Adolf Moritz Steinschneider Archiv

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Adolf Moritz Steinschneider (1894 - 1944)

From 1926 until 1933, Adolf Moritz Steinschneider lived as a politically active lawyer and criminal defender in Frankfurt-on-Main. He was engaged with the German League for the Human Rights, was legal adviser of the German Peace Society, and attorney for the Communist "Red Aid" organization. After the Reichstag fire, he had to flee "head over heels" [as the German expression has it in literal translation] to Switzerland; his combined law office and dwelling in Frankfurt was ransacked by Storm Troopers.

When Switzerland withdrew his right of asylum because of his active political participation, Steinschneider went, in 1935, to Paris. After war broke out in 1939, he,_ a German political refugee_ interned by the French authorities, succeeded in fleeing from the North to the South of France in June of 1940. Until the end of 1942, he served as a conscript in various forced-labor camps of the Vichy regime.

Throughout the whole of his time in exile, Steinschneider, as a non-dogmatic leftist, reflected in his letters and numerous manuscripts on the [theme of] political and social liberation from Fascism and Stalinism. An especially dense account of his "Exiles from the Bottom" are contained in his letters to his brothers Karl and Gustav Steinschneider, who had fled to Palestine.

In Bellac, a small town close by Limoges, where also his companion Eva Reichwein,later Steinschneider and their daughter Marie-Louise had taken refuge in 1940, he tried to escape the SS-Battalion "Das Reich" marching through, which apprehended and killed him on June 11, 1944.

[Translated from the German by David M. Fishlow, Washington DC, USA, a distant relative of Steinschneider's mother Léopoldine, née Fischlowitz.]