Free to Practice Judaism

Rabbi Samuel Jakob Rose Inspects Galley Proofs of the Survivorsí Talmud, c. 1947

While they were supposedly limited to serving US soldiers, the Jewish chaplains did much to restore the practice of Judaism among the DPs. Chaplain Abraham Klausner arranged for publication of the Survivors' Haggadah for Passover, 1946, in Munich. The chaplains started Hebrew schools, cleansed and re-opened synagogues and served as rabbis to the survivors. The Seder was the first public celebration of Passover in Berlin since 1932.

Everyone had gathered to celebrate the festival of freedom in Berlin, once the capital of world tyranny. It was a wonderful twist of history. Well, the Seder is over, but, as one speaker put it, the lights of freedom are now on again in Berlin, and for good... As Chaplain (Lt. Col.) O'Reilly, a Catholic priest, senior American chaplain of Berlin, said, "This Passover in Berlin
marks a new period for men of all faiths and all lands. So be the will of the Lord."

Chaplain Herbert Friedman

Photo, top: NARA. Photo, bottom: USHMM, Courtesy of Rae Lifschitz

Synagogue at Foehrenwald DP Camp, 1945
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