In Memoriam Judith Buber-Agassi z"l

On July 15 Prof. Dr Judith Buber-Agassi z"l, one of the two granddaughters of Martin Buber, passed away at the age of 94.

Judith Buber-Agassi z"l who passed away at her home in Herzliya (Israel), was born in 1924 at her famous grandparents, Paula and Martin Bubers’ house in Heppenheim (Germany). Her parents Rafael Buber and his first wife Margarete Buber-Neumann (nee Thüring) lived there for a year together with Judith`s older sister Barbara (born in Jena, 1921). The young couple later divorced and Rafael was awarded custody for his daughters who were then raised at his parents’ home in Heppenheim.
Judith went to local schools until 1936 when Jewish children were excluded from regular German schooling. She had to leave Heppenheim with her sister Barbara and her grandparents in March 1938, yielding to increasing and life-threatening pressure against Jews by the racist German Regime. Jerusalem (then Palaestine) became the new Buber family home.

Judith was married to Philosopher and fellow student Josef Agassi in 1949. They had two children, a son Aaron and a daughter Tirza, who tragically died in 2008 of breast cancer.
Having been an internationally acknowledged and highly acclaimed Sociologist whose focus was on women, she later found time to care for her mother Margarete Buber-Neumann, who had been imprisoned first by the Soviets and later at Ravensbrück Concentration Camp. Margarete later worked as a journalist at Frankfurt/M. (Germany) and never tired of reminding society of the values of freedom and humanity. Inspired by her mother´s memories Judith extensively researched the history of the Jewish women at Ravensbrück and to honor their memory wrote a book which was introduced to the public at Martin-Buber-House in 2010.

Judith paid several visits to Martin-Buber-House on the invitation of the ICCJ where she shared memories with childhood friends and interested guests. She always stayed connected with Heppenheim and was awarded honorary citizenship in 2004, following her 80th birthday, and she supported the ICCJ in its work of dialogue.

She always kept an open mind and door for young and interested visitors seeking information on Martin Buber and German History from a Jewish point of view.

Our heartfelt sympathy to her husband Prof. Josef Agassi and her son Aaron.
May her name be for a blessing.