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Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens: records (microfilm)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1556 WL MF 55
Held at: Wiener Library
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Full title: Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens: records (microfilm)
Date(s): 1903-1938
Level of description: Collection level (fonds)
Extent: 157 reels
Name of creator(s): Centralverein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens x Central Association of German Citizens of Jewish Faith


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (CV) was founded by German Jewish intellectuals on 26 March 1893 in Berlin, with the intention of opposing the rise of Anti-Semitism in the German Empire. Shortly after its founding it had 1,420 members and in 1926 approximately 60,000 members.

The CV's aim was to unify German citizens of Jewish faith, to fight for the Jews' rights as citizens and to combat rising Anti-Semitism. Commitment to the German Nation was an important part of the CV's agenda, the members saw themselves primarily as German citizens with their own religion. Consequently, the CV repudiated Zionism.

Beginning in 1922, the CV published a weekly newspaper, called C.V.-Zeitung (C.V.- Newspaper) and continued fighting the rising Anti-Semitic threat. Through publications and conversations with Reichspräsident Paul von Hindenburg and economic leaders the CV tried to call attention to the threat.

In 1928 the 'Büro Wilhelmstrasse' (Wilhelmstrasse Office) was created with the instrumental support of Alfred Wiener. It documented Nazi activities and issued anti-Nazi materials until 1933, when Hitler came to power.

During the Nazi era, the CV was forced to change its name several times. From 1936 onwards it was called 'Jüdischer Central Verein' (Jewish Central Association). After the Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass or November Pogrom) in 1938 the CV had to stop publishing its newspaper and the association was prohibited a short time later.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of the Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens, 1903-1938, relate to the central organisation including the constitution and notably comprise management and committee minutes, reports and plans regarding the organisation's aims and objectives and finance records; files on the activities of the state and regional level sub-groups; files concerning women's organisations, youth organisations, members and officers, publication and propaganda, activities of other Jewish organisations, Zionism, emigration to Palestine, training for Jewish youth, Anti-Semitism, political, economic and legal situation for Jews in Germany, CV's relationship to religion and religious organisations, and the attitudes of writers and politicians to Jews.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:


System of arrangement:

Arranged into three sections: central organisational records; regional organsiations' records and subject files.

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies can be made for personal use. Permission must be sought for publication.

Finding aids:

Additional finding aids can be located within Wiener Library reading room.

Archival Information

Archival history:

The majority of Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens files, relating mostly to the 1920s and 1930s, were confiscated by the Gestapo in November 1938 and were, for many years, considered lost.

In 1990 the Centre for the Preservation of Historical Documentary Collections (the 'Osoby' or trophy archives) in Moscow revealed the existence of about 4,000 files from the Centralverein's chief office in Berlin. These files were among the many documentary collections, which had been confiscated by the Gestapo and were subsequently taken by the Russians, towards the end of World War Two.

In 1996 the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem began microfilming this important collection, and made it available to the research public.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People in Jerusalem

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Howard Falksohn.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January 2008

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