The Synagogues of Hamburg by Ruben Maleachi (cont.), in: Mitteilungen des Verbandes Ehemaliger Breslauer und Schlesier in Israel [News of the Association of Former Bratislavans and Silesians in Israel], published by the Association of Former Bratislavans and Silesians in Israel, 46-47 (May 1980), pp. 41-44

Source Description

Over the course of two years from 1978 until 1980, Ruben Maleachi published his impressions of several prewar synagogues and the different practices of the Jewish communities in Hamburg in German in the Mitteilungen des Verbandes ehemaliger Breslauer und Schlesier in Israel  News of the Association of Former Bratislavans and Silesians in Israel. His descriptions offer some glimpses into Hamburg’s Jewish religious life and especially into one of the city's smallest and least known synagogues.

The newspaper he approached for the publication of his descriptions sought to be a post war continuation of the Breslauer Jüdisches Gemeindeblatt and the Jüdische Zeitung für Ostdeutschland and functioned as a medium of communication for diaspora Silesian and German-speaking Jews. Published in German, the focus of the newspaper was not centered exclusively on Silesia, but also included other German-speaking communities such as Hamburg. Maleachi only published this one historical report and was mentioned in one other instance as having donated some money towards the newspaper. We do not know much about Maleachi himself. At the time of writing Maleachi lived in Jerusalem and his descriptions most likely reflect his experience as a Jewish teenager in Hamburg before the Second World War. Whether he was of Hamburg origin or from another city remains unclear. Although first and foremost a recollection of his personal impressions, his description provides an insight into lived 20th-century Sephardic-Ashkenazic relations in Germany and offers a useful counter narrative to Ashkenazim’s engagement with the imagined Sephardic past of medieval Spain.

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Recommended Citation

The Synagogues of Hamburg by Ruben Maleachi (cont.), in: Mitteilungen des Verbandes Ehemaliger Breslauer und Schlesier in Israel [News of the Association of Former Bratislavans and Silesians in Israel], published by the Association of Former Bratislavans and Silesians in Israel, 46-47 (May 1980), pp. 41-44 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-179.en.v1> [August 16, 2018].