A Purim Observation.
by Rabbi Dr. Ernst Appel (Bingen am Rhein)
Synopsis: Amalek is the embodiment of hatred of Jews, attacking the sick and the weak as the Israelites crossed the dessert. Their hatred was not a result of feeling threatened by the Israelites, but rather stemmed from jealousy at how the Israelites had worked its way up from slavery. It’s significant that regarding this people the Bible urges not forgiveness and tolerance but remembrance of its misdeeds. A thousand years later, it was another Amalek, Haman, who sought to bring down the Jewish people, blaming all for the actions of an individual, Mordechai. In just this way, Amalek has attacked the Jews through the centuries, its methods being unchanged even to modern times. Just when the Jewish people start to breathe more freely, their success is viewed with suspicion and jealousy. Though Haman claims his actions are in the state’s interest, he does not evaluate the harm done to his fatherland’s morality and ideals. The piece ends with the statement that it is up to today’s Jews to carry on the battle against Amalek and bring about the kingdom of God by fighting against hatred and envy, against malice and vileness.
In the Spirit of the Constitution.
by State Representative Herrmann (Breslau)
Synopsis: Herrmann describes a people that is so shaken by recent events that it can neither look backward nor forward. The outcome is that everyone clings to the familiar and change, even positive change, is unwelcome. The recent violence and upheaval have created an environment ripe for intolerance and persecution. Even those that were once proud of their objectivity have succumbed to the poison and pass it on with one-sided opinions and slogans. Herrmann claims that a new cornerstone of political life has been laid—the Weimar Constitution which stem the two pillars of freedom and justice. For many these are empty words, but it’s important for the German people that what the letters on paper become reality.
Herrmann points out that already much that was written has not come to pass, such as equal rights. But this Weimar constitution is something more than its predecessor—the previous ones read as laws and this one is more a statement of beliefs. It calls for a new form of civic life where all are citizens, even the youth. Article 148 calls for civically-minded education that emphasizes tolerance of those that think differently. Every pupil is to receive a copy of the constitution upon graduation. This discussion leads to an observation that the current situation in schools is one of intolerance shaped by racial theories espoused by teachers. Herrmann was reassured recently when the Breslau teachers’ union resolved to teach in the spirit of the Weimar Constitution where swastika tendencies will have no place.
An American Manifesto against Anti-Semitism.
That also abroad the anti-Semitic seeds don’t thrive as much we must fear according to the constant reports of our volkisch papers is proven once again by a significant manifesto from the United States of America. There, under the leadership of the well-known industrialist, Henry Ford (whose peace ship didn’t bring him the kind of publicity he had hoped for, which he’s now attempting to achieve with his hatemongering) is importing anti-Semitism from Germany instead of something useful, and importing it via the infamous “Secrets of the Wise Men from Zion.” Mr. Ford is not having much success; the “wave” that was supposed to carry Mr. Hergt to power instead just pushed the American farther from his goal. Ford was chosen by the so-called “third party” of America as a candidate for President, but the nomination fell through in large part exactly because of his anti-Semitic activities. And now an important counterstrike against these attempts at inciting anti-Semitism has taken the form of a public declaration by 120 distinguished personages from the Union. The originator of the manifesto is a socialist writer, John Spargo, who explicitly emphasizes that “no Jewish person or organization has had anything to do with the publication of this protest.” The “New York Herald” (January 17, 1921) from which we extract these details, characterized the protest as follows: “A single citizen, a non-Jew, acting upon his own initiative and responsibility, and without consultation with anybody as he himself said wrote the brief protest and invited other distinguished citizens, non-Jews like himself, to sign it. All the work connected with the protest and all the expense involved, therefore, represent the contribution of an individual citizen to the defense of American ideals (The paper could have rightfully spoken of humanity’s ideals—the Editors.) Neither directly nor indirectly did any person of Jewish ancestry or faith, or any Jewish organization, contribute as much as a postage stamp to the cost of the undertaking.” This culturally significant document is worth citing in its entirety, especially in this time of animosity and hatred:
[Translator’s note: The article presents a translation of the entire text. Please see the original at:http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F10F10F93D5D14738DDDAE0994D9405B818EF1D3]
The signatories let it be known that the leading minds and personalities of the Union have assembled in numbers that no private action could have achieved. Protestant and Catholic clergy, leaders of the independent churches, judges and politicians, artists and educators, journalists, academics, businessmen and industrialists are represented. These are to be recognized as the highest expressions of American intellectualism. Some of the signers added comments to their support.
Harding, the President-elect, who explained that he had to abstain given his situation, wrote in a personal letter to Mr. Spargo: [Translator’s note: The original letter is cited here: >http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=F10F10F93D5D14738DDDAE0994D9405B818EF1D3]
The Plight of Students and Anti-Semitism.
Synopsis: More than 100 Jewish judges, lawyers, and government employees from Breslau wrote to the dean and faculty of the law school that they hesitate to turn over the funds they’ve collected to support law students in need because of the widespread anti-Semitism of the student body. Their right-wing organizations agitate for declaring German Jews to be foreigners and to introduce quotas for Jewish students (as occurred in Russia). They cite the Eisenach resolutions taken by the fraternities:
1. Only German students of Arian descent can join a fraternity.
2. Fraternities are to mold their members so that marriage to a Jewish or colored woman is out of the question or that such a marriage would be grounds for expulsion.
3. German fraternities exist to satisfy student honor: local chapters can determine whether this is even possible for students of other races.
The authors of this letter express concern over what will happen to German justice once it is in the hands of people with these beliefs. They regret that until now neither the university’s administration nor the professors have spoken out against the racism of their students. They worry that once the students realize from whom their stipends come, they will reject them.
The university answered that it had not requested contributions but was impressed by this charitable act, which of course is neutral to politics, religion, and race. The letter makes no mention of the issue of anti-Semitism. It closes its letter by suggesting that they contact the committee in charge of student aid.
Aus dem Reich.
Berlin. Synopsis: At the last assembly of representatives, it was decided to provide a 20,000 Mark subsidy to the College for Science of Judaism (summer semester, 1921). The previous amount of 18,000 per year did not suffice to balance the budget. Last year’s spending left a gap of 80,000 Marks. The Hildesheim Rabbinical Seminary also requested 20,000 Marks. Dr. Klee, representing the Jewish Volkspartei, supported the request by mentioning that several of the congregations’ rabbis had been educated there. Dr. Freund reminded the assembly that such requests had to first be presented to the Committee on Subsidies. In any case, the congregation’s financial situation probably precluded providing the subsidy. Dr. A. Loeb (Conservative) called for the equal treatment of both institutions. Plotke (Liberal) said he was for approving the subsidy after examining the seminary’s books. Professor Dr. Loewe (Jewish Volkspartei) also spoke on behalf of the seminary. In the end, the assembly voted to set aside 20,000 Marks for the rabbinical seminary.
Berlin. Synopsis: To commemorate the 100th birthday of Lewandowski, composer of religious music will take place on the first day of Passover in the New Synagogue. During the service his music will be played and the sermon will focus on the significance of his accomplishments. The other synagogues will also mention him. Note that the commemoration is not further celebrated in deference to current difficult conditions.
Berlin.Synopsis: Hering, a Reich minister stated that they are doing everything they can to combat the illegal emigration of Eastern Jews by using the border police to check for valid passports. A planned mass deportation failed because of resistance by the Polish administration. In 1920 on the eastern border, 11,453 persons were arrested, 6,169 forced back across the border, and 1,500 escaped POWs or deserters were interned. The rest were handed over to the courts or the Jewish aid societies. More camps have been established to accommodate those that cannot be deported; the camp near Stargard in Pomerania holds 2,700 such persons.
Hamburg.Synopsis: Dr. Kalmus proposed to the Representative’s Assembly that Jewish institutions and associations primarily consider hiring local Jewish craftsmen if their qualifications and rates are comparable to others.
Braunschweig.Synopsis: The local paper printed the following story that reveals the spirit of open and hidden anti-Semites: A well-known reporter, Dr. Manfred Georg, was arrested and assaulted by the French official, de Vic. The paper misunderstood the French name as “Herr Levicq” and wrote that “The German must take note of this name.” So, of course, once again, a Jew is blamed, though in this case, the culprit was actually a French nobleman.
Düsseldorf. Synopsis The local paper, “Völkische Rundschau,” published an ad for a German-völkische investment fund raising money to invest in film studios and theaters for “good German films.” There will be no Jewish investors or Germans associated with foreign races.
“We hope that plenty of German-völkische folk fall for this unbusiness-like ad. There’s no better way to get rid of one’s money than by putting it in funds that are based on a blood test.”
Fritz Kahn, the Jewish Naturalist and Artist.
by Dr. Ludwig Davidsohn.
Synopsis: Davidsohn recollects having briefly met Fritz Kahn and at the time thinking that this man would have new and surprising things to tell the world. Fritz Kahn came from a learned Jewish family; his father was a physician and wrote fictional works based on life in the ghetto. Kahn’s own early works on astronomy revealed his desire to express his ideas and research in scientific, and at the same time, in artistic terms. His book on the Milky Way was extremely popular, even among soldiers at the front. Davidsohn recalls an episode during his time as an ambulance driver in the Verdun area when enemy fire forced a group of infantry to take cover. A couple of soldiers were so lost in reading that they nearly missed the warning—they had been reading Kahn’s “The Milky Way.” His next work was on the cell. A third work, “The Jews as a Race and a Cultural People,” established him among the best of the contemporary writers according to Davidsohn. In this work, Kahn applies recent anthropological research in the area of race. The last chapter on Jewish culture stands out especially, and Davidsohn recommends it to all young Jews so they might take deep pride in their heritage.
Aus dem Ausland.
Vienna. Synopsis: The “New Viennese Journal” reported that the Islamic and Christian parties in Palestine plan to send a delegation to London to request that the immigration of foreign Jews be prohibited.
Prague. Synopsis: Czechoslovakia’s various Jewish social welfare organizations have agreed to unite and coordinate their efforts to care for war orphans, widows, and invalid veterans. At the new organization’s founding ceremony there will be speakers from the American Joint Distribution Committee, representatives of B’nai B’rith, as well as distinguished members of the German and Czech Jewish communities..
London. The English Jewish community is founding an organization, the United Press Committee, to combat anti-Semitism..
From the Province.
The Referendum in Upper Silesia./
The 20th of March has passed. However one judges the particulars of its results politically, one thing we can conclude with joyous thanks: that the majority of the votes were cast for Germany. The unfortunate result of the war was that the decision over the fate of the country was placed in foreign hands. We hope that the will of the majority of the populace and the economic and cultural conditions are honored and that Upper Silesia remains part of the German fatherland.
* * *
* * *
Synopsis: The Polish newspaper, “Gazeta Ludowa,” published an article describing how the world’s Jews are enemies of Poland, how those living in Poland systematically work against the Polish state, and that propagators of Bolshevism are also Jews. It is true that a certain segment of Jews think and feel Polish, but their number is so small that they are insignificant. Naturally, the Polish society in independent Poland energetically opposes Jews, not through pogroms, but through legal means such as boycotting Jewish trade. As a result, many Jews are leaving Poland.
The Courtship Letters of Wilhelm and Karoline von Humboldt. Published by Albert Leitzmann. (Reviewed by Regina Neitzer)
“Esther”, a Shadow Play for Young and Old by Alex and Lotte Baerwald. Weltverlag, Berlin 1920.
“Esther”, a Shadow Play for Young and Old by Alex and Lotte Baerwald. Weltverlag, Berlin 1920.
Neiβe. Synopsis: The German Animal Protection Society’s committee on youth recommends guidelines suggested by Rabbi Ellguther for establishing animal shelters. His shelters have been successful in Neiβe.
Referendum and Anti-Semitism.
The anti-Semitic movement’s animosity toward our fatherland manifests itself in the following letter that many older Jewish ladies from our city received. It’s apparently written anonymously by someone on the Polish side that is exploiting anti-Semitic activities in a rather subtle manner. In the interest of our fatherland, we publish the following:
“To a loyal German soul,
I have learned that you, dear old mother, want to accompany those that are qualified to vote and save Upper Silesia. I beg you to stay safe and sound at home, because your life would be in danger here. Don’t believe the German promises that your safety is guaranteed. You are completely vulnerable as soon as you cross the border. The well-organized anti-Semitic union will certainly ensure that you don’t make it to the ballot box.
A member of the Upper Silesian Anti-Semitic Union.”
Synopsis: The Machsike=Tora Society held a memorial in honor of the deceased congregational Rabbi, Dr. Rosenthal. Speakers were Rabbi Dr. Simonsohn and Dr. Margulies (Florence).
Synopsis: Thekla Eisner put on an evening of Max-Heinzel poetry to benefit his impoverished daughter. The evening will also include Silesian songs by Paul Mittmann.
Engagements: Martha Seelig with Georg Wolff (Breslau); Rose Gottheiner (Breslau) with Hermann Czollek (Berlin-Charlottenburg); Elsa Püschel with Martin Gottheiner (Breslau); Edith Bogen (Berlin) with Richard Janower (Breslau).
Marriages: Fritz Steinmetz with Lotte Brieger (Breslau); Werner Schachtel with Charlotte Ritter; Ismar Schüftan with Lucie Foerder; Dr. rer. Pol. Ludwig Brieger with Else Elias (Berlin-Halensee); Arthur Kahl with Gertrud Sklarz (Breslau); Franz Bial with Else Grünfeld (Breslau); Alfons Guttmann with Hanna Samuelsohn (Breslau); Leo Transla[?]eur with Käte Goldstaub (Breslau-Carlowitz); Paul Dobecs with Hilde Cohn, Wahlstatt.
Births: Sons: Counselor Hans Kober and Mrs. (Breslau); Arthur Tischler and Irmgard nee Lewy (Breslau); Franz Weiβ and Mrs. nee Jacoby (Breslau); Fritz Schragenheim and Grete nee Friedländer (Nienburg-Hanover); Dr. Posner and Trude nee Goldring (Breslau).
Daughters: Dentist Hermann Foerder and Mally nee Koppenheim (Breslau); Martin Neumann and Frieda nee Riesenfeld (Breslau).
Deaths: Willy Gottheiner (Breslau); Emanuel Hahn (Breslau); Rosa Breit (Breslau); Magda Aschner (Nikolai); Arthur Fischler (Breslau); Anne Lichtenstein nee Wiener (Breslau); Adolf Herrmann (Berlin-Tempelhof); Siegmund Keiler (Breslau); Friedericke Lomnitz (Uschütz, Upper Silesia).