Note: Topics are subject to change, and the speaker would consider other suggested topics.
 

For General Audiences:

Moises, Joseph, and Mina: Jewish Life in the German Countryside

A slide presentation: Emily Rose gives an overview of the life of the rural Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries. Rose interweaves the political and social events with the experiences of her family to produce a lively historical picture. Her personal journey is the underlying theme of the lecture. Topics to be included:

  • Jews as small-time dealers and peddlers. The special status of “protected Jews.”

  • How a Jewish trader saved an imperial town from the plundering wrath of Napoleon’s army by his emergency financial bailout.

  • Anti-Jewish economic and social events in the countryside, including the 1819 Hep! Hep! Riots and the 1848 Baisingen Riots.

  • Jewish emancipation efforts by the rural Jews.

  • The changing local communities in the 1850s when Jews joined the Christians on the village governing boards in Württemberg.

  • A Jewish owner of a town’s newspaper from the 1850s to 1934.

  • Emigration from the south German lands in the 1850s.

  • The first generation in America and the story of the founder of the Berlitz School of Languages

  • Changes for the rural Jews after 1860.

From Your Family Story to Award-Winning Book
Could your family research and story become a published book? Author Emily Rose shares her experiences researching her family in the German archives from 1994 to 1998, and how she transformed that information into her award-winning book. Learn how to make the jump from your family project to a publishable manuscript. Discover the strategies to get your story published and to reach your market.

Moises, Joseph, and Maier: Becoming German Jews
The story of the family’s involvement in the Jews’ struggle to obtain equal rights with the Christians. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Rose’s family was involved in the political, legal, and social transformation of the Jews. Topics to be included:

  • The status of the rural Jews in the 18th century.

    • Jews as small-time dealers and peddlers. The special status of “protected Jews.”

    • The Jewish body toll.

  • Moises Kaz’s fight to change the laws of the kingdom in the early 19th century.

  • Anti-Jewish economic and social events in the countryside, including the 1819 Hep! Hep! Riots and the 1848 Baisingen Riots.

  • The role of Joseph David Berlizheimer as a member of the emancipation committees in the 1820s.

  • 1848 as a watershed: Maier Rothschild’s fight for civil rights and later as one of the first Jewish owners of a secular newspaper.

  • Changing lives in the 1850s and 1860s. Leaving the countryside for America and the German cities. Sigmund Gundelfinger as a theoretical mathematician and Max Berlitz as the founder of the Berlitz School of Languages.

The New Berlitz Story: Uncovering the Legend
Author Emily Rose shares the twists and turns of uncovering the true story of Maximilian Berlitz, the founder of the Berlitz School of Languages and the repercussions of her discoveries. Emily discovered that Berlitz was her distant cousin, David Berlizheimer, who was born in a south German village in 1852. The story involves German and American archival sources and documents. Also, it presents the interesting problem of those Jews who decide to hide their origins and the perpetuation of the secret to the present day. It is a case study of genealogical research methods that resulted in a fascinating and complex story.

Maximilian Berlitz gave his name to the first Berlitz School of Languages founded in 1878 in Providence, Rhode Island, and the Berlitz method of language instruction. He used his personal history and mystique to develop his school into a company known around the world. However, for more than 130 years the origins of the company founder have been shrouded in ambiguity and legend. Author Emily Rose and a German historian uncovered the true story using research materials in American and German archives. Maximilian Berlitz was born David Berlizheimer in a south German village in 1852. Emily shares the story of the discovery, and Berlitz International’s refusal to accept her discovery despite the definitive evidence she provided. She interweaves this story with the larger experience of the rural Jews in south Germany in the 18th and 19th century with an emphasis of the role of the Jewish teachers.

Documents used to uncover the story were:

  • In America: Census data and city directories. Naturalization Documents. Newspapers. Death certificates. Wills. Ship records. Interviews.

  • In the German archives: Jewish family registers. Apprenticeship documents. Jewish teacher and cantor records.

  • From Your Family Story to Award-Winning Book: Could your family research and story become a published book? Author Emily Rose shares her experiences researching her family in the German archives from 1994 to 1998, and how she transformed that information into her award-winning book. Learn how to make the jump from your family project to a publishable manuscript. Discover the strategies to get your story published and to reach your market.

 

For Women’s Groups:

Gustel, Mina, and Hannah: Jewish Women of the German Countryside
This presentation focuses on the lives of Jewish women living in the German countryside in the 18th and 19th century. The story is interwoven with descriptions of the social services and community organizations that served the the needy.

For Genealogical Societies: 

Beyond Names and Dates: 
Uncovering the Life and Times of your German Ancestors

Author Emily Rose will share her personal adventures doing research in the German archives and the expertise she gathered on how “to read” German-language documents. While Emily will illustrate her talk with documents she uncovered researching her family and the rural German Jews, the techniques, suggestions, and hints will help anyone doing family research.

Even if you do not read German, Emily will show you how you can find fascinating information in the German local, regional, and state archives. In the course of her five years of research she uncovered over 2,600 primary documents.

Emily will present examples of what the researcher can find in German documents. She will concentrate on the more unusual documents that shed light on occupations, house ownership, and the economic, social, political, and religious status of the rural Jews. Emily will also reveal how she and a German historian uncovered the Jewish origins of one of her distant cousins who founded the Berlitz School of Languages.

Emily will distribute a handout that outlines the various German archives and the types of documents the researcher might find in them.

Examples of the following documents will be discussed:

  • Jewish family registers, birth registers, apprenticeship registers, marriage contracts.

  • Contracts, property registers, trade tax registers, fire insurance registers, lists of citizens, lists of partial citizens, debt registers, court protocols, guardian registers, emigration registers and applications, address books, maps, old photographs, local newspapers.

  • Applications for “protection,” requests and petitions regarding individuals and the Jewish communities, personal requests, the Jewish emancipation process.

  • Jewish community documents including rabbis’ contracts and leadership information.

  • Death registers, cemetery documentation, and wills and estate divisions.

Names, Dates, and Beyond: How to use German-Language Archives 
Even if you do not read German, you can find fascinating information in the local, regional, and state archives in Germany. Emily Rose shares her experiences gathered over five summers doing archival research. During those years she researched her family, the local Jewish communities, and the history of the Jews in the Kingdom of Württemberg from 1730 to 1880, uncovering over 2,600 primary documents.

In a nuts and bolts presentation Rose will explain how to find documents in the local, regional, and state archives. She will use overheads or slides of original documents to illustrate how to read the documents, and what information the researcher would find in the documents. The techniques, suggestions, and hints would help anyone doing research in German-speaking regions (including the Czech Republic and Poland). 

Ms. Rose would present examples of the following types of documents:

  • Documents located in the local and county archives: community and town council minute books, contract registers, property registers, trade tax registers, contracts (marriages and inheritance), death registers, fire insurance registers, lists of citizens, lists of partial citizens, debt registers, court protocols, guardian registers, emigration registers, address books, maps, old photographs, local newspapers.

  • Documents located in the state archives: tax lists, lists and applications for “protection,” applications and petitions regarding individuals and the Jewish communities, personal petitions, the Jewish emancipation process. 

  • Family information and other personal details: Jewish family registers, cemetery documentation.

  • Other important resources found in the archives: population figures, important resource books, law digests.

Moises Kaz—A Case Study 

Moises Kaz (1750-1829) saved an imperial town from Napoleon’s army, convinced the government to change the law regarding land ownership, and started a Jewish community. Author Emily Rose’s research into his early life in a south German village and his later years in that imperial town is the framework for her to share her adventures doing research in the German archives, and the expertise she gathered on how “to read” German-language documents. Emphasis is on the more unusual documents that shed light on occupations, house ownership, and the economic, social, political, and religious status of the rural Jews.

  

Moises Kaz’s life was interwoven with the changing times of the rural German Jews in the 18th and 19th century. He rose from peddler to military purveyor and moneylender. He saved the town (where he was not permitted to live) from Napoleon’s army in 1799. As the political situation changed in the early years of the 19th century, Moises was allowed to move to the town where he opened a store and formed the first Jewish community there since the Middle Ages. Emily details his story by showing the many documents she found in the German archives.  She also shares the methodology she used to learn about his life.  She emphasizes the more unusual sources and documents:

  • Family registers; cemetery documentation, wills.

  • Tax lists, contracts, house registers.

  • Letters, petitions, Jewish community records.

  • Secondary history books.

Making Connections: Rural German Jews and the American Midwest in the Mid-19th Century
Both German documents and American sources provide genealogical information on the lives of the immigrants during the mid-19th century. Emily Rose describes the more unusual sources. Her ancestors immigrated to American in 1857 and settled in towns in Iowa and in Chicago.

In this lecture Rose would show how documents in America and in Germany combine to give a full picture of the emigration process, the immigrant’s early years in America, and the ties the immigrants maintained with their native villages in Germany. She would use slides and overheads to illustrate how a researcher can find and utilize this type of information. 

Many types of documents would be examined:

  • Emigration: applications and registers, Jewish family registers, cemetery documentation, registers of apprenticeships, local newspapers.

  • In America: address books, local newspapers, censuses, and R.G. Dun & Co. Collection.

  • Ties between America and the native country: community and town council minute books, contract registers, property registers, trade tax registers, contracts (marriages and inheritance), death registers, debt registers, court protocols, guardian registers, family papers.

Beyond Names and Dates: Discovering the Life and Times of German Rural Jews

Emily Rose shares her knowledge of the daily lives of the rural Jews gathered over five summers doing archival research in Germany. She intertwines genealogy with the social history of the Jews in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Emily Rose grew up looking at two large oil portraits hanging above the fireplace mantel in her grandfather’s home in America. These portraits led her on a five-year journey to discover her Jewish ancestors and their world in rural Germany. Historical books and movies expose us to the urban, middle class lives of the German Jews leading up to the tragic events of the Holocaust and to the special lives of the Jews living in the ghettos in Eastern Europe. In contrast she discovered, in the thousands of pages of documents she studied, a very different world, a different story that had not yet been shared.

What she found was a vibrant, living history of real, ordinary people who were an integral part of the Christian world in southern Germany while retaining their Jewish religion and community. Her family did not figure among the handful of rich and powerful urban Jews. Her ancestors and their communities were typical of the German rural Jews who were fascinating in their own right:

In the presentation, Rose will describe how she learned about the lives of her ancestors who lived in three different environments: a village with an important Jewish community, a village with a large, but ordinary Jewish community, and an imperial town with a tiny Jewish population. Rather than a “how-to” presentation, she would explain what type of documents revealed their history, and how the researcher has to piece the information together. Slides will bring more intimacy to the story. She would concentrate on certain areas of genealogical research:

  • The status of “protected Jews.”

  • How a Jewish trader saved an imperial town from the plundering wrath of Napoleon’s army by his emergency financial bailout.

  • A Jewish divorce in the mid-19th century

  • Jewish emancipation efforts by the rural Jews.

  • The changing local communities in the 1850s when Jews joined the Christians on the village governing boards in Württemberg.

  • A Jewish owner of a town’s newspaper from the 1850s to 1934.

  • Emigration from south in the 1850s.

  • Changes for the rural Jews after 1860.

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