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

Jewish-Liberal Newspaper, December 17, 1920

“See that ye fall not out by the way.”

Synopsis: Introducing the topic of strife by recounting the story of Joseph and his brothers (Gen. 45, 24.), the writer goes on to explain how danger unites people but misfortune divides them and causes them to blame the other. Which is what is happening with the German fatherland in its current misery with the Jews being the scapegoat for all that is wrong. Unfortunately Germans and Jews share the inclination to foster hatred within even when the danger is external. For example, when Rome laid siege to Jerusalem, bloody partisan battles ensued during which one side even surrendered to Rome. Today, Judaism seems torn apart by the same kind of partisan strife, with the Liberals being suspected of doing anything for the sake of peace. The various perspectives within Judaism must be validated, but without sacrificing unity. We are all pursuing the same goal, though following different paths.

On Vanquishing Anti-Semitism.

by Pastor Lic. th. Ernst Moering, Breslau
A great misfortune has befallen Germany, but this misfortune is not just fate, it has been caused by guilt. If we had not been drunk on our successes, we would not have overestimated our power and would have been more cautious and careful with the aim of making friends in the world. If we had had better diplomats, we would have had better allies. If during the war a thoughtful statesman had been the Imperial Chancellor, one would have ended the war at a better time than October 1918, when Ludendorff’s nervous breakdown led to the dissolution of what was still holding together. If … yes if, yes if there hadn’t been an “if”!

It is horrible to watch these events unfold even if only in hindsight. It’s as though one is watching at a distance how a pedestrian gets run over by a car that he hadn’t even seen. Observing a fall from prideful heights to horrifying and often dishonorable misery stirs such feelings that one would rather shut one’s eyes and not see the images and not reflect on where we went wrong. What is left is the excitation and anger that comes from seeing how things were and how things are. But this anger is directed outwards instead of inwards. No one accepts the blame. No one likes being reminded of the mistakes of family or friends. It’s known that we more easily see the mote in another’s eye than the beam in one’s own. We have suffered misfortune. Who failed? The entire people. We all share the blame, because it was in our power to have a different political system, because we were all too much a part of the careless use of force—all of us because we were almost completely lacking in a simple, quiet recognition of political shortcomings. We are all to blame. But such a though is fatal. That pulls us down. Already in ancient myths man did not accept guilt. “The woman that you gave me…” The Jews that we have, they caused our misfortune.

Thank God, that there are still Jews! On whom else would some people unload their anger? It’s exactly the anti-Semites who can do without Jews the least! How grotesque it would be if they were to wake up one morning to find that all the Jews had gone. Their sputtering and shouts would never end because these poor creatures are constructed in such a way that they only feel good when they have someone at whom they can get angry! They are like those beasts that bark the whole night long even though there’s no sign of a troublemaker. Truly, these poor people have it tough, if they had to get over their incitement. How tragic domestic peace would be for some hatemongers from the Christian churches of both confessions. For there are people who can only be pious when they put down the religion of others. Why is that the Jew is such a favorite lightening rod?

For one, we can look at the effects of history. Just a couple of words on that. We know of course the middle ages, know how tied to the church they were. The church had pure teachings, everywhere else there was falsehood, damnation. The Jews were completely damned: they had crucified Christ. They had lost their land, lived in foreign lands. A treasured example for teaching naïve people about the consequences of evil deeds. The ghetto was erected creating a dividing wall, and because the Jews had special customs, that was naturally reason enough to wrap this anger with the veil of mystery and recount horror stories. And once the animosity was there, a few actions on the part of Jews increased it. Whoever is seen as the outcast is often not very particular in the choice of the cause of blame.

This was reinforced by the different appearance and manner. Every people has its particular customs and bad behaviors, its idiosyncrasies, to which another people takes affront or at which the ignorant laugh. These differences of course disappear with time, and sometimes, quite ridiculously, there are arguments about whether someone is Jewish or not. Some who have no Semitic origins are found to be Jewish, though “one hardly can tell that he’s a Jew.” From the east, new elements are coming in, with their particular dress and downtrodden conduct: they are seen as strangers. And strangers are mistrusted. Here in Germany one above all mistrusts that the stranger cannot love Germany. With this suspicion the German betrays himself. He doesn’t have a secure, firm bond with his homeland or a patriotism born of its intellectual culture; he is an internationalist or a chauvinist. When he himself is not completely firm, he thinks, how can the stranger have feelings for the homeland? Germans don’t realize that the eastern Jew rejoices when he escapes Russian oppression because they know so little about conditions outside of Germany; and one just won’t believe that because of Yiddish he is already entwined in German culture and will easily enter it more deeply.

To these two reasons comes a third nowadays. The Jews, as conservative as they often are, could not support the conservative political parties because these were all more or less anti-Semitic. They belonged to the left and gained leadership positions there—understandably given the political apathy of the middle class, and understandably found their way more easily than Christian intellectuals to the social democrats. But in 1918 the left-wing parties made crass mistakes. They promised “Peace, Freedom, Bread” because they believed in all earnestness that the Allies would be well disposed toward a democratic Germany. That was a delusion. Instead of telling the people that the peace will be terrible, because the old system ruined everything, they raised hopes (similar to what the military had done earlier) that they could not fulfill. Easily forgetful we are so that our anger was not aimed at the parties on the right, but against the left. And since those on the German nationalist side knew how to operate, they pointed to the Jews who were well represented on the left and blamed them. They did this all of course to make themselves richer for even though Krupp or Stinnes heaps up millions and agriculture clears its debts, only the Jews are getting rich – and they led us into the misfortune of being able to make a whole lot of profit. That’s how the proof is arrived at—which we can only grade the way the still-known theologian, Tholuk, once graded an exam: “Correct with incorrect unclearly mixed: D!”

What’s to be done? On the one hand once could wait with Noah’s patience in the ark until the waters have drained. Things will change. Even the anti-Semites cook only with water, stinking water, that is. This stinking water turns to steam and we have unquestionably reached the boiling point. But this passivity is unworthy of man. It’s up to us Christians who have not yet lost our senses to the stinking anti-Semitic gases to stand against the anti-Semites. This won’t earn anyone laurel wreaths so one will do this all the more gladly to show whether one truly fights for what is right and ethical or for individual glory. But the Jews must also fight against anti-Semitism. They can do it with strict discipline in their own ranks. Who sits in a glass house must hold themselves together. There are of course bad Jews. Saying that there are also bad Christians is no excuse. Of course there are bad people in both religions, probably to the same extent. But that should not placate us. We pastors must be especially careful for every badly behaving pastor damages the church. Officers have to win the trust of the people again and they can only do this through stiff discipline in their ranks. So must Jews see to it that their fellow Jews can stand up to the strictest judgement. The must ensure the highest moral standards spread through the farthest circles.

Only this way will we gain peaceful conditions. Only this way do we avoid radicalisms that are as grotesque as the intentions of the anti-Semites and the goals of the Zionists. The ones want to drive away all the Jews, the others want voluntary retreat. Both would cause the death of many Jews: they cannot leave the country to which they have such a deep bond. And both would damage our country: the contribution of the Jews to the economy and culture is so great that we cannot do without it. Therefore let us defeat anti-Semitism! And we have to get to work, because cleaning out the Augean stables was Hercules’ most disgusting feat.
p. 2.

The Plight of Jewish Teachers and Workers.

Synopsis: In normal times, low salaries, although a shameful neglect on the part of the community, could be borne. Now, however, the struggle for a minimal existence being so difficult, the conditions have become catastrophic. One often doesn’t realize that the cantor can’t afford to keep his Sabbath suit repaired or the teacher spends his salary on coal for the classroom instead of on warm clothing. Four weeks earlier the Silesian Israelite Teachers Union pled their case before the Breslau city council. The outcome was that the Jewish teachers were to be paid according to the state’s guidelines for teachers’ salaries, which is seen as just. However, the congregations’ boards must be mobilized to act to raise salaries for their teachers and other employees.

This is not just an issue for the employees but also for the small congregations. If they can’t hire teachers or clergy, they will disappear. These important carriers of Jewish tradition are already dwindling and the Jewish community must unite to support them.

Remember the Vote in Upper Silesia!

Donate now and generously!

A Trade Means Financial Security.

Synopsis: Breslau has barely 100 Jewish tradesmen (out of 7500 people who pay taxes to the congregations). Jews are certainly capable of hard work as Poland, Russia, America, and the Orient show. In the war, Jewish hands proved that they were equally capable of digging trenches and building concrete defenses. The anti-Semitic claim that Jews cannot do fine handiwork or have endurance can be disproven by Jewish achievements in art which certainly requires both. Whereas other branches of the economy are struggling, the trades have it easier. Parents should encourage their sons to take up a trade, even if they have attended Gymnasium. The trades have unlimited financial potential; they have brought forth a Trelenberg and a Krupp. In addition, it benefits German Jews to be represented at every level of society so that Germans have an opportunity to get to know how they really are instead of just seeing them through the lens of anti-Semitism.

About the Jews in Lithuania.

Partial Translation: As reported by Professor Bergsträβer in the Frankfurter Zeitung. Jews play a different role in the former Russian northwestern territories than in Germany. In Lithuania, they represent 10% of the population and almost 50% of urban populations. Culturally their situation is also different from German Jewry’s as they maintained their language, have a separate intellectual life, and stayed racially pure. There is also a difference in worship as the eastern Jew keeps strictly to the laws. Since 1919 there has been a cabinet-level ministry for Jewish affairs with divisions for education, community administration, economy, and press, which represents Jews as a minority nation. It conducts business with the government in Lithuanian and with the Jewish administration in Yiddish (“Jargon”). The Jews have the same entitlements as all other minorities—the government funds Jewish elementary schools and will fund secondary schools if they teach Lithuanian.

While the political situation of the Lithuanian Jews is satisfactory, the same cannot be said about the economic situation. The entire Lithuanian population suffered terribly in the war but the recovery in the cities is especially slow. In 1915, the cities were evacuated during the retreat of the Russian forces and residents had massive material losses. Especially Jewish tradesmen were hard hit. The reconstruction efforts aim to move a large segment of the population to agriculture. Jews who already had farms are doing very well. Tradesmen are being helped with loans to purchase new tools. A number of banks have been established to assist the lower classes.

Kurt Walter Goldschmidt.

a Jewish poet and philosopher
by Dr. Ino Gaβmann.

Partial Translation: What could this fine thinker have achieved if he hadn’t had to earn his living by writing articles and teaching at high schools? As a writer, he earned one fourth or fifth of what a Berlin trash hauler earned. He thought to earn his living as a lawyer, but quit his studies to write. His work reveals his enthusiasm for Judaism—he angrily protests baptism—and harks back to the cultural achievements of the biblical era. At the same time he expresses his German sensibility and is able to formulate the foundations of Liberal Judaism. In 1884 he publishes a book on Henrik Ibsen. In 1907 his first volume of poetry, Cosmos and Chaos, appears. His poetry advances Nietzsche’s creative work as exemplified in the poems called “Walls” (“Mauern”) and “To Wrath” (“An den Zorn”). A cultural critique is published in 1908, Zur Kritik der Moderne, with essays on the modern psyche, race and individualism, and the theater. These themes continue in Erlebte Dichtung (1912) with portraits of leading poets of the day, including Carl Spitteler, the Nobel Prize winner in literature for 1920. Two works, The Value of Life and Halfmask: Confessions of a tragic philosophy from life and beyond life establish Goldschmidt as the equal of academic thinkers. He served in the war as a low-ranking soldier four years during which he continued to write. Manuscripts awaiting publication include a developmental novel that brings to mind Romain Rolland’s Jean Christoph.
p. 3.

Aus dem Reich.

Hindenburg. A lecture titled “On the threshold of a new fight for emancipation” was held at the local chapter meeting of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith.

Königsberg. Rabbi Dr. Vogelstein from Breslau spoke on “Revelation and Development” being the two poles of religious life at the local chapter meeting of the Liberal Jewry Association. He also lectured on the spiritual values of the liberal movement at the local chapter meeting of the Central Organization of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith.

Hamburg. Erich Siegel directed the premiere of Jacob Scherek’s “Insanity” (“Wahn”) which deals with the topic of ritual murder.

The Decisions of the Conference of Fraternities.

Synopsis: Only German students of Aryan decent may belong to fraternities. Members may not marry Jewish or colored women. Members may not support separatist or international political parties.

Excavations in Palestine.

Synopsis: The Jewish Archeological Society in Jerusalem has received permission to excavate in the area surrounding Tiberius and Capernaum. Already, part of the ancient Roman city has been uncovered.
p. 4.

Local Events.

The Representatives Assembly will hold an open meeting to discuss the price of cemetery plots, the election of a new superintendent, salary increases for cemetery workers, and the creation of two teaching positions.

The Princess Luise institute, founded by Regina Schlesinger to support widows and orphans of all religions celebrates its 40th anniversary.

The Natural Healing Association of Breslau and – the Eastern Jews.
The board stated that it did not support the motion to prohibit Eastern Jews from their facilities, but that it had to place it on the agenda according to their bylaws. The person who had raised the issue denied having anti-Semitic tendencies. The board declared that no one will ever be excluded from the association on the basis of religion.

Heinz Kochanowski, son of the late cantor, Victor Kochanowski resident of Wallstraβe 5, will celebrate his bar mitzvah in the Old Synagogue on December 19.

Rosa Freudenthal’s delightful Chanukka exhibit (Goethestraβe 11) has been extended until December 19.

Associations and Assemblies.

Celebrating Chanukka in Breslau.

Synopsis: In addition to the family celebrations with their shining lights on the menorah and happy faces of young and old (off the old especially, as they well know how little attention was paid to this holiday 20 to 30 years ago), there were various celebrations sponsored by associations. Because of space restrictions, only three are described: a children’s party hosted by the Jewish Home, a celebration that included a living menorah and scenes from Stefan Zweig’s “Jeremias” by the “Comrades,” and the Jewish-Liberal Youth Association’s celebration that featured a concert, interpretive dances, and poetry readings.

Synopsis: The Breslau Union of Jewish Veterans met on December 13th to review the last year’s activities. In its first fourteen months, it grew to 700 members. The main topic of discussion was fundraising.

Synopsis: The Jewish-Liberal Youth Association board wrote to correct the statement that subscribing to this publication was mandatory for its members. Rather, subscription was recommended because the association will now rely on publishing its announcements in the newspaper instead of printing them separately at great expense. The money saved will be used to help pay for members’ subscriptions with the remainder being covered by the association’s treasury.

This edition of the Jewish-Liberal Newspaper includes an insert with the members’ list of the association of independent Jewish Craftsmen, Breslau.

Advertisements and Announcements

The source for these translations is the digitized version of the “Juedisch-Liberale Zeitung” available at Compact Memory. Find the digitized version of Issue 2 here.

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