BERLIN (Jun. 17)
Dr. Julius Brodnitz, prominent attorney and president of the Central Union of Jews in Germany, died here today at the age of 70. His death was the result of a concussion of the brain suffered in an automobile accident last week.
Dr. Brodnitz is survived by his widow and three sons, Dr. Friedrich Brodnitz, head of the Federation of Jewish Youth Organizations in Germany; Otto Brodnitz, who resides in New York City, where he is employed by L.F. Rothschild, and Heinz Brodnitz, an engineer living in Tel Aviv, Palestine.
Born in Posen in 1866, Dr. Brodnitz came to Berlin in 1894 to take up the practice of law and soon became one of the most highly respected members of the Berlin bar.
Shortly after his arrival in Berlin he became identified with the Central Union, at that time a comparatively unimportant organization dedicated to the safeguarding of German Jewry’s rights. In 1920 he succeeded Maximilian Horwitz, founder and organizer of the Union, as its president.
During Dr. Brodnitz’ incumbency of that office the Union grew tremendously in influence and scope.
Soon after the Nazis came to power, Dr. Brodnitz, in an editorial in the C.-V. Zeitung, the Union’s official organ, outlined the role his organization was prepared to play in the adaptation of Germany Jewry to the new conditions:
“The Central Union which was founded for safeguarding the rights of German Jewry,” he said, “places itself unreservedly at the disposal of the new requirements. It is prepared to throw the weight of its organization and those who direct it into the scale, when it concerns the future of the whole of German Jewry. It is prepared to do this, and it demands the same thing from all the other groups, that they place themselves at the disposal of the leadership of German Jewry, without any regard for their individual prestige.”
While cognizant of the need for emigration, he believed it only a partial solution of the pressing German Jewish problem precipitated by the advent of the Nazi regime. In a speech not long ago, Dr. Brodnitz expressed the view that it was of the first importance that the 400,000 Jews remaining in Germany “are enabled to be spiritually sound, and are left with room to live, or are provided with home to live.”
Dr. Brodnitz converted his monthly magazine, “Im Deutschen Reich,” into the Union’s weekly organ, the C.-V. Zeitung, which is today one of the most widely circulated publications among German Jews.
Due to his efforts, the Union started its own publishing house, the Philo-Verlag, which publishes scientific works on Jewish questions and a literary periodical, Der Morgen.
In addition to his activities in the Union, Dr. Brodnitz was energetic in efforts to improve the situation of the East-European Jews, striving to convert them from tradesmen into farmers and manual workers. Since 1926 he was on the executive board of the ORT, organization which sponsors the retraining of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe for artisanship.