Regina Jonas

Regina Jonas (1902–1944) grew up in a very religious Jewish household in Berlin. She worked as a teacher at a girls’ school to finance her education at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Higher Institute for Jewish Studies). Of the few female students at the college, she was the only one who aspired to become a rabbi. She succeeded in this goal, becoming the first woman in the world to do so. In 1930 she qualified as a religion teacher and from then on was permitted to teach and preach. In 1935 she was ordained as a rabbi. From 1941 she was obliged to perform forced labor. On 5 November 1942, she was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. Here she continued to lecture and preach to her fellow prisoners. In October 1944 she was transported to the Auschwitz extermination camp, where she was murdered, presumably on 12 December of that year.

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