The Schiller-Verein

m manuscriptany German Jews clearest affiliation was with the general German community and its culture. The German community up and down this country largely organised themselves around a series of German institutes known as Vereinen

In Bradford there was the Schiller-Verein, on Rawson Square off Manor Row. Here the German elite met and socialised. One oral traditional passed on by former textile boss Ossie Stroud, the son of Rabbi Strauss, was that the Jewish merchants alleviated the very exceptional late hours they worked, by having long liquid lunches at the Schiller-Verein, after which they would return to their business premises, sleep off the liquor, and return to work.

The Schiller Verein, Rawson Square

The former Schiller Verein, Rawson Square

The Vereinen was based in Unity Hall, which was leased by the German community in Bradford from 1862. Later it became a Masonic Hall and in 1910 became the base for the Oddfellows Society. The carving above the top middle window is of the German poet and dramatist Friedrich Von Schiller (1759-1805).

Bradford Jewish German merchant Jacob Unna was honoured in this document from the Schiller-Verein

Bradford Jewish German merchant Jacob Unna was honoured in this document from the Schiller-Verein

The institute was founded at a conference in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 1884 by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, the German-born wife of American political activist Lyndon LaRouche. Its stated aim is to seek to apply the ideas of poet, dramatist and philosopher Friedrich Schiller to the current global political situation. They emphasize Schiller’s concept of the interdependence of classical artistic beauty and republican political freedom, as elaborated in his series of essays entitled Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man.
Close up of bust of Frederik Von Schiller & view looking towards North Parade and Manor Row

Close up of the bust of Frederich Von Schiller & the view looking towards North Parade and Manor Row at ‘the top of town’

On November 26, 1884, the institute released a “Declaration of the Inalienable Rights of Man,” which it describes as “the basis of the Institute’s work and efforts worldwide.” It states in part:

“We, therefore, Representatives of the Peoples of the World, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world, do … solemnly publish and declare that all countries of the world are and of right ought to be free and independent States. That all human beings on this planet have inalienable rights, which guarantee them life, freedom, material conditions worthy of man, and the right to develop fully all potentialities of their intellect and their souls. That, therefore, a change in the present economic and monetary order is necessary and urgent to establish justice among the peoples of the world.”

— Signators at Schiller Institute conference.

The Schiller Institute is still in existence to this day, and much more about it can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Frederich Von Schiller 1759-1805

Frederich Von Schiller 1759-1805

As the Schiller Institute appeared in it's Victorian heyday

As the Schiller Institute appeared in it’s Victorian heyday













*A  proportion of this article has been directly reproduced from a piece about Bradford’s Jewish history authored by Nigel Grizzard and published on Marcus Roberts JTrails website at

Also reproduced here is the text from Bradford Timeline’s piece on Masonic Hall / Unity Hall, which is at