The Third Reich and the Jews 1933-1938
Jews had been living in Germany since the days of the Roman Empire. In 1933, the Jewish popula tion num bered 502,799, or 0.7% of the German population. Of these, 70.9% lived in cities (the comparable German figure was 30.4%). Nearly one-third of the German Jews (160,000) lived in Berlin.
Jewish Occupations in 1933
Total Population Jews % of Jews
(1,000's) % (1,000's) % in Germany
Agriculture / Forestry 9,343 24.5 4.2 1.4 0.04
Industry/Handicrafts 13,053 34.2 55.7 18.5 0.43
Commerce / Trade 5,932 15.6 147.3 48.9 2.48
Public Service / Professions 2,699 7.1 30.0 9.9 1.11
Domestic Service 1,270 3.3 3.4 1.1 0.27
Self-employed, no profession 5,822 15.3 61.0 20.2 1.05
Another set of statistics notes that by profession, 61.3% of German Jews were employed in commerce and retail; 23.1% in industry; 12.5% in the liberal professions; only 1.7% in banking and finance. For most Germans, the novel rise of Jews came in the liberal professions. Prior to 1914, very few if any Jews could have entered the judicial, academic, or medical professions, yet by 1933, Jews provided 286 Judges, 3,030 lawyers, 5,567 doctors, and 1,041 dentists. These figures do not seem immensely large, but with the heavy Jewish concentration in cities, the visibility was much higher. Secondly, absolute numbers must be compared with percentages. The following chart shows occupations with the largest percentage of Jews. Remember that the Jews about to 0.7% of the German population.
Occupations with Largest % of Jews in 1933
Lawyers / Public Notaries 3,030 16.62%
Brokers / Commission Agents 1,722 15.05%
Patent Lawyers 79 13.28%
Doctors 5,557 10.88%
Traveling Salesmen/Agents 24,386 9.20%
Dentists 1,041 8.59%
House Managers 297 8.53%
Furriers 1,198 6.33%
Theater and Film Directors 60 5.61%
Para-Legal Advisors 165 5.40%
Editors and Writers 872 5.05
German Jews were also prominent in academia. A Nazi authority estimated that in 1933, there were 937 Jews among the 3,140 college professors in Germany. Although that figure may be exaggerated, the available evidence supports the conclusion that about 30 percent of the teachers, and a similar percent of journalists, were Jewish. Between 1907 and 1930, this Jewish intellectual tradition produced 17 Nobel Prize winners.
This Jewish community was well organized into a series of State Committees which operated numerous homes for the aged, orphanages, welfare agencies, and schools. In 1933, there were 149 Jewish elementary schools, and 12 Jewish High Schools in the country, employing 600 teachers and enrolling 10,000 students. In addition, there were a number of cultural institutions—such as museums and archives supported by the Jewish community. 33 Communities published their own news papers, and in addition there were 80 other Jewish publications and magazines appearing in Germany.
Yet the Jews of Germany were not a monolithic unit. As these figures show, the vast majority of Jews were middle class, with a heavy emphasis upon commerce and trade. Thus, not surprisingly, many of them were not very wealthy. In the 1925 Berlin census, for example, 33% of the Jews paid no income tax at all, earning less than 100 Marks a month, and a further 31% belonged to the lowest category of taxpayers, earning less than 200 Marks a month. Poverty, especially among Jewish emigrants from Poland and Russia, was not rare. In 1933, 33,661 Berlin Jews were unemployed (7% of the Jewish population), and a year later, 31, 000 Berlin Jews were on welfare.
Anti-Semitism In the Early Months
From the day Hitler was installed in office, sporadic outbursts of violence against Jews, led by the SA, became common. In March, newspapers frequently described gangs breaking into shops, or even the private homes of local Jews. From the existing evidence, these acts like so many others during these days, occurred independent of orders from Hitler, or from NSDAP headquarters in Munich. Local authorities—both the police and the courts— seemed unable or unwilling to stop the violence.
30 March 1933 Bavaria/Upper Palatinate District Bi-monthly Report
On the 15th of this month, at 6:00 a.m., a number of men in dark uniforms appeared in a truck which pulled up before the house of the Israelite wholesaler Otto Selz in Straubing. Selz was dragged out of his house in his night clothes and thrust into the truck. At about 9:30, Selz was found shot to death in a woods near Weng, Administrative District Landshut. The truck is supposed to have come from the direction of Munich-Landshut and to have returned along the same way. It was occupied by six uniformed men, and bore the markings "II A." The exact number of the license could not be established. More than one farmer insists that they saw a red arm band with the Swastika on the inhabitants of this truck.
At first, the innocent victims believed that they could receive assistance from the legal authorities. The following incident is typical.
February 1933 Complaint of Rabbi A—, against Sturmbannfhrer B—
On Saturday, 23 February, shortly before 8:30 in the morning, I was walking along the Rmerstra§e in the direction of the Post Office. Since it was lightly raining, I was walking rather fast. Approximately in front of N—'s furniture store someone approached me from behind with rapid steps off to my left. As this person came alongside, I looked over in order to see who it might be. It was the above-mentioned B—, although I did not then know his name. He was several feet away from my left hand when he called out some thing to me, which I did not understand. And I also did not understand him when he called out something else, and I told him so. There upon, he said that I should not insult him, called me a "dirty Jew," and threatened to box my ears. I then called him an "impudent person." In front of D—'s house, he proceeded to carry out his threats and without provocation punched me in the face. I returned his punch at once, and did the same with the second blow he threw. At this point, C—, the eye witness to this event, stepped between us and demanded B— to leave me alone. But B— attacked me once again, hitting me in the face and knocking off my glasses, yelling: "You have struck an SA-Man!" I replied that he had started it. He then threw me against the window of D—'s Drug store and knocked me to the ground. At that moment, C— again stepped between us, and restrained him from further actions, so that I could get away.
9 May 1933 Reply of Sturmbannfhrer B—
On Friday evening, when it was I can no longer say, I went into E—'s bar, and stayed until seven-thirty or so next morning. At the bar I enjoyed myself with the proprietress until five or six in the morning and then I got into a conversation with L—. This talk got rather heated for a while; but in the last half-hour or so we just sat together shooting the breeze. When I went out onto the street, the A— [note: a derogatory way of referring to the Rabbi. Proper usage would have been "Mr. A—"] was coming up on the other side. He was thirteen or fourteen feet away. When I saw him, I said "Great! Did I have to run into you as well today?" I really didn't yell at him, but only spoke these words to myself. I don't know whether he understood me or not. In any case, he stayed on the other side of the street and stared at me. Since it was the Sabbath, his looks really made me angry. And I was even more angry when he stopped and stared at me! I ran up to him saying that he should stop staring at me and go on his way, otherwise I would land him one. A— then said to me: "You stupid lout, just try to do something if you dare!" This further enraged me, because I was in uniform, and as a uniformed SA-Leader, I was already furious over being ogled by such a Jew on the street. At this come-back, I went up to him and said that I would certainly be glad to oblige him, and hit him a good one. A— hit back. Then I gave him three or four good blows to the head, so that he fell to the ground. As A— got up again, a man whose name I did not know came up to me (now I know it was C—) and said it was disgraceful that I was beating up A—; he had seen the whole encounter. I replied that it was none of his business, to which he again said that just because I was in uniform I should not think I could get away with everything. I then stated that if he continued to interfere with me, he too would get a fist in the face. I demanded that he show me his identification, but he refused. There upon, I left him and A—.
I decisively reject the charge that I had chased A—. It is also not true that I was drunk or even tipsy; I had drunk only three or four glasses of beer the whole night long, and at the most only two small glasses of wine. I myself paid for the beers; I was treated to the wine. I didn't have sufficient money with me to buy more.
Since I have been asked why I spoke to A—, I would like to state the following: I have been an anti-Semite for a long time. On 1 May 1929 I entered both the SA and the NSDAP. Already in the years of struggle I naturally took a strong position against the Jews. In 1931 or 1932, during a fight in the local Ratskeller, the Jew F— gave me such a blow to my chest that I fell over a table. Since that time I have been particularly out to settle accounts with the Jews. Because of this back ground and the fact that the Jews here in M— have been particularly fresh, and after the events of that night and the argument with L—, I became so upset at seeing A— that this incident occurred.
I would like to add in passing that I am astonished that this incident has been taken up by the Public Prosecutor, since it involved only a minor scuffle. I am also surprised that the Prosecutor's office wants to get involved since one of the persons involved is only a Jew!... I would think that the public does not have the slightest interest in securing some trial and punishment, because, after all, it only concerns a Jew. I am of the opinion that both a sense of National Socialist justice, as well as the healthy common sense of the population, demands that this case either be dismissed, or at the very most reduced to the charge of a private quarrel outside the jurisdiction of the public prosecutor.
This kind of incident was commonplace in the early days of the Third Reich. Common too was its resolution. The Public Prosecution simply dropped it. Many cases, however, were more serious in their use of apparently random violence against defenseless Jews. The following deposition comes from the daughter of one of the victims—an 80 year old Polish rabbi living in Berlin.
April 1933 Ella Frnkel Account
At about 7:30 on the evening of 7 March three Storm Troop auxiliary policemen forced their way into our flat at Dragonerstra§e 37. Two of them held me prisoner, with their revolvers pointed at my forehead and my breast. The third shot at my father [Rabbi Jonas Frnkel] who was sitting at his desk. Two bullets struck his head, and my father, streaming with blood, sank unconscious to the floor. One of the Nazis shouted: "That's fixed him!" Then they broke open the desk and stole all the money in it—my dowry of 5,000 dollars and 2,000 marks. Before leaving they warned me against calling for help, and smashed the electricity connection so that the flat was left in darkness. We later ascertained that these "auxiliary police" were members of the Dragonerstra§ e SA.
I lifted my father from where he was by the desk to the window, and for half an hour was calling for help. The street was cordoned off by Nazis and several squads of police. Anyone who attempted to leave his house was driven back with blows from rubber batons. Eventually some police officers came up, followed by officials of the Red Cross, with whom our neighbors had gotten into touch. They wanted to take my father to a hospital, but I would not agree. Two days later we were visited by an official from the Polish Consulate; he found the flat still splashed with blood.
For two weeks my father lay helpless; we were afraid every hour that he was going to die. On 8 April some Nazis again came to the flat and demanded to see my father. They stated that if my father was willing to certify in writing that he had not been attacked by Nazis but by Jews, he would not be interfered with again. I told them that my father was too ill to write, and that they must come back again in two days' time. They drew their revolvers and forced both of us to give our words of honor that we would give them the certificate two days later. As my father was determined in no case to give such a declaration, the only course left to us was to get away as quickly as possible. Two friends wrapped him up in a rug, and took him away in broad daylight to friends living in a distant part of the town. I was almost out of my mind with anxiety. We had previously taken away the two Scrolls of the Law, but we left everything else in the flat. I left the house in indoor clothes and with out a hat, as our porter was a Nazi, and he would immediately have denounced us.
We took the train to Vienna. My father, whose head was covered with bandages, was represented as being very old and deaf. I said that I was traveling to Vienna and had promised to look after the old man on the way. Soon after the train left Berlin a spy came and sat with us and put questions to me, but he left the compartment when we reached Dresden as my answers had not made him suspicious. After Dresden the examination of passengers began. German officials went from compartment to compartment asking "Are you Jews?" I took up my position at the door of the compartment, in which there were only the two Scrolls of the Law besides my father. The officials had, however, already been given the report by the spy, and they greeted me politely and said: "Ah, you are the young lady traveling to Vienna and looking after the deaf old gentleman. We have this information already." So we succeeded in getting here, and stopped at Reichenberg, as my father was quite unable to travel any further then.
May 1933 Eyewitness Account
In the little town of Niederstetten in Wrttemberg, a small Jewish community has lived for centuries. Its members are for the most part merchants who, as might be expected, in so far as they take any interest in politics, belong to the parties of the Right rather than to the Socialists or Communists. Friendly relations existed until quite recently between the Christian and the Jewish sections of the population. A week before Easter a Nazi detachment arrived in the town early one morning and occupied the Town Hall, also taking control of the police station. Then the houses of the Jews were searched for Communist documents, naturally without any results. In spite of this, ten Jews, all respected citizens were taken to the Town Hall and there, one by one, taken to a room. Each of them was then gagged, thrown across a chair and beaten with steel rods until he was practically unconscious. Then the victims, who could hardly stand, were taken to the Council Chamber and made to stand up against the wall—the "Wailing Wall," the Nazis called it. After they had been forced to give the Hitler salute, they were allowed to leave the Town Hall. Most of them, however, were so weak after the ill-treatment they had received that they had to be carried home by their relatives. All the victims were ill for some weeks and one of them has lost his speech. It should be mentioned that the non-Jewish population of the town, most of whom had voted Nationalist in the election of 5 March were very indignant at what had taken place. One old peasant said: "Hitler certainly would not have wanted this to be done."
Throughout these early weeks of March 1933, the foreign press, both European and American, carried numerous accounts of barbaric treatment of German Jews, and arbitrary dismissal of Jewish officials and employees. On 12 March 1933, the American Jewish Congress proposed a massive demonstration in Madison Square Garden to protest German anti-Semitism. Militant Jewish organizations began calling for a boycott of all German goods. On 20 March, Colonel Morris Mendelssohn, of the Jewish Veterans Organization, announced the start of a boycott: "Any Jew buying one penny's worth of merchandise made in Germany is a traitor to his people. I doubt that the American government can officially take any notice of what the German government is doing to its own citizens. So, our own line of resistance is to touch German pocket books."
Within the next few days similar boycotts were announced in Great Britain, Poland, France, Lithuania, and Egypt. With Germany seriously dependent upon foreign trade to purchase badly needed raw materials and import food, this campaign was potentially very damaging. On 24 March, G ring, as Minister-President of Prussia, summoned representatives of the leading Jewish organizations. He warned them "unless you put a stop to these libelous accusations immediately, I shall no longer be able to vouch for the safety of the German Jews." The following telegram was typical of the attempts by German Jews to head off the threatened boycott.
25 March 1933 Telegram to M.D.Waldman
SHOCKED AT GROSS MISINTERPRETATION OF RECENT GERMAN EVENTS stop SAVE FOR FEW MOLESTATIONS BY INDIVIDUAL TOUGHS NO HARM DONE TO JEWS stop LATTER CONTINUE UNDISTURBED IN BUSINESS AND OFFICE stop NO LEADING JEWISH PAPERS SUPPRESSED stop GERMANY HAS POSITION WELL IN HAND stop STRICT DISCIPLINE IS MAINTAINED stop PRESENT MOVEMENT IS AGAINST BOLSHEVISM NOT AGAINST JUDAISM.
The organizers of the Madison Square Garden Rally, however, rejected these appeals, and seemed to be supporting a call for a boycott.
27 March 1933 Statement of the President of the American Jewish Congress
The denial does not deny, as indeed it would be futile to deny in the teeth of overwhelming evidence . . . the tales of persecution and horror which thousands are telling.... [The German Jews] say that this is "a German domestic affair." This we in turn deny.... Whether the plan is to crush out the 600,000 members of the Jewish race in Germany by economic repression and a denial of civil rights, or by bloodshed, is equally a crime against God and humanity which calls for the condemnation of man kind and for the exertion of every possible means by the outside world to prevent it.
And so the massive New York Rally was held. Contrary to expectations, however, it did not officially proclaim a boycott, although speaker after speaker insisted that measures would be taken unless Germany stopped all "anti-Semitic activities and propaganda, including an end to the racial discrimination against and economic exclusion of Jews from the life of Germany." In particular, Rabbi Stephen Wise, the main speaker at the rally, called upon the world to take action.
27 March 1933 Speech of Rabbi Wise at Madison Square Garden
It must be made clear that even if life and human rights [of the Jews in Germany] are safeguarded, there must not be a substitution of the status of [second-class dependency] for violence. Such a substitution will not satisfy us—nor satisfy the aroused conscience of man kind. Every form of economic discrimination is a form of violence. Every form of racial exclusion is a form of violence. To say that there will be no pogroms is not enough. A dry and bloodless economic pogrom remains violence and force.
During these events, Hitler had been staying in Berchtesgaden, awaiting word of whether Gring's efforts had been successful in blocking the Rally and boycott. Joseph Goebbels, Propaganda Chief of the Nazi Party, was with him. When the rally went off on schedule, Goebbels persuaded Hitler that a "pre-emptive anti-Jewish boycott was the only way to block the development of a world-wide boycott of German goods. As Goebbels wrote in his diary: "Only a really extensive movement can now help us out of our calamity." They decided to announce a Nazi Party boycott against Jewish businesses and stores. The first announcement of the boycott was made by Julius Streicher, the Gauleiter of Franconia, who was to organize the movement.
28 March 1933 Julius Streicher Announcement
They agitate for a boycott of German goods. The Jew thus wants to increase the misery of unemployment in Germany, and ruin the German export trade. German men and women! The instigators of this mad crime, this base atrocity and boycott agitations, are the Jews of Germany. They have called those of their race abroad to fight against the German public.
On 29 March 1933, Hitler flew back to Berlin where he told his startled cabinet ministers that the Nazi Party would enforce a total boycott of Jewish businesses throughout the Reich. The action, he said, was in response to boycotts of German goods currently being sponsored by Jewish and liberal groups in Western Europe and the United States, and would continue in effect in Germany until all foreign agitation and boycotts would cease.
The cabinet opposed the plan, and Foreign Minister Neurath threatened to resign if it was put into effect. Ultimately, they brought their case to President Hindenburg, who also opposed the action. Facing this opposition, Hitler backed down, but could not simply cancel the boycott without running the risk of alienating his own party. Late on the evening of 31 March, he proposed a compromise: the boycott would be carried out as planned, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, but would be called off at 7:00 p.m. that night. Joseph Goebbels broadcast the news shortly before midnight.
31 March 1933 Goebbels Speech in Berlin
The boycott will be carried out with iron discipline and no one will be bodily in jeopardy.... Storm troopers and other pickets must not enter boycotted establishments. Every act of physical violence will be punished severely.... Provocateurs who ... incite violence shall be handed over to the police....
Tomorrow, not a German man or woman shall enter a Jewish store. Jewish trade throughout Germany must remain paralyzed. We shall then call a three-day pause to give the world a chance to recant its anti-German agitation. If it has not been abandoned at the end of that re spite, the boycott will be resumed Wednesday, until German Jewry has been annihilated.... We had not planned to open this question immediately. We had more important things to do. But international Jewry is trying to take bread from German workers, by creating an international anti-German boycott. We have not hurt one Jewish hair, but if New York and London boycott German goods, we will take off our gloves."
Enthusiastically local Nazis seized upon the opportunity.
30 March 1933 Frankfurt Police Chief Speech
No Nazi will have anything to do with a Jew, because he knows that the Jew is of inferior race. And I am no longer going to permit animals born on German soil to be kill ed by the sadistic Asiatic methods of slaughter used by the Jews. If the Jew cannot eat our meat then let him eat potatoes and turnips as we did in the hungry winters of the war. Germany is awake! You Jews, you have no need to tremble, we shall remain legal, so legal that per haps legality will become uncomfortable for you, and then you can go to Palestine and fleece each other.
The following newspaper account describes the Nazi version of what happened on boycott day.
4 April 1939 Vlkischer Beobachter Article
Munich in the Days
of the Defensive War Against Jewish
Hate-Propaganda and Boycotts.
Everywhere on the streets placards in yellow and red proclaim the truth about the Jewish "enemy-of-our-people," who only think of their own advantages, but whose single goal it is to destroy the German nation. "Don't buy from Jewish stores and businesses!"; "Don't patronize Jewish doctors and lawyers!"; "The Jew spreads hate against us abroad." Everywhere the Ger man people have responded to this call to arms. Every where they are ripping off the mask from the eternal Jew, revealing his true face. Trucks rumble through the streets. Everywhere loudspeakers explain the reasons [for the boycott], and German Munich listens and obeys the commands of its Fhrer.
A wide procession of people marches through the down town streets. But the SA and Steel Helmet guards before the Jewish businesses have little to do. The propaganda campaign has done its work well, carried out by all the German newspapers and all responsible elements of society. Everywhere there is joyful response to this energetic defensive measure which has been so long over due. It almost appears as if the men are stationed outside to protect the businesses [rather than discourage customers], so high is the fervor of the national rage.
Before the large department stores ... and throughout the main shopping streets, one constantly encounters the small, but effective yellow and red placard "Jew," hung on the stores by the "Central Committee for the Defense against Jewish hate-propaganda and boycott campaign." It is shocking to see how this foreign race has settled in among us and taken away bread and work from our German brothers.
The entire first day of the boycott was characterized by exemplary discipline and quiet. Iron-willed and immovable the SA stood at their posts, and even here they were fighting for Germany, just as in the past 14 long years. Through the cooperation of all nationalist-minded elements, the defensive action in Munich was a complete success....
Only a few individuals were willing to demonstrate their opposition to this "defensive" move.
30 March 1933 Erich Ebermayer Diary Entry
Yesterday a new move by the Government ... they have declared a Jewish boycott which begins tomorrow .... All Jewish businesses and shops throughout the Reich will be identified and the people will be requested not to patronize these shops as long as the boycott is in effect. Julius Streicher, the publisher of Strmer, has been named coordinator of this action. His sadistic brain will certainly be able to come up with some fine things. During the 1918 Revolution, this splendid representative of the "Uprising of the German People," marched through the streets of Nrnberg with a bull-dog, armed with a riding-crop, driving Jews out of the shops and restaurants of that city. As a reward, he was named Party Leader of Franconia.
1 April 1933 Erich Ebermayer Diary Entry
First Boycott Day! All Jewish businesses are labeled with a large yellow circle on the shop windows. Two SA men stand before the entrance. The business is not closed, however. Anyone can enter and buy, if he has the courage. M— and I have the courage! We walk around the city, and it is our special pleasure to seek out only those "labeled" stores, and quietly buy some thing there. There is plenty of room, for the stores are empty. The managers and sales persons, rather confused by the visit from two blue-eyed blond persons, wait on us with all politeness. Upon entering the store, the SA men announce in a completely disciplined and polite tone of voice: "Jewish Store." With as much discipline and politeness, we reply: "Thank you, we know that already!" The SA man looks at us with amazement, but nowhere do we receive any abuse. It remains a source of wonderment how the Party has been able to keep their people in line, right down to the smallest SA man....
This impression of a disciplined, monolithic party, carrying out a well-conceived plan ordered by the Federal Government, was false. At no time did the German Government become involved, except to inform foreign diplomats that it would not "interfere with the Nazi Party's boycott as long as foreign governments did not take steps against the atrocity propaganda in their countries." And after the boycott was called off, and orders went out discouraging similar actions, many local Nazis simply ignored the instructions. They frequently continued to boycott local Jewish concerns.
30 March 1933 Provisional Mayor of Essen to all City Government Departments
For Immediate Action
Not to be released to the Press
To all offices of City Government
All municipal authorities are hereby informed that for the future no orders should be placed with Jewish firms or warehouses, and no goods should be purchased from Jewish businesses.
8 April 1933 Provisional Mayor of Essen to all City Government Departments
In execution of a ruling by the City Council on 7 April 1933, and in extension of the order of 30 March 1933, I herewith decree that all municipal departments engaged in the affairs of the city ought to support in every possible way local business people. Warehouses, department stores and Jewish enterprises should be excluded from all orders by the city.
Should in practice local businesses not be in a position to supply the required goods, exceptions may be requested of me personally.
The next documents show how supine the authorities were when facing the demands of local party leaders, even though the latter were acting wholly on their own.
5 April 1933 Report from Saarburg Landrat
Yesterday, the Gauleiter of the NSDAP informed the Mayor of A— that he expected members of the NSDAP formations from B. would soon engage in acts of violence against Nathan D—, a local cattle dealer. The Gauleiter recommended that D— be placed under protective arrest. The Mayor, as a representative of the police power in A—, having established through inquiries in B— that there was indeed the possibility of some active violence by NSDAP followers of that town against D—, ordered that D— be put under police protective arrest. According to information provided by the above mention ed Gauleiter's headquarters, it is expected that this arrest could be removed in a few days. As the basis for their anger, NSDAP leaders complained that some time ago D— had uttered offensive remarks about the leader of the NSDAP, Adolf Hitler.
With the agreement of the Gauleiter, protective arrest was lifted on 8 April.
21 July 1933 Police Sergeant Krug to District Offices in Alzey, Hesse
Re: Damages sustained at the home of Edmund Scheu er, in Framersheim
On 20 July 1933 at about 7:15 a.m. the police station at Gau-Odernheim received by telephone a report that the house of Edmund Scheuer of Framersheim, had received damages during the preceding night. The undersigned went to the place and reports as follows:
Between 10:30 and 1 o'clock on 19 July 1933, the house owner, Edmund Scheuer, was visiting a sick neighbor in Framersheim. Frau Hedwig Scheuer, in fact, spent the entire evening at this neighbor, Sandel, helping to nurse the sick. Asleep in the Scheuer house were the son Fritz, and the serving boy Philip Luzius from Framersheim. Fritz Scheuer scarcely heard anything from the incident and could give no firm information. Philip Luzius, interrogated on the subject, said that he was awakened by noises in the street at about 12:30 am. At the same moment something hard flew against his shoulder. Almost immediately there was a shot, accompanied by a bright flash of light. Luzius ran into the courtyard and turned on the lights. Then he went into the passageway and eventually into the street itself. He didn't see anything of the perpetrators, bcause it was very dark. Out on the street he established that several shop windows and smaller glass panes had been destroyed.
Frau Scheuer knew nothing at all about the incident.
In total, 15 window panes and 6 double-hung picture windows were destroyed, so that the damages amount to 50-60 RM. Rocks used to shatter the windows lay scattered on the floors of the room. On one of the curtains in the room there is a tear and a slightly burned spot as well as a hole in the drapes, apparently caused by a bullet. Pieces of a broken hammer were found outside on the street. No one was injured in the incident.
At about 6:00 in the morning Christian Gbel (born 2 May 1907 in Mainz), a tailor currently staying in Framersheim, came by the place of the incident and then ran home to get his camera and took several pictures. In order to avoid commission of acts which might be illegal, Gbel's camera and the roll of film was confiscated and left with the Mayor's office in Framersheim for safe keeping.
Investigations into the identity of the perpetrators were undertaken, but so far without results. The Hessian District Attorney in Mainz has been informed.
22 July 1933 NSDAP District Office Alzey to Mayor of Framersheim
The film roll on which the damage to Scheuer's house can be seen is to be delivered at once to the Attorney General's office, who will proceed to destroy the film, since it is to be feared that it might be used as hate-propaganda against the Jews.
Particularly in small towns, police officials found themselves forced to obey orders of the local party leaders, which was both irregular and illegal.
6 September 1933 Police Lieutenant Dietrich to District Office Alzey
Re: Protective Detention of Eugen Kahn, former Sales man from Wllstein
At 7:30 in the evening of 5 September 1933 the undersigned received a telephone call from Councillor Uebel [NSDAP leader] from Alzey, then visiting Wllstein, who ordered him to remove from the Tavern owned by Christian Leineweber, one Eugen Kahn, salesman born on 20 September 1904 in Wllstein, single, resident of the village, son of August Kahn, for acting in a disruptive fashion during the dance held behind there. I should also prohibit this Kahn from going out any more that evening.
The undersigned went at once to the Leineweber Tavern where he found Kahn sitting at a table in a group comprising Lora Resch (of Wllstein currently living in Mainz, step daughter of the former Reichsbanner leader Dr. Fritz Gdtel of Wllstein), Irmgard Altenau (of Wllstein, daughter of railroad official Altenau), and a gentlemen named Philip Zink, an elementary school teacher born on 29 November 1905 in Framersheim, and currently living there. At the moment of my arrival, Kahn was helping Lora Resch into her coat. The undersigned immediately demanded that he leave the hall with me, which took place. Outside the building, I spoke to Kahn about his behavior, and he admitted that he had danced with the serving girl of the host Leineweber, and with a certain Frulein Ke§ler from Flonheim. Kahn was then informed that as a Jew he had no right to dance with a Christian girl, a fact of which he had certainly been made aware often before. Then he was informed that he must go at once to his home, and that he was not to go out again that evening (according to Frau Kahn's later assertion in a telephone conversation with Herr Uebel, there was no mention of prohibiting her son from driving away in an automobile).
Kahn then went to his home and the undersigned did the same. At about 10 pm, the undersigned returned to the station house in order to complete some duties. On the way the auxiliary policeman, Joseph Kumpa from Wllstein, told him that Kahn was driving in the direction of Bad Kreuznach in his automobile, accompanied by two ladies and a gentlemen.... The Wllstein Party leader, Friedrich Jungk, was likewise informed by Kumpa about this incident.
Jungk borrowed the mayor's personal car, and with the policeman drove to Bad Kreuznach where they found Kahn and his guests.
Kahn was then placed under arrest, because he had violated my order by leaving Wllstein, and because he lied to the undersigned by denying that the two ladies had traveled to Bad Kreuznach in his car, a fact which was admitted by the two women in question.
As we subsequently learned, Zink is a dismissed school teacher who had been in the Osthofen Concentration Camp with Kahn. He was visiting Kahn merely because it coincided with the yearly fair. As he himself admitted, his dismissal from the school system becomes effective on 4 October 1933.
At present, Kahn is being held in the court house jail in Wllstein.
13 September 1933 NSDAP District Head quarters Alzey to Commandant, Osthofen Concentration Camp
In reference to the telephone conversation between the commandant and Councillor Uebel, we herewith confirm that Kahn should stay for the future in the Concentration Camp. According to a report of the local party leader of the NSDAP, Herr Jungk of Wllstein, Kahn allegedly showed photographs taken in the Osthofen Concentration Camps to third persons in Leineweber Tavern in Wllstein. Among other things, these photos were of prisoners being whipped in the Osthofen camp. As we have already requested on the telephone, we ask that a thorough interrogation of Kahn soon take place. Our own inquiries in Wllstein are underway. We will keep you informed.
Frequently, attempts by local officials to punish the bullies who terrorized Jews were thwarted by party authorities.
6 September 1933 Bi-monthly Report of Lower Franconia District
On 28 August, on the occasion of a dedication of the Church, three Jews from Hrstein, Township of Alzenau, were taken by five or six SS-people from Aschaffenburg to a spot outside the town and there mistreated in unheard-of fashion, with blows from night-sticks. One of the victims had his lower jaw smashed, several teeth knocked out and one eye so blackened that he looks like a picture of distress. Since it was properly assumed here that this incident was engineered by SS-people from Hrstein, who camouflaged it by [using other men], officials, with the cooperation of the local Party Leader, ordered the arrest of the Hrsteiner SS-Leader, Vogt.
On 29 August, however, the Bavarian Political Police ordered the release of Vogt....
Most of the outbursts of violence were characterized by their isolated and disorganized nature. Nevertheless, the response by government agencies to these acts were uniform. The Police usually proceeded to look the other way, and then ordered measures limiting Jewish activities, so as not to "provoke" further acts of violence.
This same pattern spread to the national level within a very short time. The first anti-Semitic laws were aimed primarily at removing Jewish officials from the professional civil service.
As we have seen above in a previous chapter, the 7 April Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service had included in Article 3, the so-called "Aryan Clause."
7 April 1933 Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service
1. In order to restore a national professional Civil Ser vice and to simplify the administration, officials may be dismissed under the following regula tions, even when the necessary conditions under the relevant law do not exist....
1. Officials who are of non-Aryan descent are to be retired; honorary officials are to be dismissed from office.
2. Section 1 does not apply to officials who were already in service on 1 August 1914, or who fought in the world war at the front for the German Reich, or who fought for its allies, or whose fathers or sons were killed in the world war. The Reich Minister of the Interior, with the agreement of the competent departmental minister, or of the highest authorities of the federal states, may permit further exceptions in the case of officials who are abroad.
President Hindenburg's objection had forced the government to add the second article, exempting Jewish veterans who had fought at the front. It remains unclear what Hitler or the other leading Nazis thought would now happen. Certainly they had significantly underestimated the number of civil servants who would be exempted. A recent study has shown that of 717 non-Aryan judges and prosecutors, only 336 could be removed (47%), and only 30% of Jewish lawyers could be legally terminated from their profession. Overall, the impact of this law would have been slight.
But Government agencies in Berlin were not in charge of what now happened. On 7 April, for example, Hitler had specifically excluded Jewish doctors from the "Aryan-Clause," but local authorities simply ignored this. The anti-Semitism of the radical wing of the NSDAP was soon implemented by a host of governing professional agencies (e.g. the Bar Association, the Medical Association) who exercised quasi-public supervisory functions in licensing practitioners. These began to take steps against their Jewish members.
Actions of Professional Associations
20 May 1933 Manifesto by Dr. Ruppin, President of the Medical Association of the Provinces of Brandenburg and Grenzmark
The complete removal of Jews from all academic professions is necessary. Members of the free academic professions, particularly doctors, come into personal contact with very wide circles of the population and occupy a position of confidence in relation to their patients which gives them influence over the outlook of the people with whom they are in contact. The Executive Committee of the Doctors of Brandenburg District, therefore, considers it unthinkable that in our National State a Jew should have the possibility of spreading the poison of Jewish thought in this way. Undoubtedly, the earlier ideal conception of professional duty has given way in wide circles of the profession to the Jewish commercial outlook, and this is due to the over-loading of the medical profession with Jews. This commercial attitude must be driven out of the medical profession and we must make its re-introduction impossible. In so far as corruption has penetrated the profession, it must be rooted out by the most decisive measures. We German doctors therefore demand the exclusion of all Jews from the possibility of giving medical treatment to our German Volk, because the Jew is the incarnation of lies and deceit. Furthermore, we demand legislation to punish, with imprisonment and immediate removal from the profession, those offenses and crimes which are associated with [vio lation] of the position of confidence filled by the medical profession. We doctors ask all patriotic professional organizations in Germany to support our demand.
March 1933 President of the German Medical Association Announcement
In pursuance of the boycott against the Jews, the Berlin Health department, in agreement with the Mayor, instructed its sections not to meet any claims from its members in cases where Jewish doctors had been called in to treat the patient on or after 1 April 1933. Where a Jewish doctor had previously been called in, it is suggested that members should consider whether to continue to make use of him. The Health Insurance Institute hopes that a sense of national duty will prevent its members from making use of Jewish chemists, dispensaries, opticians, or dentists.
On 22 April, in response to Nazi pressures, after a large number of local authorities had taken the initiative and banned Jewish doctors from district and regional health insurance panels, the Reich Minister of Labor was obliged to issue a federal regulation to that effect. A similar development led to its extension to Jewish dentists and dental technicians in June. Far from being planned and coordinated from the top, Nazi anti-Semitic policy developed in a largely incoherent and improvised fashion. In hasty attempts to preserve some sort of order, the Federal Government was often forced to adopt measures which had been introduced by local militants. The pace was being dictated to the government by lower administrative levels and the Party.
The same process determined the other major anti-Semitic legislation of 1933. Under pressure from local groups, during March-April, individual states had begun to attack the real problem of overcrowding in the elementary and secondary schools, and in the colleges, by simply excluding Jews from the more popular subjects. The initiative for this move came usually from teachers, such as Dr. Lpelmann, a prominent educator and Nazi member of the Prussian Diet.
April 1933 Dr. Lpelmann Public Letter to the Prussian Minister of Education
We call your attention to the fact that it is intolerable that Jewish teachers should fill posts in Prussian education al institutions, while German soldiers who fought at the front have to wander round as underpaid substitute teachers in their own Fatherland. Furthermore, we consider it an impossible situation that any regard should be paid to the exaggerated claims of male and female Jewish scholars [for financial support]. On behalf of the National Socialist Parliamentary faction in Prussia we expect you to take the following measures:
1) All Jewish teachers, that is teachers of Jewish descent, must immediately be dismissed or sent on leave from all Prussia educational institutions.
2) In the case of male and female scholars who are Jews, some proportionate clause must be applied, so that the percentage of pupils of Jewish origin in any institution correspond with the proportion of Jews to the whole German population; that is to say, only 1% of the students at any institution may be Jews or of Jewish descent.
On 25 April, therefore, the Reich Government passed the Law Against the Overcrowding of German Schools, which restricted Jewish pupils and students to a maximum of 5 per cent of any one school or university and 1.5% in total. In the law a rather wide range of exceptions was permitted, but state and local authorities, in implementing the measure, invariably increased the harsh ness of its application.
A similar attack upon Jews came in the form of agitation against Jewish journalists and editors.
13 April 1933 Neue Freie Presse Report
In the plenary general meeting of members of the Berlin District organization of the National Union of the German Press [a cover organization for all journalists], it was unanimously decided that at the forthcoming general delegate meeting to nominate Dr. Dietrich [a Nazi], for the presidency of the Union. After the general meeting of the Berlin organization, the new executive committee met, and adopted unanimously a motion that in future no Jewish or Marxist editors were to be admitted to membership. A further motion for the general delegate meeting was also adopted unanimously, demanding that Jewish and Marxist editors be not permitted to enter or belong to the National Union of the German Press.
A former reporter for one of the largest Jewish publishing houses, Rudolf Mosse, has described her experiences in a postwar recollection
Postwar Memoirs of Hilde Walter
In the period directly after the Reichstag Fire, twelve editors of the Mosse firm were fired because the Commissioner whom the Nazis had appointed considered them unacceptable; the basis was their past political attitude, although there were more Jews than "Aryans" among them. Still the most prominent one, Oskar Stark our domestic editor, was no Jew although a very leftist democrat..... The Christian director, Karl Vetter, justified these dismissals by citing his responsibility for the nearly four-hundred people who worked in the house. The firm was in serious financial distress since its owner, Hans Lachmann Mosse, had for years put far too little capital into the company and had diverted far too much into activities which had noting to do with publishing, and he emigrated at once....
My own dismissal came somewhat later and was not the result of either the Mosse leadership or the actions of my Christian colleagues, but as in numerous other cases was part of the general measures going on.... I was a free-lance reporter not on a regular salary but on the basis of years of work, I had a contract by which the editors would accept a certain number of my pieces each year, and I even received paid vacations. My special field was the reporting on social and labor rights, and certain so-called "women's issues." I was shut out through two processes. First, the labor court passed a rule prohibiting "Jews and Marxists" from attending sessions of the court. Thus the basis for the greater part of my work was removed—namely reporting on actual cases before the courts, which took place in the Berlin Court building. The firm and my Christian colleagues (and naturally those Jewish colleagues who had not yet lost their jobs) offered me at first the opportunity to write on related themes, but then in the summer, I lost my right to be a member of the professional journalist organization, and with it my right to earn a living by reporting.
Ms. Walter refers here to Goebbels' establishment on 29 September 1933 of Nazi Federal Chambers of Culture. This organizational Gleichschaltung of all previous professional associations involved in cultural and intellectual activities, forbade non-Aryans from being members. A few days later, the Reich Government responded with its Editors' Law.
4 October 1933 Decree on Editors
The Reich Government has resolved upon the following law which is hereby published:
The cooperative work carried on as main employment ... in the shaping of the intellectual contents by written word, dissemination of news or pictures in the newspapers or political periodicals, which are published within the area of the Reich, is a public task, which is regulated as to its professional duties and rights by the state through this law. Its bearers are called editors. Nobody may call himself an editor who is not entitled to do so, according to this law....
Editors and Journalists can only be those persons who:
1. possess the German citizenship,
2. have not lost civil rights and the qualifications for public offices [by jail terms],
3. are of Aryan descent and are not married to a person of non-Aryan descent,
4. have completed the 21st year of age,
5. are capable of handling business,
6. have been trained in the profession,
7. have the qualities which the task of exerting intellectual influence upon the public requires....
The Reich Minister for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda [Dr. Goebbels] may decree the removal of an editor or journalist from the professional list independent of the proceedings of the Professional Court, if he deems it necessary for pressing reasons of public welfare.
Whosoever works as an editor or journalist despite the fact he is not registered in the professional rosters, or despite the fact that the exercise of his profession has been prohibited temporarily, will be punished with imprisonment up to one year, or fined....
Instances of the activities of smaller professional associations are so numerous that inclusion here would be boring. In general they parallel exactly the pattern discussed under the Gleichschaltung chapter. Let the following characteristic report stand for thousands of such organizations.
28 April 1933 Neue Freie Presse Report
The German Swimming Association issues the following statement:
The German Swimming Association has adopted the Aryan clause. In what form the membership of Jews in all sports associations, and therefore also in the Swimming Association, will be regulated and how the Aryan clause will be incorporated into the Statutes of the Association, can be determined only after instructions are issued by the State Commissioner of Sport. Meanwhile, I order that Jews shall be re moved from all leading positions in the Associations and put into the background; and they must not appear as representatives in swimming exhibitions, or take part in swimming meets.
(sgn) Georg Hax
Pending the final decision of the Government Commissioner of Sport, the regulations relating to official posts will be applied to Jewish members of the German Swimming Association. This means that only those Jews (by race, not religion) who enjoy protection under the Civil Service Law will be allowed to take part in swimming meets.
Although the federal government was increasingly concerned about the economic repercussions from the party's anti-Semitism, attempts to control the activities of Party militants inevitably failed. Fuelled by a combination of economic frustrations and ideological fanaticism, local Nazis continued to fan the flames of hatred.
3 October 1933 Gauleiter Brckel of Rhineland-Palatinate Announcement
I am continually receiving queries about our attitude on the department store question and the treatment of Jewish business. People refer to various decrees which can lead to misunderstanding. The following may help everybody:
1. Before the seizure of power we regarded department stores as junk shops which ruined the small business man. This assessment will remain valid for the future. It seems odd that anyone bothers to waste time discussing it. The same is true of our treatment of the Jewish question.
2. We old Nazis don't give a damn about the remarks of some Nazi bigwig. As far as we are concerned, all we have to do is fulfill the Program as the Fhrer wishes.
On 14 January 1934, just such a Nazi 'bigwig', the Reich Minister of the Interior, issued the following to all national and State Government authorities.
14 January 1934 Wilhelm Frick Announcement
German Aryan legislation is necessary for racial and political reasons. On the other hand, the Reich Government has set itself certain limits which must likewise be observed. German Aryan legislation will be correctly judged at home and abroad if these limits are everywhere heeded. It is especially improper and even open to objection for the principles of Article 3 [of the Civil Service Law of April 1933], the so-called "Aryan paragraph" [which has become the model for numerous other laws and orders], to be extended to other fields to which they by no means apply. This is particularly true of the economic sphere as the National Socialist Government has always declared.
I therefore repeat my request that infringements of this kind shall be decisively opposed and also that sub ordinate authorities shall be emphatically instructed that they are to base their measures and decisions only on the valid laws.... Any annulment or extension of Reich laws which are valid can be carried out only by the Reich Government itself according to the Enabling Law, and not by the bodies which administer these laws. They must, on the contrary, apply these laws so long as they are in force and are not to contradict them because they appear not to accord completely with National Socialism.
But as is shown by the following partial list (from a Nazi compilation of decrees enacted against Jews), actions had already been taken in numerous fields far beyond the original intent of the Law for the Restoration of the Civil Service. Many of these were indeed not laws, i.e. measures officially passed by the government. The majority were resolutions by private professional agencies; some were local police enactments, and still others pronouncements of the Nazi Party, which assumed the force of law. Significantly, there was a chaotic variety of these regulations, and their implementation depended upon local conditions and the presence of determined Nazi agitators.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled (1943)
30 March 1933: Jewish Doctors ordered removed from hospital staffs in Baden.
7 April 1933: Law for the Re-establishment of the Professional Civil Service permits the dismissal of all Jewish officials, except front-line veterans. Although this law applied only to Federal Civil Servants, it immediately became the accepted norm for state, local, and municipal governments, as well as for private industry. There were, however, no laws ordering this extension.
11 April 1933: State Governments in Saxony, Baden, etc. prohibit Jewish lawyers from practicing.
22 April 1933: In the State of Prussia, the Medical Association disqualifies Jewish doctors from Medical Insurance and Socialized-Medicine Cases
22 April 1933: At the request of the "Union of German Patent Attorneys and Civil Engineers," Jewish lawyers are eliminated from the Patent Court.
25 April 1933: The Prussian Education Ministry sets quotas for the number of Jews permitted in the public schools. Jews may not exceed 5% of an individual school, or 1.5% of the district school population.
2 June 1933: Jewish Dentists prohibited from receiving Medicaid Payments in Baden.
20 June 1933: Newly-wed Jews no longer qualify for government-subsidized loans.
14 July 1933: Law revokes citizenship from all "Eastern Jews" who have been naturalized between 9 November 1918 and 30 January 1933. Henceforth, no Jew may become a German citizen.
28 July 1933: Prussian Ministry of the Interior prohibits courts from changing Jewish names into German sounding ones.
29 August 1933: Only Aryans may become "hereditary peasants" under a new decree governing the inheritance of farm land which qualify for certain kinds of state supported mortgages and assistance.
15 September 1933: At the petition of teacher or ganizations, licenses for Jews to engage in private instruction are suspended.
22 September 1933: All cultural concerns are placed under the supervision of a Federal Chamber of Culture. No Jew may apply for membership in local Chambers, and only members will in the future qualify for jobs in cultural areas (e.g. State Orchestras, etc.)
Purge of the School Systems
As we have seen in Dr Lppelmann's letter the central demand of most local Nazis was for a purge of Jews from all government agencies. The following exchange is typical of many. The initiative for this report came from Nazis within the Eutin city administration, not from the State of Lbeck or from Berlin.
9 September 1933 Eutin City Government to Oldenburg Ministry of the Interior
Re: Implementation of the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service [7 April 1933]
The city administration herewith sends to the State Government the enclosed list of all officials and civil servants currently serving in the city, communal or school staffs. Our investigations have shown that except for two employees currently teaching in the Eutin Girls High School—namely Tenured Teacher Reinhardt whose grandparents on her mothers' side were originally of the Mosaic and later of the Lutheran persuasion, as well as Tenured Teacher Philippson, whose grandfather on his father's side belonged to the Jewish religion—all officials and employees are of Aryan descent, according to the provisions of the aforementioned Law. Since Tenured Teacher Reinhardt had been hired on 1 April 1914, according to Paragraph 3, Article II of the Law, she cannot be dismissed because of her racial origins. Tenured Teacher Philippson was hired only in 1929. The city council has no objections to his dismissal, but would like that decision to be taken by the State Ministry.
In his behalf, Studienrat Philippson offers the fact that he has always had a "national" outlook and thus in 1929 he resigned his position as a beginning teacher in Braunschweig, because his nationalist attitude would have surely prevented his gaining tenure under the Social Democratic administration then in control of Braunschweig. Because he is of Jewish descent, it is proposed to dismiss him on the grounds of Paragraph 3 of the Law.
Adolf Philippson was dismissed from his position, but because of his extreme nationalist attitude was given a full pension by the town for 7 years. He moved to Berlin where he ran a bookstore until he returned to Eutin as a teacher in 1945. He died in 1974.
Frulein Reinhardt, however, was not exempted as the town council had suggested. Instead she was denounced by the Director of the Girls High School
12 September 1933 Director of the Eutin Girls High School to the Education Department with an Accompanying Statement by Marie Reinhardt
At the request of the Education Department, I submit the following report on Tenured Teacher Reinhardt. At Easter 1914, Studienrtin Reinhardt entered the city school system and during the first years performed her work in a fully satisfactory manner. Since the Revolution [of 1918-19] she has drifted into another channel, shows little interest in her work and is unreliable in her duties. I had to constantly observe her and supervise her, and in spite of recurring serious warnings and reproaches, she failed to perform her work with a spirit of responsibility and loyalty. At the Easter term of 1933, I had to take-over all her classes. In addition, she is politically unreliable, and her strongly democratic view point are expressed even in her professional relations. She will never be able to influence her girls with sufficient pedagogical forcefulness in the spirit and philosophy of National Socialism.
By invitation, Tenured Teacher Frulein Reinhardt appear ed before me and gave the following statement: Since 1 April 1914 I have been a tenured teacher in the city school system. At no time have I belonged to any political party, nor have I actively supported democracy, either in the school or anywhere else. If the contrary is asserted, it must rest upon some misunderstanding. Also I have never supported in any form at all any Marxist efforts. It is possible that during money drives I may have given some to the Workers Welfare League. My mother and I have always given money to charitable causes, without regard for the political party doing the collecting. I would like to emphasize that we have always acted here without making distinctions. I have never delivered addresses before political parties or assemblies.... I have never joined any organization, professional group, or any other league.
No evidence was ever presented to contradict her presentation, but 10 days later Miss Reinhardt, who was 48 years old in 1933, received the following letter.
29 September 1939 District President Bhmcker to Tenured Teacher Reinhardt
On the basis of the Civil Service Law and ... the 17 October 1931 State Government Decree for the Preservation of the Budgetary Integrity of the State and Local Communities, you are removed from your position as of 1 October 1933. Simultaneously I inform you that the Federal Commissioner, on the basis of Paragraph 6 of the Law for the Restoration of the Profession al Civil Service, sets your retirement from the school system as of 1 January 1934.
With her small pension, Marie Reinhardt moved to Darmstadt in 1934 where she shared an apartment with her mother. In July 1944, when orders arrived for her mother's deportation, Marie Reinhardt committed suicide.
For many Germans these new developments were shameful. The following letter and diary excerpts by a seamstress in Limburg was probably typical of many.
17 September 1933 Frieda Schmidt Diary Entry
I'm going to copy here a few sentences out of a letter from my school chum Sophie—"You are quite right. We Jews are not exactly bedded down in roses. Quite the contrary. But we have courage, and my fellow Jews will not loose that. Our God, or rather the God of us all, will never leave us. Our culture of many thousand years, our 10 Commandments, our Bible became the basis for the mankind's civilization and ethical behavior, and still is, and that can never be taken away from us, nor can they destroy our consciousness of all that is beautiful on this earth."
18 October 1933 Frieda Schmidt Diary Entry
I have the feeling that I must write down very many things, and yet I am constantly prevented from bringing out my diary. Is it because the whole situation is so oppressive? ... So many are celebrating and rejoicing in this year, with their "Heils" for the "Fhrer" in the "Third Reich!" After the monarchy, and the Republic, there now comes the National Socialists State! I try repeatedly to come up with thoughts to justify its existence, trying to have faith in "Heil Hitler," but I haven't succeeded. I am not uncritical enough to accept as right everything that is offered to me. I will be influenced by nobody, and nothing; I judge only by my own observations, and thus I can not conform with the Government's will. Their ideas might be good, but I condemn their methods, how they go about things. If there were nothing else, there is their position on the Jewish problem! If we were to see an animal in distress, mistreated or homeless, compassion would naturally well up in us and we would help it. How much more natural is it for a human being to want to help another human!
But now look at the Jews, who no longer know how they can continue to support themselves; they have be come simply superfluous. It would be best (from the National Socialist viewpoint) if they would vanish from the earth lock, stock and barrel. It's not that they are being officially deported, not at all. But numerous Jewish officials are dismissed, numerous Jewish lawyers have their licenses suspended, numerous Jewish doctors removed from clinics. Whatever are they going to do? In addition, the smaller Jewish businesses are being boycotted; no National Socialists is allowed to shop there. (This does not apply to the large Jewish stores, since Christians are employed there). Furthermore, even baptized Jews, as long as their conversion didn't occur generations ago, have been completely excluded from university studies, which means that they cannot undertake any civil service careers. Whoever is already enrolled in the university must simply stop attending. The Jews are trying to emigrate, but unemployment is universally so great, that many countries, for example France, Switzerland, and even America, refuse to take the emigrants. It appears that on this globe that is millions of years old, there is no longer any spot for this people, who seem condemned by a hapless fate to wander about without rest. For many who would not starve to death, the end of their sufferings comes through suicide— and we, who want to be considered a cultured nation, we are doing this. I cannot go along!
Higher than any national pride for me (and don't I too, inwardly and sincerely, love my homeland and my beautiful Germany?) is humanity, and the right of all people to live and to exist, wherever destiny has placed them. I do not need to love a person who is different from me and unappealing, but I certainly do not have the right (from a human point of view) to despise and destroy him.
In addition, these [anti-Semitic] laws are not without [irony]. First of all, the Jewish banks must and have remained untouched. Just because Christians work there?—No, because we cannot boycott Jewish money as we have boycotted Jewish people. We need the money! That is the sad joke in all this. People can be sent away, but we want to keep their money.
24 October 1933 Frieda Schmidt Diary Entry
I must add something to my previous entry. It may be that we should believe in the ideas and good intentions of Adolf Hitler, who wants to create an appropriately strong Germany; but I am, perhaps, much too little politically constructed to realign myself to the existing platform of a political party. I am and remain a pacifist. For me, there are only people among other people, not people as part of a Volk. In addition, I am perhaps too clear and dry, too logical in my thought processes, so that I am repulsed by the whole style of this mass enthusiasm. I always want to apply myself to a general examination of the facts; and repeatedly I am repelled by orms, by how things are fought out, and these I cannot accept. It is impossible for me, quite impossible, to be one thing today, and another tomorrow, unless I become convinced that such a change is the correct procedure.
These private opinions, however, did not slow the appearance of more provisions against Jewish participation and activities.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled (1943)
4 October 1933: Federal Regulations governing the professional journalists prohibit Jews from writing or working for newspapers
9 October 1933: State of Saxony rules that Jews are not eligible to take the bar examination in that state.
23 November 1933: Social Welfare agencies are instructed that Jews may no longer adopt children.
4 December 1933: Federal Chamber of Culture rules that Jews may no longer publish books within Germany.
19 December 1933: In the State of Saxony, Jewish students are banned from enrolling in Teachers' Colleges or Social Work Schools.
9 February 1934: The Medical Association issues new rules governing membership for Doctors, Dentists and Pharmacists. Henceforth Jews may not receive new licenses or renew their previous licenses.
16 February 1934: By terms of the new law establishing the superiority of Federal Regulations, new rules are issued to standardize provisions concerning Jews. The form follows the model established by Saxony, simply excluding Jews from certain professions.
12 March 1934: The Army prohibits the promotion of non-Aryans.
15 May 1934: Goebbels created subdivisions of the Federal Chamber of Culture. On this date the Federal Theater Chamber issues its regulations prohibiting the employment of Jewish actors, stage-hands, directors, etc
23 June 1934: Police decree forbids the camouflage of Jews through assumption of German names.
8 October 1934: Ministry of the Interior creates an "Ancestry Bureau" to verify proof of racial origins.
16 October 1934: Special rules are set up governing income tax returns by Jews.
13 December 1934: Education Ministry announces that Doctoral Degrees will only be awarded to candidates who produce proof of Aryan Descent.
21 May 1935: Army extends ban on promotion to men of mixed Jewish descent and prohibits full Jews from serving in the army at all.
30 May 1935: Police decree prohibits Jews from flying the German flag on their homes or places of business.
3 July 1935: Education Ministry orders a study for the creation of separate schools for Jews.
Anti-Semitism in the Schools
Under the impact of Nazi influence, the most insidious form of anti-Semitism began to appear in the local grade schools. The following document is a letter from a father of a Jewish girl.
14 April 1934 Parent Letter to the State Education Ministry of Hamburg
My daughter Friedl attends the Ninth grade of the Helene Lange Middle School. In addition to her, there is one other Jewish student in that class, who was, however, absent on the day in question.
On 12 April of this year, during the German lesson, Frau Studienrat (Tenured Teacher) Ahlborn read from the second chapter of Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf, the discussion of the Jewish Question (my copy shows the passage on p.54 from the words beginning: "It is difficult, if not impossible for me today to say when I first recognized the word 'Jew'.")
The reading was interrupted in the middle by the termination of the period, and was to be continued the next day. Frau Ahlborn made no comments at all about the reading. The chapter contained lines which any honorable Jewish student could not accept, in particular the passages [about the uncleanliness of the Jews]....
My daughter came home very upset. On the same day I spoke about this incident with Frau Studienrat Ahlborn and on the next day with the Principal, Herr Schulleiter Grber. Frau Ahlborn told me that she had been asked by the principal to read this particular passage. She was well aware of the difficult situation confronting her Jewish students. But it was her responsibility to educate her students in the National Socialist philosophy by a proper discussion of the Jewish Question. She had not yet decided what comments she would make at the end of the readings.
Herr Schulleiter Grber told me that he had ordered the reading. He believes that such a discussion of the Jewish Question during class time was necessary in order to protect the students from the dangers of being unduly influenced by their Jewish fellow students.
I have arranged with the Principal and Frau Ahlhorn that during classes in which the "Jewish Question" will be dis cussed, Friedl will be excused.
I now take the liberty of requesting from the Education Ministry answers to the following questions: Is it the intention of the Education Ministry to make it impossible for Jewish students to remain in the Public Schools by exposing them to materials which violate their sense of honor? Does not the National Socialist Government stress that the Jews are different, but not necessarily inferior, and when the Jewish Question is to be discussed, careful attention should be given to what comments should be made by the teacher?
Is it your intention to permit Hitler's Mein Kampf chapter on the Jewish Question to be read in classes?
Ten days later, the Education Ministry announced that they supported the arrangement worked out by which Friedl would be absent from class. But they also requested a report from the teacher. Her essay reflects how pervasive Anti-Semitism was.
June 1934 Frau Studienrat Ahlborn to State Education Ministry
The presence of even one Jew in the classroom, particularly in the upper grades makes any moral and con science formation extremely difficult. Even if the Jewish student remains withdrawn, if she participates at all in the discussion, she will ask questions every time which, often without being aware of the results, will destroy the point of the lesson.... In the German period, as we come to talk about the Jewish Question, or the racial issues, the Jews at once begin to put up their hands for comments, and then I have the choice either of ignoring their hands, or listening to their comments and refuting them. If I follow the first approach, the other students get the impression that I am afraid of what the Jewish student might say; if I adopt the second method, the comments seldom fail to have an impression on some of the other students. In any case, I have found it better to listen to the comments, for otherwise they will immediately be raised by the Jewish students as soon as the bell sounds the end of the period.
The most difficult and effective danger appears to be that if we have Jews in the classroom, they will form deep ties of friendship with our own students during the school hours, and the German students will cherish these ties with a great sense of loyalty and thus remain blind to the danger of Jewry and stand unreceptive to the influence of our teachings. For it has been my experience that friends are always more influential than teachers. In addition, it is a fact that the Jewish students enjoy good relations with most of their classmates, and in the classes themselves are usually in the middle of discussions because of their greater activity. Through their early maturing intelligence they have a great influence over nearly all their comrades. And among girls, pity for the plight of the Jews often secures them the friendship of the best members of the class. These friendships between Jews and non-Jews would not form in such numbers and to such intensity if Jews were sent to schools of their own. From my personal experience, separate schools seems the only solution if we are to bring our children to their rightful inheritance, and restore to the teachers our full potential for influencing them. For us women teachers, this constant conflict is both upsetting and humiliating.
Principal Grber too supported the idea of separate schools, and argued that Jews were disruptive members of the class.
February 1935 Principal Grber to State Education Ministry of Hamburg
[Since three more Jewish students have enrolled for the coming semester, making the total 7 out of 60, in the 9th grade], this really means a totally unacceptable increase in Jewish influence, particularly in the upper classes, for these Jews, in situations where the teachers are not in full control, repeatedly attempt to refute by using their own specific brand of Intellectualism the ideas which have been advanced in class during the lessons on National Socialist Philosophy.
The Ministry of Education rejected Grber's arguments, stating that the law did not permit singling out a single class in order to apply the full rigors of the quota system, by which 5% of the whole school could be Jewish. But pressure was also being brought to bear by Nazi parents, as witness the following petition.
July 1935 Petition of Parents to State Education Ministry of Hamburg
In the upper grades of the Binderstra§e School there are very many Jewish children. We respectfully request that these Jewish children be transferred to Jewish schools in the nearest neighborhood, for example, the Talmud Tora School. It is indeed not right that these Jewish children be educated in German schools. We know we are making this request in full compliance with the principles of our party, in the spirit of our Fhrer and Reichs Chancellor, and in accordance with our own life experiences.
Our reasons for this petition are:
1. The presence of Jews offends the German sense of decency.
2. The close proximity of the Talmud Tora School will permit the Jews to send their children there.
3. It appears that 40% of the property in Greater Hamburg is currently owned by Jews so they certainly have sufficient room to build Jewish schools.
4. The Germans have built the public schools and school buildings, while the Jews only make use of them, and often in shameless fashion.
With the request that you subject our petition to a thorough review and in the hope that you will grant our request, we sign this with the German Greeting.
[Signatures of families of the Binderstra§e Parents Organization]
Other incidents were even uglier. The following letter is from a father who complained to Nazi Party Headquarters in Hamburg, who in turn passed the letter on to the Ministry of Education.
July 1935 A Parent writes to State Education Ministry of Hamburg
My 15 year-old daughter attends the German High School Lbeckertorfeld and has as a classmate a Jew (daughter of a Jew and a German). This Jewish girl is in charge of handing out milk to her classmates. If one or more students are absent, it is agreed that the remaining milk cartons will be distributed among the other students. This Jew, however, regularly will first drink 3 or more cartons herself before distributing the remainder. When my daughter called this behavior typically Jewish, she was criticized by her classmates as being disloyal to a schoolmate. One of them even told her that the Jews were generally better people than Germans and Christians. In August, the class is planning to go on a three-day hike, and this Jewish girl is going to be one of the leaders. When my daughter pointed out that she would not permit herself to be led by a Jew, the rest of the class insisted that my daughter was crazy, for the Jews do not lead Germany.... Furthermore, I'd like to point out that this Jew continues to receive a scholarship at this school, even though she makes no secret of the fact that she will continue her studies abroad, since she will not be permitted to enter a German university.
Following all these incidents, I made an appointment with my daughter's teacher, who said she could not understand our point of view. The Jews, she said, have been permitted by the Ministry to attend the schools, and this particular girl would not have been put into positions of authority except for the fact that she was a particularly intelligent person. The teacher added that this girl had a German mother, and therefore should not really be classed as a Jew.
Since all of this does not agree with the principles I was brought up with, I ask that you investigate the matter.
The Ministry of Education did order an investigation, "since we fully expect that in the Third Reich no non-Aryan child will be given a position of authority, even if special intelligence is present."
July 1935 Director of Lbeckertorfeld School to State Education Ministry of Hamburg
The administrator in charge of the breakfast and lunches, technical teacher M. Behr, did indeed place Maria Cohn in charge of distributing milk in her absence. She further has conceded that she did empower Maria Cohn to distribute milk as she saw fit, should any student be missing. Frulein Behr justifies her behavior here by noting that the girl in question was growing up in the most lamentable social relationships, and because she believed the girl to be extraordinary both as to character and reliability.
This unique event, of placing a non-Aryan into special authority, is totally contrary to all the principles in operation at this school and was unknown to the school's administration until the arrival of the request for an investigation. The undersigned School Director, on 5 July 1935, dismissed Maria Cohn from the school. Like wise, Frulein Behr has been informed of the impossible nature of her behavior and has been removed from her post as director of food services.
The following examples of teaching in the schools date from a later period, but there is no reason to doubt that such ideas were being introduced as early as 1935.
1940 Description of a Teacher's Approach to Racial Studies
When the time of the year arrived when mother was harvesting the pea crop, I took a few beautiful bushes of peas into my class, and during one of the periods we picked the pods off the bush. Then I distributed the pods among the children, and using their fingers they opened the pods and quickly separated out the peas, establishing how many peas there were in each pod. Then we assembled, and placed all the pods with the same number of peas into different piles. In this fashion we arrived at six groups of different sizes, so arranged that each group contained one more pea per pod than the previous group.
At first glance the students saw at once that most of the pods contained three or four peas, and thus formed the bulk of the pea harvest. And the piles on either side were noticeably smaller. On the one side, there were the pods which contained only one or two peas and thus were under the valuable average. On the other side, we rejoiced to see that there were a few pods which exceeded the aver age yield, and had produced and ripened five or six peas. These latter must certainly be considered as being of the highest value.
Thus simply we arrived at a triple division of the pods, and we were able to distinguish valuable, inferior, and superior pods. This division applies equally to humanity. There too we are able to find three types or groups. The greatest number of our hard working and diligent people are valuable individuals. Next to these, there is a small group of inferior people who cause trouble and anxiety to the state, and for whom we must maintain prisons and penitentiaries. Among these there are some who are so worthless that the Fhrer does not want them to reproduce at all, and so the state orders them sterilized while they are still children. On the other side, however, we have another small group of superior people, who provide leadership to the people in their public and economic life, and among these Adolf Hitler is the greatest.
Inferior and superior people are as different as night and day because they spring from contrary genetic pools.
After further experiments with the pods, she drew for her students the predictable National Socialist conclusions.
Our Fhrer requires that the schools report all slow-witted children to the Health Agencies, who will then decide whether or not requests should be made to the courts for sterilization. If weak-minded couples marry, their children will also be retarded. For parents pass on their poor genes to their children just like the peas. And just as we can distinguish inferior pea bushes by their produce and appearance, so we can establish retardation in people by their physical conditions. They work poorly at their jobs, if they work at all, occupy the attention of the courts, and fill up institutions where healthy peo ple must take care of them.
The following example is taken from a text book for fifth graders.
"What Happened to Ingrid at the Jewish Doctor's Office"
Ingrid was sick. For many days she had a head-ache and a light fever. She didn't want to go to a doctor. "Why should I run to him because of such a small thing," she always replied when her mother reminded and warned her. But one day her mother had had enough. "March! Off to Dr. Bernstein's with you and let him examine you" ordered the mother. "Why Dr. Bernstein? He's a Jew and no German girl should ever visit a Jewish doctor," replied Ingrid.
The mother laughed. "Don't talk nonsense. Jewish doctors are all right. But you in your BDM [Society of Ger man Girls, the female counterpart of the Hitler Youth] babble simple foolishness about them. What do you girls know about it?"
Ingrid protested: "Mother, you can say all you want, but you must not attack the BDM. And you must realize one thing; we BDM girls know more about the Jewish Problem than many of our parents. Almost every week, our BDM-Leader holds a lecture on the Jews. Only last time she told us: `Germans should never go to a Jewish Doctor, and above all never a German girl! For the Jews want to destroy the German race. Thus many girls who seek to be cured by a Jewish doctor only bring home infectious diseases and dishonor.' Yes Mother, our BDM-Leader spoke like that, and she's right."
The mother was disturbed: "Ach, you youngsters always know better than your parents. That what you say is not true at all. Look Ingrid, I know Dr. Bernstein very well. He is an honorable doctor!"
"But he is a Jew! And the Jews are our deadly enemies," answered Ingrid.
Now the mother was seriously upset. "That is quite enough, you fresh child! You go straight over to Dr. Bernstein! And if you refuse, then you'll learn some thing from me!" Thus the mother shouted and threatened the girl with her hand. Ingrid did not want to be disobedient and she went. She crossed over to the Jewish Dr Bernstein.
Ingrid sat in the waiting room of the Jewish doctor. She had to wait a long time. She glanced through the magazines that were on the table, but she was un comfortable, and could only read a few sentences. Again and again, she thought about her conversation with her mother. And again and again she heard the warning of her BDM Leader: "Germans should never go to a Jewish Doctor, and above all never a German girl! So many girls who seek to be cured by a Jewish Doctor only bring home infectious diseases and dishonor."
As Ingrid walked about the waiting room, an unusual thing happened. From out of the doctor's consultation room a voice began to cry. It sounded like that of a young girl: "Herr Doctor! Herr Doctor! leave me in peace!" Then she heard the mocking laughter of a man. Then everything was still. Breathlessly Ingrid listened. "What does all this mean?" she asked herself and her heart rose into her throat. And again she thought of the warning from her BDM-Leader.
Ingrid waited for almost an hour. Again she returned to the magazines and tried to read. Then the door opened. Ingrid looked up. The Jew appeared. A cry sprang to Ingrid's mouth. Frightened, she dropped the magazine, and sprang up in horror. Her eyes stared into the face of the Jewish doctor. And this face was the face of the devil. In the middle of this devil's face there sat a gigantic crooked nose. Behind the eye-glasses blinked two criminal eyes. And a grin played over the protruding lips. A grin which seemed to say: "Now I've got you at last, little German girl!"
And then the Jew approached her. His fleshy fingers reached out for her. Now, however, Ingrid made up her mind. Even before the Jew could grab her, she slugged the fat face of the Jewish doctor with her hand, and sprang to the door. Breathlessly, Ingrid ran down the staircase. Breathlessly, she stormed out of the Jewish house. Sobbing she entered her own house. The mother was shocked as she saw her child. "For God's sake, Ingrid, what happened?"
It took some time before the child could speak a single word. Then however Ingrid told her experiences at the Jewish doctor's. Horrified the mother listened, and as Ingrid finished her story, the mother let her head sink in shame.
"Ingrid, I should not have sent you to a Jewish Doctor. The moment you left, I started to reproach myself. I had no more peace. I would have preferred to have recalled you right away, for I suddenly felt that you were right. I even felt that something would happen to you. But now, thank God, everything has turned out fine." So groaned the mother and had difficulty holding back her tears.
Gradually Ingrid calmed her, and once again she smiled, "Mother, you have done so much good for me, and I thank you for it. But now, you must promise me one thing: about the BDM. ..."
But the mother interrupted her child. "I already know what you are going to ask, Ingrid, and I promise it. I am gradually realizing that everyone can learn from you children."
Ingrid nodded. "You are right, Mother. We BDM girls, we know what we want , even though you do not always understand it...."
The following illustrations are taken from Let's Work Together the special magazine published for and distributed to school children. In each case, what is published is the concluding paragraph, which gives the "moral point" of the article.
1939 Three Articles from Hilf Mit
A) There is no greater criminal in the world than the Jew. Jewry is the Number One enemy of the world. Where ever a peoples have been damaged, wherever exploited, betrayed or deceived, there Jews have been at work.... In the Third Reich, there is no room for Jews in important positions of our society. There are only a few of our citizens who, through ignorance or stupidity, still buy goods from Jews and thus support them. Boys and Girls! Let's work together to enlighten our fellow citizens! Who ever buys from Jews, sins against the Volk .... Who ever offers even his little finger to the Jew, actually is extending his hand to the devil.
B) The criminal nature of Jewry, its satanic inhumanity, has never changed, whether we look at classical antiquity, or at today's Bolshevism in Russia. This nature springs from the criminal blood of the Jews. From Jacob, who slaughtered all the inhabitants of Sichem, to today's full-Jewish Bolsheviks, there is an unbroken line of action: "You must kill the best of the Goyim [i.e. non-Jews]." That is the central tenet of the Jewish religion, that is the heart of the Jewish Existence.
The last selection comes from a piece on the power of the Jews in the Weimar Republic. The author insists they were traitors who aimed at murdering all Aryans.
C) That was the fate which the Jews had thought up for our people. But at the last moment, our Fhrer saved us. Now from outside our country, Jewry continues its poli cies of hatred and destruction—thus every German must come to recognize Jewry and its criminal nature, so that for all time to come our people will see through the tricks of the Jews and not allow themselves to be deceived by the satanic works of Jews.
How successful this propaganda was is hard to evaluate. but numerous studies suggest that it generally reinforced the already existing negative image of the Jews, without, however, winning over many Germans to a more dynamic racial hatred. For most people the Jews were not a subject of great interest. If they had individual reasons to continue their contact with Jews, they apparently did so without much reservations. But there was a widespread "passive anti-Semitism," since Jews, both individually and in general, did not enjoy a great deal of sympathy. Some distinguished between the Jews they knew and liked, and Jews in general. This is the point of view taken by Melita Maschmann in her post-war Memoirs, written in the form of a letter to a former Jewish classmate. The writer was a teen-ager during the years she is here discussing.
Postwar Memoirs of Melita Maschmann
I had learned from the example of my parents [who were German Nationalist supporters] that one could have anti-Semitic opinions without this interfering in one's personal relations with individual Jews. There may appear to be a vestige of tolerance in this attitude, but it is really just this confusion which I blame for the fact that I later contrived to dedicate body and soul to an inhuman political system, without this giving me doubts about my own individual decency. In preaching that all the misery of the nations was due to the Jews or that the Jewish spirit was seditious and Jewish blood was corrupting, I was not compelled to think of you or old Herr Lewy or Rosel Cohn: I thought only of the bogey-man, "The Jew." And when I heard that the Jews were being driven from their professions and homes and imprisoned in ghettos, the points switched automatically in my mind to steer me round the thought that such a fate could also overtake you or old Lewy. It was only the Jew who was being persecuted and "made harmless."
Faced with this upswing of anti-Semitic teachings, not surprisingly, many Jewish parents simply withdrew their children from the public schools. Not all, however, were as brave as the following man.
11 September 1935 A Jewish Doctor to the Director of Lichtwark School in Hamburg
Yesterday I read about a projected law excluding certain races from attending the higher schools.
Since I and my family are very proud to proclaim our full Jewishness in every way, and on every opportunity; since in this area we feel a strong solidarity with Jewish children of all ages; and since we do not desire to wait until someone decides to throw our children out of school, I hereby withdraw my son Fritz from the Licht wark School at mid-year.
The Director of the school sent this letter to the GESTAPO complaining of the "tone of the letter and the reference to the full Jewishness of the writer."
Increasingly Jews found themselves deserted by even those institutions which ought to have spoken up in their behalf.
The Churches and Anti-Semitism
25 January 1935 Reichs Bishop of the Evangelical [Lutheran] Church to Frau A. Lehmann
In regard to your letter to the Reichs Bishop requesting that he take a stand against the current treatment of non-Aryan [Christians], I have been empowered to inform you that the Reichs Bishop shares your feeling for the tragic distress which the new State laws have brought to young persons who have no personal guilt at all in this matter. On the other hand, he is not persuaded that the Aryan regulations provide a right for the German Evangelical Church to raise objections. On the contrary, the administration of the Evangelical Church supports fully and entirely the necessary defensive action taken by the Hitler State. Where such necessary defensive action needs to be taken, it will always fall harshly upon those who are covered by such measures. Tragic conflicts will therefore be unavoidable.
Just as an inflexible law of history requires that all the living must bear the guilt of their fathers, so too non-Aryans must bear their distress and their destiny with calm and inner dignity.... The German Evangelical Church does not deny its spiritual duty toward fellow-Christians of non-Aryan descent, but as a Volks Church, we must do everything and dedicate our full attention to strengthening, with all the power of the Evangelical Faith, the fighting will-power of an awakened and re-invigorated German Volk, so that the Ger man nation can once more find itself and fulfill its divine historical responsibilities....
[As for these young non-Aryan Christians], no one can lift from their shoulders or ease the burden of their des tiny; but the power of faith can teach these young people to carry that weight in peace.
6 October 1935 Positive Christianity News paper Article, "The People God Cursed"
The facts are that for over two thousand years the Jewish people— and this was the will of God—the very words of Jesus allow no doubt on this point — have been with out a homeland, and have never against found a home land, but have remained an alien people, both inwardly and outwardly, no matter where they have settled.
As long as the destructive and empty teachings of the Enlightenment had not yet been imported into Germany from the West, everyone took it for granted that the Jews should stay by themselves. Thus until the beginning of the 19th century mixing of the Jews with other races was inwardly considered impossible, and remained only a rare exception. And anyone who knows from reading God's Word the will and judgment of God over the People of Israel, could not have considered this condition as anything other than normal and divinely ordained, and one which had to come about since the Savior and Helper of mankind had been nailed to the cross by this race.
It was therefore a significant perversion and renunciation of God's Will, as historically revealed, when since the beginning of the 19th century a great mixing of races began and became ever worse, until during the revolution of 1918 it soared into something staggering. That the Church remained silent in the presence of this development and even thoughtlessly encouraged it, is her heavy guilt. Here in a double sense, the Will of God was perverted into its exact opposite meaning: on the one hand toward the Jews themselves, who clearly by Jesus's own words are condemned to remain a homeless and alienated people, until God Himself makes them once more capable of having their own homeland. And on the other hand, it was a perversion above all of our own race, for as Racial Scientists have taught, all mixing of races leads to decadence and self-destruction. And all true scientific knowledge can never contradict the Will of God, because God is the All-knowing...
Renewed Party Violence
Despite statements by State and Party functionaries against anti-Semitic activities local officials were frequently uncertain as to what policy to follow, especially in regard to the boycott of Jewish businesses. After the lifting of the April boycott, official policy seemed to prohibit repeats of such demonstrations against Jewish businesses. Local initiative by fanatical Nazis continued without interruption.
7 June 1933 Propaganda Department of Gau Coblenz-Trier to all District Directors
SUBJECT: Report M 18: Jew-baiting No. 2
You will receive in the next few days a list of the communities of your district in which are found the Jewish firms and businesses of the area. You will immediately check in your whole district whether the addresses given are correct of whether some have been omitted. The highest importance is to be placed on accuracy since the list is to be printed.
The district directorate will set up a committee for Jew-baiting which has the task of directing and supervising this activity in the whole district. The size of this committee will be determined by the individual district. You are to inform the Gau Propaganda Department of the names of the committee at once. The Gau Propaganda Department will then coordinate activities of these committees through you.
The Task of the Committees: In each local town and locality, the committee will set up groups and support organizations whose membership shall be known only to the district committee. The members of these sub-committees shall report to the district committee the names of those Party members and other Germans who buy from Jews. The district committee will publish articles whose content is such that it will point out to the miscreant members of the nation the shamefulness of their deed, and will make them aware of the shame to which they would be subjected if action were taken against them publicly. This article must be arranged so that it will give only the addresses of those involved, and the time and location of where the purchases were made. The article should bear no signature and will be posted at various spots in the locality. Further the committees have to secure female clerks in Jewish stores, who can then very easily name those who purchase in Jewish shops. This demands some caution and has to be done with the greatest secrecy. The names of these clerks shall in no case be mentioned. Negotiations are to be undertaken with the [Nazi] Association for Middle Class Employers, so that it will assume the responsibility of finding these girls a new job in another shop should the clerk lose her job through this action. Her name must not be given, only her number.
The district directorate will point out in all meetings of members or in all public gatherings that the Jew in all countries is again carrying on a sneaky attack which is greatly harmful to Germany. It must be made clear to the masses that no German may buy from a Jew. It is also to be demanded of Party members that they constantly bring this to the attention of their friends and acquaintances. Party members must go so far in sup porting the interest of the nation that they should break off friend ship with even their best friends, if, after warnings, these individuals continue to purchase from Jews. It must get to the point that no German will speak to a Jew unless it is absolutely necessary, and this must be particularly stressed. German girls who date Jews are to be made aware of the shamefulness of their actions. A member of our party must, in no way, have anything to do with such a person. Heil Hitler
(Sgn) Bang, Gau Propaganda Leader
As the next document shows, local Nazi leaders were not particularly concerned about contradicting Hitler's announced policies.
5 February 1934 Meeting of Department Heads of the City of Essen
We still have city employees who, when they need a doctor, go to visit a Jew! As a National Socialist I consider it outrageous that any city official—who should certainly be aware of what is going on today—would allow himself to be treated by a Jew. As Germans we do not want to be diagnosed or advised by a member of a foreign race, therefore we must practice passive resistance to the Jews. It is true that the Reich Government has removed earlier decrees designed to thrust Jews into an inferior position, but this happened only because of the foreign policy situation. Anyone who has a really German heart in his body will permit himself to be treated only by a German doctor. Now you must handle this matter diplomatically and in your conversations make clear to your people that they ought to be ashamed to visit alien doctors. They should avoid all Jewish physicians.
As before, local government agencies were frequently helpless in the face of these Nazis. All they could do was report to their superiors.
20 March 1934 Lower Franconia District Bi-monthly Report
It is apparent that the [local party leadership] plans to enforce a broad-ranging propaganda campaign supporting the professional middle-class in the period from 23 March to 7 April. The campaign will begin with a mass rally. Later organized demonstrations with signs will be employed; these will urge support for only "pure German" businesses, and not even for those that have been "gleichgeschaltet". Naturally, this battle is aimed at the Jews, even though apparently everything will be done to avoid this focus being obvious, because of the well-known reasons. In addition, demonstrations will be held against the department stores and other large businesses.
It is not difficult to predict that rumors of a new "Jewish Boycott" will again spread. It can also be expected with certainty that local business leaders will make numerous protests against what they will term intolerable "interference in the economy." Since it was unknown whether this action is only a local development or is part of measures to be implemented throughout the Reich, we made inquiries with the local offices of the party. They explain ed that the campaign followed the will of the Fhrer, that the Reichs Propaganda Ministry had approved, and that the signs which would be used in the demonstrations had been cleared beforehand.
No evidence supports these assertions, bur rather suggests that these economic measures were ill-received by officials of both the Party and the Reich Government. The following was typical of such Party and State reactions.
11 April 1935 Rudolf Hess Decree
While I can understand that all decent National Socialists oppose these new attempts by Jewry with utter indignation, I must warn them most urgently not to vent their feelings by acts of terror against individual Jews, as this can only result in bringing Party members into conflict with the political police, who consist large y of Party members, and this will be welcomed by Jewry. The political police can in such cases only follow the strict instructions of the Fhrer in carrying out all measures for maintaining peace and order, so making it possible for the Fhrer to rebuke at any time allegations of atrocities and boycotts made by Jews abroad.
Then, in the summer of 1935 a new wave of anti-Semitic violence swept over Germany. Far from being a deliberate policy introduced by government or party, these actions sprang from local frustrations. RosenbergÕs Combat League of Middle Class Tradespeople, for example, had long campaigned for laws requiring every shop to carry a sign indicating whether the owner was an Aryan, but federal authorities had refused to act.
The following documents are reports from SPD contact men who regularly reported to SPD officials in exile on the state of affairs in their local area.
April 1935 SOPADE Report from Munich
On the night of 1 May 1935 large stones were thrown from a car at the windows of the shop belonging to the Jew Pappenheim in Weisenburgplatz and smashed the panes. The following day a large crowd gathered outside the store and openly opposed these excesses. One heard comments such as "incredible goings-on," "cheek," "vandalism" etc. Thus, it was clear that the population had no sympathy with the tricks of the Nazis. In the end, the police had to disperse the crowd which was getting bigger and bigger. It was clear to the observer that this incident was not the result of mass discontent but an act planned by a few criminals. National Socialists also appeared in front of the Jew Schwarz's shop and warned customers not to enter the shop. But it was noticeable that no one let themselves be put off; in fact, one could see that some customers demonstratively carried the goods they had bought with hardly any wrappings.
Another SPD contact person reported that the new signs saying that Jews should not enter stores were not popular.
June 1935 SOPADE Report from South-West Germany
The owners of pubs are compelled—with the threat of boycotts and "other consequences"—to put up notices with the inscription: "Jews are not welcome here." The majority of pubs already have these notices. Many hang them up in inconspicuous places. One day a Jew found one of these notices up in a cafe where he was a regular customer. He asked the manageress why she had not told him that he was not welcome. The manageress kept apologizing and told the customer that he should stay and that she had been made to put up the notice.
A typical example of the contradictions inherent in the anti-Semitism as practiced in the Third Reich is found in the events which took place in Munich in May 1935. As part of a struggle to maintain his own authority in the face of determined opposition from the official Bavarian Government, Gauleiter Wagner decided to agitate for a more forceful policy to exclude Jews from Munich's business and cultural life. His plan, however, soon got out of hand, as the fanatics he excited into action met the determined resistance of the police. The following document is the official police report of what happened.
4 June 1935 Munich Police Department Monthly Report
The month of May, in comparison with previous months, brought considerable political activity among the people. The events of 18 May, which led to a prohibition of further Caritas [the Catholic Charities of Germany] meetings, as well as the growth, throughout the month, but particularly on 18 and 25 May of a movement driven forward enthusiastically by unauthorized elements implementing a boycott of Jewish businesses. This movement did find some support among a portion of the population, but the peaceful and orderly majority kept itself apart from these elements, as well as from the semi-traitorous agitation of a renewed anti-Semitism.
The anti-Semitic boycott began in Munich at about the end of March. It started in an attempt to interrupt the business activities of those shops whose owners or managers were Jews. By the middle of April, police patrols and the complaints of the victims established that the cam paign had extended to the posting of anti-Semitic signs and placards. Later, from about 18 April on, it became customary for the large plate-glass windows of the shops to be smeared regularly ("Jew", "Jewish Swine", "Jews get out", and so forth).... These actions were apparently carried out by small squads of individuals, who had carefully noted the pattern and times of the police patrols. They would apparently wait "until the air was clear," and then rapidly decorate the show windows....
By 8 May 1935, it became obvious that this "graffiti squad" was no longer content to paint the shop windows, but that they had progressed to the point of smashing the windows as well.... A few days later, the Munich police headquarters had posted strengthened police patrols in the threatened neighborhoods.... But in spite of these patrols, it was impossible to catch any of the perpetrators, since apparently they knew about the police rounds and only went into action when all danger had passed. It appeared that all these deeds were being carried out by the same gang, who systematically enlarged their field of activity.
On 18 May 1935 ... shortly before 6 p.m., a report reached District I headquarters in the Rosenthalstra§e that a large mob had gathered before the [Jewish] department stores Uhlfelder and EPA. Automobile traffic had come to a complete halt in the streets, and pedestrians were alleged to already have torn down some of the protective shutters. The SWAT team [berfallkommando = raiding force of the police] was sent out, but the crowd broke up without any activity by the team who returned to their barracks. Shortly after 6, however, in rapid succession, appeals for the SWAT team came into the office from Jewish businesses, including Bach's on Sendlingerstra§e, Rothschild's in the Frbergraben on the Sendlinger stra§e corner, Elko's on the Frbergraben, and Eichengrn's on the Carmelite Street. Later the business manager of Bamberger and Hertz's Confectionary on the Kaufingerstra§e requested protection. The SWAT team was not dispatched, but the head of the police patrol division was sent to disperse and quiet the crowds that had gathered. Gradually, thereafter, the crowds did dissolve themselves. In no case, were there reports of acts of pillage or violence. Most of the above named Jewish businesses, however, decided on their own to close for the day, which they did at about 6:45 p.m. But in no case did this action follow an order from the police....
On Saturday, 25 May 1935, around 2:30 p.m., a large crowd was reported to be gathering in the Rosenthal street, before the EPA Department store. Telephone reports indicated that there was a danger of some action being undertaken against Jewish businesses. The officer of the day immediately informed the head of the political liaison division [within the police] and reported the news to the [Bavarian] Ministry of the Interior. Subsequently Director Kglmeier himself went out to the location, and ordered that SA and SS street units [regularly assigned to work with the police for minor matters such as traffic control] should be posted, and only if they failed to restrain the crowd should the regular police be called in. At 2:47 p.m., the [Nazi] German Labor Front's Munich headquarters reported information of the destruction of Jewish businesses, and demanded that the police order the shutting of all Jewish stores, in order to protect the Aryan employees of these shops. Police headquarters, however, refused to order that these stores be closed. Between 2:20 and 2:50 p.m., almost all the Jewish businesses of Munich telephoned in requests for police protection. Individual police stations and patrols reported that groups of demonstrators were forming through out the city. After 3:00 (and lasting until 5:00), actions suddenly broke out in various parts of the city against Jewish shops. Groups forced their way into the stores, manhandled the customers so that they were forced to leave, and forced the owners or managers to close the store. In some instances, Aryan employees of these businesses were mistreated. It soon became apparent that among the demonstrators there were not only members of the NSDAP and its organizations, but also groups of a very shady nature, who sought to use the opportunity to stir up trouble and to work against the police. One ring leader, for example, who was wearing brown pants, was apprehended. This man turned out to be not a member of the NSDAP,nor of any Nazi organization. Formal charges have been brought against him. By 4:45 p.m. all available police forces had been dispatch ed to the various locations with orders to prevent further out breaks. The orders also stipulated that the police were to take steps to prevent the closing of these shops, and to arrest and hand over the culprits [involved in these actions].
At about 3:15, the traffic policeman on duty at Train Station Square observed a large group—perhaps 40-50 per sons—gathering in the Prielmayerstra§e. In order to keep the street clear for traffic, he ordered them to disperse. When they refused to obey, he sought to get re-enforcements from the police station in the railroad terminal. The crowd, which had steadily been growing, followed him and sought to storm the station. The largest group in the demonstrators seemed to be members of the Austrian SS Auxiliary Camp at Schlie§heim [i.e. refugees from AustriaÕs persecution of Nazis]. By now the crowd had grown to about 400 people. Six individuals from the group, who apparently wanted to make some statement, were given permission to enter the station. But once inside they behaved in a most undisciplined fashion, seized a local detective and threw him outside into the crowd. Subsequently, this officer was thrown to the ground and worked over with blows and kicks. He suffered severe damage to one eye, to his mouth and chin, as well as to the thumb on his right hand. He freed himself only by drawing his pistol and threatening to shoot. Two culprits were arrested in this particular incident. A few minutes later, a Captain from the Protective Police Division was attacked as he tried to quiet the crowd. They tried to wrestle away his sword. Only when three more officers from the Protective Police threw in their assistance was the station-room cleared and the doors secured. Meanwhile, the crowd was calling out such things as: "Look at the dirty black dogs," [a reference to Catholics, the implication is that these police were not Nazis, but representatives of the old Bavarian police force—which of course they were], "Knock 'em down", "Beat 'em up", "Let's drive out the Black Brothers", and so forth. In addition, a number of police men were threatened that there would come another 30 June [the murder of Ernst Rhm and his SA leadership], and then they would be amazed. And there were also even communists among the demonstrators. This is clear from the testimony of an eyewitness, a military officer, who says he heard one person say to the policeman: "You Nazi dog. We are giving you what you really deserve!" Eventually, the demonstration was broken up by SA and SS patrols.
Throughout the day, the SWAT teams were in constant action, sometimes two or three vans were out at the same time. In almost every instance, however, the ringleaders and their accomplices had vanished by the time the SWAT team arrived; the officers then had to be employed to disperse the curious and the passing people.
Also during the late afternoon, an action was taken against district station 11/I (Schwabing) where an attempt was made to free one of the arrested culprits. In this ac tion, the police were berated with such expressions as "Jew-lover", "Black pigs", "Jewish blood-hounds", and "the police must go." Here too, a SWAT team had to be employed....
At about 6:00 p.m. the SWAT team was ordered to the Bernheimer House on Lenbach Square, in which a foreign consul (of Mexico) lived, because of a reported attempt to storm the house. The SWAT team discovered and arrested several persons who were apparently active ly involved; it turned out they were members of the SS Action Group [Verfgungstruppe], but wearing civilian clothes. The investigation revealed that they had been ordered to report without their uniforms so that it would not appear that members of active and uniformed SS units were taking part in this demonstration against the Jews. After identifying the individuals and taking their statements, these men were turned over to the commander of the SS Action Group.
In the early evening, shortly after the arrest of these nine members of the SS Action Group who had been involved in the attack on the Art Dealer Bernheimer, at Lenbach Square, a large group of members of the SS units, also in civilian dress, gathered in the Lwengrube, at the back door of police headquarters, in order to free their comrades from the police building, by force if necessary. In this process, there was a heated exchange of insults between the SS Action group, and the SS street patrol [who were working with the police]. These insults grew so strong that at one point members of the SS street patrol sought to use their weapons against members of the SS Action Group. Eventually, through the personal intervention of the head of the political liaison division of the police, violence was avoided, and the SS Action Group left the foyer of police headquarters. They stayed in the street, however, and policemen finally had to move them along....
At 9:00 p.m., 35 three-man patrols (two regular police men and one detective) were sent out to keep special watch on certain streets. But no further incidents occurred.
This curious incident was probably far more common than reported. Local Nazis, often acting on their own initiative, or with the cooperation of fanatics within the SS, repeatedly sought to force action against the Jews. The reports from SPD contact men are particularly insightful in this area.
July 1935 Lbeck SOPADE Report
At the end of April, an elderly Jew, with placards around his neck, was led through the streets of Lbeck, constantly being verbally abused, beaten and spat upon by the crowds that ran alongside. Young girls from the BDM were especially active in the spitting. The incident apparently arose out of the following situation. The owner of a second-hand-evaluation firm, which employed about 50 persons, failed to fill out the proper forms for employee-discount transportation tickets or perhaps filled them out too late (in any case it was clearly only a case of an oversight). [When protests were raised,] the owner announced that he was dissolving his company and moving to Hamburg. Under the pretext that they were going to be employed in sorting rags, a group of unemployed people were gather by Nazi officials and directed to this man's home. Only when they arrived there did they learn that in fact they were supposed to parade the man through the streets. In the process, however, they did not grab the owner of the company, but his brother, who had nothing at all to do with the firm. Many citizens were repelled by what took place, and afterwards many of the misled unemployed declared that they would never again allow themselves to be used for such a vulgar and horrible affair.
August 1935 SOPADE Report from Northwest Germany
Persecution of Jews are generally depreciated by the general population. It is only the fanatical but small SS and SA cliques, which turn the NSDAP against the Jews, believing that thereby they are undertaking a good thing. On all the streets leading to the cities and villages of the administrative district of Hanover, NSDAP leaders as well as municipal authorities have erected signs which contain the following slogans: "Jews enter this village only at their own risk," or "We don't want to see any Jews in this place," or "Jews are unwelcomed guests," "German comrades think about it: Jews are our hereditary enemies." "Whoever purchases from a Jew is a traitor to his Volk." These signs to a great extent are so large that it is clear they could have been erected only with the tacit approval of higher authorities. In most places, the signs have been placed on municipal or state-owned property. They also appear on the city clocks and similar municipal postings. Even in the windows of empty stores, party leaders have publicly posted the sign: "The Jews are our misfortune." and the anti-Catholic slogan: "German Volk watch out!"
This campaign against the Jews is largely carried out by the SA in "pirate-civies," that is, the SA Man posts himself before a Jewish store, but without wearing a uniform. He inflames the passing people and prevents customers from entering the shop, etc. The police tolerate this activity, at the very most one of them might say: "Move on, now." The general public takes no part at all in this activity. In the last few days, one hears repeatedly the phrase: "Don't let's kid ourselves about whose behind all this."
August 1935 Sopade Report from Norden
Recently in Norden, hundreds of Jews have been paraded through the streets. Among them were a few Christian girls, who were accused of immoral relations with Jews. The population was infuriated, and there were even near riots in the city. The unrest was most pronounced among the middle class to which the girls belonged. Numerous groups of people gathered on the street, energetically discussing the event. When police officers who told them to move on, they pointedly replied that the police, instead of robbing decent Jews and girls of their honor, should rather pay some attention to the bestial activities of the Nazis and the way they every day march around acting like pigs. The police merely told the populace to move on and not block traffic. Thereupon, the NSDAP reported to Berlin that authorities were no longer able to maintain law and order in the town. Thereupon, [the Prussian] Police Chief Dalge came personally to Norden and his negotiations with the authorities led to the result that the arrested Jews and girls were immediately released from prison. In the meantime, pictures of the martydom-parade of the Jews and the girls were put on sale throughout the village. Dalge confiscated the photographic plates as well as the prints. In this case, the population stood one hundred percent against the Nazis and they prevailed.
August 1935 SOPADE Report from Emden
[A few months ago], in front of the single large [Jewish] department in Emden, Valk and Company, six SA Men appeared selling copies of Der Strmer. At least one of the Nazi leaders always carried a camera [to take pictures of people entering the store], and there were always a few NS-Women present in order to help in the control. Such a boycott had not been seen around here since 1 April 1933. This surprising appearance, which occurred simultaneously in all of the villages and towns of East Frisia, at first terrified the population. But by now, they have grown accustomed to it; people go in and out of the department store without being disturbed at all by the boycott controls. The following scene recently occurred: the wife of a local craftsman came out of the store and was scolded by one of the NS females because she had bought something from Jews. The woman answered back in such a loud voice that all of the by-standers clearly heard her. "Herr Valk is one of my best customers. Why shouldn't we be equally loyal to him as he is to us?" But this argument did not help the Nazi women started to scold her even more in a hate-filled diatribe. But the more they scolded, the more the craftsman's wife laughed and finally said. "The one who laughs last, laughs the best." Many of the bystanders indicated their agreement with the woman. One of them yelled out at the Nazi women: "Why don't you go home and darn your stockings, and then you can come out here and make a scene." Another woman declared: "Buying from Valk's is cheaper and better than from stores run by your comrades."
August 1935 Palatinate SOPADE Report
Hardly a day passes in which some demonstration does not take place before the large department stores. SS and SA Men stand watch, trying to prevent people from going into the Jewish stores. The activites of these guards are brutal and vulgar, and they shrink back from nothing. People are photographed, even sometimes mishandled. It has even happened that women have been knocked down into the gutter. The worst takes place in front of the Rothschild Department Store. But the people generally understand what is going on; they know why these events are taking place. Recently a colleague told me at work that these actions are only designed in order to draw people's attention away from the growing increase in prices. Some scapegoat must be found, and so once more it is the Jew. This attack on Jewish businesses confirms many people in thinking that the present administration has reached the end of its economic strength.
Generally, both local and state governments were against such actions, but were powerless to stop them.
August 1935 Bavarian SOPADE Report
The various Jewish persecutions have found no positive response about the population, but, on the other hand, they do not remain without some effect. The racial propaganda is imperceptively leaving its traces. People are loosing their former free and easy attitude toward Jews and many are saying: "Actually the Nazis are not entirely wrong in their struggle against the Jews, but we don't approve of the excesses in this fight." or "If I go on buying in Jewish stores, I'm doing it to spite the Nazis, not to help the Jews."
Nazi newspapers in particular fanned the flames with provocative articles.
18 August 1935 Article in the Advertiser for the Principality of Lbeck
"Well there are also decent Jews!" "The Nathans in our town have never hurt anyone!" Yes, this is how our "objective" reactionaries talk, those people who when they hear the words "National Socialism" make a face because out of their own self interest they hate and fear this new State. These are the people who can be recognized even on the streets— although counted on the fingers of one hand even in Eutin—because they ostentatiously refuse to give the German greeting, and instead lift up their velour hats, with unctuous bearing. Naturally, these people were not present yesterday when hundreds of our Volk comrades demonstrated loudly before the house of the Jewish family Nathan, protesting his dirty tricks. Every true German must impress into his very flesh and blood that the Jew, wherever he is, must be hindered by all means possible from expanding and exercising his power. Here there can be no half-measures or weakness, here there is no room for sentimental emotionalism: "Ach, don't be so hard on the Jews, after all they too are human beings!" No! The Jew remains a Jew! No matter that for 50 years or more he behaves himself quietly and peacefully, does nothing for which anyone can blame him, yet in his 51st year the "decency" suddenly shatters. It only needs that his self-interest is put to the test, and the Jewish response is predetermined by his blood: he will choose whatever is to his own advantage, without regards for the well-being of the whole community. At bottom, the Jew is only a slippery anarchist; he lives only by his own rules; he follows the criminal Talmud and not the laws of the State, which has generously per mitted him to live his life. Whoever does not see these facts, whoever tries whenever possible to give assistance to those so-called "German-feeling" Jews, must be opposed and destroyed, as if they were contagious bacillus.
Eutin can consider itself fortunate in having relatively few Jews within our walls, but there are enough of this blood present so that we can speak even here of a Jewish Question.
This incident is particularly characteristic of many because it was instigated by a neighbor of the Nathan family, who wanted to acquire their property!
Throughout the country, the Nazi party made use of its own control of members to insure that they did not associate with Jews or patronize Jewish stores. The most frequent device employed was denunciation—often anonymous—that a party member was associating with Jews.
16 May 1935 Mayor of Bernkastel to the NSDAP District Leader
I know that when his child got sick, A— of this city insisted on having her treated by the Jewish Doctor B—. Since A— is a party member and also member of the German Workers Front, I request that you investigate this matter.
1 November 1935 Kreisleiter Freytag
As confirmed by our own investigations, a Jewish bowling league is financially participating in the operations of the Moltkeplatz Bowling Alley in Essen. On the basis of this fact, I herewith forbid all members of the Party, and all members of National Socialist organizations from visiting this bowling alley.
(sgn) Freytag Kreisleiter and
City Council Member
27 Local Cell Groups
26 Members of Kreis Staff
7 Subsidiary branches
1 SA Brigade
1 SS Standortf hrer
1 Motor Corp Standarte M 73
1 HJ Standortf hrung
1 Air Sport Group
2 July 1934 Bayreuth City Council Bi-monthly Report
On 26 June, the Jewish businessman Sch— was taken into protective custody. Sch— had invited a waitress at a local cafe to take a ride in his automobile and promised her gifts of underwear, if she met him in his shop after business hours or accompanied him to his week-end house in the country. This immoral proposal by Sch— became known in a circle of the local SA. And when Sch— left his shop on the evening of 26 June, a large number of persons gathered there and threatened him with bodily harm....
2 November 1935 Verdict of the District Party Court at Trier
Comrade F— has been accused of selling a goat and two hens to a Jew. This charge was sustained neither in the preliminary investigation nor in the plenary session of the court. The preliminary investigation had already shown that it was not Comrade F—, but his brother (who is not a party member) who had sold the items.
And the defendant's insistence that he had not known about the transaction must be believed. He can only be accused of talking with the Jew A—, and walking alongside of him from the train station to his home. For his part, the defendant says he was unaware that this action violated the principles of the Party. He believes that he did not do anything that might damage the interest of the Party, since he regarded the Jew A— as a fellow veteran, who, like himself, had returned wounded from the war.
Comrade F— has assured the court that he would at once break off all relations with the Jew A—, and in particular he would tell him at the next opportunity that future contacts between them was undesirable and that he would not talk to him ever again.
The next document, dating from a slightly later period, shows the kind of discipline the party could exert if it chose to punish a member from breaking ranks on anti-Semitism.
1 September 1937 Verdict of the District Party Court of Trier
Comrade A— has been accused of violating the goals of the NSDAP because he knowingly bought a horse from a Jew. The defendant, who is the local Peasant Leader in D—-, acknowledges that he did purchase a horse. He adds, however, that his horse had gotten sick right in the middle of the harvest season. His work fell way behind, as a result, and in addition he had just returned from his honeymoon. He did not have time to look around and purchase another horse since the state of his harvest required that he act at once in order to avoid worse dam ages. When he heard that this Jew had a horse for sale, he immediately bought it. In addition, in this particular area, it is impossible to buy horses from Aryans, since the Jews have a monopoly of the horse market.
A representative of the local government confirmed the testimony of the defendant. In that area, all trading in horses was in the hands of the Jews. From his own experience, he knew that some farmers had been forced to travel for more than a week in order to find an Aryan with a horse for sale. The particular state of the defendant's harvest, however, required an immediate purchase of a horse....
The District Peasant Leader, however, insisted that the District organizations had a cooperative, at which the farmers could get in touch with Aryan dealers. The defendant could have made use of this organization and within a short time have found a horse. Certainly through the various District briefings, the defendant would have learned about this organization.
[The Court concluded that] it is certainly clear that the defendant , as the local peasant leader, must have been aware that any purchasing from Jews was a violation of the goals of the NSDAP. He also must have known about the opportunity to get a horse through the cooperative organizations.... As a party member, the defendant should have been expected to explore all possible alternatives which were present in order to purchase the horse from an Aryan. The defendant is therefore found guilty as charged.
In passing sentence, the District Court recognizes that the defendant was in severe economic straits which required some immediate action. But, because he was the Local Peasant Leader, the court has to take into account the dangerous possibility that this action might be seen as an example for the entire peasantry. He should have paid particular attention to this fact. He should have paid particular attention to all this, since he is charged with supporting to the utmost the campaign of the Agricultural Sector in driving out all Jewish activities, even those activities which touch upon him personally.
The District Court orders that the Defendant be issued a strong warning and prohibited from participating in any office of the Party for the next three months.
NSDAP national headquarters did not issue policy statements concerning the handling of Jews, but local branch offices, often dominated by fanatic anti-Semites, were not so hesitant.
1935 NSDAP Trier Gau Office Guidelines
Rules Concerning Intercourse with Jews by Members of the Party and Party Organizations
A. Party members are forbidden all association with Jews. They may not purchase from Jews nor employ Jewish doctors or lawyers.
B. During meetings of the party, members are to be firmly reminded of this obligation.
C. Businesses which contain Jewish capital or Jewish backing are to be considered Jewish.
D. Jewish businesses, doctors and lawyers are to be identified orally or in writing for party members.
E. There must be no written orders demanding a boycott of Jewish interests. Instead, one should generally refer to the dangers from Jews in the past and in the present.
F. All of these rules apply as well to those individuals who are descended from or related to Jews, and these persons should be included on the lists.
G. The inclusion of individuals who are descended from or related to Jews should not take place if: (a.) the marriage or relationship occurred before the year 1800, or (b.) there is no longer any relationship between the person in question and racial Jews. For example: a lawyer, who had been a front-line officer in the war, recipient of the Iron Cross First Class, related to Jews through his wife in the Fifth Generation (before 1800), but who at present has no relationships or contacts with Jews at all. In this case, his name should not be included on the list of Jewish doctors, lawyers and businessman.
H. All members of party organizations are constantly to be made aware through lectures of the dangers of Jewry. Public demands, however, to members of the German Workers Front, for example, to engage in a boycott, should not occur. The simple task of providing information identifying Jewish businesses, etc., at meetings of party members, should not be viewed as encouraging boycotts.
The public was not supportive of arbitrary actions against individual Jewish businesses.
June 1935 Landrat Bad Kreuznach Report
The various boycott measures against the Jews have not had the effect intended. The general population, who basically reject such excesses, are much more inclined to feel pity for the Jews, and the latter naturally take advantage of this fact. The Aryanization of Jewish property, particularly in the countryside, has in no area advanced very far.
Repeatedly, local Nazis pushed for harsher regulations excluding Jews from all aspects of German life. Some national figures, especially Goebbels and Julius Streicher, the Gauleiter of Franconia, encouraged this new persecution of Jews, out of frustration and a desire to divert the attention of the rank and file. Many local Nazi activists had become disillusioned with the regime's alliance with traditional German elites (Neurath in the Foreign Office, Blomberg in Defense, and Schacht in Economics). These activists had not forgotten the decline of the SA and they were discontented at their own failure to receive adequate material rewards. By attacking Jews they could be made to feel they were achieving something.
So once more in piecemeal fashion, local harassment started to erode the remaining rights of Jews.
11 June 1935 Governor of Upper Bavaria Monthly Report
In many villages of the district, there are placards, signs and posters containing the message: "The Jews are our misfortune", "Jewish presence is undesired," and similar phrases. On the pavement of many streets, red oil-based paint has been used to write such messages as: "The biggest scoundrels in the land are the Jews", "O Lord send them another Moses, who will lead the Jews back to Jerusalem", and so forth: to a large part, such messages have been painted over. Although the population supports in every respect any objective campaign against Jewry, they believe that such messages and signs serve no purpose, and especially in tourist centers such as Garmish-Partenkirchen people fear economic repercussions from foreign visitors.
1 August 1935 Bavarian Political Police Monthly Report
In the campaign against the Jews, a distinct increase in the racial consciousness of the population has become more noticeable. In addition to numerous individual actions, most of which developed spontaneously from emotional incidents, there are signs of a more deliberate and systematic rejection of all things Jewish. This latter is obvious, for example, in the response of the Aryan population toward Jewish patrons of the public swimming pools. Even when the Jews remain quiet and off to themselves at these pools, Aryan patrons have forced them to leave because the general public is becoming offended at the joint participation especially in swimming pools of Jews and non-Jews. In most cases, signs have suddenly appeared saying "Jewish presence is undesired", or "Entrance is denied to Jews." This, for example, occurred during the night of 4/5 July at the city pool at Bad Kissingen.
At the Maria Einsiedel Pool in Munich on 14 July 1935, several Jews who were swimming with Aryan girls, aroused open indignation and anger among the Aryans present. Unfortunately, the pool manager refused their request to summon the police by stating that as long as the Jews were behaving themselves peacefully, the guards at the municipal pool could maintain law and order. On the same day, anti-Jewish demonstrations broke out at the swimming pool at Heigenbrcken, in the Aschaffenburg district. About 15 to 20 young swimmers gathered in the parking lot before the administration building and chanted their demands to remove all Jews from the pool. "This is a German pool; Jews should not be allowed. Away with them." A large percentage of the swimmers in the pool at the time joined in this chant, so that an overwhelming majority of the swimmers demanded the removal of the Jews.
Recognizing the general annoyance, and fearing greater unrest, the local District Leader of the NSDAP, Lord Mayor Wohlgemuth of Aschaffenburg, who was, by coincidence, swimming that day, went to the director of the pool and demanded that he throw out the Jews. The director refused claiming that he followed only those orders which came from the Municipal Pool Board, and that anyway he had no means of identify ing who was or was not Jewish! Be cause of this incident, Mayor Wohlgemuth and the Pool Director got into a minor argument, which was later resolved by the Municipal Pool Board. Subsequently, the municipal authorities have ordered that a sign be posted at the entrance to the Pool saying "Jews are forbidden access."
According to a report of City Commissioner Dr. Konrath of 24 July 1935, there has recently been a large increase in Jewish visitors to the spa town of Bad Kissingen. As a result, signs [against the Jews] have recently appeared at the public pools in Bad Kissingen and neighboring Garitz, apparently erected by private citizens. Dr. Konrath fears that Bad Kissingen's reputation as a spa will suffer from this undesirable and unsolicited invasion of Jews. He therefore has undertaken steps to permit the state baths and pools to free themselves from this Jewish plague, because otherwise, he fears, the healthy racial consciousness of the other visitors will begin labeling Bad Kissingen a "Jewish center."
Particularly in a municipally-owned pool, one owes it to visitors that they are not offended by the presence of numerous Jews, and thus have their recovery and rehabilitation [for which they have come to Bad Kissingen in the first place] jeopardized.
Moreover, since the national convention of German Dance Teachers is scheduled to be held at Bad Kissingen, it would be unthinkable for the visitors—who will include numerous official representatives of the National Socialist Dance Organization—many of them appearing in their uniforms—to come face to face with Jews in rooms decorated with the banners of National Socialism. Should this happen, Dr. Konrath feared there would be public disturbances, and thus he considered it necessary, as the official Commissioner of the Baths, to prohibit further admission to Jews in this thoroughly National Socialist assembly.
In Bad Tlz, decisive action has been taken against the invasion of Jewish visitors at the Park Hotel. In front of the hotel, the messages "Jews are our misfortune," and "Traitors to the fatherland live here," were painted on the street pavements. In order to prevent their removal, five to six SA men have been posted at all times over the signs. Although no other insults or violence were committed against the Jews, the latter were very humbled by this, and did not trust themselves to go out on the streets. The owner of the hotel, Hellmann, was told that his Jewish guests would be permitted to depart in peace, and without any fear of personal harm.....
During the night of 1/2 August, the Park Hotel was searched by the SA for a Jewish guest whom Der Strmer had accused of "racial defilement", but he was not found.... On Sunday, 5 August, a large number of persons, led by a music band, paraded through Bad Tlz behind a large sign announcing "Jews are not desired here. Bad Tlz wants no Jews." Since the authorities feared an outbreak of violence, they ordered that the Park Hotel be closed.
These incidents, apparently organized only at the local level, provoked the police to undertake "protective" measures. In the characteristic pattern, an official decree by the government came out only 18 months after the protests started.
1 August 1937 Munich Police Monthly Report
By a Decree of the Reich and Prussian Ministries of the Interior, dated 24 July 1937, guidelines were finally issued concerning the presence of Jews in spas and public pools. According to this decree, Jewish visitors in spa locales are permitted as long as they have an opportunity to live apart from the other visitors, in their own hotels, pensions, or boarding houses, and take the waters at specified locations. A precondition for this permission, nevertheless, is that none of these establishments [for Jewish visitors] may employ German females under the age of 45....
In the meantime, in that troubled summer of 1935, other agencies did not hesitate to pass legislation.
13 August 1935 Resolution of Bernkastel County Council
Jewry, which has led our German Fatherland into such deep misfortune, once again rears its impudent head. Misinterpreting our sense of decency, these parasites of the German public body are beginning once more to move about in their hated National Socialist Germany and to parade their Jewish insolence and vulgarity before our German people.
In recognition of this fact, the following regulations have been passed.
A. At the entrance to the village of Bernkastel, signs will be erected with the inscription: "Jews are not wanted here."
B. The entire village is urged to read the notices posted in the glass case in the middle of the village with copies of Der St rmer.
C. Should any worker or businessman, or any other member of our community, or members of their families, traffic with Jews or in any way support their businesses, they will henceforth forfeit their rights to community work or community support.
D. Buying from Jews, or patronizing Jewish doctors or lawyers is the same as treason to our people and our nation.
E. Since the racial question is the key to our own freedom, anyone who violates these principles should be condemned and despised.
By the summer of 1935, the radical elements of the Nazi Party seemed sufficiently in control to threaten escalation of the anti-Semitic excesses.
August 1935 West German Observer Article
Yesterday, the leader of Franconia, Gauleiter Julius Streicher, spoke to an audience of about 16,000 in the Berlin Sportspalast. A further 5,000 Berliners gathered in the Tennis Hall, the second largest hall in the capital, where Streicher's speech was relayed over loudspeakers. Days before, tickets for both meetings were completely sold out. "What business is it of anybody else," asked Streicher, "if we are cleaning our house? Nobody should trouble himself if we in Germany lead the defilers of our race through the streets to deter others. The Jewish question has not, as many people assume, been solved with the assumption of power by the National Socialists. On the contrary, the hardest work is only beginning."
Increasingly, any citizen who objected to the anti-Semitic tone was subjected to unpleasant pressure, and even arrest, for disturbing the peace!
1 October 1935 Bavarian Political Police Monthly Report
Since many Lutheran pastors have deemed it necessary in their sermons to stress the past and future role of the Jewish People in "salvation history," and to discuss this theme frequently, they offer a direct challenge to the National Socialist population. Thus, recently the Lutheran Pastor Karl Steinbauer, from Penzburg, who has already on numerous occasions been charged with treasonable and seditious remarks, was heard to state the following in a sermon:
Whoever insists that he does not want to hear any thing about that Jew Abraham, or does not want to hear anything from that Jewish book, the Bible, that person should realize that he is placing himself out side the path to salvation, scorning God's plan, and opening himself to condemnation by Jesus Christ, who desires only to be his Savior. "Salvation comes from the Jews." That is what we have been told and believe. And those who take this position, out of so-called racial considerations, or out of their anti-Semitism, should be made quite clear that the Jews too didn't want to believe this, and stoned the prophets who preached this truth. Our racial anti-Semites stand shoulder to shoulder with those racial Jews.
In the interest of law and order, the police have decreed that Steinbauer may no longer preach in public.
An issue of the newspaper Message of Peace, published in Kulmbach by the "Community within the Lutheran Church," has been confiscated because of a pro-Jewish article.
More ominously for the government, by the late summer of 1935, local police frequently reported sporadic acts of violence against Jewish businesses, and government agencies in Berlin were inundated with requests for clarification of official policy.
1 August 1935 Police Chief of Augsburg Report
During the night of 5/6 June 1935, the show window of the Jewish Textile Export firm of Weinberger and Bissinger was broken by a rock. According to our investigations, the deed occurred after one o'clock in the morning. No trace of the perpetrator has been found....
During the night of 18/19 July 1935, unknown persons smeared the shop windows of numerous Jewish businesses with white letters 18 inches high spelling "JUDE" and surrounded by two arrows. The paint was a mixture of various acids and silicones which was very difficult to remove from the glass. Thus the businesses concerned have sustained serious damages. Investigations are underway in those shops which sell silica acid.... Most of the passers-by who have noted the damage have expressed their disapproval for such a meaningless gesture against the Jews....
During the night of 30 July 1935, the business sign for the law firm of Strauss and Adler was destroyed by unknown persons....
From all these actions, we can conclude that in recent days an enlarged campaign against the Jews has been undertaken.
In the interest of preserving the reputation of both the party and the state, it is absolutely necessary that some important party official take immediate steps to see to it that their people avoid doing such things in the future.
This serious outburst of anti-Semitic violence prompted Reichs Economics Minister Schacht, in conjunction with the Ministry of the Interior, to call a meeting on the treatment of the Jews. He wanted firm action to be taken against individuals involved in anti-Semitic activities.
20 August 1935 Ministerial Conference Minutes, Hjalmar Schacht presiding
President [of the Reichsbank] Schacht gave a detailed review of the serious damage to the German economy produced by the exaggeration and excesses of the anti-Semitic propaganda and pointed out that the drift into lawlessness among other things is putting the economic basis of rearmament at risk.... His statement culminated in the assertion that the NSDAP's program must be carried out but solely on the basis of legal regulations.
State Minister Wagner [Bavarian Minister of the Interior and Gauleiter of Upper Bavaria] also disapproved of the excesses. He explained them in terms of the fact that there was a divergence in the treatment of the Jewish question both between Party and State as well as within particular Reich Government departments . . . It was not necessary for everything to happen at once; to start with, it would be sufficient if at least some steps forward were taken, e.g., if bans were to be issued on the opening of new businesses and on the granting of public supplies to Jews. Also to begin with, they should restrict themselves to measures against full Jews so that the question of whether or not to include the half-castes (Mischlinge) in this or that regulation would not hold up the legislation again. President Schacht agreed with this last point....
Reich Minister [of Justice] Grtner emphasized that every order from the State or the Party would remain ineffective so long as the nation was encouraged to believe that the authorities were not unhappy when their restrictions were infringed because it was only on ac count of political considerations that they were unable to act as they would like to. The basic principle of the Fhrer-State must be asserted against this view. It was particularly reprehensible when local authorities ignored orders from the Government. ...
After several representatives of other departments and offices had expressed their views, the chairman of the meeting Schacht summed up the result of the meeting as follows: the meeting was important in the first instance in providing the opportunity for an initial discussion—there was unanimity about the goal but not yet about the ways to achieve it. It was necessary: (1) to carry out the particular measures that were planned as soon as possible and (2) for there to be close collaboration between the Party and the State in such a way that the Party did not just drive the nation forwards with propaganda, but above all passed on suggestions for desirable measures to the Reich Government.
Schacht's influence was sufficient to get action. The following orders resulted:
Decree of Adolf Hitler, 20 August 1935
Individual actions [against Jews] by members of the NSDAP, its subordinate offices and organizations must cease at once. Whoever hereafter participates in individual actions against Jews, or encourages the same, will be treated in the future as a provocateur, a rebel, and enemy of the State.
20 August 1935 Heinrich Himmler Order
1. I strictly forbid any member of the SS from undertaking individual action against Jews.
2. As in every issue, the solution of the Jewish question is the concern of the Fhrer and not of individuals.
3. Actions contrary to this order, even to the slightest degree, will be punishment with dismissal from the SS.
22 August 1935 Viktor Lutze (SA Chief of Staff) to Adolf Hitler
According to the Deputy Fhrer [Rudolf Hess], you have received reports of individual actions against Jews and other un-loved members of our community, in which members of the SA have participated. In SA headquarters we know that numerous local political figures of the party have desired SA participation in actions against the enemies of the State. Such procedures do not reflect the will of SA headquarters.
Orders prohibiting the repetition of all such actions have already been dispatched to SA units.
In subsequent police decrees, it was made clear that only the Federal Government could order actions against Jews. But these decrees worked no more effectively than the dozen previous examples, and the Jews of Germany lived under a permanent state of tension.
Daily Life of Jews in the Third Reich
The following extracts comes from the diary of Luise Solmitz, a retired school teacher living with her husband and 15 year old daughter in Hamburg. We have already met her in previous chapters. She was strongly nationalistic, and voted consistently for the DNVP. Early on she became a devoted follower of Hindenburg and Papen, and was fascinated by the rise to power of Hitler, whom she came to admire greatly. Fiercely anti-Communist and anti-democratic, she still felt the shame of the lost war and the Versailles Treaty. Woodrow Wilson was her pet villain, and the leaders of the Weimar Republic the particular subjects of frequent vilification. So far, one could say she differed little from the "average" German.
But Luise Solmitz was married to a retired air-force Major, Franz Solmitz, who was of full Jewish descent, although his family has been Lutherans for two generations Like his wife, Franz was a patriotic nationalist and more than a little fascinated by Hitler and the Nazis. The new anti-Semitic decrees had thundered down on him particularly hard. Badly wounded in the war, he lived solely on his double pension, as a retired civil servant and as a wounded and disabled war veteran. By 1935, both pensions have been cut back, and Franz has petitioned to have them restored. He and his wife cannot understand why their lives should be so interrupted.
They have only one child, a daughter Gisela, who is 15 years old as these diary entries begin. Much of their concern is about her future. These selections show in a most poignant fashion how the daily accumulation of new decrees and regulations robbed them of all hope and comfort.
5 February 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Frulein Sprung [a Jew], Gisela's English teacher, has been terminated. She originally was employed in a private school, and thus has no claims to a pension, and she who once enjoyed full economic security now faces disaster. She has applied to teach in an Arabian school, but that too has turned out to be impossible. What has happened to her even Herr Baus [a fellow teacher at the school] does not know.
10 February 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Telephone call from Julie L— [Jewish] ... She is not coming to our class reunion. Hedwig S— is in England, left with her whole family, after a very difficult struggle to get permission. Since then, even Julie has heard nothing.... Non-Aryans will no longer be permitted to enter the medical profession, that is, they will not be allowed to sit for the required examinations.
7 March 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
A disappointing answer from Captain Fellgiebel removes all possible hopes [of Franz's rehabilitation as a professional civil servant]. ... Nothing at all can be done in that direction. Well, one good thing has emerged, at least we now know where we stand, which means on the outside of where we belong. We will no longer attempt to approach the insiders and try to enroll with them. Of course this is all superficial stuff, as before, but what a gulf, invisible but still unbridgeable, separates us from all our relatives and those who continue to stand inside, continue naturally to be members of our Volk and participate in everything. That group begins with Mama, my brothers, and cousin, and continues right down to our maid and housekeeper, and even includes the beggar before our door. Everything remains the same, a fine line separates: You, yes, but we? Franz says: "If you were not the person you are—and things could be come quite different only time will tell—then I would despair of the whole world." Aren't such words a kind of precious prize? Don't they take away to a large extent all the bitterness? But Gisela's future? In spite of everything, I still trust things will work out.
12 March 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Once again the present situation presses bitterly upon us. Gisela's [BDM leader] was here, did not want anything in particular, but Gisela told us that she would sooner or later have to undertake the required Confirmation trip [like most of her class, Gisela had jointed the BDM, the female equivalent of the Hitler Youth, and the hiking trip was a requirement. Traditionally Confirmation marked the end of childhood], and for that she would have to produce the proof of Aryan descent. I replied that naturally there could be no question of that, and so she should withdraw right away. ... So this secret curse continues to work on this scarcely fifteen year-old child.
28 April 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Today the radio bluntly announced, that Jews were forbidden to hoist the national flag, or the Swastika. I no longer believe we will be qualified by the exemption for professional civil servants, especially since there is no place for Franz in the army. The ring around the three of us is closer in ever more. No friend and no relatives can help, but every enemy and opponent can harm us.
6 June 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
This evening Gisela told me that her gymnastic teacher had asked the class how many of them were Aryan, fortunately something interrupted her and no count was taken. Gisela asked what should she do when the question finally comes up. The BDM issue is still not clarified. If I were a believer in Purgatory, then I would be comforted by the thought that for the three of us we will have atoned for our offenses here on earth by all this innocent suffering.
8 June 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz telephoned the Hirschfelds [an old Silesian and Aryan family] and talked with Inge who had just had a big fight with a representative of the Nazi Women's League who had returned some gloves which she had purchased (against Inge's advice). Now she wanted her money back and said that in future she would deal only with Germans. "What did she mean by that?"—Well, it was well-known that the Hirschfelds were Jewish. Inge told her off good, showed her Ernst's door sign, "National Socialist Sports Teacher." Deeply depressed.
30 June 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Herr Gericke inquired whether Franz would write an article on his flying experiences. Franz has developed a real revulsion about his own accomplishments. He himself led all the excursions which he faithfully recorded, but disguised his own identity, noting only the leader as "Sz." His German record of 9 February 1912, Berlin to Hamburg in one hundred and thirty-five minutes (without landing) was greeted with hoots of laughter by Gisela! "And you want to point to that!" cried this child of 1935.
10 July 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
In Stettin, three SA men have been expelled from the party, because they dared to buy in a Jewish business.
24 July 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[Off on a trip to visit relatives in Berlin]. Tumult on the Kurfrstendamm, produced by the showing of the Swedish anti-Semitic film "Petterson and Bendel." Government has given it the designation "valuable for the politics of the State." Everywhere sharpening of the Non-Aryan regulations. The Strmer prints photographs of people buying in Jewish stores, etc....
In New York, the Swastika flying on the "Bremen," was torn down by a Communist. The police had to intervene. A new flag was run up at once, but for a long time a battle raged up and down the docks.
One thing separates me from all the others, all those good and friendly relatives in Berlin and here, from all my good friends. Something inward, even if nothing is ever spoken aloud about it. Yes you! You have no need to tremble; it doesn't disturb you in the least if an Aryan identity card is demanded. Previously, mankind was separated perhaps by rank and money. But such a separation as this never existed. We stand over here on one side, away from everything and everyone; an unbridgeable abyss yawns between us. We feel like swindlers, or like our presence is merely tolerated, if we accompany anyone anywhere. We feel we absolutely stand out in the company of our fellow man. One can be the most vulgar, common, ordinary, simple-minded or shallow creature, but it's fine as long as you can produce an Aryan identity card. They have taken away Volk and Fatherland from me, and we are con signed suddenly to a race with which we have no connections whatsoever, and to which we are as alien as before. We are supposed to suffer for something which we inwardly reject, to carry a burden that is entirely not ours. And what will the future bring! The rope around us grows ever tighter. One dare not give ourselves over to the peaceful joy of living for the day. How broad is our protection under the title Professional Civil Service. But one thing must be said, outside of us, no one seems to be making a fuss—no one has raised the issue. But I have always found that most people are more decent than they need to be, ven in the years after 1918.
Oh I can suffer along with the German cause in Memel, for example [who were being subjected to a de-Germanization program by the Lithuanian government], but being non-Aryan is not my cause; I find no idealism in being non-Aryan, indeed everything about it turns me against it, and nothing speaks to me in support of it.
5 August 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Mixed marriages between Aryans and Jews are prohibited. With bitterness, Franz asks: "Will the existing ones be dissolved?"
10 August 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The Strmer has now replaced its glass case on the Bogenstra§e with a large colored billboard, with two enormous Jewish noses pointing left and right. In the middle stands the slogan: "Whoever buys from Jews is a traitor to his Volk."
13 August 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The worst thing for the three of us is that they want to take away our right to belong to Volk and Fatherland, and we can find no other ideal to put in their place. Something alien stands on the other side, a people and a way of thinking, which are admirable enough from a cultural or historical point of view, but after that, nothing. The situation is quite different for those non-Aryans who are consciously aware of their origins, who consider their Volk to be holy and worthy of honor. As Luther said so defiantly and courageously—and how often I think of this phrase—"Take away my life, my goods, my marriage, child and wife, but the Reich still remains for us." True enough, but what remains for us.
7 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
All of Germany is furious over the New York Court decision against those criminals who fell upon the "Bremen" and tore down the Swastika. Justice Louis Brodsky declared that our proud, lean and beautiful "Bremen" was a pirate ship. Official German protest.
9 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry,
On vacation at Nieses. We discuss the world situation, and shake our heads over all the hatred and arguing in which the nations blindly pitch into each other, one against all, and all against one. The Lord Mayor Brix has been pensioned off, and no one knows why. ...
And even here in Nieses the spirits pursue us. The daughter of an acquaintance, a high court official, who, like B— at the Railroad Ministry, was, as a Jew, terminated from his position, has recently married his daughter to a Reichswehr officer. Now this officer has been dismissed because of this marriage, and sits around hoping to emigrate and buy a farm somewhere abroad. So far he has found nothing.
10 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Complete Separation of the Races After 1936. Separate Jewish Schools
Berlin, 10 September 1935 (report from our Berlin Bureau).
Reichsminister Rust had published a decree concerning the creation of Jewish schools by Easter 1936. The decisive question concerning which students should attend these schools is determined not only by professing the Mosaic religion, but by belonging to the Jewish race. Full racial Jews and Half-Jews will be enrolled in these schools. Students who have only one Jewish grandparent will not be forced to enroll.
Teachers in the upper level Jewish schools will be those Jewish teachers who were dismissed with full pensions according to the regulations of the Civil Service Law. In addition, the decree of the Reichs Education Minister contained the following: upper level schools will, for the time being, not be involved in this regulation. But a decree is being prepared to cover these schools as well. After the 1936 school year, racial separation as complete as possible will be introduced in all schools for all students within the Reich.
For the mandatory school years, as before, non-Aryans may not fulfill their required educational obligations by attendance at private elementary and middle schools. Rather, the creation of public schools for Jews is required. Requirements for such a Jewish elementary school is the presence of a sufficient number of Jewish children within a community or its neighboring territory. In some cases this might require the combining of a number of grades into a common elementary class."
As an announcement was read on the radio, in a form that contradicted a number of points in this newspaper article, Gisela was sitting behind me and unfortunately could see my face in the mirror above my writing desk. We both remained quite calm. But this evening she said to us, she hopes to finish her school exams before Easter. How that could work out, and whether or not she would even be permitted to take the exams, remains to be seen. Should she fail them, then like everyone else, she would just leave school. Should she pass, she would have a chance to work for the Abitur, like all the other "One-year-ers." Thank goodness we can say that she is so far advanced in her education. What will become of her.
We don't want to complain, don't want to worry unnecessarily about the future. Let come what will come, if only we can stay together. Often I think that this is only some awful dream that threatens us, and that I am about to wake up and know it to be a dream, and then smile and say, what a stupid nightmare! We must enjoy what moments we can and be grateful for those things that have not yet happened to us. But it is very difficult to live like this, without a future, without security, to have no ideas, to have no "Reich" for which we can fight and suffer, to be portioned off to some alien race, with which we have nothing in common, and want to have nothing in common.
11 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Today a tall Galician Jew stumbled and fell as he was entering the synagogue; we two ran over, as did the newspaper lady. With much effort Franz succeeded in getting the large man to his feet. He said that he had been wounded in the war (on the Austrian-Italian front), his eyes were badly damaged and often failed him completely, and then he was helpless. He thanked Franz heartily, who replied that it was nothing at all, perfectly normal. "O no, not so, today such aid is not at all perfectly normal!" he called out to us. Nevertheless, I hope and trust it still is. Never and never should the German Volk lose their simple sense of human responsibility. I can't test his story about being wounded in the war, and that is not at all important, there was clearly the need for our help.
15 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Yesterday, the United States apologized to us because of the verdict read by Justice Brodsky in the flag incident.
Today, in Nrnberg, for the first time in 400 years, a meeting of the Reichstag. For days now I have been dreading what might happen, and am envious of all our friends and the happy people who sit around in beer-gardens awaiting quietly the evening of this beautiful fall day, just as they had quietly greeted its arrival. But this evening destroys our peace-of-mind, for our old Black-White-Red flag, which is sacred to so many (and so should not be a refuge for reactionaries), is once more removed and no longer stands as the symbol of the Reich.
At 9:00 pm, with faint-heart, I sat by the radio. The Fhrer himself spoke, his voice clear, clearer even than before the seizure of power.
1. We don't get ourselves involved in foreign issues.
2. Strong words against the shame which has been done to our German comrades in Lithuania.
3. New laws.
These laws will be announced later. I shake with fear about what might be in them. Some beautiful pieces of music followed, one upon the other, which made the waiting all the more painful. Once when I went upstairs, Gisela woke up and asked: "Has he said something yet? I am so afraid. I'm not only thinking about myself either," she added, "but also on all the others who are involved."
[Later that night] Gisela had cause to be fearful. Around midnight the new laws were announced. They are the death sentence of our civil rights.
The Nuremberg Laws
The background to the Nuremberg Law is most instructive. Plagued by the anti-Semitic outbursts in the summer of 1935, Government officials were anxious to restore some order. Dozens of complaints had flooded every government office requesting clarification of the official policy toward Jews. Indeed, despite the plethora of rules and regulations which had accumulated since 1933, there had never been any definition of who was or was not a Jew. Government agencies responsible for the maintenance of laws and public order were deeply concerned about these developments. Officials in the Federal Ministry of the Interior had long been working on a set of guidelines, by which they hoped to clear up the ambiguities of the situation, and to limit the damage being done by unauthorized and uncontrolled acts of violence against individual Jews.
In late August 1935, Adolf Hitler suddenly decided to call the Reichstag into session in the old Imperial Reichstag city of Nrnberg. Although it had not met since passing the Enabling Laws of 1933, Hitler asked the various government agencies if they had any laws they wished to have enacted during the annual Nrnberg Party Rally. To his embarrassment, the only proposal was the response to Justice Brodsky's "insult to the Swastika," a minor law adopting the Swastika as the official German flag. He angrily demanded some other proposals, and the Interior Ministry sent its guidelines on defining Jews. A number of Cabinet Ministers supported the law as a device to halt the excesses of recent anti-Semitic outbursts, and to clarify for all concerned who would be covered by future regulations. The Ministry had worked out a very narrow definition of who was a Jew, and to the surprise of the officials, Hitler accepted this. Hitler's reasoning for raising the issue at this time was probabl his desire to maintain the support of the radical elements of his own party.
In his opening speech, which Frau Solmitz has described, Hitler reiterated his prohibition of unauthorized acts of violence against individual Jews.
15 September 1935 Hitler Nrnberg Rally Speech
The Fhrer pointed to the fact that the National Socialist legislation opens up the only possibility of arriving at tolerable relations with the Jews living in Germany. The Fhrer emphasized especially that in accordance with these laws an autonomous national life in all spheres will be made possible for the Jews of Germany, such as is not the case in any other country. Accordingly, the Fhrer renewed the order to the Party to refrain, as hitherto, from sporadic actions [of violence] against the Jews.
Here are the texts of two laws which jointly came to be known as the N rnberg Laws
15 September 1935 Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor
Imbued with the knowledge that the purity of German blood is the necessary prerequisite for the existence of the German nation, and inspired by an inflexible will to maintain the existence of the German nation for all times, the Reichstag has unanimously adopted the following law, which is now enacted:
Any marriages between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are hencewith forbidden. Marriages entered into despite this law are invalid, even if they are arranged abroad as a means of circumventing this law.
Extramarital relations between Jews and citizens of German or kindred blood are herewith forbidden.
Jews are forbidden to employ as servants in their households female subjects of German or kindred blood who are under the age of forty-five years....
Anyone who acts contrary to the prohibition of Article II will be punished by sentence to either a jail or concentration camp.
15 September 1935 Reich Citizenship Law
A subject of the state is one who belongs to the protective union of the Reich and who, therefore, has special obligations to the Reich....
Only the subject of the State who is of German or related blood, and who shows through his behavior that he is desirous and fit loyally to serve the German people and the Reich is a Citizen of the Reich.
The Minister of the Interior in conjunction with the Deputy to the Fhrer will issue the legal and administrative decrees required for the implem entation and amplification of this law.
Many in Germany were scandalized by the new laws. The following brief entry is from the diary of a non-Jew. It is characteristic of many.
16 September 1935 Voigt Diary Entry
[After reading the Nrnberg Laws]. Today, a German could commit suicide and write in his farewell note: "Since I have recognized that through people like Streicher the German Volk has become uncivilized, and that a madness has seized the Volk through which our honor has been lost and we have subjected ourselves to the disdain of other nations, I prefer to depart from this life, since I am ashamed to remain a German."
As always, Frau Solmitz was more interested in how the new laws would affect her personal life.
15 September 1935 Conclusion of Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
For the second time, our Black-White-Red flag sinks. [The first was during the Revolution of 1918/19]. Whoever marries my daughter faces imprisonment, and she with him. Our maid must be dismissed. We may not fly flags anymore. We don't know what is meant by Jewish flags. I must put up with it all. Must I live as a stranger in my own Fatherland. ...
A feeling of happiness that at least we can share this burden with each other. And at the end, there is always a final way out for the three of us. How hopeless this last possibility really is, one realizes only on such days as these.
The awareness that we are together and the will not to shrink back—inwardly or outwardly—from whatever conditions arise: No longer do we belong to any of you, in fact we MAY not belong to you. This conviction and this sense of will were, for me, the final results of the Nrnberg Reichstag.
But it will not be as easy to live it, as to think or write it. Our child is driven out, thrust aside, despised, declared to be worthless. And a mother must bear this! She can have no career, no future, no marriage. That which is available to all the children of our relatives, friends, and even our domestic servants, all that they can strive for and accomplish, is ruled out for Gisela. The school has requested that each student should submit their plans for future studies. Bitterly, Gisela says that she has no plans at all, indeed can't have any plans. When she sits among her school chums with their small hopes for the future, their fantasies about their coming lives, Gisela is excluded. We feel ourselves to be alien invaders, like ex-cons pursued by stoolies
But we still have our house, and our diminished pensions, and are grateful for that. We will turn it into a cocoon around us three.
16 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
"Was it bad, what he said?" Gisela asked fearfully, first thing in the morning. Oh yes, bad enough. Later, Gisela told us she had seen Aunt E— in the afternoon. I always start quaking the minute anyone comes to the door.
Franz showed me that the evening papers suggest that high sources indicate the new laws will be applied only to full-Jews. Although I have always trusted only that which appears as an official statement, my deeply wounded spirits so needed a boast that I clutched this straw and became happy and joyful.
17 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The regulations governing the application of the new laws have not yet been published, perhaps because they are still being worked out, Freddy wrote a letter to the Minister of the interior, Dr. Frick.
19 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Today was very nice in the city, and the atmosphere seemed outwardly good, but I must say, our world is finished. This is only the low murmur of an idling machine.
Gisela said that it was announced in her school that the laws apply also to half-Jews, but admittedly no implementing regulations have been published. We said to her: live for the day, enjoy, do your duty, hold your head high.
And yet closer ever closer our unknown destiny, hangs over us, unknown and yet known, something unique to the 20th century, and so hopelessly difficult and depressing. All other people can strive for their children, can plan and hope, and smooth the way for them. We alone know nothing, can do nothing, not even really rejoice anymore in what we have, because every moment we feel: yes, we STILL have something. Let life lead us where it will, we must bear it and we will be happy if we will be allowed to bear it together. But our child!—and then despair begins anew.
20 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Sch—'s and B—'s over for coffee. They speak about making a Swastika. "If we don't fly the flag, everyone would think we were Jews." Was that mere thoughtlessness on their part, or nivet ?
25 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Visited Aunt A—. What will become of Gisela. Always this bitter question. Telephone from Cousin Ernst. He has been in Berlin and reports, "There things have gone much farther than here! No one is buying in Jewish stores at all, nobody greets a Jew anymore by offering his hand, at Cafe Kempinski, a special corner is reserved for them.
Chief of Staff Lutze orders all SA men to resign from the Csener Student Corps [the cover organization for all German student fraternities] because they have refused to impose the Arian paragraph. Maybe they are the only organization in Germany to do so. Whoever remains a member, whether a present student or an alumnus, will be expelled from the SA.
26 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Finally the city-wide school sport festival. Gisela was very successful! She participated in a race and ran so well that the gymnastic teacher advised that she quickly apply for a Sport Citation. Through this team's triumph, the Wstenfeld School [which Gisela attended] finished second among all the Hamburg Schools. But then when I heard that Gisela had to buy a special booklet and after filling it out send it on to Berlin, all my joy was extinguished. I knew well enough what would happen. And Gisela was so proud and happy!
27 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz went to Ortlepp's store and examined the book needed to apply for the Sports Citation. We were right. There on the first page, Assurance that one was an Aryan. Finished, even that which made Gisela so happy and to which she had devoted so much effort, and about which she had been speaking for weeks. Even her beautiful victory in the race was in vain. On 2 October she was to have participated in the great Sport Festival in Hammer Park, now all her pleasure and ambition is taken away. Her gymnast teacher, who has no idea what is the matter, is applying pressure for Gisela to apply at once for the Sports Citation: just do it right away!
29 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
This morning as we were walking to H—'s, we suddenly found ourselves in a swarm of Jews coming home from the Synagogue. All of them outwardly seemed the same as always, were acting calmly, but what inward storms and fears they must have. Gisela and I repeatedly tried to get out of the crowd, but it continued to flow around us like a hopeless symbol of recent events.
30 September 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Rather a horrible end, than all this horror without an end —tomorrow the implementation decrees of the Nrnberg Laws will be announced. Every line of print in the newspapers, every news report on the radio, everything fills me with dread. Certainly full knowledge of what is to be would be better. Then it is indeed no little thing to be assigned membership in that dark crowd we ran into yesterday. Personally, I have very little hope, that is, I won't lie to myself. But how great our hopes are, we will fully realize only when they have been finally destroyed. And I am terrified
The details of the implementation were to be issued later. In the meantime, Frau Solmitz reacted to every rumor.
1 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The day which we have feared above all others. Externally it resembles any other day, seems no more threatening than any other, and yet it determines our destiny. For tonight, Franz has invited the H—'s. Perhaps that's a good idea, for it means we will have to pull ourselves together, like important people in this world are forced to do, and like our north-German peasants educate their children, hiding their feelings until it becomes a part of their flesh and blood. But already this morning the first burden has been placed on our shoulders. Hindenburg's body is to be transferred today to the newly-built tower, and public buildings are bedecked with flags. Whoever honors him, should also display the flag. Surely Hindenburg never dreamed that one day he would become a nightmare for a little pile of dispossessed individuals.
While out shopping I saw the newspaper headlines: "The new laws," but it shook me terribly, and I was unable to bring myself to buy a copy. Why should I carry news of our destruction into the house. A few hours of respite from the gallows. "We think like royalty and consider a free and courageous death more decent than a life robbed of honor." How often, how often have we had similar thoughts in mind. Yes we, and unfortunately also Gisela, with her fifteen years. My God, into what paths do you lead us?É
Gisela came home from school saying that tomorrow she must inform them about her status, is she a half, or only a quarter Jew. Frulein Evers and Dr. Hartleb apparently believe that she is only a quarter Jew. If that is not so, then Gisela must leave school by Easter. I lost my composure completely, and Franz telephoned Frulein Evers (and she came right over!). She is one of the finest and most sensitive persons alive; was quite disturbed that she had upset us. Came over at once from Winterhude. She explained that she had expressed herself quite poorly in the school, it is only a temporary issue, and is merely for statistical purposes. Dr. Hartleb had wanted to ask Gisela herself, but she much preferred to talk with us instead. Should she just say to Dr. Hartleb, "1/4, that is 1/4?" She repeated the question. Franz had just stepped out of the room for a minute—and I replied: "No, half. There's no point in trying to disguise it." The "saving quarter," and I did not have the courage to lie for my child, and that haunts me now. Should I have lied? Come Easter, would they not have demanded some official proof in any case? Have I robbed Gisela of her life? Is the issue of Franz being a Front-line fighter some protection?—"Decrees concerning secondary education are being prepared."—Frulein Evers certainly had not read about that. "How difficult this all is for the children," she replied sadly. Franz still does not know that I said "half." I've kept it a secret even from him, out of a sense of guilt, or depression. What awful days these are—That there are still people like Frulein Evers is a comfort.
Still no word of the Implementation Decrees; we must have misunderstood the announcement. So the horror remains without end. É
2 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
At dinner, Ernst said that it was only a question of time before he would have to stop teaching Jews or allowing them to play in the parks. He was uncertain whether Jews would even be allowed to use the newly erected artificial ice-rink in the Zoo, where skating would continue even if the temperature rose to 12 degree Centigrade. I dared not look over at Gisela's frightened eyes. Let them exclude us, push us back, condemn us to a solitary existence; we have lived our lives, we have enjoyed the good things of this life. But the crippling and deprivation of the civil rights of a 15 year-old child, that is awful. And it is just as awful for her parents!
3 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Even our friend [Police-General] Simon speaks favorably of the non-Aryan laws, and considers them fully justified. Afterwards Gisela said: "Everyone talks about the law in our presence only because they think the laws don't apply to us, and if they knew the truth, then they would no longer even visit us." This feeling terrifies me as well. Simon and one of his daughters has now publicly left the Lutheran Church, and embraces Rosenberg's Myth of the 20th Century.
7 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Ach, I have other worries than [the Italian attack on Abessynia]. Today Ilse H— asked Gisela whether or not she is going to remain in the BDM. Must decide by tomorrow. Now Gisela is terrified once more. "They mustn't learn about IT. Otherwise, no one in the school will ever look at me again," she pleads. Should she stay in, because she was in, Hartleb and Ram will surely say: "What's going on? Hasn't your mother recently said to Frulein Evers that you were "Half!" Had only I remained silent, maybe I would not even had had to lie.
8 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
I have decided not to encourage Gisela to keep up her diary. Should she try to keep up the pretense of a happy, carefree childhood, when her life is being so hopelessly weighed down. And yet she wants to keep all these events quiet, and must remain silent about them, and everything else is only dead flowers thrown on the garbage heap.
10 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[Returning from an evening visit with friends]. There we sat in the circle of decent, cultivated Germans, forgetting for the moment everything else —thinking, for the moment, that naturally we are a part of this community, as we have always been. And yet hovering just behind us is always the jeering ghost of the present reality. Don't put yourselves forward, you belong on the other side. Go stand across that yawning abyss, over which no bridge can ever be built, except those made of old friendships and a spirit of toleration. Be grateful for what we have!
13 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Dr. Frick announces that the new Implementation Decrees will be published within a few days. We continue to live under the sword. Our only shield is the knowledge that we have done everything that is in our power to do. Actually I am in favor of getting everything out on the table: this is the way it is going to be. But perhaps that comes more from my cowardliness than courage. "Yes," Gisela said to me. "After all it doesn't apply to you!" "Doesn't apply to me, to me!?! " I flared up. How difficult and bitter all this is. Non-Aryans will have their economic activities limited.
28 October 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
That Gisela must tell me, with a sad smile, must say to her own mother! "I am so afraid; every day I am afraid." And her mother must hear this, and not be able to help! Can scarcely even comfort her. For everyone else, parents are protection, assistance, comfort— Gisela knows that we are powerless, as helpless as she herself is. ... No matter how seriously you strive to pursue a career, you can become nothing, and no friendly hand can reach out to help you; no circle of friends or relations can defend you. No wonder you are afraid every day, and stand in fear of every new day. Repeatedly I encourage her to keep up her superficially borne sense of carefreeness and youthful zest, and Gisela only reveals the growing fear that lurks behind.
6 November 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz met Dr. Rosenstein [our eye and nose doctor], who said that he is being bloodlessly cut to pieces; true he is still on the staff at the clinic, but during his office hours he is entirely alone, no patients come at all. Too old to emigrate to a foreign country and sit for new examinations, he is thinking of going to Russia, where such exams are not required. 58 years old and without any illusions about life in Russia. Dr. Rosenstein was a doctor at the front during the war.
Gisela announced that she no longer wishes to attend school; every day one can read into Hartleb's speeches that [the Jews] should leave. She appears almost ill and shockingly suffering. Oh, if we only had some ideals to live for! But what ideals can Gisela get from a people that she does not know and doesn't want to know, and yet to whom she is suddenly counted.
The implementation decrees were then issued. Note the crucial definition of a Jew, contained in Article V.
Jewish Life after the Nrnberg Laws
14 November 1935 Supplementary Decree
Article III: Only Citizens of the Reich, as bearers of full political rights, can exercise the right of voting and the right to hold public office....
Article IV: A Jew cannot be a citizen of the Reich. He can not exercise the right to vote; he cannot occupy public office.
Jewish officials will be retired as of 31 December 1935. In the event that such officials served at the front in the World War, either for Germany or for her allies, they shall receive as pension until they reach the age limit, the full salary last received....
Article V: A Jew is an individual who is descended from at least three grandparents who were racially full Jews.... A Jew is also an individual who is descended from full Jewish grandparents if:
a). He was a member of the Jewish religious community when this law was issued or joined the community later.
b). When the law was issued, he was married to a person who was a Jew, or was subsequently married to a Jew.
c). He is the issue from a marriage with a Jew and German which was contracted after the coming into effect of the Law for the Protection of German Blood and Honor, 15 September 1935.
d). He is the issue of an extra-marital relationship with a Jew ... born out of wedlock after 31 July 1936.
An official commentary on the Laws, published years later, justified the racial interpretations of the law.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled (1943)
Today Points 4, 5, and 6 of the Party Program are the recognized and general law and rule of our nation. A German is a member of the German Volk. Everyone who has German blood in his veins is therefore a member of the Volk. To be German is a destiny; one is born a German; one cannot be artificially "made" a German—through some sort of Baptism. Every fellow German is at first, however, only a subject of the state, and not a citizen—or Reich Citizen as defined in the Nrnberg Laws of Citizenship. Reich Citizenship is not something that is placed in your cradle, but must be earned.
The laws of Reich Citizenship and those for the Protection of German Blood and Honor, as well as their supplementary decrees, do not intend to punish members of the Jewish race only on account of their membership in that race. THE ELIMINATION OF THE JEWS FROM GERMAN PUBLIC LIFE AND THE PREVENTION OF FURTHER MIXING OF THE RACES ARE, RATHER, HIGHLY NECESSARY ACTS IF THE CONTINUATION OF THE GERMAN NATION IS TO BE ASSURED.
Thus the three points of the Party Platform are being fulfilled, beginning with the preparatory law to Re-establish the Civil Service (1933) which eliminated all un-German elements from public office. This new National Socialist concept of citizenship proceeds from a natural principle, that of blood. This definition of "German-ness" by means of heredity and racial thinking represents, at the same time, a wide-ranging revolution of past concepts of the State, which indeed utilized many slogans, ideas, constructions, and phrases, but never came up with the one single classification, namely a community of members of common blood and common history. All of these previous concepts followed more or less the same false opinion that "all who wear a human face are equal." National Socialism, however, has resurrected the ancient truth that all things have been created differently. Life in this world is very dissimilar, and should remain so.
Races and nations are natural, God-created, and historically developed classes. Man in included in that order and should be led by that order.... Thus our rejection of aliens does not proceed out of hatred for them, but rather out of our endless love for our own nation and its unique essence. Using this German essence and the German nature, we want to carry out the formation of German life, and thereby be able to perform the tasks which have been placed before us, as a nation, in the world. What then is our nation? It is a unit, the greatest organizational unit which can ever exist for us on this earth. It has grown together, out of related blood stock, out of different tribes, through a long common history, filled with sacrifice, into today's unity, to a fated-union, to a union of language, state, culture and will. Our nation stretches from the pre-historic past into the present and will continue into the future. Today's living generation is only a wave in this eternal river of the Volk. This generation must have respect and reverence for the deeds of the past, and must fulfill its duty with responsibility to the present and the future. The Volk is, therefore, not merely the sum of the currently living members of the Volk community; the Volk is also the fore-fathers and the Volk is also the descendants. The eternal life of this Volk is our highest obligation.
15 November 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The implementation decrees for the Nrnberg Laws have been published. And since we had not heard any news reports recently, their appearance was quite a surprise. And perhaps that is all for the best. As it turned out, Gisela and Franz had gone off to the city, and I sat alone in my comfortable bourgeois sitting room, lit by the light from a green lamp, and stared at our fate. I read them through rapidly at first and sought—how predictable humans are—something that might be of comfort, and there was something: the Fhrer can grant exceptions to all the rules.
Gisela is not called a Jewess, but rather "Mixed-birth" [Mischling] and is permitted to marry a German, or a German with no more than one (out of four) Jewish grandparents, but only with special dispensation.—No domestic help is permitted if the master of the house is a non-Aryan (although the age of permitted girls is lowered from 46 to 35). Special consideration can be given if the master is a war veteran, and his personality and character and rootedness in Germany warrants it. I quickly write all this out, without specific details, because Franz will need the newspaper for his letter of appeal to the Fhrer, which he will write at once. If only it works! After all, he was a civil servant even before the war, fought in 33 air-encounters, won the Iron Cross First Class etc. All Jewish officials are to be retired with their full salaries until they reach retirement, but without any additional promotions, and then they will receive full pensions! This provision removed a tremendous load off of our souls. But there is no mention about what my position is. Still, there is enough bad news in the decrees: Franz loses the right to vote, and I don't know about me. No possibility of a professional career for Gisela. Still, the whole set of rules reads quiet differently from the original Nrnberg Law.
Has Franz's unanswered letter to Dr. Frick, probably accompanied by letters from many others, have contributed to this improvement? The "35 year" rule is odd: whoever employs a female domestic who is already more than 35 years old, can keep her.
While Franz composed his letter to the Fhrer, I sat in the living room listening to Beethoven's Sixth Symphony. I sat in darkness; the moon and street lights reflected on the white shades, an exquisite atmosphere; and my heart, filling with hundreds of thoughts and fears, did not know whether bitterness or hopefulness should gain the upper hand, or even whether it was permitted to breath just a little sigh of relief. Yes, Yes, I will!
16 November 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The letter to the Fhrer has been posted. What frightful fears about disappointments, what hopes ride on that letter!
The Quarter-Jews have emerged quite fortunate, it appears they want to absorb them, for marriages with Aryans are not only permitted but are actually encouraged.
21 November 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Telephone call from Gisela's teacher Frulein Evers [who had spoken with the BDM Leader]. Gisela must attend the evening meetings, certainly that is not asking too much. Certainly not É but, but, but—this little word obstructs both the present and the future. Gisela has an identity card, but É Frulein Evers does not fully understand the situation and also has no power to do anything and will certainly never have such authority. Gisela will not try to sneak by, will not compromise herself, no matter what the costs may be. Hundreds, maybe thousands are already telling lies [about their backgrounds]—lying overburdens childhood. But sometimes so does telling the truth.
When I urge her to tell the truth about why she is not joining the BDM, she passionately rejoins: "No, no. Perhaps I will have to leave school by Easter anyway, and why should my last few months in school be embittered. No one would even look at me, and certainly no one would ever talk to me again!" Actually, I don't fully believe this. But it is not yet given to a fifteen-year-old to face whatever comes, taking support and pride in herself and saying: friends who act like that I will simply thank and then rather stay alone. Someone who is 40 or 50 can do that, for our friendships are already firmly established, and there are many individuals who will not leave us in the lurch. But consider Gisela's case: she is forced to go to the evening meeting, does not dare to go and yet dares not stay away. Good manners, cleanliness, and a sense of honor must presumably be the foundation for any education. And one is lying, simply by remaining silent [about being part-Jewish].É Ultimately everything becomes something not-allowed unless one were to try to sneak in be it dancing lessons, girls' clubs, riding classes, skating parties, or even school, everything.
Whatever the intentions of the original drafters of the Nuremberg Laws, they soon became the basis for a new harassing campaign against German Jews.
Sunday 21 November 1935 Walter Tausch [Jewish] Diary Entry
On Friday, like a bolt from the blue, on more than 800 individual shops and stores, white signs are mounted on the doors at about eye level and printed in very large letters. They read: JEWS ARE NOT WELCOMED IN THIS SHOP. You could even see them on stores which had been founded and made to flourish by Jews, famous names like Fischoff, Goldstein and Rettig, Linenhaus Bielschowsky etc. By Saturday a large number of these signs had disappeared, but the last ones were taken down only yesterday afternoon. I personally saw several at noon-time while walking in the middle of the city, and last evening in the Ohlauer and Klster streets.
Naturally, Jewish salesmen have their customers upon whom they must call, and be visited, only now they go in the back doors and are greeted with smiles by the help. Generally all the workers in these shops think the whole thing is crazy and make jokes about it. Yesterday, I had no reason to visit any of these firms, and I have firmly lost whatever pleasure I once had in living and suffering in this miserable city.
How low must a people have sunk in their own self-esteem to allow themselves to be imposed upon and ordered about, in the 20th century, by a handful of contemptable creatures.
18 October 1935 Mayor of Walsum to the District Prefect in Dinslaken
Re: Application of the 15 September 1935 Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Marriages
Source: Decree of 10 October 1935 # 3598
The unemployed part-time laborer A— S—, born on 18 Sep tember 1910 in Walsum, currently living at 55 Ackerstra§e, Walsum, was arrested here on 16 October 1935 because even after [the above mentioned law of] 15 September 1935 he continued to engage in extra-martial sexual relations with the Jewish widow Rosa F—, ne Sch—, born in Berlin on 21 November 1905 and currently residing at 55 Ackerstra§ e, Walsum.
F— is a foreigner, holding Czechoslovakian citizenship. For a long time, S— lived with F— in public concubinage and was frequently warned to give up this relationship with F—. The local welfare office even provided him with a bed so that he could have other living quarters, but S— never made use of it. F— and S— have admitted that they have continued to have illegal sexual relations—even after 15 September 1935.
S— was delivered to the Dinslaken Court, who ordered his arrest.
The following report from an SPD contact person in Saxony notes the increase in denunciations by individual Germans, but points out that many other citizens were not involved.
September 1935 SOPADE Report from Saxony
The Jewish laws are not taken very seriously because the population has other problems on its mind and is mostly of the opinion that the whole fuss about the Jews is only being made to divert people's attention from other things and to provide the SA with some thing to do. But one must not imagine that the anti-Jewish agitation does not have the desired effect on many people. On the contrary, there are enough people who are influenced by the defamation of the Jews and regard the Jews as the originators of many bad things. They have become fanatical opponents of the Jews. This enmity often finds expression in the form of spying on people and denouncing them for having dealings with Jews, probably in the hope of winning recognition and advantages from the Party. But the vast majority of the population ignore this defamation of the Jews; they even demonstratively prefer to buy in Jewish department stores and adopt a really, unfriendly attitude to the SA men on duty there, particularly if they try and take photographs of people going in.
Denunciations continued even against prominent persons, such as the famous cinema director who was Hitler's favorite artist and whose film, Triumph of the Will, was the standard Nazi propaganda film of the day. The fact that Miss Riefenstahl could be denounced for visiting a Jewish store shows how de-centralized this movement was.
10 March 1937 Legal Counselor of Film Bureau to Leni Riefenstahl
The District Leader of Berlin Gau VII [of the Nazi Party] writes to me on the eighth of this month as follows:
According to a report received here in the offices of the German Workers Front, District Authority VII, commerce section, your member, the well-known cinematographer, Leni Riefenstahl, is said to have made purchases in the Jewish fashion studio, Goetz, of 213 Kurfrstendamm, Berlin. Since this occurrence has caused great offense due to the close relationship of the artist with the [Nazi] movement, I request that you inform your member of it.
The Nuremberg Laws did stabilize the situation somewhat, but sporadic outbursts still occurred. The fact that Germany was about to play host to the Winter Olympics in 1935, and the summer Games in 1936, doubtlessly encouraged Hitler and Goebbels to insist upon an attempt to normalize relations. Local police reports made no secret of the ulterior motive behind Hitler's order.
1 October 1935 Bavarian Political Police Monthly Report
As a result of the Fhrer's decree, according to which all individual actions against the Jews should cease, there has been a noteworthy decline in demonstrations against Jews. In upper Bavaria, in particular in the district of Garmish-Partenkirchen, and in anticipation of the forth coming Winter Olympics, the district police chiefs, in cooperation with the competent local party offices, have stopped all anti-Jewish agitation. All signs with anti-Semitic sentiments have been ordered taken down, in order to remove any possible grounds for the current campaign to transfer the Winter Olympics to another country, for it has been frequently noted that such signs are often photographed by foreign visitors from their automobiles and published in foreign newspapers....
Nevertheless, in spite of this decree, on 31 August 1935, a conference was held in Passau with the theme "Against Jews and Political Catholicism." In conjunction with this meeting, during the night of 1 September, all the show windows of the Jewish businesses in Passau were painted with red letters demanding "Don't buy in this Store," and "Don't purchase from Jews." Formal charges have been brought against the perpetrators.
It soon became clear that the new N rnberg Decree was going to be about as effective as previous attempts to stop the local Anti-Semitic disturbances.
September 1935 Coblenz GESTAPO Report
Although trade between farmers and Jewish dealers can still be observed in a number of rural villages, there are clear signs that the Jews have been forced into an economic and social isolation. Thus, it is regrettable that in spite of repeated prohibitions, individual actions (such as window breakings, defacing of house fronts, etc.) still continue, since these actions only disturb the general development and upset the population. I refer here to recent daily reports I have sent in.
In my opinion, also, the solution of the Jewish question as contemplated in the recently passed Nrnberg Laws is not well served when, as has often happened recently, communities are seized with propagandistic fervor and initiate regulations by which Jews are prohibited from entering and leaving villages, from buying property, opening businesses, using public facilities (such as communal scales) or issue regulations which in general prohibit customers from buying from Jews. Leaving aside that there is absolutely no legal basis for such regu lations, it is clear that they are in contradiction to the intentions of the Government.
As I have heard, Gauleiter Gustav (of Coblenz-Trier-Birkenfeld) has recently ordered that all district leaders be strongly mandated to prohibit all party officials, and their colleagues and subordinates, against under taking individual actions against Jews, and order ed that all posters and signs recently erected against Jews should be removed inconspicuously. He added that should this order be ignored, the violators will be subject to legal punishments. It is expected that these measures will not fail to have an effect and that individual actions will now cease. Naturally, however, the prohibition incumbent upon all members of the NSDAP (and its various organizations) not to purchase items from Jews, remains in effect.
1 October 1935 Augsburg Police Situation Report
During the night of 18/19 September, the shutters of the Jewish businesses in Lechhausen township had the words "Jew," and "Jewish Swine" smeared on them in red-lead paint. The instigator was the propaganda director of the local Nazi branch, Mr. H—. In the light of the strong condemnation by the Federal Government of all such individual actions against Jews, he was taken under arrest. Subsequently, he was released with a strong warning, and the matter was turned over to the competent Party organizations.
Periodically, high officials of the party and the government issued strong condemnations of local excesses. Typical was the following attempt by the Deputy Fhrer to standardize the outward appearance of anti-Semitism.
29 January 1936 Deputy Fhrer Rudolf Hess to all Gauleiters
Among the posters and signs which various communities, villages, and inns, etc., have erected saying that Jews are not wanted, there are often found some which are in very poor taste. I request that in installing such signs in the future, you should remember that foreigners traveling in Ger many are carefully following our measures against the Jews. The majority of these foreigners welcome in principle the German measures against world Jewry. Germany's reputation in the world is not damaged by the fact of our anti-Jewish laws, but rather by individual excesses and tasteless posters and signs.
I therefore request you to see to it that only those signs and posters are used which, without employing odious ness, clearly express the fact that Jews are not desired. (E.g. "Jews are not wanted here," or such like). In particular, I request that you remove all signs which hint, directly or indirectly, at the possibility of violence against Jews, for example, " Jews enter this village at their own risk," or other signs that threaten related challenges.
Frequently, however, local Nazis were able to block even GESTAPO measures. The following documents illustrate the continued power of the local party.
On 8 March 1936 five young men, ranging in age from 19 to 25, broke into the Dinslaken Synagogue and wrecked it. When local authorities failed to punish any of the young men, the GESTAPO began to make inquiries.
26 July 1936 GESTAPO to NSDAP District Leader in Dinslaken
Re: Damage to Items in local Synagogue Dinslaken
Source: Reports of 26 May and 2 July 1936—# 1660
In the case against A— B— and others accused of illegally entering the synagogue on the morning of 8 March 1936 and causing damaging to the furniture and other cultural items, formal charges have been dropped under the Law for Exemption from Punishment of 23 April 1936.
The five accused were:
1. A— B—, born 23 December 1912 in Dinslaken, a member of the Propaganda department of the local SA.
2. M— W—, born 9 August 1917 in Duisburg,
3. H— B—, born on 5 February 1916 in Werne,
4, W— Z—, born on 2 December 1917 in Sullnowko,
5. W— K—, born on 24 November 1916 in Haldern, all currently living in Dinslaken. # 2-5 are members of the Hitler Youth.
For the purposes of information and reporting, I am seeking knowledge of what disciplinary actions has been taken against # 1-5 named above, on the part of the responsible National Socialist formations to which these persons belong.
17 November 1936 NSDAP District Leader to Dinslaken City Council
Re: Your letter of 30 October 1936
I am herewith returning the letter from the Prussian GESTAPO which you sent me, and report that according to the 6 May 1936 ruling of the Ruhr-Niederrhein party leadership, Hitler Youth member W— Z— was punished by a prohibition from wearing his uniform for 6 weeks and a simultaneous forced vacation from all Hitler Youth activities. As part of the same ruling Hitler Youth M— W— received the same punishment.
According to a 4 September 1936 ruling by the Hitler Youth National Headquarters, H— B— has been expelled from the Hitler Youth.
Our old friend Frau Solmitz documents the continuous struggle of her family under these depressing circum stances.
28 November 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz has been to the Gau Headquarters of the NSDAP, An der Alster 27, to see a member of the liason staff. He was told that the Fhrer has reserved to himself the right to rule on all exceptions, without any assistance other than the one official who has examined the appeal and who would make the presentation. Hitler would ask the questions, the official would answer short and sweet, and then the Fhrer would make the decision. Given the large number of cases and the amount of preparation required this will take a very long time. É I have no hope at all. We must take up our cross and see how we will get through it all, burdened though we be.
What bothers us most immediately is the necessity of dismissing our housekeeper. The 15 December [after which the rule was in effect] approaches with giant strides, and no salvation is in sight.
1 December 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The first window is our Advent Calendar is opened, and St. Nicholas has left a small gift in Gisela's shoe, like always, but there is no Christmas spirit in the house, and no Christmas hopes. We cling only to what happens each day, and act calmly, in order that we might not despair.
8 December 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[Visit from her brother-in-law], when E— began to speak concerning the issue which was our sole concern, for a long heart-beat I thought that his words meant: "You do not need to be alarmed because you fall within the exemptions." In fact, he was saying the very opposite: "You need not be unduly concerned. Day before yesterday W— saw a copy of the regulations which have not yet been published, and they stipulate that no exceptions will be permitted, none at all." Still smiling, in the soft glow from the advent wreath, I received this blow, sitting in the middle of my apparently well-protected and comfortable bourgeois world. Was it really a blow? My hopes, already reduced to a pitifully small spark, were no longer a proud flame, and now even this spark was quietly extinguished and in its place lurked only a bitter certainty. But at least it was a certainty. On the other hand, E— assured us that Gisela, as a Mixed-Birth would certainly be allowed to stay in school, because they wanted to blend those of Mixed-Birth into the general population. Up to now, I thought that that applied only to the "Quarter-Jews."....
Jewish people find support no doubt from each other and in their religious faith. But with either we have nothing, nothing, nothing in common, and those to whom we do belong probably leave us alone, because they think it would be desirable to do so.
All our relatives in Berlin show success, promotions, all down the line. We, on the other hand, can no longer even hire a servant girl, or Franz would be punished with a prison sentence. If a prison term were applied only for Jewish intercourse with an Aryan girl, that should certainly have been enough; there was no need to impose such a harsh prohibition on the employer (or the employee for that matter). How can a decent head of a family explain this to his children, how can he appear before his own maturing daughter, how humiliating all this is before the public! É
Even our cleaning lady must be at least 45 years old. This critical age is suddenly very desirable, and it even allows the person to demand higher wages! E— added that it was possible for some enemy here to publish W—'s relationship with Franz, and were this to happen, W— could no longer keep his job, or at least, he could not stay at his same position. More and more, we appear to be little better than hardened criminals.
The little word "still" hangs over our whole life; present at any joyful occasion, every sign of friendship, every feeling of contentment. We have long passed the point of worrying about the little word "if." Such a word exists only for those who have hope.
12 December 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
W— writes that we should bring our case to the attention of the Police Chief's office. So we must go to City Hall. Franz writes at once, only in order to do something, and to avoid delays, because really we have no hope at all. Although there is a contradiction here with what W— first told us, he has now learned that exceptions can be made and has indicated the responsible office for such an appeal.
Since the regulations go in effect on 15 December, it is necessary for us to inform Lore [her houskeeper] at once. It was a very painful moment for the three of us.É
31 December 1935 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
A New Year's Eve which we will certainly never forget. The Interior Ministry's letter arrived. On orders of the Fhrer, it informed us that our request to maintain our domestic help has been denied. "This decision is final." And underneath the officially-attested signature was a note that our other requests were still to be decided.É As if there were a question but that all the other requests would equally be denied (Franz's appeal to be considered a Reichs Citizen, and the right to fly the national flag). Why this bother?
What Dr. Goebbels' recent praise for X— [a relative] means can only be measured by someone who knows our daily life. While X— moves in the highest circles, we have to carry on a petty warfare with the salesgirl of the local milkman. Yesterday Lore told us that immediately after the Nrnberg Law she told her that she would soon loose her position here and that Gisela would be expelled from the BDM. Franz went at once to Mr. E—, who was furious over his salesgirl. And the result, when Lore went to the store for us for the last time, she was greeted with: "Well, you certainly stirred up a mess for me!" and turning to the other customers she said: "When her master came into the store, I wish I had been here. I would have given him something to remember." That is what we have to put up with today. In future we will avoid that store, and the result will be that we will only antagonize the E—s.
Lore did not want to leave tonight [by the law she could no longer sleep-in] and departed only at 10:30 pm.É There was a feeling in the house that only someone who had experienced it could understand—had we kept her after midnight, perhaps because a visitor had come, or because one of the family members was sick, Franz faced imprisonment. It is a constraint that is like a bad dream.
For X—'s children, all doors are opening, all careers await their choice; at home and away they are surrounded by friends, who remain friends as long as they want, and who shower the children with costly gifts and praise.—Gisela quivers over every chance remark, she is excluded everywhere, and seems to have no future at all. What is the point of all this, what does Providence want with us? "God's will, it is said, follows no reason." But is this God's will?!— "Help us get through these times and strengthen our hearts!"
1 January 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
So we have entered a New Year, after a very bitter close to the old one. For me, and for Gisela, the beginning of the year means learning how to take care of the housework ourselves.
12 January 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The little Frulein from the BDM writes that to her great regret, Gisela can no longer remain a member, but Franz should send still another letter to national headquarters.É
13 January 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
X—'s answers to Franz's questions in his letter of 2 January.
Bad news always travels too fast. I have consulted with the responsible officials at the Ministry of the Interior and learned from them that any new appeal is useless. Hundreds of requests have been received and all, with only a very few exceptions, have been turned down. They don't want exemptions. [LS comment: Why then did they mention exemptions?]. Among the rejected requests was one from Minister Director Meyer, until 1935 the head of the East-European Desk of the Foreign Office. Married to a von Achenbach of Neubabelsberg, his large house near the Brandenburg Gate was the natural center for numerous diplomatic receptions.É The chief point is that by the implementation decrees of the Nrnberg Law, your Gisela is reckoned to be a member of the German Volk [LS comment: but not of the BDM!!!], because the unfortunate concept of "non-Aryan" has been removed [LS comment: and replaced by "Mixed-birth"!], and your own well-deserved pension continues unabated. Since you will continue to have the inward support and high approval from all those people whose judgment you yourself treasures, you will continue to live in your beautiful house, with somewhat reduced domestic help, but nevertheless under bearable circumstances. The repetition of useless appeals will be of no help to you, and may in fact cause trouble. There is only one thing to do: 'Make the best of it"—even when it appears difficult.
And so I close the file on the whole matter.
Meanwhile, the legal wheels continued to turn in the case of Franz Solmitz's appeal.
8 March 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
As we were sitting at the dinner table, the Police telephoned, asking for "Herr Major himself." Franz had sent a letter to the Fhrer and this letter had now been returned to the local police for examination and processing, for it concerned his request to be recognized as a full citizen. On Monday, the official will visit us. A glimmer of hope pulsed through our three hearts; but it had been just the same in the question of our housekeeper. And then too an official arrived and everything had been turned down.
Recognition as a full citizen of the Reich would return all his rights to Franz .
9 March 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The Police Inspector sent a Commissioner to us with whom Franz spoke and gave him all the papers which we had. I asked the gentlemen if everything were being examined or was this affair similar to that of the "housekeeper" issue when there had been thousands of requests. No, he said, this was the only case which had come to his attention. That sounds hopeful, but one must determidly set the heart against hoping.
It also does not pay to think too much about what restoration of full citizenship would mean, that we would belong once again, could vote, could fly the flag, earn money, bring up Gisela and let her get married, hire servants again, in short, to be once more a free, equal human being, to regain that which once we had so taken for granted.... To stand fully equal in the face of our relatives, without having to quake with fear from any casual phrase. Not having to view friendship as a compassionate gift.
12 March 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[A cousin writes] "X— requests, dear Franz, that you no longer mention his name as your relative or as a reference in future correspondence....."
19 July 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
"In the name of the Fhrer and Reichs Chancellor I inform you herewith that your request to be exempted from the Implementation Decrees of the Laws for Reichs Citizenship and for the Protection of German Blood cannot be granted for reasons of principle. This decision is final." Issued by the Reichs- and Prussian Ministry of the Interior.
Exactly one year after Franz's first request (17 September 1935), sent to the Fhrer and Reichs Chancellor on 15 November 1935, and to the Hamburg Police Headquarters on 12 December 1935.
A policeman gave the large envelope and enclosures to Gisela who brought it upstairs to us. We knew at once that it was the decision. I had little hope. Afterwards, the two of us said very little, spoke very objectively, no matter how deeply it had affected us, and then fell silent again. For a moment there as we opened the package, both us of us probably had a little gleam of hope. When Franz left the room a few minutes late, I would have liked to have had a really good cry. But no cleansing tears came, only a few, heavy ones, tears of hopelessness, of despair, which are not able to relieve anything; the real crying was inward and congealed into bitter ness....
Who can ever understand clearly this alienation from my Volk, the uprooted nature of a "woman married to a Jew," and one who can still call up from within the comforting reply "and yet I still remain with you" my Volk, my Fatherland. Most or many of the women in my position have rejected Judaism, as I have; they have no connections at all to that side, and they don't want any. Have never had any connections there, I don't even know Jewish people. And yet when we are with our own people, we shrink back from every casual word, for each one reveals the gulf that separates us.
Before going to bed Gisela said to me: "I am quite certain, and I have resigned myself to it, that I shall have a very short life, as things now stand. Perhaps in a year or so I will already be dead, and not from natural causes." That was said by a sixteen year old, by a daughter to her mother!... A person still green behind the ears, at an age when we were still crying over Max Piccolomini and had no ideas of contemporary politics, fears or ghosts.
I replied, "Dear Gisela, think what other people have endured.... It's good that you have armed yourself for the worst, but it's also good to have hope, to trust, to wait for good things."
At night, I stood alone before our large window and looked up at the starry skies, at the glorious heavens. My thoughts raced between heaven and earth, between laws written in bronze and hopes of God's mercy. Uncomforted, but somewhat lifted, I closed the window and let down the blinds shutting off the glimmering twinkling night sky. It has certainly been a bitter day. Let us have faith in ourselves, in what stands over us!
Nevertheless, we three know with horrible and objective clarity that we are now standing targets for whatever will be thrown at us. That is to be our destiny: targets.
While the official policy continued to be one of restraint on the Jewish question, when private opposition to anti-Semitism flared, the police and Nazi authorities were quick to take action. The following document demon strates that there were still Germans who opposed anti-Semitism.
1 November 1936 Bavarian State Police Monthly Report
Not only is Der Strmer attacked with vicious propaganda from abroad, but repeatedly at home instances of counter-propaganda have been noted. Thus, in Lindau, numerous pieces of hate-literature were distributed with the following content:
Der Strmer is in both text and illustrations an example of repulsive inferiority, and represents a shameful document of cultural defilement. Who ever buys Der Strmer and circulates it, is actually aiding the hate-campaign of foreigners against Ger many, and thus jeopardizes the patient peace program of the Fhrer.
[signed] An old Party Member, Member of the District Propaganda Bureau during the struggle for power.
Two of these notices were found pasted to Der Strmer display cases in Lindau, and two more were attached to a gutter in the Train Station and in a public toilet.
And despite prohibitions, periodical outbreaks of the old anti-Semitic violence occurred.
1 January 1937 Bavarian State Police Monthly Report
On 20 December in Cham, there occurred a demonstration against Jewish businesses. In Cham there is an annual traditional Christmas Fair, which is heavily visited by local peasants. These farmers purchase most of their wares from Jewish firms. During the early morning of the day in question, persons who had purchased goods from the Jewish Shoe Store of Eisfeld, were photo graphed. In the afternoon, at about 2:00, a large group of people gathered before this same business; some behaved in a hostile fashion to the Jewish owner but others simply stood around doing nothing. A few individuals even spoke up for the Jews. Persons who attempted to enter the store thereafter were requested not to do so, and in part these demands were followed, but the majority of potential customers continued to enter the store. Some in the crowd cried out "Down with the Jews," and "Don't purchase from Jews," etc. Finally, the Jew Eisfeld voluntarily closed his shop. Subsequently, a disorganized parade wound its way through the streets of Cham chanting: "Don't purchase from Jews," and "Whoever buys from Jews is a traitor to the Fatherland." The parade stopped before every Jewish store, and demanded that the shop close. At Fleischmann's store, the crowd slammed down the shutters. The result of this demonstration was that a very large crowd of people gathered in front of all the Jewish stores. As of now, we have been unable to establish who the instigators of this demonstration were.
Subsequently the police implicated the leader of the local Hitler Youth, the adjutant of the local SA group, and two known agitators of the SD. No action was ever taken against them.
After the parade ended, at about 2:45, complete peace returned to the streets, and business—which at first had almost ceased—returned to normal. Jewish shops, however, remained closed.
According to a report from the district police station at Hof, on Sunday 13 December 1936, the press of customers at the Jewish Discount House, " The Brothers Ury," was so great that in spite of additional personnel, the staff could not handle all of them. The majority of these patrons came from the working class and from the local peasants. This incident is note worthy, for it shows clearly how widespread still is the willingness of the Ger man people to purchase their goods from Jews.
In the face of this general disapproval, it is not surprising that the fanatic anti-Semites became all the more virulent in their denunciations of Jews. The following document is typical of the tone many were now adopting.
6 April 1937 Governor of Upper/Middle Franconia Monthly Report
Although supporters of the German Faith Movement [a pro-Nazi neo-pagan religious organization formed in the late 1920's] have been rather quiet of late, one incident needs reporting, namely the gathering at Hof, on 27 February, where more than 600 persons heard a speech by Heinz Brackemann of Detmold on the theme "Creation of a National Community through a National Faith."
The speaker declared why the German Faith Movement had to exist; for German men and women, Aryans and consciously aware of their race, could not in conscience belong to the Christian Church, with its Jewified dogmas. The German, instead, looks for a faith which is compatible with his racial self-consciousness, and appeals to him because of blood and race. He elaborated further by discussing the Sermon on the Mount and the Ten Commandments. "We believe in one God, but not in Jesus Christ, who was only a Jew and because he was a revolutionary and wanted to create a new religion was crucified by the Jews. Mary was not a pure and immaculate virgin, such as the Church honors her and prays to her, and the 'Mother of God' certainly did not look like the great masters have painted her. Were she to be portrayed as she really was, then a quite different image would be necessary—that of a young Jewess, with typical Jewish facial features, and a young Jew boy in her lap—who today we call Jesus...."
New Anti-Semitic Regulations
Increasingly, a new Nazi organization was taking a deep interest in the Jewish Question. From its start, of course, the SS had held strong opinions about the "racial purity" of its members. Only candidates who could trace their "pure Aryan" ancestry back to the 18th century would be admitted. And the official SS publication contained the usual number of anti-Semitic articles, the following of which is typical.
15 May 1935 Article in The Black Corps
After the seizure of power our racial laws did in fact curtail considerably the immediate influence of the Jews. But the Jew in his tenacity has seen this merely as a temporary restriction. The question as he sees it is still: How can we win back our old position and once again work to the detriment of Germany?
But we must separate Jewry into two categories according to the way in which they operate: those who work openly as Jews and those who hide behind international Jewish welfare agencies and the like.
The Jews in Germany fall into two groups: the Zionists and those who favor being assimilated. The Zionists adhere to a strict racial position and by emigrating to Palestine they are helping to build their own Jewish state. The assimilation-minded Jews deny their race and insist on their loyalty to Germany or claim to be Christians, because they have been baptized, in order to overthrow National Socialist principles.
From the middle of 1937, without legal authorization, Reinhard Heydrich, the ambitious head of the Security Police, began issuing decrees on various aspects of the Nuremberg Laws. Technically, these were not issues that should have concerned the his police at all.
12 June 1937 Chief of the SD (Heydrich) to all State- Criminal- and Regular Police Offices
From what I have seen from a statistical survey, cases of racial pollution have increased considerably recently. In order to take preventive measures against this danger, in all cases of race defilement, it is to be examined whether protective custody is necessary, even after the sentence inflicted by the law has been fully served.
For this purpose, I request that a brief report be made one month prior to the discharge from prison of all inmates guilty of racial defilement, with a copy of the court's finding in the case.
In addition, I order that immediately after the trial and sentencing of all racial defilement criminals, the Jewess-partner concerned should be taken into protective custody and that a report be sent here immediately.
No public announcement whatsoever is to be made of this order.
Protective custody, of course, was the Nazi euphemism for locking someone up in a Concentration Camp.
Despite the absence of any legal authorization, local Nazi authorities were increasingly removing Jews from schools.
5 January 1938 Dsseldorf Minister-President to Dinslaken School Committee Member Fritz I—
To your request of 18 November 1937 for permission to enroll your son Karl-Heinz in a German elementary school, my reply is as follows:
According to your own statement, as well as the information which I have secured on my own, your child Karl-Heinz has two full-Jewish grandparents on his mother's side who, at the time of the publication of the Reichs Citizenship Law of 15 September 1936, were members of a Jewish religious community. In such a situation it must be considered impossible for the child to enroll in a German elementary school; therefore I regret fully decline to honor your request.
Note for the Files: Should I— decide to keep the child living with him, he must be enrolled in a Jewish elementary school.
As before, Frau Solmitz was principally concerned about what was to happen to her daughter, Gisela
1 December 1936 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
New distress for Gisela. All German boys and girls must now legally be registered in the Hitler Youth or the Union of German Girls; Baldur von Schirach is named head of a Federal Youth Agency. And now Gisela faces constant unpleasantness, is terrified of questions from friends [why she is not in the BDM] and fears of being totally isolated.... Franz and I, we are old, and have had our share of true friends, and should even these desert us, we have each other to rely on and that will be enough. We know who we are and what we are. They can grieve us, but not threaten our stability. But a sixteen-year-old girl, without a future, without any chances of a suitable profession, marriage, or even friendships? In the middle of a world full of hatred and rejection.
9 February 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
What is truly frightening is that more and more Gisela notices how hopeless her condition has become; and that in a period of her life where everything should be directed to the future... "What sort of a career should I enter?" becomes "What career is still open to me?" .... In her class on contemporary history, the teacher does not refer to "mixed-births" [Mischling], but contemptuously calls them "Bastards." Gisela is not really a joiner, but would so much like to be a part of the BDM; she feels so alone, closed off from everything. She doesn't really have a Fatherland.... The real reason that she no longer brings home a friends from her dancing lesson is that he has now become a leader of the Jungvolk [the second grouping of the Hitler Youth], he would be punished if it came out that he had visited here! If it came out! Imagine harmless get-togethers of carefree kids in a dancing class is now a political crime against the State, or against the Race. Perhaps Gisela is exaggerating a little and is too sensitive. But how is she to come through these youthful years without damaging her spirit? She is considered superfluous, with no right to exist, and no right to a future. And parental love cannot help her at all. We are as powerless as she, excluded as she is. But we have lived our life, we know who we are and what we are. Our child has had nothing, is supposed to renounce everything, and act like a Roman Slave.
5 March 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
"I know that you love me," Franz said today, "but I also know that the day will come when you too must say: it would be better if I went on alone." For the stress is growing greater every day.
Despite pressure, the German population was still not enthusiastic about anti-Semitic moves. The following report comes from a Catholic section but similar reports from other areas alarmed the Nazi leadership.
1 August 1937 Munich GESTAPO Report
Investigations were made in several government districts with the aim of finding out which peasants still have business contacts with Jewish dealers, particularly cattle dealers. These investigations produced shocking results. They showed that a large percentage of peasants still have business dealings with Jews. Thus, it was established that in the District of Schwaben-Neuburg alone over 1,500 peasants had had commercial contacts with Jewish cattle dealers over the years 1936-37. It is suggested that the reason for this deplorable state of affairs is the fact that there is a lack of trustworthy Aryan cattle dealers with capital in the countryside so that the peasants are compelled to do business with the Jews. Thus, for example, 80-90 per cent of the cattle trade at the Nrdlingen market is in Jewish hands. This is only partly true because, as a result of the regulations of the Reich and Prussian Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the GESTAPO cannot do anything to control this evil. The deeper reason for it, however, lies in the attitude of the peasantry who show a complete lack of awareness of race. The investigations which are not yet completed already demonstrate that, particularly in those districts where political Catholicism is still in control, the peasants are so infected by the teachings of an aggressive political Catholicism that they are deaf to any discussion of the racial problem. This situation indicates further that the majority of the peasants are completely immune to the ideological teachings of National Socialism and that only material disadvantages will compel them to enter into a business relationship with Aryan dealers. The Bavarian state peasant organization in the Reich Food Estate was, therefore, informed of all those peasants who are known to buy from Jews so that all the privileges of the Reich Food Estate can be denied them.
Peasants might routinely ignore State "suggestion," but good German bourgeoisie always kept an ear to the ground to guide their behavior. The following incident from the Solmitz diary is all too characteristic of these years.
25 September 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
A very special day, which will remain unforgetable. It brought something which I would never have considered possible; but it was not something good: rather the ending of a forty-five year friendship.
Here is what happened, written down immediately after the event by Franz, at my request. Report of my husband. "I" is Franz.
I went to Lene in the X— Institute and asked her why we have seen and heard so little of her and her family. She replied: "We want to talk openly with you about this, that would be the best thing. I simply can no longer visit you. You yourself know why, and you also know that there is nothing personal in all this. I had continued to visit you even though as a civil servant I should not have, and often thought whether or not I should continue to do so. But now I have come to see clearly that I cannot visit you any longer. Everyone has enemies, and I must expect that they would use information about such a visit against me. I understand very well that things must be rather tight for you, but then maybe better times will come again." ... I broke off the conversation at that point and said: "Then we have nothing more to talk about." ...
We have experienced the "Postage Stamper" and the "Gorgonzolas" and even the inferior worker Olsson [nicknames of three men who had insulted Franz Solmitz], and although inwardly nauseated, we overcame it and shook them off. From time to time, Gisela sees one of the "Gorgonzola" children in one of Gisela's discarded dresses, pants, or shoes, and they pass by without a greeting, but she just laughs about it.
But how it hurts that one of my closest relatives, my oldest friend and school chum, should be the first to eagerly take refuge behind some decree in order to appear politically correct and officially blameless—but how flawed as a human being. Maybe I am being unfair. Certainly, I cannot demand that she risk her career for my sake.... But personally I would be unwilling to rule a people that allowed itself to be so ordered about: you may no longer remain true to your best friend, you must and should rip up all moral and human ties to her, stamp under foot all feelings of decency, eveything which you previously had held sacred—which simple people have always held to be inviolably sacred—and cold-heartedly and calculatingly renounce her, and run around, morally speaking, on four legs.... In the meantime, our destiny appears to have been even more sharply drawn.... We must separate our friends and acquaintances into civil servants on the one hand, and private persons on the other, even our relatives, until finally every one will be forbidden to have anything to do with us.
But there is an expression, dear Lene, which, in your parched emotional state and anxious calculations, perhaps you have never experienced. And that runs: "If only I have you, then I ask nothing from heaven or earth."
30 September 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Gisela ... no longer wants to go out with the boys and girls to the Orchid Caf. "You know, " she said to me, "what the real reason is; you start getting friendly with each other, and then I have to pull back and away."
13 October 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[Franz ran into Lene who offered congratulations on his birthday]. On his birthday they wanted him to know that they have remained the same as ever—insofar as it is allowed. Franz refused to shake hands. They repect the regulations of the Civil Service. He respects the regulations of good manners and whoever violates those is neither a relative nor a friend.
20 October 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Only a birthday letter from X—. Apparently he will no longer visit us nor invite us to his house. The incident with Lene has taught us a good lesson. We will no longer embarrass any civil servant. Certainly Lene is trying to turn the arrow around by saying: she herself had deliberately chosen this strategy of avoiding us, in order to spare me embarrassment and unpleasantness. And now X—, despite 40 years friendship with Franz.
21 October 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
[An old Jewish school friend married to a non-Jew] G— writes: "On 1 January my husband will lose his job—because of me. ... And because he has worked there only 10 years, it is unlikely that there will be any pension, and if some, then only a very little. But if only we get that little! We have to live, and we have certain claims for cultural and daily existence. I don't consider myself old, and I can and want to work, but where and how? My husband is a professional teacher, is much sought after, certainly. But will it be enough to live on? And our boy—he's nine—and we're lucky that so far there's been no difficulty in his education.
9 November 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Went to Dr. Rosenstein [the family physician]. A tragedy here as well; this good and decent doctor. He tries to hide his lack of patients from his wife as well as he can, but he can no longer give her enough money to run the household.
12 December 1937 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz must resign from the Reich League of German Officers, the former German Officer's League, to which he has belonged for many years..... Officers who are married to "Jewish half-breeds" [Mischlingen] also have to resign. "Divorcing" the partner of mixed Jewish descent is not sufficient, even if the Ministry has received official notification. With all this sad developments, who would ever dare to marry a Mischling! I have no more hope at all. We live for the moment and fear everything in the future.
The son of E—'s Dr. Meyer (I didn't dare ask if his wife were also full Jewish) has finished his degree work with high marks. But none of that availed a thing; even as a trained mason no one wanted him at all. Finally, a mason master, with a hundred reservations in mind, decided to take him on. He is completely satisfied with the young man, but after half a year said that he was terribly sorry, but he had received orders to dismiss him.
The F—'s children have rich relatives in Switzerland and they will go there to school. The W—'s children have an extremely rich uncle who has already agreed to pay for their education abroad. We are only Germans, and have no relatives abroad, and therefore no refuge.
Aware that much of the population was not supportive of the anti-Semitic measures, local SA leaders unleashed a new wave of renewed agitation in late 1937. In characteristic fashion, the response was additional anti-Semitic regulations. The following summary is from a later Nazi publication.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled
11 June 1937: Tax-exempt status for Jewish Charitable Organizations is removed.
1 January 1938: All Jewish doctors are excluded from payments made under the National Medical Insurance pro gram. In all of Germany, there are still 3000 Jewish doctors.
20 February 1938: The Hamburg Textile Fair opens, "without Jews."
28 March 1938: All official recognition of Jewish organizations are withdrawn by a decree of the police.
12 April 1938: A law reforms the procedure for inheritance and provides that racial descent should be the key in all legal decisions involving non-citizens [i.e. Jews].
Once more Luise Solmitz acutely catches the anguish such decrees aroused.
10 January 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Today Franz accidentally learned that on Gisela's important medical record stands the designation: "foreign race." This is tied up with a good memory of the school. A little while ago, Frau Dr P— asked every girl individually whether or not they were Aryan. Gisela sat there quaking, but Frau Dr. P—, going right on without stopping to ask, said "Gisela Solmitz, German,"— yet she wrote down, "foreign race" as she was required to do.
27 January 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Gisela avoids whenever possible being with young people, because she doesn't like to answer questions about the BDM, because she doesn't want to take up with any young man, because all of them are outside her own prescribed circle. How much renunciation must a young seventeen-year-old practice. And then in the school, she hears one of her good classmates say to the Biology teacher that Mixed-Births, just like the mentally ill, should be prohibited from marrying. Of course he understood nothing [of Gisela's concerns]. Her sole refuge is here at home.
2 February 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
New general rules concerning family names, changes in names, even first names.... Jews who have changed their last names in order to disguise their origins (Lbbers, Rasmussen), must once again resume their Jewish names.
I expect that in future, Jewish children will no longer be able to have German first names and those with Christian names will have to change them into Jewish names. Will Germans then have to forgo using Mary, Elizabeth, Anna, Ruth, Eva, John, Joseph (Goebbels), Adam, Jacob, Mark, Luke (especially popular in Southern Germany).
8 February 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The brother-in-law of Dr. Rosenstein wanted to visit his son, who is a doctor in England, but could not get an exit visa. Non-Aryans passports have been invalidated for foreign travel. And this is the 20th Century!
We can't think about it. Live for the day, and don't think.... Every day brings a hundred needle jabs, humiliations, terrors—except for a few humiliating exceptions, these do not come from other people, but we shrink back in horror from what we read and hear, even if it appears to be unbelievable.
10 February 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Both of us share a common fear, the thought that one day will bring a decree: Non-Aryans may not own property; non-Aryans will no longer receive State pensions.
I no longer dare rejoice over our house—our last refuge and earthly home. I catch myself looking at the rooms and furniture as if I were saying farewell.
Every day seemed to bring new restrictions and threats.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled
26 April 1938: Hermann Gring, Head of the Four-Year-Plan, announces the forced registration of all Jewish property.
7 May 1938: Jews may not enroll in any Ph.D. program and the renewal of their Doctoral diplomas is forbidden.
14 June 1938: Decree enlarges the definition of "Jew" and "Persons of Jewish descent" in order to define precisely what a "Jewish business" is. All Jewish business must receive a special license from the police.
20 June 1938: Economics Minister Funk orders that Jews be no longer permitted to visit the stock exchange.
21 June 1938: The Post Office announces that Jewish pamphlets will no longer be delivered to Germans.
6 July 1938: The government announces that as of 31 December 1938, no Jews will be allowed in the following jobs: professional watchmen, information bureaus for financial or personal advice, professional real estate agents, professional advisory bureaus for loans or rental contracts, administrators for rented houses or real estate, marriage brokers, or tourist guides.
23 July 1938: All Jews required to obtain special papers from the police.
25 July 1938: All Jewish doctors are removed from their positions.
27 July 1938: A police order requires that all streets bearing Jewish or Jewish sounding names be changed.
As Frau Solmitz had predicted, the logical extension of this last decree would be to force all Jews to bear Jewish-sounding names. The decree was not long in coming.
17 August 1938 Decree Implementing Law Concerning Name Changes
Jews may only use those first names which have been approved in the guidelines to be established by the Minister of the Interior....
Should Jews have first names that are not included in that list permitted Jews ... then from 1 January 1939 onwards, they must include an additional first name, that is the first name Israel for all male per sons, and the first name Sarah for all female persons.
For the real impact of this new wave of anti-Semitic excesses, we again turn to two private diaries. The first was written by Jochen Klepper, a prom inent author noted for religious writings. In 1932, he married a widow with two teen-age daughters, and after Hitler's installation in office, his life became increasingly concerned with their fate, for they were Jewish.
23 August 1938 Jochen Klepper Diary Entry
Still worse aggravations for Jews even in hotels. Traveling except to private houses is now practically impossible From 1 January, all Jews, whether baptized or not, must bear the second name of Israel or Sarah. The list of first names which new-born Jewish children must be given are at least 80% designed for sadistic derision. All the biblical and famous names are for bidden to Jews.
Klepper was referring to the following notice which appeared in the official Nazi newspaper:
23 August 1938 Vlkischer Beobachter Article
In a circular instruction of the Ministry of the Interior, these names were announced as approved Jewish first names:
MALE FIRST NAMES: Abimelech, Ahasver, Anschel, Bachja, Barak, Baruch, Chaggai, Chajin, Chananja, Denny, Ehud, Eisig, Faleg, Feibisch, Feitel, Gedalja, Hemor, Henoch, Isidor, Itzig, Jakusiel, Jiftach, Jomteb, Kaleb, Korach, Laban, Leiser, Machol, Menachem, Mosche, Moses, Naftali, Nissi, Nochem, Oscher, Pinchas, Pinkus, Rach miel, Sallum, Salusch, Schalom, Schnur, Teit, Tewele, Uria, Zedek, Zephania.
FEMALE FIRST NAMES: Abigail, Baile, Breine, Brocha, Chana, Cheiche, Chinke, Deiche, Driesel, Egele, Feigle, Fradchen, Gaugel, Ginendel, Hadasse, Hitzel, Jachel, Jezabel, Keile, Libsche, Machle, Milkele, Nacha, Peiche, Pesse, Pessel, Rebekka, Rechel, Reitzsche, Scharne, Scheindel, Schl mche, Tana, Treibel, Zilla, Zimle, Zipora
23 August 1938 Jochen Klepper Diary Entry Conclusion
We accept all this naturally without complaint. The German people are not behind this move. And the Jews—with Hanni [his wife] conspicuously collected and strong —fear worse is yet to come: namely expulsion from the country and property confiscation. Hanni and I face every anxious thought of the future with a thankful memory of God's assistance in the past. Now that Hanni has converted to Christianity, I am much more com posed. God admonishes us so clearly.
Since the Evian Conference [on the future of Jewish refugees] has demonstrated that the world will not help the German Jews, everything is much more tragic.
The second selection is from our old friend Luise Solmitz. Her only daughter, Gisela, is now 18.
24 August 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
In the evening came the new blow which we had been expected. Franz went quite white and silent, then he told me the news: Germans can only carry German first names, including a few from foreign languages. But Jews must have only Jewish names—I had predicted this before: Watch out, I'd said, they'll simply order it!" And it has now happened. And names don't include Jonah, Joshua, Benjamin, but awful names, some of them unrecognizable, and others which have a pejorative sound; and as far as Franz in considered, any Jew who already has another first name must now add a second: men must add Israel; women, Sarah. It is impossible to know what to say! Every official correspondence must now include this second name—and this means in the telephone book, in the city directory, on our bank accounts.
Franz immediately wrote to Minister of the Interior Frick, requesting to be exempted from the rule, giving his justifications for the request. Who knows whether or not this letter might be interpreted as a refusal? ...
25 August 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry:
There is nothing more horrible than to be homeless in one's own homeland, living with out any rights in a state which guarantees rights.... And this happens to Franz, in spite of his fractured skull [from the war], his crippled hand, his blinded one eye, his Iron Cross First Class, and the Order of the Crown, with which the Kaiser personally decorated him!
And look at what else comes along with this "Israel," and a new identification card: no more trips, no more staying in hotels, or even relaxing in restaurants. With it, one can expect to find no enjoyment, no friendships, no kindness. Earlier they spoke of exemptions to the law (in fact, no one was exempted). This time, the wording of the law does not even mention exemptions....
A Herr Krause, who died in 1832, once wrote—I read it recently by chance—in the context of the law against cruelty to animals: "Everything which has a soul, must also be accorded rights." How painfully true this must apply to us as well, then we must have rights, because ultimately we have souls....
Franz, who despite the reasonable warnings of his colleagues flew Fokker planes when they were patched up with pieces of wood and twine, and spent four years of the war at the front—yes even in front of the line, on intelligence missions, who slept soundly even through direct bombardments, can certainly not be accused of being a coward, but in the morning after the news about Jewish first names came from Strassburg Radio, he said to me: "Last night I slept bathed in sweat! and it was nothing more than fear, plain, ordinary, everyday fear!" ...
But every insult, every abuse, every mortifying event, every development which insults honor and character, must be accepted, in order to prevent separation from our people, our homeland, from relatives and friends, who can only shake their heads in sorrow. That is why those words struck me so strongly: "Everything which has a soul, must also have rights."
24 September 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
The Police Chief forwards a letter containing Frick's reply to Franz's appeal: there are no legal grounds to grant an exception to the beautiful shame-name, and none will be granted. He added that Jews were forbidden to use the "Heil Hitler" greeting when writing officially to state offices. And that was all that it said, in reply to a letter written in one very own life's blood.
1 October 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
An awful day for us, because the new ID cards go into effect. This morning, Franz, who had not given it any more thought, saw one in the hands of a Jew. In the evening came the announcement; he must get a new ID by 31 December 1938, paying 3 RM for it. Henceforth, without listing the number of this ID, no communication with state offices
8 October 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Jews must turn in their passports and receive ID cards in return. Travel abroad can only be secured from Berlin on special request.
24 October 1938 Luise Solmitz Diary Entry
Franz met our Dr. Rosenstein today; he can't even call himself a Doctor anymore, and can't practice as one either; they have taken away his license. He is studying massaging, hopes that his step-son, a teacher in Palestine, can bring him there. Such a good and decent doctor. And a military doctor who once had to use his gun to defend his medical station against the Russians.
Other decrees followed fast one after another.
5 October 1938 Decree Concerning Passports for Jews
All German passports issued to Jews who currently reside in the territory of the Reich are declared invalid.
All persons possessing passports described in Article I are required, within two weeks after the implementation of this decree, to turn in their passports.... For Jews who are presently abroad, the two-week period begins from the day of their return to the territory of the Reich.
All passports destined for use in travel abroad will become valid when they have been stamped by officials of the Passport bureau with the proper insignia, as determined by the Minister of the Interior, to indicate that the possessor of the passport is Jewish.
Alfred Himstedt, The Program of the NSDAP is Being Fulfilled
30 October 1938: All Jewish lawyers are forbidden to practice in German territory.... Germans will from now on appear represented only by Germans and be advised by German lawyers. For the Jewish population, as long as it remains, a certain number of Jewish lawyers are available. This number has been fixed at 175 for the Reich.
Local authorities were adamant about enforcing the new decrees with a vengeance.
25 January 1939 Alice Sarah Nathan Affidavit to Eutin Police
Appearing in response to a summons [as to why she had not as yet applied for a name change according to the new law], .... Alice Sarah Nathan declared the following: According to Paragraph 2 of the Second Implementing Decree of 17 August 1938 over changing of family and first names ... I am required to add the name "Sarah" to my name. I herewith inform the authorities that I am already in possession of the name Sarah, and thus do not need to supply the required forms.
While the initiative for many of these measures came from pressure groups and local Nazis, there can be no doubt that Adolf Hitler personally approved of a harsher treatment of the German Jews. As yet, however, he had not made up his mind as to how this was to be accomplished. The following important document shows that by the summer of 1938, in the private circle of his close associates, Hitler made no secret of his desire to get all the Jews out of Germany. This now becomes the central theme of his policies toward the Jews.
13 August 1938 Diary Entry of Gerhard Engel (HitlerÕs Army Adjutant)
Today in a small circle, the Fhrer again spoke about the Nrnberg Laws and the results they had produced. Looking backward and reflecting upon them, he thinks these laws were actually too humane. Certain rights were taken away from Jewish citizens, and they were removed from public functions; but what remained was their activity and work in the private economy, and that was exactly an area which appealed to Jews. Only a small number of Jews were civil servants, for that contradicted their own character. Their business instinct could hardly develop in such a career. It was not by chance that in the ancient world and in the middle ages, the Jews had been the representatives of commerce and professions associated with gold; there they were in their element. Recently, [the Fhrer] had traveled through Munich, and asked someone to point out all the Jewish businesses which were still operating. Practically all were still there. Now he intends to think up additional laws to provoke the further limiting of Jewish life in Germany, so that the masses of the Jewish people in Ger many would simply no longer wish to remain. That would be the best way to be rid of them. As far as he was concerned, they could take their money with them. The chief thing would be that they emigrate!
A greater problem was the question of the many mixed marriages and the racially mixed children. He doesn't have any idea of how he is going to han dle this. Many of these individuals he feels sorry for, for no matter what some people say, in the World War there were also brave Jewish soldiers, and even officers. Perhaps we could make an exception for these, for certainly the children can't help [who their parents were]. In any case, however, he requires that all persons living in mixed racial marriages must leave the Civil Service and the Army. For the others, decisive would be their demonstrable attitude toward the state, and above all their external racial appearances. Also, in such cases, he would tolerate only 50% mixed blood, anything above that would be evil and could not be tolerated....
Hitler's resolve to force the German Jews to emigrate coincided with a major international con ference on refugees. Held in Evian in France, dur ing the summer of 1938, this conference failed to achieve any success at all. The major countries—most of them still suffering the lingering effects of the Great Depression—refused to open their borders to any refugees, and especially not the trained middle-class Jews of Germany. Conspic uous in this attitude was the United States of America.