The Bamberg Society History for all - Institute for Regional History, arranged tours tracing the history of the Jews from the first Synagogue at the foot of the Kaulberg to the new Community house with Synagogue in the Willy-Lessing- Street.
The participants will receive answers to questions about 1000 years of Jewish life in Bamberg: where were the Syna-gogues situated; what did they look like; where did the Jews live in the Middle Ages; why was the trade in Hops almost entirely in the hands of the Jews; what happened to the almost 300 businesses and factories in the Nazi Period?
These and further questions will be dealt with during the two hour walking tours, as also current developments such as the problems of the Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe and Russia.
Starting on Sunday 18 July, tours have been arranged also for the Sundays of 1 September, 17 October and 7 November at 14 hours, starting from the Pfahlplätzchen.
(Reported in the Fränkischer Tag of 17.07.2004).
Bamberg World Cultural Heritage Trust
This Trust, intended to provide Funds to maintain and enhance the status of Bamberg as a World Cultural Heritage Centre, was founded on 16 November 2004. The Kuratorium includes prominent members of local Government, politics and industry. (Reported in the Rathaus Journal Nr. 26 of 19.12.2003).
European City of Culture 2010
Having missed the title for 2008, Bamberg aspires to earn and prepare for it. A Society for the promotion of Bamberg as European City of Culture 2010 had been established on 10 December 2004. (Reported in the Rathaus Journal Nr. 26, 17.12.2004.
Every year, Lord Mayor Lauer asks people to refrain from sending him any presents at Christmas, but rather to make gifts to charities. This year he asked that any such gifts should go to the Project “People in Distress” or, as in the previous two years, to the Synagogue Con-struction Fund. I think this is a lovely gesture. (Reported in the Rathaus Journal Nr. 25 of 3.12.2004).
The Bamberg Natural History Museum (do you know where this is located?) has earned a sort of international renown. The June 2004 edition of the prestigious and hence very expensive British monthly “The World of Interiors” devoted eight pages to a detailed description and appraisal of the Bird Hall as a showpiece of classical design. (Reported in the Fränkischer Tag Nr.14 of 2.07.2004).
My readers probably know that the “ka” in the firm “Oekametal” referred to Sally Kahn, the co-founder with Georg Oelhorn in 1913 of Oelhorn & Kahn, a company depending on the skill of toolmakers in making deep-drawn products like lipstick cases.
When Sally and his family had to get out of Nazi Germany, he had to accept a bad price for his share in the business, which went to a big Nazi, because his partner Oelhorn refused to benefit from his partner’s misfortune.
The firm continues to exist and expand in Bamberg and is now being directed by the fifth generation of Oelhorns.
This fact and a major recent investment has encouraged Lord Mayor Lauer and the City’s Senate for Industry, Finance and local Government participation to visit the successful firm on 11 November and to satisfy themselves of its bright future. (Reported in the Rathaus Journal Nr. 25 of 3.12.2004)
My readers may remember at least the name of the Bamberg Catholic lawyer Hans Wölfel, who was denounced during the last War for a remark unfriendly to the Nazis. He was arrested in October 1943, put before the notorious Volksgerichtshof (people’s court) in 1944, condemned to death as a Staatsfeind (enemy of the state) by a totally illegal process and murdered.
60 years after this Nazi crime there appeared a book in Bamberg, edited by Mechtild Bocksch (ed.). This is not only an account of the last years and the death of Wölfel, but contains essays by a number of historians of the social and political events and circumstances of the years after 1918 in Germany, partly from the point of view of the Catholic Church.
Dr. Selma Graf - nee Reinhold (1887- 1942) was a Jewish Gynaecologist, practicing in Bamberg, who was arrested in 1938 and accused in 1939 for having carried out abortions over many years for gain, a charge she vehemently denied. The Court condemned her to 10 years’ hard labour and sent her on 28 November 1939 to the Zuchthaus (a hard labour institution) at Aichach. Although her husband was not Jewish, she was sent to Auschwitz on 7 December 1942, where she died, allegedly of Influenza, on 31 December 1939.
Her life was briefly described by Gaby Franger in “Geschichte-quer”. volume 12, 2004. A brief reference, including a picture of Dr. Graf, will be found in my book Juden in Bamberg: Die Jahrzehnte for dem Holocaust, on pages 326/327.
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