German-language Jewish magazine Aufbau changes ownership

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The former publisher of Aufbau, an illustrious German-language magazine which Jewish refugees founded in New York, handed over the publication in order to preserve it.

The Switzerland-based former publisher, Susanne Braginsky, this month handed over Aufbau to another Swiss publishing firm, JM Jüdischen Medien AG, according to a report in this month’s edition of Tachles – a Swiss Jewish magazine published by JM Jüdischen Medien AG.

Braginsky took over publishing Aufbau in 2004, seventy years after it was founded in Manhattan by German Jews who escaped Nazi Germany to the United States. Her firm, Serenada Verlag, is handing over the magazine “in order to secure the long term viability of Aufbau,” according to an April 12 press release by JM Jüdischen Medien AG.

The paper, whose names means “construction,” was a forum for authors and thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann.

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“Writing a history of Aufbau would mean telling the story of the German-Jewish immigration to New York and the tumultuous fates of the immigrants,” Aufbau editor Manfred George wrote in 1941.

Under George, Aufbau went from being a monthly newsletter of the New World Club immigrants´ association to establishing itself as a weekly paper with a global readership. Aufbau has since returned to the monthly format but has an online edition as well.

Under JM Jüdischen Medien AG, the U.S. “remains an area of focus alongside Europe, Israel and other regions,” the publisher’s statement read. “Aufbau has become a venue for younger, as well as prominent, Jewish and gentile writers such as Jared Diamond, Eric Foner, Walter Laqueur, Robert Menasse, Isabel Wilkerson and Elie Wiesel,” according to the statement.