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Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg papers

Document | Accession Number: 1999.A.0163 | RG Number: RG-10.238

The Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg papers consist of the personal papers of the first post-Holocaust Chief Rabbi of Hesse and Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The papers include biographical materials, correspondence, printed materials, records relating to legal cases, writings, a nineteen-volume set of the Heidelberg Talmud, audio recordings, and a photograph album. The collection documents Weinberg’s work in reorganizing the surviving German Jewish community after the war and his examination of philosophical and ethical issues stemming from the Holocaust.

Biographical materials consist primarily of student records, a marriage certificate, an award, and a curriculum vitae documenting Rabbi Weinberg’s life in Austria and Germany, education and rabbinic ordination, marriage, and immigration to the United States. Many of the records are photocopies. This series also includes annotated Jewish calendars and a family tree for someone named Sonja Becher.

Correspondence primarily documents Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg’s postwar rabbinical service in Austria and Germany. Topics include his installation as rabbi in Frankfurt, his efforts to establish a branch of the Jewish National Fund (Keren Kayemeth Leisrael) in Frankfurt, facilities and services for the returning Jewish community, rebuilding synagogues, repairing tombs, erecting monuments, religious conversions, anti-Semitism, religious cooperation, the Nuremberg trials, the dedication of the new synagogue in Frankfurt, restitution, Weinberg’s planned departure from Germany, libelous articles published about Weinberg, recommendations for Weinberg, and individual and personal requests for help. Correspondents include Leo Baeck, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Jewish communities throughout Germany, American military offices, and German governmental agencies. The series also includes a folder of correspondence with Rabbi Norbert Weinberg about his father and his father’s legacy.

Printed materials primarily consist of articles and clippings about Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg that document speeches given, events attended, and activities undertaken by Weinberg in Germany, his departure from Germany, and his activities in the United States. Most of the clippings are from German and Jewish newspapers. The series also includes clippings about postwar Germany, issues of prewar Jewish publications, and invitations and programs for events in which Weinberg participated.

Records relating to legal cases consist of legal papers and correspondence relating to the cases of Karl Kasperkowitz and Roman Reich. Kasperkowitz, the post-war mayor of Offenbach, was accused of anti-Semitism when he appointed a former Nazi, rather than a Jewish doctor, to head the Offenbach Women’s Hospital. Roman Reich, a Holocaust survivor, was found guilty of a murder in which he did not participate.

Writings primarily consist of articles, essays, lectures, sermons, and speeches by Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg. Topics are religious, secular, academic, and philosophical and include the surviving German Jewish community after the war and philosophical and ethical issues stemming from the Holocaust. This series also include writings by Rabbi Norbert Weinberg about his father, poems by Zofia Nawrocka and Erich Rawitz-Riwatz, and essays by Fritz Fredman and Julius Schrudler.

The collection includes nineteen volumes of the Heidelberg Talmud printed in 1948 by Druckerei Carl Winter under the supervision of the European Quartermaster Depot’s Procurement Division of the United States Army.

Audio material includes audio recordings of sermons, speeches, interviews and songs. Phonograph records include parts of Rabbi Wilhelm Weinberg’s 11 Nov 1951 farewell sermon (”Morgen frueh...”) and his sermon and songs at a 1948 Purim celebration. The 1951 service included speeches by Max Meyer, Mayor Leiske, US Officer Radigan, Franz Boehm, and Max Horkheimer.

The photograph album was not located at the time of inventory.

inclusive:  1909-1995
2 oversize folders
6 boxes
1 oversize box
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Norbert and Irene Weinberg
Record last modified: 2021-11-10 12:58:40
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