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Community and Integration. The Union of Russian Jews and the Union of Russian Lawyers Abroad in Russian-Jewish Berlin

This project is part of the joint German-Russian research project.

The partner institution in Russia are the Institute of Russian History, Russian Academy of Sciences and the International Center for Russian and East European Jewish Studies in Moscow.

  The joint German-Russian research project is funded by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG and by Russian Foundation for Humanities Research RGNF.


Project Lead:
Prof. Dr. Gertrud Pickhan (Berlin)
Prof. Dr. Oleg Budnitskii (Moskow)
Aleksandra Poljan (Moscow)

The main relief organization of the Russian Jews in Germany was the Union of Russian Jews (SRE, 1920-1935), with headquarters in Berlin. Two important actors of the SRE were the lawyers Jakov Teitel’, president of the Union, and Aleksei Gol’denveizer, its counselor. Both were also members of the Union of Russian lawyers abroad (SRI, founded 1920), 4/5 of whose members were Jewish. The SRE as well as the SRI represented intellectuals and the middle classes. Both were politically neutral, and of liberal orientation.

The project will focus on the role of the SRE and SRI in the integration and community building of Russian Jewish migrants. The SRI was financed by its members and by donations. The SRE was mainly funded by Jewish organizations and the League of Nations. Both unions offered relief services. The SRE also organized a cultural program. Of special interest is the unions’ participation in debates on Russia, the revolution, and the Jews, as well as the organizations’ relations with national and socialist movements, and with the German state and society.

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