Oral History Interview with Gertrude Hallo

Gertrude Hallo describes her friendship with Franz Rosenzweig and her husband’s association and personal relationship with Rosenzweig starting in 1910; taking dictation from Rosenzweig through his final illness when he could only move part of one little finger; why Rosenzweig decided not to convert to Christianity and instead devoted his life to personal Jewish learning and to improving Jewish education for children and adults; her belief that one should focus on the man and his life, not on his philosophical system and his theological teachings; Rosenzweig’s life, work, major accomplishments, publications, and some of the well-known persons who studied with him; how he was able to live and to teach after he was stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Rosenzweig keeping up an enormous correspondence and continued to write, publish, and translate Hebrew books into German until his death in December 1929; her belief that the historical background in Germany, the Jewish youth movement, Zionism, and the beginning of the racist Teutonic movement explain why young Jews had to fight for their Jewish identity in Germany in the 1920s; the Freikorps, the Kapp Putsch, and the economic, social, and political situation in Germany leading up to the rise of Hitler; Jewish participation in German art and culture and her own early experiences of antisemitism; her husband’s death shortly before Hitler came to power; her memories of the time just before and after Hitler’s rise to power; and the basis of Hitler’s charisma and success.

Date: 02/11/1981
Interviewer: Fred Stamm
Interviewee: Gertrude Hallo
Language: English
Subject: Antisemitism--Germany.
Art--Germany--History--20th century.
General Strike, Germany, 1920.
Jewish artists--Germany.
Jewish educators--Germany.
Jewish women--Germany--Personal narratives.
Women--Personal narratives.
Location: Kassel, Germany
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