathered for a march against Germans and Jews. The demonstrators pushed their way into a number of stores, brutally abused their owners and employees, and looted. One of their first targets was the well-known Hirsch Brewery. The workers attacked it from all sides, forced their way into the office and started hitting the owner and his employees. Mr. Hirsch, wounded and covered in blood, was further mistreated on his way out and only reached his apartment after great effort. A policeman who tried to intervene was also beaten and disarmed. The office was demolished. About 50,000 Marks that had been prepared for payments were stolen. Also badly abused was the manager of the brewery’s tavern so that the bridge of his nose was shattered and his front teeth damaged. The watchmaker Retzlaff was beaten and driven from his store. After he, covered in blood, was thrown out into the street, his store was looted and destroyed. The owner of the first transport company in Ostrowo, Alfred Than whose family lived in Ostrowo since 1700, suffered a similar fate. During the workers’ looting spree one repeatedly heard the call “Out with the niemry! Kill the niemry!” [niemry: pejorative Polish word for Germans] Toward evening about 100 workers went to the Krepa farm, tried to destroy doors and windows and demanded that the owner and his family leave the farm and go to Germany.


A Letter to the Editors
The legal representatives of the C. Lewin Company asked us to publish the following statement:

The legal proceedings against some of the owners of the C. Lewin Company have no basis in tax evasion or the sequestering of capital. They are a result of the accusations brought by the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation in retaliation for the civil suit brought by the C. Lewin Company against it. The accusations are of illegally using middlemen or shell companies, the fixing of prices, fraud through fake freight documents and bribing of railway officials. The owners of the C. Lewin Company feel that they are completely cleared by the denial of the civil complaint. The issuance of the arrest order was only possible because the investigation relied only on the evidence submitted by the  Protection and Defiance Federation and the defendants have not yet been deposed despite the process having begun in December, 1920. However, witnesses have been heard whose trustworthiness is questionable. These witnesses are mainly former employees who were let go for cause. The main witness, named Graupner, is one of these fired employees who has tried to blackmail the company. The investigating judge who probably had no knowledge of the witness’s  personality, swore him in and used his testimony as the grounds for issuing the arrest order. Mr. Leo Lewin and Mr. Max Lewin were released after a couple of hours after posting bail. There was seen to be a flight risk because the senior executive of the company was ill and had gone to Marienbad for treatment. Also, his son-in-law had just traveled to Vienna to collect his own sick wife. He had returned as planned on Sunday and there had been no arrest order issued for him.

80th Birthday. Frau Jeanette Schwersenz who now lives here at 84 Höfchenstrasse 84, celebrates her 80th birthday in physical and mental robustness. She lived previously in Posen which she had to leave due to the changed political conditions. In Posen she had contributed much through her charitable work in the Jewish community.

For the essays by named authors, which express the personal opinion of the writer, the editors have only the legally necessary responsibility.

Advertisements and Announcements

The Great Eastern German Art Exhibition
In the Scheitnig exhibition hall.
10 to 6, from June 2 – 30, admission 2 Marks

Bar Mitzvahs, Old Synagogue, Saturday June 28:
Harry Loebinger (Father:  Ernst, Ohlauerstrasse 28)
Alfred Abraham (Father:  Theodor, Klosterstrasse 20)
Hans Sternberg (Father:  Isaak, Frankfurterstrasse 100)

Bar Mitzvahs, New Synagogue [, Saturday June 28]:
Rudolf Moses (Father:  Albert, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse 21)
Eduard Riesenfeld (Father:  Solly, Augustastrasse 73)
Alfred Capauner (Father:  Hermann, Augustastresse 116)

Marriages, Old Synagogue, Sunday, June 19:
3 p. m.:  Miss Ella Nebel to Mr Victor Kunert
4 p.m.:  Miss Jenny Jaschkowitz to Mr. Curt Wolff

Engaged: Elly Freund and Walter Riesenfeld. Reception on Sunday, June 19, 1921, Bahnhofstrasse 17.


It is the duty of every Jewish citizen to be a member of the Israelite Hospital and Burial Society (Chevra Kadischa) and to support them in this time of great need due to the war and the economic consequences. Non-members of the Chevra Kadischa will pay twice the amount for burials. To join, contact the office of the Israelite Hospital, Hohenzollernstr. 96 (Tel> Ring6716 – 18).

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Going Home (a WWI Novella)

A Novella by Bidsche Hohnsalz (from Zehlendorf)

[This novella was published in eight installments from June 3, 1921 to July 27, 1921. It follows a Jewish soldier from his hometown to a German field hospital just beyond the trenches of Verdun through the five years of his deployment. The grim reality of tents filled with the wounded and dying only sometimes pierces the shadows of the soldier’s inner turmoil and anguish heightened by an unrequited love. The specific experience of a German Jewish soldier on the front does come to fore in a couple of passages but the story told is a universal one. A non-fiction account of a German-Jewish medic in WW1–Ernst Levin (1887 – 1975)–can be found here:]

First Installment

At this time he met another girl, the blond Julie, a neighbor who looked somewhat like the university student. He tried to get her to like him—but he wasn’t successful…. The neighbor took quite advantage of him but had a sophisticated way of hiding this, but he eventually went on his lonely way, though he did soon marry without ever having received heartfelt warmth, and him being a well-off businessman.

Like fog envelopes a mountain, great loneliness and never-ending longing hung over this melancholy man such that he saw little of the reality of this world. He sank into his melancholy and began turning his painful experience of love into a type of cult. That beautiful student had once given him a photograph of herself. This now stood, framed, on his desk. From a small mahogany frame that lovely, half-serious, half impish childlike face with its large, thoughtful eyes looked toward the distance. He held dialogues with this picture as one would with an old and cherished acquaintance. During the day he placed blooming flowers in front it and at night a small burning oil lamp.

Back then he lived on the fifth floor of an apartment building near the river. On bright moonlit nights he held “celebrations.” He sat for hours looking at the play of light on the water and placed the picture, that he had hung with floating silk cloth, on a marble tabletop in the bright light.

When the moon appeared in the center of the window’s cross-like lattice he murmured to himself in the secretive abstrusities he preferred, “I must go to her to see if it’s possible to summon her by the strength of my desire.”  When it got to that point he would walk until late at night, tired and stooped, in the quiet street where the student lived. He would stand a like a statue in front of her house staring at the lit up windows of her apartment. When they darkened he would stay a long while as though unconscious until he finally went home and continued his conversation with the picture.

These unusual activities caused him to neglect his business. He grew increasingly and quirkier and more withdrawn until a dark hopelessness took hold of him. His existence seemed useless to him, meaningless and purposeless, and even though he spent hours regarding himself with self-irony and cynically mocking the world, this grim, self-centered grief gained more and more the upper hand.

He almost greeted the outbreak of the war as a kind of salvation and he decided he had to go to France in those early August days, 1914, even though he had a premonition that the war would be an immense catastrophe for his German fatherland. Even though he observed the huge wave of enthusiasm and excitement with raised eyebrows above horrified eyes he felt a kind of inner release.

He was assigned to a medical unit and worked in a large field hospital that was busy day and night. He was the only Jew there and was often mocked for being Jewish. Eventually the others got used to the pale, thoughtful and quiet man who seemed to not have any self-awareness and worked tirelessly.

Every third night he held watch in the large tent where the dying and wounded lay. With a stony face he looked at the immeasurable ocean of pain and troubles and misery that broke around him. Under the horrific impressions and the hard physical labor his former self became submerged in his mind. When he thought of the people from his geographically and emotionally remote home it was as though he looked at them through a thick veil and they faded more and more. But they wouldn’t disappear completely and continued to lead a ghostly life in his mind.

He moved like a sleepwalker.

Within him existed an “I” and a “you,” almost independent of each other, strangers to each other. When he spoke it often seemed to him as though he heard a stranger speaking and he could often observe himself as if he were another person, no longer understanding his own actions and inactions.

That small photograph lay carefully packed at the bottom of his knapsack and he was careful not to take it out lest the old painful thoughts from that closed-off past should torment him again!

In December of the first year of the war he received a postcard with a few friendly, words that didn’t say anything special. This reminder of earlier, dark things hurt him so much that he wandered about as though hypnotized for days He held fantastical speeches with himself and thought of her with a fearful intensity. On his own he gathered his wits, thanked her and made sure that he used bland words that would not let her notice his inner turmoil.

Second Installment

p. 2, Issue 27, June 10, 1921

The infirmary in which he worked was in a pleasant, hilly strip of land north of Verdun; there was a long path with fruit trees that were now bare and lonely, and neglected and overgrown gardens that stretched for miles to the south of the small village, and beyond that, dense, impassable forests. On this quite path he walked those nights when he wasn’t on duty, walked for hours—and the silent nature, as yet unchanged by human hands, the barely inhabited area calmed him somewhat and relieved his tortured, horrible dreams.

After a snowfall, on bright nights he often stood up there leaning on a tree and gazed sadly at the darkening countryside. In the west shone a milky glass light over the irregular wave of the chain of hills in the east—there was the German homeland—there lay impenetrable darkness over the earth. –

Once, late evening, it was still oddly light, while on his walk in the forest he suddenly saw her walking before him; …it was a girlish form in a pale dress that looked just like her,– the same delicate, slender figure that was now oddly taking such long strides….

He called her name, he hurried after her;–but the figure walked on into a thicket without turning around. With ghostly ease she floated in the dense forest as if the trees did not exist for her. He followed her, — thorny branches struck his face, tore his hands bloody, — he still believed he could still see her pale dress glimmer between bushes—panting he worked through the thick undergrowth, always following the alluring, drifting, white glow, … for hours — … until he finally came to and noticed that he was lost in the forest.

For half the night he wandered aimlessly and without a plan, struggling his way through the brush. Finally he came out of the forest; — he stood on the slope of the other side of the mountain, dawn would soon be breaking. Despite it being January the weather was unnaturally mild.  Below him, about a rifle’s range away he saw a weak light flash. He went toward it. It was a small hut standing at the edge the meadow. A petroleum light burned inside. As he neared he saw a white-haired French farmer at the gate. Lifeless as a wax figure the old man stood there and stared at him. Then the old man’s eyes seemed to notice him and glowed with such a flame of anger and hatred that he suddenly felt an uncertain fear and hurried away. Towards morning after more difficult walking he reached his unit – on time.

The constant work in the field hospital’s tents didn’t leave him much time for himself and the deep wound that an unusual fear seemed to have torn open stopped hurting after a while. He saw so much suffering and misfortune that he felt his own to be a minor thing and he was able to see it as a tiny link in the endless chain of the world’s suffering.

The war’s first spring approached. The gardens everywhere were blooming. The blooming fruit trees on the hillside looked like shimmering, white cornflowers. The window flaps of the hospital tents were left open for days so that the dying gaze of the wounded could rest on the silky light blue of the springtime sky or the eternal starlight. But this spring had nothing joyful; it seemed instead to have an eerie stiffness. There was no comforting birdsong. An omen of something new, terrifying hung in the air.

Third Installment

p. 2; Issue 28, June 17, 1921

A new large offensive began. The earth shook quietly from the continuous firing of the funs that echoed over from the front that was only one and a half miles away. Nights, from the crest of the mountains, you could see the glow from the cannon flashes against the red sky. The wounded came in droves. The field hospital’s mass grave at the entrance of the palace was full and a larger one had to be dug.

He often wrote letters for the maimed and wounded that they dictated. Almost all of them had someone back home to write to, to tell of their love, their warmth of their feelings, or to tell of their plight. Only he was lonely. When he thought of Germany his throat closed from sadness. “Why am I the only one with no one?” he would ask himself. “why am I so alone in this world? Don’t I have a greater treasure of unused tenderness and passion than many, many others. Are all the springs of my existence to go unused, all the gardens of my soul to wither?”—

The first Passover during the war was odd. In a shot-up tavern the Jews in the army sat together for a Seder sadly thinking of home. A rabbi field chaplain led the ceremonies. All the necessities had been sent from Germany—only the bitter herbs were missing. “Those we can do without, we have enough bitterness here!” the rabbi said with a sad smile.

The offensive failed. The time of the years-long, desolate and useless war of trench warfare started.

With prophetic clarity he foresaw that the fatherland would not win this war of the titans and that everything would end in the deepest misfortune.

Painfully he felt the meaninglessness and purposelessness of this struggle and the certainty of this awful end combined with the knowledge of the uselessness of his own battles with longing. This left him with a growing wish to die. He went into the trenches closest to the front to pick up the wounded, left all caution behind, and hoped that a sympathetic bullet would hit him. Instead, Death sought out happier men and those more willing to live for his harvest. He remained unscathed.

One night, in high summer, he dreamt of her again. It seemed to him that we was sinking in a pond covered with shining white lily pads…and suddenly he saw her in a lit room, smiling happily, next to Felix that distant relative whom she wished to belong to, and whose hands he held in hers.

He waved to her, he wanted to approach her, but he noticed now how her face darkened and she pointed to a small wound at her temple as he sank more and more deeply. Then he suddenly began to cry and woke up with his face wet with tears. He felt ashamed that he who had not cried since his childhood, almost a quarter of a century, was now as a man pouring out tears, even if it was only in a dream. – Since there was a lot of work he wanted to get up. As he got up his foot stepped on a dried tree branch that the wind had blown through the open window. Outside the mild summer night shone with weak starlight.

He went down to the field hospital. A troop of heavily wounded had arrived again. From among the pitiable that had been laid in his station one young man especially caught his attention–he didn’t moan like the others but lay quietly and peacefully. A bullet had smashed his right knee and he had lain for two days without treatment and his foot was now infected.

When daylight came and he wanted to bring the wounded man some water he was struck to the quick with horror and stared at him incomprehensibly. For it seemed to him that in the pale-as-death face he saw the face of that girl that had completely possessed him. It was the same chestnut brown, full hair, the same sweet, joyful childlike face, the same eyes–it was as though he was looking at her twin brother. And as he bent down he noticed with a strange fear that the wounded man had a small, insignificant wound at his temple. The familiar traits were pale and seemed distorted by pain.

He thought in all seriousness he had one of her close relatives before him; however, when he asked for his name he learned that he was a locksmith’s apprentice from a completely different part of Germany.

He was a very young man, really still a boy. Over the next days his traits became clearer. Mostly he lay there silently with a quiet smile.

The one who remembered his earlier life with pain hardly talked to him but he did put much effort into doing anything he could to relieve his suffering.

After three days his leg had to be amputated.

Deathly pale with large eyes bright with fever the amputee lay on his crude cot and waved him over one evening. “You there,” he pleaded with a quiet, weak voice, “stay with me tonight.” – “Yes, yes, “ I comforted him. ”I’ll come back to you later. First I still have many others I have to take care of.” Everywhere he went in the tent the boy’s ghostly shining eyes that seemed to speak of a supernatural, mysterious world followed him. He was drawn magnetically to go to him as soon as he could. “Come, sit by my bed,” the young man with the ingratiating, almost girlish voice asked. When he sat the seriously wounded man put his arm around him and gazed at him with a gentle smile. Now he looked very much like that faraway lovely girl. “Stay with me,” he asked again, “I won’t live much longer—I want to tell you a few things. You have to know this, I have to tell you…” and then he fell silent, tired again, and stared at him with his wide open and oddly shining eyes. His whole life, he never forgot the gaze of that wounded man. He still had his arm around him.

Fourth Installment

p. 2; Issue 29, June 24, 1921

The kerosene lamp that hung from the top of the tent barely lit the pale face. The penetrating and intolerable smell of a disinfectant hung in the air. Various men groaned and sighed, one who had taken a bullet in his lung gurgled continuously. You could hear bombs explode In the too near distance. Then it was quiet again outside.

He still sat at the edge of the locksmith’s apprentice’s bed and could feel the young man’s heart beat. Suddenly the delirious man began to say confused and incomprehensible things.

He sat there a long time watching the troubled sleeper and thought of that young, blossoming creature back home. A few hours must have passed this way. Outside you could hear the constant rumbling of vehicles going by. The dying young man whispered barely understandably, “Listen…I will tell you!” He bent down to him and noticed how the wounded man very quietly said that girl’s name. He listened in shock. The wounded man only smiled strangely and mysteriously…barely shook his head…lifted his hand in a warning…and wanted to say more…that’s when his glowing eyes turned vacant…he sighed quietly and said no more.

Shortly after he closed the dead man’s eyes and quietly summoned the watch who carried him behind the operating room on a bier that had been hastily improvised from boards.

As he looked back he saw that the moon stood in the middle of the cross-bars of the small tent window.

In the morning he asked for leave, his first and last of the war. He was granted fourteen days and went to the city where the student lived.

Like a completely new, until now unknown world, the streets, gardens and places where he had once walked surrounded him. Some things had changed. People, that he would have gladly seen again were in the enemy’s country. Public life was noticeably dampened. Flags waved from houses to celebrate a recent military victory. At that he smiled painfully, because he sensed what was coming. His worry about the future of the country pressed down on him like a nightmare.

He stayed in a small hotel beside the slowly flowing river and toward evening he went to the house where the girl had lived as he used to do and stared at her window.

It was, and stayed, dark. The next day he learned that she had left long ago and now studied in another city.

He went about like in a dream. He stared at passersby as though they were beings from another world.

All his aimless walks led him back to that house.

His deep loneliness felt like a stabbing pain. Never before did he feel as he did now that non-existence would be his greatest happiness. He envied those whom a green lawn already covered and he felt he was without purpose or usefulness, like a thrown-away fruit with no juice or sweetness.

The hollow and empty pleasures that many in the homeland enjoyed repulsed him. Melancholy overtook him completely and to escape it, he suddenly went back to the field hospital in France after having spent only seven days in Germany.

There, there was more to do than ever. The installation had been expanded, barracks for typhus and dysentery patients had been built. Work started in the morning and ended very late and just as before he had night duty every third day. The months passed.

He took on the care of the sick and he himself because seriously ill with typhoid. He had a high fever for many weeks and lay between life and death. In his delirium the figure of the girl, disdainful and getting away from him, appeared.

When he got up for the first time he had hollow eyes and was very pale, walked like an old man with dragging steps, the hair at his temples was gray and he had the look in his eyes of someone who had seen a ghost.

Fifth Installment

p. 2 Issue 30, July 1, 1921

He turned more and more into stone–is life collapsed, but he did hear in himself the continuous sound of a great, grief-filled melody; within himself he saw a being that was not a picture, but that could speak to him, and that had the features of that girl.

The longing for the end of his tortuous delusions grew ever stronger.

It was an outside incident that brought the resolved decision to fruition. A large number of men were brought to the field hospital who had the upper part of their faces, including their eyes, burned away by a flame thrower.

In the last years he had seen so many horrible and terrifying things that he felt inured to the worst wounds. But something as terrible as this he had never experienced. A unit of German soldiers had been surprised in their trenches by an enemy flamethrower with the result of such absolute horror.

At that the wave of despair and disgust with this world broke over him and he made an attempt to kill himself. The attempt failed and he was left to lay weeks in bed with his dark imaginings.

He did find some comfort when he could once again work. But this work was monotonous and the field hospital stayed in one location, and he was able to spin out the sad threads of his life.

That changed suddenly when he was transferred to a mobile column.

Every night he brought food and munitions to the frontmost trenches with a small wagon on shot-up paths with grenade pits that were barely passable.

The column followed the main army that was making one last attack on Amiens before it collapsed entirely. Every day the troops were somewhere else. For months he didn’t even change clothes. Exhausted and dirty he had to lie like an animal under his wagon or in a pit. They moved at night. They rolled through a devastated landscape. Sometimes a curtain of massive artillery fire showered the fields with lightening and a roaring sound like oncoming thunderstorms.

His duty and his horses called for his complete attention. He was never aware of himself, except on bright nights when he would still take her picture out of his pack and the almost welcome sorrow stirred when he gazed at this relic from a forever lost time. Because of his silence and his quiet self-absorption he was not liked by his comrades. They avoided him and didn’t help him when his wagon got stuck in a crater and he despaired of getting out.

Then came the terrible moment. The German army, already weakened at the core but willing to take on a world of enemies, collapsed. There were rumors that war was over for all time and that all the armies would join in brotherhood, and they were believed. An odd hatred among soldiers for their superiors ignited—some officers were beaten. The dishonorable retreat was wild and chaotic. In village after village the retreating troops were pursued and shot at.

A third of the men in his column died. His wagon caught fire, his backpack went up in flames. By some kind of miracle he saved the old, worn Bible that he always had with him—and her picture.

He was also wounded. He bound his foot and rode his horse who trotted down the frozen roads with a tired, hanging head. It was hard to decide who was more tired and sadder—the rider or his horse. In the ditches along country roads lay abandoned weapons, innumerable pieces of equipment, that were simply left behind to not slow down the retreat.

But we were headed to Germany. We were going home. As he neared the Rhine, he glimpsed days of rest.

Sixth Installment


Revolutionary spasms shook the poor, conquered, beaten country like waves of fever.

After a few weeks he was back in the city where he had lived when it was still peacetime.

The wound on his foot had gotten worse. He spent a long, long time in the hospital. Finally he could limp around on a cane.

When summer came he was released from the hospital and was once again free—as free as five years ago.

He went through the city streets like a sleepwalker. Everything seemed new to him, a new experience, but everywhere he was beset by old memories that a tired, almost broken person would bring back home. Wide rays of sunshine flooded between the rows of houses, the rows of trees along the paths were like glowing green flags. In the courtyards the hurley-gurleys played like before and the children sang…much was as before, and yet everything was different.

Just like years ago he stood once again in front of the house where she once lived and stared with distant eyes at her old room. It seemed to him as though he were watching himself without any sympathy and saw a stranger standing in the quiet street and contemplating fleeting images of dreams.

Suddenly the deep, smothering melancholy took hold of him, his closest friend since his childhood; but the gentle, warm summer sun, the quiet monotonous hum of the sleeping city, the twittering sparrows and the familiar but barely audible Glockenspiel from the Magdalen church tower calmed him and brought him to that half-wakeful state in which he so often lived.

He stood in front of the house for hours. Finally, an old woman appeared and began to clean the window.

He left then. He rode to the city forest and drank in the magic of remembering.

This was where they, his distant cousin Felix, the girl and he, had gone on an outing six years ago.

He walked the same paths, listened to the knocking of a woodpecker and the delicate rustling of the tops of pines in the wind.

He wandered on without hurry.

On that outing they had eaten in the restaurant at the crossroads. He knew every path and step. Everywhere he saw the faces of strangers that wondered curiously at the hunched over, limping man.

One could have given him all the treasures of the world—what were they compared to the magical brightness of the summer day when they had sat together on the grass, and he had secretly caught glances of the beautiful, delicate girl, enchanted by great longing and blissful sorrow.

How many memories drew him today! He would have gladly given them all for that one summer hour six years ago. And he knew that despite what fate could bring him, that day of deep and passing happiness would never return with such glowing beauty.

The summit of his experience, the deepest essence of his youth was gone forever.

He sat leaning against a tree for a while and looked at the blue sky across which large oddly shaped clouds passed slowly like proud swans. He followed them as they sailed by and slowly dissolved on the horizon—like the fate of men, like dreams, as if they had never been.

Then he walked back to the city.

He was staying near his old apartment. He could see the river from his window. On his table stood the picture of the girl. It had been blackened by flames and her features were hardly recognizable. Every day he wreathed the ruined frame with flowers and stared for hours trying to bring her image to life.

It was almost a relief when he realized that a heart ailment which had started during the war had advanced and that he didn’t have long to live. This revelation seemed to announce that his release would come soon.

Seventh Installment

What is the meaning of all this if there isn’t something unknown beyond life that gives it purpose and direction?

A rainy summer was coming to an end. He spent the days wandering around aimlessly, evenings he sat in his room, not truly present, and brooded. “Such an all-encompassing, lifelong, deep feeling as mine is rare on this earth,” he thought. “People pass by each other, hardly know each other, do each other wrong, get dressed, forget each other again, and what they call love is surely something different and pettier than what lives and sings in me. How transitory everything else is! Fate gave only me something as deep and eternal, that despite the years, that time could not weaken…I notice how the candle of my life drips away but its light is only burning brighter. How sad that it isn’t providing light to anyone, that it just purposelessly and uselessly drips away, not knowing the one that had set it aflame.”

His illness got worse and his weakness grew. While his body neared its end, a strange hope combined with an inexplicable superstition grew. Like a plant it grew and grew and filled and brightened his being. It was the hope that as sad and without meaning his life was, it could not end this way, that something unexpectedly glorious, indeed wonderful, would yet enter it.

This hope became so huge that a quiet cheerfulness took hold of him even though he was paler and felt sicker than ever before. It was as though after a rainy day the sun breaks through the clouds once more in the evening and pours its glowing light over the whole countryside.

A while ago he assumed that the girl was already married. Then he heard that she was still only engaged and worked as a chemist in a government institute in a not-too-distant university city. He learned nothing else about her.

He often regretted that the picture of her had become so unrecognizable through wear.

As autumn came his illness had advanced so far that he was certain he would soon be free from his earthly existence. He had rarely felt this quiet inner joy. Now that wondrous thing, that glorious thing that he had so hoped for must happen! He became quite convinced that he would yet experience this final and momentous peak of his existence.

Beautiful autumn days came to the country. The sky was wrapped in a shimmering shawl of unforgettable blue from which rays of light and contentment spread over the city. The leaves of trees flamed in bright red and yellow. The tones of folk songs hung in the air.

The sunset was a passionate, exulting, bacchanal. The red disc glowed in the cloudless sea of color that was the sky and when it sank the air did not cool but stayed warm as in summer.

He sat at an open window, his head hanging down to his chest, brooding until he fell asleep. Suddenly he dreamed he saw her, more real than ever before. She came toward him, got closer and closer. “This is the wonderful thing, this is the great wonder,” he exulted. He came out of the dream and felt blessed. The moon stood in the window’s crossbars and shone on her picture and the features seemed much clearer than usual.

“Tomorrow I’ll see her again,” he rejoiced and looked at the glowing lights strewn across the sky, and the stars seemed to grow this night of expectation.

A golden, sunny day dawned. He went to the neighboring city where he had learned she lived.

He had heard that she worked in the chemistry institute of the university that stood in the park behind the school’s main building. From the outside, the laboratory looked like a small Greek temple and was surrounded by columns. It stood atop stairs in the middle of a pergola and looked down a long path between the building and the street that was lined with marvelous aspens. It was almost noon, early October, but as warm and bright as in July.

Fluttering spider webs sparkled in the air. The birds chirped cheerfully and the sound of muted cello playing came from a ground-floor apartment. The music stopped and one heard the quiet sounds of dishes and silverware. A weak wind blew and rustled the branches of the slim, proud trees.

He walked up and down in front of the white building for almost several hours. He had waited for this special day for years. All of his thinking seemed to have been leading to this high point of his life. Soon he would see her again! His longing grew and grew like smoke that rose to the sky straight as a candle, into the unending—it gave wings to his imagination. What would she look like?


His thoughts tumbled over each other. Images and memories chased each other. His heart beat hard enough to explode. He thought he heard a song coming from somewhere that he had once heard her sing.

Then he thought again about the word “love” and verses from a love poem by a young poet that he had recently read came to him:

Love! Love! What do we people know when there’s love?!
Sensual pleasure alone is transitory
And the harmony of hearts doesn’t temper the passion
Instead let us be true to each other and good,
And in humility recognize that love is not a right,
That many are called but few are chosen.
Perhaps once every thousand years
The divine spark flashes and sets a human heart to burning
Then the sources spring forth and songs, eternal,
Blossom forth from the stammering mouth of the blessed one.
The songs say nothing about lust and possession—
Only desire loosened the be-graced tongue!
So perhaps there is no other salvation for us
Than to deny ourselves and quiet the restless drive
And practice longing until we are holy and one.

[Translator’s note: This poem is spoken by Martin, the lead character in the final act of the 1916 drama, “Liebe” by Austrian writer and four-time Nobel Prize nominee, Anton Wildgans.]

He stood on the stairs of the building with its columns, wholly covered in sunlight, with a lowered head and timidly thought himself to be a chosen one.

Suddenly the cello player on the ground floor of the laboratory building started playing again, first slowly and measured then the melody quickened with a joyful, ringing crescendo into a swiftly flowing song of celebration and stopped suddenly after a few minutes.

All at once the pale waiting man was overcome by his emotion and he wished with such passion and depth as he never had before that she would finally come. He felt his eyes grow moist, he lifted his head and threw his arms up as though in prayer and, without willing it, called out her name. All of his years of sorrow and misery sounded in one half loud cry. And behold! At the end of the path the figure of a girl dressed in white appeared walking slowly toward the temple.

He knew immediately that it was her. The miracle had happened. Had she heard his cry and followed it?

He slowly went toward her. His knees trembled in excitement. Er forced himself not to shout with joy. He recognized her clearly. She had hardly changed. She was still as beautiful as she had been years ago. This was how he remembered her fine, delicate figure. The lovely child’s face touched him as it had those years ago, and all the love that burned in him flashed in an intense ray, as powerful as a bolt of lightning. He held his breath. Now she’d come to him, stretch both hands toward him, and greet him, as he dreamed of yesterday. Now she was so close. He wanted to walk up to her and take her hand, but something mysterious, he didn’t know what, kept him from doing that. What was that? She lifted her head slightly, assessed him quickly and impartially, and didn’t recognize him. She walked past him.

It felt as though something ruptured in his soul, as if the strings of a rare instrument tore with a dissonant sound.

One minute he wanted to rush after her, call her by name and remind her who he was. But he didn’t. Instead he swayed toward a bench and broke into ugly laughter.

Then he stared ahead for a long while.

When evening came he went home.

Cars rolled in the streets, people laughed and chatted, as if nothing had happened.

He stood at the window of his room, still thinking and ridiculing himself. Where was the miracle? He had believed that his feelings could force fate’s hand. A ridiculous and conceited farce the whole thing was. What an overwrought fool he had been. Who was he to her? A stranger that she didn’t even recognize. There was nothing supernatural in this world that was beyond this life and determined the fate of humankind. He didn’t tire of cruelly torturing himself, ridiculing himself, making fun of himself.

The hours passed. Night passed and when morning came he had come to his senses.

Now I am once again completely alone, he said. I only have myself, nothing else in this world. But I don’t want to die here where a hundred things remind me of the past.

With a serious, upstanding manliness he packed his few possessions and got a basket of autumn flowers that he spread at the threshold of the house where she once lived as a kind of leave-taking.

As the sun rose high it shone into the train that was taking him to another country. He sat composed and quiet and looked at the countryside drenched in sunlight, at the fields of golden stalks, at the glowing colors of the glorious trees. I’ll soon be in all of you, he murmured, and it seemed to him as he grew a pair of wings which would carry him beyond time and place.

Posted in German Jewish History, German Jewish Literature, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, Translations, Uncategorized, WWI Jewish Veterans | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks

June 3, 2022

The Shavuot holiday will start at sundown tomorrow. To coincide with the holiday, Yad Vashem’s newsletter included an article that featured recollections of Shavuot celebrations during the Holocaust. A photograph shows a gathering of Jewish survivors at the recently liberated Buchenwald concentration camp. Just days away from the most horrendous starvation, it must have been especially remarkable to be able to celebrate a harvest holiday. And even more meaningful to commemorate the handing down to Moses of the Ten Commandments.

The same article features a letter written from Drancy, one of the French detention camps in May 1942. The letter is part of an on-line exhibit “Last Letters from the Holocaust: 1942” organized by Yad Vashem. A father, Siegfried Bodenheimer, writes to his son Ernst who is living at the Montinin home that offered shelter and safety for Jewish children and admonishes him to commemorate Shavuot:

“The giving of the statutes [Torah] was a one-time event, but they will be in force for as long as the world exists. The commandments are so sacred and immutable that we must aspire to observe them under any circumstances.”

In the letter, the father tells of some others at the camp receiving various travel orders, including transports to Auschwitz. Siegfried and his wife Klara will be murdered in Auschwitz in the following weeks. Their children survive the Holocaust.

What is the connection to the article on Shavuot recently translated here? It struck me that Siegfried Bodenheimer was a German veteran of WWI, as status that many believed would protect them from the worst. Rabbi Martin Meir Salomonski, author of the front-page article on Shavuot was also a WWI veteran, a military chaplain at that, and would suffer the same fate in Auschwitz. Rabbi Salomonski wrote a report on what life was like for a Jewish soldier as described in “Martin Salomonski: The Jewish New Year on the Western Front.”

The juxtaposition of the 1921 article on Shavuot about the importance of the Commandments as a principle to unify all Jews regardless of their political party, nationalist opinions, or religious identity with a father’s admonition to his son on the eve of being murdered in Auschwitz is devastating, yet it is an necessary part of uncovering and honoring Jewish cultural history lest all we remember is the transports and murders and not the depth of thought and feeling it embodied.

Posted in German Jewish History, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, Reflections, WWI Jewish Veterans | Leave a comment

Issue 27, June 10, 1921 Highlights

The lead article for the “Liberal Jewish Newspaper” of Breslau is authored by a Reform Jewish rabbi, Martin Salomonski (from Frankfurt on the Oder, later in Berlin) on the Feast of Weeks or Shavuot. Dr. Salmonski uses the meaning of the feast and the 10 Commandments to define a path between the political and religious poles, the nationalist and Zionist positions and calls for unity among Jews of Germany, at least to present a united front to the enemies of Judaism.

In this issue we see antisemitism casting its shadow in the treatment of immigrants, the reaction to theatrical productions (Arthur Schnitzler’s “La Ronde”), the attitude of the police, and very disturbingly, over schools responsible for educating the youngest and most vulnerable. You can find information on law suits and criminal cases involving antisemitic literature, especially the virulent material put out by the German National Protection and Defiance League. The courts adjudicate the matters correctly in the eyes of the Jewish legal community, but there is a sense that it does not matter–the lies are still circulating.

And they are still circulating. To this day, in the United States as elsewhere in the world. The Anti-defamation League published its 2021 report on antisemitic incidents showing an increase of 34% year over year.

Link to the translation of Issue 27.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Literature, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, Reflections | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jewish Liberal Newspaper, June 10, 1921


On the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot]

by Rabbi Dr. Salomonski, Frankfurt (Oder)

Just acknowledging the 10 commandments is not equivalent to a living Judaism. We have no intention to diminish these, which have now become all of humanity’s. Even the fourth commandment, the observation of Sabbath, which might be considered the most Jewish of all of them, doesn’t make us Jews. May the ten commandments not be just something handed down by tradition, but something that is always newly revealed.

There are enemies that seek the annihilation of Judaism. It is hard to fight against them because their intentions are good but they do evil. Judaic teaching stipulates one God and one unified Israel. Anyone who believes otherwise mistakes their mission or has fallen into fake-Judaism, regardless of their religious or political beliefs. Our unity only exists in the eyes of the outside. We must see to it that the children of Israel truly are committed to brotherly ways.

All other holidays except for Shavuot have rituals and symbols: Matzoh, huts, Shofar, and fasting. Perhaps this is where revelation comes in because of the very interior nature of our knowing these commandments.

The man who leaves the community because he could not become its representative is not an isolated case. The one that cannot just resign but must also threaten conflict and confusion and make extraordinary demands when things don’t go his way, is a known type. He claims to represent the majority in order to play up his own importance and, for example, nullifies both their German and Jewish identity.

Thus, we reach our main topic. In all Jewish organizations the principle of mutual respect should rule. For example, shouldn’t all organizations that fight against antisemitism attack at once and defer questions that require more thoughtfulness. Shouldn’t we come together and do the work of quelling the anarchy in our communities and putting an end to the misery of rabbis, teachers, and administrators.

We have enough leagues and associations and it would be more valuable that some of them that want to sustain the future of Judaism leave behind their romanticism and do the work and stop the talking.

The choice of the Book of Ruth as a reading for the feast of Shavuot might not make sense to all. How can a story that tells of the wheat harvest fit a feast that means to teach us that we do not live from bread alone. But the value and meaning of this story lie elsewhere. Ruth, Naomi, and Boas’ nobility is unquestionable. But let’s not forget another character in in this idyllic story—the unnamed heir who is able to act selflessly. That is what we must cultivate in Judaism. We have too many commanding generals.

The virtue of letting others enjoy their good fortune is what we should bring into our public lives in recognition that true Jewishness is not a matter of self-validation. Only when we learn that we don’t all have to lead will things go well for us. Then will Israel not only be God’s people, but it will also have be such forever and that the Lord has given all of us His Law, the best fulfillment of which is the Jewish heart and Jewish spirit.

Association of German National Jews and Political Dilettantism.

A letter from Dr. Paul Nathan, Berlin.

Dear Editors,

It is with some delay that I read the article by Dr. Max Naumann, Berlin titled “National German Jews and the Middle Ranks” in the May 27th issue.

This essay is informative, because it explains the innermost essence of this movement which was brought to life by Dr. Naumann.

The innermost essence of this movement is lack of clarity, which can be proven by Dr Naumann’s own words.

In your newspaper he observes the following about his opponent [i.e. Erich Spitz, link to referenced article]:

He seeks to prove to me that my nationalist feeling is not right, that it is in truth nationalism, but he doesn’t actually address my point, so I would have to do the same to him if I were to try to counter him. For, we are not dealing with things that are provable, that can only be apprehended by the mind; we are not dealing with ideas, but with feelings, that can only be grasped by the heart.”

Nothing is more defining than these words that lead from the political into the mystical. This statement explains completely Dr. Naumann’s inconsistency as he deviated from his original program for the German National Jews and has deviated again and again, as Mr. [Justizrat] Hirschberg detailed in your newspaper.

Dr. Naumann deludes himself that the essence of a national feeling, of a true and beautiful national feeling, cannot be defined. This essence is based the fact that the citizen fights for his fatherland against a violation from the outside and is ready to sacrifice everything, even life, and is not for justifying the interests of the individual in domestic politics but rather is led by the ideals that best serve the interests of the entire fatherland. That the understanding of this varies proves that men with very different ideals have stepped up to lead political parties that are fighting each other—each convinced of the purity of their intentions. And it is exactly because of this situation it would be so wrong for Jews to exclusively—as Jews—to join one party.

The ideal, and it is a high and modern ideal, requires the equality of all citizens before the law and puts the interest of the whole state before the preference of class, race, or religion; in the interest of the high civic ideal of modern justice that judges people according to what they do and don’t do, and not according to their race, religion, or class. If it were correct that the true German national feeling were only a matter of emotion, as maintained by Dr. Naumann, then everything associated with it would come under the subjective opinion of the individual. Dr. Naumann has this thoroughly false viewpoint as evidenced by the quote from his article that I cited above.

Nothing would be more fateful than if German Jews allowed themselves to be pushed onto Naumann’s shaky ground. One step in this direction would deliver the most powerful weapon to antisemitism. For it is precisely the anti-Semites whose work would become easier since they maintain that the Germanic feeling rejects living together with Semites, exactly because as Dr. Naumann avers that the “national German Jew” is something completely different and better than the Jew that he calls the “middling rank.” Dr. Naumann says that these differences can’t actually be defined, only felt, or not felt. Here, as there, hence precisely this baseless deduction, and Dr. Naumann in his political naivete doesn’t even recognize the help his argumentation gives to the anti-Semites.

With the same “right” with which he rejects the middle-ranker according to his feelings (a group which he defined also according to his feelings), do the anti-Semites reject Jews in totality.

It is politically harmless to want to create a political life based on feelings. But in this dilettantish method lie great dangers that Dr. Naumann with his myopia does not recognize.

The politician tries to reach absolute clarity when making decisions. The poet trusts feelings above all else. To the category of political poets, whose essence is the lack of clarity, belongs Dr. Naumann, who justifies people with antisemitic feelings if they hold these back when making decisions about practical, political matters.

Regardless of Dr. Naumann’s motives, lack of clarity in politics is as harmless as careerism and raw arrogance. And because this is so we must continue to occupy ourselves with Dr. Naumann. It’s won’t be for much longer, however. His movement has been built on such a weak foundation that it will collapse in short order. And that would be good for German Jews, and for our entire fatherland, because in this way a pathological seed will have been expunged from German political life.

Most Respectfully,

Dr. P. Nathan

[Front page announcements from the Jewish Liberal Youth Organization]

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, Breslau
Monday, June 14th, 1921, at 8 p. m.:
Social Get-together
in Scheitnig (at the Schweizerei).

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, Berlin.
Sunday, June 19th, 1921:
Day trip from Friedrichshagen to
Königswusterhausen.  (
Meet at the S-Bahn platform at the Charlottenburg train station at 7:10 a.m., train leaves at 7:22 a. M.,
Or meet at the S-Bahn platform at the Alexanderplatz train station at 7:35 a.m.;
train leaves at 7:47 a. m.  We will return between 7 and 8 p. m.
We will walk 30 to 35 kilometers

[Present day Google map of the Berlin JYO’s walk]


The German Courts and the German Jews (A Berlin court’s ruling on Arthur Schnitlzer’s “Reigen” [La Ronde]

By Ernst Emil Schweitzer, J.D., Berlin

Understanding the position of the German courts take on Jewish problems should be of interest. Especially we must recognize that the German judges have fundamentally always made an effort to take an objective position on Jewish questions. Antisemitism has found no entry into German questions of law. In legal proceedings in which I represented Jewish parties I have not once come across an instance that caused me to suspect that the religious affiliation of one or other of the parties had even an indirect influence on the judge.

My experience is without doubt shared by the large majority of German lawyers. Of course, that there are exceptions that arise here and there cannot be denied. However, these are isolated instances, and where one could truly suspect a judge of an antisemitic derailment, the administration always responded to the complaint.

A recent Berlin court ruling is probably of greater interest to the Austrian Jews than to their German neighbors. It concerns the staging of the “Reigen”, which has been the source of more political conflict that in Germany. In Berlin, the court had to deal with the “Reigen” in a civil complaint. The Berlin theater which put on the “Reigen” was leased with the condition that no morally offensive pieces would be presented. It was on this basis that the Leasor of the theater (which is under the jurisdiction of the Prussian state’s government) sought to prevent the theater’s administration from further performances [of the “Reigen”]. The court dismissed the complaint and in its decision highlighted the artistic significance of the “Reigen.” Part of the court’s decision reads:

“The book offers a richness of thought and nuance. Keen, concise lines dissect the depths of intellectual constitution and the emotional life. At times coarse, even raw, rough and mean, at other times tender and sensitive, sometimes moody, mocking, teasing, lusty, free and seductive in its depiction of a constant object when viewed in ten different narratives.”

The court viewed two performances which made the following impression:

“Anything that was impudent, sleazy, or smutty was avoided. The physical union was only as a result of the natural expression of the deepest, soulful intimacy. Unfortunately this interpretation was not shared by some classes. These groups were made all too aware of the misery of the increasing moral decay in their midst by this performance. It was shown them how thoughtlessly and unworthily a ignoble and flawed instant gratification can trample that which should be the holiest to humanity.

As the play’s directors explained, the impact peaks in a moral disgust over the degraded attitudes of some social classes toward sexuality. Every detail is calculated to elicit this reaction. This is successful for every mature and educated audience member. Above all, this effect is a result of how seriously the directors took their responsibility and their thoughtful, expert rendering of the theatrical portrayal.

As such, this performance is a moral act.”

When one considers how much extreme antisemitic rage accompanied the performance of Schnitzler’s “Reigen” in Austria especially, (however, even in Germany some rowdies had plans to disrupt the performance und were only prevented by the energetic efforts of the Berlin police), one must give double the credit to the objectivity of the court’s decision, regardless of how one personally regards the performance of “Reigen.” I on purpose do treat the artistic problem here. At this point for me it comes down to the fact that the German judges made the effort to regard the artistic and moral question objectively without allowing themselves to be influenced by nationalist assumptions.

German judges have also had the opportunity to take a position on Jewish issues in family law, especially on marriage and the raising of children.  My experience and knowledge have shown that here too they have had the goal of objectively considering any special religious conditions. I will describe some not well enough known significant decisions of German courts in a later article.

I would like to address one more point of view at this time. It would be very desirable that when our fellow Jewish citizens come before a judge that they be aware of the responsibility that they bear, not just to themselves, but to the entire community. For this reason they should avoid doing anything that would demean the community in the judge’s eyes, and they should sacrifice their personal sensitivity. Especially, when there is no specific need for it, should they avoid bringing civil suits to settle gossip and personal disputes with fellow Jews and instead first try to resolve these through amicable agreements. Also in marital matters should one avoid everything that could lead to unnecessary quarrels or ugly escalations. These are general guidelines that we freely acknowledge have already been largely adopted, but which one can never too often repeat.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. Poor conditions in the Stargard detention camp.

The Workers Welfare bureau of the Jewish organizations in Germany shares the following:

It is known that the a detention camp for “undesirable foreigners” has existed for about three months in Stargard. While at the beginning mostly foreigners with some kind of criminal record were detained there, recently countless foreigners have been interned there who received deportation notices because they temporarily lost their jobs, without having the possibility to plead their case that the conditions in Eastern Europe prevented a return to their homeland. These are not criminals, but by and large foreigners who can and want to work, who would have long ago found new jobs but are now in detention.

Now the conditions in the Stargard detention camp have become extraordinarily poor. The treatment of the detainees by the guards defy all humane sensibilities. The Workers Welfare bureau has investigated the cases and concluded that countless detainees have been mercilessly beaten and mistreated.

The detainees are verbally abused with the crudest expressions. Due to the mistreatment, and the extraordinarily bad conditions and care, the number of sick lying in the infirmary is exceedingly high. The contact between the detainees and the outside world is very limited. Letters are censured. The complaints of the prisoners are not satisfactorily addressed.

A few days ago a barrack housing 80 men burned down.  Since there were no fire extinguishing material, the guards, counter to their duty, did not react swiftly enough and the whole barrack burned down. More than a few detainees suffered burns, one of them had very serious wounds. The detainees’ clothing, valuables, and papers burned. Since the barrack doors were locked, the detainees jumped out of the windows and were met by scolding guards or beaten with clubs. The next day, during reveille, the detainees were threatened that the next time a barrack is on fire, they are not allowed to jump out and just burn to death.

The Workers Welfare bureau immediately investigated and then made the sharpest complaint to the Ministry. The Ministry of the Interior told us that it had immediately launched a serous investigation into the incident. A highly-placed member of the Ministry was sent to Stargard. It must be noted that the Ministry reacted very quickly. We are currently awaiting the prompt correction of these unbelievable circumstances.

Berlin. Liberal Association for the Affairs of the Jewish Congregation.

Professor Türk spoke on the “Religious or Worldly School” at a meeting of the Charlottenburg chapter. In the battle between Zionism and Orthodoxy on the one hand and Liberalism on the other the school question is the most important question. The Zionists demand not only a Jewish elementary school, they want to make the entire education system, from Kindergarten, to high schools to colleges, to be religious and Hebraic; world history must be taught from the Jewish perspective. The Orthodox perceive that the only way to enact Sabbath rest is to have Jewish schools. (German schools held classes on Saturday.] These schools would have eight mandatory hours of Hebrew lessons and two elective hours per week. Even the liberal Jewish teachers support Jewish elementary schools, however only as long as other religions also have schools. The main reason for opening Jewish schools is the antisemitism of teachers and the poor relations between Jewish and Christian children. Professor Türk considers these circumstances to be a result of the Revolution and therefore temporary; he is not convinced that introducing Jewish schools will instill in our children a truly Jewish spirit, and that the schools will allow them to keep Sabbath will have an effect on them in their later years as the Orthodox hope. Common education with children of other beliefs is the only way that differences can be dealt with by knowing and understanding each other in these early years. Where this is not possible children can at least be raised to defend themselves from antisemitic animosity. May those that want to live in Germany send their children to German schools. Supporting the national Jewish wishes and the complete separation of Jews from their environment is grist for the antisemites’ mill. The number of people leaving Judaism would increase when the Zionists and Orthodox hold the majority representation in our organization. The liberal faction of the congress and the youth organizations have stated their opposition to the introduction of Jewish schools.

Next, Mrs. Martha Henschke spoke on the topic of “Women’s work and the Jewish Congregation.” Despite progress made in other areas, women are still not allowed to hold representative positions in the congregations. Once the [Prussian Jewish] law of 1847 is repealed, the Jewish woman should see to it that her home is a truly Jewish one. In order to do that she must expand her knowledge of Judaism and contribute to the work of achieving Jewish ideals. The Liberal Association must see to it that the law of 1847 is repealed as soon as possible.Third on the agenda was a talk by Dr. Satokionski  [sp?] on “Expansion and Defense.” After the decline of Jewish community brought on by the war and the post-war years the Liberal Association must build it back up again. The other groups are not in the position to do it since they are following the Jewish national political goals with the Orthodox are undecided as to whether to follow those or the Liberals. If the current situation does not seem fortuitous, it is often worth wanting to do the right thing when it comes to important matters. Liberal Judaism wants to awaken a modern, religious life, but it doesn’t just want to bring in the new and do away with those things that have lost their inner value. It also wants to keep what is still valuable now. Liberalism can work in areas beyond the religious sphere. Jewish education must be improved through the alignment of rabbinical seminaries, the law of 1847 must be repealed, and countless social problems await to be addressed.

Announcement: A gathering of Jewish writers who write in German will take place in Prague in mid June. We have asked that as a member of our editorial staff, Ludwig Davidsohn attend. He will write about his impressions of the Prague meeting for our newspaper.

p. 3

Berlin. Emigrants to Argentina.

The Central Bureau for Jewish Emigration of the Aid Society of German Jews wrote us: Recently there have been frequent instances where emigrants to Argentina come to our office for help with the following—they cannot continue their journey because they failed to have their relatives get the required entry permission from the Argentinian Immigration service in Buenos Aires on time. Without this permission they cannot get a visa from the Argentinian Consulate. This oversight can have serious consequences. The emigrants have to telegraph their relatives in Argentina and then wait perhaps a long while in Berlin for the documents to arrive—all of which can be very expensive and troublesome, especially for families. We must again call attention to these requirements. The following people need a special permission from the Immigration Services in Buenos Aires to enter Argentina: Unaccompanied children under 15 years of age, unaccompanied adults over 60 years of age, unaccompanied pregnant women, unaccompanied women with children under 10 years of age and families that have no head of household or father. Travelers to Argentina that fall into one of these categories must have their relatives in Argentina send the required permission before they start their journey.

Hamburg. German Language and Culture of German Jews in the Middle Ages.

Rabbi Dr. Rieger of Braunschweig was invited to lecture by the Society for Jewish Cultural Studies in Hamburg. He spoke in a very full halll of the Museum of Ethnology on Jewish contributions to German language and culture, extending a lecture he presented here in October of last year on the homeland rights of Jews. He pointed to the fact that Jews have lived in Germany in organized communities for 1,600 years and have participated intensely in the cultural life of the German people.

The speaker started from the idea that the mother tongue is one of the formative principles of nationality and as one learns this language one also begins to be embedded in that people’s culture. The historical evidence of this is that German Jews have thought and written in the German mother tongue for over a milennium and have influenced the development of the German language. Hebrew, which was learned alongside German, was a religious and scholarly language, while German was indeed the mother tongue. Jewish children’s names in Germany show that virtually all German names were used. Hebrew names were adapted to German language rules that they didn’t seem foreign at all which can be attested to by their use among Christians. Biblical names such as Hanna, Mirjam, Elischewa became Anna, Maria, Lisbeth. The participation in German is especially evidenced by the many transmissions of prayers and Jewish texts into German. German translations of prayers even appear in the German Carnival poetry, e.g. that of Hans Pfalz Balbirer. Very early on Jews demonstrated their mastery of their mother tongue with their German versions of complete works of Hebrew literature. A manuscript in the Hamburg City Library is an excellent example of this literary accomplishment. It is a version of the books of Samuel in German Nibelungen Strophen which has earned their author, Liva (Loewe) of Regensburg a place among the best German poets of the fourteenth century. Almost all the books of the Bible receive this poetic treatment in the German language, either in the beloved Nibelungen verse or the “Ottava rima” (eight-meter). Also original works of literature appear early on. There is a series of moral tracts, the book about morality by Simeon ben Jehuda and the Little Garden by Isaac von Wurms which all deserve to be mentioned. Of course, the first position among these original German poets is held by the Minnesaenger Susskind von Trimberg whose poems belong to the best works of the early thirteenth century. He is joined by a not insignificant number of composers of folk and social songs. The speaker gave examples and details from three collections of these songs and explained their significance to German literature. A not inconsiderable number of German heroic lays, love stories, and farces also received independent treatment by Jews such that these twoo made important contributions to German letters. Among German Jewish culture, there came to be an unusual reciprocity where German themes received a Jewish treatment and Jewish themes were in turn reworked by Christians. As evidence, the speaker pointed to the fact that there is no difference to be found between German and Jewish craftsmen of weaponry. All areas of Germany recorded a number of Jews who were armed and ready to be mustered. And of course, Jews were represented in all the trades and crafts until the trade organizations prevented them from participating. Since the 11th century Jews were engaged in the monetary exchanges due to their extensive trade with the orient and import/export of goods. Despite the many instances of antisemitism abounding during the middle ages, there are many indications that the majority of the Christian population kept their distance from such animosity. Here the speaker cited Reuchlin’s Augenspiegel and Luther’s classic writing from 1523 stating that Jesus was born a Jew. The speaker concluded with a mention that German national literature owes much to Moses Mendelsohn’s influence. The lecture was well well received by the attentive and grateful audience.

Spandau. Aggression against Jews by the Authorities.

The “Spandauer Daily News” has as its masthead  “The administrative outlet for local police regulations and binding announcements for the public and other administrations” publishes in issue 118 a lead article, “Stock market battles and bravery” ends with this sentence, “ We call for an unremitting Jewish law.” This call is based on all sorts of made up stories that can truly be only manufactured by a sick, antisemitic brain. Among other things, it maintains that the English minister, Churchill could have avoided the defeat of the German navy but was bribed by Sir Ernest Cassel in the service of stock market speculations. A paper that prints such things would be met by disbelief even by the inmates of Dalldorf [asylum]. But for the Spandauer police and its mouthpiece, it seems fit enough.

Hohenlimburg. The Jewish School.

The Jewish congregation requested funds from the city to assist with the cost of their private school. The request was denied and the city recommended that the Jewish congregation allow their teachers to become part of the city schools and that the children attend the public elementary schools.

Stuttgart. The Jewish Wurttemberg State Church Congress.

Summary: The Jewish religious congress met to ratify the state church constitution. President Baelz opened the meeting in the name of the church administration and emphasized that the decisions made on these important issues such as taxation and exiting congregations could only be temporary until the winter when a new church law would make many of them irrelevant. The current constitution was based on the Jewish [religious] law of 1921. Wurttemberg is the only German state that has a Jewish state church organization, which should be maintained and enhanced. Individuals mentioned: President of the congress, Baelz; former president, Heumann (from Laupheim) factory owner Julius Rothschild elected chairman and the lawyer Dr. Hayum (from Tubingen) vice chairman. State councilor Dr. Nördlinger, state minister Dr Hirsch (who believes the new constitution will be less favorable to Jewish congregations). Other speakers include Dr. Gumbel and  the lawyer, Lepman.


The Jews in War Societies.

Over a year has passed since Mr. Alfred Roth, the head of the German Protection and Defiance League, announced his upcoming publication “The Jews in War Societies.” This long wait has in no way improved this project. On the contrary, the brochure is much more hateful and polemical than its military partner piece “The Jews in the Army.” We noticed that the writer once again hides behind the pseudonym of “Otto Arnim”—probably because that sounds more “German” than the name Roth, which is also a Jewish name. Or perhaps maybe so that he can quote himself under his actual name like Mr. Theodor Fritsch does with his various nice-sounding names.

The whole polemic character of this diatribe is made obvious by the fact that he only cites examples of Jewish war profiteers and Jewish crimes but is completely silent about how large the number of Christian profiteers and swindlers is. Likewise he only mentions the Jewish names among the war societies. He made his work easy by largely using passages from nationalist papers or writings as the “factual” basis of the conclusions he draws. Corrections to these false narratives made by Jews or the government authorities are simply waved away as excuses or attempts to hide the truth. Then, he serves up all manner of old antisemitic anti-Semitic tales from the Talmud and Jewish teachings.

He uses these to blame all Jews for the faults of a few individuals. He claims that “when Jews exploit wars to enrich themselves they are just following the principles they have been taught in their synagogues.” It matters not to Mr. Roth that the leading Christian scholars have provided evidence that the ethics of the Jewish religion are equal to those of the Christian religious, which in fact builds on the Jewish religion. The sad thing is that such statements are believed by the so-called educated, but hardly critical readers. Naturally, according to Roth-Arnim the economic restrictions were introduced by Rathenau to serve the purposes of the Jews and he doesn’t hold back from smearing Rathenau and Ballin with dung when he maintains that this had been their plan from the start and they depended o the war coming to an unhappy end, even going so far as to engineer this outcome!! It’s with this kind of crass maligning that Herr Roth claims is his service to the German people but in reality only foments their fury.

It’s truly not worth going into the many one-sided distortions in Roth’s pamphlet. One knows the polemic: Jews only act from self-service, they are incapable of acting for the greater good of the community. Apparently the author has completely forgotten that during the war his own party members brought complaints against the price gouging of many farmers, among whom there were probably hardly any Jews. According to Roth, Jews infiltrated war societies only to make money, but when experienced and conscientious experts were needed self-sacrifice was made without any thought to one’s own advantage in fulfilling one’s difficult duty, there were no Jews present. How it goes with this “self-sacrifice” we seen in the recent case of the arrest of two former officers from Wumba for bribery who worked with Christian accomplices to steer contracts worth millions to a small-time carpemter? Herr Roth seems to know nothings about this! Herr R. reveals what weapons he fights with when he cites the statistic that 11.5% of leadership positions in war societies were held by Jews and then questions this number saying that about 20% of these positions was held by Jews. From this number he concludes that Jews dominated the leadership of the war societies—he gets a poor grade in Math.

The Roth book in its entirety fits in with the rest of antisemitic literature. His own opinions and judgements are presented as unassailable proof that Jews are guilty of all evil. This is the easiest method to poison the soul of the people and to mask the failings of others under the veil of love of one’s neighbor.

The German-nationalist Protection and Defiance League

The German-nationalist Protection and Defiance League distributed a flyer “The Jew in the War-time Economy” in 1919 that ascribed responsibility for the failure of war-time economic organizations to Hews. The leader of the of the war-time organization for shoes, Commerce Councilor Wallerstein (from Offenbach) and the manufacturer Levi (from Stuttgart) were accused of using their positions to secure special advantages and enrich themselves at the cost of society in general and the other shoe manufacturers. Wallerstein and Levi brought charges against the League’s leader, Roth, who was responsible for distributing the flyer. During the trial Roth was unable to bring evidence to the contrary. He was fined 1500 Marks and sentenced to 150 days in prison. In its ruling, the court emphasized that the defendant could not provide evidence. Because the court did not find him guilty of malicious intent, the prison sentence was waived but the fine was set at the upper limit because the accusations had no basis in fact.


 On Anti-Semitism in the Schools.

From an informed source we have learned of a message that the Breslau public school administration sent out to all public middle, elementary, and special needs schools on May 27 of this year [1921].

“The public school administration has repeatedly received complaints about Jewish boys and girls being harassed by their classmates. Therefor we ask the faculty to conscientiously examine their environment and determine whether these complaints are justified. If they are, then we expect that the faculty take steps against these actions.

For schools would not be fulfilling their obligation as institutions of learning and education if students are not made clear how inappropriate, unjust and ignoble their behavior is. The Christian students are not to be allowed to believe they have the right to mistreat their Jewish classmates on the basis of their heritage or religion. And the Jewish children should never have the bitter feeling that their religion and heritage are seen as a flaw in the eyes of their classmates. We are confident in the hope that no member of our faculty would neglect their duty as an educator in this way, that no one would tolerate a situation which would dishonor us.”

Confirmations at the New Synagogue, Saturday, June 11: Bruno Kuntz (Father, Justus K., deceased, Scharnhorststraβe 26), Julius Rosenbaum (Father, Max R., Siebenhufenerstr. 17), Siegbert Schnell (Father, Julius Sch., Scharnhorststr. 26), Heinz Brann (Father, Leopold B., Kirschallee 22).
Sunday, June 12: Heinz Schenkolewski (Father, Nathan Sch., Kaiser-Wilhelm-Straβe 51).

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Jewish Liberal Newspaper, June 3, 1921


Philipp Bloch.

It is with admiration and honor that we wish a veteran of reform Judaism congratulations on the completion of his 80th year. Philipp Bloch, born on May 30, 1841, is a child of the German East and has lived his entire live in the German East except for a short stint as School Director in Munich. He spent his student years in Breslau. From 1871 to 1920, so almost a half century, he was the rabbi of the Brüdergemeinde in Posen. Here he found a good religious understanding and  knowledge of the reform tradition, paired with modern education and a modern attitude. Bloch was eminently suited to care for and foster these traditions. During his studies in Breslau he met Geiger who was at the height of his work. He himself was able to achieve so much at his post through his deep scholarliness, his comprehensive general education, his lively, effervescent spirit and the deep inner religiosity of his personality. The inner strength of the congregation and its influence grew significantly during the Bloch era. During his appointment the Posener Brüdergemeinde was taken over by the Synagogal Congregation and its temple became the congregations temple with Professor Bloch as the lead rabbi.

Bloch’s name has been mentioned among the leading reform Jewish theologians for decades. During his student days he found friendship and a common perspective with Vogelstein (Stettin), with whom he founded the Association of Liberal Rabbis of Germany [Vereinigung liberaler Rabbiner Deutschlands]. Since Vogelstein’s death he has lead the organization for decades and now, with his retirement from this position, he has been named Director Emeritus. He has headed the Association’s rabbinical examination committee for years.

The past years since the collapse [Zusammenbruch] have been brought him difficulties. The political situation threatened the existence of his congregation and his life’s work. He himself held out in his beloved homeland as long as he could until the intolerable circumstances of autumn, 1920 forced him to retire and move to Berlin.

We wish the highly estimable man who has enriched Jewish knowledge through countless historical and religious philosophical works a peaceful retirement spent in spiritual renewal and robust health with undisturbed familial happiness.

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, Breslau
Monday, June 5th 1921, 8 pm:
Social Get-together
in the South Park.
See the program of summer activities on the last page.

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, Berlin
Sunday, 5th of June, 1921
Morning Outing to Wannsee, Potsdam.
Meet at 9 o’clock at the commuter rail platform at the
Zoological Garden train station with a ticket to Wannsee.
Cruise with the Potsdam youth group.
Tuesday, 7th of June, 1921:
Get-together 8 o’clock, Schloß Wannsee, at the Beelitzhof
(Train station Nikolassee)


Members’ Meeting of the Union of Liberal Rabbis of Germany,
May 17th 1921 at Frankfurt a. M.

On Tuesday, May 17th, the Union of Liberal Rabbis of Germany met in the Frankfurt Lodge.  Of the Union’s 85 members, the following 46 rabbis attended: [See graphic below.]

The head of the union, Bloch (Posen), did not attend due to his advanced age, so the meeting was opened by Seligmann (Frankfurt). Following his proposal, Vogelstein will be the acting leader of the meeting, Goldmann the secretary, Appel and Steinhal will lead the protocol, Salzberger and Kronheim (Bielefeld) will serve as treasurers. A committee was formed to prepare for the election to choose new leadership. Appointed to the committee are Dienemann, Jacob and and Norden.

Following these proceedings, the Counselor Dr. Blau greeted the rabbis on behalf of the Frankfurt Jewish congregation, the Medical Counselor D. Ettlinger on behalf of the Free-thinking Association for Jewish Congregational Life, Dr. Erwin Seligmann on behalf of the Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization, and Dr. Eduard Strauß on behalf of the Frankfurt and Hermann Cohen lodges.

The meeting’s leader thanked all the speakers for their heartfelt words and then delivered a report spanning from 1912 to 1921. He commemorated the members who had passed on, especially Maybaum. Guttmann, Guttmann, Appel and Rülf for which the assembly stood. He thanked the rabbis  who served as military chaplains for their sacrifice and blessed service during the war and proposed naming the current leader [Philipp Bloch] as the union’s leader emeritus in honor of his 80th birthday which would be at the end of the month. The assembly enthusiastically and unanimously agreed. A telegram with news of this election will be sent to Bloch in Berlin. Then the meeting’s leader went on to illustrate in detail the motives, fate, and prospect of the direction of a program for liberal Judaism.

This was followed by the lectures and reports.

Dienemann (Offenbach) presented a lecture on the “Meaning of the Irrational for Liberal Judaism” that was very deep and thoughtful. He described the concept of the irrational as that part of our soul that presumes itself to be a given, that presents itself apart from any thought process and sees itself as holding sway regardless of choices. Dienemann south to show how this irrational is a deciding characteristic of our times, opposes the last questions, not because of rational thought and scientific processing, but because of primitive drives and the unexplainable.

… [translation is still being worked on]


Aus dem Reich.

Departures from Judaism

The “Berliner Tageblatt” writes in an overview of the departures from the various Jewish confessions the following:

Before the war the number of people declaring themselves to not be Jewish was regularly reported Berlin’s Jewish congregations. Various difficulties have prevented the continued preparation of perfect statistics. In Berlin where some 180,000 Jews lived: in 210 237 left Judaism, in 1912 228, in 1913 180 and in 1917 some 150. Even here, at the start of the revolution, the wave of departures was noticeable. It lasted from about the beginning of 1919 to the mid-year. During this time, the number of departures was at least twice as much as during the pre-war years. The wave ebbed at the end of 1919 but as we were told by an informed source, the current number of these departures a third greater than before the war. Connected with this movement of departures is the fact that fewer study theology as before the war. Even so there is no shortage of religious because many religious have emigrated from the occupied areas and are waiting for assignments. – As was emphasized, the tax burden for many employed Jews, who earn relatively little, is the reason for their declaration of departure.

Lyck (East Prussia). [now Elk, Poland] The police administration published the following announcement in the “Lycker Zeitung”:

The agitation against our Jewish citizens perpetrated by certain circles has for a while now taken a form that must be decisively condemned. The various city administrations are determined to bring all means to bear against this “Unfug” Through this announcement we warn against the continuation of these hetzenden activities and ask the citizenry in the spirit of the great People’s Voe, in which the Israelite citizens of Masur were true to the Fatherland and helped us gai the glorious victory of German identity in order to preserve peace. Should the actions against Jews continue despite this warning, we will punish especially those who hang and distribute pamphlets. In consideration of our citizenry, we expect that we will not have to resort to such punishments.

Hamburg. From the Segeberg Children’s Home. On the 22 of the previous month [May] the Segeberg Children’s Home celebrated the tenth anniversary of its founding. Countless foreign and local supporters were present among the crowd of children and board members of the Israelite humanitarian Womens Association which founded and maintains the home to celebrate the occasion. Among the attendees, one noticed among others Baron van Beverrode, the Dutch Consul in Hamburg Flaes, Mayor Stolten, State Minister Dr. Köster and president of the board of the railway Schneider (Altona).

Miss Sidonie Werner, the director of the Home thanked all supporters, doors, and workers after providing a short retrospective of the institution’s development. After her spoke Mayor Stolten on behalf of the city senate, Consul Flaes and Rabbi Dr. Leimdörfer, who had dedicated the home ten years ago.



Representatives‘ Meeting, May 27, 1921.

[Translator’s note: The following is not an exact translation, but is more than a synopsis.]

Because the congregation’s representatives had not met for 2 months, there were 26 items to consider, many of which concerned the cemeteries, namely deciding to allow 3 burials in one plot and improving the drainage and the building at Antonienstraße 6 and funding more telephone connections.  Members of the charitable aid committee were elected. Another important topic was religious instruction which received more funds to cover the reorganization of instruction for the upper classes. Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein and Counselor Hirschberg were able to align the curriculum for these upper classes with that of the province’s. There was a long debate about paying for new library books. Apparently, many books had been missing. These were found to be in the hands of scholars who used them for their research and many requests for their return had gone unheeded. The debate included additional funds to cover paying library aids (all women) for overtime. The contribution to the Jewish “Kurhospital” [modern equivalent would be “rehab”] in Warmbrunn [now Cieplice Slaskie Zdroja, PL] was increased from 400 to 600 marks. The budget of the M. S. Leipzig Foundation was reviewed. The regional traveling library received some funding. In the future the funds of the Reander Mueller Foundation will go to support support Jewish psychological patients and to cover the significant costs of supplying matzah for the recent Passover. The representatives then went into a private session during which it was decided to use congregation funds for a grave memorial for the deceased Rabbi Dr. Rosenthal.

For Your Consideration.

Forest Sanitorium Obernigk

The German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation Obernigl chapter published in the May 4th issue of the “Boten aus den Kreisen Trebnitz, Militsch-Trachtenberg, Wohlau, Anzeiger für Bad Obernigk” an announcement that was signed by Dr. Fritz Kontny as its leader. Dr. Kontny invites all who want to join the Protection and Defiance Federation to  come to him at the Waldsanitorium Obernigk.

This fact deserves to be noted because Dr. Kontny through his activity as the leader of the defaming and agitating Protection and Defiance Federation, makes it quite clear that he does value Jewish guests in his Sanitorium.

The German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation’s list of businesses. The Otto Kowatsch & Co., producers of lighting fixtures and metalwork, Breslau 5, 6-8 Reydigerstraße reports that it distances itself completely from any antisemitic activities and has repeatedly asked the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation to take them off the list.

Cabaret Kaiserkrone. The June program is very interesting. The enormously fat Otto Mücke [gnat] (paradox!), the gorgeous Elsa Felsen and the singers Herrmann Torf and Albrecht Hoffmeister, and the Krönlein-Tima duet will deliver the best entertainment. Take note especially of the dancer Dolly Gerd who performs her folk dances with a good technique, musicality, and authenticity. It’s truly worthwhile to see the June program.

The living maze, which will be set up on the fairgrounds of the Breslau Luna Park in Morgenau delights all visitors with its labyrinthian hedges. Neo-Impressionist statues, large concave and convex mirrors and a friendly fountain in the middle of the maze add an artistic aspect and increase the pleasure of visitors to this magical garden setting. It’s far better than the maze that was set up in the Scheitniger Park in previous years.

[Schedule of services that lists the Confirmations at the Old Synagogue, Saturday, June 4: Ernst Günther Karpe (Father Siegmund K., Schuhbrücke, 19/21 and Albert Loewy (Father Leo L., Neue
Graupenstraße 11] At the New Synagogue, Saturday, June 4: Gerhard Glaser
(Father Leo G., Augustastraße 133).

The Gotthelf Foundation is giving scholarships to Jewish students of Medicine or Law who had been born in the provinces of Silesia or Posen. Applications accompanied by a birth certificate and grades/recommendations will be accepted until June 20th of this year.
The Board of the Synagogue’s Congregation.

The Foundations of Jakob and Charlotte Krebs, City Councilor Fedor and Charlotte Pringsheim, Biller Sina and the Lady von Pilot will assist deserving local Jewish brides with their trousseaus. Applications accepted until the first of September.

It is a proud duty of all Jewish fellow citizens [female] to belong to the Israelite aid to the sick and Funerary Society (Chewra kadischa) and so support the Israelite Hospital which is in dire need thanks to the war and its economic consequences.

Non-members of the Chewra Kadischa must pay double the burial fee in case of their death and the death of their dependents.

Membership applications can be made at the office of the Israelite Hospital, Hohenzollernstr. 96 (Tel. ring 6716-18)

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Literature, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History, Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, Translations | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Jewish Liberal Newspaper, May 27, 1921

p. 1

National German Jews and the Middle Ranks.

by Dr. Max Naumann (Berlin)

[Translation] In Issue 14, March 4 of this publication in the article “On the National German Jews”, the lawyer Erich Spitz opposed Dr. Naumann‘s writing and movement. In order to further clarify this topic, we invited Dr. Naumann to respond. Technical problems caused us to delay publishing his essay. The delay is in no way an indication of our position.

Synopsis: In his March 4th article, Erich Spitz apparently incorrectly ascribed positions to Dr. Naumann and his movement. The first correction regards the membership. All Jewish Germans who feel that their German identity, their feeling of German nationality, is integral to them regardless of their particular religious or political associations. To the point Spitz makes of how they exclude certain groups, Nauman observes that radical leftists are typically anti-nationalist and wouldn’t want to belong to their organization. Very religious Jews often see their identity as being unconstrained by national borders or regional groupings, so they also would not be interested in joining an organization for Jews who identify with the German nation. But these groups are not excluded from membership. Dr. Naumann vehemently disagrees with Spitz when he associates the feeling of German national identity with nationalism. Rather, Dr. Naumann claims that this national feeling is an individualistic experience filtered through ancestry, religious sensitivity, education, class, profession, economic status, and many other factors. “You have it or you don’t.” And it’s already present in the child’s soul, when they make their first cry. On this topic he concludes that Spitz’s glasses through which he perceives the world are colored differently. For him his Judaism affected the color more and Dr. Naumann’s were more affected by his Germanness. Dr. Naumann believes that the Jew who primarily identifies as German “will more quickly and surely reach the place where every German belongs, the place where non-Jews and Jews, unified by love of the German Fatherland, will work hand-in-hand to rebuild Germany.”

[Front page announcements from the Jewish Liberal Youth Organization]

Jewish Liberal Youth Organization, Breslau
Sunday, 29th of May, 1921 River cruise to Maltsch (Leubus) with the Liegnitzer youth group.
Meet at 5:45 am at the main train station.
Steamship cruise from Maltsch to Leubus (now Malczyce and Lubiąż, PL).
We’ll be cooking lunch and for the coffee break so bring your mess kit, cutlery, and mug. Those that can sing, bring your voices! The outing will take place regardless of weather. Ludwig Freund. Phone R.8112.
Tuesday, 29th of May, 1921, 8 pm:
Social get-together in Scheitnig (at the Schweizerei). See the Summer Program announcement.
Jewish Liberal Youth Organization, Berlin
Sunday, 5th of June, 1921 Morning outing to Wannsee, Potsdam.
Meet at 9 o’clock at the commuter rail platform at the Zoological Garden train station with a ticket to Wannsee. Cruise with the Potsdam youth group.


The Central Organization and the League of National German Jews.

Synopsis: Eugen Freund has sent a letter to the newspaper which Felix Hirschberg, as the head of the Breslau chapter of Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith feels compelled to respond to. He takes issue with the question of membership in the League of National German Jews, citing that the bylaws changed only recently to clarify that the members must be of Jewish descent. To refute the claim that members can be of any party affiliation, Hirschberg quotes Naumann as saying that members should have the same political identity as he, Naumann, has. Finally, Hirschberg contests the claim that the League is not an enemy of the Central Organization and points to the example of how divided they are over the situation of the Eastern European Jews. The League says it’s a German problem and the Central Organization maintains that it’s a Jewish problem. He concludes by observing how regrettable it is that the Jewish community is debating such issues when it is being threatened by dangers from the outside.

Aus dem Reich.

Frankfurt a. M. From the German Liberal Jewry Association. On the Monday after Pentecost a meeting of the leadership was attended by many local groups. 21 Reform Rabbis participated. A detailed report is forthcoming. The following day a meeting of the Association of German Reform Rabbis took place.

Berlin. The Central Organization and the League of National German Jews. The exact wording of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith’s position on the League of National German Jews founded by Dr. Naumann, which was decided during a meeting of the leadership committee on April 10 is as follows:

The Central Organization warns German Jews against joining the Naumann movement. It is dangerous and will cause confusion internally and externally. This movement is unnecessary because the German ideals have always been incontrovertibly represented by the Central Organization.

Berlin. Voting Rights of Foreigners. In a memorandum to the President of the Rhine province, the Prussian Ministry of the Interior declined to consider requests made by synagogues to change the congregational voting rights of foreigners as stated in the Jewish Law of 1847.  He added: “The voting rights of synagogue congregations will be modernized by a new law that is currently being developed.”

Berlin. Announcing a Prize from the S. Maybaum Foundation. Professor Bloch, the head of the Association of Reform Rabbis of Germany, announced the prize to be awarded to a historical presentation and critical analysis of how German Synagogues undertook to make the traditional reading of the Torah and the Prophets more effective and impactful. Paragraph 3 of the announcement only works that are scientific, that is, supported by the sources of the Religious Law or by references to previous works on the history of religion. Candidates for the prize must be rabbis or have passed the rabbinical exams and are awaiting assignments as rabbis. The submissions must be written in German. According to paragraph 4, the publisher retains the ownership of the published work. This time the prize is 700 Marks. Submissions must be sent by November 18, 1922 to Dr. Cäsar Seligman, Rabbi in Frankfurt a. M., Friedrichstraße 29. Papers are to be submitted anonymously with an identifying word or phrase which is then to be sent in a separate, sealed envelope containing the identity of the writer.

A description of the modes in which the Torah is read during services in the important German congregations is desired, but not required.

Allenstein. A general session of the league of East Prussian synagogue congregations took place on May 5 with the recent members of the West Prussian area included. The focus of discussions was the question of religious education introduced by lectures by Rabbi Dr. Lewin, Königsberg “School and Home,” and Rabbi Dr. Apt, Allenstein “Building and expanding Jewish religious education in East Prussia.” City Counselor, Eichelbaum from Insterburg, was re-elected as head of the organization by a large majority.

Kassel.  The Association of neutral Jewish Youth Organizations of Germany which held a leadership conference here on Pentecost, declared a resolution that Palestine must not be treated along political lines. Rather, in Palestine there must rise a homeland grounded in the religion of our fathers for all Jews who have been uprooted from their homelands.And from which shall flow religious and intellectual impulses to Judaism and the whole world. 

Stuttgart. [Editor’s note: This segment uses Christian terms for Jewish institutions and the authors use the term “Israelite” instead of “Jewish.”}

The new Israelite church constitution in Wuerttemberg. On the 23rd of this month the conference of Israelite congregations in the state of Wuerttemberg met to define a new constitution required by the recent separation of church and state. Attending were 16 representatives with voting rights plus 2 who had been elected by rabbis or teachers. 

The current constitution is largely as follows: Every Israelite belongs to the Israelite church where they reside, and if there isn’t one, then they belong to the nearest one. The congregations are divided into 8 areas and are administered by councils to whom the rabbis are accountable. These councils are led by the Israelite church’s state council whose head is part of the religious ministry and has its own state congress secretarial position. […] These are government employees, now hired by the government, previously hired by the king. {…] The new constitution has few changes but does away with the Rabbis’ dependence on the church councils and introduces the right of women to vote. 

[Editor’s note: The ellipses indicate passages that describe in detail the hierarchy of congregational and state councils, their makeup, whether they are appointed or elected.]


A novelle by Bidsche Hohnsalz (Zehlendorf)

Luckily, there are not many people that had suffered such an unhappy youth as he. His father was an angry, immeasurably tyrannical and debauched man who set himself to be a miserable exception to the many Jews living according to a strong family ethos. His mother was a small, miserable, weak, and sickly woman who had never loved her husband, and was in no way the right partner for him.

When he was conceived he received all the suffering and battles his mother had withstood; and the sadness of his childhood, the monotone, dark melody of his soul became the theme of his entire being. It was as though his face bore the traces of all the suffering endured by Jews for many centuries.

The only child born after him was mentally and physically slow, vegetated as an imbecile—a terrible accusation toward his parents.

He grew up without love; no one had shown him any tenderness, no one had ever cared about him.

From his mother he inherited the inclination to being alone, and the constant talking to himself.

Women remained to him a closed secret. There did burn in him a longing and greedy flames reached after the unknown, the deepest things that a young can experience, toward the locked gateway behind which he thought happiness lay.

When on May evenings he saw the girls in white dresses flirtatiously hanging on the arm of their loved one, he felt like a beggar on the side of the road.

He was not cut out for life. His soul didn’t have a crab shell. He was unremittingly exposed to the intensity of outsized emotions and longings, and he had become tired and troubled by it all.

As a student he met a young female chemist who was as good as engaged to a distant relative of his named Felix. When he saw this young girl for the first time, he felt as though he were struck by lightning; He was affected as never before in his life and he knew that he would never be able to forget her.

Wherever he was, in all his travels, during every activity, his inner eyes beheld the image of this girl which tortured him and made him seem even more of a dreamer and always lost in thought.

Longing!… Longing!…The life of this weakly man who could barely justify his existence was a vessel for the world that this word encompassed. – Oh! There are such great, wonderful and meaningful words like this one that become as worn down and common as an old coin through such overuse in language.

She was a delicate, feminine and absolutely lovely creature with a gentle and still a bit cheeky childlike face framed by a crown of thick dark brown hair—a fine, unusual, unforgettable beauty in her own way….

Her character contrasted with her delicate shape in an odd way—Nature had made a charming joke, which was however still bitterly and terribly ironic for within the extraordinarily beautiful, elflike form, there was a very confident, strong-willed, imperious, combative character that was completely unsentimental, clear, col and focused which must have struck his dreamy and awkward self as odd. She had of course quickly realized what kind of impression she had made on him and viewed him with a half amused, half intentional ambivalence.

It never came to any kind of external action for he was shy and avoided mentioning that which would most satisfy him.

He knew that she would always be unapproachable for him, and anyway, she loved another—at least as much as her spare and aloof nature allowed her feelings—and she was promised to another even though she in no way suited him, or had any affection for him, she did understand his unusual, unimpressive manner.

How often did he say to himself: The greatest punishment were to have my foolish wishes fulfilled!

How often did he think about the impossible prospects for his longing! All of this helped him little. He could not tear his thoughts away from her. It was exactly her confident, energetic character that made the deepest impression on him, the perpetual dreamer…. (to be continued.)

p. 3

[“Aus dem Reich” continuation]

Munich.  The state government of Bavaria has resolved to counter the recent growth of Antisemitism. It instructed the police to pay close attention to antisemitic movements and to take measures against their actions. Everything will be done to introduce severe punishments to dissuade them. 

Liegnitz. [Legnica, PL] Association of Independent Jewish Craftsmen, Liegnitz chapter. Its first meeting took place on the 8th of this month. The introductory lecture was held by W. Marcus (Berlin), the national Association’s head. In attendance were a representative of the Breslau chapter and the Liegnitz Rabbi, Dr. Peritz. 36 craftsmen joined immediately. 

Aus dem Ausland. 

Vienna. Synopsis: A short notice of the death of Alfred Fried, 1911 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his pacifistic efforts. 

Athens. As recently reported by us on the fairy tale of rituatlistic murder in Thessalonica, the Prime Minister of Greece, Gounaris, in response to a parliamentary request for an explanation, stated that this incident was without significance and was quickly put an end to by the police. [He went on to say that ] this fable that caused the incident is a despicable slander against a community that contributes so much to culture. The slander that Jews draw blood from Christian children brings forth indignation in the consciences of every decent human being. “We know the Israelites to be loyal and hard-working citizens.” Their gentle, peaceful, and calm character completely refutes the cruelty of which they are suspected. If some citizens, blinded by prejudice, were to have an attitude toward Jews that stands in contrast to the position of the majority of their fellow citizens, they will have to reckon with the full power of the state and suffer the consequences of strictest justice. 

[Editor’s note: The largest Jewish (Sephardic) community lived on Thessalonica, which was annexed by Greece in 1913, which underscores the significance of this story. See the Wikipedia article on Antisemitism in Greece: 

Aus der Presse. 

An editorial from the “Israelitisches Familienblatt”on the founding of the Zionist organization, Binjan Haarez, labels it as a separationist movement. 

The “Frankfurter Zeitung” reports on the suffering of Ukrainian Jews and an appeal for aid in the Austrian newspapers. During the government changes, pogroms had again taken place. Synopsis: The pogroms of spring and summer 1919, some of the most violent attacks in the history of the world, had destroyed 568 communities and killed 138,000 Jews, as reported by the 1920 Jewish World Relief Conference in Carlsbad. Details of the massacres follow. Since the conference, another 150 settlements have been destroyed by the forces of General Balachowicz, thousands murdered, and tens of thousands forced to flee to neighboring countries. 


The “Frankfurter Zeitung” reports an antisemitic attack in Giessen committed by three students from the local university. A man was beaten to unconciousness. One of the attackers was apprehended. The victim turned out to be a Christian, but his attackers assumed that because he was carrying two suitcases he was a Jewish businessman. It behooves the university’s administration to fight against the spirit that led to such an action ex officio to preserve its academic reputation. 

Local Events.

Representatives‘ Meeting. On Sunday, the 29th of this month at 10:30 a.m. the representatives will meet at the conference hall at Wallstrasse 9. The meeting has a rich agenda.

Breslau Jewish Women’s League. The League met on the 24th of this month at the Lessing Lodge. Mrs. Guttmann [wife of Professor Guttmann] greeted the many attendants and the special guest from Berlin, Henriette May. She mentioned the growing achievements of the local Breslau chapter. Then followed reports from the leaders of the individual committees: Mrs. Ollendorff spoke about the effectiveness of the counseling service; Mrs. Cohn about the children’s home; Mrs. Grete Bial bout the girls’ club, Mrs. Engel reported on the treasury.

Then Mrs. May took the stage and gave a compelling recounting of the proceedings of the Carlsbad World Congress and gave her attentive listeners new perspectives on the children’s aid and provided little known details about this great aid campaign. Mrs. May fully deserved the eager applause and thanks she received. Mrs. Ollendorf contributed more information about the children’s aid work. The meeting closed with remarks from Mrs. Regina Neiβer in which she again thanked Mrs. May most sincerely and emphasized that Jewish women joyfully, proudly, and rightfully call themselves German women of Jewish faith. They should take to heart and put into action the words of the great German man, the great friend of people and children, Friedrich Fröbel, “Come, let our children live!” just as Jewish women want their children to live.”

Attention! A thoroughly reliable source reported to us that on the morning of May 16 of this year, in a compartment on the Breslau-Oels train, the businessman Paul Buchwald, owner of an imported fruit store at 62 Kaiser-Wilhelmstrasse, ranted about Jews in an especially hateful manner and called for their remoal from Germany. We publish this with a observation that Mr. Buchwald certainly feels the same way about his customers and clearly does not value Jewish business.

The straw hat manufacturer Freund & Krebs at 30 Karlstrasse has added service for reshaping men’s felt hats. Please bring your felt hats for reshaping as soon as possible to avoid the Fall rush. Bring hats directly to the factory on Karlstrasse as orders will not be accepted from our outlets or independent shops.

Family Announcements.

Engagements: Charlotte Joßmann, Breslau, with Wilhelm Rosenbaum, Berlin-Reinickendorf-West; Paula Fischel with Walter Bayer, Breslau; Marie Eisner with Siegfried Falk, Berlin.

Marriages: Arthur Weinstock with Charlotte Marcus, Breslau; Arthur Hirschel with Erna Deucht, Breslay, Siegfried Kochmann with Edith Weißmann, Breslau; Alex Deckro with Lydia Warschauer, Breslau, Josef Scheye with Erna Chonke, Breslau.

Births: Son: Max Fröhlich and Magda, nee Reichmann, Breslau; Georg Brinnitzer and Clara, nee Wiener, Oppeln; Theodor Prinz and Lucte, nee Böhm, Breslau; Dr. Bruno Strauß and Dr. Bertha Badt-Strauß, Berlin; Erich Böhm and Käte, nee Ebstein, Rattbor; Max Roth and wife, Breslau; Dago Albert Liebermann and Johanna, nee Lewy, Breslau; Wilhelm Ludwig Schlesinger and Resi, nee Gerstel, Breslau; Walter Roth and Käthe, nee Leschnitzer, Breslau.

Daughter: Ernst Mohr and Bertha, nee Scheyer, Breslau; Dr. Lazarus Jutkowski and Grete, nee Hauptmann, Militsch.

Deaths: Heiman Glaser: Hermann Berger, Breslau; Georg Matheus, Breslau; Isidor Goldschmidt, Neustadt Upper Silesia; Sophie Meyer, nee Schwerin, Breslau; Julius Moses, Breslau; Markus Schinder, Breslau.


[Editor’s note: I haven’t translated anything from the advertisements section of the newspaper, but in this issue, it included a description of the summer youth program, its outings, and its series of discussions/study groups. Mentioned also are the teachers, many of which were women. The readings provide insight into the breadth of theological, intellectual, and cultural topics the Breslau community felt was important to the education of its youth.]

The Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization Summer Program in Breslau

  • Gatherings once a week alternating between Monday and Tuesdays evening in the Südpark and in Scheitnig.
  • Field trips every other Sunday (see announcements in this paper).
  • Smaller groups will meet to prepare the following themes for the fall and winter activities.
  1. Prophetism. Readings: [Carl Heinrich] Cornill: “Der israelitische Prophetismus.” Led by Miss. Lucie Jacobsohn,  19 Nikolaistadtgraben.
  2. Mishnah and Talmud. Reading: Kraus, “Mischnah, Bernfeld, Talmud.“ Led by Miss Else Nellhaus, 56 Vikortastrasse. Telephone: Ring 5897
  3. Abraham Geiger. Reading: Excerpts from Abraham Geiger’s life and works. Led by [Lawyer] Erich Spitz, 4 Guttenbergstrasse. Telephone Ring 175.
  4. Sadducees and Pharisees. Reading: [Rudolf] Leszynsky, “Sadducees and Pharisees.” Led by Curt Brienitzer, 3 Höfschenplatz. Telephone Ring 1797.
  5. Apologetics. Reading: [Moritz] Güdemann, “Apologetics.” Led by Miss Frieda Karger, 17 Klosterstrasse.
  6. The Question of Race. Led by Mr. Ludwig Korn, 171 Kaiser Wilhelmstrasse. Telephone Ring 2988.
  7. Worship and its History. Reading: [Ismar] Elbogen, “Worship and synagogal poetry.” Led by Miss Lotte Leschziner, 21 Kaiser Wilhelmstrasse. Telephone Ring 274.
  8. Teachings of Juadism. :Reading: Volume of the same name by the Association of German Jews. Led by Mr. Fritz Stoll, 116 Viktoriastrasse, Telephone Ring 2284.
  9. Koheleth. Readings and Interpretations. Led by Mr. Erich Bayer, 13 Karlsstrasse, Telephone Ring 2702.
  10. Structure and Meaning of Jewish Organizations in Germany. Led by Mr. Alfred Berger, 61 Höfschenstrasse.

Meetings take place in the homes of leaders. Planned are 3 to 4 meetings lasting 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours. Mailed or telephone registrations will be accepted until June 2 by the individual leaders. Alternately, you can mail registrations for all groups to Mr. Alfred Berger, 61 Höfschenstrasse.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, Translations | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Jewish Liberal Newspaper, May 20, 1921


Anti-Semitism and the Bible.

by Dr. Ed. König, Professor of Protestant Theology at the University of Bonn.

Open Your Eyes!

by Fritz Stoll (Breslau)

Synopsis: Stoll analyzes the discussion on Palestine and Zionism that took place during the April 10, 1921 meeting of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith.


The Jacobson School in Seesen, an endangered Jewish cultural institution

Synopsis: Founded in 1801 by Israel Jacobson, an adherent to the philosophy of Moses Mendelsohn, this school is now threatened by the economic disaster that has followed the war. It opened with twelve poor boys and by 1901 had educated 4,180 boys, including orphans and sons of wealthy families, Christians and Jews.

Jakob Wasserman.
“My Life as German and Jew”

[“My Life as German and Jew” published by S. Fischer Verlag, Berlin. 1921.]

[Translation] The epic novelist, Wassermann, unarguably counts among the best and most original minds at work in Germany today. Of some of his books, one can say with absolute confidence that they will victoriously outlast many literary styles and trends, finding readers and admirers in future times. His great novels, “Das Gänsemänchen” and “Christian Wahnschaffe,” are like diagrams of our modern “culture,” powerful portraits of the soul of our epoch, through which cultural historians of the future will be able to learn more than from countless other voluminous printed sources.

Wasserman’s large body of narrative works are like gigantic, colorful carpets possessing their own illumination, into which are woven many, many individual fates, experiences, and actions; and everywhere in his books, just as in some old German cities, one finds places and corners of unforgettable, magical-poetic charm, all of which is seen and portrayed in his unique, new way.

I have read most of Wassermann’s books, the first of them decades ago,– and they have all stayed so alive and present, as though I had just gotten to know them yesterday.

Wassermann is—next to Thomas Mann—the only contemporary German author, that begs a comparison to the greatest narrators of world literature such as Dostojewski, Balzac, Dickens, Manzoni. What differentiates him from these masters, is one important trait: he has absolutely no sense of humor! Over all of his writings lies a heavy, masculine seriousness, indeed over some of them is a frightening dread that lies heavily on one’s spirit and years later continues to affect one with odd suggestiveness.

The author has given us the key to this deep, dark mind, which has absolutely nothing to do with neo-romantic, “nervous melancholy, in a short, meaningful autobiography and confessional, “Mein Weg als Deutscher und Jude,” recently published by S. Fischer in Berlin.

It is a book that affects one to the core and calls to mind Nietzsche’s words: “Of all that is written, I love only that which one writes with his blood.”…

Wasserman depicts for us the odyssey of his own soul, which clearly has not yet found its Ithaca! He describes the dual sorrows which have spared in him nothing in a quiet and simple tone, which is all the more effective. . .

The first sorrow is the course of his life. He had to deal with terrible circumstances before he could succeed. He lifted himself out of the bitterest poverty, had to suffer hunger and deprivation as only a few do, until he was free to write. Misunderstanding, lovelessness and the coldness of his family, his surroundings, his “friends” were like insurmountable walls that constrained his path so that he had neither drive nor light to live by.

Some other distinguished minds have withstood such misery and written about it. Hebbel, for example, complains that even when he was a well-known and often staged playwright, he didn’t eat any hot food for his main meal for two months; Kleist wasted away terribly and Cervantes literally died of starvation.

But the second momentous sorrow of Wasserman’s has never before been portrayed with such anguishing bitterness by a great author as here: that is the effects of the hatred of Jews.

Granted, various Jewish authors have written movingly about the troubles caused by Anti-Semitism: Schnitzler’s “Weg ins Freie” is a sorrowful plaint, from Jakobowski’s “Werther, der Jude,” comes the sound of a controlled sobbing, Berthold Auerbach speaks with great pain caused by these sad things in his many letters, and the gifted philosopher Simmel is …. When still at the highpoint of his life,

Wird von diesem Verunglimpfungen noch auf der Hoehe seines Lebens als schon allgemein Geschaetzter und anerkkanter aufs tiefste beugt. Alone, as mentioned, is the effect so moving and depressing that this injustice brings to upstanding people with a finely articulated soul, has never been depicted.

Wassermann emphasizes, and none who is a justly critical connoisseur of German art and culture has ever questioned, nor can deny this, that he deems himself to be a thoroughly German-feeling German and simultaneously a Jewish-feeling Israelite. “I am German, and I am Jewish, one as much and as completely as the other, one cannot be separated from the other,” he confesses. (page 126.)

This insight has something of the obvious. Wassermann’s work has always been, along with others, compelling evidence that, despite what fanatics might think, here exists a vibrant, creative, and fruitful synthesis between Jewishness and German-ness—that these blendings are completely possible and not even rare.

At the end of his book, the writer expresses the hope that time will somehow cure the evil of Anti-Semitism to a certain degree. I don’t dare to judge whether this hope is valid. Hatred of Jews in a certain form is a social-political manifestation that has existed for millennia and will not so soon disappear.

I recently read in the city’s archives a report composed centuries ago by a famous professor of Mathematics, an unusually clear-thinking and intelligent man who made lasting contributions to his field. In this report the learned man tries to prove that most women with red hair are witches and should be burned!

It’s easy to smile over such “outdated perspectives.” However, it is harder and more instructive to understand the spirit of these times and to immerse oneself in it so that one understands how this otherwise great man of science could hold this superstition.

So too does Antisemitism compare in large part with this medieval intellectual confusion. Eradicating such things is beyond human power, for it is known that there are forces against which even the gods struggle with futility….

Wasserman’s book is moving, deep, and yet simple document of the times of lasting value, that will hopefully also resonate in many non-Jewish hearts.

We German Jews can be proud of an artist and individual like Wasserman. The more such figures we bring forth, the more incontrovertible proof we have against the arguments of inferiority and instability made about us. Dr. L. D.

p. 3.

League of National German Jews.

We were asked to publish the following statement: [Translator’s note: The paper published the statement indeed, but “fact-checks” were interspersed which I italicized for readability’s sake.]
Letters and inquiries from the broader  Breslau Jewish communities cause the signatory to make the following declarations:

It is not correct that the League of National German Jews accept those persons as members that don’t belong to the Jewish community (Dissidents).

The opposite is true! The bylaws state: Eligible are men and women with German citizenship and of Jewish descent who have not rejected Judaism.

It is not correct, that the League wants to lead its members toward one political party.

The opposite is true!

The League has no intention of caring about the political leanings of its members, which is why nationally-oriented Social Democrats, of which there are not a few, are just as welcome as those individuals who stand more to the right in terms of political parties.

It is not correct, that the League views the Central Organization as an opponent and intends to fight against it.

The opposite is true!

The League wants to act in the interest of German Jews along with the Central Organization, and that’s why the members of the League are by and large also members of the Central Organization, whose objective it is to stand against any limitation of German Jews’ civil rights. The League’s objective is a very different one.

The League facilitates the union of those–but only of those German Jews who openly declare their heritage–who feel inexorably bound to the German spirit and German culture such that their whole thinking and feeling is governed by the awareness of their German-ness, regardless of the direction of their religious beliefs. It seeks to establish true understanding with the non-Jewish German fellow citizens based on the foundation of a common German nationalist feeling, which is often undermined among German Jews by Anti-Semitism. And it strives to educate our youth according to the national German spirit.

It is not correct that the League has failed to fight the attacks that have been made on it in the Breslau Jewish press.

The opposite is true!

The “Jewish Liberal Newspaper” – only this one comes under consideration—was kind enough to cede the League its columns. An essay by Dr. Max Naumann himself, which has been with the editors for a while now and couldn’t be printed because of technical reasons, will soon be published.
Eugen Freund (Breslau).

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. Jewish Horticultural School. Berlin’s Jewish community contributed land between Buckow and Mariendorf to establish the school, led by J. Brandt, a local landowner and member of the Jewish garden club. Those wishing to sponsor this endeavor can contact Siegbert Wolff.

 Königsberg. The president of the East Prussian branch of the German Democratic Party sent a mandate to local chapters stating that the poisonous, damaging anti-Semitic rabble-rousing carried out by the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation is to be decisively denounced for the good of our common interests. The impetus for such a statement were certain events in Insterburg where the Federation conducted a brazenly partisan and racist campaign against the city administration and Councilman Eichelbaum, who had agreed to serve without pay as the interim mayor until a new mayor could be found. The mandate emphasized how harmful and despicable it was to disturb social and civil peace with these Anti-Semitic actions, especially at a time like this when the nation is suffering, and needs the fullest determination and cooperation and usefulness of all of its citizens. The text of the statement is as follows:

To all regional and local organizations of the German Democratic Party, East Prussian Association, 7th May, 1921
As is well-known, for quite a while now the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation has been carrying out the basest, anti-Semitic agitation  that must disgust anyone that has even the least spark of tact or taste. Recently this Federation went to one of its local chapters assembly in Insterberg and decided to personally attack the actions of a very respectable man just because he was of Jewish descent. In Insterburg, their mayor, Dr. Rosencrantz, had just been nominated to be “Regierungspräsident” in Sumbinnen and a newly elected mayor had not yet taken up his post, and at the behest of numerous citizens concerned about the city’s administration and nominated by the city council, the former long-standing president of the Insterburg chamber of commerce, Councilman Eichelbaum, temporarily took on the post of mayor until a new mayor could be properly installed. Everyone should recognize and appreciate that this was not a light responsibility and was a significant sacrifice for a man in his sixties, regardless of any criticism of individual actions taken by the previous mayor. But what does the Protection and Defiance Federation do? It made a hateful speech that ended with this conclusion:

We demand that until the new mayor is installed, the leadership of our hometown be given immediately into the hands of Christian, German men.”

Leipzig. Throughout Germany a “Flyer from the German People’s Council” is being distributed:

“Finish the Jews! One doesn’t antagonize beasts, one kills them. Each has to decide for himself whether individual Jews are animals or not, but Judaism itself is a beast to all non-Jewish peoples. There is no point to antagonize this beast with mere pricks, least of all today when they have power. We must free ourselves from this beasts; don’t antagonize them, kill them. The Jews led the German people to the slaughtering bench in 1918/1919. Now they are contemplating how best to deliver the final blow.”

The author and distributor of these shocking flyers is Dr. Heinrich Pudor’s “German Council” in Leipzig. It is high time that the government administration deals with this matter thoroughly.

Dresden. Expulsion of Eastern Jews.  The state assembly of Saxony debated the expulsion of foreigners, during which the socialist minister of the interior, Lipinski, emphasized the danger posed by Eastern Jews and assured that the government of Saxony would do everything it could to avoid this danger.

Local Events.

Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization of Breslau. In order to bring together a music group, all musicians, regardless of the instrument the play, are requested to send in their addresses to Mr. Kurt Nellhaus, Museumsplatz 9.


Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization. Pentecost Outing. During the Pentecost holidays, the Organization held its first large outing of the year.  On the morning of the 15th, 17 young people took the train to Steinkirche from where they walked to the Rummelsberg and then to Pogath. There they cooked lunch and went on to Heinrichau. The next day they took the train to Wartha and toured that town after which they walked to the Spitzberg. Lunch was cooked again in the forest. That evening they took the train back to Breslau from Wartha.

Max Vogelstein asks us to notify you that his article in issue 22 of this publication “On the Palestine Question – keren hayesod” was originally intended for the “Kameraden” newspaper, but he decided to publish it here after the article “Must That Be?” appeared here.

Aus der Presse.

“Frankfurter Zeitung”: Wir wollen uns von diesen Juden das Essen nicht verekeln lassen. A trial in Giessen illustrates the growing fanatical anti-Semitism at German universities. Fraternity members severely beat a Jewish student, who happened also to be a decorated veteran of the trenches. The Jewish student punched one of five students who were heckling him. The beating ended when some workers decided to teach the students a lesson. The Jewish student was found guilty of provoking the attack that left him seriously wounded. Luckily, this injustice was corrected during the sentencing where he received a fine for one charge and was declared innocent of the second charge. One expects that the 5 fraternity members will eventually be charged and tried.

The “Kreuzzeitung” published the resolution that the Congress of Noblemen took on May 12 in Berlin where they stated, “we refute the materialistic Jewish spirit of fatherlandlessness, avarice, and gratification, which has caused our people to sink so low. The editors ask themselves whether this so-called Jewish spirit is so common in the circles represented by the Congress of Noblemen that it was worthy of a formal resolution refuting it.

Book Reviews.

“Lebensbücher der Jugend,” edited by Friedrich Düsel, published by Georg Westermann Verlag, Braunschweig. Synopsis:  A series of illustrated literary classics for young people includes volumes of Theodor Storm, Timm Kröger, Li Maria Heckel, Elisabeth Dauthendy, and Armand’s “In Texas.” The reviewer recommends this series as healthy intellectual fodder for boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 16.

Family Announcements

Engagements: Editha Wilda (Breslau) with Manfred Rosenfeld; Clara Herrnstadt (Breslau) with Herbert Guttmann (Breslau); Lisbeth Groβ (Breslau) with Rudolf Baumann (Leipzig); Leni Leschinski (Breslau) with Doctor Hans Taterka; Käthe Bruck (Breslau) with Hugo Jokl (Dresden); Alice Lustig (Breslau) with Jonas Rebensaft (Berlin); Fridel Finkenstein with Arthur Meyer (Breslau); Hanni Böhm (Zalenze) with Hans Warschawsky (Breslau); Paula Wolff (Löwenberg ) with Arthur Wolff (Hirschberg); Otti Forell (Frankfurt a. M.) with Ernst Baerwald (Osaka, Japan); Johanna Glaser (Breslau) with Max Klein (Fürstenberg a. O.); Doctor Gertrud Hammerstein (Stettin) with Doctor Erich Rosenhain (Braunschweig).

Marriages: Max Feige and Betty Gottheiner; Max Gerstel and Grete Prinz (Strehlen); Julius Sachs and Mimi Riesenfeld (Breslau); Herbert Schweitzer and Resi Brasch; Sally Biberfeld and Grete Wolff (Wreschen); Paul Jacob and Ilse Wolff (Wüstegiersdorf); Georg Ritter and Käthe Weinberg (Liegnitz); Dr. Curt Bromberg and Käthe Grundt (Breslau).

Births: Son: Julius Nathan and Gertrud, neé Herrnstadt (Breslau);  Alfred Uhlemann and Liese, neé Simmel (Breslau); Otto Weiβ and Rosa, neé Heppner (Breslau); Hans Wohlauer and Hertha, neé Simmenauer (Breslau); Georg Eckstein and Steffi, neé Ka[ ]schinsky (Breslau).

Daughter: Josef Schwars and Rosi, neé  Appelbaum (Breslau); Otto Jacobsohn and Erna-Marie,  neé Danziger (Breslau); Doctor Erich Schneemann and Erna, neé Silberberg (Breslau); Georg Hauschner and wife, neé Wartenberger (Breslau); Heinrich Loewy and Frieda, neé Löwi (Breslau).

Deaths: David Böhm (Zawadzki); Julius Leipziger (Berlin); Friderike Grunauer, neé Kaelter (Breslau); Dr. med. Arthur Leppmann (Berlin); Oskar Zittwitz (Strehlen); Franziska Libas, neé Naphtali (Breslau); Leopole Grabowsky (Ostrowo); Abraham Matthias (Koschmin); Rosa Rubin, neé Zendig; Wilhelm Falk (Breslau); Simon Ritter (Breslau); Bianca Rieβ, neé Ollendorff (Breslau); Jenny Pino[…], neé Braun (Breslau).

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Restarting translations–why now?

Visitors to this site, I apologize for neglecting this project, not adding translations, not even blogging. It’s time to re-commit as I believe tracing early signals of antisemitism is unfortunately once again relevant as some Americans and Europeans are rekindling it. Attacks on Jews are increasing and antisemitic speech appears in public forums.

Let me continue the story of the remarkable community of Reform Jews as it comes to grips with the changes between 1920 and 1934 while sustaining its intellectual, social, and religious identity.

To speed our discovery of remarkable milestones and intriguing glimpses into the experience of this Jewish community, I will selectively translate articles that disclose current events and provide insight into how people responded to them. So that you can see each issue as whole and the context for the articles I choose, I will translate the titles of all articles and link to the relevant page.

Thank you to the visitors to this web site. And double thanks if you spend time learning some of the history and reading the personal stories posted here.

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Jewish Liberal Newspaper, May 13, 1921


Zionist Liberalism.

by Rabbi Dr. Jacob (Dortmund).
Synopsis: An unusual phenomenon in German Judaism is the appearance of a Liberal Zionism. German liberal Jews see their participation in the development of Palestine as a means to increase the influence of Reform Judaism.
[Translation]“Here [in Palestine]a Judaism that’s liberated from the rigidity of orthodox Judaism can exist. For they can conceive of the Judaism of the new Palestine only as one that’s in harmony with modern culture and civilization and frees modern man from intolerable ritualistic rules.”
Synopsis: Dr. Jacob declares both assumptions to be false. He underscores that Judaism will never be a political force, only a religious one and German Jewish influence is not a matter of contributions or representation, but a consequence of its religious values.
[Translation]“In the 19th century, German Jewry did not play a global role—that was left to the philanthropists of England and France (Moses Montefiore, Adolf Cremieux, and the Universal Israelite Alliance). On the other hand, they did have worldwide influence in that Germany was the source of a modern Jewish scientific approach to the history and teachings of Judaism and the basis of the new Jewish religious services and education. What enabled them to play this role was the fact that they grew up breathing German air and fed on the German spirit that was the uncontested world leader in the realm of the scientific approach to philosophy and history. Zunz, Geiger, Frankel, Hirsch, etc. were the disciples of Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Böckh, Grimm, Niebuhr, Savigny and the whole host of brilliant minds that will be Germany’s claim to fame for all time, and cannot be confiscated by some council. The German people certainly want political power and have a right to it. But the triumph of Judaism can only be grounded in the intellectual realm. The great man who shows Jews new paths and reveals new depths to our religion will be worth more than all of America’s millions. Bringing such men forth and supporting them in every way is German Jewry’s means to leadership. Then, even if most of the seats in Palestine’s council stagnate religiously, the spirit that leads the council’s administration, organization, and execution will not sink in mediocrity, turning its intellectual and spiritual leaders into bureaucrats and functionaries. Germany may well be politically destroyed, but its spirit which once led the world is not dead, and that’s why the German Jewry is not yet to be written off, if it doesn’t want to be.”
Synopsis: Jacob is puzzled by the recent hopes of Liberal Jews toward Palestine since liberal Judaism sprang from the opposition to Judaism’s rigid ties to Palestine. It took seriously the historical development that separated the people of Israel from Palestine, and because they are committed citizens of the fatherland, which had given them a new history, while Palestine came to be a pious, yet pale memory. One acted consequentially in terms of redefining religious life: all prayers for the restoration of the temple, the sacrificial services, a Jewish kingdom or a return to the holy land were struck and such hopes and longings were ceremoniously denied. And now Liberal Judaism is to go backwards?, he asks.
[Translation]“Those that think Palestine will be the center of Liberal Judaism are deluding themselves. Do they really think that a Synedrion in Jerusalem will allow pork to be eaten, to work, drive, or smoke on the Sabbath, to eat on Yom Kippur? For that’s how “liberalism” or countless Jews is defined. This indifferent libertinism will never be recognized by the orthodoxy. The newly developed Palestine is not meant to be a new beginning, but a continuation, and based on the holy book and law. We should not speak of “rigidity” because it will be influenced by the modern approaches to the studying the sacred texts and teaching theology and will continue to be exposed to new intellectual currents. It’s been thus for all time—during the time of the second temple the land had every imaginable religious belief. There were Shammai-ites and Hillel-ites, Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, Hellenists and atheists, and the same soil brought forth a new religion that was not only based on Israel’s law and Messiah and testified to the one God of Israel—and became Judaism’s bitterest enemy.
I’ve taken the side of Zionism in my negative critique of modern Judaism and its inner turmoil. The one thing I could hold against it is its name. If Zionism were true to its name it would have Zion at its hear. Zion was the holy mountain on which the temple stood, a lodestone for the land and people of Israel. The goal of a true Zionism must therefore be the rebuilding of the temple on Zion in order to bring the the entire people of Israel under a single ruler of David’s house and to be free from foreign rule and to live according to the old law of the Torah. This has been the hope only of traditional Judaism for two thousand years as expressed in its prayers. How could I recognize a Zionism that is driven by politics and where religion is dismissed as a private matter and is led by atheists? When the people of Israel first entered this land, the first law held that every trace of foreign religions must be destroyed. And now we should have a Palestine in the middle of which rule the cross, a mosque and the savior’s grave? Judaism is appointed to be the protector of these foreign holy places? From a religious perspective, what is the difference between Jerusalem and New York, London or Berlin?
Liberal Judaism, which is rooted in clear ideas should not be caught up in reactionary romanticism that ignores undeniable circumstances nor in a mythical materialism as though the Palestine’s soil and air were imbued with a magical power. A Jewish Palestine will always be called upon to preserve historical ruins and function as a museum guard. Liberalism’s promotion of Zionism might be a clever chess move as it gives the Orthodoxy the chance to show the world the kind of utopia that would result from completely following the law of the Torah. Their experiments will of course reveal many problems which will in the end only serve to enlighten all of Judaism. But such a policy wouldn’t be necessary, because the Orthodoxy doesn’t need any prompting and it would be unworthy since in the area of religion, chess moves don’t win.
Liberalism doesn’t want to be suspected of supporting Palestine out of despair over its own viability in the diaspora, of grasping at this life saver. Or because it doesn’t want to miss the opportunity to adopt this slogan that seems to catch on with the youth. It’s the responsibility of the more mature to warn the youth about misleading slogans, and if it doesn’t have any ideal ones, to provide real ones and not false ones. Let them get to know Judaism through an active religious life and thorough study of our writings in their original language, that is, through learning—without that all discussion of Judaism is just empty talk.
Perhaps those that have thrown themselves in the arms of Jewish-folkish nationalism, see despair about the German people and their future. Certainly, the German people have shown some miserable sides and its future is very dark. But like it or not, this is our fatherland and we are children of its spirit. Whosoever can’t take it any more must leave, but if you stay, you must not work against it.
The only perspective that’s left for contributing to the rebuilding of Palestine is the humanitarian one. I won’t address it in depth, but one thing must be said, as effective a claim on the Jewish heart it is and as much as one wants to follow it in other times, for the German Jews no worse time could have been chosen than now where misery close at hand cries out for help.”

On the Palestine Question.

A letter by Dr. Paul Nathan (Berlin).
Synopsis: Dr. Nathan critiques Max Vogelstein’s portrayal of Zionism in his May 6th article. He maintains that most Zionists have not changed their views—it’s Palestine’s and the world’s situation that has changed. Instead of being in the hands of the weak Turkish empire, the British control holds far more promise, as testified to in a speech Winston Churchill gave in Jerusalem on March 28, 1921. However, Churchill declared Palestine open to Arabs, Jews, and Christians and that it cannot become “the National Home for Jews.” This speech should make clear to the Zionist leadership that their plans cannot be fulfilled, which should end the bitter disputes between Zionists and non-Zionists. With regards to the opinion that German Jews are too poor to contribute to Palestine’s development, Nathan writes that there are certainly both Zionists and non-Zionists who will feel it their duty to rebuild both Germany and Palestine.

The Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of Germany against the Central Organization of German Jews.

Synopsis: The Rhineland’s union of synagogues sent a letter to its congregations to correct the message contained in a flyer created by the union of orthodox Jewish congregations of Germany (headquartered in Halberstadt). The flyer decries the long-awaited creation of a Central Organization of German Jews, whereas German Jews finally have a means of ending their strife and unifying to deal with the difficult future that they are facing.

True Christianity.

Despite Henry Ford’s anti-Semitic campaigning, Americans have signaled that they want nothing to do with this anti-Semitic filth. In addition to John Spargo’s condemnation of anti-Semitism that was signed by many illustrious politicians, poets, and individuals, especially a great number of Catholic and other Christian clerics, the Churches of Christ have also condemned anti-Semitism. The organization includes approximately 149,000 Protestant churches with 19.5 million members. Similarly, the Knights of Columbus declared that anti-Semitism is un-American and must be combated. . .and that proponents of racial hatred are either bolshevist fanatics or other seducers who should be thrown out of the country. American Christians have rightly recognized that making a group into second-class citizens goes against the central principle of democracy.

Gyges – Judaism.

A review of the work written by Rabbi Dr. Fuchs, Chemnitz, published by Verlag Gustav Engel, Leipzig, 1921.
Synopsis: Rabbi Fuchs examines the crisis of Liberal Judaism and its ebbing influence on German Jewry. He sees Liberal Judaism as caught up in theory and not able to give the indifferent masses a sense of Jewish being. The solution is to emphasize the Jewish sense of community. The reviewer agrees with Fuchs up to this point, but in his opinion, a sense of community must be anchored in the Jewish religion.

Referendum Days.

by Anna Goldschmidt.
Synopsis: Two letters between good friends, Ilse and Anna, cross in the mail. The letters give us insight into how the referendum on the governance of Upper Silesia was experienced on either side of the border. Anna lives in Nordhausen, a town at the foot of the Harz mountains; Ilse lives in Kattowitz, Upper Silesa. In her letter, Anna expresses her concern over the turmoil and tension Ilse must deal with living in Upper Silesia during this troubled time. Ilse’s letter, on the other hand, is filled with exuberance and enthusiasm. The fact that the house is filled with relatives and business acquaintances is a cause for celebration and even gives romance a chance to bloom. As for the political outcome of the vote, Ilse predicts victory for those choosing German over Russian rule.

Aus dem Reich.

Munich. The Jewish Question. The deep alienation among social groups, especially between Jews and Christians, was the impetus behind the Munich chapter of the Central Organization of German Citizens of Jewish Faith’s inviting leading members of both sides to a discussion. This took place in the overly full upper hall at the Bauerngirgl on Monday evening. Dr. Wiener, representing the Central Organization, took over an hour to provide an overview of the many issues subsumed by the Jewish Question topic, supported by many citations of the literature. He emphasized that the Central Organization is firmly grounded in patriotism and aims to strengthen this feeling in its members. He then addressed the individual complaints made about Judaism. One of the most frequent complaints made in Bavaria and Munich is that Jews brought about the revolution. Even if it were true that Jews were the leading figures in the revolutions in Russia and the Bavarian Soviet Republic, one must view these circumstances in their historical context. The Jew is conservative and doesn’t cause upheaval, but in Russia Jews had witnessed horrific persecution at the hands of the Czarist regime and grew to hate this regime. In any case, not all Soviet leaders were Jews. Of the 17 members of the Central Committee, only one was Jewish: Trotsky. Never mentioned is the fact that the absolute enemies of the Bolsheviks were the mensheviks, who were Jews. The Bolshevist rule did not benefit the Jews—over 100,000 Jews were murdered by the Bolsheviks, their economic and religious institutions destroyed. In Germany too, Judaism has nothing to do with the political, Jewish, hotheads of the revolution. It is absolutely incorrect to maintain that the Jews are a unified, single-minded force that seeks world domination. Further, one never mentions that Christians too were and are revolutionaries and that Jews were also held hostage. That Jews belong only to the radical left-wing parties can be explained by the long-time anti-Semitic principles held by the right-wing parties. Because of them, Jews were in large part driven into the leftist parties. It’s also not true that all socialist leaders are Jews—-David Liebknecht, Klara Zetkin, Kautsky, among others are not Jews. As for the Jewish members of government, these don’t want to be thought of as Jewish, just politicians. With regards to the question of the Eastern Jews, the speaker pointed out that during the war about 8,000 to 10,000 Eastern Jews were brought in by the government to replace miners doing military service. And these remain here even now. By the way, these Eastern Jews can be used to develop German trade which is developing in the East—-England is making every effort to win over Eastern Jews to help with their trade. The speaker then addressed the question of race, that German-ness and Germanic roots are not identical in terms of race. It has absolutely not been proven that Arian roots are a requirement for Germanness [Deutschtum]. Many great Germans, who have been appropriated as “German” were and are of Jewish decent.
In response to the accusation that Jews tried to get out of military service, he pointed out that over 11,000 Jews died in battle. In conclusion the speaker turned to the most painful of all accusations—that Jews are not patriotic—that is completely incorrect. His statements were factual and calm, but contrasted to the form and factual presentation of the rest of the lecture. Finally, two speakers, Herr Meyer (from Absberg) and Königbauer, president of the state parliament, spoke words of conciliation complementing the point of the evening. They emphasized the ethical and moral side of the question, wishing for more consideration of Jewish circles by the general populace, but most importantly emphasizing the absolute need for a unified people during these times of shared need. In his conclusion, Dr. Wiener emphasized that patriotic Jews had nothing to do with the Zionist movement , and that instead of labellling Jews and Christians, to recognize that a bridge connects the two cultures.

Hamburg. The local representatives of the Jewish community debated the new constitution of the Central Organization of German Jewry. Orthodox members were concerned that their perspective was not taken into consideration. The delegate to the constitutional committee, Dr. Kalmus, assured them that was not the case. However, the representatives agreed that they would request that a clause be added that no rulings can be made that contradict any orthodox laws.

Heidelberg. Dr. Niebergall, university professor, lectured on the meaning of Israelite propheticism for world history. Jewish intellectual and religious culture can be traced back to two influences—the Israelite and the Greek. The latter resulted in a philosophical approach to religion and also imbued it with mythos and mystery. Israelite prophets saw the world and God very differently. Instead of approaching God through metaphysical thought, they felt and experienced God directly. The lecturer analyzed church history in light of the prophetic and Greek influences. Just when Greek thinking was dominant in the Christian church, Martin Luther pulled Christianity back into the prophetic, biblical tradition. He concluded that both Judaism and Christianity should reflect on the sources of their perspective and values and use them to build bridges.

Chemnitz. Dr. Walter Brinnitzer’s speech on “Pacifism and Judaism” was very well received by the many attendees.

Munich. Synopsis: Anti-Semitic protests interrupted a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Bärwald sponsored by the Gnostic Society. A group of youth assaulted the audience with sticks and chairs. The police was able to arrest some of the assailants.

From Abroad.

Vienna. Synopsis: The Arian paragraph in the Austrian Tourist Club. (Adopted after rioting.) Circa 4000 of the 11,000 members attended the annual meeting. A speech against adopting the paragraph was met with members wielding umbrellas and sticks. The well-known anti-Semitic parliamentarian, Dr. Riehl, defended the paragraph as a means of protecting German girls from lustful Jews. 3,056 voted for the paragraph and 784 against. As of today, only Arians can belong to the Austrian Tourist Club.

Book Reviews.

“Die Nutzniesser des Bolschewismus” by Dimitri Bulaschow. A review of “The Beneficiaries of Bolschevism” by Bernard Segel writing under the pseudonym of Dimitri B[o]ulaschow in 1921.
Synopsis: Segel seeks to prop up the reactionary myth that Russia is ruled by Jews with statistics and facts. The reviewer cites statistics to refute his claim: only about 200,000 Jews live near the centers of Soviet power and only 10 Jews are to be found among the leadership and most of these are alienated from or critical of Judaism. However, there are many Jews to be found in the socialist opposition and in the bourgeoisie. The reviewer notes that the “benefit” Russian Jews have drawn from Bolshevism is half a million victims of pogroms, 400,000 orphans, a ruined economy, and the destruction of hundreds of congregations and synagogues. He concludes by highly recommending that this brochure be read to better fight against anti-Semitism.
Thessaloniki. The Jews in Greece. Synopsis: A rumor of ritual murder has caused unrest here. The rumor is not a symptom of a real anti-Semitic movement, rather it is a sign of misguided rabble. An excerpt from an article in the “Frankfurter Zeitung” is printed: Of the city’s 180,000 inhabitants, half are Sephardic Jews and speak Spaniolish [the Ladino dialect] in addition to the Greek, Turkish, and French spoken in business. The latter they learn in the schools run by the French “Alliance Israelite.” They’ve enjoyed the hospitality of the Turks since they arrived in the fifteenth century and received better treatment than any of Turkey’s foreign Christian populations. Even under Greek rule (Greece having scarcely any Jewish inhabitants), Jews have full rights as citizens, serve in the army, can become officers in the reserves, though there are no active Jewish officers in the Greek army. There is no political anti-Semitism and no ethical prejudice against them. Exactly the opposite, the small Jewish currency exchanges are well respected for their dependability.

Local Events.

Israelite Health Care Institute and Burial Society (Chevra Kadsha).

Synopsis: In these difficult financial times, donations are especially needed if society it to continue doing the work it has done in the community for over two hundred years. The very existence of the institute is at stake.

Attention, Anyone with a Toothache! Recently when a young dental technician apprentice applied for a position with the dental technician, Dr. Arbeiter on Blücherplatz, he was asked about his religion. When he said he was Jewish, he was immediately rejected with the words, “Then you needn’t have even waited.” It is therefore to be assumed that Mr. Arbeiter also does not care to have any Jewish clientele.

Traveling Library. Synopsis: To foster religious life in small congregations, the Union of Synagogues of Breslau and Liegnitz maintain a travelling library. Donations of books are requested.

Society for the Blind, “Harmony”

Synopsis: The society marked its 25th anniversary with a concert. The chairman, Adolf Selten, gave an interesting report on how services for the blind have developed. A choir performed a piece by Mr. R. Winkler with text by Selten. Singers and musicians included A. Stöckel (tenor), Clara Reldner (alto), Lotte Rogosinski (pianist).

Rosa Freudenthal Gallery is currently exhibiting a modern synagogue cloth made by Rosa Weyl.

Family Announcements

Engagements: Malli Klinenberger (Breslau) with Joseph Juliusberger, Engineer (Breslau); Lucie Kantorowicz (Breslau) with Dr. Paul Georg Braun (Breslau); Margarete Schwersensky (Breslau) with Georg Zweig (Breslau); Betty Wislicki (Breslau) with David Offenberg (Berlin); Dora Wertheim (Fulda) with Issi Simonsohn (Breslau); Lotte Baron with Dr. Herbert Stein (Munich); Lilly Harry (Breslau) with Rudolf Borowitsch (Dresden).
Marriages: Representative Dr. Mortitz Stern with Aenne Rosenberg (Breslau); Siegbert Gorzelanczyk with Gertrud Lublin (Breslau); dr. Walter Meckauer with Lotte Peiser (Breslau); Walter Stern with Eva Bielschowsky (Breslau).
Births: Son: Richard Callomon and Grete, née Rachwalsky (Breslau); Dr. Erich Simm and Alice, née Eger (Berlin); Mortiz Lippmann and Elli, née Hirschberg (Breslau); James Aron and Margarete, née Gittler.
Daughter: Fritz Wolff and Alice, née Bernstein (Breslau); Willi Ziffer and Rosa, née Moses (Breslau); Louis Pinczower and Paula, née Riesenfeld (Neustadt, Upper Silesia).
Deaths: Sara Miedzwinski, née Singer (Berlin); Julius Michalek (Breslau); Paul Cohn (Reichenbach in Silesia); Gustav Klein (Breslau); Anna Fuchs (Breslau); Johanna Wiener (Breslau); Hedwig Saphir, née Adler (Breslau); Robert Ittmann (Breslau); Curt Ritter (Berlin); Clara Goldstücker, née Forell (Friedenau).


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