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.”

[Front page announcements from the Jewish Liberal Youth Orgnanization)

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.

p.2

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.]

Homecoming

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: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_Greece%5D 

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. 

p.4 

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.

Advertisements.

[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.

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