Guide to the Moritz Guedemann (1835-1918) Collection
undated, 1780-1967
bulk 1811-1917

AR 25515

Processed by Kevin Schlottmann

Leo Baeck Institute

Center for Jewish History

15 West 16th Street

New York, N.Y. 10011

Phone: (212) 744-6400

Fax: (212) 988-1305

Email: lbaeck@lbi.cjh.org

URL: http://www.lbi.org

© 2012  Leo Baeck Institute
Electronic finding aid was encoded in EAD 2002 by Kevin Schlottmann in 2012. Description is in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Güdemann, Moritz, 1835-1918
Title: Moritz Guedemann Collection
Dates:undated, 1780-1967
Dates:bulk 1811-1917
Abstract: This collection contains personal and professional material by and about historian and rabbi Moritz Guedemann. Personal materials relating to him and his family include correspondence and educational and official documents. Professional materials include correspondence, writings, and other related papers.
Languages: This collection is in German, with some English, Hebrew, and Latin. Much of the manuscript German is written in the old script. Also, some material is written in German using Hebrew characters.
Quantity: 1 linear foot (1 box) and 4 oversize folders (OS 148)
Identification: AR 25515
Repository: Leo Baeck Institute Archives
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Biographical Note
Portrait of Moritz Guedemann (1835-1918)

Portrait of Moritz Guedemann (1835-1918)

Moritz Guedemann (February 19, 1835 - August 5, 1918) was born in Hildesheim, Germany to Bona (1790-?) and Josef Guedemann (1781-1847). The surname Guedemann was given to his grandfather Moses in the early nineteenth century when the Westphalian government required that all Jews take last names.

In 1854, Guedemann began attending the newly-founded Juedisch-theologisches Seminar (Jewish Theological Seminary), Breslau, while also studying philology and oriental languages at the University of Breslau. In keeping with the academic trends of the time, his doctoral dissertation was a Latin translation and annotation of a philosophic-pedagogic text in Arabic and Persian by the great medieval Persian Sufi poet, Moslih-Ed-Dini Sa'di. After his graduation, Guedemann became rabbi of Magdeburg in 1862. In 1863 he married Fanny Spiegel (d. 1894). He started as a maggid (preacher) in Vienna's Leopoldstadt synagogue in 1866, and became the rabbi in 1868. Despite his conservative and often unpopular views, such as opposition to organ music in services, when the position of chief rabbi of Vienna was created in 1891, Guedemann, along with his colleague Adolf Jellinek, was the first to hold the title.

After the death of his first wife, Guedemann married Ida Sachs, with whom he had four children (Franzi, Josef, Bona, and Leo). In 1914, after the death of his daughter Franzi, he withdrew somewhat from public life, and he died in Baden be Wien, in 1918.

Guedemann researched and wrote extensively on Jewish apologetics and on the history of Jewish education. His early ambivalent attitude to political Zionism became strong opposition with his publication of Nationaljudentum in 1897. Despite this, Theodore Herzl actively although unsuccessfully tried to win Guedemann's support for a Jewish state.

For a detailed look at his rabbinical and scholarly work, see Schorsch, Ismar, "Moritz Güdemann: Rabbi, Historian and Apologist," Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook (1966) 11(1): 42-66.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains personal and professional material by and about historian and rabbi Moritz Guedemann. Personal materials relating to him and his family include correspondence belonging to his parents and grandparents, written in German with Hebrew characters. Also found in the collection are some of Guedemann's educational documents, as well as some official documents, such as marriage certificates and prenuptial agreements, for both Guedemann and his ancestors.

Professional materials concerning Guedemann's activity as a rabbi and as a historian include correspondence with rabbis, businessmen, politicians, and others, as well as with Jewish organizations and communities. The collection also contains manuscripts, typescripts, printed material, notes and fragments, and offprints of his writings, as well as some other materials. Two highlights are a manuscript Synagogenordnung by Samson Raphael Hirsch, for the synagogue in Nikolsburg, Moravia, and a privately-bound Sammelband prayer book of Guedemann's, containing a collection of manuscript, typescript, and printed German and Hebrew prayers.

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Arrangement

This collection is arranged into two series, Personal and Professional.

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Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open to researchers.

Access Information

Readers may access the collection by visiting the Lillian Goldman Reading Room at the Center for Jewish History. We recommend reserving the collection in advance; please visit the LBI Online Catalog and click on the "Request" button.

Use Restrictions

Substantial reproduction or publication of documents (except for single copy reproduction for personal use) will require written permission of Mark D. Guenette. Any copy shall bear the notation "Copyright c1995. Mark D. Guenette. All Rights Reserved."

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Access Points

Click on a subject to search that term in the Center's catalog. Return to the Top of Page

Related Material

The LBI Archives holds Guedemann's memoir "Aus meinem Leben," which has been digitized (ME 220). It also holds over six hundred of Guedemann's handwritten sermons, dating from 1860 to 1918, which have also been digitized (AR 7067).

The LBI Library holds dozens of books by and about Guedemann.

Photographs of Guedemann and his second wife Ida have been digitized and can be found here.

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Separated Material

The book "Das Judenthum in seinen Grundzuegen und nach seinen geschichtlichen Grundlagen dargestellt" (1902), by Moritz Guedemann, was removed to the LBI Library.

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Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date (if known); Moritz Guedemann Collection; AR 25515; box number; folder number; Leo Baeck Institute.

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Processing Information

Three boxes (1.5 linear feet) of material originally comprised AR 7067. One box (0.5 linear feet) of non-sermon material was removed and, together with an addendum of 1 linear foot (1 box), comprises this collection. The remaining material, two boxes of sermons (one linear foot) now comprises the entirety of AR 7067.

Materials were refoldered and reboxed, and interleaved with acid-free paper as needed. Envelopes were removed, unless they contained name/date information not on the letter, or additional writing.

Pages with annotations from four very fragile books by Guedemann, all also held by the LBI Library, were removed and the books discarded: "Jüdische Apologetik" (1908), and the three volumes of "Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der abendlaendischen Juden waehrend des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit" (1880, 1884, 1888).

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Container List

 

Series I: Personal, undated, 1780-1919

This series is in German, with some Hebrew. The letters from the late 18th and early 19th century are written in German using Hebrew characters.
13 folders and two oversize folders (OS 148)
Arrangement:

This series is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Scope and Content:

This series contains documents of a personal nature relating to Moritz Guedemann and his family. Correspondence includes about a dozen letters to Guedemann's father Joseph, most from 1811, some letters to his mother Bona, and a 1780 letter from Moses ben Simon to his wife (Guedemann's paternal grandparents). These are written in German with Hebrew characters, and the 1780 letter also has a handwritten German transliteration. The other correspondence includes three letters to and from family members.

Guedemann's educational documents include diplomas, a certificate of readiness for university, a list of classes taken, and a letter of recommendation from the rabbi of Hildesheim. Also found in the series are a marriage certificate for Moritz and Fanny Spiegel (1866); a Viennese certificate of residence; and a eulogy, an invitation to the Trauerfeier, and a Yahrzeit calendar for Moritz and Fritzi.

Documents relating to family members include prenuptial contracts for Guedemann's sister, Schoenchen, and his father and mother, Josef and Bona; a permit for Louis Sachs, probably Guedemann's father- or brother-in-law, to run a restaurant; and an issue of the Hildesheimische Zeitung from 1817.

BoxFolderTitleDate
11Correspondence - Bona Guedemann1811-1824
12Correspondence - Joseph GuedemannUndated, 1811-1824, bulk 1811
13Correspondence - Moses ben Simon1780
14Correspondence - Various1852-1909
15Certificate of residence, Vienna1867
16Educational documents1854-1860
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 148Educational documents1853-1858
BoxFolderTitleDate
17Eulogy1918
  

Photocopy

 
18Hildesheimische Zeitung1817
19Marriage certificate, Moritz Guedemann and Fanny Spiegel1866
110Prenuptial agreement1809
  

Between Joseph Guedemann and Bona Juda

 
111Prenuptial agreement1837
  

Between David bar Shlomo and Schoenchen Guedemann

 
112Restaurant permit1853
113Will and testament1913-1914
  

Photocopy

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 148Yahrzeit calendar, Moritz and Franzi Guedemann1919
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Series II: Professional, undated, 1847-1967, bulk 1880-1917

This series is in German, with some English, Hebrew, and Latin. Much of the manuscript German is written in the old script.
32 folders and two oversize folders (OS 148)
Arrangement:

This series is arranged into three subseries, based on type of material: Correspondence, Writings, and Other.

Scope and Content:

This series contains materials relating to Guedemann's professional activity as a rabbi and as a historian. It includes correspondence with rabbis, businessmen, politicians, and others, as well as with Jewish organizations and communities. It also contains manuscripts, typescripts, printed material, notes and fragments, and offprints of his writings, as well as some other materials. Two highlights are a manuscript Synagogenordnung by Samson Raphael Hirsch, for the synagogue in Nikolsburg, Moravia, and a privately-bound Sammelband prayer book of Guedemann's, containing a collection of manuscript, typescript, and printed German and Hebrew prayers.

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1858-1918

This subseries is in German, with a small amount of Hebrew.
7 folders
Arrangement:

Folders are arranged alphabetically by title. Correspondence is chronological, except in the general folder, which is alphabetical by correspondent and then chronological.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains what is likely just a small part of Guedemann's incoming correspondence. Correspondents found in individual folders include Zacharias Frankel, Heinrich Graetz, Ludwig Max Goldberger, the directors of Vienna's Jewish community (also includes meeting minutes), and the Israelitische Allianz zu Wien (also includes a contribution list).

The general folder contains one or two letters from many correspondents, who include rabbis, businessmen, politicians, and others. Specific correspondents include F. A. Brockhaus, Zacharias Fraenkel , Max Grunwald, Alfred Jellinek, Moritz Königswarter, Ignaz Kuranda, Anitta Müller-Cohen, Ferdinand Rosenthal, Paul Schiff, Alfred Stern, Isidor Singer, and Saloman Spitzer.

BoxFolderTitleDate
114Frankel, Zacharias1860-1864
115General1858-1918
116Goldberger, Ludwig Max1864-1866, 1903
117Graetz, Heinrich1863-1893
118Jewish communities and organizations1866-1906
119Israelitische Allianz zu Wien1901
120Vorstand der israelitischen Cultusgemeinde in Wien (Directors of the Vienna Jewish community)1869-1914
  

Includes meeting minutes

 

Subseries 2: Writings, undated, 1858-1938, bulk 1880-1917

This subseries is in German, with a small amount of Hebrew found within articles and in Guedemann's notes. The dissertation is in Latin.
17 folders
Arrangement:

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title. Article and book titles are in quotation marks.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains Guedemann's writings. It includes manuscripts, typescripts, printed material, and some notes and fragments. It includes offprints of many of Guedemann's articles. There is one folder of loose articles as well as three bound volumes. These are not complete set of his works. A bibliography of Guedemann's published work was prepared in 1930 by the librarian of the Viennese Jewish community, Bernhard Wachstein. It was published as "Bibliographie der Schriften Moritz Güdemanns," in a special issue of the Bericht der Israelitischen Allianz zu Wien in 1931. In this collection, it is the last item in the bound volume found in box 1, folder 35.

Also found here is a printed copy of his dissertation, "Moslih-ed-Dini Sa’dii consessuum tertius et quartus, ad fidem codicis Vratislaviensis primum editi, cum editione Calcutt," a Latin translation and annotation of a philosophic-pedagogic text in Arabic and Persian by the great medieval Persian Sufi poet, Moslih-Ed-Dini Sa'di. Marked typescripts and a partial manuscript fair copy (not in Guedemann's hand) of his memoir, "Aus meinem Leben," are also in this subseries. A complete manuscript and typescript copy of the memoir have been digitized (see Related Materials).

Pages with annotations from four very fragile books, all also held by the LBI Library, were removed and the books discarded: "Jüdische Apologetik" (1908), and the three volumes of "Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der abendlaendischen Juden waehrend des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit" (1880, 1884, 1888).

Materials dated after Guedemann's death in 1918 relate to posthumous publication and republication of his works.

BoxFolderTitleDate
121"Allerlei Gedanken und Erfahrungen"Undated, circa 1898-1918, 1938
  

Manuscript, typescript, and typed introduction of 1938 edition

 
122"Aus meinem Leben" (memoir)undated
  

Typescripts

 
123"Aus meinem Leben" (memoir)undated
  

Manuscript fair copy

 
124"Geschichte des Erziehungswesens und der Cultur der abendlaendischen Juden waehrend des Mittelalters und der neueren Zeit"1880-1888
  

Annotated book pages; see LBI Library for complete volume

 
125"Heinrich Grätz"1891
  

Typescript

 
126"Jüdische Apologetik"1906
  

Annotated book pages; see LBI Library for complete volume

 
127"Jüdisches im Christentums des Reformationszeitalters"1870
  

Typescript copy

 
128Juedisches Litteratur Blatt articles1891
129"Meine Erinnerungen an meinen hochverehrten Lehrer Prof. Dr. H. Graetz"circa 1917
  

Manuscript

 
130"Moralische Rechtseinschränkungen im mosaisch-rabbinischen Rechtssystem"circa 1917
  

Typescript

 
131"Moslih-ed-Dini Sa’dii consessuum tertius et quartus, ad fidem codicis Vratislaviensis primum editi, cum editione Calcutt"1858
  

Printed edition of Guedemann's dissertation

 
132Notes and fragmentsundated
  

Manuscripts

 
133Offprints1890-1917
134Offprints (bound volume)1887-1917
135Offprints (bound volume)1889-1930
  

Includes bibliography

 
136Offprints (bound volume)1894-1915
137"Was haben die Juden Graetz zu verdanken?: Anlässlich der 100. Wiederkehr seines Geburtstages"circa 1917
  

Manuscript

 

Subseries 3: Other, undated, 1847-1967

This subseries is in German, with a small amount of English and Hebrew.
8 folders and 2 oversize folders (OS 148)
Arrangement:

This subseries is arranged alphabetically by folder title.

Scope and Content:

This subseries contains a variety of materials relating to Guedemann's professional life. It includes his 1867 employment contract; a printed copy of the inaugural address of Guedemann's successor to the position of chief rabbi of Vienna, Professor Dr. Chajes; some material about awards, including the Kriegskreuz für Zivilverdienste II. Klasse; correspondence between Guedemann's descendents and the Leo Baeck Institute regarding publication of part of his memoirs in "Jüdisches Leben in Deutschland, 1780-1871"; and offprints with dedications to Guedemann, "Die Anti-Islamisten" by Heinrich Reif and "Nehemias und seine social-politischen Bestrebungen" by S. Gelbhaus. Also found here are a handful of articles about Guedemann, as well as reviews of and articles containing references to his work. The Various folder contains copies of covers and selected pages of books from Guedemann's library; a typescript copy of an 1870 article by Simon Szanto, "Zwei Briefe an den heiligen Geist im Konzil"; clippings; printed ephemera; and a photograph of a small couch with a memorial Hebrew inscription.

There are two highlights in this subseries. First, there is a manuscript Synagogenordnung by Samson Raphael Hirsch, for the synagogue in Nikolsburg, Moravia (today Mikulov, Czech Republic). It spells out the rules of conduct for attendance at the synagogue. It is written mostly in German using in Hebrew characters, but also contains some Hebrew. The second highlight is a Sammelband prayer book of Guedemann's, a small (4.5'' x 7'') privately bound book containing a collection of manuscript, typescript, and printed German and Hebrew prayers.

BoxFolderTitleDate
138Antrittsrede des Professor Dr. Chajes1918
139Articles about Guedemann1918, 1956
140Awards1897-1918
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 148Employment contract1867
BoxFolderTitleDate
141LBI correspondence1958-1962
142Offprints dedicated to Guedemann1902-1904
143Reviews and references1889-1918
144Sammelband prayer bookUndated
BoxFolderTitleDate
OS 148Synagogenordnung, Nikolsburg, Moravia1847
  

By Samson Raphael Hirsch

 
BoxFolderTitleDate
145Various1862-1967
  

Includes photocopies

 
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