Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, February 25, 1921


by Rabbi Dr. B. Gottschalk (Posen).
Synopsis: Gottschalk explores what binds liberal Jews to Judaism. He points to the meaning of the name “Israel,” one who has fought with God, as what distinguishes liberal Jews from other Jews. All Jews can say of themselves that they live and die “with God,” but liberal Jews can say that they have “fought with God and won.” The difference is that other Jews feel bound to God and wish only to do what he commanded. Liberal Jews, however, struggle with God, just as Moses, the prophets, and Maimonides did, into our modern times. Liberal Jews do not feel bound to God and do not bring sacrifices of intellect, insight, or piety—they bring their hearts as a sacrifice. They do not allow what and how they feel to be prescribed. Only when their innermost being says “yes” to God does he become their God.

Steinthal recognized that the hesitance to engage critically with the concept of God marked a childlike stage in belief which persisted until the previous century when Cohen tried to bring God closer to us by describing him as the God of morality, the power behind goodness, the God of reason. Cohen did not convince many. This image of God could warm only those who shared his intellectualism. What lives now in thousands of hearts is the “God-feeling” [“Gottesgefühl”]. Their reason has dismissed the legend of heaven; their knowledge has revealed the power of nature and with that dethroned the old God. But the heart was left empty. In these hearts the struggle for an anchor, a focus, or a goal takes place which then takes the form of a search for God. Finding him is the liberals’ revelation and their burning bush.

Liberals are not trying to intellectualize God by shedding traditions but by recognizing that he fills their hearts and souls and from their guides everything—how they honor, love, and worship him.

In that struggle, liberals go beyond Judaism, but there is no thought to leave Judaism. They see that the essence of Judaism is not what God has taught, but to test what they have learned from God. For them, the essence of the prophets and the psalmists are not that they speak of God, but that God has spoken from them.

The pains and joys of the other Jews are still felt by liberal Jews. Their religious experiences are profoundly Jewish, which is why they love the holidays and customs and the Bible and support institutions that foster Jewish religious life. This is why they fight for Jewish honor and decry baptism.

The liberal Jews do want to create a synthesis between Judaism and culture, but not sacrifice Judaism to culture. They do not want to merge it with other religions, but they do want it to shine as a beacon for other religions that have lagged in developing their concept of God. They see the time of the Messiah not as erasing all religious differences but as bringing all religions closer. Gottschalk distances liberalism from the free-religionists and the non-denominational movement and concludes that liberals are indeed religious Jews, Jews that fight for, with, and about God and thus indeed now and always “Israelites.”

“The Truth about Russia.”

The Horror in Ukraine
Synopsis: This article details horrific massacres of Jews. The official reports of a Red Cross committee document that tens of thousands of Jews have been murdered and hundreds of thousands have been abused, raped, or robbed.
p. 2

Aus dem Reich.

After the Elections.

Synopsis: The most anti-Semitic party, the “Deutschnationale Volkspartei,” did well throughout Prussia in the state parliamentary elections. The article calls for unity among Jewish groups—liberal, orthodox, Zionist, centrist, or German nationalist.

Berlin. Synopsis: The liberal faction of the Representatives’ Assembly responded to a proposal that a committee representing all groups be formed to consider the question of Jewish schools by declaring that they would consider Jewish schools only if it were impossible to address the religious educational needs of Jewish children in state schools.

Berlin. Synopsis: Pastor of St. Simeon’s, Hermann von Wicht spoke on “Equal Rights or Sedition” at the local chapter meeting of Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith. He lamented the rise of anti-Semitism after the war and how the masses are easily influenced by slogans.

Berlin.Synopsis: 1919-1920 was a successful year for the Berlin Free School for Continuing Education with 5,000 attending circa 100 courses taught by rabbis, professors, and professional men and women. Courses covered the Bible and Talmud, religion and history, literature and art, economics and current events.

Berlin. Synopsis: 6,000 (50%) voted in recent student union elections. Of the 100 available seats, the German folkish groups won 56. The liberal Jewish group won 4, and the Zionists won 5. Socialists and other left-leaning groups won the rest.
Berlin.Synopsis: Professor Julius Guttmann spoke on Spinoza’s relationship to Judaism at the Institute for the Scientific Study of Judaism.

From My Notebook.

by Ludwig Davidsohn.
A selection of aphorisms.

Jews in China.

Synopsis: Professor Dr. Stübe (Leipzig) reported on Judaism in China in the “General Newspaper” which this article republishes excerpts. Stübe cites as his main source the work of Bruno Schindler who recently journeyed to China to study these communities.

Jews settled in China as merchants and while they have retained their religion, they often look very Chinese in their costumes, manners, and attitudes. There are two major settlements: near Beijing and Kaifeng (Henan province). Kaifeng was the capital of the Song dynasty (960-1278) and suffered heavily from wars and catastrophic flooding during the Ming dynasty. Kaifeng’s downturn caused many to leave the city, including much of its Jewish community which dispersed throughout the empire. Only the poorest stayed and today only about 1,000 remain in a community with a charismatic, albeit violent, leader.
p. 3
Leipzig. Synopsis: Investiture of a Rabbi. The newly elected Rabbi, Dr. Cohn, formely of Krotoschin was ceremoniously installed. He was escorted into the synagogue by his colleague, Rabbi Dr. Goldmann and the board members in a procession accompanied by organ music. He was welcomed at the podium and gave his first sermon.

Stuttgart. Synopsis: Obituary for Nathan Levi, lawyer and notary, and founding member of the democratic party in Württemberg in 1864 with Julius Hauβmann, Karl Mayer, and Ludwig Pfau with whom he remained close friends.

Allenstein. The General Assembly of the Association of Jewish Congregations in East Prussia made the following declaration on February 6: The exemplary peaceful mutual understanding of the congregations of our province is being greatly threatened by abuse aimed at Jews. The Association as elected representatives of East Prussian Jews makes the strongest appeal. This abuse is marked by religious strife and a race war that severely damages the reconstruction of the fatherland and must call on the sense of justice of all citizens.

Myslowitz. Synopsis. Chief cantor and religion instructor, Jakob Spandau, celebrates 25 years of service.

Press Roundup.

Hepp, Hepp, Hurrah!

Excerpts from Ignaz Wrobel’s [one of Kurt Tucholsky’s pseudonyms] article that appeared in “Welt am Montag.”

Anti-Semitic paranoia in Germany reminds one of the romantic excitement of French nationalists who found the Boche and his spies behind every wrong in the world. Here, nothing can go wrong without the monocled faces of those who are too big for their britches blaming Jews for everything. Films are bad because Jews made them; groceries are expensive because Jews are cheating; the press is run by Jews, and we lost the war because Jews were secretly undermining the Front. Now Ludendorff was not a Jew, and I didn’t know that many Jews were in the German diplomatic corps as Germany lunged into the war. These upstanding men have even figured out that in Wilhelm II’s veins flowed some Jewish blood which is why rabble was elected and the world fell into misfortune. Hepp, hepp, hurrah!

What’s going on here is the worst kind of dumbing down of the masses. Roda Roda’s old saying fits like a glove here: “Anti-Semitism. . . a nice thing, but nothing will come of it until the Jews get involved!”

What these sad-faced knights would do if they didn’t have Jews is almost unthinkable. They live off of them! And hardly a single one of their arguments works.

A mixed people like the Germans that are a peculiar blend of Vandals, Kashubians, Poles, and a shot of Lowland Saxons that never formed a unified Germanic race has no right to complain about racial mixing.
Nothing works. The accusation that Jews are in charge of public life is an admission of weakness. The French illustrator, Caran d’Ache once drew a country lane on which a Jew and a Frenchman met. In between them lay a franc. Both were bending toward it at the same time. “Mais c’est le juif qui aura le franc!” (But it’s the Jew who’ll get the money.”) Accusing the Jews of price-gouging in the face of the behavior of German agriculture that is systematically sabotaging the large cities is an absurdity.
For every Schmuhl there are ten Piesekes and what the Grenadier Street can do on a small scale, Herr Stinnes do on a large one.

Without the Jews, the elections are no fun at all for the German nationalist. Without the Jews, he couldn’t lead them! He only leads them because there are a whole lot of people who differ from parrots only in that they aren’t so pretty to look at. The petit bourgeois Hausfrau, many mid-level civil servants, the small-town social elite—all have a lumpish anger at the mentally nimble Jew and are ecstatic at the chance to score one against their irritating competitors. No one senses how bad he makes his fatherland look if he admits that the ghastly influence of its Jews can destroy a whole country. The worst proponents of the war weren’t the Jews; rather they were the stakeholder officers and civil servants, the Teutonic professors and women who with their loud mouths brought this country into this misfortune. A misfortune that one now wants to ascribe to the Jews.

If the German Nationalist Party weren’t so brainlessly dumb to be anti-Semitic, a large segment of the Jews with natural conservative tendencies would have joined it; yes, I even know some instances of Jews who forgot honor long enough to vote German Nationalist.

But folkish students, foresters, and physical education teachers don’t think that deeply. The chest of German men swells, the beard speckled with lentils blows in the wind, heroic German songs trill in the air, that put the Welsch [?], the Jews, and the Blacks on the same level, just because they’re not German. Overemphasizing national uniqueness has always been a weakness.

“Don’t buy from Jews!”—Now that’s a campaign slogan for the thinking man. It creates a trusted unitied front, and the Bavarian beerlover, the East Prussian schnapps distiller, the Rhineland industrialist—suddenly they all fight loyally together, shoulder to shoulder. I have nothing against collective judgements, that are always unjust and yet sometimes just. “The Jew”…that’s right and wrong, because one doesn’t mean the individual, but the stereotype. It’s a judgement about the whole, for example like, “The German officer was useless in the war; the German judge isn’t trusted by the people in political trials; the Prussian bureaucrat tends to value his writing apparatus more than the common good.”

“Don’t buy from Jews!” But they buy. This anti-Semitism melts away when it comes to doing business, and no German Nationalist grafter is embarrassed by doing a deal with some Jew from Lodz in the export trade. If during the war the officer had been embarrassed to get help from the residents of Galician towns to help him smuggle his three hundred eggs as a “radio,” maybe the humble Jews could have learned something from him. He wasn’t embarrassed.

That’s what lost a war. We still don’t know today that a world which used to do so with hatred, now simply shrugs its shoulders with disdain and steps over traits that are stood up as virtues to the children here.

Reconstruction of the Economic Life of Russia’s Jews

Synopsis: Excerpts of a report published in the “Israelitisches Familienblatt.” Over 1 million Jews are among the living victims of war in Russia. International aid organizations are now receiving cooperation from local authorities so that raw materials, tools, credit, and funds can be used to create jobs. Signs of progress are visible and the labor market has become more stable. New leaders promise that they will not tolerate pogroms. In the agricultural sector, similar progress is being made. For example, in Lithuania the number of Jewish farmers has risen from 5% to 11%. Jewish refugees from White Russia have been forming communes. Much of this growth can be traced back to the work of the JCA (Jewish Colonization Association) from 1899 to 1918.

From the Art Collection of Berlin’s Jewish Congregations.

Synopsis: Albert Wolf’s collection (Dresden) forms the core of the exhibit. The most interesting pieces were paintings from Poland and Russia: Genre paintings, important personages, locales, and historical paintings, including Samuel Hirszenberg’s painting, “Colus.” Etchings by Mundlack, Struck, Budko, and Friedmann hung amid drawings and paintings of other artists. The exhibit also included Jewish furnishings and religious art: curtains, Torah bands, Hanukkah lamps, Purim plates, and spice boxes. One case holds Haggadah illustrations and other calligraphic art, including that of Isidor Rothziegel, which are displayed in public for the first time. There is also a “Berlin Room” with a series of pieces on Moses Mendelssohn and his circle. This room also holds a valuable rug from 1590 on loan from the Old Synagogue and a menorah from 1713.
p. 4

Local Events.

Synopsis: An evening of arias, art songs, and ballads will be presented by Richard Rodek, accompanied on the piano by Franz Czerny, on March 2.

Synopsis: A few weeks ago, the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation started publishing the “Schlesische Volksstimme,” which is distributed for free, especially at train stations.

An interesting and instructive lecture on “The Nibelungenlied in German Literature with an Emphasis on Richard Wagner’s ‘Ring des Nibelungen’” will be held by the well-known Breslau writer, Maria Renee Daumas… Maria Renee Daumas, although now completely German, comes from an old French noble family from Marseille with Jewish blood in its veins and which distinguished itself with its sympathy for the sad fate of Jews. When Jews were expelled from Marseille in the 15th century, a Pascal, Duke de Daumas was responsible for letting the victims keep their trading rights for an additional 110 years.

The Liberal Association of Synagogue Congregations named its long-serving, highly deserving board member, who as reported recently passed away, Hugo Jacobson, to perpetual membership. – On Thursday, March 10, the Liberal Association is holding a gentlemen’s beer evening as a pre-celebration of Purim and to foster personal relationships among its members.

Engagements. Elfriede Fink, nee Schlesinger, Neisse, with Pharmacist Berhard Ucko, Groβ-Strehlitz, Upper Silesia; Alice Landsberger, Charlottenburg, with Hugo Goldmann, Berlin; Ilse Wolff, Dobrzyoa (Posen), with Paul Jacob (Printing Press Owner) Wüstegiersdorf; Alma Stoβmann with Leo Neumann, Breslay; Rose Rosenthal, Breslau, with Oskar Wagner, Militsch.

Marriages. Franz Behmack, Bunzlau, with Berta Preuβ, Löwenberg, Silesia; Sigmar Weiβ wwith Flora Borchardt, Breslau; Attorney Dr. Ernst Marcus with Lucie Ritter, Breslau.

Births. Son. Curt Lisser and Hanni nee Haller, Breslau; Max Centatver and Cläre, nee Pollack, Königshütte Upper Silesia; Fritz Wechselmann and Charlotte, nee Drescher, Breslau; Siegbert Zacharias and Lotte, nee Austerlitz, Bremen.
Daughter: Dentist Arthur Schüfftan and Sophie, nee Schüfftan, Breslau; Assessor Dr. Hans Gabriel and Lotte, nee Kohn, Breslau.

Deaths. Hulda Kochmann, ne Tischler, Breslau; Julius Kareski, Kattowitz; Berthold Marcousy, Landsberg, Upper Silesia; Johanna Böhm, nee Flichter, Breslau; Berta Efrem, nee Katz, Hamburg; Julius Salomon, Breslau; Helene Gotthilf, nee Jacoby, Breslau; Berta Schreuer, nee Glaser, Berlin; Berthold Spanier, Berlin; Siegismund Münzer, Breslau; Moritz Fuchs, Breslau; Baruch Colkt, Breslau; Alfred Berliner, Ratibor; Sally Altmann, Breslau.

Announcements and Adverisements.

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Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, February 18, 1921

Socialism und Judaism.

by Dr. Walter Brinitzer, Chemnitz
Synopisis: Socialism is frequently spoken of, but little understood. Whenever socialism is seen as negative, it is associated with Judaism. How easy it is to connect two things which we don’t comprehend. In order to understand the relationship of Judaism to Socialism, we must go beyond looking at why individual Jews have been drawn to socialism (as Blüher does) and systematically look at Judaism and Socialism.

Brinitzer states that Socialism’s goal is to bring as much of our external lives under the governance of the state as possible, thereby relieving poverty and concern about meeting physical needs. Socialism will force mankind to be happy, underscoring that socialism takes a materialist view of the world. Thus, a socialist state will build its laws on material interests, not on the principle of justice.

The Jewish religion’s stance on using force to satisfy mankind and doing away with personal property conflicts with socialism. Brinitzer cites the 8th Commandment, “Thou shalt not steal,” as evidence of Judaism’s respect for the right to private ownership. The Bible emphasizes that mankind’s most valuable possession is personal freedom, which is in opposition to a system where the government can abrogate personal freedom. A central tenet of Judaism is, however, to bring the personal freedom of all individuals to bear on the well-being of the whole of society. One should exercise one’s freedom to choose to do good.

Refuting that materialism and socialism have an intrinsic connection to Judaism, Brinitzer considers an apparently opposite system, namely a theocracy based on the religious principles of Judaism. He sees theocracy as being just as opposed to the essence of Judaism, but in this case, the state attempts to use force to rule the interior condition of mankind. He concludes that theocracy and socialism have much in common. Judaism on the other hand encourages the actualization of morality and ethics on earth as a matter of an individual’s personal choice, which Brinitzer sees as a Messianic ideal. The kingdom of the Messiah is not that of an individual ruler, rather it is the rule of holiness, of perfect morality. And because Judaism is an ethics-based religion, the road to the kingdom of heaven is not prescribed by a theocracy, but because it honors mankind’s nobility, it leaves it to individual self-determination inspired by a living faith.
p. 2

Misery and Aid.

by Felix Heimann
Synopsis: The insanity of the enemy wants to squeeze over 200 billion Goldmarks from our poor people. Every German is asking himself, “How do we save our people, our country?” Heimann’s recommendation is that each person must work, work, and work more. But there are hundreds of thousands without work, especially young people. They were taken in the bloom of youth and sent to suffer hunger, thirst, and death. And hundreds of thousands came back to a starving, freezing country. And that’s what happened to the dream of German students.

Heimann goes on to recommend that more should be done to give students (of all religions) stipends so that they can continue their studies—even though the German universities are rife with anti-Semitism. Only thus will a generation be enabled to work for the fatherland’s salvation.

The newspaper’s editor supports Heimann’s request pointing out that the students that will receive these stipends come from the middle classes, which will lead to having more judges and officials from circles other than the industrialists and landed classes where anti-Semitism is endemic.

He Who Laughs Last . . .

Sketches from the World War by Ino Gaβmann.
From the east, from Gjalstizy, came the continuous thunder of artillery.—It was as though someone were constantly beating on a giant drum.—The whole day they threatened that re-enforcements were coming, … the Russians certainly won’t succeed breaking through here!—
Almost around the clock the carts loaded with wounded come bumping along to our field hospital;–the unfortunate groan and scream when they are—even though so carefully—lifted from the miserable carts with their hasty bandages.
Inside, in the spacious barn, by the light of a stinking petroleum lamp, someone had improvised an operating table from two tavern benches; a Prussian staff doctor, a Russian prisoner named Djoskij who was a doctor and spoke fluent German since he had studied in Germany, and I were feverishly busy bandaging the wounded and carrying out life-saving operations. Today there were an unusually high number of serious cases; we amputated like on a production line. Various wounded died at our hands, one had his windpipe shot through. Even though the staff doctor was able to do a tracheotomy and insert a silver tube, the wounded man suffocated in a horrible way, since the tube kept filling with blood, and we didn’t have the time to unclog it with a feather every half hour.
In the tent next door there were already over a hundred that we had bandaged. Those that could be moved in any way were loaded back onto carts and brought to a larger military hospital around 10 kilometers away. From there they’d be taken home on a medical train.—
The couple of people from our column had their hands full to help our patients, bringing them water and cooking food.
Djoskij and I had to carry the bodies and sawed-off limbs to the morgue ourselves. The morgue was a small tool shed between the barn and the well. I noticed that the Russian showed the dead unusual respect and often elaborately made the sign of the cross over them.—
Well, I didn’t have any time to reflect on it—there was just too much to do. We had been working several days and nights without interruption. The news came that we in a couple of hours we’d be relieved by a Bavarian medical field unit. We could finally rest a bit before we had to march the next day. Where to?—Nobody knew!—
It was already very late,–a warm summer’s night with mild light.—I didn’t want to sleep.—The stars shone above me in an immutable, benevolent calm, as though nothing had happened on earth, and as though mankind had not become crazed with hate and confusion.
I lay in the grass not too far from the barn, listening to the thunder of artillery that still hadn’t stopped and watched the balls of light that, like evil thoughts, shot across the shimmery, violet velvet of the heavens.
What a burning desire I had for the quiet sameness of earlier, peaceful days! How dead tired and beaten down I felt. The terrible wounds and heartbreaking misery I’d seen again these last days!—Certainly I was jaded, but still not completely apathetic, that I didn’t feel the terrible dissonance between the wonderful summer night and the times that seemed to have gone off the rails.
While I stretched out on the ground and smoked my pipe Djoskij came out of the barn and sat down next to me. “Tomorrow it starts all over again,” he said. “I’m to stay with you a while longer, then I’ll get sent to a prison camp. – The tall artilleryman from Danzig just died; –and the private who’s lying in the left corner is in terrible shape:–spinal shot…can’t move anything except for his arms; what the devil…to die that way! – Ah! Finally a little rest! I haven’t had fifteen minutes off for three days!”
I offered him tobacco and a light, and he sat quietly exhaling smoke. We sat like that a long time and looked up at the faint band of the Milky Way that arched above us.
“Tell me, Djoskij,” I asked him. “Why do you show so much respect to the dead? They certainly don’t notice it!—It’s a strange habit of yours.”
“Do you believe,” he answered, “that a corpse doesn’t notice what’s going on around it?”
–“That’s weird question,” I said. “Of course not! Dead is dead!”—
“I’ve had a different experience,” he said and began to tell:
“I was an assistant doctor with a column in the Tschessikoff corps that was eventually assigned to the Rennenkampf corps. – The Russian medical conditions, — and the German conditions, what a difference—like night and day. There we were with our field hospital near Carowitschi…By the way, I’d like to know whatever happened to Doctor Wassilij Wersiew! He got wounded there. He was the only doctor we had ,–a big, strong, blond guy,…but lazy as sin! … No compassion for the wounded; when he had his grog and could flirt with the couple of women that worked at our station, he could give a damn about the injured!—
After the victory over Zuesk, a Polish Jew from Barnow named Leib Rosenblatt was brought to our hospital, which was set up in a farmhouse. He’d been shot in the thigh and the wound was badly dressed. I can still clearly remember his intelligent face and sharply chiseled face. He was a student. He drew my attention with his comical, cheerful demeanour. “I can’t die yet,” he said. “I have my old mother whose everything I am…and then…I’m a…writer…I still have a few things to say to the world…it would be too bad if I died!…And by the way, my wound isn’t so bad;–it would be a scandal if you didn’t pull me through!” I calmed him and chatted with him in the evenings—really, he was a nice, clever boy—always alert and funny!—
The following afternoon I saw to my horror that his bandage was getting wet and his blood seeped out.
I went to Wassilij immediately, the only doctor who had a medical bag with him. But he was in his cups again and was having an animated discussion with a pretty nurse from Moscow . I asked him quickly but politely, “The little Jew has started bleeding; if we could bind off his ateria femoralis we could stop the bleeding and save him. Wassilij sniffed his grog glass and looked at me loathingly. Suddenly we heard Leib Rosenblatt calling loudly from downstairs, “Doctor, Doctor, help me, quickly!” There was a strange, trembling fear in the Jew’s voice; he seemed to know that this was a matter of life and death. Wassilij went to the stairs and in his cold, rough way, aped Leib’s calls for help, then called, “I’m coming!” But first he wanted to finish his grog.—
Just then more ambulances with wounded came and I had to go down and help unload them.—
When I went to Leib a quarter of an hour later, I noticed that he has bled to death. Wassilij hadn’t come down at all or hadn’t gotten to him in time. As I bent over the body, I noticed that the dead man’s face was contorted in anger and rage…
The next day, in the farm’s stall—our morgue—Leib Rosenblatt’s autopsy took place. According to regulations we had to make out a quick autopsy report on every dead soldier.
That’s when the strange thing happened! I will never forget this mystery, even if I live to become an old man! I still remember everything as though it had happened yesterday.—It was half dark in the room. The oil lamp hanging from the ceiling shed only a weak light. Leib Rosenblatt’s corpse lay on the dissection table; Wassilij stood next to it, the field bailiff cut, and I wrote. The three of us were alone. We all noticed the dead man’s face, contorted in displeasure and anger. I noted: ‘the femoral artery torn by a bullet; besides the lack of blood, there are no changes to the corpse’s organs as is usual with death by bleeding…’
After the autopsy we left the stall.—The bailiff brought the papers to the staff office to report back. I stood outside with Wassilij and reproached him, “You could have easily saved poor Rosenblatt!”
The doctor gave me a cynical answer and went back into the autopsy room to get his notebook that he’d left behind. Suddenly I heard a bone-chilling scream…Wassilij stumbled out, his eyes bulging from their sockets with fear. His face was white as chalk—on his cheek were the marks of five fingers—someone must have slapped him hard! Wassilij was still screaming and holding his face, then he just stared and mumbled some unintelligible words. He seemed to have lost his senses.—
My God, there was no one in the autopsy room! I went in. Dead quiet. Leib Rosenblatt, cut from the autopsy, lay there still and peacefully—but on his face was a satisfied smile!—

p. 3

Aus dem Reich.

On the Elections.

Synopsis: The Prussian state parliamentary elections are approaching. Certainly each will vote according to their conscience, but it would be against Jewish honor and dignity to vote for an anti-Semitic party. This is also for the sake of Germany since hatred of Jews mars Germany’s international reputation.

Berlin. Synopsis: At Tuesday’s meeting of the Association for Defense against Anti-Semitism ReichsministerGothein spoke on “The Effect of German Anti-Semitism on the Rest of the World.” Now is the time for Germans to unite and score moral victories and not appear to fall back into medievalism. Here and there are some with sympathy for vanquished and suffering Germany—anti-Semitism stamps out these positive feelings. Most importantly, anti-Semitism contradicts the sense of justice, truth, and German culture. Von Oppeln-Bronikowski represented the German nationalists, but he also spoke out against anti-Semitism. Only a handful of right-wing radicals participate in anti-Semitic vitriol.

Mannheim. Synopsis: The local chapter of Association for Jewish History and Literature held a lecture by Professor Franz Oppenheimer (Frankfurt a. M.) on “Anti-Semitism in Light of Sociology.” He began by tracing the roots of hatred of groups, citing Aristotle’s distinction between Greeks and Barbarians. He described how groups formed and excluded other groups through history, then described how craftsmen joined into Christian guilds and excluded Jews. The practice of having restricted sections of cities started as a privilege for merchants, but developed into the “ghetto.” The role of merchant, especially one conducting foreign trade, was revolutionary. Jews were well represented in the ranks of merchants—the rise of capitalism coincided with the rise of nationalist anti-Semitism. Professor Oppenheimer concludes that anti-Semitism will only end with the introduction of a new social order and the demise of capitalism.

Rybnik, Upper Silesia. Synopsis: The congregations of Rybnik and Loslau will hold a memorial for members who died in the war.

Press Roundup.

Berlin. Synopsis: An article in the “National Newspaper” by former Secretary of State August Müller writes that Germany’s anti-Semitism is interfering with reconstruction and foreign trade. Germany has to rebuild its foreign trade, especially with America and Russia, where Germany is competing with America and England. England wants to trade throughout Eastern Europe as does America. In Eastern Europe, foreign trade is almost exclusively in the hands of Jews. Even in America, Jews play an important role in foreign trade. Jewish shopkeepers have always preferred to get their goods from Germany as do the Eastern Jews. With German goods and German merchants you now get anti-Semitism. Most American Jews come from Eastern Europe—why shouldn’t they prefer to trade with England and its colonies? The English and American wares are as good as German wares. The English and American merchants are as honest and credit-worthy as the German ones. The only difference is that these aren’t anti-Semitic.

Berlin. Synopsis: Paul Goldmann, Master glazier, writes about the growing friction between Jewish and Christian craftsmen. Goldmann encourages Jewish crafts- and tradesmen to attend their union meetings an speak out against anti-Semitic statements or actions.

New York.Synopsis: 120 American personalities have published a statement in which they condemn anti-Semitism. Among the signers are the former President Wilson, members of the Cabinet, and the most well-known Catholic and Protestant clergymen. Anti-Semitism cannot be reconciled with one of the foundational tenets of the American way of life—tolerance. Only one newspaper or journal prints anti-Semitic material in America, that is Henry Ford’s weekly “Dearborn Independent.”

Local Events.

Representatives Assembly.

Synopsis: Board elections were held. Congregation taxes discussed as well as the cleanliness of the bathing facilities. The proposal to raise the contribution to the vocational school from 2,000 Marks to 10,000 Marks was debated. Although many are in principle against the idea of confessional schools, the Jewish vocational school has a hundred-year history and it is essential to the newly arrived Eastern Jews. One faction wanted to work with the state to convert the school into a state-run school. After more debate on the subject of confessional schools, the proposal was accepted. The proposal to contribute 2,000 Marks to ensure kosher meals for the voters on the Upper-Silesian referendum was accepted because everything should be done to keep Upper Silesia German. Mr. M. Hes from Schlüchtern was chosen to be the assistant cantor for the Old Synagogue.
p. 4

Soup kitchen.

Synopsis: Private citizens are working to open a much needed soup kitchen.

A few days ago bookdealer, Hugo Jacobsohn, passed away. He was a founder and board member of the liberal association of the synagogue congregations in Breslau and made important contributions to the cause of Liberalism.


Mozart Matinee by the united organizations of loyal Upper Silesians.
Synopsis: Werner Sander, a young musician from Breslau, conducted the overture and arias from Figaro, “Eine kleine Nachtmusik.” Soloists were Else Knepel and Carl Rudow. Else Knepel’s accompanist was Kurt Nellhaus.

Associations and Assemblies.

Synopsis: The Youth League of the Central Organization re-started its activities with a lecture by Chief Rabbi Vogelstein on “The Aims and Ways of German Jewry” where he emphasized the synthesis of German and Jewish identity. Rabbi Simonsohn then spoke on the “Duties of the Youth,” among which are a thorough knowledge of Jewish religious truths. The deepening of this knowledge will serve as a foundation from which to launch a successful attack on anti-Semitism.

Family Announcements.

Engaged. Käte Lewy, Breslay with Berth. Heinz Flieβer, Berlin; Martha Kassel, Ratibor, Upper Silesia, with Alfred Werner, Katscher, Upper Silesia; Martha Glaser, Breslau, with Arnold Schlesinger, Beuthen, Upper Silesia, Lucie Tworoger with Dr. Hermann Roltonski, Breslau.
Married. Alfred Stern with Lorle Besser, Breslau;¬ Hans Kirschstein with Linka Friedeberger, Breslau; Erich Freudenthal with Rose Neustadt, Charlottenburg; Leo Grünpeter with Anni Freund, Berlin.
Born. Son. Hermann and Frieda Seeligmann, Breslau; Siegbert Benjamin and Else, nee Suβmann, Breslau; Emil Goldstein and Elsa, nee Schindler, Breslau; Chief Rabbi Dr. Adolf Kober and Hanna, nee Samoje, Cologne.
Daughter. Fabian Mielzynski and Hede, nee Braun, Kempen; Alfred Schachmann and Lotte, nee Schiftan, Breslau; Josef and Friedl Freiwald; Alfred Freund and Hilde, nee Kochmann, Rosenberg, Upper Silesia.

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Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, February 11, 1921

The Eastern Jewish Question.

by Chief Rabbi Felix Goldmann (Leipzig).
From the days that it seemed useful in the Russian state’s wisdom to massacre masses of Jews, from the days of the first pogroms, there has existed for Germany an Eastern Jewish question. Depending on the strength of the hatred in the East, the press of Jews was felt more weakly or strongly. Since Germany was the natural refuge for those persecuted on the other side of the border, and since on the other hand this passage often was the passage to a new world, the emigration from the east and the issues caused by it never stopped. The war added a new angle. As long as one was able to believe in Germany’s victory, one assumed that the Reich would spread towards the east, and this expansion would have made hosts of Jews into German citizens. A lot of paper has been used to describe the associated benefits and harm; many hoped and many worried, and thus the question of Eastern Jews became the favorite topic of Jewish and non-Jewish discussions.

“Peace” came; our fatherland lay on the ground, bleeding from a thousand wounds and the Jewish question took on a worrisome perspective. What was until now regarded as a political event, since the handful of Eastern Jews were as nothing to the strong, economically secure Reich has now become an economic danger after the number of unemployed Germans has swollen and the lack of housing and food are wreaking havoc. And the more pressure there is on the masses of Jews to leave their country under the force of Polish hatred, the less they can find accommodation near the borders, the greater the hatred against the eastern emigrants grows in Germany’s interior. The common attempt to make the Jews the scapegoat for all the evils of the war and the peace grows to such an extent that the Eastern Jewish questions seems to have become the focal point around which the whole of the internal politics revolves.

It’s all the more difficult to make an objective judgment, the more the question becomes embroiled in everyday politics and then combine with a thousand other things. Precisely we Jews, who feel both the patriotic and the religious sympathies, should take a position based on thorough and calm exploration of the facts. Above all, our judgment and our actions can in no way be influenced by the anti-Semitic clamor.

When we look closely into the matter, we see that there is a great misconception about the intentions of the Eastern Jews. Even in peacetime, few had the desire to settle in Germany permanently in contrast to the number of emigrants. Now that the economic opportunities in Germany have decreased greatly, the majority of the refugees are only looking for asylum and temporary protection as they make their way to America. Whoever is active in the care of refugees, knows this. He also knows of course that the United States is making it more and more difficult to immigrate, even to the point of threatening a complete ban on immigration. An essential responsibility of German Jews is to awaken the consciences and brotherly love of their North-American co-religionists so that they, members of today’s strongest economic power, prove their readiness to help the Eastern Jews not only through tawdry enthusiasm for Palestine and a few alms along the way, but also by working toward the right to immigrate for all who are being forced out of the East.

The Jewish judgment must secondly be beyond all anti-Semitic calumny. One must always keep in mind that the enemy of the Jews will not distinguish between German and Eastern Jews, and the agitation against the latter is just a means to undermine the respect and position of the second. That is true above all of those which he sees as politically clever and can bring over to the side of the enemy and thus cause confusion in our ranks. They only hurt themselves because as soon as the anti-Semite succeeds in striking a blow against the Eastern Jews, he will turn towards the German Jews. To adopt his argumentation is like sawing off the branch on which one sits.

That of course doesn’t mean that we should overlook things that are obvious out of defiance or caution. Neither will be forget that Germany simply can’t take in immigrants because any settlement makes the living condition of the inhabitants harder, nor may we overlook the Eastern Jews’ different ways that slow down a smooth integration into German life. Are they worse?—only the dogmatic anti-Semite can determine that with any confidence. In any case, they are different, have different customs and attitudes, which would not matter in times of calm and economic security as with the culturally assimilated Eastern Jews who have lived here for years. But during today’s unsettled, nervous phase this difference leads to constant clashes.

Our position easily becomes clear. As long as it concerns Jews who have settled here before the war or came here with the German government’s permission during the war, there is no Jewish question. If it were not for the reactionary anti-Semitism these Jews would have long been naturalized; and just because earlier governments treated them worse than Christian foreigners who are German citizens today does not mean that we can let them suffer again now. Ne bis in idem. It cannot be right that in a lawful state one first lures people to Germany with promises or threats, exploit their labor, and then expel them as burdensome foreigners. From both a German and a Jewish perspective it is our duty to energetically confront any misdeeds committed against these categories [of persons]. Not just because they would harm our co-religionists, but because such deception would be a shameful mark on the German name. That naturally no finger will be lifted for those that have in any way broken the law goes without saying but should nevertheless be highlighted here. When these have to leave the country, no regret or empathy follows them.

Given current conditions we certainly must see the closing of the borders against new immigration and settlement as a hard albeit necessary ruling. But we cannot be satisfied with any ruling that disadvantages Jews specifically. We must frankly admit that regarding this we are in a difficult situation. Since Jews do make up the majority of the immigrants it is all too easy to see an anti-Semitic impulse behind a generally applicable rule. We are highly aware that our fatherland truly is not able to accept immigrants, thus we will be understanding about rulings preventing new permanent settlement in Germany.

Naturally, none of this pertains to the right of asylum. Since one grants this to the many Baltic barons, Jews too may claim it. If we are to oppose mass immigration in the interest of German strength, so too must we act in the interest of German honor so that the political refugee – and who would be that more than an Eastern Jew saving themselves from pogroms?—is granted temporary residence and legal protection. The facts make clear that foreigners of Christian faith largely enjoy these rights. And when one complains that the lack of apartments in Berlin is increased due to the Eastern Jews, one should not forget the hospitality that the expelled Estonians and Kurlanders continuously enjoy in large numbers. It must surely be the responsibility of German Jews to ensure that the Eastern Jews moving through Germany are brought as quickly as possible to the place they are emigrating to. It is just as important, however, to protect them during their stay from any treatment that other foreigners are not subjected to. Regretfully we realize that in Germany anti-Semitism’s boldness lets loose on defenseless Jewish refugees through petty exception-rulings and chicanery. And this consequence of the Jewish question is indeed capable of seriously damaging Germany’s position as a cultured nation.

We need not go into the charity aspects of the Eastern Jewish question here. That German Jews must dedicate themselves to caring for the physical and spiritual needs of their travelling brothers is understood that those who have been so tested by fate still have their lives and their strength. It is shameful that only we Jews take on this responsibility when caring for those that have been persecuted for their religion should be seen as the duty of every feeling, cultured person. The fact that this duty is not being filled by anyone else may not be taken as an excuse to withdraw from it. And if one or the other fears that by supporting these “foreigners” one draws criticism for not being German enough, then we should with good conscience reject a “German-ness” that manifests itself in cold lack of charity and hard-hearted smallness of mind.

If we want to condense our political position regarding the Eastern Jewish questions into a short formula, it would be: Equal rights for all immigrants during admission and processing! If it could be achieved that a Jew is viewed exactly the same as a Czechoslovakian, the problem would be solved. If we had this guarantee of equal and objective treatment, we wouldn’t need to turn to government regulations, we would be assured that the Eastern Jewish question is not ruled by untamed anti-Semitism, but rather based on consideration of real political necessities that we must abide by. With that we conclude with the question of the actual scope of the immigration.

This will surprise us a bit. If one subtracts the Jews who were brought here by the German government before the war, we are left with a few thousand. One estimates that the entire number of refugees who came here during the revolutions is at most 30,000 for the entire country. What significance can this number have compared to the German population of 65 million? It can be calmly stated that, with the exception of the trade centers of Berlin and Leipzig, the only Eastern Jewish question is one conjured by the dictatorship of the anti-Semitic slogan. To liberate oneself from that would be of great benefit to the Christian part of the population as well, so that they can see that an economic or political threat from Eastern Jews only exists in the imagination of those who claim to see ghosts.
p. 2.

Politics and Religion.

by Hermann Becker, Berlin
Synopsis: This article is a response to the article, “Jews Among Nationalities,” published in the “Ost und West” journal in which the author describes the position of Jews in the new nations created in the wake of World War I—Hungary, Romania, Yugoslavia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Hermann disagrees with the thesis that protection of the weak and justice are guidelines that Jews should follow when defining their role in these new nations. Becker considers each new nation in turn and analyzes how the nationalities that constitute these new states have Jews and juxtaposes this historical treatment with current trends. For example, Hungary was previously one area where Jews had enjoyed equal rights but are now relentlessly persecuted. He concludes that Yugoslavia is the only new country where there was a history of tolerance and now the Jews enjoy the state’s protection. He concludes that the relationship of Jews to the politics of their country cannot be defined by a single set of guidelines, and certainly not one derived from the dogmatic aspects of the Jewish religion.

From Ludwig Geiger’s youthful and elderly days.

A memorial to the 9th of February.
Synopsis: Ludwig Geiger, Abraham Geiger’s son, died on February 9, 1919 at the age of 70 and is mourned by the entire German Jewry. The article surveys his life from his childhood, the early loss of his mother to his student days and his decision to abandon the study of theology for that of literature and philosophy. Ludwig went on to become a celebrated Goethe scholar. Although he did not follow in his father’s footsteps, he remained involved with the Jewish community of Berlin, especially with educational matters.
p. 3.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. Synopsis: Jewish congregations’ taxes. Rumors that the taxes will increase by 60% are not true. The actual increase will be a small percentage of that.

Berlin. Partial translation: Reichstag representatives Dr. Schücking and Dr. Steiger spoke about “the political parties and their position on the Jewish question” at a meeting of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith. Schücking reported on the democratic party, Steiger on the centrist Christian Volk party. Schücking pointed out that the pre-war diplomacy gave the anti-Semites a reason to hold Jews responsible, just as blind insanity did in medieval times. Today, the Democrats are seen as being in the service of Jews even though “democracy is a specifically Germanic idea.” Democracy recognizes the civic rights of Jews, and that Jews have contributed to raising the level of the economic and cultural life for all. Of course, it would be desirable that Germany would be spared the flood coming from Eastern Europe and the League of Nations should see to channeling it to countries that can absorb it. Now is the time for unity and not class hatred or religious hatred. Energetic applause followed.

Steiger began his speech with a reminder that the founder of the centrist party, Windthorst, was against any laws that discriminated against groups. Certainly, the German nationalists want to do away with the Old Testament in Germany. If that were the case, all religious teaching would come to an end. Energetic applause broke out here. The dependence of the New Testament on the Old should be the bridge that brings citizens together.

Munich. Synopsis: The proceedings for the violent assault on Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld have been dropped because there was no evidence against the assailants, although it was determined that the attack had been planned.

Osterode. Synopsis: A well-publicized assembly was sponsored by the local German völkisch group at which Dr. Veit spoke on the “psychology of Judaism.” He reviewed Roman and Greek writings on Jews, repeating what is well known from anti-Semitic writings and is not even worth refuting here. The speaker poisoned the crowd. Mr. Bax, general secretary of the German farmers’ union accused the speaker of politicking for the German nationalists and using Jews as a lightning rod—the crowd shouted him down. The preacher, Mannheim, could make himself heard as he defended the morality of Jews, their messianism, and the passages from the Talmud that Veit had misappropriated. Mannheim offered Veit 10,000 Marks if he could point to one of the passages he had “quoted.” The crowd prevented Veit from continuing his speech.

Dessau. Synopsis: Union of the State of Anhalt’s Jewish Congregations. The organization was founded on January 9 by the congregations in Dessau, Bernburg, Cöthen, Zerbst, Sandersleben, Ballenstedt, Coswig, Gröbzig, and Jeβnitz. The union agreed to be a strictly democratic organization with both men and women having equal voting rights. Dr. Cohn (Dessau) is president.

Frankfurt a. M. Synopsis: The Prospects for Theologians. At a lecture series held by the Academic and State Employment Affairs offices, three theologians of different confessions spoke about their careers. Rabbi Dr. Horovitz represented Judaism. The three agreed that since the losses inflicted by the war, the prospects in their career were good, though it could not be considered a normal career because of the requirement for religiosity and vocation. It was not a career for getting rich, especially for rabbis as they are not subsidized by the state.

From the Province.

Tarnowitz. Synopsis: Businessman Elias Bach has been elected president of the local synagogue and Aron Perlberg and Fedor Schweiger as alternates.

Schreiberhau. Synopsis: The anti-Semitic post secretary, Obst, has been transferred by decree as of April 1.

The Association of Former Residents of Posen

List of members

Emanuel Wertheimer und sein “Buch der Weisheit”.

(Verlag Hoffmann & Campe.)
Synopsis: A review of Wertheimer’s book of aphorisms includes a sampling of his darkly pessimistic and satirical observations.
p. 4.

Local Events.

Representatives’ Assembly.

The next meeting will cover the election of a new cantor for the Old Synagogue, release of the cantors from their ritual duties, raising burial fees in the Cosel cemetery, increasing the contribution to the vocational school from 2,000 Marks to 10,000 Marks, and a pledge of 2000 Marks for kosher meals for the Upper-Silesian voters.

The Old Synagogue in Glogau.

The celebration of the seventh Adar will take place on the February 15 at 4 o’clock.

Art of the Eastern Jews.

The lecturer, Professor Grotte writes: After my opening lecture at the Jewish Continuing Education School, I was asked if I would publish my lecture. Allow me to point to some of my published writings, which include many illustrations:
“Synagogentypen vom 11. Bis 19. Jahrhundert,” Der Zirkel, Berlin, 1915. Three articles in art and architecture journals. A publication on figural Jewish art is underway.

Family Notices.

Engaged: Miss Elly Heydemann, Breslau, with Mr. Max Laske, Berlin; Miss Grete Freund with Mr. Leopold Krämer, Beuthen, Upper-Silesia.
Married: Mr. Herbert Fuchs with Miss Margarete Tichauer, Breslau; Mr. Siegbert Rosenbund with Miss Hanna Hiller, Breslau; Mr. Hans Silberstein with Miss Margot Rosenthal, Breslau; Mr. Alfred Hirschberg with Miss Käte Israelowitz, Breslau.
Born: Son: Dr. Leopold Moses and Margot nee Peritz, Berlin; Mr. Philipp Gutmann and Margot nee Kober, Hamburg; Mr. Otto Bial and Marta nee Weiβler, Breslau; Attorney Joseph Hirschberg and Else nee Baumgart, Frankfurt a. O.; Mr. Paul Cohn and Trude nee Reichmann, Reichenbach, Silesia.
Daughter: Mr. Adolf Strumpfner and Margot nee Fleischer, Hindenburg.
Died: Leopold Goldstein, Breslau; Hirsch Gotthilf, Breslau; Adolf Schäffer, Upper-Glogau; Claudia Eckersdorff nee Mühsam, Breslau; Julian Jacobowitz, Gleiwitz; Hugo Kohn, Rimlau; Louis Wulff, Breslau; Ida Gutzmann nee Heil, Breslau; Else Meseritzer nee Honigbaum, Breslau.

Think of Upper-Silesia on all occasions!

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Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, February 4, 1921

The Central Organization of German Jewry.

by Heinrich Stern, Attorney (Berlin) and Chairman of the German Liberal Jewry Association.
Synopsis: Stern describes the historical significance of German Jewish congregations having come together despite their divisions to ratify this new organization’s constitution and bylaws which are grounded in democratic principles with both genders having equal voting rights. Stern ascribes this victory over aristocratic and plutocratic thinking to the influence of liberal Judaism which now has the responsibility to support this new organization.

Difference and Commonality in Orthodoxy and Liberalism.

by Rabbi Dr. Fuchs (Chemnitz), Part II.
Synopsis: The first part of the article (published in the January 28, 1921 issueJanuary 28, 1921 issue) focused on orthodoxy; the second describes liberalism. The importance of the connection to the religion of the forefathers is a given for liberal Jews. However, the main principle is remaining true to one’s conscience, which is identical to the love of God and the desire for the ideal, and not following the laws of the Torah, the Talmud, and subsequent rabbinical teachings. More important are the prophets and the living feeling for God (Daath Adonoi). Both the orthodox and the liberals believe in the religious obligation of the community to develop their members into worthy individuals. Both also believe that the Jewish religion is the true religion which holds validity for all people and will be accepted by all people so that it can transform them into a heavenly kingdom of morality and peace. Rabbi Fuchs then goes on to claim that liberal Judaism is the better form of Judaism. The present cannot tie itself up with the orthodox religious observations. Liberal Judaism is the better Judaism because it does not need dogma, rather it is based on understanding. It has freed itself from the debris of the middle ages, from belief in spirits and angels. One must not believe the critics that claim that liberalism is the path to agnosticism, or even to baptism. It is simply another type of piety that is all the more difficult to recognize because it is internal.
p. 2.

The Central Aid Committee’s Conference.

By our special reporter in Berlin, H. B.
We reported on the first part of the conference in the previous issue [January 28, 1921] which continued with Mrs. Wronsky reporting on the “Current Demands on Jewish Aid Work” which she sees as consisting of three things: The actualization of the idea of justice, the idea of love, and the idea of humility. The presenter recommends a complete reworking of the methods of Jewish charity to more development-and goal-oriented work.

Dr. Georg Baum, attorney and incoming chairman, followed with a talk on “Jewish Social Policy,” according to which Jews need special aid organizations that consider their special relationship to their religion and to their professions. Jewish social policy has the following duties: Redistribution of professions especially with respect to academics but also in part to business into lower-level administrative jobs, the trades, and agriculture. In particular he described the situation of Jewish employees who suffer from the anti-Semitism of certain associations. Other duties are Jewish student aid, employment documents for Jews, especially for those whose proof of work needs special attention such as pensioners with limited income, combatants, and wounded veterans. A very important point that the presenter made was that the job counseling services of the Central Aid Committee are overwhelmed. The speaker them moved to population policy which is fostered by the previously mentioned services as well as providing for dowries, furniture, and apartments. During the ensuing debate, Mrs. Ollendorff (Breslau) pointed out that the congregations would no longer be in a position to provide the same level of voluntary contributions. Emil Waldstein (Breslau) warned against splintering available resources, which is especially important for those Jewish institutions with such small numbers of residents which makes them difficult to support. He recommends that foundations that provide for dowries and those job counseling services that provide not only advice but also the resources to pursue recommended careers receive continued support. Next Mr. Waldstein himself reported on “The Plight of our Orphanages and Educational Institutions.” These institutions are in the same pre-ware condition in terms of funds, income and operations which puts their work in the current situation at risk. Considering this the homes must be run more economically by tightest rationing of food and clothing in keeping with the homes’ goals, better utilization of the houses, facilities and administration, and leveraging the assistance of congregations and civic officials. The plight of the institutions requires each of them to fight against their fate and supports consolidating many of these institutions.

Dr. Fritz Lamm, Attorney (Berlin), then reported on “The Tasks of Jewish Children’s Welfare” which covers aid for the children that need charity because of health, parental, or legal reasons. To this group belongs youth who don’t have an orderly family life, that is, orphans, those born out of wedlock, abandoned children and those that are morally endangered, neglected, or juvenile delinquents, and finally children from needy families. The youth should be taken care of within the congregations with the agreement of public child welfare services. The influence of the Central Aid Committee on the upcoming child welfare laws will ensure that the religious needs of Jewish children are considered. Funds should be raised by requests to the state, community and charitable organizations, by turning to the living and for the sake of the dead, finally through collections “For the Jewish Child” which will take place once the collections for the German children’s welfare are finished.

On the second day of the aid conference Dr. Hanauer, privy counselor (Frankfurt a. M.), spoke about the “Health Objectives of Jewish Welfare Work.” His theses were that German Jewry is threatened by degenerative trends caused by 1) the decreasing birth rate and 2) widespread nervous and mental illnesses. Measures against these are 1) marriage reform (countering lack of marriage, late marriages, marriage with less desirable spouses, mixed marriages instead of which early marriage should be endorsed as well as well-organized, communal marriage agencies. 2) Welfare support for families with many children, 3) development of children’s protection laws that better care for orphans and children born outside of marriage as well as guardianship and foster-parenting. As for the nervous and mental diseases: Raising children with simplicity and to be undemanding, and physically strengthening them through gymnastics and sport; redistributing professions by leading them toward trades and gardening, as well as developing support for restorative care.

Co-presenters were Professor Dr. Toby Cohn (Berlin) who spoke on the “Care of the Mentally Ill,” Dr. Wilhelm Feilchenfeld (Berlin) on the “Care of Patients with Lung Diseases,” and Dr. Nawratzki, (Berlin-Niklassee): on the “Care of the Mentally Underdeveloped Youth.”

In the ensuing debate the speech by Dr. Eschelbacher (Düsseldorf) especially made an impression for he described in fresh and lively manner his own experiences in the areas of social policy and met with hearty applause.

Dr. Friedrich Ollendorff (Berlin) spoke about “Jewish Foreign Aid.” There is only one area in need and that is Eastern Europe. Care for its emigrants is raising the visibility of the generosity of Jews internationally.

Dr. Klee, Attorney (Berlin) reported on his participation as a delegate of the Zionist union at the Karlsbad World Aid Conference and its significance for Jewish social work where the aid organizations from 28 nations were represented. Pure philanthropy was rejected; instead lasting development work was decided upon.

The last report was held by Mr. Fritz, a businessman (Berlin), on the “Problems of Caring for Eastern Jews in Germany,” which is in particular impacted by the regulations concerning inner-German migration and finding employment. Jewish job placement services have been able to accommodate circa 17,000 Eastern Jewish refugees in mines and other industries. The presenter reported that the German labor unions regularly and zealously protect their Jewish comrades from anti-Semitic chicanery.

Dr. Baum closed the two-day proceedings by thanking the participants and hoping that the work of the German Jewry would be a blessing. He reported that they had been invited to Frankfurt a. M. for the next conference.

What made this conference an unforgettable one for all participants was the uplifting realization that the German Jewry has so many members involved in the service of charity, especially its women and girls of all classes, indeed more than any other religious community. In Judaism, one feels that an individual’s sorrow is the sorrow of all. Despite the heavy plight of these times the generosity of Jews has not let up, and it will never end, just as the optimism that recognizes that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. The central committee of the Reichstag recently debated questions of emigration and immigration, specifically the proposal by the minister of the interior to house Jewish imigrants in concentration camps [“Konzentrationslager”]. The Reichsminister, Dr. Koch, detailed his perspective as follows: There is no occasion for giving preferential treatment to any foreigners. This is not about anti-Semitism, rather it is about the equal treatment of all foreigners. Exceptional measures that give an advantage to Eastern Jews cannot be maintained because the emigration of German workers has taken on such worrisome dimensions. Every immigrant from the east means that in the west a well-qualified German worker will emigrate—the Minister [of the Interior] will not abide that. The Berlin housing office has expressed its opposition to the immigration of Eastern Jews to the Minister and namely complained that the Berlin proletariat “cannot find an apartment because these have been taken from them by Eastern Jews.” Additionally, the state employment offices have complained that the Eastern Jewish immigrants take jobs away from German workers. The Minister is not in a position to change the measures that had been taken.

The president of the Reich migration office, Jung, expanded: “With respect to the undesired immigration, what makes the matter more difficult is that the immigrants try to cross the German border without passports or with counterfeit ones. As long as it is possible to cross over Upper Silesia, these difficulties will not disappear. In any case the government is doing everything it can to execute on the will of the Reichstag—to build a strong dam against this flood of immigration.”

Representative Hoch (Socialist) explained that it is a given that one must act energetically in order to deal with the immigration of Eastern Jews. However, one must take care not to exaggerate on behalf of one side or the other.

Berlin. Synopsis: The “Deutsche Zeitung” writes positively of the founding of the Central Organization at the assembly of German-Israelite congregations. It is always suspicious when a publication like the “Deutsche Zeitung,” which is always sharply critical of us Jews, welcomes an event in our ranks. We liberals must guard against this organization serving a nationalist [“völkisch”] agenda.

Wandering through Belgium

Excerpts from my travel journal (1910). [poems by Ludwig Davidsohn which will not be translated at this time.]
p. 3.
Königsberg. Partial translation: At a meeting of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith Professor Goldstein (Darmstadt) spoke on “Modern Theory of Race” from a purely sociological perspective. Gobineau’s work on race spawned a European discussion where the concept of “race” quickly became bound to the concept of “nation.” St. Chamberlain built on Gobineau’s theory as follows: Nation equals race; Jews belong to a different race than the Germans, therefore they have no native rights within German culture. This theory distinguishes between the valuable culturally-creative Germanic race from the supposedly unworthy, sterile, intellectually infertile race of the Jews. To ground these theories, it is further maintained that Jesus, Confucius, and Lao Tzu had Germanic blood flowing in their veins. The conclusion is that the emancipation of Jews, that is, their enjoyment of equal rights, should be repealed because of their non-western race…

Goldstein asks what is then “race”? He cites Ehrenreich’s definition of race as a concept from natural sciences while “das Volk” is a cultural concept. There is an English or German people, but no English or German race. There are no peoples with a pure race in today’s Europe.

“One is only German by blood.” During the war this saying was disproved since the cruelest defamers of Germans had German blood. German is a particular sensibility. “Racial foreigners” have often achieved amazing things for the state. Gambetta was not of French blood; the Englishman Disraeli was a Jew, as was Marx; Stahl, actually Schlesinger, the founder of the Conservative Party was a Jew as was Lasker, the leader of the national-liberals; Cavour was a Frenchman, the Irish leader Parnell an Englishman and a Protestant at that; Prince Eugene was a Savoyard. The Swedish poet Belmann came from Bremen, Ibsen from Denmark, Chamisso, Alexis, Geibel, Fontane were half French; Görres came from Italy, Clausewitz from Poland, likewise Treitschke. Dürer was a Magyar, etc…

From the Province.

Ratibor. Synopsis: A committee has formed here to advise and aid Jewish voters coming to Ratibor. The committee plans to help with housing and to set up a kosher dining facility.
Görlitz. Synopsis: Paul Mühsam held a poetry reading sponsored by the Workgroup of Jewish Communities. He read as yet unpublished poems, “Evening Silence,” “Hope,” and “May.” He also read a chapter (“God and the Butterfly”) from his well-known prose work, “Conversations with God.” The article describes the reading in great detail.

To All Former Residents of Posen!

Synopsis: The emigration from Posen is compared to Abraham’s leaving his homeland. But Abraham didn’t need a passport or a visa, could take his tents with him and did not have to struggle for his daily bread as the immigrants from Posen have to. This article is an invitation to all former residents of Posen to join to form a group for mutual support.

Local Events.

The Völkisch Index of Businesses.

Synopsis: More names of businesses who want to distance themselves from the Protection and Defiance Federation are listed.

The Art of Eastern Jews.

Lecture (with projections) by Professor Grotte,
held at the semester start of Jewish Adult Continuing Education.
Synopsis: The review begins with the statement that Professor Grotte “took us into completely new territory” with his lecture and slide show on Eastern Jewish art, namely from Galicia and Russian-Polish areas. His slides revealed a “strange, entirely new art that speaks to one’s heart.” The named artists Professor Grotte included were the architect, Benjamin Hillel and Elieser ben Sussmann, whose artistry covered the walls of synagogues.

For more examples of Sussmann’s work, follow these links:
p. 4.


An Evening of Piano Music by Fritz Peiser.

Synopsis: At his first public concert, Fritz Peiser played Chopin so well that the reviewer thought he showed great promise as an interpreter of Chopin’s work.

Dora Bernstein’s, Terese Petzko-Schubert’s Concert.

Synopsis: Dora Bernstein, soprano, was accompanied by Terese Petzko-Schubert on the violin and Arpad Sandor on the piano.

Associations and Assemblies.

Synopsis: The Jewish-Liberal Youth Organization had its annual general assembly on January 31. The members of the board were re-elected: Erich Bayer, Kurt Brienitzer, and Attorney Erich Spitz.
The youth league of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith will start up its activities again after its re-organization. On February 9, Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein will speak on the Ends and Means of German Jewry,” and Rabbi Dr. Simonsohn will speak on “The Task before the Youth.”

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The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 10 here.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Literature, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History | Leave a comment

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, January 28, 1921

Emblem of the Leipzig College for Women

Emblem of the Leipzig College for Women

Central Organization of German Jewry.

Difference and Commonality in Orthodoxy and Liberalism.

By Rabbi Dr. Fuchs (Chemnitz)
Synopsis: During elections for congregations’ representatives, Orthodox and Liberal Jews united against the Nationalist Jews [i.e. Zionists] which is the touchstone for this article which explores what these two communities have in common and what separates them. The main difference lies in how they follow the religious laws, not in their beliefs unlike the divisions in Christianity which are based on questions of faith.

Differences between orthodoxy and liberalism lie in the orthodox treatment of every letter of the Bible being authored by God, the precise interpretation of which leads to the great moral questions being treated as having the same importance as the smallest details. This has led to the exactitude and rigidity of scriptural interpretation which is the basis of orthodoxy. The liberals infuse their interpretation with rationalism proven out by the world around them, so, for example, the 6 days of the creation equal 6 eras. The orthodox spiritual view is that of a world controlled by supernatural force responsible for all natural action as well as miracles and the coming of the Messiah to re-establish the Temple in Jerusalem. For the orthodox the Torah has no human subjectivity about it, nothing personal.

Liberalism is criticized as being laziness or an attempt to imitate Christian religions, especially the ritualistically bare Protestants. The real difference lies in biblical analysis and the realization tht the Torah is the work of men. For the liberal, the many inconsistencies and contradictions are signs that it could not have been written by Moses or by a single person. Interpretation then is a task of separating an immutable core from the changeable wrappings. One must then distill which of the customs are morally grounded and which stem from changing habits formed by historical context.

Central Organization of German Jewry Becomes a Reality.

Synopsis: The Judæo-German Congregations’ conference proposed and accepted a constitution for a Central Organization of German Jewry on January 23rd. The remainder of the article reports on the debate. Important points included the global and local balance, religious autonomy but administrative uniformity, the voting rights of women and foreigners. Note that the decision on women’s voting rights was deferred to the board to consider. The voting rights of foreigners were supported with by an overwhelming majority.

Upper Silesians! The fatherland calls! Register for the vote now! Don’t delay! [page 1 Footer]
p. 2.

Recollections of Henriette Goldschmidt.

On the First Anniversary of her death, January 30, 1921.
“Teach us to count our days, so that we take away a wise heart.”
On the 30th of January, 1920 the senior leader of the German women’s movement passed through the dark portal that leads into eternity in her 95th year. A rare, blessed feminine being that was precious, rich with troubles but also success and recognition, came to an end. In the case of such an unusual personality like the departed was, one wonders about abilities and characteristics that were inherited from parents and ancestors. Henriette Goldschmidt was born on November 23, 1825 in Krotoschin in the province of Posen and raised by her parents in the liberal Jewish ways. She belonged to a family whose pursuit of education even then had already become tradition. Her grandfather was called “the German Benas” because of the modern German learning that he achieved in addition to his Jewish theological education. In the memoir dedicated to her husband, Dr. A. M. Goldschmidt, who had passed away in 1888, she tells of how her grandfather who had married at 18 and already had a child left Krotoschin to visit Moses Mendelsohn in Berlin to get a German education. From there he became tutor for a wealthy Jewish family in Friedericia, Denmark. There he became so well versed in foreign languages that when the Danish king visited Friedericia he gave a speech on behalf of the Jewish community in French, for which he was granted Danish citizenship. But since his wife in no way wanted to leave her homeland he returned to its narrow and repressive environment. Her father, the respected businessman Benas, had acquired an unusually worldly education while traveling extensively abroad. His intellectual interests were passed on to his four highly talented children, who had lost their mother early. They did not find in the woman chosen to replace her that insightful and understanding guide and teacher that they so very much needed. However, a sister of their father’s, Mrs. Goldschmidt, who would later become Henriette’s mother-in-law, served as a kind of fairy godmother and introduced them to the realm of poetry. Henriette and her sister Ulrike attended her hometown’s Jewish elementary school and then the secondary school for girls where French and German literature were taught. Despite the gaps in her education, her father’s model, example, and upbringing had prepared a good foundation on which to build later. The girls grew up with Lessing and Kant, Schiller and Goethe, and acquired such superior knowledge, that they became known in many circles as exceptional prodigies. Henriette’s idol was Börne and she enthused over the political poetry of the Vormarch poets, Herwegh, Alfred Meiβner, Freiligrath, and Karl Beck. How highly the father held the opinion of his daughters can be seen in the case where they vetoed the selection of a certain rabbi. The father had attended with his daughters the trial sermon of a rabbi who had garnered the sympathy of the community such that his selection was guaranteed. Only Mr. Benas had gotten a negative impression and asked his daughters about theirs. They stated unhesitatingly that the young man was an actor and dissembler and that his selection would be a misfortune for the community. Benas went to the state council and with their help was able to reject the selection and at the same time gained the stipulation that in order to be a rabbi, a university degree proving a science-based education was required.

The lively Henriette displayed a deep motherly instinct and a significant pedagogical talent. When she was barely 18, her 10-year older sister died and she acted as mother to the three younger children. Henriette was enthusiastic about the revolutionary ideas whose events and consequences caused the family to move to Posen. There in 1853 she married her cousin, the widowed Dr. Goldschmidt, who served as the preacher for the German community in Warsaw and gave his three orphaned boys a second mother. She fulfilled the task of raising these to be competent men in a truly ideal way, securing their love, gratefulness, and honor beyond the grave. Although Dr. Goldschmidt had taken a highly respected position where he could exercise an ennobling and cultivating influence on the German community in Warsaw, he had the desire to live and work in Germany someday and raise his sons as German citizens. In 1858 a position for a rabbi opened up in Leipzig, for which he applied and was unanimously elected. Full of hope, the couple moved to their new home on March 8, 1858. The stimulating life, music, theater, the university, all of which offered both of these sparkling intellects plenty of fertilization. And their home, whose soul was the delicate, gracious, refined Hausfrau soon became the center of an intellectually sociable, mirthful circle of important persons, men and women, the learned, professors, ambitious young talent, students which made unforgettable impressions on youth that was still maturing. Only one year after their move, Dr. Goldschmidt was giving the keynote at a Lessing festival. And it was a great honor for him that when he attended the fifteenth educators’ conference he was asked to give his perspective on early religious education. He said then, “The first lessons only have to emphasize what unites people and avoid that which would cause conflict in the child’s soul. To the child one speaks of God, of Nature, and of humanity!” – This same perspective was deeply held by his wife.

With Mrs. Henriette Goldschmidt has passed the last of the older generation, which in the mid-sixties of the previous century helped prepare the victory march of the German women’s movement from Leipzig. Outstanding both intellectually and spiritually she placed her life and work in the service of humanity. To the good of her gender and of humanity at large she called into life creations for the common good whose further development was a perpetual fountain of youth until her very advanced years. She felt gripped by the ideas of Friedrich Fröbel, zealously dedicated herself to studying them and founded at the end of 1871 the association for family and Volk education in Leipzig together with similarly-thinking women. Mrs. Goldschmidt saw a career in education as the true cultural vocation of the women. The largest portion of her blessed life was dedicated to the work of educating women to fulfill their roles as caretakers of humanity. The institutions of the association for family and Volks education, Kindergartens, a seminary for nursery school teachers at which the gifted foundress taught, eventually became model institutions, on which the first secondary schools for girls built by the city of Leipzig were based. In 1878 she founded the Lyceum for young ladies, the first in Germany, which offered the highest level of women’s education. Also at this institution Mrs. Goldschmidt taught Fröbel’s pedagogy; she educated thousands of students who regarded their teacher with unlimited gratitude and admiration. As one of the most well-known persons in the area of women’s education, she gave public lectures on “the position of the woman in ancient and modern cultures” and “the woman in the context of national and civic lif,” and earned a reputation throughout Germany as a celebrated speaker who spread Friedrich Fröbel’s teachings in the broadest circles. Her creative spirit soared already then as the highest aim of her strivings to lead women from “nursery to higher education.”

In 1881 she published “Thoughts on Women’s Education in the Context of Friedrich Frobel’s System.” In 1883 the Union of German Women met in Breslau and I had the honor of being introduced to the trio of stars of Jewish-liberal women who had contributed much to the German women’s movement, Mrs. Goldschmidt, Lina Morgenstern, and Jenny Hirsch. Already in the second half of the sixties Frau Goldschmidt’s sister, Mrs. Ulrike Hendischte, who as the wife of a circuit judge – he would eventually become the Senate President in Berlin– founded the Viktoria school for continuing education. She lived in Fraustadt and brought the first news of the new movement to my hometown, Lissa, where she inspired a miniature women’s education association to come into being. From that time on I was very interested in women’s efforts. Mrs. Goldschmidt held a lecture (1883): “Women’s pedagogical careers and professional training for girls” in which she not only made clear that women needed professional development for the work assigned to her by God of mothering and educating, but also gave her support for the scientific education of talented women for the medical profession.

In 1888 Mrs. Goldschmidt had to mourn her spouse’s passing, whose equal she was in intellect and character, a life-partner participating in his work and a willing, self-sacrificing caretaker in his suffering. She survived him by more than 30 years and found the greatest comfort in tireless dedication to her life’s work. Her 70th birthday gave her many admirers the most welcome opportunity to institute the Henriette Goldschmidt Foundation. Her 80th and 90th birthdays brought the ceremonious opening of the college for women which was accompanied by the highest honors. During the international women’s congresses in Berlin 1896 and 1904 the attendees strove to honor her and at the convention of the Jewish Women’s League in Leipzig 1913 she was celebrated as the grandmother of the German women’s movement. Her last earthly pleasure was the 50th anniversary of the movement in which she had participated in such a lively manner and that a young Ph.D candidate at the University of Leipzig had chosen as the topic of his dissertation, “Fröbels Pedagogy.”

I myself was so favored by fate to have enjoyed many years of kind interest from the meritorious woman I passionately admired. In January 1902 I was granted the honor to kiss the hand of the youthful-seeming elderly lady in her harmonious home where, among flowers and palms the busts of her husband and her favorite poets, Lessing and Schiller, I greeted her. On birthdays and other celebrations, Mrs. Goldschmidt sought to be of use to a younger generation through her words and writings. For me, where I was already a veteran of the women’s movement, I received great and pure pleasure from the valuable pages the venerable lady wrote me in her wonderfully delicate handwriting. On November 6th, 1909 she wrote:
“My very dear Mrs. Neitzer, I am very grateful to you for the exceptionally sympathetic biography in the “Guide to Children’s Literature.” You have such a warm sensibility that is so lacking in our time. Unfortunately one replaces it with elegant phrases – or one dissects the person and presents a skeleton instead of a living being. I am actually embarrassed that you included everything in the biography so lovingly. I sent a page to my girlhood friend who is still living—it is too difficult for me to show it to the others.
Since you care so much for me, I want to tell you that 14 days ago I attended a convention of the Fröbel Association where I gave a public lecture again after such a long time: “From Kindergarten to Women’s College” was the theme. I was very happy to be able to climb to my old podium. Thank you very much once again and best wishes to you and your loved ones from your admiring H. Goldschmidt.”

Around that time the elderly woman had written about her experiences with impressive intellect and emotional warmth in the excellent pedagogical book, “What I learned and taught from Fröbel” with which she, the younger one, created a lasting testimontial to her master and model. To honor this work in various wide-ranging places was my pleasure.

On November 4th, 1911, after the ceremonial opening of the college for women she wrote: “Dear Mrs. Nietzer, you can hardly imagine what difficult times lie behind me – that is the reason why I have not yet thanked you for sending me the lovely bound article from “Westermanns Monatshefte.” Be so kind as to accept my thanks now, written as they were with a much relieved heart. I am sending you a small souvenir from our college. The picture is not so youthful—but I must be satisfied that I don’t feel I’ve aged as much inside as it looks from the outside. With greetings and thanks, Your H. Goldschmidt.”

After my husband passed away, she wrote me in the spring of 1914: “My dear Frau Neitzer, How deeply and painfully touched I was by the news of the sad fate which had befallen you. Yes, it is a deep and great sorrow, that you must now bear – that the greater of women must accept as “fate.” It is one of the most unfortunate eventualities of the many with which we have to struggle. For my part this year also did not pass lightly. Whoever reaches such an old age as I must unfortunately lose loved ones – see them die. Of the three sons that my husband and I had, only one is still alive. I look for ways to get through this time and don’t have much to worry about as the work that’s been started is developing and flourishing. You are still strong and will certainly find work soothing and comfort in your children. Yours Truly, H. Goldschmidt.”

After her 90th birthday came a printed note of greeting and thanks. In it stood: “Your well wishes for my 90th birthday on the 23rd of November delighted me. You loving thoughts and kind recognition of my humble work in the service of our families and people are a great comfort in these difficult times – a ray of light for the young generation’s peace–work that is hopefully approaching soon. Leipzig, November 1915. Henriette Goldschmidt.”

Emanating wisdom and mildness of age, free of the tiredness of old age, Mrs. Goldschmidt’s piece “From Nursery School to College for Women,” came out in 1918 in which she tells the story of her life’s work. She expressed the wish that I write a short report on her swan song in the “Breslauer Zeitung,” which Dr. Wilda allowed me with kind readiness. On the 19th of October 1918 she wrote: “Dear Frau Nietzer, Thank you most sincerely for sending me your report. I am sorry that my piece appeared at such an unfortunate time. Even for me everything has become meaningless. The heaviness of our experiences is heavier than the high number of my years. In a short space you were able to present quite a comprehensive picture of what I portrayed in the sparest outlines. Again, thank you and accept my best wishes. Your H. Goldschmidt.”

It was the last letter that flew to me.

Henriette Goldschmidt has not left us. Her memory will live on unforgotten in her works, which are tightly bound to the history of charitable institutions of the city of Leipzig and the German women’s movement and as a true German, Jewish-liberal woman, that one may count among the educators of mankind. Breslau, January 1921. Regina Neitzer.
p. 3.

German Jews’ Central Aid Committee Conference

January 24 und 25 in Berlin.
Synopsis: This was the first conference of its kind. Agenda. 85 congregations participate and 11 of the larger associations. The Central Aid Committee’s publication, “Zedaka” was launched. The lack of funds was a common theme but the list of projects undertaken in the previous year was impressive, ranging from the care of orphans to the assisting refugees and the elderly. A thorough report in the next issue was promised.

Local Events

The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Synopsis: The seminary’s report on 1920 made clear the gap left by the death of Professor Brann. The institution’s financial situation improved and the “Friends of the Jewish Theological Seminary” was founded to generate more donations. The published report included the speech that Dr. Lewkowitz made at Professor Brann’s memorial and an essay on the Greek sources of Solomon’s wisdom by Dr. Heinemann. On January 27, the 67th celebration of the seminary’s founder, Jonas Fraenkel took place. At that event Rabbi Julius Greilsheimer and Dr. Albert Wolf (Dresden)nwere ceremoniously discharged from the seminary as they had passed their theological and rabbinical exams.

“Boycott of Jewish Stores.”

Synopsis: An article citing Pastor Moering’s article appeared in the Volkswacht [a social-democratic newspaper]. It decried the boycott and the “evil spirit” that Kunze is spreading. It calls for all German citizens, regardless of religion, who still have sound reasoning to avoid those businesses that foster class and racial strife.

The Protection and Defiance Federation’s List of Businesses. Synopsis: More companies have written the newspaper and reported that they have requested to be removed from the list.
p. 4.

Associations and Assemblies.

Zionist Union, Breslau Chapter. Synopsis: Nahum Goldmann spoke on the topic, “Decline and Development.” Decline is associated with the feeling of being satisfied, of not wanting to change anything while Development is characterized by dissatisfaction and revolution. The speaker observed that Jews belonged to the developers because of their idealism. Through assimilation into a collapsing system, Jews are in danger of decline. The apathy of Western Jews to the terrible fate of the Eastern Jews is a clear sign of this decline. The Western Jewry has also shown lack of interest when it did not react strongly enough to the enfranchisement of Palestine. Instead of philanthropy, Jews should participate in the radical creation of a new world, just as after the great flood mankind was renewed and enlightened. Let Zionism be the ark that collects and sustains the energy required for a new epoch.
(We reported on the content of the Zionist leader’s speech without commentary. However, we don’t need to emphasize that we are in complete opposition to his viewpoint and think that Zionism is more akin to the flood than to the ark. The Editors.)

Charity. Synopsis: The Chevra for the Sick and Minyan sponsored a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Hamburger on this topic. He began by pointing out that these are times of social struggle, which could have been avoided had there been more charity. Even Jews, known for their material generosity, have failed when it comes to giving of oneself (“gmillus chessed” [gemilut chesed) for another.

Confirmation [sic] in the Old Synagogue on January 29, 1921: Adolf Rosenblum, Father Paul, Nikolaistraβe 22.

Announcements and Advertisements

Walter Loewenberg and Gertrud (nee Alexander) are delighted to announce the birth of a son on January 23, 1921.

Due to the reorganization of the Library, all books must be returned by February 10 to avoid a fine of 1 Mark. The library will be closed during February but the reading room will be open on its regular hours.

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 9 here.

Posted in German Jewish History, German Jewish Women, Jewish History | Leave a comment

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, January 21, 1921

On Vanquishing Anti-Semitism.

An Open Letter

to Pastor Lic. theol. Moering from Berthold Cohn (Vossen).
Synopsis: Cohn opens with praise for Pastor Moering and an observation how rare it is in today’s Germany to find a Christian with a similar perspective. He responds to the central themes of Moering’s article starting with the unreasonable assignation of blame for WW1 to Jews. He agrees that Jews did not incite the war or sell out Germany, but he considers that the German Jewry shares some of the guilt because in the years leading up to the war they did not do anything to moderate the national hubris. Indeed they even helped build it by buying into the myth of the “blonde master.” They believed that the German spirit would heal the world.
“We tried to be blonde and Arian, forgot out heritage, copied the Christian houses of worship in the design of our temples, and named our black-eyed sons Siegfried and Werner. We would truly have done the German people a better service had we been less “loyal Germans” and more independent, more “Jewish.”
Germans and Jews have this in common, Cohn suggests, that they tend to either deify themselves or—and this is no less dangerous—deify the Other. One should instead strive toward balanced self-confidence needed to recognize the right of others to be different. Not before then will anti-Semitism disappear. Cohn disagrees that the path Moering suggests would lead to this goal. Moering’s approach is to disprove each anti-Semitic argument, but anti-Semitism is like a hydra that constantly grows new heads. Having more interactions between Jews and Christians is not the solution. Healing will only come when both work on developing their inner qualities. Jews do not trust their own strengths and nature enough and stop feeling as though they live in glass houses, concerned with what the Germans think of them. Instead they should live as though in a strongly-walled temple, with God.

The German spirit—not what’s been called such since 1870—formed the Jews of this land. The objective and tragedy of all educations is the independence of the apprentice who makes his own way.

“That time has come. Many of us—and I speak of the Zionists whose goals seem so grotesque to you—feel the continued German influence at this stage of development as crippling instead of supporting. They want to escape the Augeas stable of anti-Semitism whose millennia of manure no Hercules can clear… The oldest homeland is opening again and it draws our souls with ever gathering strength.”

Cohn concludes that if Pastor Moering knew the Zionist movement well, he would never compare them with anti-Semites. Anti-Semites want the expulsion of Jews for political reasons. The Zionists want to prepare a homeland for those Jews who have decided for whatever reason to emigrate. And even those who emigrate will never separate completely from their German essence.

Two Answers.

[to Cohn’s “Open Letter”] Synopsis: Pastor Moering appreciates the thoughtful arguments presented by Cohn, but he wants to describe how Zionism looks from the German viewpoint. The Germans will fight it because the non-anti-Semites don’t want to lose the Jews, fully recognizing their contributions to the German heritage. Zionism complicates the Jewish problem. We could never appoint a Zionist to a German ministerial position. Further, Zionism stems from the same spirit as the pre-war power position in that it can only envision the survival of Judaism if there is also a Jewish state. Zionism perhaps makes Judaism strong on the outside, but its materialism (that is, its insistence on external power) is not necessarily coupled with inner renewal.

[The second letter is written by Erich Spitz, author of the article, “Collected Thoughts on the School Question, January 14, 1921] Partial Translation: Spitz questions whether it is necessary to reject the German nation and people. It has only been 100 years since the emancipation and exit from the ghetto. One shouldn’t give up on the enterprise because of a rough patch. There has been significant progress made in establishing recognition and validation in the cultural, economic, and civic life in Germany. We are in part to blame if there are still some obstacles. Our economic rise was almost frighteningly fast and we had little time to reflect, so we do still show some of the negative characteristics of the ghetto, that is, we haven’t perfected “the modesty of a quiet self-consciousness.” This lack of inner freedom leads to self-denigration which causes us to disparage our cultural riches—the Jewish religion, Jewish literature, and Jewish history. But this mixture of immodesty and false modesty is not specifically Jewish—it is the characteristic of the parvenu.

Our rapid external progress is evidenced by our presence in only a thin slice of the class structure. We are merchants, doctors, lawyers, etc. We are not craftsmen or farmers. It is no wonder that in some professions we seem to threaten our fellow Christian citizens and that most Germans do not know us well enough.
While turning away from the German spirit may not be necessary from an historical point of view—is it necessary from a moral point of view? Germany is broken and needs the energy of all her people. We cannot turn our backs on her.

If we were to turn away, where would that path take us? I don’t speak of the many pioneers who bravely carry Judaism back to the ancient Jewish land—we support these bearers of a pure ideal with love and pride, even if we don’t share their hopes. But what should we think of those who want to separate themselves from the German spirit, but want to enjoy the benefits of German economic life and citizenship? We don’t want to live separated by walls behind which abuse and lethargy can grow. We want to live as German Jews, as free members of a free people.
p. 2.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. Agenda for the Central Aid Committee Conference, Janurary 24 -25.
Morning, January 24:
1. Opening Remarks (Berthold Timendorfer, Geheimer Justizrat, Berlin)
2. Business Report (Eugen Caspary and Dr. Segall, Berlin)
3. Presentation of the Central Aid Committee’s By-laws (Secretary Solomon , Berlin)
4. Financial Report (Henriette May, Berlin)
5. Board Election
6. “Current Demands on Jewish Aid Work” (Mrs. S. Wronsky , Berlin)
7. “Jewish Social Policy” (Dr. Georg Baum, Berlin), Discussion
Afternoon, January 24:
1. “The Plight of our Orphanages and Educational Institutions” (Emil Waldstein, Berlin), Discussion
2. “The Tasks of Jewish Children’s Welfare” (Dr. Fritz Lamm, Berlin), Discussion
Morning, January 25:
1. Health Objectives of Jewish Welfare Work” (Dr. Hanauer, Frankfurt a. M., Professor Dr. Toby Cohn, Berlin: “Care of the Mentally Ill,” Dr. Wilhelm Feilchenfeld, Berlin: Care of Patients with Lung Diseases,” Dr. Nawratzki, Berlin-Niklassee: “Care of the Mentally Underdeveloped Youth”)
2. “The Necessity for Local Centralization of Jewish Social Work and the Measures for Protecting against Redundant Support of Unqualified Applicants” (Clara Samual, Elberfeld, Eugen Caspary, Berlin
3. “Plans for Establishing a German Reich Workgroup for Free Social Welfare and the Participation of the Central Aid Committee (Dr. Albert Levy, Berlin), Discussion
Afternoon, January 25:
1. “Jewish Foreign Aid” (Dr. Friedrich Ollendorff, Berlin)
2. “The Carlsbad World Aid Conference and Its Significance for Jewish Social Welfare” (Dr. Alfred Klee, Berlin)
3. “Problems of the Question of Eastern Jews in Germany (Fritz Mordechai, Berlin), Discussion

An Unusual Burial

By Richard Katz, reporter for the Vossiche Newspaper
Synopsis: Prag, January 10. Yesterday at 2 p. m. the burial of the Torah rolls that had been torn during the demonstrations of November 16, 1920 took place in the Old Jewish Cemetery. Thousands attended despite the rain.
My Homeland!
A poem by Felix Heimann, dedicated to his Upper Silesian homeland and his hometown Ratibor.
p. 3.
Königsberg. Partial Translation: The Association for Jewish History and Literature sponsored a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Baeck (Berlin) on “The Jewish Perception of God.” The lecture began with a comparison between the Buddhist and Jewish concepts of God, which contrasted Jewish affirmation and Buddhist negation. Although the Bible is a book full of pessimism, the Judaism is an optimistic religion that believes in the duty to bring forth the Good. The Jewish view of God is further characterized by a lack of mythology where the actions of man determine the fate of the world. Also characteristic is the “mysterious,” which in Hebrew merges with the concept of being hidden. The knowledge that one has been created leads one to be a creator—of Good. The great Jewish proverb, “You should because you can,” distinguishes Judaism from all other religions and generates a feeling of humility and deep respect. These two concepts, mystery and law” resound as a “yet, nevertheless” throughout the life of Judaism.
Nuremberg. The lawyers Dr. Erlanger and Dr. Silberstein, have received the title of “Justizrat” Dr. Held, head of the lawyers’ association of Middle Franconia and longstanding board member of the Jewish congregation of Nuremberg, received the title of a Geheimer Justizrat.”

From the Province.

Union of Synagogue Congregations in Breslau and Liegnitz.

Synopsis: The union’s main assembly took place in Breslau on January 16. Dr. Reich made the opening remarks and thanked the previous chairman, Mr. Mugdan, for his contributions. He mentioned those that had passed since the last assembly: Professors Guttmann and Brann, Geh. Justizrat Friedmann, and Dr. Loewenthal. He mentioned that after 3 years’ inactivity, there was important work to do on the religious education in small congregations and the proper support of the teachers. Topics covered were teachers’ professional training, allowing congregations’ employees to vote, remedying the financial situation of teachers.

Jewish Teachers’ Fund in Silesia and Posen.

Breslau. Synopsis: The fund was created 40 years ago to care for disabled teachers [men and women] and for teachers’ widows and orphans, and in some extraordinary cases to assist non-members. Unfortunately, there is not enough money to meet current needs and a plea for donations is made.

Schreiberhau. Synopsis: A public protest against the anti-Semitic incitement in the mountain region has taken place. All the speakers pointed to the damage caused by Postal Secretary Obst whose anti-Semitic agitation has kept tourists away. There is an official inquiry into Obst’s anti-Semitic activities.

Local Events.

Synopsis: The Commission for the Technical Operations of the Upper-Silesian Vote in Breslau wants all voters to participate, including ensuring that Jewish voters travelling to Breslau obtain kosher food. The Free Union for the Interests of Orthodox Judaism will assist as they did during the World War when they provisioned Jewish soldiers and prisoners of war with kosher food in an exemplary way.

About the Israelite Hospital in Breslau.

Synopsis: The news that the Israelite Hospital was in dire enough circumstances that it would soon have to close mobilized the Jewish community and the ill, healed, and doctors of all religions. Funds were raised and new business practices put into practice so that the hospital is safe for some time to come. The hospital was founded in 1726 to care for the poor Jewish sick in Breslau. At first it occupied rented rooms, but in 1760 had its own building. It was partially burned in the Siege of 1806. With the growth of the Jewish community and the many Jewish soldiers that required care after 1813, the hospital needed more space. In 1823 it opened a branch hospital. In 1841 a grant from the brothers David and Jonas Fraenkel funded construction of a new building that also housed an orphanage and later the Chevra Kadisha [burial society]. In 1903 it moved into its current campus of 6 buildings that could accommodate 250 patients made possible by donations from Emanuel and Max Breslauer, Louis Burgfeld, and many other foundations.

Israelite Orphanage in Breslau

Synopsis: Donations to support the 125-year-old institution are urgently requested.

Regarding the Business Listing of the Protection and Defiance Federation

Synopsis: After publishing the list of businesses that had agreed to join the boycott of Jewish businesses staged by the Protection and Defiance Federation we received letters from many businesses stating that they had not known they were included in the list and that any thought of anti-Semitism was alien to them. Apparently, they were unclear as to what kind of directory they were agreeing to advertise in. Firms that have written to the newspaper are listed.
p. 4.
Chevra for the Sick and Minyan is sponsoring a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Hamburger, Breslau on “Charity.”
Jubilee: Celebrating Dr. Horovitz’s 25 years at the Jewish Theological Seminar.
Jubilee: 25 years as a printer, Ludwig Stiaztny
Confirmation [sic] in the Old Synagogue on January 22. Fritz Schaal. Father: Hugo Schaal, Flurstraβe 4. Herbert Rogasner, Vater: Felix Rogasner, Dt., Lissa.

Announcements and Advertisements

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 8 here.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History | Leave a comment

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, January 14, 1921


by Dr. Sigfried Behrens (Gottingen).
Synopsis: The world is full of hatred. Many blame the hatred on the psychosis of war which should fade. However, the flames of hatred are easily rekindled. Day and night wise men counsel peace, for violence has never brought peace to countries or peoples. Nations, now having awakened to freedom and self-determination will not be held down. Insight into history and into economic conditions have penetrated into all social classes and it’s as if a common bond is developing among peoples that will empower the good to withstand the will of might. But Central Europe is far from political maturity and wisdom. Emotions rule over hard-won insights, which does not bode well for German Jews. This is especially disappointing in light of their hundred-year struggle for political liberty.

Dr. Behrens points out that the hatred of Jews is found in the most educated classes, who systematically play on the people’s emotions. The universities are the source of much of the anti-Semitic pseudo-science. The anti-Semitism in the press compounds this because the impressionable German citizen believes everything that appears in print. Both science and journalism have not met their responsibility to the truth.
Certainly hatred cannot justifiably be disguised in religion because religion is based on the principle of loving one’s neighbor. Why then do not the religious leaders of the land come together to enlighten the blinded masses? Are they afraid? Of what? Of Jews? Who oppose hatred and maintain their belief in humanity’s goodness?

Dr. Behrens concludes by pledging that the Jews will continue to serve humanity and the fatherland, but withdraw from political engagement and instead work on the ideas that will overcome these deep divisions and give rise to the new Germany.

On the Plight of Employees of Jewish Congregations

Synopsis: Throughout the province, the situation has become catastrophic for the underpaid employees of Jewish congregations. The community has always been ready to help anyone in need whether Jewish or not, yet these employees have been direly neglected. Given that some of the synagogues lack the funds to remedy the situation, the article’s author suggests that the communities organize themselves into a kind of cooperative that can more equally distribute resources. The basis of this organization is already in place for the congregations of the counties of Breslau and Liegnitz which could be extended to include others, at least until the time when the Union of German-Israelite Congregations is finally formed. Which will probably not happen soon enough if the separatist Southern Germans have their way. There is also the possibility of having synagogue employees participate in a pension fund for church employees as the communities of Westphalia and Ratibor have done.

Finally, worse than the poor pay, is the insecurity of the employees’ positions. Even rabbis, who have served for decades, can be let go at a moment’s notice. The employees have no recourse because the congregations are autonomous. Perhaps these conditions contribute to the fact that teacher colleges and seminaries lack students.
Next Sunday, after a three years’ break, the congregations from mid- and lower-Silesia are meeting in Breslau and will hopefully address this problem. This would not be the first time that enlightened attitudes have spread out from Breslau.

p. 2.

“A Trade Means Financial Security.”

On the Question of Career Choice.
Synopsis: The following letter was written in response to the article “A Trade Means Financial Security” that appeared in the 3rd issue (Dec. 17, 1920):
The writer is aware of many members of his community who speak highly of the trades but would never let their sons go into them. Many think that their physically weak boys could not withstand the demands of being a craftsman. However, these boys often grow up to be strong men, especially when they do physical labor. In any case, there are many options that are not physically demanding such as silversmith, optician, furniture maker, painter, or locksmith. While in the old days, apprentices worked 10 to 14 hour days, now they work only 8. The journeyman earns 1,000 to 1,300 Marks a month and the economic forecast for the next 20 years is good. The businessman scarcely earns more. By the way, a craftsman can establish his own business. And earn the respectable title of Master. Let’s not forget that some of today’s successful businessmen started as craftsmen, notably the sculptor Professor Hugo Lederer who started as a stone mason’s apprentice. The letter is signed Moritz Wolff, Master Stone Mason. [Translator’s Note: Is this the same Moritz Wolff who himself was a successful sculptor?]

On the Question of the Jewish School

Synopsis: This contribution to the debate on Jewish schools begins by questioning their practicality since there are so few Jews in Germany with a widely distributed population outside of a few large cities. There are sharp words for Jewish nationalists and the orthodox who hold true to laws that have outlived their relevance. The writer’s central argument is that the Jewish school runs counter to the last 100 years of emancipation and their forefathers’ struggle to gain the right for Jews to attend public schools and integrate into German society. Why turn one’s back on this progress because anti-Semitism in schools is making it hard on Jewish children? These circumstances can only strengthen the children’s character. And anyways, this wave of anti-Semitism will not last much longer.

The writer agrees that religious instruction must be more rigorous but the solution is more hours of class taught by well-trained teachers who teach other subjects at the school as well and who will gain the respect of their pupils. And if the four hours of religious instruction in public schools are not enough, the synagogues’ religious courses must be adjusted to complement them. Finally, the children must learn how to live Jewish lives in the home. Let them experience the beginning of Sabbath on Friday evenings with lighting Sabbath candles, and let us spend an hour or so teaching our children and discussing religious topics. Then will our children remember our traditions and follow the principle of prophetic Judaism—truth, justice, and peace for us and for all people.

Breslau Children Vacation in Segeberg

in the Hamburg Israelite Humanitarian Women’s League’s Home for Recreation, Fräulein Sidonie Werner, Director.
Synopsis: A 5-week stay for Breslau’s disadvantaged children, funded by the Breslau Jewish Women’s Bund, is described by one of the chaperones, Hans Meyer, a medical student . The 70 children between the ages of 6 and 15 were in need of rest, exercise, and good food. The article describes the various activities and outings, for example, to the Ihlsee and the Kalkberg. The local cantor was delighted that the group’s older boys helped him gather a minyan for the Sacharit and Mincha prayers during the holidays for the first time. The children were equally delighted to be able to participate in the services.
p. 3.

Collected Thoughts on the School Question

by Erich Spitz, Attorney (Breslau)
Synopsis: This article continues the debate on the Jewish school that began in the XXX issue. He disagrees with Dr. Carlebach’s assertion that the excessive intellectualism of Jewish pupils can be overcome with better religious instruction and study of the Talmud and Torah. He cites S. M. Melamed’s study of the Jewish psychology which finds that intellectualism is an essential characteristic of the Jewish identity and questions whether intellectualism is something that needs to be overcome. And if it were, Talmudic study would not be the means to do it, since it is a rationalistic and intellectual exercise.

There is an enemy of intellectualism, and that is romanticism. Spitz finds modern Jewish youth to be quite romantic as evidenced by their popular hiking clubs. The Jewish school would rob them of their free Sundays and the hopefulness born of communing with nature and strengthening their bodies.

Spitz concludes by emphasizing that the true site of Jewish education is the home where the youth learn that they are part of a larger Jewish community. And it is the parents that can strengthen their children and encourage them if they are drawn to belong to one of the Jewish youth organizations. Then they will not feel alone as they face attacks and opposition which will in the end make them as resilient as tempered steel.

Aus dem Reich.

Workgroup of Germany’s Jewish-Liberal Youth Organizations

Liegnitz. Synopsis: “Jli” delegates assembled here on January 8 and 9. A new chairman was elected, Mr. Bayer from Breslau, to replace Mr. Stern of Berlin who was given an honorary position. Their publication was discussed. Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein (Breslau) was selected as editor of the “Weltanschaung” section. To the board were also elected Alfred Berger (Breslau) and Mr. Woyda (Berlin). Reports on the goals and methods of the organization were given that illustrated the vibrancy of the Jewish liberal youth. Rabbi Goldmann (Leipzig) lectured on the modern Jewish youth movement. At the end of the conference, a resolution was passed to solicit more involvement from reform rabbis especially to guide the workgroup, to write short propaganda pieces, and to support the founding of new chapters. The Jli workgroup also requests a thorough review of the Jewish religious instruction because they find it important that all German citizens receive the same level of religious instruction whether Jewish or not Jewish. They also issued a statement saying that they opposed establishing a cultural center for Judaism in Palestine, to which they feel a religious and historical connection as all Jews do, but which they see as just one option for a Jewish colony among many for those who do not want to or are not able to assimilate in their homelands.

New Struck Engravings (Euphorion-Verlag).

Synopsis: Hermann Struck numbers among the best of the living etchers. He is known throughout Europe and his drawings and etchings are sought by museums and collectors because they display a timeless art that does not belong to a certain fashion or direction. His landscapes are magical and the portraits of the important men of our times are unforgettable. Always, he emphasizes his Jewish sensibility.

Last year “The Face of Eastern European Jews” written by Arnold Zweig and with illustrations by Struck was published by Weltverlag. And now we have a collection of 23 etchings of Venice accompanied by the poetry of Hamerling published by Euphorion Verlag. The book itself is a work of art and of a quality no longer seen today in Germany which is quickly earning this new publisher recognition. The bibliophile, Fedor von Zobelitz, has already praised it effusively in the Literary Echo. Signed Dr. L. D. [Ludwig Davidsohn]

Black-and-White Exhibit in Gorlitz.

Synopsis: The Work Group of Jewish Organizations in Görlitz mounted an exhibition of graphical works by Jewish artists selected to represent the widest range of contemporary styles. Included were early works by Max Liebermann, Ernst Oppler, Lesser Ury, Emil Pottner, Hermann Struck, Joseph Budko, Friedrich Feigl, Jakob Steinhardt, Ludwig Meidner, Heinrich Tischler (Breslau), and Isidor Aschheim (Breslau). Signed Ludwig Kunz (Görlitz).

p. 4.

Aus dem Reich. [cont.]

Berlin. The Association for Buddhist Life published the following in the Journal of Buddhism:
The ancient and honorable swastika that has been a symbol of brotherhood and love for thousands of years in ancient India has not been spared by our tumultuous times and has become the campaign insignia of political parties that have become embroiled in hateful battles against brothers. Because of this symbol we have been seen as partisans by these parties, which is a complete misunderstanding of our goal, that is, the dissemination of Buddha’s peaceful teachings which are far from every political, economic, and religious conflict. Our friends have urged us to explain and defend ourselves and so it has come to this painful decision, that as long as the swastika is used by political parties as battle insignia, we will not use it.

Berlin. The Association for Jewish History and Literature sponsored a lecture by Alexander Moszkowski on the philosophy of Jewish humor which he traced to its origins in the Ghetto experience, sharp logic, and a talent for making quick associations.

Frankfurt a. M. The Frankfurt chapter of the Jewish-liberal Youth Organization made Dr. Cäsar Seligmann an honorary member to mark his sixtieth birthday. The certificate promised that his work will always renew itself in the Jewish youth such that he himself will never grow old.

Local Events

Frau Direktor Clara Pawel, the Director of the Pawel Lyceum, has stated that the institution will stay under her direction.

Correction. The Julius Lemos firm, manufacturer of silver goods, reported to us that it regrets having been included in the list of Christian businessmen by mistake, and that they demanded that they be immediately removed from the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation and that they have absolutely no anti-Semitic tendencies.

Confirmation [sic] on January 15th in the Landschul Synagogue: Martin Fuchs. son of Heinrich Fuchs, Freiburgerstraβe 21.

Announcements and Advertisements

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Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, January 7, 1921

“This is the finger of God!”

Exodus, 8. 15.
Synopsis: In the Bible, there are several examples of God’s warning signals being ignored—the Pharaoh who ignored the ten plagues, Amos’s people who ignored drought, starvation, and revolution. Judaism does not assume mechanistic divine justice and does not judge the moral value or lack thereof by measuring fortune and misfortune. Rather, two perspectives matter: A people’s immorality will be punished sooner or later; and every misfortune that befalls us should lead us to ask, where do I need to improve? During days of recollection, it is not the prayers themselves that matter, but the resolve to change that are motivated by them. When one learns to see misfortune as a means to self-improvement, misfortune becomes a blessing.

And Once Again, “Upper Silesia.”

Synopsis: A response to an article by Rabbi Dr. Kaatz (Hindenburg) in the “Jüdische Volkszeitung” (Vol. 48). Dr. Kaatz’s article was apparently a response to the article on Upper Silesia that appeared in the first issue of the Jewish-Liberal Newspaper.<a href=”; title=”Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, December 3, 1920, p.1″>
Dr. Kaatz raises three objections. 1) The claim that the Jews of Upper Silesia are liberal is without proof. In response, Dr. Kaatz is invited to a Sabbath stroll through any Upper Silesian town where he’ll find a handful of people in synagogues, but most in the shops and offices. 2) That we are dissatisfied with the Liberalism of the Upper Silesian Jews, which Dr. Kaatz points out is a contradiction of the first claim. Not so, since Liberalism does not consist of simply ignoring tradition and law, but it is a constant seeking to understand Judaism more deeply. And that is the part that is still lacking. 3) That we are inciting divisiveness. Indeed we are—the free clash of intellects is always welcome and necessary for the future of Judaism.

p. 2.

Cäsar Seligmann.

On His 60th Birthday. By Dr. Max Freudenthal.
Synopsis: After recounting the journey to his current position as rabbi of Frankfurt’s largest congregation, Freudenthal praises Cäsar Seligmann for his role in unifying Liberal Jews throughout Germany. In the pages of his publications, he synthesized the proposals and opinions of theologians and laypersons into the first programmatic expression of liberal Judaism’s principles.


by Ludwig Davidsohn.
I. The King’s Lyre. (Conclusion.)
Synopsis: After watching over Jonathan’s body for a day and a night, David buries him with his harp. Exhausted, he falls asleep and dreams of Jonathan playing the harp which brings him deep comfort. The next morning he wakes to find Jonathan’s harp leaning against the burial mound. This is the harp that plays its consoling melody for David and all who hear it on the anniversary of Jonathan’s death.
p. 3.

Direktor Dr. Michael Holzmann (Berlin).

Synopsis: On his 80th birthday. Holzmann was a teacher, enthusiastic follower of Abraham Geiger, and director of the boys’ school (Knabenschule). He worked to ensure that the Jewish teacher training institute received the same rights and recognition as the state-run institutes. Although retired, he continued to be active in the synagogue’s education committee as well as other professional organizations for Jewish teachers.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. The Society for the Advancement of the Scientific Study of Judaism met on December 28, 1920 for the first time since 1916. The meeting opened with mention of the many who had since died and the sad political state of Germany and Jews. On a more hopeful note, the loyalty and increasing numbers of the many foreign members were seen as signs that the society could foster better understanding among peoples. The main speaker was Dr. Bloch, former rabbi in Posen, who shared his memories of his friends, Dr. Guttmann and Dr. Brann, on their intellectual development. Both had come from families with long traditions of Talmudic studies. At the seminary, Guttmann was influenced by Joel as he developed his religious philosophy. Brann’s historical studies complemented Guttmann’s philosophical achievements. Brann was an enthusiastic genealogist and influenced by Zacharias Frankel. The meeting concluded with a resolution to take on a new German translation of the Bible.

Note: Our cultural editor, Dr. Ludwig Davidsohn, recently published “Contributions to Social and Economic History by the Berlin Jewry before the Emancipation,” which has been very positively reviewed by Dr. Willy Cohn.

Berlin. Original Sin and Redemption. Pastor Dr. Max Maurenbrecher is taking over the leadership of the radical right-wing Deutsche Zeitung. Maurenbrecher is a former social-democratic member of parliament and anti-monarchist. Now he expresses his support for an unabridged Prussia and German emperor. His agenda is summarized in this sentence:
“The original sin of the 19th century, that is the acceptance of Jews in the state and society, as if they were Germans, must be reversed. Otherwise there will be no redemption.”

Aschersleben. The German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation held an anti-Semitic gathering. Pöβl (Nuremberg) spoke against the socialist parties. His statements were countered by Rabbi Dr. Behrens (Göttingen). The next day local papers reported that after heated discussion the anti-Semitic speaker was defeated.

An Evening of Eastern Jewish Comedy

Synopsis: The Association of Eastern Jews in Breslau staged a collection of comedies in Yiddish. The first was a piece, “A Eize” by Shalom Aleichem about a cuckolded husband seeking advice from a lawyer. The two men constantly defend both sides of the argument until the only way to end the dialectic is for the lawyer to bodily throw out his client. The roles were played by Friedmann and Rauch. The second piece was an alphabet lesson in a cheder which featured a boys chorus. Mr. Golombek followed with Yiddish songs and poems accompanied by Miss Recha Dawidow. Next was “Kidush Haschem” that took place during the Spanish Inquisition. The evening closed with “Only a Doctor” by Aleichem about advising a young woman on whether she should marry a merchant or an academic. The female roles were played by Weissblich and Silberbaum. The evening was directed by Mr. Schmulewitz and the proceeds went to his reading- and tea-room for impoverished refugees. The reviewer, Dr. Ino Gaβmann had a few negative words on the costumes and recommended that German translations of the Yiddish be provided, because otherwise it is impossible for those born in Germany to understand everything!
p. 4.
Görlitz. The newly founded Workgroup of Jewish Associations, which includes all confessions, has as its charter the promotion of intellectual and artistic interests. Its first event was an evening of music featuring Dresden’s cantor, Paglin, and readings of Arthur Silbergleit’s poetry. On December 25th, the workgroup opened a “Black and White” exhibition of Jewish graphic artists with a reception that was so well attended that many were turned away. Over 150 works were collected and included works by masters such as Liebermann, Struck, Lesser-Ury, and newer artists, including Budko, Steinhardt, Tischler, Feigl, Pottner, Meidner and Aschheim.

Local Events.

On the Question of the Jewish School.

Synopsis: A letter from Bank Director Loewy (Breslau) in response to Dr. Vogelstein’s article. Loewy corrects Vogelstein’s statement that the planned Jewish school is a post-elementary school. It is an elementary school founded under articles 145 and 146 of the German constitution from August 14, 1919. Vogelstein mistakenly reported that the school is for the children of the rich. Rather, attendance is free. Another clarification—the school is already teaching both boys and girls according to the principle of co-education. The editors of the paper in turn refute Loewy’s statements. Their conclusion is that the Jewish school will be a partisan Conservative school.

Boycott of Jewish Businesses.

Correction. The firm, Schuppelius & Ahrent, requested that we report that their entry in the index of Christian business people and professionals, which we previously shared, occurred without their knowledge, and that they have already requested that the Protection and Defiance Federation strike their name from the index.
This situation sheds light on the way in which registration for the German nationalist list of firms occurred. There is enough basis to the assumption that a whole series of firms were listed without their knowledge and acquiescence.

Confirmation [sic] in the Old Synagogue on January 8, 1921: Hermann Freudenthal. Father: Alfred Freudenthal, Zimmerstraβe 3.

Silver Wedding Anniversary on January 12, 1921: Master Taylor Simon Driaer and his wife, nee Draier, Poststraβe 3. Herr Draier has been especially dedicated to the development of the Jewish Craftsmen Association.

Nursing and Religion.

The Schlesische Zeitung printed an announcement on November 5, 1920 from the local chapter of the Red Cross of the Nationalist Women’s League seeking young Christian women from educated families to be trained in nursing.
The board of the local Central Organization [of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith] inquired whether this announcement excluded Jewish applicants. The letter pointed to the nursing provided by Jewish women during the war. An extract from Mrs. Marie von Klitzing’s response follows:

“The referenced announcement was not written by us (explanation follows) and I am very confident that it was written in this way without knowledge of our circumstances. We have always welcomed nurses of every religion. When selecting young girls we will never ask about their religion, rather solely about their inclination for this work, and we hope that the young girls of your religion will continue to work gladly with us, and that they’ll help us gain new recruits for this work.
We have always thankfully recognized the degree to which the Jewish citizens of our city have always helped us through donations and volunteer work, especially in these difficult war years.
How exemplary the Israelite Hospital is for its care of the wounded and sick is well known. We will never forget how its doctors, despite being overworked, always found time to respond to our requests to train nurses or for other assistance.”

Matzah Supply

A special process must be established to prevent any abuse. Orders must be placed directly with the board of the synagogue by filling out a form under penalty of perjury. The current forecast is that observant households will receive 3 pound per person (including flour) and non-observant households, 1 pound. This is a very small amount; hopefully this amount will increase. Hopefully all will take into consideration the economic circumstances and comply with these rules. Further information on the schedule for applications are provided in the inserts [in the Announcements and Advertisements section].

Declaration: We herewith declare that Mr. Jakob Lewkowitz of Praschka, currently residing at Wallstraβe 33, Breslau is no longer a member of the board of the Association of Eastern Jews and can no longer represent this organization. He has been replaced by the candidate, Mr. L. Lilienthal.

The Free Jewish High School has published its class schedule for the fourth quarter, January – March, 1921. Courses begin on Monday, January 17. Please see the inserts [in the Announcements and Advertisements section].

Announcements and Advertisements.
For the tax year 1920 (April 1, 1920 to March 31, 1921) contributions to the synagogues are as follows:
1. For congregation members living in Breslau 50%
2. For congregation members living in the county 33 1/3%
of the state tax paid for 1919 will be deducted.

We point out that these rates include surcharges to the 1919 state income tax, but not the Reichs income tax which has not yet been collected.
The deductions will be made by the city tax office. Special tax forms will be distributed to members of the congregation that live in the surrounding county.
The Board of Directors of the Synagogue

Following administrative rulings, orders for Matzah can only be placed with the Synagogue Congregation. Members of the congregation that would like Matzah for Passover 1921 should please let us know what they require according to this schedule:
Those whose last names begin with
A and B: Monday, January 10
C, D, and E: Tuesday, January 11
F and G: Wednesday, January 12
H and J: Thursday, January 13
K: Friday, January 14
L: Monday, January 17
M, N, and O: Tuesday, January 18
P and R: Wednesday, January 19
S, Sch, and St: Thursday, January 20
T, V, U, W, and Z: Friday, January 21

Only between 10 and 1 at Wallstr. 9.
Bring your food ration certificate.
A member responsible for the household must appear personally because the order forms must be signed in our presence.
The Board of Directors of the Synagogue

Free Jewish High School (Breslau).
List of Courses for the 4th Quarter (January/March 1921)
Dr. Aber: The Great Prophets of Judah’s Vision of Life.
Dr. Ludwig Cohn: Great Jewish Personalities of the Last Hundred Years.
Dr. Willy Cohn: The History of Zionism until the Death of Theodor Herzl.
Dr. Ernst Fraenkel: The Anti-Semitic Movement, Its Development, Its Principles, and Its Defiance.
Attorney Jacobsohn: Jewish Social Work in Germany.
Dr. Manuel Joel: The Jews and Mankind’s Dependence on Nature.
Dr. Kaplun-Kogan: Exercises in Jewish Economic Problems.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Lewkowitz: Two Jewish Thinkers: Hermann Cohen and Martin Buber (Introduction to Jewish Cultural Philosophy).
Fräulein Dr. Morawsky: Jewish Contributions to Modern Poetry.
Fräulein Dr. Rieβ: Jewish Contributions to Modern Painting (with projections).
Dr. Schiff: Intellectual Greatness during the Jewish-Spanish High Period.
Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein: Judaism During the Early Development of Christianity

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 6 here.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish Art, German Jewish History, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History, Yiddish | Leave a comment

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, December 31, 1920

On the Secular New Year

by Dr. Wohlauer.
Jewish holidays are about turning inward and making changes, putting away the old Adam and bringing out the new man, reborn to worthy action. So should it be with the secular New Year, which should be seen as an opportunity to take stock of our civil activities.

That Jews have served the fatherland with the same dedication as the Christian fellow citizens goes without saying. There are a few exceptions, for example, in the case of some Eastern Jews, where society has made them into pariahs, the destruction of the state is sought by some fanatics.

Another element to consider is that the physical landscape in which a culture develops shapes it. Greece’s net of mountains created the federated system and the sense of independence of its members. Palestine’s weather and soil conditions meant that Jews were not so attached to the land but were guided by the development of events. The Jews lived in tight spaces—if they had been of a different character this would have lead to military expansionism. Instead, they were satisfied with a small country that lay between the oriental power nations. They usually adapted to the dominant powers in the material world. However, in the spiritual world they were divinely inspired, passionate people who lived according to the words of their prophets. The one God, whose might and justice covered the world, lifted them out of political oppression. Their teachings were their pride. The material world meant little. This is the source of the contrast between the material and spiritual existence that is still felt today. It is the fanatic that wants the practical world to match the theoretical world.

The most serious criticisms of Jews are aimed at economics. Forced by necessity (Jews were excluded from most professions) and not from any special inclination, most Jews have become businessmen. And if Jews committed sins in this area the same way Christians did, they received a lot of blame. As an oppressed minority, Jews have to be more careful than others about committing offenses and exhibiting self-discipline. Ethical behavior might seem old-fashioned, but it should be sacred.

On the threshold of the New Year we should resolve to change and foster a greater sense of solidarity and demonstrate it in the way we behave in public and engage with the authorities. And we should teach our children respect for the rule of civil law. Only free people, who are not slaves to their drives, that have learned to command themselves, can create a free state.

Respect for school is often not fostered in Jewish homes, in fact, it is undermined. Immature criticism is not suppressed, rather it is invited and praised, clever superficiality is valued more than solid knowledge, school rules seen as negligible. An example of this attitude is the flood of requests we get to release children early so that they can start their vacations. Jewish parents should not be part of this. Perhaps the New Year can lead to improvement in this area as well.

The writer now takes up the question of the Jewish school and expresses the same sentiments as Rabbi Vogelstein [see below]. He argues that the integrated school is not the source of anti-Semitism and points to his own experience of Christian and Jewish pupils studying together peacefully. He does regret that Jewish students cannot observe the Sabbath, but concedes that life makes little room for this day of rest. In any case, a religiously oriented father will know how to make this day holy for his family.

Another advantage of the integrated school is the study of Greek and Latin, German and French thinkers and writers who are to be interpreted, not from a Jewish or Christian perspective, but from the context of the spirit that inhabits them.

Wohlau concludes that the integrated school will not endanger the a German who has committed himself to Judaism. The German Jew is only then a complete person when he can feel equally as home in the German as in the Jewish culture.
p. 2.

On the Question of the Jewish School

by Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein.
Synopsis: Dr. Vogelstein, rabbi of Breslau’s reform community, feels that it is his duty to express his opinion on establishing a Jewish school and to respond to the lectures recently held by Dr. Heinemann and Dr. Carlebach. He begins by positioning Dr. Heinemann and Dr. Carlebach to the right on the spectrum of conservative/reform Judaism which leads into a defense of the authenticity of reform Judaism. Dr. Vogelstein wants to make it clear that he supports Jewish instruction, as long as it’s a private arrangement. He becomes concerned, however, when the congregation’s administration is undermined in order to propagandize the Jewish school issue and threaten splitting the community.

Personally, he is against private schools in any form, believing that children of all classes and backgrounds should receive their primary education together. He certainly cannot back teaching arithmetic according to a Jewish method or pedagogy. Dr. Carlebach had proposed counting Hanukah candles, for example.

The lecturers pointed to the flourishing Jewish schools already in existence. Dr. Vogelstein argues that these were founded to liberate Jews from the ghetto and introduce them to modern culture. To found new Jewish schools would lead to a return to the ghetto. He refutes their claim that Jewish schools are necessary to provide a spiritual home and to develop complete individuals by citing the great accomplishments of those who did not attend Jewish schools.

As for the argument that Jewish schools would protect children from anti-Semitism, Dr. Vogelstein is certain that the recent upswing in anti-Semitism and religious hatred will soon ebb. Jews always have it harder than others and children should learn to deal with it and struggle against it. The struggle does not break the spirit, rather it builds character. As for the idea of the spiritual home—the family is every Jewish child’s spiritual home.

Those who attended the lectures might have mistakenly concluded that the plan was to establish a school for all Jewish children—an elementary school [“Volkschule,” providing eight years of basic education]. One needn’t establish such a school because it has already been in existence for 120 years—the Industry School for Jewish Girls. One alternative would be to expand this school to include boys. The current plan is to create a Jewish secondary school, which would be open to only a fraction of pupils, and probably not include girls. The school that is proposed would not be a Jewish school, but a conservative Jewish school because according to the proponents of the Jewish school, liberal Judaism is not true Judaism.

Dr. Vogelstein goes on to calculate the expense of such a school and asks whether the community should make such a sacrifice just to educate the sons of rich men? In conclusion, he concedes that Dr. Heinemann and Dr. Carlebach are justified in lamenting that too many Jewish children are ignorant of their religion. To that end, the community must work to improve religious education instruction offered in the public schools.


by Ludwig Davidsohn.
I. The King’s Lyre
Synopsis: Once a year, on a spring night, King David came out to his rooftop garden to play on his lyre. The wonderful tones erased the world’s pain and sadness. When the king died, no one could find his miraculous instrument. They could find only the one he normally used. That day in spring, when mourners could find comfort in David’s music, was the anniversary of Jonathan’s death.
David never loved a friend better than Jonathan and when he heard the news of Saul’s defeat at Mount Gilboa he went to the battlefield. There he found the bodies of Saul’s sons, including Jonathan. (To be continued.)

p. 3.

Aus dem Reich.

Berlin. The Union of Judæo-German Congregations will discuss amendments to the draft constitution for an organization representing all German communities at their next meeting on January 23, 1921. The presenter is Dr. J. Freund.

Frankfurt a. M. Rabbi Dr. Caesar Seligman celebrates his 60th birthday.

Frankfurt a. M. Hoechst AG has registered the anti-Semitic swastika as a trademark for its product, Ehrlich-Hata 606. This move has caused some astonishment as Ehrlich is a Jew and Hata is Japanese. Hoechst gave the following explanation:

“The swastika symbol has been registered to us since 1910 under Nr. 128933, though in a somewhat different form. We have been using it for dyes in India. A certificate from the Oriental Faculty states that it originates as a symbol for “Good Luck” or “Many Blessings” in Sanskrit, Gujerati, and Hindi. For further explanation of the meaning of the symbol we refer to two essays that appeared in the Feuilleton of the Frankfurter Zeitung, in September of this year. In addition, there is no question that in 1910, that is at the time of registering our first logo, the swastika was not known as an anti-Semitic, German nationalist progrom symbol. The recent registration of the swastika symbol in an altered form occurred because this would make it easier for us to protect the first registration. It is well-known that one often registers a logo in varying formats in order to better protect a trademark. We had no intention of using the symbol in its new form. When you look at the varying formats you will see that the registration of the swastika had nothing to do with anti-Semitism from our perspective.”

Magedburg. The local chapter of Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith invited a number of Christian fellow-citizens to attend a lecture on anti-Semitism by Dr. Holländer. In it he described how the failings of all are ascribed to the Jews alone, as was particularly the case during and after the war. We Germans especially should take care as what the anti-Semites fictitiously accuse the Jews of, is being used against us by foreigners. The majority of the audience was Christian, and one could tell by the hearty applause that the lecture was well received and further discussions with other Christian groups are planned.

Luckenwalde. Mr. Woyda of Berlin spoke on the goals of the Jewish-Liberal youth associations. He distinguished the neutrality of the liberal associations from the orthodox and Zionist ones.

A statement by the Union of German-Austrian Jews.

Synopsis: On November 24, the Jewish National Council proposed an organization that would legitimately represent all Jews of all affiliations living in Austria as part of a worldwide folkish community. The Austrian Jewry rejects this and other efforts to create a special political or national status. The so-called National Council represents the minority of Jews and certain interested parties. We also reject any national or political minority rights that are based on a misinterpretation of Article 67 of the Treaty of Saint-Germain. We want nothing more than to be citizens of this state with the rights and responsibilities that entails.
p. 4.

From the Province.

Workgroup for the Jewish-Liberal Youth Associations of Germany. Announcement for an upcoming conference in Liegnitz. Speaking will be Dr. Baeck (Berlin) and Dr. Goldmann (Leipzig).

Schreiberbau. An exceptionally strong anti-Semitic movement has developed here, led by Postmaster Obst. This gentleman has gone so far as to insult Jewish persons with comments. The mayor is working to handle the situation by requesting that Obst be transferred. The Ministry responded that Obst could not be transferred based on his political orientation.

Local Events.

Anti-Semitic Activities.

Synopsis: We received the following letter:
Dear Editors,
On July 15 of this year three schoolgirls from Fräulein v. Zawadzki Lyceum between the ages of 14 and 16, were caught posting anti-Semitic flyers from the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation on the benches in the Südpark. At their trial it was determined that the girls were not aware that what they were doing was wrong. The director of the school testified that the girls had meant it as a joke. When the plaintiff inquired on October 3 as to the status of the proceedings, he was told that the case had passed the 3-month statute of limitation and was considered closed. The letter was received on October 22, 18 days after the initial inquiry.
The letter was written by an attorney named Foerder. Note that the inquiry had been submitted within 3 months of the trial, but somehow it languished past the critical date of October 15th.

Pawel Lyceum. Head teacher Gertrud Landsberg has recently been baptized, perhaps in the hopes of becoming the school’s director. A number of Jewish parents have already withdrawn their children from the school because of this.

Associations and Assemblies.

Modern Jewish Art. Dr. Freyer spoke on this topic on Sunday, the 19th of this month in the Lessing Lodge. The lecturer introduced a number of Jewish artists and analyzed their works, which he projected, as to whether they really represented specifically Jewish art, purposely leaving out any other artistic criteria. He defined Jewish art as one that recreated Jewish being, which he above all saw as the tight relationship between the Jew with his religion, bound with striving toward insight, so that the intensity of the Jewish spirit, which externally expressed itself in forceful gestures and in the pronounce sensitivity towards suffering. Most of the artists he introduced did not meet these qualifications; Bendemann, Oppenheim, Liebermann do depict Jewish life, but not Jewish figures with characteristic traits. Closer to these qualifications come Lesser Uri [sic], Struck and Hirschberg, whose Jews wandering in snow embody the living presence of the Jewish spirit. But especially Joseph Israels, who never gives his figures emotional gestures, but knows how to work with motifs represents Jewish art. And among the Expressionists are Jakob Steinhardt and Ludwig Meidner, whose figures embody an extraordinarily emphasized inner experience.

Eduard Bendemann, The Mourning Jews in Exile, 1832

Eduard Bendemann, The Mourning Jews in Exile, 1832

Moritz Oppenheim, The Return of the Jewish Volunteer, 1833

Moritz Oppenheim, The Return of the Jewish Volunteer, 1833

Hermann Struck, Talmid Chacham with a Book

Hermann Struck, Talmid Chacham with a Book

Joseph Israels, A Jewish Wedding, 1903

Joseph Israels, A Jewish Wedding, 1903

Jakob Steinhardt, The Ten Plagues

Jakob Steinhardt, The Ten Plagues, 1921

Ludwig Meidner, September Scream, 1918

Ludwig Meidner, September Scream, 1918

The lecturer explained that the reason for the small number of truly Jewish works by Jewish masters lay in the requirement for a cultural unity among the Jewish people. But here, even in the areas of Jewish mass settlement, Jewish poetry has indeed come into being, but no significant artists have. K.L.

Announcements and Advertisements
The Ferdinand and Flora Landsberger Trust is accepting applications from male or female relatives who need assistance to support their studies in machine- or civil engineering or applied arts.

The congregation and the Gustav Warschauer Foundation have funds to help with dowries for needy brides and are seeking applicants.

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 5 here.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish Art, German Jewish History, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History | Leave a comment

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, December 24, 1920

The Jewish School

To Our Readers!

Synopsis: The newspaper will now be sent through the mail because the delivery service was unreliable. Now all subscribers will receive the newspaper on Fridays.

Am I in the Place of God? (Gen. 50, 19.)

Synopsis: Just as Joseph forgave his brothers and showed them mercy, today’s Jews do not want vengeance against those who mistreat them, for they know that holding on to wrongs disrupts the order of things as much as mindless submission. Today the peoples and the classes see each other as enemies. The small-minded want to be both plaintiff and judge as they accuse the other of guilt for every misfortune. However, only through understanding and forgetting can these wrongs be overcome. We Jews have suffered much misfortune throughout history and we can only be thankful that there have been few expressions of hatred and vengeance. Let us protect ourselves now from becoming bitter in while facing the flood of anti-Semitism; rather let us connect pride to true humility. We are not in God’s place as judges.

The Jewish School – a Necessity?

Synopsis: This question was the center of recent communal elections. The Liberals and Orthodox are against confessional schools on the principle of religious tolerance and the Zionists and ultra-Orthodox support them. In 1890 in the Prussian parliament, Stöcker and Count Pfeil claimed that the secondary schools in Berlin and Breslau have too strong a Jewish character—their solution was to create special schools (“Sonderschulen”). There were strong voices against this proposal, especially the Minister responsible for representing Jewish affairs who said that employing 500 Jewish teachers for 15,000 Jewish pupils would lead to further divisiveness.

That the Zionists are united with the anti-Semites in their emphasis on Jewish schools the foreignness of Jews in Germany is well-known, but it was surprising to see the right-wing Orthodox represented by Agudas to align themselves with this nationalism. They do differ in the rationale for the schools. The latter want to strengthen orthodoxy while the Zionists want to use them as a springboard for the folkist idea.

Distinguished pedagogues have determined that separate schools will not diminish anti-Semitism. The best way to do that is to bring “teachers of the Jewish religion” into the general teachers’ body as regular teachers. At the time, there were calls to cleanse the Protestant schools of Jewish and Catholic teachers.

The existing Jewish schools were founded before the emancipation. The goal of education should not be to create a uniform identity, but one that’s formed from a variety of sensibilities and perspectives. This synthesis is one of Germany nationality and Jewish faith. There hasn’t been a Jewish people in Germany for 1,900 years, having been residents here much longer than Christian fellow citizens. Don’t supporters of Jewish schools realize that quotas are part of anti-Semites’ agenda? German Jews have an especially strong thirst for knowledge and are therefore well represented in the higher-level schools. In boys’ schools, for every 10,000 residents of a given faith, there are 61 Christians and 365 Jews. In the universities, there are 5 Christians and 32 Jews.

The writer, Ignaz Walsch, asserts that religious education should take place in carefully established religion schools and in the home. The article goes on to critique lectures by Dr. Heinemann (author of “The League of Nations from a Jewish Perspective”) and Dr. Carlebach—both defenders of Jewish schools. Dr. Carlebach maintained that Jewish children don’t even know what the Torah is and sees having Jewish schools a way to address this problem. Dr. Heinemann, the better pedagogue, cited people who said they could not be Jews because they were part of German culture, a perspective that contradicts the goal of liberal Judaism.
p. 2.

Aus dem Reich.

Munich. The anti-Semite Dietrich Eckart offered a prize of 1000 Marks to someone who could prove that a Jewish family had three sons who spent at least three weeks in combat. The rabbi of Hannover, Dr. Freund, sent a list of twenty families who met these criteria in his congregation. When Eckart refused to pay out the prize money, Dr. Freund sued him. During the proceedings he submitted another 50 families, some of whom had lost three sons in the war. Eckart agreed to pay the thousand Marks, which Dr. Freund contributed to Jewish causes.

Berlin. Announcement of a lecture to be held in honor of the recently deceased head of the Society for the Advancement of the Scientific Study of Judaism, Dr. M. Brann, by Rabbi Dr. Bloch.

Berlin. Report on the second exhibit of the art collection of the Jewish congregation. There are paintings from Poland and Russia as well as the painting “Moses Mendelsohn and His Circle.”

From the Province.

Union of Synagogues of Breslau und Liegnitz will discuss how to revive the activities that had been stalled due to the war.

Bernstadt. In a chronicle documenting Bernstadt’s wartime experience, Rabbi Wolfgang describes the involvement of the Bernstadt Jewish community: the donations, the prayers, and the 26 soldiers of which three died and some received the Iron Cross.

Ratibor. All Liberal representatives were elected at the recent Representatives Assembly meeting.

Oppeln. Miss Fanni Schlesinger, daughter of the chairman of the Liberal Jewry Association, is engaged to Dr. Georg Kohn from Gorlitz, lawyer and member of the board of the Union of Jewish Youth Organizations.

Local Events.

Meeting of the Representatives Assembly.

Synopsis: It was noted that although almost all board members attended only one of the four Liberal representatives was present. The main topic was the question of Jewish schools. The first class of pupils had already been assembled by the Orthodox Rabbi Dr. Simonsohn and that lectures by Dr. Joseph Carlebach and Dr. Isaac Heinemann were scheduled. The Liberals were outraged. Only two Zionists and one Orthodox representative supported the Jewish school. Also discussed was the creation of two positions for teachers who would give religious instruction in the public schools equivalent to the Christian religious instruction. This proposal was accepted. The next proposal was regarding burial fees and purchase regulations for the new section of the cemetery. Fees for the Cosel cemetery are being reviewed, but it was agreed to set fees according to the position of the plot (corner, middle of a row, etc.) The final proposal regulated the duties of the various rabbis and administrators.

The Old Siddur.

A sketch by Bidsche Hohnsalz (from Zehlendorf)
Synopsis: A sentimental story of an elderly man who wanders out to the cemetery on the last night of Chanukka where he freezes to death contemplating his old prayer book and the loved ones whose names are inscribed in it.

p. 3.

The Israelite Orphanage.

Memorial ceremonies for deceased founders and sponsors took place. It was noted that the flourishing of the children was in reverse proportion to the orphanage’s resources. In January, the leaders of charitable organizations will meet and on the agenda is the issue of supporting the orphanages.

The Old Glogau Synagogue dedicated its new Torah scroll.

The 40th anniversary of the founding of the Princess Luise home took place in the founder’s apartment. Speakers were Pastor Renner of the Hofkirche, Chief Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein, and Pastor Meiβner. One hundred needy elderly women received donations.

Associations and Assemblies.

Report on the lectures by Dr. Heinemann and Dr. Carlebach summarized on page 2 above.

p. 4.
Synopsis: The Association for Jewish History and Literature held a lecture by Rabbi Dr. Baeck on the Jewish spirit which is characterized by a contrast in thinking and feeling, resulting in contradiction and an optimism that is not based on present circumstances but on future improvement. He described how this optimism expresses itself in Jewish religious beliefs, especially by the prophets.

Boycott of Jewish Businesses!

In the edition of the “Silesian Newspaper” published on November 5, the following announcement appeared:

Christian Businessmen and Craftsmen!
All Breslau Christian-German firms are invited to be included in a suppliers list intended for local and non-local buyers—at no cost. Send your exact address and business type as soon as possible to Mr. Reifgerste, Breslau V, Schwerinstraβe 38/40. The German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation, Breslau Chapter.

This announcement appeared three more times during the following days.

On December 2, in Friebeberg, a meeting of the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation took place where, according to a report in the Silesian newspaper, Reinhold Wulle (member of Parliament) and Professor Freiherr von Freytagh-Loringhoven held speeches vilifying Jews. The many listeners were called upon to boycott Jewish businesses. It was pointed out that if Jews could not conduct business in Germany, they would soon emigrate.
On the afternoon of that same day on Schweidnitzerstraβe, the German weekly with the front page headline shouting out “The Jewish Grafters Republic” was peddled with posters—without the police stepping in.

The editor of this paper is the famous Knüppel-Kunze. The paper’s motto is “Not a dime for Jewish businesses.”

Since the 21st of December, an “Index of Christian Businessmen and Craftsmen” is being distributed in Breslau. The index includes well over 100 firms and a recommendation from the German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation, Breslau Chapter. The index includes, among others, the firms of Julius Henel, cloth wholesaler Prause, silversmith Julius Lemor, stationers Theiner & Meinicke and Emmo Delahon, furrier W. Bischoff, truck dealers Schuppelius & Ahrent, lighting supplier Otto Kowatsch, engraver Alwin Kaiser.

We consider it our duty to inform our readers of these facts since they are aimed at severely damaging the economic life of our city.

Advertisements and Announcements

Engagement announced between Fanni Charlotte and the lawyer Dr. Georg Kohn in Oppeln on December 20–by Hedwig Schlesinger, nee Lohnstein, and Dr. Ismar Schlesinger.

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 4 here.

Posted in Anti-Semitism, German Jewish History, German Jewish Newspapers, Jewish History, Jewish Holidays, WWI Jewish Veterans | Leave a comment