Jews in the German Cultural Sphere (1934/1962)

Digital Volume of this Monumental Work on German Jewry

Leopold Ullstein, a more recent member of the famous publishing family, devised this anthology in 1933 immediately after the National Socialist takeover and engaged the publisher Siegmund Kaznelson as its editor. The first edition was available for distribution the following year, but, in December 1934, the Berlin State Police confiscated all the copies that had already been printed with the following justification:

“When reading this work, the impartial reader must get the impression that the entirety of German culture until the National Socialist Revolution was sustained only by the Jews.”

Take a look at the digital volume Juden im deutschen Kulturbereich (Jews in the German Cultural Sphere) (1934/1962)

After his emigration to Palestine, Kaznelson continued to work on this volume, which encompassed all spheres of life and knowledge, starting in the eighteenth century and extending to the present. The entries were revised, a few chapters added, and it was extended beyond the previous cut-off date of 1933. The first entry by Arthur Eloesser on literature begins with Moses Mendelssohn and dedicates most of the pages to Heinrich Heine. This is followed by entries on art, the humanities and natural sciences, on politics, economics and the military, through to sports, and German Jews in England, the USA and Palestine.

When the second edition was finally published in 1959 by Jüdischer Verlag, the book had become a “closing balance” and a “memorial” to German Jewry, as Robert Weltsch wrote in accordance with the wishes of the editor Kaznelson, who had died not long before. This monumental work, which encompasses more than 1,000 pages and has an index of names comprising around 5,000 entries, is, however, not only a commemorative book and reference work. It was also read as a call to further investigate forgotten Jewish men and women. Numerous supplements and corrections were added to the appendix of the third edition in 1962 on the basis of letters from readers.

Title page of the book Juden im deutschen Kulturbereich.

Jews in the German Cultural Sphere, edited by Siegmund Kaznelson, Jewish Publishing House Berlin 1934/1962

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