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Grossloge fuer Deutschland

 Collection
Identifier: AR 4087

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains materials relating to chapters of the Jewish fraternal benevolent society B’nai B’rith that were founded in German-speaking central Europe beginning in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some of the items bear the stamps of the Offenbach Archival Depot (OAD), the post-World War II American collection point for Nazi-looted books and archives.

The General materials include a brief 1924 history of B'nai B'rith, with particular emphasis on Germany, a printed declaration by Rabbi Leo Baeck on the occasion of the 80th birthday of the Reichspräsident von Hindenburg, as well as two undated typescript packets concerning lodge rituals.

Materials relating to the German lodge district include typescript informational notes about organization business, typescript minutes of the 1933 general meeting, printed reports from the president and general committee, and two issues of the "Mitteilungen der Grossloge für Deutschland VIII UOBB."

German lodge locations for materials found in this collection include: Berlin, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Cologne, Mainz, Konstanz, Stolp (today Słupsk, Poland), and Schneidemühl (today Piła, Poland). Lodge locations in Bohemia include Budweis (today České Budějovice, Czech Republic), and Prague.

Items relating to the following particular lodges (with lodge names and locations) are found below.

Lodges in Berlin included Deutsches Reichs Loge, Berthold Auerbach Loge, Montefiore Loge, Spinoza Loge, Berthold Timendorfer Loge, Akiba Eger Loge, Julius Fenchel Loge, Abraham Geiger Loge, Gabirol Loge, Frauen-Verein der Berliner Logen UOBB (Berlin). These lodges are represented by circulars, correspondence, work plans, and a notebook containing the circulation records for the library of the Berlin lodges. Each library book was given a number; when a member checked out a book, the number, member name, and dates out and in were logged. The list of books is not found in the collection.

Düsseldorf Loge: final typescript of the bylaws.

Marcus Horowitz Loge (Frankfurt am Main): agenda for a 1922 meeting, typescript draft of the by-laws.

Rheinland und Moriah Loge (Cologne): correspondence, typescript of by-laws, a eulogy for Hans Frank, and a manuscript of a 1923 speech welcoming new brethren into the lodge, as well as manuscript and typescript reports from the associated women's lodge (Schwesternbund).

Makabi Loge (Konstanz): typescript of the bylaws.

Rhenus Loge (Mainz): an alphabetically organized binder of member correspondence, including applications for membership.

Jeremia Loge (Stolp): two typescripts of the bylaws.

Salo Adler Loge (Schneidemühl): typescript of the bylaws.

Lože Alliance (Budweis): a general file, including incoming and outgoing lodge correspondence and event announcements. In German and Czech.

Loge Bohemia (Prague): a general file, including incoming and outgoing lodge correspondence and event announcements, as well as a notebook containing the catalog of the B'nai B'rith Society lending library. In German and Czech.

Dates

  • 1907-1939
  • Majority of material found within 1921-1937

Language of Materials

This collection is in German, with some Czech.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Collection is digitized. Follow the links in the Container List to access the digitized materials.

Historical Note

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (German: Unabhängiger Orden Bne Briss (UOBB)) is a Jewish fraternal benevolent society founded in New York in 1843. The first European lodge district was established in Berlin, Germany in 1882 as the Grossloge für Deutschland. Districts were also established in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Rumania, and Great Britain. By 1932, the German district had 103 lodges and nearly 15,000 members. In April 1937, the Nazi party banned B'nai B'rith and confiscated the assets of the organization and the lodges.

For a brief history of B'nai B'rith in Germany, with an emphasis on 1933-1937, see Karin Voelker, The B'nai B'rith Order (U.O.B.B.) in the Third Reich (1933–1937), Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook (1987) 32(1):269-295.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 manuscript boxes)

Abstract

This collection contains materials, primarily correspondence and by laws, relating to chapters of the Jewish fraternal benevolent society B’nai B’rith that were founded in German-speaking central Europe beginning in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Arrangement

The arrangement generally follows the arrangement of AR 4087 as found in the original catalog cards. The exceptions are the Schwesternbund folder, which was integrated into this collection from AR 3836; the General folder, which was created from the Varia (I.10) folder and materials from AR 3836; and the library circulation notebook for the Berlin lodges, which is not described in the catalog cards. The Roman numeral and number in parentheses after the folder title refer to the original catalog cards, found in folder 1.

Other Finding Aid

The original catalog cards, found in folder 1, describe much of this collection at the item level in German. The descriptions are accurate for those folders having Roman numerals and numbers in parentheses after the folder title.

Related Material

The LBI Archives holds many memoirs that mention membership in German chapters of B'nai B'rith.

Processing Information

Collections AR 4087, AR 11809, and AR 11917 were evaluated together. Two collections were created: this collection, AR 4087, relating to B'nai B'rith chapters of founded in Germany in the late 1800s and early 1900s; and AR 11917, relating to the Leo Baeck Lodge in New York, founded by German-Jewish émigrés in 1944.

Small collection AR 3836 was previously placed into this collection. From AR 4087, one regular folder of material and all of the oversize materials, all related to the Leo Baeck Lodge No. 1531 (New York, N.Y.), were removed to AR 11917. One additional folder of material was found under AR 4093 and added to this collection as well.

Duplicate items were removed. The materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and reboxed. Two very fragile items in the Cologne folder were placed in Mylar.

The materials in the original Berlin, Budweis, and Prag folders were too large to fit into one folder. They were separated into multiple folders but remain in order.
Title
Grossloge fuer Deutschland (B'nai B'rith Germany) Collection undated, 1907-1939 , bulk 1921-1937 AR 4087
Author
Processed by LBI Staff and Kevin Schlottmann
Date
© 2012
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Sponsor
as part of the Leon Levy Archival Processing Initiative, made possible by the Leon Levy Foundation

Revision Statements

  • January 17, 2014 : Links to digital objects added in Container List.

Repository Details

Part of the Leo Baeck Institute Repository

Contact:
15 West 16th Street
New York NY 10011 United States