EPPSTEIN, PAUL (1901–1944), sociologist and German-Jewish community leader, "elder" of *Theresienstadt. Eppstein, born in Mannheim, was lecturer in sociology at the university there from 1926 until 1933. After the Kristallnacht pogrom of November 1938, he was invited to England as a sociology lecturer but refused to go. As a prominent Jewish youth leader, organizer, and speaker he was one of the founders of the Reichsausschus der juedischen Jugend-Verbaende (National Board of Jewish Youth Organizations) and of the Reichsvertretung der deutschen Juden; he was the head of its welfare department, retaining the position when it became the Nazi-imposed *Reichsvereinigung, until his deportation to Theresienstadt in January 1943. Upon his arrival he was, on *Eichmann's orders, nominated "Judenaeltester" ("Jewish Elder") in place of Jacob *Edelstein. On September 27, 1944, he was arrested by the *Gestapo, apparently for having helped to organize clandestinely self-defense among the inmates, and immediately shot.
J. Robinson, And the Crooked Shall be Made Straight (1965), index; H.G. Adler, Theresienstadt, 1941 – 45 (Ger., 19602); idem, Die Verheimlichte Wahrheit (1958); Juedische Sozialarbeit, 4 (1959), no. 3–4, 23–26 (Gedenkblatt fuer Dr. Paul Eppstein); S. Kaznelson (ed.), Juden im deutschen Kulturbereich (19592), 693. add. bibliography: E. Meixner-Wülker, Zwiespalt – Jugend zwischen NS-Erziehung und – Verfolgung (1988); T. Simonsohn, Errinnerungen an Paul Eppsteinin: Theresienstädter Studien und Dokumente (1996), 127–29.
[Yehuda Reshef /
Bjoern Siegel (2nd ed.)]