Did you know that the history of Jewish life in Leipzig dates back to the middle ages? At the end of the Middle Ages the Jews were expelled from Leipzig because, for example, they were made responsible for epidemics. Jewish traders were the first who then later were allowed to stay in the city-but only because of the trade fairs. For example, they ran successful shops selling fur and animal skins. It was only in the 19th century that Jews were allowed to live in Leipzig again. Some of the many Jews left musical treasures behind them.
This Discovery Pass invites you on a city tour through Leipzig, where you can find out about the historical marks of Jewish musicians and culture which you can still find today. You’ll go to eight places on the “Leipzig Music Walk.” There are three further stations, which normally aren’t part of the music walk, but which are connected to Jewish culture, which are marked on the city plan with the letters A,B and C and also with a Star of David. There you can learn more about Jewish composers and Jewish publishers who lived in Leipzig. To help you orientate yourselves, we marked in colour the chapters and terms, which are explained on page 40. Additionally on our homepage www.notenspur-leipzig.de in the section For Children under The Music Walk-Discovery Pass, you can have a listen to different music pieces by composers which are presented in this Discovery Pass. Have fun!
School students from Leipzig also took part in the “Music Walk-Discovery Pass” project, and you can discover some drawings, photos and a poem by them. Perhaps you have made something about our theme? Maybe we can put up some of your works in the gallery on our homepage. Just send them to: email@example.com
Good to know:
Schalom is Hebrew and means:
“I hope, you are well
And you live in peace
With yourself and with others”
Central German Library for the Blind (former “Ephraim-Carlebach-School”)
Keilstraße Synagogue (Former Brodyer Synagogue or also Talmud-Tora Synagogue)
Gustav Mahler’s apartment building
Erwin Schulhoff’s apartment building
“Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Music and Theatre School (former conservatory)
Location of the second Gewandhaus, Mendelssohn waterside
Leipzig Municipal Library- Music Library Peter
Location of Ez Chaim Synagogue Gottschedstraße (former “temple”)
Mendelssohn Memorial at the St. Thomas Church.
Music for Jewish celebrations and customs
Music in Orthodox synagogue church services
The Leipzig Synagogue choir
Liberal and orthodox Judaism
Expelled Jewish musicians in Nazi Germany
Photo credit/About us
The name of the house dates back to Louise Ariowitsch. In the 1920s she donated the retirement home to the Israelite religious community. It enabled the poorest people to enjoy some dignified remaining years. The building began in 1928 and in 1931 the first residents could move in. the building acquired a special social importance in the period of exclusion and persecution of the Jews after 1933. However in September 1942 the establishment came to an abrupt end. All the residents and employess were deported to the Theresienstadt ghetto. No one returned. In October 1942 the Gestapo established an office in the former home. After the end of the Second World War, in 1945, the building was used by both the American and Soviet Armies as administrative headquarters. In 1946 it was given back to the Israelite religious community. However in the meantime, the community had become so small that they couldn’t set up a retirement home on their own. So they leased it to the city. So until 1997 it was maintained as the Ariowitsch Trust Municipal retirement and nursing home. Then for a brief time it was used as a charitable institution by the church. In 2000 it was decided to convert the building into Jewish Cultural and Meeting Centre. Legal disputes delayed the work. Finally in 2009 the Ariowitsch House could be inaugurated as the “Jewish Cultural Centre.” They hold diverse events about Jewish history and the present. A rich choice of concerts, exhibitions and discussions are open to all people of different faiths and backgrounds. The centre creats diverse opportunities for encounters.
Good to know: in the exhibition on the ground floor of Ariowitsch House you can find more interesting information about Jewish history in Leipzig.
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Which languages are these and what do the expressions mean in English? Maybe someone at the reception in Ariowitsch House can help you….
Can you find the view in the photo on the left, in the hall at the Jewish Cultural and Meeting Centre?
Follow the timeline and add in important events from your own life, or from your friends and family….
CENTRAL GERMANY LIBRARY FOR THE BLIND the former “Ephraim-Carlebach School”
In the 1990s Herman Berlinski visited his home town again and again. He always spent some of his time here at Number 7 Gustav-Adolf Street. When he stood in front of the entrance many memories from his childhood were awakened. The building was his former school. He gave his first concerts in the classroom. Each week he played pieces with his classmates which he had already practised. He was very grateful to his music teacher Samuel Lampel for this opportunity. The school building was established in 1913. It was named the “Ephraim-Carlebach School” after its instigator and long-standing director. Here the learning was based around the needs of the Jewish population. So no lessons took place on important holidays. Furthermore their won faith was taught, instead of the Christian religion but otherwise on the timetable, there were subjects like in other schools. And in music lessons the pupils also learnt German folk songs, including Samuel Lampel’s favourite song, “Thoughts Are Free.” Jewish and non Jewish teachers taught at the school until 1938. During the Night of Pogroms, the building was damaged. Later it was used as a “Jew House.” Jewish families were just thrown in some classrooms. Several deportations to extermination camps were conducted here. Today the former school houses the Central Library for the Blind, here there is also sheet music in braille, among other things.
In the former school, converted into a “Jew House”, many of Leipzig’s Jews were round up during the Second World War, in order to eventually be placed in concentration camps. If you want you can leave a flower in remembrance under the plaque.
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During the week, on the ground floor on the left you have the opportunity of visiting a small exhibition about the history of the Israelite Grammar School, the “Ephraim-Carlebach School”.
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Look for a similar pattern in the building!
KEILSTRAßE SYNAGOGUE Former Brodyer Synagogue or also Talmud-Tora Synagogue
Traders from Brody (Galicia, today Ukraine) placed a big role at the Leipzig trade fairs. In 1763-64 they established the so called Brody School as a place of prayer…am Bruehl. When many Eastern Jewish immigrants came to the city at the end of the 19th century, there was no longer enough space. After several add-on locations were used, a proper bigger synagogue was wanted. After some bureaucratic obstacles, finally in 1903/4 a prayer room was allowed to be built in the residential house at number 4 Keilstraße. It was to provide space for more than 500 visitors. That’s why the ceiling between the ground floor and first floor was removed. Thus a gallery was able to be built in. the synagogue was called Broyer or also Talmud-Tora Synagogue. The Talmud-Tora association was key participant in the building of the synagogue. The famous Leipzig rabbi Dr. Ephraim Carlebach (1879-1936) often preached here. Hillel Schneider was the head cantor. He was treasured by the community because of his expressive voice and his multifarious presence? On 30th June 1937 the building was taken over by a property management trust club in the course of “aryanification.” During the Night of Pogroms the Nazis didn’t in fact risk setting fire to the building. They feared that the fire could flash over neighbouring “Aryan” houses, however they wrecked the interior spaces and damaged the stained glass windows. Later they took advantage of the room as a warehouse. On 28th October 1945 the house of prayer was re-dedicated. For a long time it was Werner Sander’s place of work, who also founded the Leipzig Synagogue Choir. It’s interesting that the floor is lower than the entrance. This custom followed Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord!”
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Do you notice particular differences to churches’ windows?
Maybe you want to colour in the window with bright colours?
GUSTAV MAHLER’S RESIDENTIAL HOUSE
By Gleb Nasekin
On Christmas Day 1886 on the second floor of Number 4 Gottschedstraße (today number 25), in a cold apartment a 26 year old musicians felt so lonely-too lonely. From his window he saw the whole row of houses opposite full of Christmas trees and lights. As if in a dream he saw faces appears to him and then he saw nothing more-tears clouded his eyes.
The young musician was called Gustav Mahler. For just 22 months, from August 1886 to the end of May 1888 he was conductor at the Leipzig City Theatre. And this was not the first time that Mahler complained in letters about his homesickness, his loneliness and his yearning. He wandered restlessly through the “whole world.” The young conductor was ambitious and capable and he hardly had any time and opportunities to make friends in Leipzig. In the little free time that he had he wanted to compose music and was so captivated by the beauty of the world of sound, that you had to look out for him, so that he didn’t collide with pedestrians or carriages.
On 1st February 1887 Mahler moved out of his apartment. His new home was a few minutes by foot from Gottschedsstraße. It was the most beautiful city villa at Gustav-Adolf Street 12. Maybe this street will become your personal Gustav-Mahler Street and you can set down a “Röschen Rot” (a little red flower), like it says in his songs. Pause for a moment at the house. You’ll find it very quickly and there is even a plaque on the wall.
When Mahler moved into his new apartment, it was in a modern district in the north west suburb, originating from about 1860. Today it’s called Waldstraßenviertel (“wood street district”). At the time the neighbourhood was called “New Jerusalem” in the vernacular, because many Jews lived there. The Weil couple, the owners of the villa, were successful traders and belonged to the Israelite Religious Community. The apartment almost seemed too grand for Mahler. He was probably able to move about the whole house easily, received guests and went for lots of walks in the close by country parks, the Leipzig Rosental.
There he noted down a nightingale’s song and later included the melody in his 1st Symphony which he composed in the villa. The Weil’s lived in the house with their daughter Doris and son Adolf. Doris was four years older than Gustav Mahler and both were connected not only by their common Jewish roots, but also above all their musical lives. But the friendship didn’t last long. The short time for the young conductors and composers in Leipzig came to an end, when in May 1888 he left the city.
“Oft denk’ ich, sie sind nur ausgegangen,
bald werden sie wieder nach Hause gelangen.“
“I often think: they have only just gone out,
and now they will be coming back home.”
Often the start of Gustav Mahler’s song crosses my mind, when I slacken my pace to look at the house. Doris Weil died here on 19th September 1942 in the Theresienstadt ghetto. Many “Stolpersteine” remind us of the Jews who were deported from their apartments in the Waldstraße district and later murdered.
This text was written by Gleb Nasekin, born in Kazan to a Russian-Jewish family. He has been living in Germany since 2003 where he rediscovered music, his real home.
ERWIN SCHULHOFF’S RESIDENTIAL HOUSE
In 1908 the 13-year-old Erwin Schulhoff began his musical studies in Leipzig. He found a room in the Rustenbach boarding house in Leipzig’s Elsterstraße 35. At that time, the tram still clattered by the house in the direction of the Waldplatz or the St. Thomas Church. But the Prague born Schulhoff went by foot to the conservatory. He would have made part of his journey through the Johanna Park. Maybe the student occasionally even decided to enjoy the nature rather than go to lessons? We could guess this from his report card, which read, “was rarely hardworking, so his progress was always low,” the famous composition professor, Max Reger, reckoned. In spite of this, Schulhoff was one of the most interesting artists of his time. And not only him-his erstwhile home has a changing history behind it. From 1911, it served as the club house of the “Arion” singing society. After 1945 the Cultural Association of the GDR used it; events and conferences took place and stakeholders met regularly. One of them dedicated themselves to the history of Leipzig’s Jews. Then the live-music pub, Tonelli’s, moved in. Schulhoff would have definitely been excited by the atmosphere. After all, he wrote a “Tavern Music Manifesto”, which you can still read today. Eventually the popular cultural scene lost ground again. the building, full of rich tradition, was redeveloped into a luxurious city villa.
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Erwin Schulhoff obviously skipped school now and again. However, he could learn a lot about music in Leipzig. Do you have an idea how?
The boarding house here, where Erwin Schulhoff lived, wasn’t a special boarding house for Jews. You also wouldn’t have considered his Jewish background.
Maybe you want to do a survey and slip into the role of reporter. Ask passerbys, that you meet on the street, the following questions:
“Have you ever personally met Jews and if yes, what did you learn about the Jewish culture?”
“Do you know places in Leipzig where Jews get together?”
“FELIX MENDELSSOHN BARTHOLDY” MUSIC AND THEATRE SCHOOL Former Conservatory
In 1843 the “Music Conservatory” was opened in Leipzig. Above all, it was to train the new blood for the Gewandhaus orchestra. That’s why it obtained a small house in the courtyard of the famous concert house and very quickly established an international appeal. Such a teaching institution was a novelty. The number of students quickly exceeded the space possibilities. So it seemed obvious to also build an attractive new building for the Conservatory, beside the newly built second Gewandhaus. In 1887 the building was inaugurated. The whole district soon became known as the “Music district.” Beside Mendelssohn, Ignaz Moscheles and Ferdinand David, who were part of the teaching staff of Jewish origin, there was also Salomon Jadassohn. Jadassohn had a peculiarity: on Jewish holidays he was said to have always hung a note on the noticeboard, to say that his lessons were cancelled. The students of Jewish origin, just like the non-Jews, hoped for a future as musicians after their education. In the period of National Socialism this hope was ruined. The composer Günter Raphael, who was counted as a half Jew was laid off in 1934. The percentage of “non-Aryan” students was allowed to be on average maximum 1.5%. they were also excluded from separate proposals. Musical works by Jewish composers played almost no role in the education. The corresponding sheet music was no longer freely available in the library. At this time, the school’s history was written without Mendelssohn and Jadassohn. Abraham Wilkomirsky was one of the last students of Jewish origin; he was one of the sons of the head cantor at the Ez Chaim Synagogue, Nahum Wilkomirsky. In 1939 he left the establishment and and was still able to flee abroad. Two years later the Conservatory was nationalised. Since its reopening in 1946, it carried the name of Mendelssohn, its co-initiator and first Director of Studies.
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On the 3rd floor there is an exhibition about former students from the Music and Theatre School. Which students from this Discovery Pass can you find there?
Can you see this frieze on the front of the school? What could it mean? How would you imagine it in colour? Take your colouring pencils and give the design a new coat of paint!