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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 1, 2015

Eine nicht ausgetragene Kontroverse: Die Beziehung Gershom Scholems zu Oskar Goldberg und Erich Unger

Manfred Voigts
From the journal Aschkenas


At a first glance the relationships between Gershom Scholem and Oskar Goldberg or Erich Unger seem to be meaningless. However, from 1921 to 1979, Scholem was frequently confronted with both. He was hostile towards Goldberg who was better known in Berlin in the twentieth century than he was himself. He insulted him in a letter to a mistress of Erich Engel’s, who was a friend of Erich Unger. By doing so Scholem could be sure that Goldberg would read it. He took Goldberg for a cabbalist, but Goldberg firmly denied this. Unger wrote an essay criticising the idea of cabbala supported by Scholem, but it was not published. After the death of Oskar Goldberg Scholem wrote about him in the Encyclopaedia Judaica even though he rejected Goldberg’s theories, but he was unable to describe him adequately. In 1977 Scholem placed Goldberg on a par with leading scholars by listing the Warburg-circle, the Institute for Social Science and the Oskar Goldberg group as the most important ›Jewish sects‹. In the same year he wrote in a letter that Goldberg was, regarding the cabbala-research, »in some way the exact opposite to what I was doing«. Against the background of this very tense relationship it obviously is very unfortunate that a discussion between Scholem and Goldberg about cabbala never happened.

Online erschienen: 2015-12-1
Erschienen im Druck: 2015-12-1

© De Gruyter 2015