As far back as can be traced, my father and his paternal ancestors were all born in Recklinghausen, and some of the ancestral graves can still be seen in cemetery on the Nordscharweg. Since the cemetery was only consecrated 1905, and my great-grandfather Isack died in 1893, his gravestone must have been one of the twenty or so stones which, along with the bones which still remained, were moved from the cemetery on the Börster Weg in the early 1930s, due to growing anti-Semitism. As it turned out, it was most fortuitous that Isack was reinterred, as the Nazis destroyed the first graveyard completely, eventually turning it into a children's playground. Having outlived her husband by forty years, my great-grandmother Henriette was buried close to him in 1933. These stones are of enormous importance to me as they mark the only prewar family graves I have in Germany
It seems peculiarly appropriate that I should be writing this while living in Potsdam, as it is a most apt place from which to be contemplating the issue of a heritage constructed with mortar, stone, or wood and placed upon the landscape of Europe. Here, in Potsdam, I live in a city which was laid waste by the Allies at the end of the war, a process which was then largely hurried along by a Communist dictatorship. They had no desire to be reminded of the glories that had been Prussia, and were only too glad to be rid of the hated symbols of Germany’s past. How much should be reconstructed is a subject of ongoing, heated discussion in the shadow of the Wende, the reunification of East and West Germany.
This year the Jewish Museum in Berlin plans to finally open its doors to a curious world. This empty building has already achieved cult status as a Holocaust Memorial so that one almost has to wonder what more can be achieved by the addition of an exhibition, With it being the focus of ongoing worldwide attention, it is perhaps appropriate to glance at what is happening with other buildings of Jewish interest in Germany.
The following two essays by Jeremy Adler and Pavel Seifter were given as addresses at the Conference which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the arrival in London of one thousand, five hundred and sixty-four scrolls from Czechoslovakia, where they came into the care of the Memorial Scrolls Trust. Having been ordered to be sent to the Jewish Museum in Prague, the Scrolls which derived from more than one hundred synagogues in Bohemia and Moravia, survived the war and eventually came to be housed under the auspices of the Trust in Westminster Synagogue in London.
The Minnesinger-Prophet of Germany
Albert H. Friedlander and Evelyn Friedlander
We first met Wolf at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin in 1997, and were surprised: Biermann, the great pop star of East Germany whose protest songs had helped to destroy the ‘Wall’ was a Fellow at this institute? Slowly, we discovered the reasons. Biermann had received the Heine Prize, the Hölderlin Prize, the great Büchner Prize, the National Prize and other honours as one of the great poets of Europe; and he was at the institute to translate Shakespeare sonnets into contemporary German! We became friends, and he sang Evelyn his protest songs as we sailed under the bridges of the Spree (and sent her to Hamburg to his dentist who turned out to be Szpilman, son of the composer/ pianist of Polanski’s new film ‘The Pianist’).
Albert H. Friedlander, Evelyn Friedlander and Ruth Fainlight
At the Edge of the Millennium: Taking Stock – An Essay Review
Marcus Braybrooke, The Explorer's Guide to Christianity, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1998, pb., 287 pp., £8.99, ISBN 0 340 71005 5
Jonathan Magonet, The Explorer's Guide to Judaism, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1 998, pb., 329 pp., £8.99, ISBN 0340 70984 7
Studies in Polish Jewry: Polin; Volume Nine 'Jews, Poles, Socialists: The Failure of an Ideal' London and Portland Oregon, published for Institute of Polish Jewish Studies (an associate centre of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies) by The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1996, £39.50, 346 pp. ISBN 1 874774 21 8
Studies in Polish Jewry: Polin; Volume Ten: 'Jews in Early Modern Poland', ed. Gershon David Hundert, London and Portland Oregon, for the Institute of Polish Jewish Studies by The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1997, £19.95, 457 pp. ISBN 1 87474 31 5
Studies in Polish Jewry: Polin; Volume Eleven: Focusing on Aspects and Experiences of Religion', London and Portland Oregon, published for the Institute of Polish-Jewish Studies, The American Association for Polish Jewish Studies by Hie Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 1998, 443 pp. ISBN 1 874774 34 X (pb.)
John D. Rayner, Jewish Religious Law: A Progressive Perspective, Berghahn Books, New York and Oxford, 1998, 224 pp. ISBN 1 57181 975 4, pb. ISBN 1 57181 976 2
John D. Rayner, A Jewish Understanding of the World, Berghahn Books, Providence and Oxford, 1998, 224 pp., ISBN 1 57181 973 8, pb. ISBN 1 57181 974 6
John D. Rayner, An Understanding of Judaism, Berghahn Books, Providence and Oxford, 1997, 272 pp. ISBN 1 57181 971 1, pb. ISBN 1 57181 972 X
The Goldapple Guide to Jewish Berlin, Andrew Roth/Michael Frajman, Goldapple Publishing, 1998, 181 pp., ISBN3-9806356-0-0
Alfred Wiener and the Making of the Holocaust Library, Ben Barkow, Vallen- tine Mitchell, 1997, 21 1 pp., Cloth £35.00/Paper £17.50, ISBN 0 85303 329 3
God Made Blind, Isaac Rosenberg: His Life and Poetry, Deborah Maccoby, Symposium Press, EJPS. ISBN 1-900814020-X
A Moon at the Door, Wanda Barford, Flambard Press in association with the European Jewish Publication Society, £5.95, ISBN 1 873226 33 0.
Jonathan Magonet, Albert H. Friedlander and Evelyn Friedlander
The Art of Public Prayer: Not for Clergy Only (second edition), Lawrence A. Hoffman, Sky-Light Paths Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 1999, 270 pp., $17.95, ISBN 1-893361-06-3
A Heart of Many Rooms: Celebrating the Many Voices within Judaism, David Hartman, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, VT, 1999, 298 pp, $24.95, ISBN 1-58023-048-2
Moses - The Prince, the Prophet: His Life, Legend and Message for Our Lives, Rabbi Levi Meier, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998, 224 pp., $23.95, ISBN 1-58023-013-X
Voices from Genesis: Guiding Us Through the Stages of Life, Norman J Cohen, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1998, 179 pp., $21.95, ISBN 1-879045-75-3
These Are the Words: A Vocabulary of Jewish Spiritual Life, Arthur Green, Woodstock, VT, Jewish Lights Publishing, 1999, 304 pp. (hc), $21.95, ISBN 1-58023-024-5
New Voices in Jewish Thought: a collection of essays edited by Keith Harris with a foreword by Jonathan Webber. Volume Two, London, Limmud Publications, 1999, 101 pp., ISBN 0-9532273-2-4
Lebendiges Judentum II - Predichtung und Betrachtnung eines Rabbines 1990-1995, Israel Aaron Ben Yosef, Arbeiten von Ursula Harver und Rahel Rosenzweig, Erhaus gegeben von Erhard Roy Wien, Hartung-Gorre Verlag Konstanz, 1999, 219 pp., DM44. ISBN: 3-89649-382-5
Jonathan Magonet, Esther Seidel and Evelyn Friedlander
Abraham: A Symbol of Hope for Jews, Christians and Muslims, Karl-Joseph Kuschel, London, SCM Press Ltd, 1995, £14.95. ISBN 0826408087
Moses Mendelssohn Gesammelte Schriften, Jubiläumsausgabe Bd. 22: Dokumente 1, bearbeitet v. Michael Albrecht, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstadt, F. Frommann Verlag/G. Holzboog, 1995, 374 pages, DM 234, ISBN 3-7728-1519-7
Moses Mendelssohn and the Religious Enlightenment, David Sorkin, London, Peter Halban Publ., 1996, 214 pages, £20, ISBN 1870015 27 4
The Goldapple Guide to Jewish Berlin, Andrew Roth/Michael Frajman, Goldapple Publishing, 1998, 181 pages, ISBN 3-9806356-0-0
Alfred Wiener and the Making of the Holocaust Library, Ben Barkow, London, Vallentine Mitchell, 1997, 211 pages, Cloth £35.00/Paper £17.50, ISBN 0 85303 329 3
Moses Mendelssohn, Porträts und Bilddokumente, Gisbert Porstmann, 1997, 401 pages, DM145, ISBN 3-7728-1521-9.
Helen P. Fry, Evelyn Friedlander and Alan Sillietoe
Edward Kessler (ed.), A Reader of Early Liberal Judaism, Vallentine Mitchell, 2004, 200pp., £16.95, ISBN 0-8530-3592-X
Eva Tucker, Berlin Mosaic, Starhaven, 2005, 154 pp., £8.00, ISBN 0-9363-1522-9
Anthony Godfrey, Three Rabbis in a Vicarage, Larson Grove Press, London, 2005, 366 pp., £20.00, ISBN 0-9549-1090-7
William J. Fishman, East End Jewish Radicals, 1875–1914, Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham, 2005, 336pp., £13.99. ISBN 0-9071-2345-7
Rudolph Rocker, The London Years, (transl. Joseph Leftwich), Five Leaves Publications, Nottingham, 2005, 228pp., £14.99. ISBN 0-9071-2330-9
Adam Horowitz, Next Year in Jerusalem, HooHah Press, Stroud, £2.00.