By-laws of the Franz Rosenzweig Memorial Foundation, Hamburg, November 1930

Source Description

The statutes of the Franz Rosenzweig Memorial Foundation of November 1930 were kept very brief. They read like a note for the files with a five-point program. Their content combined programmatic goals and specific steps with as yet little defined institutional directives. The intellectual life of Hamburg's Jewish community was supposed to be “stimulated and promoted according to Rosenzweig's ideas.” Explicit reference to Rosenzweig's book Zweistromland  The Land between Two Rivers is made in a virtually self-obligating manner; based on his ideas a “Jewish house of teaching” was to be established in Hamburg. The foundation was supposed to be above party lines and not favor any religious movement, it was to promote the spread of Jewish books, establish a series of Jewish lectures and organize a “contest for the purposes of Jewish scholarship.” In light of the successful work of the Frankfurt teaching institution, this was rather ambitious. The text shows that there was a lack of legal advice, which might have been purposefully spurned since this was not meant to be the usual kind of association. It is likely that one reason for choosing to call it a “foundation” was that members expected to accrue interest-bearing assets in the future, which did not come to pass, however. Equally, the foundation was meant to have members. Another statute issued at a later date shows that the founders eventually agreed to organize as an association, maintaining a small office at Rothenbaumchaussee 77 in Hamburg. In response to an inquiry by the Gestapo of November 1933 the Rosenzweig Memorial Foundation confirmed that the term “foundation” was not legally correct. In a list of the Jewish congregation drawn up for the Gestapo upon request in 1935, the number of members given was 184. A membership list does not survive.
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Recommended Citation

By-laws of the Franz Rosenzweig Memorial Foundation, Hamburg, November 1930 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <> [June 23, 2018].