War and Faith

with Anti-Semitism
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Encounters with Anti-Semitism

Leo Loewenstein


Leo Loewenstein

Leo Löwenstein (1877-1956), was the founder of the Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten

He was born in Aachen and trained as a chemist. Between 1905 and 1914, he headed a number of chemical plants in Austria. During World War I, he was wounded several times serving in a communications battalion in the Bavarian army, was promoted to Captain of the Reserve in 1916, and awarded the Iron Cross, First Class, in 1918. During his time of service, Löwenstein invented a method for measuring the distance of an acoustic source, which made it possible to determine, for instance, the exact position of a firing cannon. Between 1920 and 1942, Löwenstein patented a total of 25 new inventions, including groundbreaking innovations in communication technology (ultra red, ultra violet, high frequency waves) and in developing remote controlled rockets. However, his patriotism dictated that his pioneering inventions in the armament field were not registered in his own name. In 1919, Leo Löwenstein founded the Reichsbund Jüdischer Frontsoldaten (RjF) to counter the growing anti-Semitism in Germany after the War. The Reichsbund kept reminding the German public that 100 000 German Jews had served under the Kaiser and 12 000 had died for their homeland.  The RjF was vehemently anti-Zionist and claimed Germany as the true homeland of every German-speaking Jew.