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 for 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”


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.

More from this issue coming…

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2 Responses to Jewish Liberal Newspaper, May 27, 1921

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