Velikie lozhi evreiskogo ordena "Bnei-Brit" v lugoslavii i Gretsii i ikh dochernie lozhi

  • The Grand Lodges of B'nai B'rith in Yugoslavia and Greece and their Affiliated Lodges (consolidated collection)
Identifier
1225k
Language of Description
English
Dates
1875 - 1941
Level of Description
Collection
Languages
  • English
  • Croatian
  • Greek
  • German
  • Serbian
Scripts
  • Cyrillic
  • Greek
  • Latin
Source
EHRI

Extent and Medium

60 files

Biographical History

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the jurisdiction of district 11 of the Independent Order of B'nai B'rith included the entire Eastern Mediterranean region. A lodge was established in Belgrade in 1911, with Adolf Resovski as president. The Zagreb lodge, founded in 1927, was Zionist in orientation, as was the Sarajevo lodge, founded in 1933. In 1935, Yugoslav lodges succeeded in breaking away from B'nai B'rith district 11 and forming district 18 for the Yugoslav Kingdom. Its grand master was Dr. Bukic Pijade. The lodges' members consisted of the social elite of Yugoslav Jewish communities. They sponsored lectures, discussions of current Jewish issues, and donated money to local, national, and foreign Jewish institutions. In August 1940, a decree of the Ministry of Interior dissolved all B'nai B'rith lodges in Yugoslavia.

Scope and Content

The collection includes documents reflecting the activities of the Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith in Yugoslavia and its affiliated lodges "Serbia," "Sarajevo," and "Zagreb." These include circulars from leaders of the Grand Lodge to affiliated lodges; a register of proceedings of the "Serbia" lodge, and a list of its board members; brief biographical information oThe collection includes documents reflecting the activities of the Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith in Yugoslavia and its affiliated lodges "Serbia," "Sarajevo," and "Zagreb." These include circulars from leaders of the Grand Lodge to affiliated lodges; a register of proceedings of the "Serbia" lodge, and a list of its board members; brief biographical information on the leaders of B'nai B'rith in Yugoslavia; letters of recommendation and application forms of candidates for membership in the "Serbia" lodge; a manuscript on the traditions, history, and customs of B'nai Brith (1895); historical information on the activities of the Belgrade lodges "Serbia" and "Ivan Draskovic"; texts of the charter, with draft amendments and addenda to the charter, of the "Serbia" lodge; documents of the Zagreb lodge (the lodge's charter, letters between lodge members, lodge meeting agendas, bylaws and instructions on internal procedure, and rules of conduct and interaction among lodge members); minutes of meetings of the Sarajevo lodge regarding B'nai B'rith president Alfred Cohen's stepping down and the election of Henry Monsky to succeed him; minutes and agendas of meetings of the "Solomon Alkalaj" lodge in Novi Sad (1934-35); and a list of members and leaders of the "Menorah" lodge in Osiek and the "Matnat Yad" lodge in Subotica. The collection also includes documents on the participation of B'nai B'rith figures (for example, "Serbia" lodge head Friedrich Pops) in the political life of Yugoslavia, and on the attitude of the B'nai B'rith toward political events within the country (for example, its reaction to the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Paris in 1934, and its support for national unity); correspondence with Yugoslav authorities, ministries, and departments on political, financial, international, and other issues; and letters of Aron Alkalaj of the Belgrade lodge. The collection also contains various reports. Among them are excerpts from a report (6 March 1938) by the secretary of the Yugoslavia Grand Lodge on its activities in 1937, on the struggle against anti-Semitic speeches of the "Falcon" movement and other radical groups, and on the maintenance of lodge discipline; a report by Leon Steindler, "On the Causes and Nature of Antisemitism"; a report by Aron Alkalaj and A. Shatner on their participation in the work of the B'nai B'rith London lodge; and letters from the headquarters of the British and Irish Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith to Aron Alkalaj on the conduct of holiday events (1939). There are documents on fundraising on behalf of the Jewish refugees who poured into Yugoslavia from Germany, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and other countries during and after 1938-39. There are also "Serbia" lodge member M. Iosip's European travel notes, which describe the situation of Jews, particularly refugees from Germany, in Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Holland, France, and Switzerland. The collection also contains documents of B'nai B'rith lodges in Greece: a 25 April 1925 report by the charity commission of the "Philon" lodge (Athens); applications for admission to the B'nai B'rith lodge in Salonika; and account books of the "Acropolis," "Grand East of Greece," "Byzantium," and other lodges; correspondence of the B'nai B'rith lodge in Athens with affiliated lodges regarding financial accounting and joint participation in charity events; a letter from N. Kaiserman, chairman of the B'nai B'rith "Carmel" lodge (Haifa), to the chairman of the "Philon" lodge (Athens) requesting aid in raising funds to establish a Jewish orphanage in Haifa; and a resolution of protest adopted at a meeting of the Zionist Federation of Greece (mid1930s) against the actions of the British authorities with regard to Jews in Palestine. The collection also contains materials of other (non-B'nai B'rith) provenance, apparently from the Jewish community of Belgrade: the texts of speeches delivered at a conference of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of Yugoslavia; correspondence on the election of David Albala as head of the Sephardic Jewish community of Belgrade, on the Amsterdam Conference of the World Federation of Sephardic Communities, and on the grave situation of the Jews of Germany, Austria, Poland, Romania, and Hungary (1939); materials on the construction of the Belgrade synagogue, the religious center of the Ashkenazi community of Serbia; a list of cultural, charitable, and Jewish religious educational institutions and their chairpersons in Yugoslavia; lists of Belgrade Jewish community electors for 1931, with addresses and surnames; minutes of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of Yugoslavia; documents of the Yugoslavia-Palestine Economic Committee (Yugolevant), including a report, drawn up 13 September 1935, on the state of trade between Yugoslavia and Palestine; the charter of the Yugoslav Committee for the Development of Economic Ties with Palestine, ratified by the Yugoslav Ministry of Trade and Industry; materials on Yugoslavia's participation in the Levant Fair in Tel Aviv in 1936; designs for the Yugoslav pavilion at this fair; and the above committee's correspondence with the Yugoslav Ministries of Finance and Foreign Trade on Yugoslavia's collaboration with Jewish economic entities in Palestine. n the leaders of B'nai B'rith in Yugoslavia; letters of recommendation and application forms of candidates for membership in the "Serbia" lodge; a manuscript on the traditions, history, and customs of B'nai Brith (1895); historical information on the activities of the Belgrade lodges "Serbia" and "Ivan Draskovic"; texts of the charter, with draft amendments and addenda to the charter, of the "Serbia" lodge; documents of the Zagreb lodge (the lodge's charter, letters between lodge members, lodge meeting agendas, bylaws and instructions on internal procedure, and rules of conduct and interaction among lodge members); minutes of meetings of the Sarajevo lodge regarding B'nai B'rith president Alfred Cohen's stepping down and the election of Henry Monsky to succeed him; minutes and agendas of meetings of the "Solomon Alkalaj" lodge in Novi Sad (1934-35); and a list of members and leaders of the "Menorah" lodge in Osiek and the "Matnat Yad" lodge in Subotica. The collection also includes documents on the participation of B'nai B'rith figures (for example, "Serbia" lodge head Friedrich Pops) in the political life of Yugoslavia, and on the attitude of the B'nai B'rith toward political events within the country (for example, its reaction to the assassination of King Alexander of Yugoslavia in Paris in 1934, and its support for national unity); correspondence with Yugoslav authorities, ministries, and departments on political, financial, international, and other issues; and letters of Aron Alkalaj of the Belgrade lodge. The collection also contains various reports. Among them are excerpts from a report (6 March 1938) by the secretary of the Yugoslavia Grand Lodge on its activities in 1937, on the struggle against anti-Semitic speeches of the "Falcon" movement and other radical groups, and on the maintenance of lodge discipline; a report by Leon Steindler, "On the Causes and Nature of Antisemitism"; a report by Aron Alkalaj and A. Shatner on their participation in the work of the B'nai B'rith London lodge; and letters from the headquarters of the British and Irish Grand Lodge of B'nai B'rith to Aron Alkalaj on the conduct of holiday events (1939). There are documents on fundraising on behalf of the Jewish refugees who poured into Yugoslavia from Germany, Austria, Romania, Hungary, Poland, and other countries during and after 1938-39. There are also "Serbia" lodge member M. Iosip's European travel notes, which describe the situation of Jews, particularly refugees from Germany, in Austria, Great Britain, Hungary, Holland, France, and Switzerland. The collection also contains documents of B'nai B'rith lodges in Greece: a 25 April 1925 report by the charity commission of the "Philon" lodge (Athens); applications for admission to the B'nai B'rith lodge in Salonika; and account books of the "Acropolis," "Grand East of Greece," "Byzantium," and other lodges; correspondence of the B'nai B'rith lodge in Athens with affiliated lodges regarding financial accounting and joint participation in charity events; a letter from N. Kaiserman, chairman of the B'nai B'rith "Carmel" lodge (Haifa), to the chairman of the "Philon" lodge (Athens) requesting aid in raising funds to establish a Jewish orphanage in Haifa; and a resolution of protest adopted at a meeting of the Zionist Federation of Greece (mid1930s) against the actions of the British authorities with regard to Jews in Palestine. The collection also contains materials of other (non-B'nai B'rith) provenance, apparently from the Jewish community of Belgrade: the texts of speeches delivered at a conference of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of Yugoslavia; correspondence on the election of David Albala as head of the Sephardic Jewish community of Belgrade, on the Amsterdam Conference of the World Federation of Sephardic Communities, and on the grave situation of the Jews of Germany, Austria, Poland, Romania, and Hungary (1939); materials on the construction of the Belgrade synagogue, the religious center of the Ashkenazi community of Serbia; a list of cultural, charitable, and Jewish religious educational institutions and their chairpersons in Yugoslavia; lists of Belgrade Jewish community electors for 1931, with addresses and surnames; minutes of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities of Yugoslavia; documents of the Yugoslavia-Palestine Economic Committee (Yugolevant), including a report, drawn up 13 September 1935, on the state of trade between Yugoslavia and Palestine; the charter of the Yugoslav Committee for the Development of Economic Ties with Palestine, ratified by the Yugoslav Ministry of Trade and Industry; materials on Yugoslavia's participation in the Levant Fair in Tel Aviv in 1936; designs for the Yugoslav pavilion at this fair; and the above committee's correspondence with the Yugoslav Ministries of Finance and Foreign Trade on Yugoslavia's collaboration with Jewish economic entities in Palestine.

Finding Aids

  • Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov, Scranton - London 2010.

Existence and Location of Copies

  • Microfilms are held by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives.

Archivist Note

  • Entry selected by Krzysztof Tyszka from the book “Nazi-Looted Jewish Archives in Moscow. A guide to Jewish Historical and Cultural Collections in the Russian State Military Archive”, ed. by D. E. Fishman, M. Kupovetsky, V. Kuzelenkov

Rules and Conventions

EHRI Guidelines for Description v.1.0