On the Start of the School Year.
by Rabbi Dr. Sänger (Breslau).
Synopsis: Ever since the revolution, older children in particular have been challenging their parents with questions about whether they should continue taking religion classes in school. This questioning is a sign of the present time when the meaning of all things is being questioned. The study of religion stems from a sense of God’s real presence in life, which is something that parents instill in their children in addition to passing on their traditions, which is aided by religious education. In these difficult times, Judaism’s ethical and social laws can equip the young person with the means to be devout, feel fulfilled, and be a friend to mankind.
Dr. Sänger pleads with parents not to take their children out of religion classes. The congregation is making every effort to ensure that schools offer two hours a week of Jewish religious education by qualified instructors. No Jewish parent should be satisfied with a mere two hours, especially not when it comes to learning Hebrew. The congregation offers additional courses at two schools and one program for the training of women teachers of religious education.
Anti-Semitism, School, and Youth.
by Max Kosler, Elementary School Teacher (Dresden).
Synopsis: Kosler laments that unscrupulous politicians are sowing the seeds of hate with anti-Semitic propaganda among children and emphasizes the importance of combating lies. One such lie, that Jews avoided their military duty, can easily be countered with the facts. Jews served in the same proportion as all other sectors—20%–and were in consistent proportion among the fallen, the wounded, the decorated, and the imprisoned. One newspaper was fined 1000 marks for understating Jewish participation in the war.
All other anti-Semitic fairy tales can be as easily disproven. But in the education of children, the example of adults and teachers exert huge influence. They are teaching children to imagine Jews with evil intentions standing at almost every corner even though among 60 million Germans there are only a half million Jews.
The anti-Semites are aided by the naïve and uncritical who easily believe anything that is cloaked in nationalism. The youth fall in this category. And then there are others who willingly spread tales that they themselves do not believe if it somehow serves their cause—among this group are the businessmen who seek some competitive advantage by blaming Jews. They claim to be protecting themselves against the Eastern Jews, but in doing so, harm all Jews. Kosler reminds the reader that masses of Eastern Jews were forcibly brought to Germany to work in the munitions factories.
The government’s position towards Jews also colors our youth’s judgment. Should one allow a teacher to hold forth about the “Jewish government”? Even the far-right Germans know that having 3 Jewish ministers out of 160 does not make a government Jewish. Other examples of anti-Semitic fairy tales can be spun for industry and finance. Some anti-Semitic economists have calculated that 9/10s of the world’s capital is in Jewish hands.
They don’t spare the youngest children and use them to spread their literature and flyers. Kosler was recently given on a Jewish-Bolshevist plot revealed in an article that appeared in an ostensibly Russian paper founded by German anti-Semites. The Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith had offered 10,000 marks to the person who can prove the authenticity of the article. Unfortunately, the youth take this material for its word. The anti-Semites even resort to writing articles under Jewish pseudonyms that purport to offer insiders’ validation of Jewish conspiracies. Adults are naïve if they think that the youth does not read and absorb this material. Instead of passing out calendars with swastikas and Dinter’s books, the League of National German Youth should distribute von Oppeln-Bronikowski’s “Antisemitism?” or the Protestant theologian, Hermann Strack’s, writings.
The Founding of the League of National German Jews.
(reported by our Berlin representative)
On April 11, Dr. Max Naumann announced his new organization to the press founded on the principle that German Jews were a tribe, just like the other German tribes, and not a religious group. The tribe is always secondary to the nation. The organization welcomes all Germans of Jewish decent, including those who are no longer members of a Jewish congregation (dissidents) as long as they have not become members of a non-Jewish congregation. The reporter satirically states that he admires Naumann, who despite his lack of knowledge about Judaism, is establishing a Jewish organization. This new organization is a threat to the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith and the reporter warns these members about joining. “When the League of National German Jews declares, “The French, the English Jew is just a Frenchman or Englishman to the National German Jew.” Or “for the National German Jew the Eastern Jewish issue is not a Jewish issue but a German issue,” this attitude does not justly represent Judaism.” Naumann contradicts all religions when he claims that a national German feeling is never influenced by a feeling of internationalism. (signed B. W.) Following the article are reprints of the Naumann-Vorreuter correspondence that appeared in the April 1, 1921 issue.
Ophir, the Ancient Land of Gold.
by Dr. Manuel Joel (Breslau).
Synopsis: Dr. Manuel presents the case for placing the biblical land of Ophir in South Africa, near the Zambezi region and Zimbabwe, particularly as made by Karl Peters, the founder of Germany’s East African colony.
Aus dem Reich.
Berlin. The Free Jewish Adult Education School began its eighth trimester with a set of lectures on “Currents in Modern Judaism” covering topics such as the kabbalah, Spinoza, Zionism, and Jewish women and their significance in education.
Berlin. The Association for the Academy of Science of Judaism held a memorial honoring its founder, Dr. Leopold Landau. Dr. Täubler gave the speech that beautifully described the kind of man Leopold Landau was.
Berlin. The Conference of German Students of Jewish Faith held its annual meeting. This organization was founded to combat anti-Semitism among students. This meeting focused on the rise of anti-Semitism in German universities after the war. It was decided to continue with the methods for fighting anti-Semitism that had proven successful before the war, especially with regards to the current repression and denigration of Jewish women. These consist of using every opportunity to foster or awaken the awareness of the mistreatment of Jews by word and deed in all those with some level of insight. The current hateful atmosphere in the universities is felt all the more because of the large number of Jewish fraternity members died in combat, about which misleading statisticians have given the public a false picture.
Although the group did not deal with religious or similar issues within Judaism, it had long ago taken a negative position toward Zionism, a position which was re- affirmed at this meeting. Finally, the topic of physical fitness was addressed. Given the current circumstances, and that military service was no longer an option, sports were to play a larger part than before, starting with an event planned for the fall that should serve as the proof of achievements in this area.
Berlin. The association of alumnae of the Berlin teachers’ college held a general assembly after years of not meeting due to the circumstances. Members of the board are mentioned. At the meeting, the board was dissolved and new members appointed to a new structure. Decisions were made about using some of the funds from the Doris and Michael Holzman Fund to pay 800 Marks to two needy student teachers so that they could visit spas. It was agreed that widows and orphans of previous members should also have trips to spas paid for.
Braunschweig. In the State Assembly, the democratic representative, Rönneburg, declared that the anti-Semitic persecution at the higher institutions of learning must be countered most forcefully. Wearing of swastikas must be forbidden. As should the recruitment of anyone under the age of 17 into a political association. Bringing politics into schools is not to be tolerated. He was joined by Minister Oerter who decried the educators who fostered an anti-Semitic spirit.
Frankfurt a. M. Dr. Otto Driesen, whose reputation as a great pedagogue precedes him, is the new director of the Pilanthropin school, replacing the late Dr. Salo Adler. Driesen studied law and economics in Berlin, Paris, Heidelberg, and Strassburg. He travelled in France, Switzerland, Italy and Belgium after which he began teaching in Charlottenburg. During the war he led various wartime organizations, including the educational division of the charitable organization, “Vaterlandsdank.” His more important scientific works dealt with philological themes and the use of film and gramophones in classrooms and in scientific research.
On the Development of Palestine
Resolution of the Central Organization on the Palestine Question
The Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith shared the following resolution with us:
“Were the settlement of Palestine nothing more than a large aid project, nothing would be said about the decision of the Central Organization not to support this work. However, the settlement of Palestine is the primary objective of nationalist Jewish politics. That is why its support is to be rejected. As long as the social and religious institutions of the German people and the religious and cultural needs of the German Jewry suffer bitterly and as long as countless homeless Jews need our immediate and urgent help, the Jewish sense of community and charity has many opportunities and the duty to work productively within German society.”
The following letter by Rabbi Dr. Jacob of Dortmund appeared in the “Israelitisches Familienblatt” under the heading of “On the Development of Palestine” The letter was a response to an invitation to participate in the collection to assist Keren Hasseyod and addressed to the head of this organization.
After serious consideration, to my chagrin, I must ask you to step back from your intention to choose me to serve on the committee for Keren Hasseyod and the reconstruction of Palestine. I would not only not support the collection, but I would be obliged to oppose it. Since I foresee that my position will be questioned from several directions, allow me to explain my reasons. And since the issue interests many, I will share them so as to be more broadly evaluated.
As a religious Jew I love Zion and the holy land, the cradle of my religion, and thus have always been a friend to the reconstruction of Palestine. It could mark a blessed turn in the sorrowful history of Israel, if Palestine were to become a haven of peace for the persecuted and oppressed brothers of our people and thus a starting point for the religious renewal of mankind and Israel so that once again “from Zion came the law and from Jerusalem the word of God.” Even those who do not share this hope, regard this land as the birthplace and home of a large family, tied as it is with thousands of previous memories. Its sons are scattered throughout the world and have found their own lovely homes that they do not consider giving up. Still, they do not want their modest tribal home to decay; rather they piously want to maintain it. And, who knows, but it might serve as a refuge or old-age home for those who are less prosperous? Further, I realize that Zionism may be a political and spiritual necessity for Jews in some countries—and might perhaps become one for German Jews. But we have not yet reached that state. Germany is still our fatherland, which we do not think of giving up freely.
Two things prevent me from participating in supporting the planned collection at this time. 1) As German Jews we have to wage an exacerbated war on anti-Semitism in Germany that wants to take away our participation in the fatherland. Our existence, our rights, and our honor are at stake. Our enemies support this fight with huge material means, which is why we also need to dedicate our efforts and our money. 2) As German Jews we suffer most heavily from the collapse of our fatherland. The German people, to which we belong, struggles for air beneath exploitation by our enemy, the monstrous taxes, insane inflation. The misery is without bounds. When I think how millions decay here, how hundreds of thousands of children suffer from malnutrition and weakness, that tuberculosis claims hordes of lives, that hospitals, rest homes, orphanages face closure because of lack of means, that this misery might not be turned around even if we multiply our efforts, that for the same reason countless beneficial projects must be halted, that science dies, that our Jewish communities, which are supported almost completely by the annual taxes and are barely holding on when all they do is protect their rabbis and teachers from hunger and abject poverty, when I see the misery in my city and community on a daily basis—when I consider all of this, it’s impossible for me to rationalize collecting German money for an English-Jewish colony in Asia in these times. Even when I see it as my duty to help with the reconstruction of Palestine, I cannot, when another duty is more important to me. Since I cannot help all of the world’s misery go away, I do my part to relieve the misery I see before my eyes. Not the reconstruction of Palestine, but the reconstruction of Germany is what should concern German Jews. Let the Jews of England and America, the victorious countries (that are currently in London planning how they will enrich themselves on German poverty) participate in the reconstruction of Palestine! We German Jews are forced to stand aside this time due to our circumstances.
As praiseworthy as the reconstruction of Palestine is, since it took two thousand years, it can wait a bit longer. Now is just not the right time for us German Jews. Ask me again in fifty, maybe even thirty or twenty years, when with God’s help we are doing better once again. But in this moment it seems to me that every German Mark spent on the development of an English-Jewish colony in Asia drains our capital and shifts it abroad.
These reasons are of such overwhelming importance for me that it appears unnecessary to go into other considerations such as that we would just be working for English imperialism and Zionist nationalism.
Most Respectfully Yours, Dr. [Benno] Jacob
Synopsis: Dr. O. Fischer, the dean of the Law School of the Friederich Wilhelm University in Breslau wrote to correct the statement in the April 1, 1920 issue of this paper that the Law School sponsored the Lunapark event. This was an unofficial event and the invitations went out without the knowledge or consent of the faculty.
Jewish Theological Seminary. We have learned that the lectures of the deceased instructors Dr. Horovitz and Professor Brann, as well as the larger part of Dr. Lewkowitz’s classes must be newly assigned. Dr. Rabin (Frankfurt a. Main) has been selected to instruct Exegesis and History starting in the summer semester. The search for a new Seminary Rabbi is also in process.
Dr. Hoffmann’s inauguration as the congregation-rabbi will take place on Wednesday, April 20 at 5:30 in the representatives’ assembly hall.
Jewish-Liberal Youth Association. The Association’s communications committee notified us that in the future they will hold their meetings in various parts of the city to foster closer relationships among members.
Free Jewish High School Evening Social
On April 10, the free Jewish High School invited its sponsors and friends to an evening social in the Great Hall of the Lessing Lodge before it closed its doors for the mid-year break. Dr. Wallerstein from the Stadttheater opened the evening’s full program(which was at times marred by being somewhat inappropriate) by playing Lewandowski’s “Ma-tamou” on the harmonium. Dr. Lewskowitz made a short speech in which he portrayed the Jewish High School as a place where all practices could work together, as a platform for the common goal of fostering love and pride for Judaism. The first part of the program was dedicated to music with performances by Mrs. Ochs-Pfahl of the Stadttheater, Mr. Wallerstein, and Mr. Peiser. These artists’ names alone ensured the success that was evident by the audience’s applause. This was followed by a tea break which was equally appreciated. The second part of the program featured a world premier of Herman Heijermans’“Ahasver.” Mrs. Ochs-Pfahl sang as a prelude to the one-act play a Sabbath song with much expression. The lyrical, peaceful character of the song contrasted strangely with the dramatic, dark content of the play. The play’s direction lay in the capable hands of Mr. Arnfeld, who shared playing the main roles with Mrs. Ludwig-Blum and Mr. Böhm (all from the Lobetheater). The portrayal of the Jewish milieu, for which the Dutch poet is mainly known and the significance of the one-act play, “Ahasver,” was well preserved. That was largely thanks to Mr. Arnfeld who imbued his Kralik with the typical speech, appearance and gestures of the Jewish father: the pride in his only much-loved son, the despair that expressed itself in the terrible curse he laid upon this wayward son. The interpretation affected all in the audience, as evidenced by their silence at first, then loud applause and calls, unfortunately! (by Betty Foerder, university student)
Synopsis: The “Free Association for Classical Music” sponsored a concert last Sunday. Mr. Schönfeld was the director, Mr. Trautner played piano, and Kurt Nellhaus was the very young and very talented guest conductor.
Associations and Assemblies.
Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith.
Invites the public to a lecture by the well-known Reverend Nithak-Stahn of Berlin on “Anti-Semitism and Humanity” followed by an open discussion.
The Duties of the German Jewry
In the Union to Further the Interests of Breslau’s Synagogue Congregations, the lawyer, Mr. Hirschberg, spoke on the “Duties of the German Jewry,” emphasizing that after the collapse of Germany England had taken over the mandate to establish a national homeland for Jews in Palestine. With that, the rest of the world’s Jews has a great responsibility to support these efforts, especially given how difficult the colonization will be due to the hostility of the Arabs. The first step to meeting this responsibility is to properly instruct the youth in their religion and to train teachers who can improve the religious education. The larger congregations are certainly in a position to help the smaller ones through financial means. In addition, the colonization would be further supported by training the youth to be farmers and craftsmen. A heated discussion followed in which the lawyer Jacobsohn expressed his skepticism over the success of Palestine since its governor, Herbert Samuel, was an outspoken opponent of Zionism. The banker Loewy stressed that the new Zionist state should be led by Jewish law and strict religiosity—he had been disappointed by how little a role religion played in the recent assembly of German-Jewish communities in Berlin since he was under the impression that the goal of Augdas Yisroel was to re-awaken an interest in the Torah.
Mr. Hirschberg agreed with Mr. Jacobsohn on many points. He also acknowledged that Mr. Loewy was right about many things but that he had to disagree with him that the fostering of broader interest in the Torah was the responsibility Agudas Yisroel alone—he saw that as the responsibility of all religious Jewish parties.
Engagements: Suse Schidlower (Breslau) and Richard Weiβenberg (Schweidnitz); Friedel Tarrasch (Groβ-Wartenberg) with Ernst Doβmar (Berlin); Käte Münzerhelberger (Charlottenburg) and Willi Mosle (Leipzig); Lotte Krieg (Breslau) and Josef Hirschberg (Breslau); Alice Radlauer (Breslau) and Bruno Bensch (Breslau); Ellen Schalscha (Gera, Reuβ) and Siegfried Leipziger (Breslau); Hertha Linker (Breslau) and Gustav Krause (Czenstochau); Erika Nelken (Breslau) and Carl Muschel (Breslau); Jenny Schimek (Breslau) and Harry Brauer (Breslau).
Marriages: Julian Matthias and Käthe Tyrrasch (Nreslau); Lawyer Dr. Alfred Wolff and Hilde Weiβ (Oppeln); Martin Wiener and Margarete Simon (Breslau).
Births: Son: Julius Abraham and Rosel, née Riesenfeld (Charlottenburg); Albert Schragenheim and Claire, née Broh (Zoppot).
Daughter: Bernhard Böhm and Cläre, née Vogel (Breslau); Wilhelm Blumenfeld and Erna, née Bremer (Lauban).
Deaths: Oscar Heimann (Berlin); Adolf Frey (Breslau); Arthur Kaβriel (Breslau); Louis Siedner (Breslau), Berta Schachtel, née Weiβ (Breslau); Lina Friedner (Breslau); Mathilde Heilborn, née Aufrichtig (Breslau); Lisbeth Lust (Berlin); Martin Aufrichtig (Breslau).