BB Religion

Jesuiten aus Zentraleuropa in Portugiesisch- und Spanisch-Amerika: ein biobibliographisches Handbuch mit einem Überblick über das außereuropäische Wirken der Gesellschaft Jesu in der frühen Neuzeit [Central European Jesuits in Portuguese and Spanish America: A Bio-Bibliographical Handbook with an Overview of Jesuit Missions Outside Europe in the Early Modern Era]. Ed. Johannes Meier. Münster: Aschendorff. 25 cm. [08-1/2-124]

Vol. 1. Brasilien (1618-1760) [Brazil, 1618-1760]. Ed. Fernando Amado Aymoré. 2005. xxxix, 356 p. ill. ISBN 3-402-03780-7: EUR 49

In the first centuries after the Spanish conquest of the New World, Jesuit missions in Latin America were undertaken primarily by members of that order who were themselves Spanish or Portuguese. But by the 17th century, and even more so in the 18th century, Jesuits from other parts of Europe were granted permission to join the missionary effort in Latin America. This handbook covers Jesuit missionaries of Central European origin who made, or attempted to make, the journey to the New World. “Central European” is defined here as the Jesuit provinces of the Lower Rhine, the Upper Rhine, Southern Germany, Bohemia, and Austria. The volume reviewed here, the first to appear, covers Brazil. Further volumes have been announced for Chile, Quito, New Granada (i.e., Colombia), Peru, and Paraguay, but none of these has yet appeared (as of September 2008). Mexico is not included among the planned volumes, presumably because a book covering the Mexican missions of Jesuits from the German provinces is already in existence, Bernd Hausberger’s Jesuiten aus Mitteleuropa im kolonialen Mexiko (München, 1995).

An introduction comprising more than 200 pages deals with the origins and education of the Central European Jesuits who worked in Latin America, their achievements, and their views on the Indians they went to serve. The remainder of the volume consists of bio-bibliographical entries for 24 priests, three Jesuit brothers, and four Jesuits whose relation to Brazil is not made clear, or who died in transit. Entries begin with the man’s name, his years of birth and death, and the Jesuit province from which he came. More detailed biographical information follows, including details of each Jesuit’s banishment when the Jesuit order was suppressed, first in the Portuguese territories in 1759 and then in the Spanish territories in 1767 or 1768. Following upon the biographical section is a bibliography listing the Jesuit’s works, letters, etc. as well as any available secondary literature about him. Sources for the information given in the entries appear in the footnotes that accompany the entries. The footnotes make use of sigla which refer back to the lists of titles given in the prefatory matter. [sh/crc]

Lexikon der jüdischen Gemeinden im deutschen Sprachraum [Lexicon of Jewish Communities in German-Speaking Areas]. Klaus-Dieter Alicke. 3 vols. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus. viii p. 4680 cols. ill. 31 cm. ISBN 978-3-579-08035-2 (complete work): EUR 148 [08-1/2-125]

Garnered from a rich body of secondary literature, this guide offers brief descriptions of more than 2,000 Central European Jewish communities that existed at the beginning of the 20th century, primarily in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, but also in several surrounding countries. The entries, which are listed in a single alphabetical sequence, include “the essential historical facts” up to the Nazi period, i.e., the communal institutions, statistical data on demographic developments and professions, contemporary monuments, museums and memorials, as well as a detailed account of their destructions by the Nazis. The articles focus, as one would expect, on the 19th century and the Nazi period. Small illustrations and quotations that are typographically distinctive enliven the book’s appearance and enhance its readability. Each article concludes with a comprehensive up-to-date chronological list of sources (including not just specialized studies but also relevant sections of more general works). The lexicon concludes with a glossary and an alphabetical “overview of all the communities.” Unfortunately, there is no index that lists the locations under the name of the relevant German federal state. Another desideratum would be a bibliography of comprehensive sources, extending to the now numerous and relevant Internet sites.

Although a compilation of already published material, the breadth and comprehensiveness of its coverage make this work is a must-have for libraries with any serious interest in German-Jewish history. There is simply nothing else like it. Even after 100 years, Germania Judaica (see RREO 95-3-375 for a review of volume 3) has not yet been extended into the modern era; and although there are specialized regional works, there are many areas of German-speaking Europe that they do not yet address. [sh/sl]

Gedenkbuch der jüdischen Bürger Bambergs: Opfer des nationalsozialistischen Terrors 1933-1945 [Memorial Book for the Jewish Citizens of Bamberg: Victims of the National Socialist Terror, 1933-1945]. Ed. Antje Yael Deusel and Ortwin Beisbart for the Verein zur Förderung der Jüdischen Geschichte und Kultur Bambergs e.V. Bamberg: Weiß, 2008. 467 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 978-3-940821-10-2: EUR 19.80 [08-1/2-126]

This memorial book provides detailed biographical information about Jewish citizens of the city of Bamberg who were executed by the Nazi regime or who committed suicide to avoid persecution. It purposely excludes Jewish citizens whose timely emigration enabled them to escape the Holocaust. Other inclusion criteria were residency in Bamberg between 1933 and 1945, birth and maturation in Bamberg but death elsewhere, or temporary residency in Bamberg before 1933.

On the basis of previously published memorial books for Nuremberg (1998) and Munich (2003), as well as primary materials and secondary literature, the city archives of Bamberg, and Internet sources, the editors identified 416 persons for inclusion, 215 with photographs. The book also incorporates a list of relatives who, because of the specific inclusion criteria, did not merit a separate article. In addition to the inclusion criteria and a list of references, the appendix provides a collection of written remembrances and memorial accounts, short commentaries on the National Socialist measures against Jewish citizens, and a glossary with commentary. [sh/jb]

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