The Library of the Leo Baeck Institute has completed digitizing all issues of the German-Jewish émigré Journal, Aufbau published between 1934 and 2004, thus ensuring that the entire contents of the most important publication of the global German-Jewish refugee and exile community will remain available online to researchers. The new resource is available immediately at: archive.org/details/aufbau
In 2012, LBI worked with Internet Archive, an online library and LBI’s primary digitization partner, to digitize the issues ofAufbau published between 1951 and 2004. This project, partially funded by the Metropolitan New York Library Council, put the entirety of the Aufbau online for the first time, since the German National Libray (DNB), had previously digitized the volumes of Aufbau published from 1934 – 1950 as part of its Exilpresse Digital project.
However, in June 2012, the DNB closed online access to the Aufbau along with other German journals published in exile and many Jewish periodicals published in Germany during the Nazi Regime, citing legal concerns. In order to ensure that this critical resource remains available to researchers, the Library of the Leo Baeck Institute digitized the early years of the Aufbau in 2013. JM Jüdische Medien, the Swiss Publishing company that owns the rights to the Aufbau, has granted its approval for the digitization, and funding was once again provided by the Metropolitan New York Library Council.
The Hebrew manuscript collection at CUL is quite wide-ranging, covering space from India to the Carribean, and time from the 10th to the 20th centuries. It has particularly strong coverage of the early modern period, with substantial historical materials from Italy and Amsterdam, Greece (Corfu) and France. One obvious lacuna for our collection was the Jewish community of Germany.
While we do have some manuscripts that were produced in Germany, such as our ‘Evronot, there was previously not much in our collection which described the actual people from this area during the early modern era. Until now. We recently were able to acquire a German manuscript from 1750 which describes the "Revised Privileges and Laws of Jewry in Royal Prussia."
A full description is available at the link above, but in summary, the manuscript includes:
1) A list of the Schutzjuden (Protected Jews) to whom King Frederick II (the Great) granted the privilege to live in Prussia.
2) A list of laws under which the Jews could remain in King Frederick’s lands.
This document presents a fascinating slice of time; not only for the specific individuals that are listed within it, but also for the laws themselves, which include governance of the community. The laws were very specific, including a provision that the Jews were not allowed to say a phrase (she-hem mishtahavim la-hevel va-rik) within the Alenu prayer which was seen as derogatory to Christians. That such detail would be included in these laws implies that a study of the other laws may give us more insight into this particular community of Jews at this time.