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Salzberger, Georg

Georg Salzberger was rabbi to the Frankfurt Jewish community from 1910 to 1939, and belonged to the Reform Movement.
Georg Salzberger was born in 1882 in Culm, West Prussia, where his father was a rabbi. He studied philology, philosophy and German literature at the University of Berlin, while simultaneously attending the Berlin University of Jewish Knowledge. In 1908 he graduated at Heidelberg, and a year later was ordained as a rabbi.
In 1910 he took up his first post as a rabbi in Frankfurt. The construction of a new synagogue for liberal services in that year had made it necessary to appoint a third liberal rabbi to the community. Today this synagogue is known as the Westend Synagogue in FreiherrvonStein Straße: it was the only synagogue in Frankfurt to survive the pogrom on 910 November 1938, and is still in use. During the First World War Salzberger was a voluntary military chaplain on the Western Front at Verdun. He also worked as a rabbi and religious instructor at the Philanthropin. After the war he played a significant part in the establishment of the "Liberal Culture Committee" in 1919, and of liberal synagogue societies, through which he sought to strengthen liberal religious life within the community. He also took a keen interest in Jewish religious services. He was an active member of the "Society for Jewish Popular Education" whose principles were later implemented by the "Jewish College of Adult Education".
After the seizure of power by the Nazis and the departure of the other two liberal rabbis (Seligmann had retired, and Lazarus had died), Salzberger was the only working liberal community rabbi in Nazi Frankfurt. In 1934 he became chairman of the newlyformed "Jewish Cultural Confederation" in the RheinMain region, and concerned himself mainly with the relief of unemployment and with emigration.
Following the pogrom on 910 November 1938, he was arrested by the Gestapo and imprisoned in Dachau concentration camp. In April 1939 he was allowed to leave Germany and emigrate to England. There he became cofounder of the Germanspeaking Jewish community in London, and remained their rabbi until 1957.
Salzberger was accorded numerous honours: in 1962 he received the Grand Cross for Services to the Federal Republic, and in 1972 the BuberRosenzweig Medal. He died in London in 1975.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources