FRAULEIN RABBINER REGINA JONAS, 1902-1944, THE FIRST WOMAN RABBI
Introduction: ‘Finding’ the ‘lost’ woman rabbi
Good evening everyone. Thank you for inviting me here to tell you about Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas, who received s’mikhah, rabbinic ordination, in Germany in 1935. I first heard about Rabbi Regina Jonas in 1992, when I had been a rabbi for just three years. Intrigued to discover that a woman had become a rabbi Germany in the 1930s, before the Sho’ah, I decided that I wanted to find out more about her. As it turned out, my research raised many more questions than it answered – questions that remain very relevant to this day.
I gave a lecture about Rabbi Regina Jonas at the Leo Baeck College in 1994, which was later published in the journal, European Judaism in 1995. Prior to this publication, a briefer account of my research into her life and work was included in the first anthology of the writings of women rabbis in Britain, Hear Our Voice, which was published by SCM Press in December 1994 1. At the time that I spoke at Leo Baeck College, I was honoured to be giving the first public lecture devoted to the life and work of Rabbi Regina Jonas, fifty years after her death in Auschwitz in 1944. Research had already been conducted by a German Christian feminist, Katharina von Kellenbach – who, incidently, died a few months ago 2. And in the years since my humble efforts, important work in the retrieval of Regina Jonas’ legacy has been undertaken: Most significantly, Elisa Klapchek, rabbi of the Beit Ha’Chidush congregation in Amsterdam, who grew up in Germany, has written a biography, which was translated into English by New York-born, Toby Axelrod – who has also translated Regina Jonas’ 1930 treatise, “Can Women Serve as Rabbis?” 3
So, in an important sense Rabbi Regina Jonas is no longer ‘news’ – except, of course, to those who have yet to learn about her life and work. And that is where I began – as a relatively new ‘woman rabbi’ back in 1992. At that time, it had been exactly twenty years since Sally Priesand had received s’mikhah from the Hebrew Union College in the United States in 1972. As far as I was aware, and as far as my women rabbinic colleagues were aware, Sally Priesand was the ‘first’ woman rabbi. We largely saw ourselves in the context of a new era, which had been significantly shaped by the Women’s Liberation Movement which re-emerged in the late 1960s and led to profound changes in the lives and expectations of women, especially, in Britain, western Europe and the United States. In other words, we saw ourselves as a new phenomenon.
And then we heard about a German woman rabbi called Regina Jonas who worked as a pastor, preacher and teacher in the Berlin Jewish community and in the Terezin ghetto and died in Auschwitz in 1944. And we wondered: What contribution might she have made to Judaism if she had survived? What difference would her survival have made to the development of women in the Rabbinate? If Hitler has not come to power shortly after Regina Jonas completed her studies… if German Jewry had not become preoccupied with simple survival… if European Jewry had not been consumed by the fire of Nazism… What would have become of Regina Jones and the other twenty-six women who studied with her at the Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judenturns (the ‘High School for the Science of Judaism’) in Berlin? 4
Once I began my research into the life and work of Rabbi Regina Jonas, these questions, vital though they are, were soon overtaken by other questions – which amounted to one big question: Why was the historical record so silent about her? There is no reference to Regina Jonas in the Encyclopaedia Judaica . There is no reference to Regina Jonas in H.G. Adler’s monumental work, Theresienstadt, 1941-1945, published in 1960. Ditto the testimony gathered by the Council of Jewish communities in the Czech Lands, entitled, Terezin published in 1965. Ditto Richard Fuchs’ article on ‘The Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums in the Nazi Period’ published in the Leo Baeck Institute Year Book (XII) of 1967. Similarly, in his article included in Living Judaism in Spring 1967, in which he argues for the ordination of women, Aryeh Dorfler, Lecturer in Rabbinics at the Leo Baeck College at the time, makes no mention of the precedent set by Regina Jonas. 5
Interestingly, in the account of “The Last Days of the Hochschule’ by Alexander Guttman published by Hebrew Union College in 1972 – the year that the first woman, Sally Priesand, was ordained by that institution – Guttman refers to the dissension regarding Regina Jonas, both prior to, and following, her ordination. And yet, in Response to Modernity. A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism, published in 1988, Michael Meyer makes only passing reference to Regina Jonas in his discussion of the controversy about women’s ordination at the Hebrew Union College. 6 Even more perplexing, the specialist study, Women of Theresienstadt. Voices from a Concentration Camp by Ruth Schwertfeger, published in 1989 7 does not include the voice of Regina Jonas – a spectactular omission. Regina Jonas lost her life in Sho’ah, and, it seems that the memory of her life and work also vanished practically without trace.
Of course, there was the problem of written evidence. While Regina Jonas is included in institutional records of the Hochschule, the Judische Gemeinde (Jewish Community) of Berlin, Theresienstadt (Terezin) and Yad Vashem – and there is lively discussion of the special ‘case’ of Regina Jonas in the Jewish newspaper of the time, Israelitisches Familienblatt – until the Berlin Wall came down, Regina Jonas’ letters and papers – including her rabbinic thesis – rested undisturbed in the Bundesarchives (State Archives) in Coswig, 100 kilometres east of Berlin for over four decades.
But the political realities of Germany after 1945 do not explain why the official records were not investigated earlier. And then there is the question of the leading Jewish figures who knew Regina Jonas and survived the Sho’ah – like her teacher at the Hochschule, Rabbi Dr Leo Baeck, and Viktor Frankl with whom she worked in Terezin. As far as we know, they did not breathe a word about her. 8 Why is this? A surviving fellow Hochschule student – who became a senior Progressive rabbi in Britain – told me when I made enquiries that she simply had not interested him; she was not his ‘type’! 9
But at the time at least, there were others who were far less indifferent and dismissive. During her early years at the Hochschule (1926-1929), Regina Jonas corresponded with two of her teachers there, Eduard Baneth, Professor of Talmud, and responsible for rabbinic ordination, who supervised her final thesis, and Ismar Elbogen, Professor of Liturgy – and their letters to her are preserved in the archives. 10 Indeed, there is clear evidence from this correspondence that these distinguished scholars recognised the difficulties she faced as a woman. As early as 1927, Elbogen wrote to Regina Jonas at Purim urging her not to be pessimistic of her chances of getting work. He added that the community should not pay her less than the rate 10. Perhaps Ismar Elbogen and Eduard Baneth would have remained stout supporters of their colleague following her ordination. But Eduard Baneth, who originally conducted the rabbinic examination of Regina Jonas, died in 1930, during the course of it 11 and Ismar Elbogen, emigrated to New York in 1938 where he joined Hebrew Union College and died in 1943 12 . These two scholars did not live to relate their experiences of Regina Jonas.
And what of Leo Baeck, who survived the Sho’ah and lived in London for eleven years until his death in 1956? His letters to Regina Jonas span the period from 1934 to 1940, and reveal that he was not just a teacher, he was a friend. Indeed, this is also true of Leo Baeck’s wife, Natalie, who also corresponded with Regina Jonas. 10 What is more, Leo Baeck and Regina Jonas were in Thereseinstadt – in Terezin – at the same time – although Regina Jonas was deported to the ghetto in November 1942, and dispatched to Auschwitz two years later and Leo Baeck was incarcerated there from 1943 until its liberation in 1945.
So why didn’t Leo Baeck keep the memory of his student alive and pass it on to the next generation? One can only speculate – and in all fairness to the memory of Leo Baeck himself, speculation is dangerous. Perhaps he did mention her. But if he did, nothing he said seems to have been recorded 8. Perhaps, too, Ellen Littman, a fellow student of Regina Jonas, who taught Bible at Leo Baeck College in the early years, also mentioned Regina Jonas to her students. But if she did, the knowledge that a woman student at the Hochschule had received s’mikhah, does not seem to have excited the curiosity of the first post-war generation of European progressive rabbis.
And yet, by contrast, for a woman who was taught by Regina Jonas as a girl between the years 1934 and 1937 at a non-Jewish school in Berlin where she was a visiting teacher, ‘Dr Jonas’, as she was known there, left a ‘lasting impression’. 13 When the news of Regina Jonas’ ordination certificate and photograph was published in Inform, the newsletter of the Reform Synagogues of Great Britain in December 1993, a delighted Inge Kallman of Southport quickly wrote to the Leo Baeck College and the Principal, Rabbi Dr Jonathan Magonet, kindly passed her letter on to me.14 In her letter to me,15 she recalled that at twelve years of age, she was encouraged by ‘Dr Jonas’ to attend her first Oneg Shabbat. And she went on to say that it was also at the instigation of Regina Jonas that she attended an Erev Shabbat service that her teacher conducted at an old people’s home near the Jewish Hospital in Berlin. It was here that she remembers seeing Regina Jonas in her rabbinical robes for the first time. In addition to these more formal settings, this former pupil also remembers: ‘one occasion when the few Jewish children still remaining at the school were invited to her flat for biscuits and coffee, a flat she shared with her mother.’
Why did it take so long for these memories to surface? Inge Kallman writes: ‘Whenever I asked previously, it seems that although her existence was known, there was no evidence.’16 No substantial written evidence, clearly. But if those who had known Regina Jonas, who taught her, studied with her, worked with her, had made an effort to transmit their experience of her to others, we would have had the evidence of oral testimony, and it would not have been necessary to rediscover Regina Jonas almost fifty years after her death in the archives where she herself deposited her letters and papers.17
Regina Jonas may have expected to retrieve her own work from the archives after the war – or perhaps, she did not think she would survive and hoped that future generations would rediscover her contribution to Jewish life. But she died in Auschwitz and so it became the responsibility of the next generation to engage in to the task of retrieval.
In addition to reading Katharina von Kellenbach’s article published in the journal Schlagenbrut in 1992 2 and also the tribute by Hans Hirschberg published in Leo Baeck College News in 1993 11, I conducted my own piece of research in November 1993, when I visited the archives at Coswig – which have since been transferred to Potsdam, near Berlin. Although I was only given access to a few letters, they helped to illuminate aspects of Regina Jonas’ experience as a student and rabbi and her relationships with her scholars/teachers. Fortunately, after going to see Dr Hermann Simon, Director of the Zentrum Judaicum Foundation at the Oranienburger Strasse Synagogue in East Berlin, he agreed to let me have the microfilm containing all the archive material – including Regina Jonas’ rabbinic dissertation on the ordination of women – which I finally received in March 1994 and deposited in library of the Leo Baeck College. And so – technical issues of translation aside – for the first time, the written evidence of the contribution of Regina Jonas became accessible.
From Teacher to Rabbi
So, what do we know about the first woman rabbi? Regina Jonas was born on August 3rd 1902 in Berlin. At the age of twenty-one she began working as a teacher of Religion in the Orthodox Jewish School in Berlin, where her brother, Abraham, also taught, and spent the next twenty-one years until her death intensively engaged in Jewish learning and teaching.
However, Regina Jonas was not content with being a teacher. She attended the Hochschule from 1924 to 1930 attaining the qualification, ‘Academic Teacher of Religion’ 18. Did she plan to become a rabbi or did her studies at the Hoschschule lead her in that direction? Further research may yield an answer to that question. What we do know is that towards the end of her studies, she clearly sought ordination. She devoted her thesis to an exploration of the Talmudic sources regarding Women’s Ordination and waited to receive s’mikhah.
But it was not to be – at least not under Hochschule auspices. Although Regina Jonas had the support of the majority of her teachers, the Talmud Professor, Dr Chanokh Albeck, declined to put his name to a Rabbinic Diploma. The controversy raged but was unresolved 19 and despite the fact that Leo Baeck was her teacher for many years he did not ordain her. Hans Hirschberg argues that: ‘[a] possible explanation might be that Baeck presided over the General Association of Rabbis in Germany which also included Orthodox and Conservative Rabbis. The ordination of a woman as Rabbi’, he writes, ‘may have led to unwanted arguments, likewise in Berlin, where Leo Baeck had to work with non-liberal colleagues in unified congregation (Einheitsgemeinde)’.
But the issue of ordination – or rather the lack of it – did not end there. At the request of the Union of Liberal Rabbis in Germany on 27 December 1935 Regina Jonas received s’mikhah from Rabbi Max Dienemann in Offenbach who having examined her declared her ‘qualified to occupy the office of Rabbi’ 20. Interestingly, Leo Baeck wrote to her just four days later on 31 December, congratulating her on her performance in her examination 10. And it was Leo Baeck again, who, over six years later on 6 February 1942, signed a certificate confirming her s’mikhah 21.
It is the certificate alone – presented by Dr Hermann Simon, to Leo Baeck College on 3 October 1993, together with a photograph of Regina Jonas in her rabbinic robes – that provides the incontrovertible evidence of her ordination which sets her apart as the first woman whose status as a Rabbi received formal acknowledgement. Interestingly, Inge Kallman recalls her teacher saying that ‘apart from a woman rabbi in America, she was the first woman rabbi’. 22 Who was that woman rabbi? Perhaps Regina Jonas was referring to Martha Neumark, the daughter of a professor at the Hebrew Union College, who provoked an outcry when she requested ordination in 1922. Michael Meyer discusses the controversy briefly in Response to Modernity (1988). Apparently, while the HUC faculty were unanimous in their support of Martha Neumark, a majority of the College’s Board of Governors decided against changing the policy of ordination for males only 23. So, Martha Neumark did not receive s’mikhah. But if Regina Jonas was alluding to Martha Neumark when she spoke of ‘a woman rabbi in America’ then it seems that Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas, at least, considered her a colleague.
Working as a Rabbi
What kind of woman was Regina Jonas? And what kind of a rabbi did the first woman to officially assume that role, turn out to be? The evidence explored so far reveals a picture of a determined individual, a dedicated teacher and pastor. Here are some of the pieces in the puzzle:
The first piece is a picture: a photograph, which now hangs in a classroom at the Leo Baeck College dedicated to the rabbis of the pre-war Hochschule generation. Her face is strong: piercing eyes, firm chin, resolute mouth; her stance is defiant. She looks like a force to be reckoned with.
Regina Jonas was a bold individual. There are clear signs that she would not allow the absence of ‘official’ recognition to stand in her way. And no doubt the fact that the dispute spilled out into the wider Jewish community, turning her into a public figure, helped to embolden her still more. Shortly after she completed her examination at the Hochschule, the Jewish Journal, Israelitisches Familienblatt, published an article entitled ‘It strikes us’ on 4 June 1931, in which the author expressed his ambivalent reaction – and perhaps that of many others – to the anomalous position of Regina Jonas. He wrote:
One is rightfully permitted to be proud of her. One is rightfully permitted to see this as a good sign of the times when a young woman out of her own inclination and zeal grasps hold of the Jewish teaching profession … But nevertheless it strikes us that in this certificate which the Hochschule for the Science of Judaism has bestowed, it was not stated that it is only a teaching and not a preaching Diploma … As long as it is not the regular norm that women ministers are appointed and as long as … many small communities … give people with Academic Religion certificates, rabbinic functions, it must be said that this Diploma when bestowed on a woman should not include the qualification to preach which normally a certificate like this includes. Otherwise it could happen that other Academic and Seminary-educated women religion teachers could climb the pulpit and claim to be qualified by their educational institutions to do so …
Perhaps if the German Jewish community had not been overtaken by external events, some of the other female students at the Hochschule may have risen to this challenge. In any case, Regina Jonas pursued the case for woman rabbis. She gave a lecture at the Judischen Frauenbund in Berlin with the title, ‘Can Women Become Rabbis?’, which was reported in the same journal (Israelitisches Familienblatt) on 5 November 1931. Beginning with an historical sketch of the origin of rabbinic ordination, she explained:
In earlier times, there existed no exams for rabbis. Leaders of the community were learned people who were authorised by other learned people to practice the rabbinical function. They themselves had the right to name as rabbis, men who seemed to them to be worthy.
Regina Jonas knew that there were rabbis who considered her to be worthy – and members of the Berlin community with which she worked, too. Perhaps that is what made her so tenacious. And yet there continued to be many detractors 24 and the ambiguity which surrounded her role persisted even after she received s’mikhah. A survivor recalls: 25
In Berlin there lived at this time in the thirties the first woman rabbi, Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas. She watched carefully that one said ‘Fraulein Rabbiner’ to her because a ‘Frau Rabbiner’ was the wife of a rabbi … She came into the hospital and old age home very often, and there she wanted to function as a rabbi. Generally, this worked in the old age home. In the hospital, she came into the synagogue, wearing a purple robe – not black – she sat herself downstairs next to a man on the rabbi’s seat. She wanted to give her lecture or sermon during the prayers, but always when this doctor was there and prayed with the people, he said to her, ‘You can do what you want, but for the prayers you go upstairs to the women, and afterwards you can come downstairs’.
Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas worked with the old and with the young primarily as a pastor and teacher. However, she found that despite the resistance of some people, once the violence and deportations began, she increasingly assumed an overt pulpit presence. Hans Hirschberg writes 26:
Contemporaries praised her extraordinary personality and oratorical gifts. Where and whenever she preached to those who were to perform forced labour, they filled the place to capacity and those who did not manage to get in, stood in the doorways as far as the street.
On 3 November 1942, Regina Jonas completed a declaration form listing her property – including her books – which was officially confiscated ‘for the benefit of the German Reich’ two days later. On 6 November, she was deported to Theresienstadt 27. But her rabbinic work did not end with deportation. In the ghetto, she continued functioning as a rabbi, working together with the well-known psychologist, Viktor Frankl. Her particular task was to meet transports at the railway station and help people deal with their initial shock and disorientation 28.
Curiously, Viktor Frankl, while he wrote extensively about what he learned from his experience in the camps after the war 8 did not mention his work with Regina Jonas. However, when approached by Katharina von Kellenbach in 1991 and asked directly about her, Frankl described Regina Jonas as ‘loaded with energy and a very impressive personality’. He also called her ‘a blessed preacher and speaker’ 29 – a reference to the fact that, in addition to her pastoral work, Regina Jonas also gave sermons and lectures. The amazingly full cultural life of Terezin is well-documented, and she contributed to the programme of activities. A hand-written list of her lectures, entitled, ‘Lectures of the one and only woman rabbi, Regina Jonas’ has survived in the Terezin archives. 30 Of the twenty-three different titles, five concern the position, meaning and history of Jewish women, five deal with Talmudic topics, two with biblical themes, three with pastoral issues, and nine offer general introductions to the basic contents of Jewish beliefs, ethics and the festivals.
Like Viktor Frankl and her teacher, Leo Baeck, who both survived Terezin, Regina Jonas was clearly an inspiration for all those who knew her. A glimmer of her spiritual strength is apparent in the one sermon delivered in the ghetto to have survived – which includes these words of hope. 31
Our Jewish people is sent from God into history as ‘blessed’, ‘from God blessed’ which means, wherever one steps in every life situation, bestow blessing, goodness and faithfulness – humility before God’s selflessness, whose devotion-full love for His creatures maintains the world. To establish these pillars of the world was and is Israel’s task. Men and women, and women and men have undertaken this duty with the same Jewish faithfulness. This ideal also serves our testing Thereseinstadt work. We are God’s servants and as such we are moving from earthly to eternal spheres. May all our work which we have tried to perform as God’s servants, be a blessing for Israel’s future and Humanity.
After two years of tireless work on behalf of her fellow prisoners in the ghetto, Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas was dispatched to Auschwitz. There is some dispute about the date. Katharina von Kellenbach, citing the Transport List held in the archives at Yad Vashem on which Regina Jonas is included as No.722 32, says that the date was 9 October 1944. Hans Hirschberg states that the date was 12 December 1944 33. The Yad Vashem reference itself seems to be dated 20 December. 34 von Kellenbach later revised her estimate and suggested that the date was 12 October. 35 What is certain is that Rabbi Regina Jonas did not live to see the New Year of 1945 and liberation in the Spring.36
Although since the time that I conducted my research, there have been further studies 3, much of the mystery that surrounds Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas remains. It is clear that she was a gifted, courageous individual and a committed rabbi. The circumstances of her time meant that she was, in her own words, ‘the one and only woman rabbi’. We cannot know how many other women may have become rabbis after her if the Sho’ah had not happened. We cannot know if Regina Jonas would have made a special contribution to Jewish life if she had been one of many and European Jewry had not been rounded up and slaughtered. The chain was broken. But today, women rabbis, who now make up half of the progressive rabbinate in Britain, are creating a new chain, and as we do so, we are proud to restore a missing link with our past:
Frauline Rabbiner Regina Jonas – zichronah livrachah, ‘may her memory be for a blessing’. Amen.
Rabbi Elizabeth Tikvah Sarah
The Jewish Historical Society, Brighton & Hove Branch
23rd February 2010
1. Elizabeth Sarah: ‘Rabbi Regina Jonas, 1902-1944: Missing Link in a Broken Chain’. In Hear Our Voice. Women Rabbis Tell Their Stories. SCM Press, 1994; ‘The Discovery of Fraulein Rabbiner Regina Jonas: Making Sense of Our Inheritance’. European Judaism, 95:2, December 1995.
2. At the time I conducted my research, Katharina von Kellenbach had published: ‘Frl. Rabbiner Regina Jonas: Eine religiose Feministin vor ihrer Zeit’ in Schlangenbrut Nr.38, 1992, pp.35-39(kindly translated for me by Maren Freudenberg); “Forgotten Voices: German Women’s Ordination and the Holocaust” in Proceedings of the Second Biennial Conference on Christianity and the Holocaust, Rider College II (1992); and: “God Does Not Oppress Any Human Being: The Life and Thought of Rabbi Regina Jonas” in Leo Baeck Institute: Yearbook XXXIX (1994). In 1998 a further article was published in the journal, Shofar: “Preaching Hope: Denial and Defiance of Genocidal Reality in Rabbi Regina Jonas’ Work”
3. See Klapheck, Elisa, ed. Fräulein Rabbiner Jonas—The Story of the First Woman Rabbi. San Francisco: 2004. (Fräulein Rabbiner Jonas—Kann die Frau das rabbinische Amt bekleiden?. Teetz: 2000); Axelrod, Toby, 2009: “My years with Regina Jonas”. In: Bridges. A Jewish Feminist Journal, Autumn 2009, Vol. 14, No.2, pp.27-31. Also see: Herweg, Rachel Monika. “Regina Jonas (1902–1944).” In Meinetwegen ist die Welt erschaffen. Das intellektuelle Vermächtnis des deutschsprachigen Judentums. 58 Porträts, edited by Hans Erler, Ernst Ludwig Ehrlich, and Ludger Heid. Frankfurt, New York: 1997. For a summary account of Regina Jonas, see the aricle by Elisa Klapchek in the Jewish Women’s Archive: jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/jonas-regina
4. See Annual Report of the Hochschule for 1932 cited both in ‘The Hochschule fur die Wissenschaft des Judentums in the Period of Nazi Rule. Personal Recollections’ by Richard Fuchs (Leo Baeck Institute Year Book, XII, 1967, p.7) and in ‘Frl. Rabbiner Regina Jonas: Eine religiose Feministin vor ihrer Zeit’ by Katharina von Kellenbach (Schlangenbrut Nr.38, 1992, pp.35-39). Fuchs points out (p.7) that there was a rise in the student population at the Hochschule after the First World War. In 1921, there were 63 regular students and 45 external students. In the Summer of 1932, the total number rose to 155, including 27 women.
5. My thanks to Rabbis Jonathan Magonet and John Rayner z”l for drawing my attention to the articles by Fuchs and Dorfler respectively.
6. Michael Meyer, Response to Modernity. A History of the Reform Movement in Judaism. OUP, 1988. He writes (p.379): ‘When [women’s ordination] was raised again (note: the first time was in 1922 with the case of Martha Neumark) among Sisterhood leaders in 1958, even they were initially divided. By then, however, one woman, Regina Jonas, had received private ordination upon completing her studies at the Liberal seminary in Berlin, and for a brief time had served as a rabbi before perishing in the Holocaust
7. Ruth Schwertfeger, Women of Theresienstadt. Voices from a Concentration Camp, Berg, 1989
8. Leo Baeck’s biographer, Albert Friedlander does not recall any reference made by Leo Baeck to Regina Jonas (Private conversation, 20.6.94) and his biography, Leo Baeck, Teacher of Theresienstadt, Holt, Rinehart, Winston, New York, 1968 certainly makes no reference to her. As for Viktor Frankl, he discussed his experience of the camps in his books, From Death Camp to Existentialism, later revised and included in a larger work, Man’s Search for Meaning. An Introduction to Legotherapy, Hodder and Stroughton, London, 1962. However, although he worked with Regina Jonas in Theresienstadt, this text, at least, does not mention her.
9. Rabbi Curtis Cassell. Private conversation 14.6.94
10. The Bundesarchives reference no. for the letters addressed to Regina Jonas is 75D JO 1
11. See ‘Tribute to Rabbi Regina Jonas of Berlin’ by Hans Hirschberg (Leo Baeck College News 1993, p.46.
12. Fuchs, 1967, p.23
13. Inge Kallman, letter to Jonathan Magonet 4.1.94.
15. Inge Kallman, letter to Elizabeth Sarah, 27.4.94
16. Inge Kallman, letter to Jonathan Magonet, 4.1.94
17. Hirschberg, pp.46-7
18. ibid. p.46
19. Some of the controversy found public expression in the journal Israelitisches Familienblatt, quotations from which are included in Katharina von Kellenbach’s article (see note 2).
20. Hirschberg, pp. 46-7
21. ibid. p.47
22. Inge Kallman, letter to Jonathan Magonet, 4.1.94
23. Meyer, 1988, p.379
24. von Kellenbach (Schlangenbrut 1992) quotes opponents of Regina Jonas.
25. von Kellenbach, Schlangenbrut 1992, p.38. Despite Regina Jonas’ express wish to be addressed as ‘Fraulein Rabbiner’ there is evidence that she continued to be addressed as ‘Frau Rabbiner’. See, for example, a letter from the central office of the Judische Gemeinde (Jewish Community) of Berlin, of 11.9.40, concerning her work at the old people’s home (75 D JO1).
26. Hirschberg, pp.47
27. von Kellenbach, Schlangenbrut 1992, p.38
28. ibid., pp.38-39.
29. ibid., p.39
32. ibid, p.38; footnote 22, p.39
33. Hirschberg, p.47
34. von Kellenbach, Schlangenbrut 1992, p.39
35. von Kellenbach, “God Does Not Oppress Any Human Being”. The Life and Thought of Rabbi Regina Jonas’. Leo Baeck Year Book, No.39, 1994.
36. There is no doubt that the last transports to Auschwitz took place in October. Perhaps Regina Jonas was killed in December