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On 23 August 2020, the Jewish Museum Berlin is opening its new core exhibition. Until then the museum will be closed for renovations.

The John F. and Hertha Oppenheimer Collection at Our Library

Publications by the Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith and Other Writings

This photograph by Herbert Sonnenfeld shows Hans Oppenheimer (1903-1985) and two other fellow employees in the editing department of the C.V.-Zeitung, Emser Straße 42, 1936; Jewish Museum Berlin, purchase at the expense of the Stiftung Deutsche Klassenlotterie Berlin. You can learn more about this photo in our online collections (in German).

One of the first major gifts to our library's precursor came from John F. and Hertha Oppenheimer. In 1982, the couple donated a collection of publications by the Central Association for German Citizens of Jewish Faith to the Jewish section of the Berlin Museum. In addition to other writings from the interwar period, the collection also contains numerous books published in the United States after 1945.

Berlin Museum

This cultural-historical museum about the city existed from 1962 to 1995 and was located in the Kollegienhaus at Lindenstraße 14, which today belongs to the Jewish Museum Berlin.

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Where

W. M. Blumenthal Academy, Library
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin Postal address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin

The Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith

The Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith was founded in 1893 and had its main office at Lindenstrasse 13 from 1905 to 1930 in the immediate vicinity of the Collegienhaus, which now belongs to the Jewish Museum Berlin.

John F. Oppenheimer

John F. (Hans Friedrich) Oppenheimer worked as a sales manager and editor at the Central Verein-Zeitung (Central Association Newspaper) until it had to be dissolved in 1938 and Oppenheimer and his wife Hertha were able to emigrate to the USA via Holland. He is primarily known as a co-editor of the Philo-Lexikon (1935) and chief editor of the Lexikon des Judentums (1967).

Centralverein

The Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (en: Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith) was founded in Berlin in 1893. It represented the majority of bourgeois liberal Jews in Germany and advocated for their societal equality.

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CV-Zeitung

This Jewish weekly newspaper, also known as C.V.-Zeitung, CentralVereins-Zeitung, CVZ, or by its full name C.V.-Zeitung. Blätter für Deutschtum und Judentum. Organ des Centralvereins deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens e.V. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, emerged between 1922 and 1938.

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compactmemory.de

The magazine Im deutschen Reich (1895–1922) and the CV-Zeitung (1922–1938) are available to the public on the online portal www.compactmemory.de (navigate further under »I« and »C«, respectively).

To the online portal on the UB Frankfurt/Main website

Fighting Antisemitism

The Central Association attempted to fight anti-Semitism and strengthen the German-Jewish identity through both legal efforts and publicity campaigns. For example, its brochure from 1929 entitled "Our Measures to Combat Cemetery Desecrations in Germany" lists 71 desecrations of cemeteries and 24 of synagogues between 1923 and 1928. It also documents the petition presented in 1927 by the Central Association to all German state governments calling for prosecution for this ever more frequent offense and reports on German state authorities' reactions to the petition. Furthermore, the brochure contains a detailed report on the rally "Iniquity against German Culture" of 18 October 1928, organized by the Central Association with the national government's involvement.

Vorderseite des Heftes »Unsere Maßnahmen zur Bekämpfung der Friedhofsschändungen in Deutschland«

Unsere Maßnahmen zur Bekämpfung der Friedhofsschändungen in Deutschland. With a list of the desecrations upon synagogues. A confidential memorandum of the Centralvereins deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens, Berlin: Lichtwitz [printer] 1929; Jewish Museum Berlin

References

  • Bendt, Vera. "John F. und Hertha Oppenheimer-Stiftung." In: Berlinische Notizen (Notes from Berlin). Berlin: Verein der Freunde und Förderer des Berlin Museums, 1984, 11.
  • Karin H. Grimme, "Der Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens" (The Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith). In: Jüdisches Leben in Berlin. Die Lindenstraße - Ideen zur historischen Projektarbeit an Schulen (Jewish Life in Berlin: Lindenstrasse – Ideas for Historical Projects in Schools). Ludwigsfelde, Germany: Landesinstitut für Schule und Medien Berlin-Brandenburg, 2008, 53–63.

Veronika Bendt about the John F. and Hertha Oppenheimer Foundation

You can download this accompanying article (in German) by Vera Bendt as a PDF, courtesy of the author:

PDF / 0.07 MB / german / not accessible

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John F. and Hertha Oppenheimer Collection Title List (in German)

PDF / 1.57 MB / not accessible

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Our Reading Room is open to the public. You can also research using our library’s holdings and some of our collection’s holdings online. To view additional holdings, please contact the responsible curators.

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The contact person for photo reproductions is Valeska Wolfgram (T +49 (0)30 259 93 433, email: fotodoku@jmberlin.de). Loan requests must be made at least six months in advance. For questions regarding administrative processes, please contact Katrin Strube (T +49 (0)30 259 93 417, email: k.strube@jmberlin.de).

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