New Gift to Support Pilot Projects in Transcription and Photograph Digitization

This handwritten diary from the 18TH century is typical of documents that could be transcribed under a new program. Photo, Jon Pack.

LBI will launch pilot projects aimed at improving access to and discovery of two classes of materials in LBI archives that are rich in information but too often hidden from researchers: handwritten manuscripts and photographs.

Family Matters: In Chicago, Generations Gather for Intimate Look at Family Histories Preserved in LBI Archives

Marianne Dreyfus, the granddaughter of Leo Baeck, discusses her family’s history during an LBI event October, 2014 in Chicago

LBI convened genealogists, friends, and family of two Chicagoans with German-Jewish roots for a discussion that connected individual and family narratives to the historical context of Jewish life in Germany before 1933, during the Holocaust, and today.

Germany’s Top Justice Official Tackles His Ministry’s Past at LBI

Rebecca Wittmann (University of Toronto) and Christoph Safferling (University
of Marburg) discuss the role of former Nazis in Germany’s post-war Justice
Ministry at the Center for Jewish History on November 14, 2014.

In the Center for Jewish History’s packed Forchheimer Auditorium, German Federal Justice Minister Heiko Maas addressed the crowd and spoke about the high numbers of Nazi Party members and sympathizers that were employed in the post-1949 Ministry of Justice in Germany, which was tasked with interpreting and enforcing the law.

Wissenschaft des Judentums: Jewish Studies and the Shaping of Jewish Identity

Moritz Steinschneider writing at his desk

This exhibit shows that the early academic study of Judaism was directly motivated by the desire for the civil rights still denied Jews in Europe in the 19th century. Moreover, the “Wissenschaft des Judentums” would become the forum in which most of the competing visions for how Jews should exist within the larger society and how they should practice Judaism were articulated and advanced.

LBI News No. 96 — Fall 2014

LBI_Fall14News_Final-1

In this issue, LBI announces the digitization of nearly 100 rare periodicals, Josef Joffe considers the “Golden Age of German Jewry.” Plus, a selection of highlights from LBI Collections related to WWI.

WWI Art—Hermann Struck’s portraits of Muslim POWs

Raupratta Chan, Punjabi, 1916, Etching by Hermann Struck.

As empires clung to their supremacy and nationalist movements advanced an opposing vision of the link between ethnicity and state, troop movements and migrations brought people from across the globe into contact with one another. Artists like Hermann Struck, a Zionist and orthodox Jew from Berlin, turned an ethnographic lens on various groups of “exotic”…

WWI Photographs—Bernhard Bardach, an Austrian military surgeon

A German cavalry regiment (Uhlanen))

Bernhard Bardach was a 48-year-old career medical officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army when war broke out. He served on the Eastern and Western fronts, but he was able to spend much of his time during the war painting, writing extensive diaries, and taking over 900 remarkable photographs which have been digitized by LBI. Bernhard Bardach…

WWI Memoirs—Helmut Freund, a physician from Berlin

A page from Helmut Freund's Memoir

About 300 memoirs in LBI collections describe the experiences of Jewish soldiers in the German and Austro-Hungarian armies, from ordinary infantrymen to celebrated pilots to physicians and Jewish field chaplains. Helmut Freund was born around 1896 in Berlin and served as an auxiliary physician in the German Army. Like many highly assimilated, middle-class German Jews…

WWI Correspondence—Karl Henschel, a Volunteer from Berlin

Karl Henschel Collection, AR 6433

During the first year of the war, German soldiers sent six million letters every day, and received another 8.5 million. Soldiers’ letters were almost immediately instrumentalized to shape public perceptions about the war, and the publication of letters quickly became an important way of memorializing the fallen, who came in unprecedented numbers. Among the first…

Gerald Westheimer Career Development Fellows

Moritz Steinschneider

Thanks to the generosity of Professor Gerald Westheimer, LBI has supported fellowships for scholars who are early in their careers to pursue research on the social, cultural, and academic aspects of the life of Jews in German-speaking countries between the time of Moses Mendelssohn and the Third Reich and its aftermath. LBI is proud to…