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Kirschenbaum, Menachem Mendel

Menachem Mendel Kischenbaum was a dayan, a rabbincal judge, in the Israelite community during the Nazi era.
He was born in Cracow in 1894, and took up the office of Rabbinical Assessor (judge in the rabbinical court) in 1927.
In this capacity he was required to deal with many questions of religious law, particularly after the Nazis had come to power. Records have survived of a few of his last rulings. One is dated 10 February 1939, and concerns the laws of mourning applicable to Jewish prisoners murdered and cremated by the Nazis. Since he could not publish the ruling in Frankfurt, he sent it to his brother in Cracow.
Following the forced deportation of the Frankfurt rabbis, he and Rabbi Leopold Neuhaus assumed the duties of community rabbi. As an orthodox rabbi, Kirschenbaum supervised the Kashruth, the observance of food rites, and religious matters, while Neuhaus worked as preacher in the remaining small synagogues and prayerbooths.
Shortly before the outbreak of war, Kirschenbaum fled with his family to Belgium. On the Sabbath preceding Yom Kippur, the holiest Jewish feastday, in September 1942, he was arrested by the Gestapo and deported to Ausschwitz, where he was murdered.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources