Menu JTA Search

German Jews Mark 200th Anniversary of Moses Mendelssohn

The two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Moses Mendelssohn was celebrated at official exercises held under the auspices of the Berlin Jewish community conjointly with the Academy of Jewish Science.

Federal Minister Severing, who was one of the speakers, displayed great knowledge of the Mendelssohnian ideas and expressed his wish that Mendelssohn’s personality, the prototype for Ephraim Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise,” be a potent factor in Germany of today. Referring to the (Continued on Page 7)

“fresh graves of the Palestine victims,” Herr Severing stated that the Orient as well as Europe needs the spirit of Nathan the Wise, when Palestine will become the center of the wisdom of the East and the West.

The Mayor of Berlin, Boess, paid tribute to the memory of the Jewish philosopher and stated that Mendelssohn was one of the forces which created Berlin society and the spirit of the German people.

Rabbi Leo Baeck characterized Mendelssohn as “the educator and liberator of Judaism and Germanism.”

Mr. Kareski, president of the Berlin Kehillah, spoke of the relations between Mendelssohn and the Berlin Kehillah of his time.

Jewish communities throughout the Republic of Germany commemorated the Mendelssohn anniversary. Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings were devoted to religious and secular meetings and performances to commemorate the occasion. In many cases the authorities participated in the arrangements.

The government of Anhalt and the city government of Dessau, the place where Moses Mendelssohn was born, arranged gala performances of Lessing’s “Nathan the Wise.” The municipal building of Dessau was illuminated for three days.

For Sunday an official celebration by the Berlin Kehillah, in conjunction with the Prussian government, was arranged.

NEXT STORY