Центральное объединение немецких граждан иудейского вероисповедания (г. Берлин)

  • Centralverein deutscher Staatsburger judischen Glaubens; Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith (Berlin)*
  • Tsentral'noe ob"edinenie nemetskikh grazhdan iudeiskogo veroispovedaniia (g. Berlin)
Language of Description
1869 - 1939
Level of Description
  • German
  • Latin

Extent and Medium

4370 files

Biographical History

The Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, established in 1893, was one of the first organizations to defend the rights of Jews in Germany. The Association represented the views of middleclass, liberal Jews, primarily adherents of Reform Judaism; it was opposed, on the one hand, to assimilation and mixed marriages, and on the other hand, to Zionism and Jewish nationalism. On the eve of World War I, the organization numbered 40,000 members; in 1926, it had 60,000 members, and consisted of 555 local chapters and 21 provincial federations. The organization had its own legal department, which engaged in lawsuits regarding defamations and other manifestations of antisemitism. The Central Association's publishing house, Philo-Verlag, published various books and journals on Jewish issues for both Jewish and non-Jewish readers. During the period 1895-1922, the official organ of the Central Association was the monthly Im deutschen Reich, and during 1922-38, the weekly Central-Verein Zeitung. Chairmanship of the Centralverein was held by M. Horowitz (1893-1917), Eugen Fuchs (1917-19), Julius Brodnitz (1920-35). The Central Association's director during the period 1908-33 was Ludwig Hollander. By order of the Nazi administration, the organization changed its name in 1936 to the Jewish Central Association. It was closed by the authorities 10 November 1938, and all of its subdivisions became part of the Reich Representation of Jews in Germany.

Scope and Content

The collection's contents are catalogued in three inventories arranged by structure and document type. Most of the materials in this collection originate from the 1920s and 1930s. The collection includes the charter of the Central Association and its local chapters; minutes of meetings of the Central Association's committee on drawing up a new charter (1926-28); minutes of the Central Association's board (1931) and of chapters (1932-38); reports by leaders of Central Association chapters on their activities; and reports on the state of the Jewish community in various German cities (1932-35). The collection also has circulars and announcements by the Central Association: on organizing courses; on the Central Association's position on various parties in elections to a conference of Jewish community representatives; on collecting factual material serving as evidence on the boycott of Jewish businesses in Germany (1931); on the Essen burgermeister's reply to the Central Association's complaint regarding a boycott of Jewish livestock traders (1931); on preparations for a Jewish youth conference and the establishment of professional courses for young people without a trade (1931); on forging closer ties between Jewish organizations; on suing the Rudolph Karstadt firm, which had fired all of its Jewish employees (1933); and on procedures for the admittance of persons of "non-Aryan origin" into scientific, educational, and artistic institutions. A large part of the collection (more than 1,000 files) documents the activities of the Central Association's local chapters. The collection contains correspondence with chapters and individual members on a wide range of topics, including plans to amend the organization's charter and create a commission on drafting a new charter (1931); on the election of Central Association board members (1928); on providing financial statements, planning annual budgets, and collecting membership dues; on providing material aid to the needy; on helping those fired on account of their "non-Aryan origin" get their jobs back; on organizing retraining courses for Jews; on the boycott of Jewish shops in German cities; on anti-Semitic articles in periodicals; and on procedures for expelling members from the Central Association. Also included is correspondence with publishing houses, booksellers, and the Jewish religious community of Berlin on acquiring literature for the latter's library; with the lawyers K. Bergman and H. Samson on providing Central Association members with the services of Jewish lawyers and notaries, and on the possibility of creating a Central Association Union of Lawyers; on drawing up standard answers to questions by Central Association members; and on the organization's mission and possible courses of action under the conditions of the Nazi regime. Materials on the activities of the Central Association's youth divisions include reports on the activities of the youth education section for January—July 1936; educational curricula and journals of the Jewish youth leagues, "Ring" and "Herzlia"; announcements by the Union of German Jewish Youth "Ring" on events held by it; a list of members of the leadership of, and also of several local chapters of, the Union of German Jewish Youth "Ring" (1934); an announcement by the Union of German Jewish Youth "Ring" on the union's action plan for 1936; applications for admission to the Union of German Jewish Youth "Ring" (1934); and informational bulletins and letters from the Central Association and the Union of German Jewish Youth "Ring" to local chapters of these organizations on the admission of new members and the distribution of literature (1934-35). The collection includes administrative and financial documents: lists of Central Association staff members and board members, guidelines (12 September 1934) with Central Association staff job descriptions, rules of internal procedure, and reports of financial audits of chapters.

Finding Aids

  • Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov, Scranton - London 2010.

Existence and Location of Copies

  • Microfilms are held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.

Archivist Note

Entry selected by Krzysztof Tyszka from the book “Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive”, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0