A Finding Aid to the
Gotthard Deutsch Papers
Collection No. 123
The GOTTHARD DEUTSCH PAPERS were donated to the American Jewish Archives by Mrs. Gotthard (Hermeme) Deutsch in 1948. The property rights to the GOTTHARD DEUTSCH PAPERS have been assigned to the American Jewish Archives. All literary rights to material authored by Gotthard Deutsch are held by the Deutsch heirs. Literary rights to materials authored by others are held by the individual author or his/her heirs. Questions concerning rights should be addressed to the Director of the American Jewish Archives.
The GOTTHARD DEUTSCH PAPERS are open to all researchers. The original manuscript collection is available in the reading room of the American Jewish Archives.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH top
Gotthard Deutsch was born on January 31, 1859, in the village of Dolne Kounice (Kaintz), Moravia, then a province of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Descended from a line of scholars and teachers, Deutsch received his early education in Dolne Kounice and Nikolsburg. In 1876, he entered the Breslau Jewish Theological Seminary and the University of Breslau. While there, he came under the influence of the historian Heinrich Graetz. Upon completing his studies at Breslau, Deutsch entered the University of Vienna in 1879. He was awarded a Ph.D. in history from the University in 1881.
After being granted his Ph.D., Deutsch obtained the position of religious school instructor in the city of Bruenn, Austria, serving there from 1881 until 1887. Shortly after he was elected a permanent teacher at Bruenn, he decided to enter the rabbinate. He was ordained by Isaac Hirsch Weiss, under whom he had studied in Vienna. His sole post was in the city of Most (Bruex), in Bohemia, where he was rabbi during the years 1887 through 1891. It was while there that he married Hermine Bacher on May 10, 1888.
After responding to an advertisement for faculty published by Isaac Mayer Wise, Deutsch was appointed professor of Jewish history and philosophy at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Serving as a professor for thirty years (1891-1921), Deutsch built a reputation among the students and the faculty for his teaching and the depth of his knowledge. They were especially impressed with his index file, which recorded every major event in Jewish history since 1800 and the relevant source material. In addition to his teaching duties, Deutsch was acting President of the College in 1903.
Deutsch was involved in three major crises during his years at Hebrew Union. The first one occurred in 1903, just before he began to serve as acting President. In that year, he submitted his resignation from the faculty, citing his desire to devote his time fully to his literary labors. In the end, he was persuaded to withdraw his resignation.
The next crisis occurred in 1905. In that year, Deutsch decided that he would like to make a trip to Russia to gather information about the Jewish communities there. Russian passport law, however, denied visas to Jews unless they were sales representatives and were staying in Russia for a specified length of time. Thus, Deutsch's first request for a visa to enter Russia was denied. After this denial, Deutsch began a campaign in the press, and through the aid of the United States State Department and Speaker of the House Nicholas Longworth, a son-in-law of Theodore Roosevelt, he was able to force the Russians to grant him a visa.
The major crisis of Deutsh's time at Hebrew Union College resulted from the anti-German hysteria of World War One. Before America's entrance into the war, Deutsch had been a supporter of Woodrow Wilson's policy of neutrality and a negotiated settlement. In line with these concepts, he had become a member of the Peoples' Council of America for Democracy and Peace. On October 5, 1917, Federal agents raided the Cincinnati offices of the Council. As a result of this raid, the Board of Governors of Hebrew Union College called upon Deutsch to explain the nature of his relationship with the Council. At a special meeting of the Board, Deutsch apologized for any embarrassment his association with the Council may have caused the school, stating that he had become a member only out of his desire for universal peace. This explanation was accepted and no action was taken by the Board.
Within this atmosphere, Deutsch appeared on November 21, 1917 as a witness at a citizenship hearing for Hyman David Sway, a local printer. During the hearing, Deutsch was asked by Judge Howard C. Hollister which side he wished to see win the war; Germany, or, the United States. Angered that his loyalty was being questioned, Deutsch refused to answer the question. Hollister then disqualified him as a witness for Sway.
As a result of this action, public outcry arose calling for Deutsch's removal from the faculty. Only by mustering the support of the leading Reform rabbis, presenting evidence of his loyalty from students then serving in the armed forces, and admitting that he had made a mistake in handling the loyalty question, was Deutsch able to avoid being removed from the faculty. Even then, the Board of Governors passed a motion of censure against him.
Besides his teaching skills, Deutsch was well-known as a writer. He succeeded Isaac Mayer Wise as editor of the German language publication, Die Deborah in 1901. He was a contributor to the American Israelite, the American Hebrew, the Jewish Chronicle of London. He was an original member of the board of editors for the Jewish Encyclopedia, responsible for the articles dealing with modern Jewish history. His major publications were Scrolls and History of the Jews (1904). At the time of his death, there was general regret he had been unable to publish a major book on modern Jewish history.
Reccognized as a leading Jewish historian of the period, Gotthard died in Cincinnati on October 14, 1921. He was survived by his wife Hermeme, his three sons, Hermann, Eberhard, and Zola, and two daughters, Edith and Naomi.
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE top
The GOTTHARD DEUTSCH PAPERS (1859-1922) describe the career
of Gotthard Deutsch, rabbi and professor at Hebrew Union College.
The collection consists of correspondence, documents,
manuscripts, notes, diaries and notebooks, scrapbooks and
miscellaneous items. The bulk of the material in the collection
spans the years 1900-1920. The Papers are divided into two
The LITERARY PRODUCTIONS series (1885-1922) consists of six
and one-half Hollinger boxes and one oversize box of manuscripts,
responsa material, notes, index cards, diaries and notebooks, and
scrapbooks. All the responsa material and the manuscripts have
been arranged alphabetically according to title. The diaries
have been arranged chronologically. The oversize box contains
three scrapbooks from the years 1905-1922 and a subscription
The CORRESPONDENCE series (1859-1922) consists of five and
one half Hollinger boxes of correspondence, clippings, sympathy
cards, memorial resolutions, documents and miscellaneous items
arranged alphabetically by the name of the person or
organization. Letters are arranged chronologically within each
folder. The sympathy cards and memorial resolutions, written at
the time of his death in 1921, are filed after the
correspondence, followed by the documents and miscellaneous
The LITERARY PRODUCTIONS series (1885-1922) consists of six and one-half Hollinger boxes and one oversize box of manuscripts, responsa material, notes, index cards, diaries and notebooks, and scrapbooks. All the responsa material and the manuscripts have been arranged alphabetically according to title. The diaries have been arranged chronologically. The oversize box contains three scrapbooks from the years 1905-1922 and a subscription book.
BOX AND FOLDER LISTING top
Box Folder Contents 1 1 A, General 2 Adler, Cyrus 1905; 1915-1918; 1920-1921 3 Adler, Felix 1919-1920; n.d. 4 Allen, Alfred G. 1911; 1916 5 Altheimer, Ben 1916-1917; 1921 6 Aschheim, I.J. 1917; 1919; 1921; n.d. 7 Ba-Be, General 8 Bacher, Wilhelm 1897; 1899; 1904; 1912 9 Bamberger, Seckel 1904-1905 10 Benesch, Alfred A. 1917 11 Berkowitz, Henry 1898-1899; 1901; 1906; 1916-1917; 1921; n.d. 12 Bettmann, Bernhard 1891; 1898; 1901; 1904; 1907-1909; 1911-1912 13 Bi-Bo, General 14 Black, Ludwig 1887; 1897; 1921 15 Bowdle, Stanley E. 1911; 1914-1915 16 Br-Bu, General 17 C, General 18 Calisch, Edward N. 1898; 1903; 1909; 1921 19 Cohen, Alfred M. 1910; 1918; 1921 20 Cohen, Henry 1898-1900; 1903; 1908; 1921 21 Cowen, Philip 1900-1901; 1904-1905 22 Cutler, Harry 1910; 1915-1918; 1920 23 D, General 24 Dearness, William 1917-1921 25 de Sola Pool, David 1916; 1920; 1921 26 E, General 27 Einstein, Berthold 1892; 1894; 1901; 1910; 1914 28 Fa-Fl, General 29 Felsenthal, Bernhard 1890; 1894; 1899; 1902 30 Feust (No First Name) 1904 31 Fo-Fu, General 32 Funk and Wagnalls 1900-1902; 1904-1905; 1921; n.d. 2 1 G, General 2 Gaster, Moses 1896-1897; 1899-1900; 1918 3 Geiger, Ludwig 1899-1900; 1906; 1908-1910; 1912-1913; 1915 4 Gries, Moses 1898; 1901; 1905; 1907; 1917 5 Guttmann, Michael 1921 6 H, General 7 Hebrew Union College 1891-1921, n.d. 8 Heinsheimer, Edward 1912; 1914 9 Heller, Maximillian 1898-1899; 1916-1918; 1921 10 Hirsch, Emil G. 1897-1899; 1901-1902; 1917 11 Horowitz, Nathan 1921 12 I, General 13 J, General 14 K, General 15 Karpeles, Gustav 1894-1900; 1903-1904; 1906-1908 16 Kayserling, Moritz 1889; 1897; 1899-1901 17 Kellner, Leon 1909; 1920-1921 18 Kohler, Kaufmann 1897; 1900; 1903; 1921 19 Kohler, Max J. 1910; 1919; 1921; n.d. 20 Kohut, George Alexander 1894; 1901; 1904-1905; 1919-1920 21 Kraus, Adolf 1908; 1913; 1916-1917; 1920-1921 22 Krauskopf, Joseph 1898; 1900-1901; 1903; 1905; 1912; 1914; 1917-1918; 1921 23 Krauss, Samuel 1903; 1920-1921 24 La-Lev, General 25 Landman, Isaac l9O6; 1916; 1920-1921 26 Landsberg, Max 1892; 1894; 1917; 1921 27 Lazarus, Moritz 1897-1899; 1901; 1903 28 Lew-Lue, General 29 Longworth, Nicholas 1905; 1920 30 Ma-Me, General 31 Mannheimer, Eugene 1910; 1917; 1920-1921 32 Margolis, Max L. 1897-1899; 1901; 1905; 1916; 1921 33 Marshall, Louis 1916-1918; 1920-1921 34 Meyer, Martin A. 1916-1917; 1921 3 1 Mi -My, General 2 Montefiore,Claude G. 1897; 1921; n.d. 3 Mueller, Anita 1920-1921 4 N, General 5 0, General 6 Oppenheim, J.P. 1883; 1885; 1887; 1893-1894; 1901; 1915 7 P, General 8 R, General 9 Rosenau, William 1898; 1903; 1916-1917; 1920-1921 10 Rosenberg, S. 1891 11 Rosin, David 1892-1894 12 Rubenstein, Ben 1920-1921 13 Sa-Sc, General 14 Schatz, Boris 1915; 1921 15 Schiff, Jacob H. 1915-1918 16 Se-So, General 17 Simonsen, David J. 1894-1897; 1915-1919; 1921 18 Singer, Isidore 1900-1904 19 Sp-Sz, General 20 Spitz, Joseph 1887-1888; 1909; 1921 21 Stolz, Joseph 1902-.1921, n.d@ - 22 Strack, Hermann L. 1886; 1920-1921 23 Szold, Henrietta 1898; 1901; 1904 24 T, General 25 U-V, General 26 Ungar, Moritz 1885-1887; 1892 27 Van Ness Meyers, Philip 1917; 1921 28 Wa-Wh, General 29 Wald, Lillian D. 1921 30 Weiss, Caroline 1884; 1914; 1916 4 1 Wi -Wr, General 2 Wise, Isaac Mayer 1891@1908,@n.d., 3 Wolf, Simon 1898; 1901; 1905-1906; 1908; 1914-1917; 1920-1921 4 Wolsey, Louis 1916-1918; 1921 5 Y-Z, General 6 Zangwill, Israel 1898; 1905-1906; 1910; 1916-1917 7 Unidentified correspondence 1859-1921 8 Sympathy cards (written at the time of the death of Deutsch) 1921 9 Hebrew Union College Monthly celebrating 25th anniversary of Deutsch's appointment to the faculty 1916 10 Hebrew Union College Monthly celebrating Deutsch's 60th birthday 1919 11 B'nai B'rith Memorial Resolution at death of Deutsch 1922 12 Jewish Orphan Home of Cleveland Memorial resolution at death of Deutsch 1921 13 Hebrew Union College Board of Governors Memorial resolution at death of Deutsch 1921 5 - Letterbooks 1899-1901 6 1 Address books n.d. 2 Documents (contracts, letters of witness, etc.) from Deutsch's positions at Bruenn and Bruex. 1882-1886; n.d. 3 Documents (minister's license, passport, will, etc.) from Deutsch's American activities. 1892; 1905; 1921; n.d. 4 Report cards and documents from education at Nikolsburg, Breslau, and Vienna 1869-1881 SERIES B. LITERARY PRODUCTIONS 5 Introduction to Responsa volume for Jewish Publication Society's Hebrew Classics series 1917 6 A-C, Responsa material 1917 7 D-G, Responsa material 1917 8 H-L, Responsa material 1917 9 M-Z, Responsa material 1917 10 Miscellaneous items n.d. 11 Miscellaneous papers n.d. 12 Miscellaneous papers n.d. 13-14 Miscellaneous papers n.d. 7 1 Reference cards for various articles by Deutsch n.d.; 1892-1916 2 Blue index cards listing names of people and events important for modern Jewish history, n.d. 3 Hebrew Union College Journal and Monthly articles by or about Deutsch 1897-1900; 1916-1919;1922. 4 Miscellaneous index cards n.d. 5 Index cards listing various pamphlets n.d. 6-7 Diaries and date-books 1892-1896 8 - Diaries and date-books 1897-1910 9 - Diaries and date-books 1911-1921 10 1-5 Notebooks n.d. 11 1 A-B, Manuscripts n.d. 2 Andere Zeiten(German Novel by Deutsch), first half. Manuscript 1903-1906 3 Andere Zeiten, second half. Manuscript 1903-1906 4 C-D, Manuscripts n.d. 5 E-F, Manuscripts n.d. 6 G-H, Manuscripts n.d. 12 1 I-K, Manuscripts n.d. 2 L-0, Manuscripts n.d. 3 P-Q, Manuscripts n.d. 4 R-Sc, Manuscripts n.d. 5 Si-T, Manuscripts n.d. 6 U-Z, Manuscripts n.d. 7 Uhloesbare Fesseln (German novel by Deutsch) first edition. 1903 8 Untitled Manuscripts n.d. *Oversize Box No. 313 Scrapbooks 1905-1911; 1917-1918; 1921-1922 Subscription List 1885-1887
SUBJECT TRACINGS top
Note: The following list of subjects is a selective index to many of the topics and individuals in the GOTTHARD DEUTSCH PAPERS. It is selective in that it only attempts to draw attention to the more significant items in the collection. It does not attempt to list every subject or individual nor does it try to indicate all places that a listed subject or individual appears in the collection. When used in conjunction with the Box and Folder List, the Subject Tracings should help the researcher locate topics. References are to boxes and folders: e.g. 2/13 means Box 2, Folder 13
American Hebrew 1/7; 2/25 Currick, Max C. 1/17 Hebrew Union College 217, 18; 4/9, 10, 13;7/3 Jewish Publication Society of America 1/2 Kohler, Kaufmann 2/18; 3/1 Marcus, Jacob R. 2/30 Morgenstern, Julian 3/1 Responsa Literature 6/5 Seasongood, Murray 3/16 Union of American Hebrew Congregations 2/7top