“Stuttgart”
Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities:
Germany volume II
(Germany)

48°46' / 9°11'

Translation from Pinkas ha-kehilot Germanyah

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1972


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator and Translator

Selwyn Rose

 

Our sincere appreciation to Yad Vashem for permission
to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot: Encyclopaedia of Jewish Communities, Germany
Volume 2, page 141, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, 1972


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[Page 141]

Stuttgart, Germany

The Capital City of Württemberg

Year Number of
Residents
Number
of Jews
%
Population
1721   2 families  
1770   4 families  
1800   10 families  
1807   92 families  
1820 22,503 200 0.9
1832   124  
1845   350  
1858   512  
1864   1,169  
1871 91,623 2,074 2.3
1880 117,303 3,015 2.6
1895 157,700 2,718 1.7
1900 181,463 3,015 1.7
1905   3,895  
1910 286,218 4,291 1.5
1925 341,967 4,548 1.3
1933 241,517 3,967 1.6
17/5/1939 454,346 2,413* 0.5

* Jews as defined by race. Not included, but registered in the census were 507 'mixed races
Category 'A''and 260 'mixed races - Category 'B''

Religious Affiliations of the Population - % 1933

Jews Catholics Protestants Others
1.6 22.7 69.6 6.1

History of the Community

The town of Stuttgart was incorporated as a City in the middle of the 13th. Century. In time, it became the administrative centre of the Barony of Württemberg and its importance exceeded that of all the other cities of the domain.

The Jews in the Middle-Ages

It is believed that at the beginning of the 13th. Century, Jewish merchants were already visiting the City of Stuttgart, although only under the rule of Baron Eberhard The Enlightened (1265-1375) did a small Jewish community actually live there - and in a separate part of the town. The community was served by a synagogue, cemetery and the other, usual public institutions. In the fourth decade of the 14th. Century, a local Jew Leo Masstotgart, who functioned as tax-collector for Baron Ulrich the Third, is mentioned by name. Most of Stuttgart's Jews were burnt at the stake as a result of 'The Black Plague' (1348-1349). The few who were spared were exiled from the city. At the end of the 14th Century, Jews were once again to be found in Stuttgart, and in 1434 four Jews, among them a certain Moses, known also as 'Jecklin', received permits allowing them to settle permanently in the city on payment of 35 Florins for each family for two years. The Jews were permitted to trade but were prohibited from dealing in real-estate or loans at interest. The fate of the small Jewish community - (in 1470 only 8 families), was sealed in the days of Baron Eberhard 'The Bearded', who decreed in his will (1492), that all the Jews should be exiled from his realm. The order was made public in 1498, confirmed and enacted as a State Law in 1530, and used as a basis for legislation touching on the Jews of Württemberg during the following centuries, until its annulment in 1806. In spite of the order, foreign Jews continued to maintain commercial and financial contacts with the citizens of the Barony.

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.

The 17th and 18th Centuries

Court-Agents

The need for financing the personal and official expenses of the Barony prompted the rulers of Württemberg to employ the Jews as their court agents. The most famous of them was Josef Süss Oppenheimer (1699-1738), the son of the tax-collector, Süsskind Oppenheimer of Heidelberg, who was designated Court Agent of the ruler in 1722, and was known as 'The Jew Süss'. As representative of the new Duke of Frankfurt-on-Main, Karl Alexander, Oppenheimer also fulfilled diplomatic missions at the courts of other rulers both in Germany and abroad. In June 1736, he was called to Stuttgart by the Duke to act as his economic adviser. With a spirit of absolutism and wide mercantile ability, he instituted far-reaching reforms in the whole field of taxation, created a State monopoly on salt and leather products and built a broad foundation of varied industrial undertakings, especially in porcelain. His authority over the economic policies of the Dukedom and his aggressive manner, alienated the Protestant population of Württemberg against him and other Jewish court agents, who, through his influence had settled in Stuttgart and Ludwigsburg. The sudden death of Duke Karl Alexander in 1736 made possible the removal of the hated economic adviser, who was imprisoned and tried by a special judicial council which sentenced him to death by hanging. Oppenheimer, who in the past had isolated himself from his faith, repented while in prison and even rejected the offers of reprieve through conversion by the Evangelical Church of Stuttgart. Efforts by Jewish communities to redeem his life with large sums of money were also in vain and on the 4th of February, 1738, 'The Jew Süss' was hanged publicly in the City market square, before crowds of citizens.

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 19th and Beginning of the 20th Centuries

In 1801 Hayeleh-Carolina and Jakob-Raphael were granted the title 'Privy Counsellors to the Royal Household' and to Jakob-Raphael himself an elevation to the Nobility. In 1800 the Duke named Jakob-Raphael as Court Banker and placed in his hands the entire management of the Court Bank which was established in 1802 in partnership with the House of Kaulla. The bank later became the Royal Bank of the State of Württemberg, the most important financial establishment in south Germany, under the management of the Kaullas, and at their head Jakob-Raphael's son Nathan Wolf Kaulla (d.1838), and other sons - Rudolph Kaulla (d.1872), and Solomon Kaulla (d.1881). At the same time, the House of Kaulla continued to serve the Prince of Hohenzollern-Hechingen as Royal Bankers until 1807. They then moved to Stuttgart where they were granted special Permits of Residence. In their twighlight years, they both returned to Hechingen and at their death were buried in the family tomb there. On Hayelah-Carolina's gravestone was inscribed: 'Here lies a woman great among her people and her Nation'.

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.

Anti-Semitism and Hatred of Israel

At the end of the 18th Century the attitude of Stuttgart society towards the Jews was extremely hostile. In 1798 the Mayor and the Duke were forced by the various city merchants Guilds, who fell back on legislation dating to the 15th Century, to rescind the status of Hayeleh-Carolina Kaulla as Court Agent in Stuttgart and in Ludwigsburg. But in the continuing legal struggle, those same rights, especially that of residence in Stuttgart were granted to her nephew.

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.

The Struggle for Emancipation

The Jews of Stuttgart took an extremely active part in the struggle for the granting of civil and political rights to the Jews of Württemberg. Together with the active members in the struggle in the fourth decade of the century, was the member of the Oberkirchenbehörde' the advocate Karl Weill (1808-1876), and in the 50's and 60's S. Loewy and the advocates Nehrdlenger and Max Kaulla, member of the 'Emancipation Committee' which was constituted, and its members elected, at a meeting of the representatives of the Württemberg communities on 4th January, 1861 in Esslingen. Max Kaulla formulated the petition to the State Parliament of Württemberg. These efforts bore fruit, and on 23rd December, 1861 the 'Emancipation Law', concerning the Jews of the State, was passed by a majority vote

The Natural Increase in the Jewish Population of Stuttgart

Year Births Deaths %
Change
1898 35 44 -25.7
1900 50 35 +30.0
1904 71 44 +38.0
1906 43 43 0.0
1908 58 37 +36.2
1910 63 42 +33.3

Demographic Development

The Jewish population, numbering 124 souls in 1832, expanded quite rapidly and in 1880 numbered more than 3,000 (2.5% of the general population). The Jewish community of Stuttgart reached its peak in 1925 with 4,548 souls, representing 1.3% of the total population of Stuttgart. Generally speaking, the balance remained on the positive side in contrast to the downward trend in the Jewish population which typified Württemberg and Germany in general at the end of the 19th Century; this was due, apparently, to the tendency to join the agricultural communities and the Sephardic Jewish communities where a somewhat larger family was the norm.

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.

Year
of
marriages
Total
number
Jewish
Both
partners
non-Jewish
One
partner
non-Jewish
1896 28 26 2 (7.1%)
1905 23 22 1 (4.3%)
1907 29 22 7 (24.1%)
1908 32 25 7 (21.9%)
1909 38 34 4 (10.5%)
1910 32 27 5 (15.6%)

Business and Economics

The founders of the Stuttgart Jewish community were, one and all, men of financial resources - Court Agents, bankers and merchant-traders. Peddlars, small traders and the like were not to be found among them. In the middle of the 19th Century the members of the Stuttgart community supported themselves principally in the banking and large-scale merchandizing sectors, in the academic professions (mainly medicine and law), and other business ventures which granted those involved in them an honourable social standing. Their influence on the economic life and prosperity of Stuttgart and of the State in general, was considerable, and in the second half of the 19th Century they gave much impetus to the rapid industrialization of the city and its environs and to the development of banking and trade. Among the various wholesale trading houses which they established were clothing (Hayush, Schwartz), raw-materials (Arnold, founded 1894), knitted wools (Spiegelthal, 1863), graphic arts (Loewy) and musical instruments ('Musikus' L. Jakoby, 1873). They established factories, some of which had branches throughout Germany and other European countries, for clothing, cotton, textiles, wool, silk, furniture and shoes. The most important among them were: the 'Salamander' company (which also exported), the cigarette factory 'Fishman', the factory for knitted fabrics 'Loew' (1886) and 'Rothschild' (1884), a factory for cleaning materials 'Wolf' (1875), and a wool factory. Jews also founded the first factories for producing potent drinks, in and around the city (Jakob Jakobi, Hirsch, Lichter) and were among the pioneers of banking - especially the 'Court Bank' (founded 1802, see above); they founded several private banks - Elias Pafflaum (1855), Alexander Pafflaum (1866), the Seligman brothers and Moses Benedict. The industrialist, Killian Steiner did a lot: in 1869 he founded the 'Associated Bank', together with Alexander Pafflaum commanded a network of state banks and in partnership with him created many industrial undertakings and factories in Württemberg. Steiner was numbered among the founders of the 'Railroad Company' in the Balkans and in 1871 took part in the founding of 'The Bank of Germany'.

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:

Sources of Income of Stuttgart Jews

Source of income
Number of
leaders
% of
the total
Commerce 262 33.0
Industry, Banking, Wholesale trading 88 11.1
Personal fortune and other sources 364 45.9
Academic professions 51 6.4
Rabbis, Cantors and Teachers 10 1.3
Artisans 10 1.3
Miscellaneous 8 1.0
Total 793 100

The Community Organization

On the 3rd August 1832, 124 Jews, resident in Stuttgart, organized themselves into a community which was officially recognized by the authorities in 1834 and declared as the Rabbinical seat of the district which comprised 9 separate communities. 5 of them disbanded during the 19th Century, and in the 20th Century the roll-call included the communities of Esslingen, Ludwigsburg, Freudenthal and Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt. The community also maintained its own 'Town Rabbi' as a separate entity from the district Rabbinical office.

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'.

The Community Rabbis

In 1834 the first Rabbi was installed as the Rabbi of the Stuttgart Community and of the district. He was Josef Meyer (1798-1874), who also functioned as adviser on religious matters to the Oberkirchenbehörde. Rabbi Meyer tended to extreme reformism and was identified with the leading reform and liberal Rabbis in Germany who sat in the years 1842-1844, in order to recodify religious custom and practice. In his own community, he cancelled the traditional prayer form and instituted in its place a new prayer form in the German language - ('The Corrected Stuttgart Version'). As one, the fighters for emancipation were prepared for far-reaching concessions in the uniqueness of Jewish religious practice among the Jewish public. The Rabbi Meyer was one of the leaders in many public institutions, mainly socialist ones and dedicated himself to the education of the younger generation. In honour of his seventieth birthday in 1867, the King of Württemberg elevated him to the nobility. He published several works on philosophy, meditations, study books for the instruction of religion in schools, among which are 'Pleasant Sayings', 'The Common Prayer-Book' and a book of religious instruction and songs.

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).

The Synagogue

In 1832, at its institution, the community rented a prayer-hall and appointed Moritz Eichberg as Cantor and religious instructor. By 1835 a committee had already been elected to forward the establishment of a synagogue but only after about 20 years did the community succeed in acquiring a property for the purpose and in May 1861 the new synagogue was consecrated in the presence of the Rabbis of Württemberg and Baden, representatives of the government and the Church and many other guests.

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.

Cemeteries

It is presumed that by the 14th Century, the small community already had a cemetery, on a small hill outside the town which had been known in the past as 'Jews' Copse'. In 1833, a year after the establishment of the new community, a plot of land was acquired and a cemetery opened, which was also used by neighbouring communities. In 1840 Rabbi Meyer founded 'The Society for the Treatment of the Sick and the Burial of the Dead'. In 1876, as a result of the growth in the community, an additional plot was purchased and a new cemetery opened. The old cemetery was closed by the authorities in 1881/2 but the community continued to care for it until 1896.

Education and Instruction

Until the 1830's, the education of the children remained in the hands of private teachers. From 1807-1834, Isaac Harburger (b.1763), engaged in private teaching, and during the 20's of the 19th Century, Moses Rohdinger was religious teacher to the Kaulla banking family. The Stuttgart community did not have a primary school of its own and the Jewish children were taught together with the other children in the Municipal schools. They received their religious education in the community's school for religious instruction.
In 1834, two years after the formation of the community, Moritz Eichberg (1806-1892), was appointed teacher and Cantor. He held the post for more than 50 years.
In 1863 Emil Goldfinger (1844-1918), was asked to become Cantor and teacher and in 1904 was awarded a gold medal by the Oberkirchenbehörde for his work in education. In 1886 Jakob Tannenbaum (b.1854), was appointed to the position and in 1894 Emmanuel Adler (b.1870). In 1909 he transferred to Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt, and Jakob Yaffe (1884-1943), was invited to accept the post of teacher. As a second religious teacher from 1895 until 1924 Max Meier (b.1865) was appointed, and from 1924 to 1933 Alexander Adelsheimer (1880-1933). In the academic year 1886/87 girls were also given classes in religious instruction and a prayer-quorum for youth also instituted.

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.

'The Congregation of Yeshurun'

The gradual separation of the community from the strict adherence to religious practice, brought about during the tenure of the reform Rabbis Josef Meyer and Moses Wassermann caused a move to reorganization on the part the orthodox led by the banker Herman Guttman (1856-1905), Jakob Berlinger (d.1910), and three other community leaders all of whom determined to create a prayer quorum for the purpose of conducting the services in the traditional form. With the addition of a number of supportive members, the 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' was created whose slogan was 'Torah, Work and Benevolence'. Herman Guttman, who donated the first Scroll to the new congregation, was himself chosen as leader. The small congregation, which did not dissociate itself from the main congregation, rented a prayer-hall, opened a study class for religious instruction, and provided for itself a ritual slaughter facility and ritual bathhouse. As preacher and teacher a member of the community, Stripolski, was selected and after him Solomon Abraham (1856-1901). After his death, Jonas Sultzbacher occupied the post. At the beginning of 1905 the 'The Congregation of Yeshurun' still numbered only 11 members and at the end of that same year - 17. In April 1907 the membership had risen to 23. Throughout the years, the main community supported the institutions of the 'The Congregation'. In 1906 a larger prayer- hall was consecrated by Emmanuel Kaufmann, the head of the congregation.

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).

Eastern European Jews

Jews from Eastern Europe, especially Csarist Russia who, during the eighties of the 19th Century, fled before the persecutions and pogroms, arrived in Stuttgart on their way to countries beyond the sea. The community extended help to the transients and in 1885 formed the 'Society for the Support of Poor Transient Jews' which supplied them with hot meals on Sabbaths and Festivals. From 1885-1897 the head of the Society was Gottlieb Sontheimer.

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.

Assistance Activities, Nursing and Charity

Between 1841-1842, the Community of Stuttgart was already caring for 22 destitute people and two abandoned children, and extending help to neighbouring communities in the financing of prayer-halls of their own. Throughout the 19th and into the beginning of the 20th Centuries, the Stuttgart community established many charitable and assistance foundations, such as:
'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.

'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.

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.

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.

Trusts and Funds

In the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, 378 different Trusts were founded by the Stuttgart communities whose combined resources in 1910 stood at 154,805 Marks. Most of the Trusts were created by veteran families of property and means, like the Trust Fund put up by the Kaulla Family, which was established in 1810 for the benefit and support of the children of poor families, young men in religious seminaries and students; a fund founded by Jakob Kaulla (in 1887), which granted scholarships to secondary-school pupils intending to study theology in the future; a fund established by Edward Pfeifer for the benefit of the city's community, which was used for such aims as the erection of homes for workers in the suburb of Ostheim; financing the operations of the 'Society for the Relief of the Working Classes'; different funds for charities, education, professional training, the restoration of grave-stones in cemeteries, and others. Many Trusts lost their money in the galloping inflation which occurred after the First World War and were forced to cease their operations.

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 Weimar Period

Demographic Changes

After 1925, the year in which the population of the Jewish community in Stuttgart reached its peak, (4,548 souls - 1.3% of the total population), a downward trend began which grew steadily worse among the Jews throughout the whole of Germany, finding expression even in a large community like Stuttgart, which acted as a centre of gravity for many Jews from smaller communities. In 1931, for example, only 30 births were registered as against 60 deaths, and 13 incidents of apostasy as against only 2 cases of joining. Furthermore, the stream of new people from other places no longer helped to balance the process and in 1933 the Jewish community of Stuttgart numbered only 4,490 souls.

The Renewal of Anti-Semitism

In the years immediately after the war a number of different anti-Semitic organizations arose in Stuttgart like a branch of 'Deutschnationaler Schutz- und Trutzbund', which incited the population to violence. In 1920 a Jewish student of the Stuttgart School for Higher Technology, was murdered and in lower schools the pupils attacked Jewish students.

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.

The Organization of Internal Life

With the formation of the Weimar Republic the community was faced with new problems which demanded solutions: assimilation and mixed marriages; education of the younger generation in view of the growing confrontation with anti-Semitism; and the deepening of the awareness of Jewish Nationalism; the re-organization of the public institutions; the rehabilitation of the impoverished middle-class; and the absorbtion of the stream of Eastern Jews, who arrived after the First World War, into the mainstream of established Jewish life. At the end of 1919 representatives of the various Württemberg communities met in Stuttgart and formed 'The National Jewish Union for Welfare in Württemberg', which included 30 congregations with 50 associations and charitable institutions at the head of which was the attorney, Alfred Ginzenhauser. His deputies were Louis Hirsch and the teacher, Emmanuel Adler. This roof-organization set for itself certain missions such as the planning and putting into operation different social programmes, the exchange of information, the care of war-wounded, professional retraining, the care and treatment of distressed children, the rehabilitation of disrupted families, the establishment of a loan and savings fund, and others. At the congress of the 'Union', which took place in April 1930 many achievements were reported: the establishment of labour- exchange offices, assistance to needy Jewish travellers had been extended, care and treatment had been given to children and young persons in distress and help had been given to small, rural congregations.

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.

Activities Supporting Palestine

Engaged in these activities were both Zionists and non-Zionists. In April 1929, the 'Zentralverein' convened a membership meeting in Stuttgart. The 'Expanded Jewish Agency' founded the same year, took part in the debate. At a large public meeting, convened in the shadow of the bloody disturbances in Palestine, in August of that year, Dr. Otto Hirsch, Vice-President of the Oberkirchenbehörde, made a public appeal to the Jews of the state, to join the 'Agency' and help to build the Homeland.

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.

House of Study

The process of assimilation and the multiplication of mixed marriages, which reached a climax half-way through the twenties in the Stuttgart community, moved Otto Hirsch and Leopold Marks to put up a Study-House in the 'Bnei-Brith' building, which was consecrated by a satisfying number of people in September 1925. The Study House was opened in February of 1926 with a modest programme of two courses in Hebrew (under the tutelage of the community's head teacher, Jakob Yaffe and the Chief Rabbi of 'The Congregation of Yeshurun', Shimon Bamberger), and two seminars, one on 'The Life of Abraham', and the other 'The Jewish Sources of the Philosophical Teachings of Herman Kahn', led by the Chief Rabbi of the City, Dr. Rieger.

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.

Conspicuous Members of the Stuttgart Community

Among the most respected and influential Jewish families in Stuttgart were found:
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.

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.

Among the community leaders who were also conspicuous in the general public life of Stuttgart were numbered:
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 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.

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).

Under Nazi Rule

The Community and Its Institutions in 1933

In 1933 there were 4,408 Jews in Stuttgart (according to one source - 4,490), including 441 Jews in Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt (within the jurisdiction of old Stuttgart proper - 3967 Jews). Apart from these, the neighbouring Jewish communities of Uhenfels, Hohenheim-Plieningen, Wangen, WeilimDorf, Sindelfingen, Möhringen, Feuerbach, Vaihingen, Fellbach, Zuffenhausen and Rohad were also considered as belonging to the Stuttgart community. The community leader at the time was Oscar Rothschild and his deputy Eugen Flegenheimer. As Rabbis, Dr. Paul Rieger and Dr. Heinman Auerbach were officiating. At the service of the community were a synagogue, a community centre with a prayer hall, two cemeteries and a ritual bath-house. The annual budget for 1932/3 was 155,400 Marks.

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.

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).

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.

Local Societies and Institutions

Burial Society (1874, 850 subscribers), 'The Union of Jewish Women' at its head Rosa Wolf (1848, 580 members), 'The Society for the Support of Transient and Poor Jews' (1848, 370 members), 'The Society for the Relief of the Local Poor' (1848, 500 members), 'The Society for Feeding the Poor Jewish Passerby' (1855, 220 members), a society for group entertainment and pleasure (Familienverein, 1874), a society for the provision of public prayer meetings (1871), 'The Society for Jewish Spinsters' (1896), 'The Union Club' (1900), 'The Dowry Society' (1900), the hostel for Jewish nurses at whose head was Dr. Wolf Guntzenhauser (1905), the orthodox society 'Brothers' Help' (1908), and the 'Study House' society (1926). In 1923 all the social and charitable organizations merged into the local 'The Central Bureau for Social Welfare' at whose head was the social worker Thea Weizfelder.

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.

The Civil Status of Stuttgart's Jews in 1933

Stuttgart Jews in 1933 According to Citizenship

Citizenship Number
of Souls
Percentage
German Nationals 3,810 84.9
Non-Germans 526 11.7
(of whom: Polish Nationals 373 8.3
Stateless persons 143 3.2
Unknown Affiliation 11 0.2
All Jews 4,490 100.0

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.

Business and Economics

In 1933, there were 166 large wholesale and retail trading establishments under the ownership of Stuttgart's Jews, 106 industrial factories, 8 hotels, pensions and coffee-houses. 96 Jews were shopkeepers and small traders, 234 were representatives, agents, mercantile clerks and buyers, 29 were bankers, 33 stockbrokers and insurers, 71 doctors, 9 dentists, 73 jurists, judges and lawyers, 4 architects 50 owners of small workshops and technicians, 20 nurses and social workers, and about 120 community workers, teachers, journalists, writers and artists. The remainder of the Jewish working population were labourers and other employees (see below).

The Jews of Stuttgart According to Occupation (1933)

Category Number of
Employed Jews
% of Total
Jews Employed
% Comparison
of General
Population Employed
Self-employed 1,117 51.7 13.3
Family of self-employed working in family business 115 5.3 3.7
Clerks .25 1.2 8.1
Workers 92 4.3 43.7
Other wage-earners 787 36.4 24.0
Domestic Services 24 1.1 7.2
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).

The Ascent of Anti-Semitism

Continuing into the first years of the Nazi regime, Stuttgart was still considered a moderate and liberal city, and considerable effort and intensive propaganda was required to incite the population and, by slow degrees, generate a change in their outlook towards the increasing economic and social isolation of the Jews. In this the Nazis were assisted by the 'N.S. Kurier' and the 'Flammenzeichen'.

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.

Economic Measures Against the Jews and Their Dismissal from Employment in the Public Sector

The first to be removed from their work were the Jewish judges in the service of the State, on March 24th 1933; Jewish employees in the service of the broadcasting authority were similarly forbidden to report to their place of work and the city's veter- inary surgeon, Dr. Max Wolf, was warned by telephone not to enter the Municipal slaughter-house. The well-known veteran actor from Wuerttemberg's State Theatre, Fritz Weissman and the singer, Herman Singer, were also barred from their place of work. The dismissal of 'non-Aryans' from public service institutions, educational foundations, culture and health became law on the 7th April under the 'Law for the Return of the Civil Service Administration to Its Source'.

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.

Persecution of Individuals

On 5th April, the young sportsman and business-man, Fritz Rosenfeld, committed suicide. He left a letter in which he passionately declared his love for his homeland. By his act of protest he hoped to awaken the conscience of his countrymen. However, the 'Stürmer' reacted to the incident with much hostile cynicism.

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.

Demographic Considerations

The incidence of mixed-marriages and apostasy in Stuttgart continued to rise until the Nazi government took power. Between the years 1927 and 1930 the number of cases of Jews dropping out of the Jewish community in the whole of Württemberg was 33, of whom 29 alone (!) were from Stuttgart; during that same period, 43 cases of inter-marriage were recorded in Württemberg - all of them, except one, in Stuttgart. The trend continued into the early period of Nazi government. The mixed couples in Württemberg withstood the pressures exerted on them by the authorities and no record of a divorce exists.

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).

Emigration

In 1933, 174 Stuttgart Jews emigrated, 63 of them to Palestine. In 1934 the number of emigrants rose to 378 - a large proportion of them to Palestine and the United States (according to data furnished by the city of Stuttgart - 466; apparently this number includes Jews who were not residents of Stuttgart in June 1933). Up until the end of 1937, the number of Stuttgart Jews who emigrated reached 1,342 (data referring to later years was lost in the bombings of the second world war which caused great damage to the municipal archives. From 1933-1938 180 children emigrated to Palestine from Stuttgart in the framework of the 'Youth Immigration' programme.

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.

Internal Life of the Community

The Jewish community of Stuttgart mobilized all its material and spiritual resources in order to maintain its existence in an orderly fashion in the midst of increasingly distressful conditions and the perpetual and inreasingly rapid immigration into Stuttgart of Jews from the surrounding smaller communities seeking relief. The Jewish leaders tried hard to unite the various streams - non-religious and religious, especially 'The Congregation of Yeshurun', Zionists and non-Zionists, the Intelligentia and the hoi-polloi, and also the 'Eastern Jews' - for the good of all.

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.

Welfare and Assistance

With the increasing personal and economic distress, the community was required, through its institutions, to reorganize its welfare work in the Jewish community and to increase its budget for that purpose. In 1935, 12.9% of the annual budget was spent on welfare assistance. The Stuttgart community also supported nearby communities, and central organizations and institutions of the Württemberg Jewish community as a whole. 'The Württemberg National Jewish Welfare Union' cared for the distressed among the community, especially the aged, abandoned children and single women, gave assistance to some small business-men, meat merchants and factory owners who had been seriously affected by the economic boycott, and students. Already in May 1933, 'The Local Loan and Savings Fund' had been established which granted interest-free loans to small business-men and factory owners. The project - 'Emergency Help for Jews' opened a counselling office to assist in finding work, distributed financial assistance and food-parcels (in 1934 - to 912 needy people at a total value of 5,084 Marks), supported the 'Students' Hostel' and the agricultural training farm at Lehrensteinsfeld. The project - 'Jewish Help' raised its funds by collections. The Jewish enterprise 'Winter Help', at whose head - until their emigration to Palestine - stood Dr. Gustav Feldman, and his successor the Oberrat member, Leopold Löwy, extended financial help to 191 people in 1935/36 and in 1936/37 to 592 people (13.4% of the total community). The counselling office supported 444 unemployed persons that year at a cost of 14,700 Marks to its budget. The Women's Society also extended help to the needy and fulfilled its programme of housing single women and aged couples in a communal home.

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.

Education, Youth and Sport

In April 1934 the community opened an elementary school under the directorship of Emil Goldschmidt (b.1901), from Hamburg. His deputy was Lotta Stern. The school, which accepted 80 pupils in its first year in 4 classes, was housed in a new building, designed by the architects Ernst Guggenheimer and Oscar Bloch, comprised 7 classrooms, a sports-hall and a handicrafts shop. In addition to the National curriculum, the pupils also studied Judaism, and languages - Hebrew, English and French. In the academic year 1934/5 yet another class was added and the number of teachers grew from 3 to 4. In the year 1935/36 the number of pupils was 201 - and in 1936/37 - 213, among them children from neighbouring communities; the number of teachers increased to 8. In 1937/38 a ninth class was added as a continuation for the students who had completed the eighth grade. Although the stream of emigrants steadily increased, there were still 183 pupils registered in August 1938 at the school, who were placed in 9 classes and a handicrafts class. The regular pedagogic staff numbered 8 teachers with a further 7 supplementary teachers. That same year there were still 50 Jewish children learning in general schools.

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.

Cultural Activities

In the field of culture, too, the old established organizations continued their activities and were now joined by newer ones formed in the hour of need.

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 Holocaust

The Exile of Polish Jews

On the 28th October 1938, 41 Jews of Polish extraction were loaded into sealed carriages and transferred over the Polish border. Among them was the leader of the 'Eastern Jews' David Horowitz. At the border station they were held for three days: the Polish border guards refused them entry and the Germans forbade them to return to Germany. Only the intervention of Polish Jewish organizations eventually persuaded the Polish government to relent somewhat, and some of the deported were allowed in.
A few managed to return to Stuttgart. On later occasions too, a few isolated Jews were deported to Poland as Jews of Polish extraction. In all the number of Polish Jews expelled from Stuttgart to Poland who were later to die in the camps reached 51 souls.

'Kristallnacht'

On 10th November 1938, the Stuttgart Synagogue was set on fire by men of the SA and SS. Eye-witnesses state that one of the officers of the fire-fighters brought a drum of petrol and with his own hands placed it inside the synagogue. His crew, who had been called to the fire directed their hoses to the adjoining buildings, in order to prevent the spread of the fire. The rioters removed from the building and destroyed the Scrolls of the Law and other religious artifacts, except for one Scroll which was saved by the non-Jewish synagogue caretaker, Gottlieb Heich. The two Tablets of the Law, which decorated the portico over the main entrance, the rioters were unable to remove and they remained in place until the destroyed building was demolished some time later. During the disturbance, the square in which the synagogue stood was closed to traffic but not to the general public which gathered to witness the event.

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).

After 'Kristallnacht'

Studies recommenced at the Jewish school early in 1939, after their suspension due to the riots. The number of pupils went down to 104 as a result of emigration.

The Central Jewish Office

The cultural and artistic life of the community became completely paralysed after all the institutions and organizations involved, especially the 'Jüdische Kunstgemeinschaft - Stuttgart', were disbanded. Karl Adler, who on his release was ordered to devote himself to increasing the rate of emigration of Jews founded, to that purpose 'The Central Jewish Office', which employed, in the beginning, 5 assistants and fulfilled in effect, the functions of the community leadership. At the start Adler was forced to house his operations in a private house in primitive conditions, since all the community's properties had been either damaged or confiscated. The first monies received were from an anonymous donor through a non-Jewish doctor. The donor was Hans Weltz, the manager of the Robert Bosch Company (see below). Later, further donations were to be received from him. The Office was under the inspection of the Gestapo and the SD, who had taken one of the rooms in the new offices which they had obtained by great efforts. From here they were able to supervise telephone conversations and the mail.

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.

Emigration

'Kristallnacht' exploded any illusions the Jews may have had regarding the possibility of existing in Germany and motivated even the hesitant to exert all efforts to emigrate, while the 'Help' and Central Office organizations did everything in their power to help them.

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.

'Work-Parties' and Other Decrees

Already in 1940 the mobilization of Jews for forced labour in the munitions factories had begun. Their wages were purely nominal and symbolic. However, in the beginning they still had the right to receive food-rations on a par with other German citizens. In April 1941 a 'Jew-Shop' was opened which also supplied the needs of nearby Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt and Flehingen Jews. The non-Jewish manager of the shop behaved very unsympathetically towards his clients. A Jew who tried to make purchases at another shop was caught and sent to a concentration camp. The 'Jew Shop' was destroyed in a bombing raid and the shop transferred to the private house of another German who did what he could to be of assistance to his Jewish, hard-pressed clients; but in 1944 that house too was destroyed and the third German manager was as difficult as had been the first.

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.

The Deportations

The First Transport

On the 24th October 1941 The High Command of the SS decided to deport 50,000 Jews from Germany and Czechoslovakia to Minsk and Riga. The Stuttgart Jewish community was required to construct a transfer-camp at Killesberg, on the edge of the city and there the deportees were concentrated from all the Württemberg communities - over 1,000 souls, from the age of 6 to 65. The transport, which included 318 of Stuttgart's Jews, including the last 50 pupils and one teacher from the Jewish school, left Stuttgart on 1st December 1941 and arrived after four harrowing, anxiety-filled days in the vicinity of Riga. From this transport almost no-one survived. Among the victims was the Walter Löwy family of 7 souls, and three nurses from the 'Hostel for Jewish Nurses', Eva Stettiner, Irena Strauss and Hilda Justitz.

The Second Transport

This transport, which included 350 Jews (some of them from Baden), 93 of them from Stuttgart, left on the 26th April 1942 from the collection-camp at Killesberg for Izbice, near Lublin (Poland). This time also all the preparations fell upon the shoulders of the Jewish community and in this transport also Jews over 65, 'Mischlings' and 'non-Aryans' were not included. The last children still left in Württemberg joined them, also the doctors and nurses of the Jewish hospitals, the workers of the Jews' old-peoples' settlements and Jews who, in the past had been partners in a mixed marriage and left widowed. The most appalling lack of basic hygienic conditions existed at the place and all the people on the transport died, among them Max Fould (b.1888), his wife (b.1901), and their two twin children (b.1930).

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.

The Fate of Stuttgart's Jews

Because of the loss of the Municipal archives during the war, we do not have at our disposal full details of the fate of the 3,967 Jews who dwelt in Stuttgart at the time of the 1933 census, of the children born after that date, or of the Jews who joined the community later. According to the sources to hand at least 1,000 souls were lost during the Nazi period - of them 767 deported directly from Stuttgart or from other cities in Germany to which they had moved after June 1933, 78 emigrated to other countries subsequently conquered by the Germans and deported from there and killed, 51 people of Polish extraction deported over the Polish border and subsequently killed, 44 people who committed suicide (among them young people and children who had been killed by their parents), 14 people who had been arrested during the years 1933-1945 and died in prison or arrest-camps, 10 people who had been taken for 'mercy-killing' and 5 who died under circumstances which we have been unable to determine. It is reasonable to suppose that the true count is much higher. Apparently more than half the population succeeded in emigrating.

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.

Active Resistance in Christian Circles

With the outbreak of war, the Evangelical Church in Stuttgart created 'The Office for Assisting non-Aryan Christians' under the sponsorship and leadership of the State Bishop Dean Theophil Wurm. The Office extended support, material assistance and moral guidance to Christians of Jewish origin and occasionally to Jews. After their deportation to the East the Office turned its financial resources to assisting partners of mixed marriages and 'Mischlings'. In 1943 Bishop Wurm sent Hitler, the members of his government and the head of the Reich Office - the Minister Dr. Lammers - some petitions, which were also published outside Germany, which expressed opposition to the programmed persecution of 'non-Aryans'. As a result the Bishop was warned at the end of 1944, that if he persisted in despatching protests and petitions of that nature, steps would be taken against him.

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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“Yad Vashem” - Jerusalem.


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