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Neuhaus, Leopold

Leopold Neuhaus practised first as a teacher and later as a rabbi in Frankfurt from 1934 to 1942 and from 1945 to 1946 respectively. He was thus the
"last" rabbi of the centuriesold Frankfurt Jewish community right up to the moment of its annihilation by the Nazis.
Neuhaus was born in Rotenburg an der Fulda, and attended grammar school in Kassel. He studied philosophy at Berlin University, simultaneously attending the Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary. After graduation and ordination he became rabbi in Lauenburg, Pomerania and Ostrovo, a Province of Posnan. After this province was ceded to Poland in 1919, he worked as inspector of the Jewish College in Leipzig. From 1926 to 1934 he was rabbi at Mühlheim an der Ruhr. He then came to Frankfurt as a teacher at the Philanthropin. On high Jewish feastdays (Rosh Hashanah; Yom Kippur) he officiated as rabbi at the supplementary religious services provided in the temporary Jewish community centre at 65 Eschersheimer Landstraße. After the eradication of the Jewish community and the deportation of all rabbis, he remained in Frankfurt and continued to preach sermons until 1941.
On 18 August 1942, Leopold Neuhaus and his wife Cilly were deported together with 1,020 other Jews to Theresienstadt. After being liberated from Theresienstadt, Neuhaus returned to Frankfurt in July 1945. Just a few days after his return, he held the first religious service in the former site of the Jewish Kindergarten at 57 Baumweg. The American occupying forces entrusted him with the task of establishing the Jewish community. Rabbi Neuhaus concentrated on the material and religious needs of the few survivors. A kosher lunch room was organised, the Jewish Old Peoples' Home opened in November 1945, and Jewish religious instruction for children initiated. Under the editorship of Rabbi Neuhaus, a "News Bulletin of the Jewish Communities and Welfare Centres" was published from October 1945 onwards. In 1946 Neuhaus emigrated to Detroit, Michigan, and worked there as a rabbi until his death in 1954.

© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources