Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden

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The Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden (English: Reich's Deputation of the German Jews) was founded on 17 September 1933. It established as the umbrella organisation, which for the first time ever united all the quarrelling Jewish organisations and religious bodies on a nationwide range. It was organized to represent Jewish interests at a national level. The Berlin Rabbi Leo Baeck was elected president of the Reichsvertretung with Otto Hirsch acting as chairman.

The Reichsvertretung helped Jewish Germans to organise self-help, established central welfare organisations, occupational retraining for dismissed officials (fired in accordance with the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, passed 7 April 1933), preparation for emigration, built up schools and institution of elementary to higher education open for Jewish students and pupils. Thus the Reichsvertretung could develop - at least to some extent - a response to the Racial policy of Nazi Germany.

With the passing of the Nuremberg Laws in 1935, the Reichsvertretung was forced to rename itself as Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland (Reich's Deputation of the Jews in Germany). In the same year Israelitisches Familienblatt, newly relocated to Berlin, became the press organ of the Reichsvertretung. After the November Pogrom in 1938 the Reichsvertretung had to rename into Reichsverband der Juden in Deutschland (English: Reich's Federation of the Jews in Germany), now adopting also many administrative tasks, which especially many of the smaller and impoverished Jewish congregations, reduced in their personnel by the arrestments and emigrations, could not maintain any more. In February 1939, this organisation assumed the name Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland (English: Reich's Association of the Jews in Germany). This is to be distinguished from the new Reichsvereinigung der Juden in Deutschland, which emerged in July 1939, when the Reichssicherheitshauptamt subjected the old Reichsvereinigung, representing Jewish interests at a Reich's level, into a subordinate branch - using the same name and more or less the same personnel - of the state administration. This was then in charge of announcing the ever-growing number of anti-Semitic discriminations to its members, and supervising their obedience. In June 1943, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt forcibly dissolved the new Reichsvereinigung.

References[edit]

  • S. Adler-Rudel: Jüdische Selbsthilfe unter dem Naziregime 1933-1939. Spiegel der Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland. Tübingen 1974

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