48°46' / 9°11'
Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah
Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah
Published by Yad Vashem
Published in Jerusalem, 1972
Published in Jerusalem, 1972
Project Coordinator and Translator
Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 2, page 141, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1972
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
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* Jews as defined by race. Not included, but registered in the census were 507 'mixed races
Category 'A''and 260 'mixed races - Category 'B''
In 1597, the Jewish mathematician, Abramo Calorni (born in Mantua, Italy in 1540), was invited by Duke Friedrich the First to mine salt in Württemberg and through his influence, another Jew, Magino Gabrielli, of Venice, a specialist in the cultivation of silk-worms, and the head of a Jewish commercial company, was granted the privilege of settling in Stuttgart together with seven of his business partners. Gabrielli was even permitted to acquire a house in the City market, install in it a prayer hall and conduct business enterprises in the Barony for 25 years. However, when the Duke, under pressure from the residents and the Court priest, demanded that he remove the prayer-hall to near-by Neidlingen, Gabrielli and his colleagues left Württemberg and settled in Thüringen. At the beginning of the 18th Century, Jews were again permitted to visit the annual Fair and even loan money at interest on pledges.
Following his death, all the Jewish Court Agents of Stuttgart were banished from 1743-1746. Less than 10 years after his death however, in July 1747, Duke Karl Eugen nominated Nathaniel Zeidel as Manager of the Privy Purse. In 1758 David Uhlmann was named Military Supplier to the Duke and one year later the brothers Aharon and Elias Seligman, residents of Frankfurt-on-Main, were granted the Württemberg salt monopoly for a period of twenty years. From then onwards, most of the various economic decrees against the Jews of Stuttgart and Württemberg generally, were gradually rescinded, especially those pertaining to trade in beef.
In 1770 there were four Jewish families living in Stuttgart, and in 1800 - ten, all of them the families of Court Agents. These families organized themselves as a private community and employed a Cantor and teacher. Prayers were held in the house of the agent Seligman. The dead were buried in Hochberg and Freudental.
Among the most prominent of the Württemberg Court Agents was the family Kaulla. The founder of the family business was Hayeleh-Carolina Kaulla (1739-1809), who was the daughter of the community leader of Bad Buchau, the court agent Raphael Kaulla. In 1757 she married Akiva Auerbach. She began her career as court agent in Donaueschingen, in the service of Friedrich of Fürstenburg. In 1768 she shifted her operation to Hechingen and served the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen. In 1770, with her nomination as Court Agent to the Duke of Württemberg and the expansion of her business interests, she co-opted to the management her brother Jakob-Raphael (d.1810), and later still, her son-in-law, Jakob. In 1790 Jakob-Raphael was named Chief Supplier to the Austrian Army which fought Napoleon. He also carried out secret diplomatic and military missions.
The family created in Hechingen trusts and institutions, especially a religious seminary. Their offspring founded public and religious institutions in Stuttgart and charity organizations for the benefit of Jews and Christians alike and continued to manage the affairs of the Bank of Württemberg. Notwithstanding the strong anti-Jewish atmosphere which typified Stuttgart society, the Kaullas succeeded in smoothing a path for themselves to the upper reaches of society. In 1805 the Duke granted full rights of citizenship to five of the family and in 1907 they joined the group of founders of the exclusive and prestigious City Museum; all that without at any time ignoring or relinquishing their religious affiliations or background.
By coercion similar attitudes prevailed into the first half of the 18th Century and only by degrees was the attitude of the residents slowly modified.
In 1860 a ministerial report was published in Stuttgart which publicly praised the Jews of Württemberg and described them as 'good citizens, law-abiding, considerate and discreet, thrifty, and maintainers of a family life worthy of praise.' At the same time the social barriers were maintained and virtually all the citizens of Stuttgart continued to relate to the Jewish population with suspicion and reservations.
Hostile sentiments towards the Jews sprang up anew in the violent, anti-Jewish disturbances which broke out in the spring of 1873. The event which sparked the riots arose out of the complaints of a soldier against the Jewish proprietress of a dress shop who, according to his complaints, had cheated him. The soldier caused a disturbance in the shop and was arrested by a policeman. In response to this action, a large crowd gathered in the street and attempted to destroy the proprietress' home. Those among the rioters who were arrested on the spot, were released by force by their fellow-rioters and the mob invaded the Jewish quarter and other Jewish neighbourhoods in the city. The rioters, throwing stones, and breaking into houses and shops causing heavy damage, were reinforced by other soldiers who were on leave in the vicinity. The police were unable to mobilize sufficient manpower to control the situation and it was necessary to bring in the army to restore order to the streets. In the meantime the riot reached alarming proportions, as if the soldier had actually been murdered by the Jews. The riots continued during the following days and only by the intervention of large numbers of the military was the situation returned to normal.
The rising tide of anti-Semitism which engulfed Germany throughout the 90's did not pass Stuttgart by. In 1890 a local organization was formed called 'The Association for Defence Against Anti-Semitism', which included among its members the President of the State Parliament together with the leader of the Social Democrat Party Friedrich Meier, members of the Priesthood, the Headmaster of the Municipal Gymnasium and other non-Jews.
Unlike other small- and medium-sized communities, the Stuttgart community was marked by the concentration of Jews who belonged to the middle- and upper-classes, a large proportion of them educated, with a strong trend in the direction of inter-marriage. Most of the incidents of inter-marriage in Württemberg occurred in that city.
In the second half of the 19th Century, several other banks were opened by the Esslingers, the Adlers, the Hormeisters, Kiffer and Bentzinger. In the 70's Jews founded publishing houses (Loewy and others). Throughout the years, Jewish bankers and industrialists were members of the local Chamber of Commerce: Rudolph Kaulla (1867-1877), Y. Max Neuberger (1877-1890), Louis Alsace (1878-1896) and Julius Alsace (1900-1917).
At the end of the 19th Century 793 Jewish leaders of the Stuttgart community, (out of a total Jewish population of 3,015) made their income from the following sources:
|Source of income
|Industry, Banking, Wholesale trading||88||11.1|
|Personal fortune and other sources||364||45.9|
|Rabbis, Cantors and Teachers||10||1.3|
During the 4th decade of the 19th Century, the Stuttgart community was already the leading Jewish community in the State and the various communal foundations and organizations had their headquarters there especially the 'Israelitische Oberkirchenbehörde', which in 1924 changed its name to 'Israelitischer Oberrat'.
With the death of Rabbi Meyer in 1873, Rabbi Moses Wasserman took office as the Rabbi of the Stuttgart Community (1811-1892). He, too, was among the torch-bearers of reformism. With the innovations he introduced through the leaders of the community, he widened the breech between the liberals and the orthodox. On his 50th anniversary as a Rabbi in the Württemberg communities in 1884, he, too was granted a title by the King and, like his predecessor, served as advisor on religious matters to the Oberkirchenbehörde. Rabbi Wasserman published books on the lives of Jewish villagers in the area. In a trial, which became known as the 'Rohling Trial' and which took place in October 1892 in the Municipal Court-house of Ulm, against the daily 'Ulmer Post', which published an inflammatory article against Judaism and the Talmud, Rabbi Wasserman succeeded in refuting the charges of the defence which were based on the writings of the anti-Semitic Professor Rohling, and proved that the books of religious instruction for Jewish children were '...based on the principles of respect of Man and love of one's neighbour.' Only a fortnight after his appearance in the court-room, he died (18th October, 1892).
While Rabbi Wasserman was still officiating (in 1891), Rabbi David Stössl (1848-1919) became his substitute as religious teacher for the secondary schools, and from 1894 as the second Municipal Rabbi and at the same time Rabbi for the districts of Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Esslingen and Ludwigsburg. Rabbi Stössl did much to relieve the distress of the poor, the sick and abandoned children and he was one of the prime movers in the establishment of many social institutions.
In December 1893 Dr. Theodor Kroner (1845-1923), was named Municipal Rabbi and adviser on religious affairs to the Oberkirchenbehörde. Rabbi Kroner tended to conservatism and succeeded in moving the community more towards traditional Judaism. He ensured the correct functioning of ritual slaughter, held to the practice of public prayer meetings - even during weekdays, deepened religious studies and widened the opportunities for learning Hebrew. Through his involvement, Jewish schoolchildren in the Municipal schools, were released from the need to write on the Sabbath and other Holy days. Rabbi Kroner paid particular attention to Secondary school leavers, and in 1894 founded 'Youth Group' with 23 young people, the aims of which were to '...raise the banner of the Torah, spread the knowledge of Judaism, holy writings and the history of Israel, deepen Jewish awareness and involve itself in acts of charity for the needy of the community.' In 1896 the group numbered 74 members and 142 registered supporters. Some time after its foundation the name was changed and it became 'The Berthold Auerbach Youth Society'. At that same time and parallel to it the Rabbi founded, together with Fania Guttmann a similar girls' organization for girls from poor families. The institution granted scholarships, supplied school-books, covered the expenses of girls in foster-homes, attended to their professional training, and afterwards supplied work-tools and equipment to them when they went to work. In 1910 the girl's group numbered 290, directed by Leon Wertheimer. For adults Rabbi Kroner founded 'The Torah Study Group' which did much to disseminate Jewish values and broaden social work..
Rabbi Kroner was also known as an author of works on religious instruction in Jewish schools and research into Jewish history. In 1905 the King awarded him the 'The Knights' Cross', and in 1915, the community created a trust fund in his name for the education of orphans of the First World War. In 1919 Rabbi Kroner retired and 4 years later passed away.
In 1922 the position of Rabbi of Stuttgart was filled by Paul Rieger (1870-1939), who, after a few years was co-opted onto the Oberkirchenbehörde as adviser on religious affairs. Although Rabbi Rieger represented the liberal policies and was among the leaders of the 'Zentralverein' in Württemberg, he was dedicated, like his predecessor, to the deepening of Jewish education for the young and was among the founders of the Study House in Stuttgart in 1926 and one of its first teachers. He also founded charity and cultural societies and was active in developing further already existing national societies and organizations in Württemberg. Rabbi Rieger was also known as a researcher into Jewish history. His most important book was his investigation into the Jews of Rome - 'Geschichte der Juden in Rom' which he wrote in collaboration with Rabbi Herman Vogelstein. In another work, published in 1921, he described the struggle of the German Jews for emancipation. In 1936 he retired and died three years later.
During the years 1924-1928, Rabbi Julius Kahn (b.1878), officiated as the Stuttgart District Rabbi. He, too, was active in the field of Jewish youth education. When he was invited to become the Rabbi of Ulm, his place was taken by Rabbi Heinemann Auerbach (b.1880).
In 1863, Rabbi Meyer formulated 'The Synagogue Constitution' in an extreme reformist style. Thus, for instance, it was only permitted for those among the congregation who are called to the lectern for the Read ing of the Law, and the Rabbi and cantor, for whom it was part of the normal officiating dress, to use a prayer shawl and the Reading of the Law on the Sabbath was conducted by the Rabbi in the German language.Rabbi Meyer also composed a reform 'Prayer Book' which was rejected by most of the congregation. According to his instructions, the synagogue was opened on Sabbaths and festivals only but on ordinary days prayers were held in a side room which was used for religious instruction. With the passage of time, and under pressure from a section of the congregation, the Rabbi opened the synagogue for morning prayers on Mondays and Thursdays, and eventually also for afternoon prayers. Many were angry at the prohibition placed on the use of the prayer shawl and in 1866, a group of leading members of the congregation presented a petition to the Synagogue Committee demanding its cancellation. The argument dragged on for decades, and in the 1920's the demand was renewed by 120 members of the congregation.
In 1912 the 50th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue was celebrated. The laudatory speech was made by Rabbi Kroner and Cantor Jakob Tannenbaum organized and conducted the musical and artistic part of the programme.
In 1894 Rabbi Kroner introduced wide amendments in the education system which raised the level of learning and a committee was formed which examined closely the method of instruction and instituted more orderly visits. In the same year 185 secondary-school children took part in religious instruction lessons - 104 boys and 81 girls. In the academic year 1910/11, 101 students of compulsory school age learned in the seven grades of the religious school (38 boys and 63 girls), and 491 secondary-school children (233 boys and 258 girls). The school for religious instruction numbered on its staff five teachers under the direction of Rabbi Kroner.
In the fifties of the 19th Century, a private institution for the education of orphans existed in Stuttgart under the management of the wife of Dr. Samuel Dreyfus. Most of the graduates emigrated to the United States of America.
In December 1908, the 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' celebrated the 30th anniversary of its foundation with the participation of Rabbi Kahn from Esslingen and representatives of the Stuttgart community. In that year of 1908, the membership of the group numbered 26. 12 children took part in the religious-instruction lessons of the congregation's teacher, Sultzbacher, who also conducted weekly lessons on the teachings of Rashi and the Gemara for adults. 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' was also active in attempts to close the gap between liberal and assimilated elements in the Stuttgart community, and traditional Judaism. In 1907 it opened a branch of 'Guardians of the Sabbath', and in January 1909 initiated the creation of 'The National Society for Orthodox Judaism' in Württemberg. In spite of the differences in outlook and life-style the orthodox group won the co-operation and respect of the central community's chief Rabbinate and its members, especially the liberal circles.
Jonas Ansbacher officiated as Rabbi of 'The Congregation' from 1920-1925, the Cantor and teacher, Jakob Wechsler. Rabbi Ansbacher's heir, Rabbi Simon Bamberger, obtained an enlarged prayer-hall from the parent community for public prayer-meetings. In 1928, the 50th anniversary of its founding, 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' had a membership of fifty families. A year later the 'Young Men's Society' was founded for the study and spreading of Torah knowledge among the young.
With the coming of the thirties, the younger members of 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' began moving closer to the Zionist idea. In 1930, a group was formed - 'The Jewish-Orthodox Youth Group' - which held a series of evening debates on the theme of the relationship between the Zionists and the Orthodox. In March of that year, the main community agreed to a request by 'The Congregation' for a grant of 45,000 Marks for the establishment of a synagogue and 4,500 Marks per annum for its upkeep.
In 1932 the 'Congregation of Yeshurun' was headed by a committee of three: Abraham Kulav (leader), Max Feldman (Treasurer) and Karl Kahn (Secretary).
The first Eastern-European Jew to settle in Stuttgart was Mendel Fossman (b.1856), who opened a shop and succeeded in his venture. After him came other Eastern European Jews, mostly from Russia, who settled in the poorer areas of the city and worked in the various knitting and textile factories in and around Stuttgart. Because of the harsh work- and living conditions, many of them became ill with lung-diseases and the state of their children's health was particularly poor. A survey, carried out by the 'Bnei-Brith' in 1912 found that, from among 83 children of East European extraction, only three were found to be in a reasonable state of health, and among the remainder there were incidents of skin-TB. 'Eastern Jews', most of whom were orthodox, organized themselves into societies for mutual aid and the fostering of religious life, society and culture.
In 1906, the society's 'Hostel for the Poor' was founded, the membership of which rose from year to year, and in 1908, on the initiative of M. Rappoport, the society 'Brother's Help' was formed, which rented a hall for public prayer. After his death, in 1924, his place was taken by D. Wichler.
In the first decade of the 20th Century, the Jews of Eastern Europe in Stuttgart founded 'The Society of Eastern Jews for Guardians of the Commandments'. With the outbreak of the First World War, many of them joined the armed forces, among them three brothers of the Lehrman family. One of the enlisted men - Shalom Katz - fell in battle.
Following the pogroms carried out by the Cossacks in various parts of Eastern Poland and Galicia during the First World War, thousands of Jews fled to Germany, and of them many found sanctuary in Stuttgart, and that in spite of the annoyance and bitterness of the local non-Jews, and even of some of the Jews. The question of the Eastern Jews was debated in the Württemberg Landtag in 1917. Although the German Jews extended help and assistance to their brothers from the east, they withdrew from closer social contact. Thus, for example, they were not accepted into the ranks of the local chapter of the 'Bnei Brith' although that association had done much to ease their distress.
An important role in the establishment of the character of religious and public life of the Eastern Jews in general and those of Galicia and Poland especially, was filled by the brothers David and Josef Lehrman. They acted as Cantors, prayer-leaders, and Readers of The Law, with no thought or expectation of recompense. Included in this active group and its leaders was David Horowitz who represented the 'Eastern Jews' before the leadership of the main community and handled the stubborn struggle to obtain equal rights for them from public and religious institutions.
After the First World War, a closeness developed between the local Jews and those who had fled the east, which found expression in the participation by the leaders of the Stuttgart Jewish Community, at their head Rabbi Rieger, in all public-religious events of 'The Community of Eastern European Jews. In March 1928, present at the dedication ceremony of the new prayer hall of the society's 'Hostel for the Poor', were repres-entatives of the Oberkirchenbehörde and committee of the parent community. The congratulatory speech and blessing was delivered by the Rabbi Rieger. The community budgeted a substantial grant towards the hall and equipped it with the necessary religious artifacts. In the same month a ceremony was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the 'Brothers' Help' society with the participation of many members of the parent community.
'The Society for the Assistance of the Local and Transient Poor', which was founded in 1848 with 66 members; by 1910 it had 540 members. From 1901 the Society cared for the poor and needy of Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, Freudenthal and Hechingen, and for transient Jews from the east on their way abroad, besides refugees who settled in the town.On the initiative of Rabbi Kroner twenty charity organizations united in the first decade of the 20th Century and created a centralized office for the interchange of information, mutual assistance and the implementation of combined social objectives.
'The Benevolent Society', founded in 1853; in 1883 numbered 131 members and in 1910 - 551. At its head was the Court Agent Adolf Loewy. Among its active members were the banker Ernst Pfeifer, Louis Porash and the Deputy Chief Rabbi of Stuttgart, David Stössl.
'The Burial Society', was established in 1875 by 70 leading members of the community. In 1885 it numbered 199 members and in 1910 - 580. In that year, Julius Spiegelthal was at its head.
'The Women's Society', founded 1848 on the initiative of three of the wealthy members of the community, the wife of Dr. Samuel Dreyfus, and two of the daughters from the family of Adolf Löwy - Blumeleh and Martha. The society set for itself the aims of caring for the sick and the needy among the women-folk, the burial of the dead and the support of sick and poor Jews. For many years the chair-woman was Mrs. Becher (d.1907), and after her the wife of the banker, Herman Guttman. In 1897 the society had 222 members and in 1910 - 573. Apart from the support of the destitute, mainly non-Jews, the society was also instrumental in carrying forward a programme of creating sewing-rooms where volunteers worked preparing clothes for the needy. A society for the provision of a dowry for the daughters of poor families was formed in 1900 by 8 women under the chairmanship of Rabbi Theodor Kroner. In 1910 there were 181 members.
'The Mutual Aid' society was founded in 1901 on the initiative of Rabbi Kroner as a loan fund. Interest-free loans were granted to independent factory owners, small traders and peddlars from Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. In some cases loans were granted to Jews of neighbouring communities.
'The Hostel for Jewish Nurses'. Founded in 1905 by the local Bnei Brith and similar to the 'Hostel for Christian Nurses'; the apprentices of the Jewish hostel gave help to the sick and crippled irrespective of religion or nationality. For many years the hostel was headed by Dr. Gustav Feldman, and the head-sister Francisca Oppenheimer of Berlin.
The nurses of the hostel made free home visits to the distressed Jewish and non-Jewish population, and undertook the medical care of poor children at summer camps - especially among 'Eastern Jews' - under the auspices of the 'Bnei Brith' which, between 1901-1910 absorbed about 300 children.
Stuttgart was the seat of the Jewish organizations and societies of Württemberg, such as: The Orphanage Society of Esslingen, The Old People's Home at Sontheim, 'The Society for Widows, Orphans and Teachers' and 'The Society for the Encouragement of Crafts and Horticulture Among the Jews of Württemberg'. This society was founded in 1899 and until 1932 supported 120 students and apprentices, who received a professional education and training. A branch of the 'Central Association of German Jews' undertook a statistical survey in 1924 on the part played by Württemberg Jews in the First World War, the results of which were published in a special pamphlet.
In the First World War 540 Jews from the Communities of Stuttgart and Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, enrolled in the armed forces. Of them, 98 fell at the front, 158 were wounded, 232 were promoted and 340 received decorations for bravery of one degree or another.
The Jewish nurses and the Hostel's Director Dr. Gustav Feldman, also mobilized for medical service at the front. The new nurses home was turned into an army hospital and returned to its former, original function only in 1918.
The year 1932 was a milestone in the growing control of the Nazis in Germany and anti-Semitic activities reached new levels - a situation which found expression in Stuttgart as well. An announcement of a 'German Evening', at which it was intended to screen anti-Semitic films, warned 'other races' not to dare to enter the hall. In August of that year, Hitler spoke in one of the large city halls, with the approval of the authorities, on 'The Essence and Mission of National-Socialism'. Nevertheless, the rise of the Nazi Party in Stuttgart was slow in comparison to other parts of Germany in view of the fact that it was a large cultural centre with a high concentration of educated people. At the last free elections - 6th November, 1932 - the Nazis obtained only 23.6% of the total vote, much less than the national average and only slightly more than the Social Democrats (23.0%) or of the Communists (20.9%), and even after the Nazis achieved power the left and centre parties declined to surrender easily. In the elections of 5th March, 1933 the Nazis won a smashing victory throughout Germany, yet in Stuttgart only by 33.8% (thanks mainly to new voters); the Social Democrats maintained their strength (23.7%) and that was echoed in the 'centre' parties (9.8%), although the Communists weakened (14.8%).
There were also elements, not to be entirely discounted, which were acting against the Nazis and anti-Semitism in Stuttgart, even if they didn't have the strength to halt developments completely. 'The Association for Defence Against Anti-Semitism', led by the priest Lamparter, operated in concert with Jewish bodies, most importantly with the 'Zentralverein Deutscher Staatsbürger Jüdischen Glaubens', in the struggle to restrain anti-Semitic outbursts. The 'Zentralverein' proved false the vicious contention that the Jews had evaded their responsibilities in the war and failed in their obligations and in 1932 initiated an information operation against 'The Guide to German Business Houses', of the Nazi Party, which aimed at opening a boycott against Jewish firms.
That same year, Berthold Heyman, Jewish delegate in the Landtag presented a complaint to the Interior Ministry of Württemberg, against the 'Society for German Culture' for waging a propaganda war in the press against the presence of Germans at a Jewish concert.
Rabbi Kroner initiated two further organizations in 1919, which were based in Stuttgart: 'The Association of Württemberg Rabbis' and 'The Society for Jewish Teachers and Cantors in Württemberg'. In 1921, representatives of the Württemberg communities founded, in Stuttgart, on the initiative of the Oberkirchenbehörde, 'The National Legislative Meeting' the Chairman and most of its members being residents of Stuttgart.
The cultural life of the community in the years immediately after the war was vibrant and rich. The existing organizations increased their activities and new organizations and institutions were formed. Among others, a branch of 'Agudath Yisrael' was formed, under the auspices of the 'Congregation of Yeshurun', the local Zionist branch was expanded, its activities increased and cultural life enriched. The various Jewish cultural institutions and foundations organized courses, further education, meetings, public discussions and artistic performances, like the play 'The Idiot of Prague', which was presented on the initiative of the 'Jewish-German Society for the Arts', or the visit in 1928, of the 'Habimah' theatre company, from Palestine, which was touring Europe at that time in a series of appearances, and visited Stuttgart where they put on a performance of 'The Dybbuk'. 'The Dybbuk' was very successful and received excited reviews in the non-Jewish press; The industrialist, Adolph Wolff bought hundreds of tickets for the performances and distributed them freely among the poor.
Also active in Stuttgart were the branches of various Jewish youth organizations, among them the Zionist movement. The Jewish youth organizations of the whole of Württemberg re-organized in 1920 and formed a roof-organization - 'The National Union of Jewish Youth Societies in Württemberg', the seat of which was in Stuttgart. Together with the local youth organizations of the time were 'Werkleute', and two local groups for hiking excursions, and 'The Berthold Auerbach Youth Society', which ran a varied number of cultural and educational activities (in 1930/1, 188 members and a further similar number not officially included). In 1930 all the local Jewish youth organizations united to form the roof-organization - 'Jugendring'.
Much importance was attached to the seventh annual 'Students' Day' which took place in the summer of 1930, attended by Jewish students from the three institutes of higher learning in Württemberg; many student societies which previously had been relatively uninfluenced, were now being dragged along by the growing anti-Semitism in the Institute of Advanced Technology, among whose students and teachers were many Jews.
The main factor in the training of youth for occupation in agriculture, technology and other trades was 'The Society for the Encouragement of Agriculture and Trades Among Württemberg Jews' (founded 1898), to whose credit also goes the opening of the local branch of 'ORT', in 1930, for vocational training. About the same time, the 'Society of Small Jewish Manufacturers of Stuttgart was formed, at whose head was Leo Kung. His purpose was to find work for unemployed members.
Reacting to the gradual impoverishment of the middle-classes especially, and to the increasing number of needy in general following the economic collapse, all the charity and assistance bodies of the community formed a roof-organization - 'Jüdische Nothilfe' - which provided financial assistance to the needy and covered such expenses as rent, the supplying of clothing and shoes, food and heating materials in the winter.
The women's societies of Württemberg held a convention in 1927 in Stuttgart and founded the 'National Union of Jewish Women's Societies in Württemberg and Hohenzollern' whose aim was to co-ordinate social work, mutual help in the implementation of objectives, negotiations with state and national Jewish institutions of Württemberg and the struggle for the advancement of the status of women and their integration into community management and its organizations. At its annual conference in 1928, the 'Union' focussed its attention on the franchise of women to be elected to community institutions. Among the audience listening to the debate was a group of young Germans wearing the swastika who made no attempt to interfere with the proceedings. The women's struggle for their rights continued, against fierce opposition from the Stuttgart Community Committee, unbroken, until the rise of the Nazi Party to power.
The Stuttgart branch of 'The Jewish Agency', which renewed its activities in 1918, at this period remained small. Most of Stuttgart's Jews, especially the older among them, still saw their future in Germny and preferred to align themselves with the Zentralverein and its partner, 'The Alliance of Fighting Soldiers'. Among the youngsters, however, the Zionist idea found much support and several Young Zionist movements were active. Even the non-Zionist youth movement, 'Werkleute', at that time made common bond with the Zionists and after the rise of the Nazis to power chose, with its members, to seek pioneer training with a view to emigrating to Palestine.
In October of 1926 six new courses opened with 180 students and in 1928 the range of courses was extremely broad including such topics as: Jewish philosophy, Bible studies, the Talmud, The History of Israel, Righteousness, Literature of the Middle-ages and modern Hebrew poetry. With the regular lecturers were the Rabbis Rieger, Auerbach and Bamberger and the District Rabbi in Heidelberg, Max Berman. To a large audience of Jews and non-Jews alike, Martin Buber, in a series of 'Dialogues' with Christian theologians and professors from the Universities of Heidelberg and Tübingen discussed topics which were afterwards published under the title - 'Religious Conversations - Stuttgart'. Until his emigration to Palestine at the end of 1928, one of the regular lecturers at the Study House was Akiva Ernst Simon (b.1899), of Frankfurt-on-Main an educator and leading thinker. The audiences included assimilated factions and members of neighbouring communities. In the summer of 1929 the Study House made a tour of the rural villages of Württemberg in order to become acquainted with their synagogues and cemeteries, and in January 1933, on the eve of the Nazi's rise to power, a wide-ranging Jewish Christian dialogue was held on 'Church, Religion, State and Judaism'.
Leading the discussion was Martin Buber and Professor Karl Ludwig Schmidt, of the University of Bonn. Many men of letters, lecturers and a large audience took part.
The Kaulla Family. Court Agent Solomon Jakob Kaulla (1792-1881), who was a member of the Congregation Committee during the years 1832- 1855, and during the years 1840-1881 was a member of the Oberkirchenbehörde. Solomon Meier Kaulla officiated as head of the community during the years 1837-1863, and as member of the Oberkirchenbehörde during the years 1855-1864. The lawyer, Max Kaulla was head of the community from 1863-1887 and from 1891-1901.Among the community leaders who were also conspicuous in the general public life of Stuttgart were numbered:
The Loewy Family. Adolph Loewy (1820-1883), was elected member of the community council from 1863-1871, member of the Oberkirchenbehörde 1855-1883, chairman of the educational establishment in Esslingen 1853- 1883 and as a member of the Stuttgart City Council 1872-1883; donated generously to charitable organizations of the community and of the City and in 1867 was awarded a medal of merit by the King of Württemberg. The lawyer Sigmund Loewy was head of the community from 1863-1871.
The Nardlinger Family. The merchant and Social Democrat Nardlinger was head of the Community from 1873-1881. David Nardlinger acted as a member of the Community Council from 1912-1932.
The Wolff Family. Isador Wolff was leader of the community from 1899 until 1908. Adolph Wolff was a member of the Community Council from 1908 until 1926. Felix Wolff was leader of the community from 1922 until 1929.
The doctor of medicine Dr.Samuel Dreyfus (1804-1855), the first leader of the community (1832- 1843), member of the Oberkirchenbehörde 1838-1853, one of the founding activists of the school at Esslingen and its chairman from 1838-1853. Dr. Dreyfus was numbered among the founders of many of the charitable institutions of the Stuttgart community.The leading light of Stuttgart's - and the whole of Württemberg's Jewry, was the jurist Dr. Otto Hirsch (1885-1941), son of Louis Hirsch, member of the Oberkirchenbehörde. From 1912 he was employed in the city administration. In the summer of 1919 he was delegated as the Wuerttemberg representative to the 'National Legislative Meeting' at Weimar and as representative at the 'Danube Congress' at the time of the peace conference in Paris. In 1920 he was named Ministerial Adviser. In 1928 he was elected chairman of 'The Company for Efficient Use of the River Neckar'. As member of the Stuttgart branch of the Zentralverein, Hirsch worked hard for the renaissance of Jewish awareness in the assimilated sectors of the community. With the combined influence of Martin Buber and Ernst Simon, he created, together with Leopold Marks, the House of Study. He was also instrumental in mobilizing the Jews of Germany into co-operating with activities helping Palestine, in 1929 joining the council for 'The Expanded Jewish Agency' and made an extensive tour of Württemberg for that purpose. Hirsch was also a member of the 'Lovers of the Hebrew University Jerusalem'. In 1930 he was elected chairman of the Oberkirchenbehörde in which he was active from 1921, and in 1933 was named acting manager of the 'National Representation' in Berlin, together with Dr. Leo Baeck. (For a resume of Otto Hirsch's activities during the Nazi era and his tragic death, see below).
The lawyer Alfred Ginzenhauser (b.1869), published a work on the state laws concerning Jews and was chairman of 'The Jewish Sisters' from the twenties, a member of the Community Council (1907-1912), and a member of the Oberkirchenbehörde from 1921-1930.
Artur Essinger (b.1857), was one of the conspicuous community leaders, and its head 1929-1938.
Oscar Rothschild (d.1940 in Palestine) was vice-chairman of the community from 1923-1936.
Emil Sender-Loewy was a member of the Community Council from 1935 until his death in 1937.
Within the Stuttgart community, branches of all the Jewish youth organizations, foundations and unions - national and general - were functioning alongside local societies institutions and organizations.
General Jewish Organizations and Foundations: 'The Central Union', 'The Alliance of Fighting Soldiers', 'Bnei Brith', 'Hilfsverein', 'The Union for the Interests of Orthodox Judaism', the Jewish sport society Hako'ach, and the Zionist Histadrut, which during the Nazi era opened a Palestine Office in Stuttgart for immigration.In 1924, with the new legislation for reorganizing Württemberg Jewry, a new fortnightly magazine began to appear in Stuttgart for the Württemberg community - 'Gemeindzeitung für die israelitischen Gemeinden Württembergs' - edited by the writer and journalist Max Osterberg (1865-1935), and Rabbi Rieger. In 1934 the distribution reached 2,000 copies. Until its closure by the authorities on 1st November, 1938 the magazine reflected accurately the organic life of Württemberg Jewry.
Branches of Youth Unions and Organizations: The Zionist movements 'Werkleute' (the branch had been in Stuttgart since 1932), 'Young Pioneers' and 'The Young Eastern Worker', 'The Scouts', 'Kameraden', 'The Immigrants' Alliance', 'Ezrah', 'The Hikers' Union' (founded 1924), 'The Berthold Auerbach Youth Society', and the roof-organization - 'Jugendring' (founded 1930).
National Foundations and Institutions for Württemberg Jewry The Oberkirchenbehörde and its institutions, including 'The Central Fund', and its central library which contained 6,000 books, rare manuscripts and an important collection of Judaica and Hebraica; 'The Württemberg Union of Jewish Teachers' (founded 1862), 'The Society for the Encouragement of Gardening and Trades Among Württemberg Jews'; The National Jewish Nursing Union of Württemberg' (founded 1918, in 1923 became attached to the Stuttgart community); 'The National Württemberg Union of Youth Societies' (1920); 'The National Union of Jewish Women's Societies in Württemberg and Hohenzollern' (1927); 'The Society for the Aged in Württemberg' (1897, maintained the old peoples' home in Sontheim); and the society for the orphans educational hostel in Esslingen (founded in 1831).
The Jews of Eastern Europe created their own organizations - 'Home Visits for the Sick' (founded 1919), and a hostel for the poor, at whose head was David Horowitz.
|(of whom: Polish Nationals||373||8.3|
407 Jewish children studied in the community's religious school, under the direction of its teachers and cantors Leo Adler, Jakob Yaffe and Alexander Adelsheimer.
The Rabbi of 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' was Simon Bamberger.
The head of the community was Abraham Koluv (d.1980 in Stuttgart) and two additional committee members. In the service of the community were a prayer hall and a ritual bath. A ritual slaughterer was also maintained by the community. In the financial year 1932/3 the budget for the community stood at 13,000 Marks. 40 pupils took part in the religious lessons run by the teacher and cantor of 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' Max Mödel.
| % of Total
|Family of self-employed working in family business||115||5.3||3.7|
|All employed Jews||2,160||100.0||100.0|
From the above data, the high percentage of self-employed and independent people among the Jewish population of Stuttgart can be clearly seen (51.7% against 13.3% in the general population), in contrast to the low rate of workers and labourers, where the picture is reversed - (4.3% among the Jews and 43.7% among the general population).
Together with residents of Stuttgart, who were imprisoned in Heuberg concentration camp for 'hostile political activity,' were numbered a few representatives of the Social Democratic Party to the Reichstag and State Parliament - among them, Johannes Fischer, who in the past had been a member of 'The Society for Defence Against Anti-Semitism', a few advocates and doctors, and members of the City Council who had been members of left-wing parties or were active democrats.
As 'Boycott Day' approached (1st April, 1933), intensive propaganda began: Jewish business houses, the offices and surgeries of Jewish lawyers and doctors were daubed and guards of the SA and SS were posted in front of them. In Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, those who dared to ignore the Boycott and purchase in the forbidden houses, were photographed and filmed. On 7th April a tear-gas bomb was hurled into the Schocken department store and in December, all Jewish shops dealing in milk, dairy-produce and eggs, were closed on the pretext that hygienic measures were '....faulty.'
In 1935, the economic Boycott was made more stringent, with the intention of forcing the Jews to leave Germany in large numbers. In September of that year, following the publication of the 'Nuremberg Laws', the last of the Jews were removed from their positions of public service and only a few lawyers and doctors were permitted to continue to practice and only for Jewish clients. In 1936 the Boycott became even stronger and there were many more incidents of Jewish business establishments being transferred to 'Aryan' hands, and in 1937 many anti-Jewish meetings and protests were organized at which the Nazis called for the completion of the process of removing the Jews from the economic scene entirely. In March of the same year, Jewish meat merchants were forbidden to take part in dealings in the city cattle-market and fairs.
The regulations concerning the work of Jewish doctors and lawyers (private) were renewed in 1938 with the revocation of their degrees and further restrictions on their business. During the same period, 18 lawyers were still practising in Stuttgart (by virtue of their participation in the First World War at the front), and 17 Jewish doctors, of whom 11 were still working in various sick-fund clinics.
The industrialist Ludwig Stern, one of the founders of the German Democratic Party, emigrated with his wife to Switzerland, her birthplace, in April 1933. Immediately upon their arrival the German radio announced their 'desertion' and declared him a wanted criminal, while the press carried the information that his house and property had been confiscated. Also confiscated was the property of the doctor Cäsar Hirsch, who emigrated to Switzerland in the spring of 1933. Dr. Hirsch, who subsequently emigrated to the United States, couldn't cope with all the hardships and persecution and put an end to his own life. In 1933, the 19 year-old Heinz Bronstein emigrated to France, even though he had been brought up in the Christian faith. From France he went to Poland and in 1936, when he tried to return to his parents' home, he was arrested and sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, was transferred to Buchenwald where he died.
In March 1935, the Nazis organized a demonstration against Rabbi Rieger accusing him, in their words, of sending dirty clothing on behalf of the community to the city organization 'Winter Help'. The demonstrators attacked his house and only the direct intervention of the police saved him from actual physical harm. In January 1936, Karl Weill, the owner of the 'Württemberg Bank' was arrested on false charges and the financial institution and its branches, closed. In February and March the same year, Jews were sent to the Gestapo cellars and there beaten mercilessly for hours on end. A convert from Judaism was arrested for 'Defiling the Race' during the same period and his protestations that since the age of 18 he had been '.....a true and faithful Christian' were of no avail. At the end of 1936, a student architect, Helmut Hirsch, was arrested. He had emigrated to Prague, made contacts with the Otto Strasser group and returned to Germany with the intention of blowing up the 'Stürmer' building and the Berlin Main Railway Station and, according to him, in so doing, proving the courage of the Jewish people. Hirsch was sentenced to death and executed in June 1937, in spite of the fact that at the time of the planning of the act, he was still a minor.
More than once the Nazis exploited the libel that relationships with 'Aryan' women were, (after the Nuremberg laws became public), a pollution of the race, in order to imprison Jews in concentration camps.
In 1933 a young Jew was taken to Heuberg concentration camp for 'protective custody' accused under this law. He was released after a short while but rearrested in 1934 for slandering the authorities.
In January 1934 while it was not possible to fire them from work under the law of returning the administration to Aryan control, two Jewish civil servants were sent to the concentration camp on the pretext that they were 'attached to young Aryans at their place of work'. In 1935 a Stuttgart lawyer was arrested on a similar pretext; he was executed at Dachau in April 1938. In 1941 a Jewish industrialist from Stuttgart who was married to an 'Aryan' woman, was sentenced to hard labour and after his sentence had been completed, he was sent to Auschwitz where he was executed.
With the increasing harshness of events, Jews from all parts of Württemberg began streaming into Stuttgart, either to prepare their emigration, or to escape the extreme persecution to be found in the smaller rural communities and find some sort of security in the larger community, or for reasons of work-availability. The movement tended to balance somewhat the reduction of the Stuttgart community caused through emigration. In 1939 about half the total number of Jews in Württemberg were residing in Stuttgart (2,413 souls).
Among the emigrants were numbered some personalities well-known to both the Jewish and general public of Stuttgart and Württemberg; among them: the musician Karl Adler (1890-1973, see below), who emigrated to the United States with his wife in 1940. Hugo Kaufmann (1870-1957), who was a lecturer in chemistry in the Institute of Higher Technology in Stuttgart, emigrated to the United States in 1939 and continued with his scientific pursuits in that country; Ernst Marx, professor of history in Stuttgart and a member of the 'National Council for the Investigation of the History of Württemberg', who emigrated in 1939 to the United States; Hans Sternheim (b.1900) the son-in-law of the founder and chief editor of the Württemberg's Jewish communities' newspaper; Max Osterburg, who was also on the editorial board (deputy editor). was imprisoned in Dachau at the time of the 'Kristallnacht' riot and on his release he emigrated to the United States with his family; the lawyer writer and journalist, Karl Lieblich (b.1895), who wrote 'Bund für neues Judentum' in which he claimed recognition for the Jews as a national minority, - a thesis he later suggested to Hitler as a solution to the Jewish question (a suggestion to which there was no reaction). In 1937 he left Germany with his family for Brazil and returned to Stuttgart after the war; the poet and writer, Leopold Marx (b.1889), one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Study House and its direction, a Zionist and among spiritual leaders of Stuttgart and Württemberg Jewry; emigrated to Palestine in 1939 and settled in Shavei-Zion; Dr. Friedrich Wolff (1880-1955), emigrated to France in 1933 and from there to Mexico, returning after the war to Germany (Berlin); the artist Herman Fechenbach (b.1897), known for his wood-engravings on Biblical themes, emigrated to England in 1939; the opera singer Herman Weill (d.1949), who emigrated in 1933 to Switzerland and from there to the United States; the pianist Alice Haas-Shmuckler, who emigrated to Palestine; and Claudius Kraushar, manager of the Stuttgart theatre, who emigrated in 1935 to Vienna.
The industrialist Karl Löwy, was elected head of the community in 1933 and Dr. Martin Cohen led the department of community work. Home assistance, employment and professional advisory matters were handled by Ilse Wolff; and the emigration department, whose importance grew, was managed by the social worker and one-time active social democrat Tekla Kaufmann (b.1883), known as a fighter for women's suffrage, elected to the legislative National Assembly of Württemberg, and until 1933 was director of the man-power division of the Stuttgart social welfare office.
Near the Community house were the offices of 'The Society of Jewish Artists - Stuttgart' (see below) and 'Pioneer House' (founded in 1934). The local Zionist branch, whose activities during the Weimar period were insignificant, increased its operations and broadened its services. In addition to its activities in the field of immigration to Palestine, in training pioneers and in the collection of money and fees for various Zionist causes, the branch members contributed much to the local cultural life, provided information and lectures, especially on topics directly concerned with immigration to, and knowledge about Palestine. Of special note was the increase in activity of the youth movement 'Werkleute' which during this period changed its attitudes and embraced Zionism. The movement sent many young people for training as pioneers in technical subjects and mainly agriculture, while the employment division of the 'Jewish Help in the Hour of Need' organization, gave a helping hand in finding jobs for the students with German farmers to add to their training. In time these young boys and girls earned for themselves a reputation for hard and enthusiastic work and German farmers were pleased and willing to employ them on their farms. There were among them those who saw the employment of these young Jews as a form of silent protest against the regime.
Community and national organizations, like youth societies, women's organizations and religious organizations continued with their activities and annual conferences in Stuttgart. In 1934, 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' consecrated a new prayer hall. In 1936 a ceremony to mark the 75th anniversary of the consecration of the synagogue took place with Dr. Heinman Auerbach, who until then had been acting as a second municipal Rabbi, officiating - and in that same year, following the retirement of Dr. Rieger, he was elected as Chief Rabbi of the community and member of the council.
The local branch of the 'Hilfsverein' was of special assistance to Jews preparing their emigration. Among the other assistance it gave, was information on the possibilities of emigration to various countries and the acquisition of the necessary visas. In not a few cases the Hilfsverein was forced to supply the travel expenses as well since the emigrants had no means to pay for the ticket. The local 'Bnei Brith', which was concerned that its offices and property would be confiscated by the Gestapo, joined in the welfare work going on in the Jewish community of Stuttgart. On the advice of Rabbi Dr. Leo Baeck, National Chairman of the 'Bnei Brith', the office became a charitable organization. The change merely delayed the decree however and in 1937 the Gestapo arrested Julius Weissmann, who was acting chairman during the temporary absence of his leader, making a protracted search of his house. Weissmann was investigated searchingly on the operations and programmes of the 'Bnei Brith' and eventually signed a document transferring all its assets to the State of Württemberg.
In 1935, the Oberrat opened a school for teaching physical training instuctors, under the management of Edwin Haller and the control of 'Reichsvertretung der deutschen Juden'. The school was housed in the Institute of Orthopoedic Exercises run by Alice Bloch, the wife of the architect, Oscar Bloch. During its existence, up to the end of 1938, the institute trained 70 teachers of both sexes in physical instruction, who received diplomas licencing them to teach in Jewish schools. The Oberrat also organized various sports events and competitions for competitors from all over Württemberg. In 1937, the community acquired a sports field intended mainly for the use of pupils and youngsters.
Much attention was given to the question of professional training.
By 1933 a roof-organization had already been formed of all youngsters who had already undergone professional or agricultural training in Stuttgart or its surroundings. 'The Society for the Encouragement of Crafts and Horticulture' continued to train young people in various technical professions and trades. The 'Students' Hostel' in Stuttgart absorbed young people who had undergone training in branches of the crafts and agriculture (in 1938, 50 youngsters were there), and the Women's Society instituted courses for training young girls, especially in the domestic sciences, in cooperation with the community's 'Office of Labour and Welfare'.
The body of various youth organizations was also marked by much activity (see above); 'The Berthold Auerbach Society' continued to give courses and lectures on Judaism and the Humanities taught by well-known personalities; The 'Bnei Brith' office held summer-camps for children of needy families; in 1937 a library and reading-room was opened for children; other organizations and institutes were active in the field of child-care and the development of young people.
As in the past, so too, now, a series of symposia and lectures was held in the 'House of Study' on philosophic and Judaic themes under the guidance of leading and well-known specialists and intellectuals. The community organized the opening of courses in languages and seminars on Jewish topics led by the Rabbis Rieger, Auerbach and Bamberger, as well as guest Rabbis. In 1934, among other courses which took place, was one on religious-artistic design, run by Hagai Yisrael with the participation and co-operation of the 'Jugendring'.
In that same year the 'Jüdische Kunstgemeinschaft - Stuttgart' was founded which concerned itself with the continuation of the activities of Jewish artists, who had not been accepted by the official National Union of Culture and who therefore could no longer find employment other than within the Jewish community. The association was formed by the well-known musician Karl Adler, who had been director of the Municipal Conservatory from 1922-1933 and had been dismissed immediately on the accession to power of the Nazis. Until his emigration to the United States at the end of 1940, Adler dedicated himself to the consolidation of artistic-cultural life in Stuttgart and the whole of Württemberg through cooperation with the 'Union of Jewish Culture' in Germany. Adler organized an orchestra and choir formed of musicians who had been removed from their positions, a theatre group of actors, similarly employed, and art exhibitions both in and outside Stuttgart. The reputation of Adler's association spread all over Germany and its members invited to appear in distant communities. In 1934 Adler opened a 'singing and musical instrument' class for music-lovers. For the sake of co-ordinating the activities and cooperation between the various organizations, Adler also founded the 'Central Office for Unions and Activities in the Arts.'
Because of the severity of the control and ban on playing German classical music to the Jewish public, Adler mostly chose works by Jewish composers, old and new. Starting in October 1935 he was ordered to submit his programmes to the Gestapo for approval and more than once was obliged to either change them or cancel entirely.
Artistic and cultural events were held by other organizations and institutions. Thus, for example, 'The Society of Jewish Culture in Germany' put on an exhibition of Jewish art - paintings, sculpture and graphics (December 1936); a similar exhibition was opened by Karl Adler.
The attempt of the rioters to enter the Community House failed but the following day an official of the community was obliged to hand over the keys to the Gestapo who then emptied the safe containing cash, valuables and documents deposited in the community's care (some of the property was returned in the summer of 1939 after prolonged, tiresome negotiations. The equipment of the 'Central Union', its archives, which were in the community house, the library and its books, were similarly confiscated. The building was transferred to the use of the welfare service of the National-Socialists. A similar fate fell upon the rest of the various buildings of Jewish institutions: 'Pioneer House', the Community House and prayer hall of 'The Congregation of Yeshurun', the offices of the Jewish Union of Artists, the Jewish Nurses Hostel, in which was situated the Jewish old-people's home, and other buildings. All the furniture and equipment was removed from the school building. The synagogue of the Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt community which had been co-opted to the Stuttgart community in 1935, was also put to the torch and since it was built of wood, burnt leaving no trace.
Heavy damage was caused to shops and businesses which were still in Jewish hands. Shop-windows were smashed and in the doorways stood SS guards. At the height of the destruction, senior SS men drove around in luxury cars encouraging the rioters. The owners of the shops were ordered to board up the shop-front entrances. The houses of the Jews were not touched by order of the Interior Minister of Württemberg, who was afterwards called to Berlin and severely censured. Although the riots were well-planned, many residents had reservations regarding the events and not a few expressed their opinions publicly.
About 800 Jewish men were brought out of their homes and taken to Gestapo Headquarters. Some of them were transferred the following day from the city prison to Welzheim and Dachau Concentration Camps. As they were being loaded on the trucks many local citizens gathered round shouting insults and spitting in their faces. Non-Jewish doctors were prohibited from attending to those who had been injured by the Gestapo beatings. All those who had been sent to Welzheim returned to Stuttgart after a few weeks and of those sent to Dachau, two died - Artur Hirsch (52- years-old), and Nathan Fehrlich (55 years-old). All the rest were freed after a few weeks. Ernst Levine died in April 1939 as a result of his arrest and confinement in Buchenwald. Otto Fromm (b.1897), also died in Buchenwald in November 1938 (it is not known from where he was sent). Leopold Erich Seltz, 27 years-old, who emigrated with his parents to France in 1933 but had returned to Germany in 1938 for a visit, was sent to Buchenwald and died there in December from pneumonia.
To these victims are added the orthodox teacher Felix David (b.1909) and his wife Ruth (1911), who both committed suicide the day after 'Kristallnacht' having first put an end to their children's lives (Ben-Zion, 1936 and Gideon, 1938), and the merchant Max Mellinger (b.1876), who was married to an 'Aryan' and killed himself on 22nd November, after his shop had been confiscated for use as an office.
Among the arrested who remained in Stuttgart prison was Karl Adler. His house was painstakingly searched in a hunt for anti-Nazi propaganda material. While he was under arrest, he organized his fellow prisoners and encouraged them by keeping them occupied with cultural activities and gymnastics. After about 8 days Adler was released on condition that he undertook not to occupy himself with any kind of cultural activity.
Together with him under arrest were the lawyer Albert Meitzner, the chairman of the 'Central Union' in Stuttgart, the winner of a decoration for bravery in the First World War and the chief accountant of the Oberrat, Julius Wiessmann (b.1898). Wiessmann was released four days later on the basis that he held an immigration visa for Brazil, and assisted in the release of others by obtaining visas for them as well. Immediately upon his release he was ordered by the authorities to make a survey of the Württemberg communities in order to estimate the damage done during the riots and to count the number of synagogues destroyed and cemeteries damaged. At the end of 1939, when he emigrated with his family to Brazil, he succeeded in taking with him from Germany valuable manuscripts from the Oberrat library, which had been confiscated by the Gestapo, and transfer them to the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
With the passing of the riots 15 Jewish prisoners were brought from the concentration camps and ordered to demolish the remains of the ruined synagogues under the direction of the architect Ernst Guggenheimer.
In the process they managed to conceal the engraved stone Tablets of the Law from above the entrance to Stuttgart's synagogue and secrete them under the rubble (from there they were removed after the war and replaced in the new synagogue, which was built in 1952).
The damage caused by the riots to Jewish business establishments was repaired by order of the authorities by the Jews themselves at their expense. Insurance payments which were due were confiscated, with the excuse that the assets still held by the Jews were sufficient to pay for the damage (Nazi estimates placed the inclusive fortune of the Jews of Stuttgart at 24 million Marks, an average of 34,482 Marks per capita of the Jewish population).
The Office's first objective was to secure the release of the prisoners still held in the camps by arranging their emigration - a most difficult mission, given the few opportunities for emigration which existed. At the same time the American consul in Stuttgart made determined efforts to delay the granting of visas, even though in the cases concerned all necessary requirements had been fulfilled. Jews who appeared to be in immediate danger also turned to the Office for help, and for lack of any other means of arranging legal emigration, they were smuggled over the border, in great potential danger, with the assistance of guides who did their work at a price (about 1,000 Marks for each person). On the eve of the outbreak of the war, the authorities, on the pretext of 'reasons of security' delayed the exit of a group of emigrants despite the fact that the entire preparation, with all its formalities had been completed.
Adler decided, in great danger, to transport them to the border. At the border station they were assaulted by the SS men and were forced to leave all their belongings but were eventually able to cross the Rhine. This operation was also made possible thanks to the help of Hans Weltz and the Bosch Company. Robert Bosch and his Company manager Weltz opened up many different ways of helping the beleaguered Jews. Thus, for example, they employed Jewish workers in the factory, made possible the professional training of those who were scheduled for emigration and they assisted the community leaders with donations, smuggling Jews, the exploitation of influential contacts and the financing of assistance and emigration projects. After the war Hans Weltz was awarded the accolade of 'A Righteous Gentile' by the Holocaust Museum Directorate in Jerusalem.
The workers in the Office also had the task of informing families of the deaths of arrested people in the concentration camps. Adler's wife took it upon herself to do this. Apart from the deaths in the camps, deaths from mercy-killings of the mentally ill increased from 1940, and even suicides increased - among others Gustav Aaronstein, 75 years-old, one of the founders and ex-manager of a Stuttgart security firm, because his passport was revoked the eve of his intended emigration (1.6.1940); the jeweller Albert Feigt (b.1868) killed himself in front of the police who came to take him to the transport for Theresienstadt (22.8.1942).
Some time before the outbreak of war the authorities ordered the Office to arrange the lodging of a few hundred Jews from Baden, who had been temporarily transferred to Stuttgart.
With the passage of time the Office expanded, adding departments and positions, giving service 24- hours a day. Among the heads of the 'Central Office' was the social worker Tekla Kaufmann, and among her staff were numbered Dr. Ella Kesslar Reiss, daughter of the well-known lawyer Dr. Richard Reiss, the Social Democrat. She had been educated in the Evangelical religion and only at the time of the persecution had she returned to her Jewish sources (she was later to die in Auschwitz); the Judge Robert Bloch, who succeeded in forging good connections with the 'Aryan' authorities; the jurist Dr. Solomon Westheimer who engaged himself in the formulation of the 'Emigration Document' which people of means were obliged to finance for those who had no money; the teachers Karl Kahn and Julius Stern, who both received high decorations for valour in the First World War; and Alice Horowitz, who was nicknamed by the Jews 'The Community Angel'.
After the emigration of Karl Adler to the United States (see below), his brother- in-law the Judge Alfred Marks was named as his replacement.
In August 1939 the 'Regulations for Controlling the Rental of Property by Jews' was published, according to which Jews were obliged to vacate apartments and houses owned by non-Jews and move to special houses designated for Jewish occupation only. According to a survey there were then dwelling 337 Jewish families (1,089 souls) in 290 houses - (1,162 apartments) under Jewish ownership, in which were also dwelling 825 non-Jewish families while 381 Jewish families (1,004 souls), dwelt in non-Jewish houses. 718 Jewish families (2,093 souls), were required to vacate their homes by the 1st Decenber 1939, as a first step towards the concentration of Jews in 'Jew houses' - Judenhäuser - and subsequently the ghetto.
Together with those who left in 1939 went Otto Kaulla, scion of the famous Kaulla family, who went to England with his wife; Dr. Max Wolf, who went with his wife first to Switzerland and afterwards to South Africa; Dr. Meyer Reinhold, sometime minister in the Württemberg government, whose wife was a 'non-Aryan', and the ex-State Attorney Walter Richeimer. Tekla Kaufmann was also saved at the last moment (1941). With the last to go was Karl Adler, who was assisted by Social Democrat friends and even Nazis, who supplied him with documents and money. Adler was arrested on the eve of the war when he tried to smuggle a group of young Jews over the border but was released as a result of strenuous efforts made on his behalf. At the end of 1940 he still managed to emigrate to the United States with his wife. Even in 1941, 70 Jews succeeded in emigrating to the United States, among them the young brother of Otto Hirsch, Theodor Hirsch, with his wife. On August 28th Leopold Löwy, chairman of the Oberkirchenbehörde, which had already been disbanded, got to France in a sealed carriage. From there he went to the United States by way of Portugal.
In the beginning of 1941 public prayer became forbidden. The Jewish labourers working in the munitions factory were fired and employed in hard, public works. Nevertheless, some public community life still existed and even, occasionally, a cultural activity.
Starting in the Autumn of 1941 until the spring of 1942, between 600-800 elderly Jews were transferred from Stuttgart to various communities in which the Nazis had created improvised 'Old-peoples' Homes'. In the spring and summer of 1942, the old people joined the mass transports to the East (Riga and Theresienstadt). The victims of this operation, officially named 'Resettlement in the country', were permitted to take with them a bed, chair, table and a trunk. Everything else they were forced to sell to junk-men.
On 13th July 1942 a small group of 49 old Jews, cripples, inmates of various institutions and hospitals, among them 13 residents of Stuttgart, were sent to Auschwitz. These deportees were sent directly to the gas-chambers.
On the 22nd August 1942 another transport of 1,072 Württemberg Jews, among them 53 from Stuttgart left for Theresienstadt. In this transport were included the last of the doctors and nurses, old people over 65, sick and disabled, some of them owners of medals for bravery won in the First World War. The appalling conditions at the camp, together with the deteriorated health of the deportees, caused the deaths of about a third of them in the first month of their stay. In this transport was the widow of the late Chief Rabbi of Stuttgart, Josephina Kroner, 81 years-old, who died on 23 September 1942; Johanna Kaulla, the widow of the manager of the Württemberg Bank Edward Kaulla, who died in April 1943 aged 77; and the doctor Robert Guttman, who had been decorated several times in the First World War, who died the day following his arrival, at the age of 69; among the victims were numbered the artist Ketta Leventhal (b.1877), Alice Harburger (b.1891), Clara Neuberger (b.1888) Paula Strauss (b.1894) - the jewellery designer whose work had been exhibited throughout the capitals of Europe, and other known personalities of the Stuttgart community.
Between the 1st March 1943 and the 14th February 1945 a further 8 small groups of Württemberg Jews were despatched from Stuttgart to Theresienstadt and Auschwitch - about 400 - 500 souls altogether.
The inclusive number of Stuttgart Jews who were the victims of deportation is about 1,175; of them 611 were sent directly from Stuttgart, 369 moved to other places during the Nazi rule and from there were deported, 42 were deported from other places in Germany, 102 Jews who had left Stuttgart for other countries were subsequently deported from their country of exile (of them 37 from Holland, 11 from Czechoslovakia 8 from Austria, 7 from France, 4 from Italy, 4 from Belgium, 4 from Luxemburg, 1 from Roumania, 1 from Yugoslavia, and 1 from Spain), and 51 Jews of Polish extraction who had been deported over the border (on the basis of one source the total number of Stuttgart Jews deported to the east was 1,252).
Among the victims was Dr. Otto Hirsch, who had been President of the Oberkirchenbehörde from 1930-1935 and from 1933-1941 among the leaders of the 'National Representatives' and the 'National Union of German Jews' (see above). Hirsch was arrested on 'Kristallnacht' and held for a number of weeks at Sachsenhausen. The day after his release he increased his efforts to save Jews by emigration, especially by getting groups of children out of Germany, most of them to England. In this work he spent time in London and Budapest in 1939 and the spring of 1940 and had many opportunities to save himself. He chose, however, to return to Germany and continue with his work. In May 1941 Hirsch was arrested and sent to Mathausen where he was murdered on the 19th June, after all efforts to save him by well-known, non-Jewish personalities from abroad, had been unsuccessful. His wife Martha was deported to the East in October 1942, where she, too, died, while their three children were saved, having been sent out of Germany in the 30's.
Individuals were saved by the Danish underground, which transported 6,000 Jews and about 1,400 half-Jews from Denmark to the Swedish coast in fishing boats (among them the engineer Walter Tiefenthal, from Stuttgart with his wife and two children). An unknown number of Jews remained in Germany throughout the whole period of the war, some of them because of their 'Aryan' partner and some of them through the help given them by Christians, who hid them throughout the long years of the war. Thus, for instance, according to their own report, with the couple Max and Inez Krackauer, who tell that a few priests and other people from Stuttgart and Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt helped to hide them until the end of the war.
Priests and others of the Evangelical Church played a considerable part in assisting individual Jews and hiding them inside Germany throughout the war.
After the war many displaced Jewish refugees from the camps dwelt in Stuttgart, and joined the old small community which had survived the war years. The ex-prisoners lived in a special camp which had been set up outside the city at Degerloch-Stuttgart while the city had placed apartments at their disposal. In 1946 the number of Jews living in Stuttgart and its suburbs reached 1,176 souls; most of these afterwards emigrated to Israel and other countries.
In 1951 the revived community designated Dr. Siegbert Neufeld, the late Rabbi of Elbing (West Prussia) as Rabbi. In 1952 a synagogue was erected on the site of the original Great Synagogue. The building was designed by the architect Ernst Guggenheimer, a native of Stuttgart, who had been an eye-witness to the burning of the synagogue on 'Kristallnacht'. The two Tablets of the Covenant, which had been saved and hidden from the destruction, were re-instated in the new prayer-hall next to the community offices building. In 1953 Dr. Neufeld returned to Israel- and in his place Dr. Fritz Eliezer Bloch (1902-1972), who had been Rabbi of Aschaffenburg officiated until his death.
During the years 1958-1974 the community published half-annually its own periodical 'Feiertagsschrift' containing information on the history of the Jews of Württemberg and reflected the public life of the new Jew.
The Jewish community of Stuttgart today numbers about 400 souls. It represents all the Jews of Württemberg - about 700 all together, and in its service are a cemetery, a kosher restuarant, a ritual bath-house a religious school and a kindergarten. The community maintains strong ties with Israel, and its financial contribution to the building of Israel is considerable.
The Central Archive of the History of the Jewish People G5/2993.-INV/1446/1, 4-7, /1468, /1488/, 1472/5a, /1557, /3926/-P 68/44.
The 'Yad Vashem' Archives 01/285.- 02/158, /537.-08/75,/80, p.5.-M-1/E/642,/742; M-1/P-2/7,/57; M-1/P -2/7,/57; M-1/P-6/10.- PKG/Stuttgart/1960.
Bundesarchiv Koblenz R 581276,/581984, 170.-
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