The anniversary of Heinrich Heine’s death on February 17 should have been commemorated in synagogues throughout the country as significantly as were the births of American presidents and poets whose natal month this was, declared Rabbi William F. Rosenblum of Temple Israel, who spoke last night on Heinrich Heine before the Jewish History Lecture Group at Temple Rodeph Sholom, 7 West 83rd street.
“Heinrich Heine,” said Rabbi Rosenblum, “was a disturbed and discontended spirit who left to the world a legacy of liberal idealism of which it stands in need today. He was a champion of the triumph in the future of democratic ideas over autocratic policies. It is little wonder that today’s Germany has burned the books of Heine. The Germany of tomorrow will repudiate the Nazi fanaticism and once more will take Heine to its heart. The soul of this German Jewish poet and thinker cannot be rooted out of the German soil.”
Although Heine had been baptized, he remained devoted to Judaism and Israel. “To his dying day,” declared Rabbi Rosenblum, “he regretted the necessity of his renunciation and tried to make up for it in the defense of every persecuted Jew.