Access and Provenance

Biographical Sketch

Scope and Content Note

Box and Folder Listing

Subject Tracings


A Finding Aid to the

Gotthard Deutsch Papers

Manuscript Collection No. 123

1881-1921. 4.8 Linear ft.


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.


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.


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 series:

  • 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 items.

    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    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;
                     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;
                     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;
                     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;
                     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;
                     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;
                     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;
                      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
                    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
                   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


    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 2/7