Berlin (Jul. 15)
(J. T. A. Mall Service)
“I was born a Jew and I shall die a Jew,” the great painter Max Lieberman declared in the course of an interview with him, published this week in the “C. V. Zeitung,” the organ of the Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith. “All my life,” he said, “I have always asked first of all what sort of man are you, never are you a Jew, a Christian, or a heathen? But I was born a Jew and I shall die a Jew-Only yesterday I went to congratulate my friend, Madame Kollwitz, on her sixtieth birthday. From her window one sees the old Jewish cemetery in the Schoenhauser Allee, and as I looked out, I said to myself: It is a very fine thing to know that your grandarents and your parents lie there and that you too will lie there. My mother was a very pious and observant Jewess. My father went regularly to synagogue, but he was not as religious as my mother. Since my parents died I have not gone to synagogue any more, but religion is after all a matter of inner feeling. It is impossible to talk about it. One feels it or one does not feel it. A fiend who knows me well once said of me that I am not very pious, but that I am very religious. That is right.
“I am a German Jew and I have always been prond of it. I went to German schools, German is my mother tongue, and what is Germanis mine. It is possible that behind my back people sometimes jeer at me. Why shouldn’t they? I used to do it myself. If I hear it I stand up for myself.
“Do you know how many years it is since I was offered a post as the head of an Academy, and the letter containing the offer went on to say that I should go and be baptized at once. I replied to those people: If it will make me paint better, I may consider becoming baptized.
“I have often spoken with Professor Einstein about the Jewish question,” Professor Lieberman went on, “and I used to speak about it frequently with the late Paul Nathan. It is a very painful question, but the solution is not simple. Zionism is attempting to find a solution. Zionism is a very noble and ideal movement, but it is not for me. Do you think that my uncle, Walter Rathenau, would not have been murdered if he was not a Jew? There is no man who can say that. Unfortunately, Erzberger. too, was murdered, and he ##