Joseph Bornstein

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Joseph Bornstein , also Josef Bornstein ( 18th October 1899 in Krakow , Austria-Hungary - 23. June 1952 in New York City ) was a socially critical journalist of the time of the Weimar Republic , which in the emigration for the United States Office of War Information engaged was.


Joseph Bornstein was born as the son of a Russian citizen in Krakow, then Habsburg. After his father's death in 1905, the family moved to Berlin , where he passed his Abitur at the Sophien-Gymnasium and then studied in Berlin and Vienna . Bornstein became stateless at the end of the First World War and received German citizenship in 1925, which was withdrawn from him in 1933 with the start of National Socialism . As a socially critical journalist, he worked for Das Tage-Buch from 1923 to 1931, and in 1927, when Carl von Ossietzky moved to the Weltbühne, he and Leopold Schwarzschild were its editor. Even after 1931 he remained closely connected to the diary and was considered an outstanding investigative journalist of his time in the German Reich. The murder of Rosa Luxemburg and the tragic miscarriage of justice in the case of Josef Jakubowski are among the more well-known cases that he researched and published . In addition to his numerous contributions to newspapers and magazines, he has also published books. When the National Socialists came to power in 1933, he emigrated via Switzerland to Paris , where he and Leopold Schwarzschild first started Das Neue Tagebuch , for which he wrote under the pseudonym Erich Andermann until 1938 . During this time he published in other organs of the German exile press in France . From the beginning of 1939 to the beginning of 1940 Bornstein was editor of the German-language Paris daily newspaper .

At the beginning of the Second World War he volunteered for the French Army and was deployed in North Africa until September 1940 . He then received an emergency visitor visa for the USA from the American consulate in Algiers and came to New York in March 1941.

In January 1942 he entered the service of what would later become the United States Office of War Information and until the end of the war was responsible for the production of programs for the German department of the International Press and Radio Program Division of the Overseas Branch , but also of contributions for the Voice of America with.

After the Second World War, together with Liesl (Elisabeth) Frank, the widow of the poet Bruno Frank , he founded an agency in New York that represented German-speaking authors and their copyrights on the American book market, but also in the film business. Nobel Prize winners Hermann Hesse and Alberto Moravia were among the agency's clients.

Bornstein had been married to Vogue illustrator Jacqueline Lindner since around 1944 ; she passed away voluntarily a few months after Bornstein's death. Bornstein's estate and archive are kept by the Leo Baeck Institute in New York and can be digitally researched as Papers of Joseph Bornstein .


  • The judicial murder of Jakubowski . Berlin: Tagebuch-Verlag, [1928]
  • The Jorns case and the Reichsgericht . Berlin: Tagebuch-Verlag, [1930]
  • Action against the enemy's mind , Bobbs-Merrill, Indianapolis, New York 1942
  • The Politics of Murder , Sloane, New York 1950


  • Bornstein, Joseph , in: Renate Heuer (Hrsg.): Lexicon of German-Jewish authors . Volume 3, Munich: Saur 1995, pp. 356-359
  • Bornstein, Joseph , in: Werner Röder, Herbert A. Strauss (eds.): Biographical manual of German-speaking emigration after 1933. Volume 1: Politics, economics, public life . Munich: Saur, 1980, p. 80

Web links

  • Leo Baeck Institute, Center for Jewish History: Guide to the Papers of Joseph Bornstein (1899-1952), 1917-1952 . ( Digitized version )

Individual evidence

  1. Until the divorce in 1944, wife of the painter Richard Lindner . Born as Elsbeth Schülein.
  2. ^ Died October 1952