Jacob Raphael: Biographical Notes
His friends knew him as Jack.
1897 Born in Posen (today Poznan). Son of glazier Yitshak (Isidor), and Dora Drucker.
1914 Jüdisches Lehrerseminar (Jewish teachers seminary). Köln (Cologne)
1923/24 Teacher in Geseke, Westfalen.
1924/37 Beckum. Westfalen. Teacher at Jüdische Volkschule (Jewish elementary school). Also acted as Hazan (cantor), and Jewish community leader in general.
Numerous publications in the Jewish press. Since 1924 - perhaps earlier - he contributed to the Israelit, Jüdisches Wochenblatt and others.
1925 married Lilly Fischer of Fürth. Their son Heinz (Zeev) was born in 1927.
Between 1926 and 1936 he was active in the "neutral" Jewish Youth Movement (Jugendverein, Düsseldorf), and on behalf of Zionism. In an article in Der Israelit under the headline "Das Judenland wartet auf die Heimkehr zum Judentum" ("The Land of the Jews is awaiting the Return to Judaism") he wrote (20 July 1933) "... Die Proklamation der jüdischen Heimkehr und Rückkehr wird über den ihr einst zugedachten engen Rahmen einer Parteigruppierung hinauswachsen und zum Kampfruf einer geeinten, bewusst jüdischen Front werden. Diese Front muss kommen, weil es sich um eine letzte grosse Hoffnung und um die Verantwortung der jüdischen Zukunft gegenüber handelt." ("The call for a Jewish return and homecoming will grow beyond the early idea of a narrow framework of a political alignment, into the battle cry of a united and conscious Jewish front. This front will surely materialize, because it is our last great chance, and our responsibility towards the future of the Jews.")
1937 Israelitische Gartenbauschule (Jewish School for Horticulture) Ahlem, Hannover. Teacher.
1938/39 Zwickau. Sachsen. Teacher and cantor. Following the November pogrom (Reichskristallnacht), he spent four weeks in KZ (concentration camp) Buchenwald.
June 1939 emigration to England. Kitchener Transit Camp, Kent. He joined the British army in December 1939, among the first, when this became possible for "enemy aliens." Pioneer Corps, and later Royal Army Pay Corps. Demobilized 1945.
1946-56 with Machinery Lloyd, Leicester and later, London. Manager of subscription department. Lived in Ruislip, Middlesex, UK.
October 1956 emigration to Israel, joining his son Zeev and his family. He settled with his wife in Ramat Gan. Correspondent for several British industrial journals. To the Petroleum Press Service and the Mining Journal, he contributed almost until the very last day of his life.
While in Israel, he was known for his articles, book reviews and stories, among others to readers of Hakidmah, Mitteilungsblatt, Die Stimme, Das Neue Israel and AJR Information.
During his last years he devoted much of his time to Heinrich Heine research. He had eight papers published on various themes of the poet's works and relatives, - in the Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Juden (Journal for Jewish History), the Bulletin of the Leo Baeck Institute, and in the Heine Jahrbuch (Heine Yearbook) .
He died on 8 June 1971 in his 74th year.
A friend wrote of Jack Raphael: "...Not many people are privileged to retain so much spirit and interest and creative activity right up to the end of their lives - as he surely did."
1. Felix U. Theilhaber: Jüdische Flieger im Weltkrieg. Verlag der Schild, Berlin, 1924
2. Sammy Gronemann: Hawdoloh und Zapfenstreich. Erinnerungen an die ostjüdische Etappe 1916 - 18, Jüdischer Verlag, Berlin, 1925