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.”
[Front page announcements from the Jewish Liberal Youth Orgnanization)
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.
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.
More from this issue coming…