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When public beaches were closed to Jews in 1935, the Jewish community board in Berlin put pressure on the Korngold family to open their estate on the nearby lake Scharmützelsee to the Jewish public; at the same time, profits for Jewish business owners were heavily curtailed by Nazi authorities. In order to keep up a certain standard of living, the Korngolds moved from the ‘mansion to the servants’ quarters’ and opened the estate to Jewish paying guests for the summers of 1935-1938.

Amateur films from the 1930′s in a handful of LBI collections offer a unique glimpse of various aspects of daily life in Germany. They include footage of vacationers at a Jewish resort outside Berlin, the 1932 German Championship Soccer match, and family vacations to the Alps and even Palestine.

Oral History Interviews

Joachim Prinz was a charismatic young rabbi from Berlin who spoke out against the Nazis and emigrated to the US with the aid of Stephen Wise in 1937.  As the rabbi of Temple B'nai Abraham in Newark, NJ and president of the American Jewish congress, he criticized racial discrimination in America and spoke just before Martin Luther King at the March on Washington in 1963.  he reflected on these experiences in his oral history interview with LBI.

Hundreds of Oral History Interviews are available through DigiBaeck that record the experience of German-Jewish refugees who settled in the United States. They include interviews conducted by the Research Foundation for Jewish Immigration, New York, 1971-1981 as well as interviews conducted by conscientious objectors from Austria who spend a year conducting interviews with former refugees from Austria in lieu of military service.

Jewish Liturgical Music

Chief Cantor Aron Weiss of Berlin sings "Ato Zodea" (only you know when the world will end) as part of the Yom Kippur service. This recording comes from a small collection of rare German records of Jewish liturgical music from the early era of recorded sound.

DigiBaeck includes a number of rare recordings of Jewish liturgical music from the 1920s. These shellac 78 rpm records are documents of Jewish religious life as well as the history of the recorded sound industry.