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Philo Verlag

PHILO VERLAG (named after *Philo of Alexandria), German-Jewish publishing house (1919–38), founded in Berlin as the publishing arm of the *Central-Verein deutscher Staatsbürger jüdischen Glaubens (C.V.). The originally intended name, "Gabriel-Riesser-Verlag," was rejected by the *Riesser family. According to the C.V.'s ideology, the Philo Verlag was to publish apologetic literature, both in a scientifically reliable and outwardly attractive form, in order to fight antisemitism and broaden the knowledge of Judaism among Jews and non-Jews, focusing on the description of Jewish history and the contribution of Jews to German life and culture. The Philo Verlag was first managed by Ludwig *Holländer (1877–1936), then syndic of the C.V. and editor of its monthly organ, Im Deutschen Reich (1895–1922), which was continued by the Philo Verlag as a weekly under the title *C.V. Zeitung (1922–38). From 1923–38, Holländer and his successor Alfred Hirschberg (1901–1971) were assisted by Lucia Jacoby (1889–1944). Within 20 years, more than 100 pamphlets and books of both Jewish and non-Jewish authors appeared and, besides a press information service, several periodicals were published, including Der Morgen (1925–38), first edited by Julius *Goldstein (1873–1929), and the revived Zeitschrift für die Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland (1929–37), edited by Ismar *Elbogen (1874–1943) and others. In 1933 however, when fighting antisemitism became both hopeless and dangerous, the Philo Verlag changed its strategy, concentrating on publications which could deepen Jewish knowledge and consciousness and give both intellectual and practical orientation. The Philo "Library" (Kleine Philo-Bücherei) and handbooks like the Philo-Lexikon (1935–37, 1–4, reprinted 1982), the Philo-Zitaten-Lexikon (1936), and the Philo-Atlas (1938, reprinted 1998), a guide to Jewish emigration, served these various purposes. The Philo Verlag was closed by the Gestapo on November 10, 1938.


A. Hirschberg, in: LBIYB, 7 (1962), 39–74; Lexikon des Judentums (19712), 625–26; S. Urban-Fahr, Der Philo-Verlag 1919–1938… (2001).