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April 05, 1963 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Gabriel Riesser began his
work for the emancipation of
his people with a sensational
pamphlet on "The Stand of
Those Who Profess the Mossaic
Faith in Germany: To Those
Germans of All Faiths." No one
had dared speak out before.
Bitterly attacked for his tem-
erity by - Church Councillor
Paulus of Heidelberg, he re-
plied in an equally energetic
pamphlet. He then founded a
paper called "The Jewish Per-
iodical Publication for Religion
and (Gewissenfreiheit) Free-
dom of Conscience," and con-
tinued to hammer home his
points. -

cy •

i
eizmann Institute Scientist
of New Birth Control Development

W

SINGAPORE.—A new meth-
od for preventing pregnancy by
temporarily upsetting the fe-
male hormone balance has been
successfully tested in rats, and
may hold promise for effective
application among women.
Results of the animal tests,
part of an intensive 10-year in-
vestigation of fertility processes,
were reported by Prof. M. C.
Shelesnyak of the Weizmann
Institute of Science in Rehov-
oth, Israel, to the seventh con-
ference of the Planned Parent-
hood Federation meeting in
Singapore.
Prof. Shelesnyak, a leading
authority on the biology of re-

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dukedom of Lauenberg to the
National Assembly. Prior to his
appointment, no Jew had ever
been allow to stay in Lauenberg
overnight.
Hamburg appointed him
principal speaker at the Schil-
ler celebration in 1859. The
same year he was elected to
the Hamburg magistracy and
he became its vice-president.
A year later, he received his
greatest accolade, when he be-
came the first Jewish judge in
Germany. The bars were down;
Jews could now hold office in
German y, and his almost
single-handed fight had brought
about their change in status.
Gabriel Riesser visited the
United States in 1856. The Amer-
ican Jewish Archives has records
of a testimonial presented to
him by the Jews of Baltimore,
and a dinner held in his honor
at the Metropolitan Hotel in New
York. When he came to Cincin-
nati, Dr. Isaac M. Wise, the

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production and head of the In-
stitute's Biodynamics Depart-
ment, explained his basic theo:
ries and findings underlying
the experiments:
One of the essential stages in
early pregnancy is ovum im-
plantation, or the nesting of the
fertilized egg in the lining of
the womb.
The nesting action depends
on at least three physiological
phases involving the interplay
of two female sex hermones-
estrogens and progesterones-
and a third body substance, his-
tamine.
By temporarily stopping the
production of any of the three
hormones, the entire process of
ovum implantation — and preg-
nancy—can be halted, according
to Dr. Shelesnyak's theory.
He has found that anti-estro-
gen and anti-histamine drugs
can effectively interfere with
the actions of these two hor-
mones, but his most promising
experiments have been with
the alkaloid drug ergocornine.
This drug stops production of
the progesterone hormone
which plays a vital role in
maintaining the nest which
houses the fertilized egg.
The effectiveness of the ergo-
cornine drug has been proven
not only in rats, but in pre-
liminary studies on women,
Shelesnyak said. His next step
will be to determine whether
the lack of progesterone ac-
tually prevents nest formation
in the human female, as it does
in rats.
Shelesnyak refuses to specu-
late on the ultimate outcome of
his studies, but it is considered
possible that if the animal test
results prove valid for humans,
pregnancies could be avoided
by taking one tablet a month.
He also hopes that his studies
will .shed light on the opposite
aspect of the same problem,
unwanted infertility due to
some failure in the nest build-
ing process.
A native of Chicago and grad-
uate of the University of Wis-
consin and Columbia Univer-
sity, Shelesnyak joined the
Weizmann Institute in 1950,
after serving -as head of the
Environmental Physiology and
Ecology Branch of the U.S. Of-
fice of Naval Research.
In 1958, he was awarded Brit-
ain's Oliver Bird Prize for Re-
search in Reproduction Physi-
ology, and last year received a
$675,000 grant from the Popu-
lation Council, New York, to
expand his present research
program.

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founder of Reform Judaism, re-
corded his debt to him in these
words: "Riesser made us feel
free . . . it was from a journal
edited by this man that I learned
in 1831 in a distant village of
Bohemia that the Jews had the
unborn human rights that must
be respected by every man."
At his death in 1863, a Gabriel
Riesser Foundation was estab-
lished in his honor, and a street
in Hamburg was named after
him. When Hitler came to power,
Riesser's name was removed
from the street to be replaced
by an Aryan substitute.

Lxz

As a result of his protests, he
was elected a member of the
Hamburg Abendzeitung (Evening
Paper) in 1833, his first chance
to earn a living. The position
did not last long. A year later,
he addressed the senate at Ham-
burg on behalf of the Jews. The
Senate, which had intended to
grant Riesser's eloquent plea,
reversed its decision because of
an anti-Semitic attack made by
some of its members. Riesser
waited four years to apply again
to become a citizen of Hamburg.
Again his application was de-
nied.
Meanwhile, some small pro-
gress had been made. Hamburg
licensed two Jewish notaries, of
which Riesser was one. He did
his work and kept on fighting
and, in 1849, the cause he cham-
pioned was realized and he be-
came a citizen of Hamburg. Soon
after, he was elected to the par-
liament of Frankfurt and subse-
quently became deputy from the

£96

Anti-Semitism was rife in Ger-
many long before the advent of
Hitler. In the early 19th century,
civil rights were denied to the
Jews and m o s t professions
barred to them.
In 1826, Gabriel Riesser, a
brilliant young Jewish student
who was to influence Isaac M.
Wise, received his degree of Doc-
tor of Jurisprudence at Heidel-
berg and then studied philoso-
phy at Munich. When he wished
- to become a lecturer at the uni-
versity or to practice law in
Hamburg, he was refused be-•
cause he was a Jew. These ex-
periences forced him to take up
the fight for the emancipation
of the Jews in Germany until he
finally achieved his goal.
Three years before his death
in 1863-100 years ago—he was
rewarded by being appointed the
first Jewish judge. in Germany.
His long struggle for the rights
of his people and his eventual
victory are reflected in historical
material at the American Jewish
Archives, the research center lo-
cated on the Cincinnati campus
of the Hebrew Union College-
Jewish Institute of Religion.

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Gabriel Riesser Broright Down Bars On German Jews a Century Ago

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