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First Post-war Jewish Cultural Conference Held in Germany

For the first time since the downfall of Hit-lerism, Jews from all parts of West Germany and from West Berlin assembled here to deliberate on ways and means of invigorating Jewish cultural life and Jewish education in Germany.

Heretofore, all Germany-wide meetings had been overshadowed by political questions and concerned principally with restitution, indemnification, relief or organizational issues. A conference on cultural affairs, it was agreed by all speakers here, was a token of the gradual stabilization of the postwar Jewish community in Germany, which Professor Baruch Graubard described as being slightly on the up-grade after “having passed its lowest point, probably in 1952.”

Dr. Graubard, director of the former Hebrew High School in Munich and now a lecturer at Marburg University, dealt with the need for implanting a spirit of Jewish identification into the approximately 1,500 Jewish children growing up in scores of towns and cities throughout Germany, with minimal Jewish education or none at all. He advocated additional emphasis on the teaching of Hebrew, summer camps, vacation travel to Israel, the employment of itinerant teachers riding a prescribed circuit and the creation of a boarding school.

The other main speaker was Dr. E.G. Lowenthal, secretary of the Cultural Commission of the Jewish Central Council in Germany, who outlined an ambitious program of adult education, lectures, scientific research and public relations. Taking part in the meeting were Dr. Chaim Yahil, deputy head of the Israel Purchasing Mission in Germany, and delegations from the Jewish student groups at half a dozen German universities.

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