Dr Ernst Leitz II of Wetzlar and the People he Helped During the Shoah: Research in Progress

Dr Ernst Leitz II of Wetzlar and the People he Helped During the Shoah: Research in Progress Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith* Introduction For ten years, I have researched the little-known history of altruism at the world famous camera manufacturer ‘Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar’ during the Nazi nightmare of 1933 to 1945. In previous publications, I have examined the motivations and actions of Ernst Leitz II and his daughter Elsie Kühn-Leitz as well as detailing examples of individuals and families who were helped.1 As more archival material is discovered and more descendents are interviewed, a fuller picture of these remarkable rescue activities may be revealed. This article is a work in progress. These altruistic actions were guided in spirit and in deed by Dr Ernst Leitz II. As a committed democrat who had been active in local politics, he was deeply opposed to the inhumane values and behaviours of the Nazi regime. The saving of persecuted individuals reflected his firm sense of humanitarianism and compassion as well as a company tradition of behaving ethically and protectively towards a highly valued workforce. Through the examples detailed below, an image emerges of a range of actions of which some posed significant risks to the welfare of Dr Leitz. The support given to persecuted individuals represented appropriate ways of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Judaism Berghahn Books

Dr Ernst Leitz II of Wetzlar and the People he Helped During the Shoah: Research in Progress

European Judaism, Volume 40 (1) – Mar 1, 2007

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Publisher
Berghahn Books
Copyright
© Berghahn Books
ISSN
0014-3006
eISSN
1752-2323
D.O.I.
10.3167/ej.2007.400102
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Rabbi Frank Dabba Smith* Introduction For ten years, I have researched the little-known history of altruism at the world famous camera manufacturer ‘Ernst Leitz of Wetzlar’ during the Nazi nightmare of 1933 to 1945. In previous publications, I have examined the motivations and actions of Ernst Leitz II and his daughter Elsie Kühn-Leitz as well as detailing examples of individuals and families who were helped.1 As more archival material is discovered and more descendents are interviewed, a fuller picture of these remarkable rescue activities may be revealed. This article is a work in progress. These altruistic actions were guided in spirit and in deed by Dr Ernst Leitz II. As a committed democrat who had been active in local politics, he was deeply opposed to the inhumane values and behaviours of the Nazi regime. The saving of persecuted individuals reflected his firm sense of humanitarianism and compassion as well as a company tradition of behaving ethically and protectively towards a highly valued workforce. Through the examples detailed below, an image emerges of a range of actions of which some posed significant risks to the welfare of Dr Leitz. The support given to persecuted individuals represented appropriate ways of

Journal

European JudaismBerghahn Books

Published: Mar 1, 2007

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