Four reports issued by the Jewish Central Information Office (JCIO) in Amsterdam to subscribers worldwide between November 1938 and January 1939, giving details of the November Pogrom.



November 1938


When ordering please quote: R 38/973

Amsterdam Z., Jan van Eijckstr. 14, I.

December 12th, 1938

Dear Sir(s),

We beg to inform you confidentially that KONRAD HEIDEN will finish soon a book he is writing on the German pogroms, which will be of about 5-6 sheets (80 pages) and will contain valuable documentation.

The work shall probably appear in German, English, French, Dutch, Norvegian and Swedish. Its price is not yet definitely established, but shall not be high.

We are at your disposal for all informations and subscription orders.

Yours faithfully

JEWISH CENTRAL INFORMATION OFFICE

Public Service Institute


The German Progrom: November 1938

Under the date of December 12th, the Deutsche Nachrichten – the official German Government News Agency, publishes a lengthy statement regarding the treatment, now and to come, of German Jewry, and also concerning the manner of carrying out their entire emigration.

This official statement calls for the following comment:

  1. The German Government deny their intention of establishing for German Jewry special residential quarters and municipal ghettos. Whether or no they actually did establish such quarters, seems, however, entirely immaterial.Now that in towns without number, savage hordes have reduced Jewish dwellings to matchwood, Now that in a large number of cities Jewish families have had compulsory notice served to quit on, or shortly after, January 1st, Now that in various districts of Germany, such Jewish dwellings as have yet been left intact are crowded with families from destroyed houses, or refugees from the country, Now surely it is bordering on hollow mockery for the German Government to declare that they were not indeed intent upon establishing any ghettos.
  2. The German Government refer to a “strictly lawful elimination of the Jews from economic life”. This “strictly lawful” elimination is attested by thousands of Jewish shops and businesses, also many solicitors offices and surgeries, being demolished, and even looted during the night of November 9 to 10. Compulsory “Aryanisation”, as had been practised for well over a year, by means of blackmailing Jewish shop owners into giving their signatures, and threatening imprisonment to anyone refusing to surrender of his own free will, the tactics of bringing false charges of all kinds for the sole purpose of dragooning the Jews into “Aryanisation” – all this had been the forerunner of the now proclaimed “strictly lawful regulation”. The German Government proclaim that the Jews would be forbidden to carry on retail trade, etc., as from January 1st; they would be allowed, however, to make their purchase in all German shops and take residence in all German hotels. The facts are that thousands of German business establishments, especially in the provinces, will, in compliance with higher orders, sell nothing to Jews – that in thousands of hotels, even since 1935, no Jew is permitted to stay, those recognised as Jews are chased into the streets like dogs. If it is lawful – as it is alleged – for a Jew to be in charge of purely Jewish establishments, this has been responsible for two owners of Jewish coffee houses, at Dusseldorf and Nuremberg, to lose their lives in the pogrom during the night of November 9-10.
  3. What the German Government suppress, however, is the following: The synagogues, prayer-houses, and many mortuaries, in nearly every congregation of Germany, Austria, and Sudetenland, have been set on fire, or blown up. In many cases the scrolls of the law and the ritual objects were separately burnt, or soiled and defiled. Some 30,000 Jewish men were, by brutal force, dungeoned in concentration camps, often compelled to do hard labour under degrading circumstances. The suffering entailed by that exertion and ill-treatment, has actually driven many into death. Owing to systematic false reports, it has not yet been possible to ascertain anything even near the actual number of deaths caused by “pneumonia”, or “heart failure”. That in the course of the pogrom, a number of people died or were killed, is established through the evidence of absolutely reliable sources. Driven to despair, with no prospect of either work or food, tormented with the likelihood of renewed imprisonment, those released from the concentration camps, and those hitherto yet spared, seek hurriedly to leave the country, with wife and child. Then they are again seized by a merciless legislation that will rob them of nearly everything yet left, by means of taxes, money devaluation, indemnity, and the licence indulged in by some officials. So they are forced, in some other country – if any be still open to them – to begin anew the struggle for life, with 10 marks in their hands, and if they are lucky, with the remnants of a once well furnished household. Suffering and tears are the marks of their progress. The German Government, in their reference to “strictly lawful measures”, feign that the Jews in Germany have not had a hair touched, and that they will be able to carry on, even without a trade and income. The noted “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” (Zurich), on November 24, writes: “The SCHWARZE KORPS to-day in a leading article, foreshadows a new series of anti-Jewish measures, the final act being the assassination of all Jews in Germany, unless foreign countries provide for their removal and resettlement. It would be amiss to regard this threat as a mere dummy or a manoeuvre which was not meant seriously”. In the “Official Journal of German Jurisdiction”, “Deutsche Justiz”, published by the Reich Minister of Justice, Dr. F. Gürtner, the Supreme Party Judge of the Nazi Party, Herr Buch, writes: (p.1660, No. 42) “The Jew is not a man…” That in fact he is treated worse than the lowest beast in Germany, has been realised by the civilised world, since 1933 and more especially since the pogrom of November 9-10.

December 1938


When ordering please quote: R 38/934

Amsterdam Z., Jan van Eijckstr. 14, I.

December 12th, 1938

Dear Sir(s),

We enclose to-day the fifth instalment of the reports on the German Pogrom.

Again the reports are published in English, French, German, and Dutch, and any quantity of them may be obtained from this office, free of charge.

Now that the general Press is ceasing more and more to report on the fearful events in Germany, it would seem, even more than before, advisable to secure for information such as that enclosed, due distribution, especially among Christian acquaintances and business friends.

You are at liberty to publish the reports, save where an express note to the contrary has been affixed. As usual, no mention must be made of our office being your source.

Yours faithfully

JEWISH CENTRAL INFORMATION OFFICE

Public Service Institute


The German Progrom: November 1938

Devastations in Halberstadt, Central Germany

Although the ground work of the synagogue still stands, the ancient interior, of considerable artistic value, has been smashed to bits. It seems probable that the chandeliers too, a 17th century piece of work, have been destroyed. The Holy Ark in the synagogue was covered with a curtain, overlaid with precious embroideries, dated about 1650: this too has probably gone.

As in the case of so many cities, even the mortuary, built in 1895, was blown up.

Defiling Prayer Books and Scrolls of the Law

Reports from various parts of the Reich, more especially from Vienna, tend to confirm that more than usual savagery was applied to objects of ritual use. On the other hand, certain stray reports received also state that such objects had been put to safety, not indeed by the S.A. but by policemen who still had a spark of religious sentiment. But these are rare exceptions.

As a rule, the scrolls were torn up, or subjected to even worse blasphemy which, from consideration of readers’ religious feelings, we do not propose to describe in detail. It is known, for example, that in front of the Pestalozzi Strasse Synagogue, Berlin, which together with the adjoining Middle Class Kitchen has been smashed to atoms, scrolls, altar cloth, and prayer book have been lying in the street for hours, befouled and defiled. Nor is this sort of thing known from Berlin only: it has happen in other cities in even grosser form.

The Pogrom in the Rhineland

There is now an ever growing number of eye-witness reports available on the occurrences in the big cities. The eye-witnesses include many non-Jews who, during the relevant time, had been engaged in Germany in business, or otherwise, and now, filled with indignation and shame, tell their tale of what human bestiality is capable. Out of the mass of reports of that kind – there are hundreds of them – the following is quoted, giving a description of the pogrom in a big city in the Rhineland.

“Not only men but also women and even children were manhandled by the pogromists, and hounded, in their shirts, into the streets during that terrible night. Anything at all subject to damage in the dwellings, was destroyed. Linen, suits, and dresses were torn up with daggers. Wall washing stands, even wall Majolika baths, were demolished with hammers. Eve wall cloth and linoleum floor cloth was destroyed.

Nearly all men were arrested. No regard was had to age. First into prison, then the prisoners were taken away, apparently to Dachau, near Munich. It must be born in mind that this is a distance of some 600 kilometers, so probably a journey by rail of at least 12 hours. As late as mid-November, a fortnight after the arrests, the women were yet without any news as to the whereabouts of the men. The mental condition of the unhappy women beggars description. The immediate consequence was nervous break-downs and fits of depression, which, for all we know, may last for the rest of their lives.

Having gradually been deprived, during the last few years, of their income and business, the Jews have now had most of their very last possessions destroyed: house or room, clothes, linen. There are many in our city that will sink into hopeless debt as money must be found for the officially enforced repairs of the window panes, fire places, water pipes, etc. – under pain of new reprisals. Those engaged in professions, as far as that was still at all possible, their entire library destroyed, upon which in many cases they must depend for their work”.

"May God have Compassion on the Poor Refugees”

Throughout Holland, a street collection was held, on December 3rd, in aid of Refugees of all creeds, including the children of refugees.

Moving evidence of readiness to help and gladness of sacrifice has, on that occasion, been evinced, especially on the part of the poorer classes. A woman, herself unemployed, gave the money she had received that week from the local unemployment relief. A Christian policeman gave his week’s salary.

A poor woman sent a golden ring and two ear-rings with precious stones; in a letter enclosed, she wrote to the Collection Committee: “This, my gift is the best I can do. May God bless it, and may He have compassion on the poor refugees”.

The total yield of the nation-wide Dutch collection on behalf of the refugees is estimated at hfl. 500,000.--, i.e. about £55,000, or 10 million French Francs.

Robbing Ritual Silver Implements

According to eye-witness reports, the synagogue fires at Frankfurt-am-Main were marked by a very special savagery. At the Friedberger Anlage Synagogue, the fire was rekindled, the first attempt at arson being thought inadequate. Large quantities of benzene were used for that purpose. On the day of the first act of arson, the safe containing the silver ritual implements was unwolded [sic], and its contents stolen. Afterwards the police proceeded to accuse the Jews of having laid the fire, and actually brought a formal charge against them.

They who are Persecuted for the Sake of their Race and their Faith

Nation-wide collection in Holland in aid of the refugees

A nation-wide collection has been held in Holland in aid of those persecuted “for the sake of their race and their faith”. This big collection is to benefit above all the refugees from Germany. The members of all Dutch Youth Associations and numerous other organisations had promised their support of this idealistic action. The Prime Minister, Dr. H. COLIJN, delivered a broadcast address on December 1st, in support of this collection.

“If there be any doubts, he said, as to whether it is at all necessary to stress our people’s good will and readiness to succour those in deepest distress, these doubts are legitimate, for the good will of our people is there. But what might not yet be known to all, is the extent of the distress owing to the large number of people who have been seeking a refuge in this country since the first days of November. On the eve of the collection day, the number of the persons who have been allowed to come to Holland during the last few days, will be nearly 4000. Computing the cost per day and head, for housing, feeding, and clothing, at about hfl 1.50, this would – were these 4000 to live on public expenses only – require an amount of some hfl 2,000000 per year… What is needed here is not the alleviation of distress for a few days, or a single act of more or less generous relief: what is needed now is a continuous support for a large number of people during prolonged period. ….. And in giving our help. We are fulfilling God’s Commandment respecting our neighbour, for though there is much distress in our own country requiring help, this is a case where suffering must be alleviated such as cuts far deeper into life than we have ever experienced yet.”

The Lord Mayor of Amsterdam, (Dr. W. de Vlugt) has also issued a manifesto in support of the collection.

“Never have I appealed in vain to my fellow citizens when the call was for the alleviation of distress … How could it be otherwise now? I wish to tell my fellow citizens only this one thing: Let the size of your donation square the size of your horror at the fact that a treatment such as countless innocent men have had to endure, should be possible still in these days; let it be in accordance with your sympathy with so many utterly unhappy, and worthy of your pride of living in a country where man is man still.”

Temples in Flames

A propaganda cinema picture in favour of the nation-wide collection bearing the title of “TEMPLES IN FLAMES” has been produced in most of the Dutch cinemas during the last days of November. Two folded hands appeared. The figure of a man, explaining the pictures was then to be seen. Airship, motorcars, express trains, all the marvels of modern technique were shown on the screen, but all the wonders which diminish space seem to increase the distance between human beings and do not prevent persecutions and medieval tortures used even in 1938, these facts having seemed to be impossible in view of civilization’s progress. House in flames, crumbling walls explosions further appear on the screen; desperate people amongs [sic] debris, horrible pictures of human misery are seen, whilst the human voice calls to support the victims of persecution.

The result of the nation-wide collection in Holland has surpassed, following latest information, 400.000 florins.

Note:

There are still available a number of profoundly distressing reports – supplied by trustworthy correspondents – on the occurrences in the Concentration Camps. No publication however can be contemplated in those cases as, on the one hand, some kind of reprisal must be feared for the thousands that are still in German concentration camps, and on the other hands, the informations are in themselves so appalling that German Jews, with their relatives still in the camps, would almost certainly be disastrously affected.

The extracts given below, not by any means the very worst yet of their kind, are reproduced here with the very earnest request not to forward them to German Jews.

The Informations are Confidential. No Publication can be Authorised.

From “Hell”

“On our arrival at the camp we were received by a large number of S.S. who at once began to kick us and manhandle us with bludgeons and rifle butts – so much so that the Police, up to now in charge of us, stood dumbfounded, and then speedily made off. We were then lined up, and made to march, or rather run. This physical exertion, lasting for 15 minutes, and the continuous kicking and beating by the S.S. resulted in two men fainting and dropping. I got the impression that they were dead, but as I could not verify it, I would not insist.”

“The most terrible thing was – though negligible when compared with the severe physical ill-treatment – that we were forced to remain standing in the camp for more than 15 hours. When a man broke down, kicks and rifle butts were applied to him. Another had to carry about the camp a poster, bearing an offensive inscription, for 8 ½ hours, with his arms stretched out all the time. The S.S. men, the oldest of whom was hardly 25 yet, made a point of going for Jewish looking prisoners. But those belonging to a higher class, such as professionals, teachers, etc., were also put to severe suffering. Younger people, especially of a sports type, met with some clemency.”

“Everything in the camp had to be done running. Work and all. We had to carry sand and cement bags. For carrying the sand the prisoners had to take off their coats and put them on again the other way around. The coat was then filled with sand, so far down as room would permit. This heavy load would then have to be carried about for 5 minutes. Worse still were the cement bags. Heavy weights – I would put some of them at hundredweight – were indiscriminately thrust upon the necks of men aged 60 or even 65. Sometimes the sand was carried on a so-called stretcher. The wood then would cut deep into the hands, and caused injuries.

One morning we were forced to stand for 12 hours in the pouring rain, without any cover on our heads. The following day, for 4 hours, without food and without being allowed the natural convenience.” Certain sections in the Concentration Camps, now gorged with thousands, form an exception, however rare, in that the inmates there are accorded a reasonably tolerable treatment.

[Undated]


The German Progrom: November 1938

Up to December 15th, 213 burnt houses of worship ascertained according to a list which, in an alphabetical order, gives the localities of the burnt synagogues, and has been borne out, item by item, by trustworthy eye-witnesses or otherwise, so far 213 synagogues, prayer houses, and mortuaries have been set on fire. Most of them are completely burnt out. In some cases, the fire has not destroyed the whole synagogues but only part of it, This number of synagogue fires is merely a first estimate. The final figure may be assumed to be much higher.

Two messages from France

Two French authors of world wide fame have published recently messages concerning the German pogrom.

The first comes from M. François MAURIAC, one of the leading Catholic authors of France and member of the French Academy. It runs as follows:

“We might write that there is no comfort among men for the martyrs in Germany and Austria, that no words will avail save those that rise before God and earnestly plead justice.

Yet there is one thought that might help them not to despair: this time they have not suffered in vain. The abundance of their suffering has awakened the world. The nations of the earth all abandon themselves to a feeling of shame and disgust.

This time again the cross will prevail. The cry that rises from the hell of Dachau will prevent us from falling asleep again. And a day shall come, a day of joy and atonement, when we shall remember that we, even we Christians of all Churches, had prayed and suffered in communion with the sorrow-stricken of Israel, and that we are mindful of that fraternity which unites us in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the “God of clemency and comfort”, as Pascal calls Him.

And we turn to one German who would assuredly also have been driven from Germany to-day we turn to Beethoven to join all in the Love Hymn of his ninth Symphony: ALL MEN SHALL BE BROTHERS …….

The second message, by M. ROMAIN ROLAND, reproduced in “L’Univers Israélite”, Paris, No. 13, p.203, contains the following passages:

“O ye great Germany, that I have loved and that I am loving still – I know that your best sons, that thousand unblemished men are under the sway of the terror, that they are crushed by the ignominy of the nefarious deeds of criminals and madmen. I doubt not that the proudest and most righteous amid your hosts are deeply humiliated, and stirred, by the indignity of the deeds which are the Government’s doing, and which they are made to witness without being free to speak – deeds of a cowardly licence indulged in by ordered mobs, committed against thousands of peaceful and industrious, even defenceless, men, women, and children of Germany.

They are profoundly stirred by the savage outbursts of brutality on the part of the authorities, against a race though it be stuck down, be there never so many of its fighters that spilt their blood for Germany in the Great War, be there never so many its geniuses that have enhanced the glory of Germany. No enemy of Germany could have inflicted upon that country disgrace like this, nor such not to be guessed at harm, as did these wretched adherents of a race doctrine which is dishonoured before the eyes of the world. ....”

So far 34 deaths ascertained

The names and addresses of 34 Jews who either perished in the concentration camps, or were killed during the pogrom, or committed suicide in the wake of the pogrom, have now been ascertained. The figure is undoubtedly higher by far. The exact and attested figure will only be known in a few weeks’ time.

January 1939


When ordering please quote: R 39 / 934 H

Amsterdam Z. , Jan van Eijck Straat 14.

January 8, 1939

Dear Sir –

We beg to enclose to-day two reports, one of them containing a provisional survey which is needs incomplete.

As usual, these reports have been published again in English, German, French, and Dutch, and any quantity may be obtained from this office free of charge. You are authorised to make such use of the reports as you deem fit without naming us as your source.

We herewith conclude the series of our reports on the German Pogrom. Any information supplementing our materials will be welcome, especially information concerning deaths, which must however bear precise details as to persons, locality, etc.

Yours faithfully,

JEWISH CENTRAL INFORMATION OFFICE

Public Service Institute


The German Progrom: November 1938

The Child’s Sobbing: “Bread! That Bread!”

The “Ostschweizerisches Tagesblatt”, published at Rorschach, Switzerland, has in its Number 276, a report on experiences and impressions of a Swiss lady who had been to Frankfurt-am-Main immediately after the Pogrom.

As the accuracy of the story as well as the trustworthiness of the author had been called in question, the Editor of the “Ostschweizerisches Tagesblatt” issued, on December 22, the following statement:

“The author is a Swiss lady, well known to us, who, in her outlook on life stands as remote from Judaism as the writer himself. That she has related only her own experiences, and not any one word exaggerated, we infer from the identical reports, both written and oral, which we have received from Swiss and German witnesses to this undying shame of civilisation”.

The report runs as follows:

“… Frankfurt-am-Main. I stop in front of a destroyed synagogue, the guard stalking up and down in the rain, dull and worn out. Somebody has stopped next to me, and says: 'Struck down and humiliated we are, deprived of all human dignity.' A burning shock flashed all over me: ‘A Jew! He’ll be arrested on the spot’. I am looking at him in horror: it isn’t a Jew, it is a man wearing the Party and ex-Servicemen’s badge.

Struck down and humiliated, deprived of all human dignity. Who amongst us Swiss, who are happy indeed to be Swiss, is going to suffer himself to be of his own free will humiliated like this – who is going knowingly to drive us towards that sort of redemption?”

Two children passing by, aged about 5 and 8. ‘Oh!’, says the little one, pointing to the burnt out synagogue , ‘Look what been doing to it. Them poor Jews’; and ere she has finished, the older girl hast slapped her face, saying in terror: ‘Shut up, yer must not say such things, don’t yer know!' Girls of 5 and 8. The little scene is unforgettable, unforgettable the timid look (the German look, Oh poor, poor Germany!) of the children as they hurry along.

'God, my God, dry bread all my life rather than play the executioner another night', these are the words screamed by a high police official, in office, in front of people that might have at once brought him to Dachau.

My brother-in-law has shot himself, you know that, don’t you?”, a friend says to me by the by, and a little subdued: ‘Well, he was a policeman, and one day he could stick it no longer’.

'My friend is in the Gestapo’, a young girl tells me: ‘he would give everything to get out of it, but the only way out is to the concentration camp.'

'We have only this choice left: either no honour, or no bread' – so a high school official tells me. These are but observations at random.

At the station another 'consignment'. Dozens of Jews, and others guilty of making invidious remarks. They jump off the dark luggage vans, run the few yards to the dark railway truck. S.A. and S.S. lining the path, behind them the crowd, many of them with tears in their eyes, and flashed over their faces: “Shame, shame on us!”, again and again. No snarling by the police to-day; they say almost gently: 'Pass on please, don’t stop.' I feel like screaming, screaming, screaming – all of us screaming till the world quake in its foundations! Instead we pass on in silence, as the police order us to do, and we suffer hundreds of men and women to be driven into distress, and torture, and ruin. Were it only 'into death', it would be mercy, but these are a hundred deaths of body and soul.

The housewife will be punished for throwing away a cabbage heart or a zinc tube, Fight the waste, all over. But the destruction wrought here in a few hours according to plan, not merely to everything beautiful and useful, no, even to indispensable things, is beyond computation. Not only confectionery and sweetmeat, e.g. in the Rothschild Café, have been smashed to bits and trampled upon, together with broken window glass and the rest of the stock: heaps of flour and eggs are gone. Spades have I seen used in clearing the shops – spades full of food, broken glass, etc. I still hear it clash. I still smell the smoke from the open cellar peep-holes, where the havoc has raged.

Then all the destroyed shops were boarded up with white planks. That on these unique hoardings, everywhere and over night, the “STURMER” should have posted its pictures, is not really surprising. It is in keeping with the rest. The stage management works well even here. But that on these planks, the distressing background of which is evident to every single passer-by, bills should be posted such as these: 'Laughter, and Mirth', and 'Melodious Review – Why not come and enjoy it too? At the Winter Grand Ball. Tickets sold at the Popular Education Settlement.' What is this other than immeasured bestiality? It leaves one horror-struck.

Again someone approaches me, my little cross being like a light. 'What are they saying in Switzerland about all these things?' And yet, do you know that the Jews are not the poorest yet? The poorest are we, the executioners, the despised, they that have lost 'all honour'.

… I will say no word about hundreds of individual cases which I have seen and heard of: crying children – at night in the parks – seriously ill dragged out of their beds – hunting people like animals – arrested …… it burns and burns within you, because you are unable to help. In the evening a child draws me near his little bed, and whispers: 'Auntie, they’ve smashed a baker’s shop, and the bread was in the streets, Auntie, and they’ve been trampling on it, on the bread, I’ve seen it', and the child, overwhelmed, keeps sobbing into his cushions: that bread! that bread!

A Total Survey Attempted

Below a survey is ventured of the German pogroms as from November 9 and 10, 1938. It is however exceeding difficult to render the survey correct in every detail, as it has proved almost impossible so far to obtain sufficient evidence for certain important figures. Estimates being unavoidable in most cases, great care has been taken to ascertain the available data through conscientious and responsible enquiries. The results may be assumed to have been put too low rather than too high.

Killed: At least 30, though the figure may be higher.

Deaths: Either as a result of fatal deterioration of an illness contracted in a concentration camp, or as a result of confinement in a concentration camp altogether.

  • At Buchenwald Camp, near Weimar, about 180 deaths;
  • At Sachsenhausen Camp, near Berlin, about 45 deaths;
  • At Dachau, figure below 45, though not yet ascertained.

These deaths mark the stand of December 1st, before the severe cold spell, as a result of which the death roll has probably mounted considerably.

Suicides: Though the exact figure cannot be stated with certainty, it may be said to be running into a few hundreds.

Burnt synagogues: About 500, not including small prayer rooms and mortuaries. In many cased, the demolition is complete, in others only parts have suffered. Further use of the synagogues is nearly always impossible, and besides forbidden by the police.

According to the latest reports, not only the WORMS synagogue has been destroyed but also the adjacent revered Rashi Chapel with which are bound up many religious and historical reminiscences.

Destroyed dwellings: No estimate, even approximately correct, has as yet been possible. Nor were dwellings destroyed in all towns. In Nuremberg, at least 700 dwellings may be said to have been demolished, also solicitors’ offices and surgeries. The final figure may be assumed to be running into the thousands.

Business establishments: No reliable estimate possible. The figure is certain to be running into the thousands.

Material damage: The material damage is so tremendous that it must be described as beyond computation. Estimates from reliable English quarters (“THE TIMES”, New Year’s supplement, of 2nd January, 1939, p. VI) put the damage in Berlin alone at 13 million marks. Appraising the middle value of a fully furnished dwelling at about 5,000 marks, this would yield for Nuremberg alone, with its 700 destroyed dwellings, a material damage of 3,500,000 marks.

The indemnity: According to the Official Reich Gazette, No. 189, of November 14, 1938, the indemnity for the whole of German Jewry is fixed at one milliard marks. Subject to the contribution are also the German Jews living abroad as far as they have registered their property in accordance with the decree of April 26, 1938. There will be no summons for payment. The first 20% of the sum was due on December 15, it being insisted on payment in cash.

Emigration:

  • Figures: As a result of the pogroms, the emigration has been accelerated, partly in the form of illegal frontier crossing. The number of these emigrants is estimated at between 5,000 and 10,000. The number of the Jews still in Germany is difficult of computation; there may yet be about 400,000. the number of the Jewish children still in Germany is put at 50,000. Up to the present about 2,000 children may be said to have emigrated.
  • More Impediments: As a result of new foreign exchange decrees the emigrant will not even be free to take with him the luggage he pleases. It will therefore hardly be possible to take with him in the luggage the sufficient supply of clothes, underwear, etc, unless the excessive dues are paid, for each item separate. These decrees go so far as to forbid the disposal of any kind of jewellery, not excluding wedding rings. These must be officially sealed in a case, before departure, and in that state taken over the frontier, after payment of the dues. The selection of what jewellery may be taken, is left entirely to the discretion of the authorities.
  • Losses: No affluent person can emigrate to-day without losing all but an insignificant fraction of his fortune. All according to what his assets consist of (cash, business, real estate), the rest actually at his disposal abroad is not likely to amount to more than 4 or 4½% of the fortune originally in Germany. In a large number of cases, the rate may be lower still.

Buying and selling: The Jewish shops are closed without exception. In a number of towns, Jews may yet buy in non-Jewish shops, in others they may not. In Kassel, Central Germany, the authorities have already had a first floor shop established where Jews may buy from Jews. This shop must not be marked by any external sign. It would seem that a ruling on some such lines is being prepared for the whole Reich, but nothing definite has as yet been made public. In the meantime, Jewish booksellers and publishers have also been forbidden to carry on their trade. It is learnt that the Kulturbund (Jewish Cultural Association) is going to open a Jewish book-shop.

Administration: The Reich Representation [Deputation] of the Jews in Germany, with its seat in Berlin, has ceased to exist in its old form. In its stead, the Gestapo has appointed a Committee consisting of six Jews who have to stop in Germany and whose task is, on the one had, to ensure Jewish emigration, and on the other, provide relief for those left behind. Most offices of the Hilfsverein as well as the Winter Relief have resumed work.

Cultural Activities: Immediately after the pogroms, such practising Kulturbund members as had recently been released from the concentration camps, albeit for this special purpose, were forced to resume work. Thus, for example close upon the pogroms, a review had to be staged, entitled “Gemischtes Kompott” (Mixed Fruit), (see the newly licensed “Jüdisches Nachrichtenblatt”, No. 1, of November 23, 1938). While daily women were receiving for burial, the ash urns of their husbands that either died or perished otherwise in the concentration camps. The National Socialist press published jubilantly, as evidence of the well-being of German Jewry, the fact that the Kulturbund performances were being continued without interruption.

The Jewish Press: The entire Jewish Press in Germany has been banned for an indefinite period. Reich Commissioner (Jüdisches Nachrichtenblatt), of which so far 9 issues have appeared. It is published twice weekly. Editor is, by order, Herr Leo Kreindler, of Berlin.