Jewish Liberal Newspaper, May 20, 1921

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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.

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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.

p.4.

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 de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timm_Kr%C3%B6ger, Li Maria Heckel, Elisabeth Dauthendy abitofhistory.net/html/rhw/body_files/d_body.htm#dauthendyelisab, and Armand’s “In Texas.” en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_Armand_Strubberg 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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