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Dr. Martin Riesenburger, East German Chief Rabbi, Dead at 69

Dr. Martin Riesenburger, Chief Rabbi of East Germany, died yesterday at the age of 69, the official East German News Agency has reported. As the only rabbi in East Germany, he served the eight other synagogues in the country on a rotating basis in addition to his congregation in East Berlin.

A former lay preacher, Dr. Riesenburger was named by the Communist authorities in 1953 to the East Berlin post after the former rabbi had settled in West Berlin. In 1961 he was awarded the Patriotic Order of Merit, and East Berlin’s university granted him an honorary doctorate of law.