The Prinz-Brenner Interview

In 1981 in preparation for his book "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators" Lenni Brenner interviewed Rabbi Joachim Prinz. In the United States Prinz was justifiably known for his leadership at the Bnai Abraham congregation in Newark and his support for civil rights. He spoke just before Martin Luther King Jr. at the epic 1963 demonstration in Washington.

Brenner, however, was interested in Prinz activities for Zionism in Germany in the early and mid 1930's. By 1917 Prinz had become a Zionist which according to a website made in his honor "put him at odds with the vast majority of German Jews." By the 1920's he had become a leading German rabbi and important Zionist.

The Zionist Federation of Germany preached that Jews had no business getting involved in German politics. The Federation thought it had two jobs, spreading their ideas and encouraging Jews to leave Germany. Nevertheless when Hitler took over in 1933 the German Zionists believed only they could speak for German Jewry. They sent a 16 page "memorandum" to the Nazis June 21 1933. The memorandum proposed solving the "Jewish Question" through "collaboration of the Jewish movement that aims at a social, cultural and moral renewal of Jewry...a rebirth of national life such as is occurring in Germany through adhesion to Christian and national values... " ... "On the foundation of the new state which has established the principle of race, we wish to fit our community into the total structure..."(Brenner ZAD, p. 48)

These are three interviews done by Lenni Brenner with Prinz in 1981.

Click here for the interview (part 1)

Click here for the interview (part 2)

Click here for the interview (part 3)


In 1934 Prinz wrote a book called "Wir Juden". Israeli professor of chemistry at Hebrew University and human rights activist Israel Shahak (himself a refugee from Germany) said this about the book, ""The whole book is full of similar crude flatteries of Nazi ideology, glee at the defeat of liberalism and particularly of the ideas of the French Revolution, and great expectations that, in the congenial myth of the Aryan race, Zionism and the myth of the Jewish race will also thrive." (Jewish History, Jewish Religion: The Weight of Three Thousand Years, 1994, pp 71-72) as posted here.

Prinz was expelled by the Nazis from Germany in 1937. He never had "Wir Juden" translated into English.

An archive to many of Lenni Brenner's writings can be found here including a .pdf of his entire book "Zionism in the Age of the Dictators".

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