Volume 1  –  document 73

Special session of the board of directors of the Jewish Community of Berlin on 24 August 1933 to ensure kosher food in spite of the ban on shechitah1Archives of the Leo Baeck Institute, New York, at the Jüdisches Museum Berlin, MF 587. This document has been translated from German.

Minutes, signed by Heinrich Stahl and Dr Breslauer,2Dr Walter Breslauer (1890–1981), lawyer; practised law in Berlin, 1919–1931; administrative director of the Jewish Community of Berlin, 1931–1936; he emigrated via Switzerland to Britain in 1936. of the meeting on 24 August 1933 held in the offices of the Prussian Regional Association of Jewish Communities, Berlin3Present were (a) Stahl (chairman), Graetz, Dr Sandler for Dr Kollenscher, and also from the board Schoyer (at the start of the meeting), Rosenthal; (b) Dr Breslauer; and (c) as guests, rabbis Dr Freimann, Dr Jacobovits, Dr Unna, Mannheim, Dr Weinberg, Berlin; Dr Moses was absent, excused: ibid.

Subject to the subsequent approval of the Repr[esentatives’] Ass[embly], it is resolved that a sum of up to RM 5,000 should be made available for testing a shechitah device that conforms equally to the legal regulations and the ritual ones,4On 21 April 1933 the Law on the Slaughter of Animals and the Regulation on the Slaughter of Animals were made public, prohibiting the shechitah method of slaughtering warm-blooded animals according to Jewish law: Reichsgesetzblatt, 1933, I, pp. 203 and 212. The ritual requirement of shechitah in Judaism involves the slaughtering of animals by a specially trained shochet without stunning the animals first. plus the costs of a trip to be made by Rabbi Dr Weinberg and the costs of obtaining expert opinions from professors.

The commission, consisting of the four rabbis present and Rabbi Dr Hoffmann,5Jakob Hoffmann, later Jacob Hoffman (1881–1956), rabbi; initially worked in Austria, Moravia, and Bukovina, then from 1922 in Frankfurt am Main; member of the Prussian Regional Association of Jewish Communities; arrested by the Gestapo in 1937 and, as a Hungarian citizen, expelled from Germany. He emigrated to the USA in 1938 and to Israel in 1955. Frankfurt am Main, in consultation with Mr Schoyer,6Adolf Schoyer (1872–1961), businessman; co-owner of the Schoyer metal trading company in Berlin; Orthodox representative on the board of the Jewish Community of Berlin, later its deputy chairman, 1931–1938; emigrated to Britain in 1938; returned to Germany in 1945. is to be authorized to control these funds.

Starting on 1 November 1933, kashrut7Religious dietary laws for Jews. measures in the homes for the elderly and in hospitals are to be organized by dividing them among the institutions or by creating special facilities in the hospitals, in such a way that facilities that comply with the strictest ritual standards are available to all those for whom this is of great importance, along with facilities catering for those who place a greater importance on a more abundant supply of meat.8Since the ban on shechitah, there had been a shortage of kosher meat in Germany, which could be offset only to a limited extent with imports. This decision is not to be implemented if the aforementioned commission of the five rabbis should be in a position to state, by the time specified, that there henceforth exists a shechitah procedure that complies with the legal regulations and may be used at least for the elderly and the sick in accordance with the commission’s understanding of the ritual regulations.

This document is part of:
German Reich 1933–1937 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2019)