This article focuses on a particular episode in Sammy Gronemann’s life that occurred in 1902 and is briefly described in his memoires, Erinnerungen. Gronemann was asked to travel to Mainz for a propaganda lecture on behalf of the Zionist Movement in which he caused an uproar. Earlier in the year, the Jewish-orthodox newspaper Der Israelit of Mainz had published a slanderous article on the Zionist bank, the Jewish Colonial Trust, for which it was sued by the Zionist leadership. In the midst of the trial against the paper and its editor-in-chief, Oskar Lehmann, efforts were made to bring the trial to a quick end by means of a settlement. During Gronemann’s talk in Mainz, he spotted Lehmann in the audience and entered into a tirade. He publicly insulted Lehmann, who angrily left the venue. This caused an uproar and jeopardized the leverage of the Zionists in the settlement negotiations and the trial’s speedy conclusion. This paper provides the background to the events, discusses its outcome, and puts the episode in its historical context.
Naharaim is a peer-reviewed journal of the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Centre at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. It is devoted to current research in philosophical, literary, and historical aspects of German-Jewish culture. The contributions are mainly in German or English.