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Jewish Life in Rhineland Continuous for 1,500 Years

(J. T. A. Mail Service)

“Jews have lived in the Rhineland for over 1,500 years,” Dr. Brodnitz, the president of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, said in his opening address to the Rhineland Conference of the Central Union opened here today. Several hundred persons were present from all parts of the Rhineland and from other districts. Representatives of the government and municipal authorities, the police president of Cologne and others greeted the delegates. The vice president of the Central Union, Dr. Bruno Weil, and the director, Dr. Ludwig Hollaender were present.

“During the whole of the 1,500 years,” Dr. Brodnitz said, “the Jews of the Rhineland had identified themselves closely with its history. From the Rhine, hundreds of years ago, Jews had, because of the anti-Jewish persecutions, emigrated to the East. But despite the persecution, the emigrants had assured themselves that their bodies would be brought back to the old home for burial.”

Dr. Bruno Weil said that in all periods of German history they found Jews in Germany. The Constantine edict of the year 321 spoke of a long established settlement of Jews in Cologne. This was the case in Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) Mayence, Metz and Speyer. In the first thousand years of German history, it appeared that there had been friendly relations between the Jews and Christians. With the year 1,200 there had started a half-century of distress and persecution of the Jews, which lessened only gradually during the two last centuries and ceased in theory in 1869. They were indissolubly bound up with German soil which for two thousand years had been their fatherland.

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