Leo Baeck Institute Builds Digital Home for Émigré Journal “Aufbau”

METRO is pleased to forward the following announcement from our colleagues at the Leo Baeck Institute regarding completion of their METRO-funded project to digitize the more recent issues of the journal, "Aufbau." 
LBI received a METRO digitization "micro-grant" last year to fund the digitization via the Internet Archive's Scanning ServiceInformation about METRO's 2013 Digitization Grant Program can be found here. Please note the deadline for this year's grants is July 31, 2013

Congratulations to LBI on a job well done! 

LBI Builds Digital Home for Émigré Journal “Aufbau”

Posted on May 24, 2013 in FeaturedLBI News


The masthead and front page of the inaugural issue of “Aufbau”, published 1934

The Library of the Leo Baeck Institute has completed digitizing all issues of the German-Jewish émigré Journal, Aufbau published between 1934 and 2004, thus ensuring that the entire contents of the most important publication of the global German-Jewish refugee and exile community will remain available online to researchers.  The new resource is available immediately at:

In 2012, LBI worked with Internet Archive, an online library and LBI’s primary digitization partner, to digitize the issues of Aufbau published between 1951 and 2004. This project, partially funded by the Metropolitan New York Library Council, put the entirety of the Aufbau online for the first time, since the German National Libray (DNB), had previously digitized the volumes of Aufbau published from 1934 – 1950 as part of its Exilpresse Digital project.

However, in June 2012, the DNB closed online access to the Aufbau along with other German journals published in exile and many Jewish periodicals published in Germany during the Nazi Regime, citing legal concerns. In order to ensure that this critical resource remains available to researchers, the Library of the Leo Baeck Institute digitized the early years of the Aufbau in 2013.  JM Jüdische Medien, the Swiss Publishing company that owns the rights to the Aufbau, has granted its approval for the digitization, and funding was once again provided by the Metropolitan New York Library Council.


A couple reads “Aufbau” outdoors in the 1950′s. (Herbert Buky Collection AR 5143)

About the Aufbau
The Aufbau was a journal for German-speaking Jews around the globe. It was founded in 1934 by the German-Jewish Club, which was later renamed the New World Club.  It was published in New York until April 2004. Contributors to the Aufbau included many of the most prominent German literary, political, and scientific figures in exile, including Jews and non-Jews, such as Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein, Stefan Zweig, Thomas Mann, Fritz von Unruh, Carl Zuckmayer, Franz Werfel, and Lion Feuchtwanger.   Later contributors included prominent Germans such as Ralph Giordano, Jens Reich, and Stefan Heym.

The original purpose of the journal was as a monthly newsletter for the German-Jewish club, which included information and helpful facts for Jewish refugees. The Aufbau became one of the leading anti-Nazi publications of the German press in exile. From September 1, 1944 through September 27, 1946, the Aufbau printed numerous lists of Jewish Holocaust survivors located in Europe, as well as a few lists of victims.