In September 1933, in response to the anti-Semitic attitude of the new Nazi regime, a number of Jewish organizations and associations came together to form the "Reich Deputation of German Jews," a group that aimed to represent Jewish interests on a national level. Under the leadership of Otto Hirsch and Leo Baeck (below, standing), the Reich Deputation sought to defend the rights of Jews to live and work in Germany, and to move the Nazi regime toward greater tolerance. Among other contributions, the deputation coordinated Jewish self-help through welfare initiatives, worked to create employment opportunities, and eventually also provided school education for Jewish children. It protested the slanderous anti-Semitism of the Nazi press and supported individual Jews in their dealings with state offices. Although the Reich Deputation's main goal was to protect the foundations of Jewish life in Germany, it also provided financial and bureaucratic assistance to those looking to emigrate.
The photo shows, from left to right: unknown; Franz Meyer (general chairman of the Zionist Union for Germany); Jakob Hoffmann (rabbi of the Jewish Community of Frankfurt am Main); Siegfried Moses (president of the Zionist Union); Leo Baeck (president of the Reich Deputation of German Jews); Otto Hirsch (chairman of the Presidential Committee of the Reich Deputation of German Jews); Rudolf Callmann (member of the executive committee of the Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Belief); hidden, Heinrich Stahl (chairman of the Jewish Community of Berlin); unknown. Photo by Abraham Pisarek.