Important Update (Feb. 7, 2022): The University of Frankfurt has converted many of the periodicals in the Compact Memory collection to plain text and made them searchable. For researchers, this is a huge benefit because these significant holdings can be used for scholarly and family research. You can search for keywords in the whole collection, per periodical, or per issue. The collection’s home page is at https://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/cm/nav/index/title. The “Jewish-Liberal Newspaper” index page is at https://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/cm/periodical/titleinfo/2613366.
Notice of broken links: Note that many of the links pointing to the source material for these translations are currently broken. I apologize for the inconvenience. The source material has been moved to the Judaica collection of the University of Frankfurt and can be found at http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/cm/periodical/titleinfo/2613366 I am in the process of fixing the broken links. If you would like to see an original issue, please leave a comment requesting a link.
The “Jewish-Liberal Newspaper” was published between 1920 and 1936 in the city that was then known as Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland). Its pages testify to the vibrant Reform Jewish community and its engagement with the global historical events of the time. The fallout from World War I, the development of Palestine, the famines and pogroms of Russia and the Ukraine, the rise of Nazism are examined by a community seeking to define itself an,d what it meant to be a “Liberal” Jew. This blog attempts to share the evidence of the cultural, political, and religious life of the Breslau Reform community by offering translations or summaries of its contents, beginning with the first issue published on December 3, 1920. The first issue will be translated in its entirety so that readers can get a sense of how encompassing the newspaper’s perspective was as it moved from religious and political debates, reviewed international events, and detailed local stories, all the while documenting the struggle for the Jewish community’s rights against an ever-present and growing current of anti-Semitism. For following issues, this blog will at a minimum list and briefly summarize the contents and provide an index of names mentioned in the issue and point to additional information when available. In addition to persons of note, the index will include names of advertisers, obituaries, and other family announcements such as bar mitzvahs and marriages to assist those who are reassembling family histories. If there is a particular article that you would like to see translated, please post a Comment expressing your interest. The original source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at http://sammlungen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/cm. Compact Memory is a portal dedicated to Jewish studies to which this project is indebted. It has recently been integrated into the University of Frankfurt’s Judaica collection. One of Compact Memory’s resources is a repository of digitized issues of 100 German-language newspapers and journals published by various Jewish communities in Germany and in the diaspora. Tragically, those published in Germany cease in 1938 when Jews were prohibited from publishing newspapers. The translator, Elisabeth Strenger, has roots in academia, having earned a Ph.D. in Germanic Languages and Literature from Yale University and taught Humanities and German at Brandeis University as an Adjunct Assistant Professor. Her scholarly interests ranged from 16th-century drama to German-Jewish women’s literature. She has since pursued a career in software product marketing. She recently decided to re-focus on her interest in German-Jewish culture and history and make some contribution to benefit others who seek to rediscover the pre-war German-Jewish community by reviewing and translating the pages of the Jüdisch-liberale Zeitung. She welcomes questions and requests for expanded translations of articles that are merely summarized on this Web site.