UNION - Blaetter der Emigration
a bi-ligual publication of the German Jewish Refugees who fled
Nazi Germany to South Africa

Foreword by David Lewin

In October 2015 Our friend Rose Mendel sent us a page she had published in April 1940 when she, as a then 27 year old Rosemarie Schwartz, recounted her escape from Nazi Germany and her trip to South Africa. She was sorry, one page was missing... So, with my "Search and Unite" hat on I began to search for that publication.

I discovered that whilst "AUFBAU", the publication of the German refugees to England and the USA which had been digitized some years ago, "UNION" was largely forgotten. A few copies on microfilm exist in Libraries. A paper version is available in South Africa - but there was nothing on the web. I felt certain that it was at least as important as "AUFBAU" and ought to be available freely to researchers and searchers.

Many of our institutions agreed with me. It was vital that someone did something about it - provided the "someone" was someone else.

Eventually I managed to obtain the loan of the microfilm from the “Institut fuer Zeitungsforschung” in Dortmund, Germany and had its images transcribed to a disc by the British Library.

I sought out the family of Dr. H.O. Simon (1867 - 1961), the Editor of "UNION" and with their help established that I was in no way transgressing on Copyrights in any way.

What followed then was a long and arduous struggle with Optical Character Recognition software. It was arduous mainly because the quality of the microfilming was poor. There was much burning on the film on the one hand and underexposure on the other. Left to its automatic mode, the OCR scanning of the images was nigh on impossible. Frame by frame the 1153 images needed to be edited and then analysed individually.

I created an Index which relates to the images and the number of pages for each of the publications

And now, the end of December 2017 it is finally done....

I reproduce here also an index created by the late Lieselotte Maas in hr book “Handbuch der deutschen Exilpresse 1933-1945, Bd. 2”, It has an interesting list of the authors of whose writings there are mentions in the "UNION"

Paper versions of the publication are aparantly available at the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek and at the POST WAR part at the National Library of South Africa

I do not think that this Search and Unite web site is the best home for “Aufbau”. Clearly, the pages are important for tracing German Jewish Refugees to South Africa - but it is not the first place I would turn to if I sought a newspaper publication. Hopefully a more suitable institution will offer to host this.

David Lewin
London, 25 Dec 2017



Searchable PDF of the UNION - Blaetter der Emigration publication