Los Angeles, CA, March 30, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has digitized the archival documents of Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg, the first post-Holocaust Chief Rabbi of Hesse and Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Thanks to the work of Brad Bauer, Chief Archivist, and the staff at the Museum, these documents are now available online at http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn502232.
“This is a treasure trove for historians researching how individual Jews and entire Jewish communities reconstructed themselves in the aftermath of the Holocaust in the heart of post-Hitler Germany,” states the late Chief Rabbi’s son and biographer, Rabbi Norbert Weinberg. “The collection includes personal writings, and published essays relevant to philosophical, ethical, and moral issues of the period as well as records documenting the reorganization of the surviving Austrian and German Jewish community after the war.” The digitization of these documents reflects the author’s work in "Courage of the Spirit," a biography that covers the background, education, and experience of his father in the years before the rise of Nazism, his incarceration twice under the Nazis, and his escape to the Soviet Union. The book includes vintage photos and scanned images of the documents now digitized in the USHMM.
The digitized documents of Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg span a variety of topics: the creation of a Jewish people’s university in the refugee camps near Salzburg, Austria; the fight against anti-Semitism and Nazis in post-War Germany; the renovation and dedication of the main synagogue in Frankfurt am Main; gaining freedom for Jewish convicts held in US custody; relations between John J. McCloy, United States High Commissioner, and the new German government; and the unification of the community of German Jewish survivors with the communities of East European survivors who had flooded into Germany after World War II had ended.
Letters include correspondence with Rabbi Leo Baeck, and philosophers Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer, as well as officials of the Hesse State government, Justice and Interior Ministries of West Germany, the various Jewish regional councils, Office of the Adviser on Jewish Affairs to the Allied Forces, the Jewish Agency, and others.
Included are essays, lectures, sermons, newspaper articles and various writings of Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg spanning a range of topics: events affecting the Jewish communities of Central Europe from the years before the Nazis rose to power to the post-war reconstruction of Jewish communities in Austria and Germany; comments on general issues of philosophy, ethics, morality, politics, religion in general and Judaism in particular; and thoughts on Zionism and the challenges experienced in everyday life. The documents also include legal papers and correspondences relating to the status of known Nazis in high positions, Jewish prisoners, and the protection of Jewish cemeteries.
Bookstores and organizations may purchase bulk quantities of the paperback version of "Courage of the Spirit" (ISBN 9780984668564) published by IndieGo Publishing, from Lightning Source/Ingram at a 50 percent wholesale discount. The paperback is also available on Amazon and other online retailers, and the ebook (ISBN 9780988704893) is available exclusively through Kindle.