Twenty three contemporary press reports from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and the UK (in date order).
Assassination in the German Embassy in Paris
Retaliatory Action against the German Jews – Arson in the Synagogues – Looting
Legation Secretary vom Rath Dead
PARIS, 9th November
(United Press telegram)
The German Legation Secretary vom Rath died today at 5.25 am.
BERLIN, 9th November
Agency (DRB [Deutsche Reichspresse Bureau; Reich Press Bureau])
The French Chargé d'affaires has expressed his sympathy on behalf of the French Government, the French President and the Foreign Minister on the death of Legation Secretary vom Rath.
PARIS, 10th November
Following the news of the death of Legation Secretary vom Rath, the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister have expressed their sympathy to the German Ambassador. A commemorative service took place in the Protestant Church, at which the German Ambassador spoke. The body was taken from the clinic to the Embassy and laid out there.
PARIS, 10th November
(United Press telegram)
The death of the German Legation Secretary has made a considerable impression upon the French population. In right-wing circles, there are signs of a growing anti-Semitic and concurrently xenophobic movement, which is finding expression in pamphleting and placards and is directed with particular vehemence at immigrants living in France. That is, the French Government has prepared new regulations concerning the residence permit [Aufenthaltserlaubnis] for aliens in France, and has tightened police checks concerning aliens.
The charge against Grynszpan, following the death of his victim, will probably be changed to murder; hitherto it was attempted manslaughter.
Tightening of Jewish Policy in Germany
BERLIN, 9th November
(Telegram from our Senior Correspondent)The Jewish question is assuming ever greater significance in Germany. Negotiations between Germany and Poland concerning the settlement of the fate of 8,000 Jews deported from the Reich had almost been decided when the assassination in the Embassy in Paris became known; they then suffered from the news of retaliation and have never since got back on track. Both Governments had agreed in principle that those Jews deported could temporarily return to Germany, in order to settle their affairs and take moveable possessions with them. Their money is to be paid into a joint account and, after a clearing period, converted into Polish currency at an as yet undetermined rate of exchange on their return to Poland under the auspices of the Polish Government. The deported Polish people might be able to save half their assets. It was generally accepted that they were happy with this, as, otherwise, Jews emigrating would only keep five to six percent of their assets. Germany has excluded all possibility that those deported Jews could ever return. Since Grynszpan, the 17-year-old Paris assassin, comes from the circle of Polish Jews in Germany, of which there are 50,000 in total, and has sounded the death knell of the reputation of all foreign Jews after general deportation, it now seems questionable whether a Germano-Polish agreement could be reached under the terms mentioned. The Völkischer Beobachter has stated today that all Jews in Germany, regardless of whether they possess a German or foreign passport, must be included in atoning for the Paris crime.
The German press reports “substantial spontaneous demonstrations by the population against the Jews” in Kurhessen. Those who are acquainted with the jargon and how it is used in such operations can easily imagine what the events in Kurhessen signify. After riots emerged in Kassel, in which the synagogues were also damaged, a department of the German News Bureau, that has since been dedicated solely to reports from abroad that have not been published in Germany, released a statement that the German authorities would not tolerate any lack of restraint. In the Berlin papers, there are detailed reports concerning the “disarming” of the local Jewish population undertaken by the police, where “a large quantity of weapons” came to light. Those looking around in the capital city of the Reich will more likely receive the impression that local Jews are far from having anything to do with aggressive plans, for the most part no longer venture onto the streets.
BERLIN, 9th November
AgencyThe German News Bureau reports that as a result of indignation concerning the assassination in Paris of Legation Secretary vom Rath, statements against the Jews are being made in Hersfeld. Many synagogues went up in flames during raids and were completely burnt down.
BERLIN, 9th November
pt Der Reichsanzeiger [Reich Advertiser] has published the names of 114 Jews who have forfeited their German nationality.
A Night of Terror in Berlin
BERLIN, 10th November
(Telegram from our Senior Correspondent)
The most terrible wave of anti-Semitism since the regime change of 1933 swept over Germany last night and early on Thursday morning. In Berlin the synagogues were set alight. The largest Jewish temple in the capital of the Reich, which is situated in Fasanenstraße near to the Kurfürstendamm, was entirely destroyed inside. The three cupolas and the soot-black surrounding walls are still standing, whilst the ceiling joists have collapsed and all windows are shattered. Clouds of smoke were still rising out of the synagogue around midday. A penetrating smell of burning is spreading throughout the whole quarter. The fire brigade had to intervene to prevent the fire spreading further. Early in the afternoon, jets of water from hydrants were still directed at the source of the fire. The fire has been extinguished at the synagogue on Adlerstraße in Charlottenburg, whilst it is reported that other synagogues are still burning.
A systematic, destructive operation with merciless consequences has been directed at Jewish shops and businesses, which have been made identifiable over the last few months by white, 25 centimetre-high inscriptions. The storm began at half past two in the morning. Dark figures infiltrated the streets and started using paving stones to bombard shop windows, from which all the objects suitable as missiles were taken and used to smash the mirrors, glass containers and light fittings. The police remained invisible and also did not answer telephone calls from the angst-ridden business owners, who were sleeping nearby, as is usual with small businesses in Berlin. At half past six in the morning large groups of men mobilised, 8-12 in each, dressed in civilian clothes as a precaution.
All remains of the windows, containers and business desks were smashed to pieces with sticks and iron bars, until the pavement was covered with shards of glass and splinters. Some of the clothes shops were emptied and the stock burnt on the street.
Parts of the Kurfürstendamm, Laurentzienstraße and particularly the Wilmersdorfstraße, where there are still a great many Jewish shops, presented a miserable sight in the morning. Many Jews have fled and have abandoned their shops; others are clearing the debris with a resigned air. Paving stones are still lying about in the shops and on the streets. The contents of a chocolate shop are in a desolate state, scattered on the street; passers-by wade through sweets and confectionary. As far as one knows, insurance companies are not denying their liability for the damage, but are rather advising the aggrieved Jews to board up their shops, as not enough glass is available for the repairs so soon. Those shops unable to board up their windows by this evening have no means with which to protect themselves from looters. Many tenants in private houses that have Jewish shops on the ground floor are worried as they fear arson. The population, to the honour of the German people, it has been said, are, for the most part, disgusted with the excesses and many people on the streets do not hold back their criticism.
According to a report from the Havas Agency five further synagogues are burning in the west of Berlin.
The German News Bureau reports that throughout Germany in countless places, spontaneous anti-Jewish demonstrations have taken place and in most cities the synagogues have been set on fire by the population. The Havas agency reports the looting of two synagogues in Vienna and the fire at the synagogue in Bayreuth.
Berlin, 10th Nov. (United Press Telegram) Throughout Berlin last night the windows of most of the shops that have not yet been Aryanised were smashed. In many places the street is covered with shards of glass and, in part, also with the letters torn off the business hoardings. However, in numerous cases the flying squad usually arrived too late after the culprits had already disappeared. Nobody has been arrested. Particularly in the West, at Kurfürstendamm and in the centre in Friedrichstraße, many shop windows and, in part, the furniture was wrecked.
Out With The Jews!
Kth. INNSBRUCK, 10th November
The Jewish murderer Herschel Feibel Grünspan has now achieved his objective. Legation Secretary vom Rath is lying on the bier. A young German who was doing nothing but his duty abroad was cowardly and maliciously attacked and shot down by a Jewish criminal. Now where is the indignation of the democratic world? The whole mob from all continents cried out loud when Germany took justifiable measures to remove Jews from our economy. They cried out about brutal oppression, appealed to humanity and thereby meant money bags. Anywhere in Germany if a stop is put to an immigrant Jew's fraudulent trade, then in an instant there is unanimous wailing from the whole mob of world Jewry. What happened to Isidor in Germany was sympathised with by world Jewry exactly thus in beautiful solidarity, and this sympathy was so stark that in all capital cities and centres of Jewry large-scale hate campaign against the Third Reich was staged. For years the Jewish Press has pursued an excessive campaign against the person of the Führer, nothing was too vulgar to fan the flames.
This agitation has once more borne sad fruit. Now it is truly high time that the German people finally turn the tables and the whole Jewish population is blamed for the crime of the individual, of the bought subject Grünspan. We have often and for a long time now noted the ever-effective solidarity of world Jewry, Jewry in Germany will now have to atone for this same solidarity. The message is as clear as day: never would the degenerate Jewboy Grünspan have struck with the revolver if his racial comrades in the whole world had not openly and explicitly rushed to murder. We remember the fact all too well, how, after the cowardly murder of Wilhelm Gustloff the Jewish emigrant press glorified the crime of David Frankfurter, the murderer, in glowing editorials. A few hours after the wretched murder, a Jewish newspaper then wrote: "Dear Frankfurter, we love you for your great deed!"
This love will now come to be costly for our Jews. We truly treated the Hebrews in Ostmark with kid gloves after the Anschluß, no hair on their heads was harmed, and that we proceeded thus with thoroughly legal means to cleanse our business world of this parasitism is now really our right of self-preservation. We have, of course, on the contrary, been very badly paid for our decency. Now, however we are no longer thinking of looking on watching passively, as cowardly murderers shoot down our Germans abroad like dogs in a row. Justified self-defence compels us today to resort to the only possible means of protection from future bloody deeds available to us: for every crime committed against a German anywhere abroad, the Hebrews, who still enjoy our hospitality, will have to atone for it! We have no more sympathy for Palestine-manners in our country.
Today we hear with disgust that the Jewish rabble is already busy at work cleansing itself free of all guilt. At the Frankfurter murder, it was written that it doubtless concerned a “pitiful” person, who was “abnormal”. With Grünspan today they come to the astonishing recognition that the culprit could not be held guilty for his deed, as he is still of “youthful age”.
Such Jewish tricks do not bring the Legation Secretary back to life and, as far as the first argument is concerned, we Germans have for a long time been of the view that at least in our eyes and from our point of view all Jews are abnormal. To us, they are unnatural and, admittedly, so unnatural that for the last time we advise them in a peaceful way as quickly as possible and we mean as quickly as possible to pack their things and get out of Germany once and for all. The Jews of the world should not forget one thing: in our veins runs not marmalade juice, but blood! The hour can and will come when we will lose our temper once and for all with such cowardly murderers. Then, it will be too late for the Jews!
We too in the Tirol have all sorts of Jews still and we Tiroleans knowingly allow all kinds of things to happen to us before we really hit back. But, when we do, we really do! Tirolean fists have lost nothing of their power and anyone who has a fair idea of history will understand this threat.
With this “mindless flexing of muscle”, it naturally depends upon whether, according to Emil Ludwig Cohn, every German is belligerent and subservient. In the paragraph entitled “French and German Ways” it states:
“When the Frenchman sees something funny, he says "How funny!". The German calls: "That's a riot [as ist zum Schießen]!", because he finds the greatest increase in delight in life in shooting [Schießen]...
The Frenchman loves the cat, which lives its interesting life alone and does not allow itself to be ordered around, just like its master; the German tells his police dog, which obediently asks with its eyes which foe to attack, just like his master...
How should an understanding be reached if, on the one hand, the national sport is angling, a lonely and quiet game, and on the other the rules are a mutual and loud trade?... In Germany, one only has to shout, to gain obedience and respect. Fear and not inclination win a following there, which make the red stripes of the dumbest general blanch.
According to Emil Ludwig Cohn, therefore, the entire German nation longs incessantly for revenge and to exert it around the world! German racial legislation has the strangest principles, according to Emil Ludwig Cohn. In the section entitled “Bombing as a hygienic measure”, he states impudently that the German officer regards dropping bombs on the German people as a means of racial improvement. According to the rule that the person in a panic is hit first and the superior person last, the following view was presented by the Air Ministry:
"Losses through bombing will increase as talent decreases. As pitiful as each loss is from a human perspective, this distribution can be understood as an act of racial hygiene.” Against this "State of stupidity, vengeance mania and slavery”, Emil Ludwig Cohn calls for war.
The Call To Arms
Then the call to arms resounds: "We are no longer obliged to let ourselves be bullied by the arrogance of chosen people or races. We are coming together and are ready to defend with weapons the rational dealings between competing nations and their new holy alliance. Presidents of all countries, unite!”
The Jew places his greatest hope in Roosevelt: "Roosevelt guards! Since he has been in power he has led the United States in five great demonstrative speeches on the side of the Democrats with an open front against the dictators. As long as he lasts, America will, with all that a great nation and rich country has to offer, wage war against the dictators with everything except with puppets.
The new holy alliance is possible as each of the three founding States has one, two or three dictator States as its enemy.
Void of spirit and love, the once so graceful German people today stares full of hate into a world that has become alien. The world waits prepared for the outbreak.”
We have intentionally allowed this authoritative Jew to say his piece, in order to picture the frame of mind, just as millions of his racial comrades do who do not grant peace for the world and dream of revenge.
But this dirty business is ever faster becoming too much, even for those people who conduct their belligerent activities with us with almost incomprehensible patience and false generosity. We have already pointed out that the impregnable bastions of world Jewry have collapsed and disappeared in Prague and Vienna; in Italy the enemy has been identified and in Paris they are at the point of opening their eyes
Of all papers, the Jewish newspaper Le Droit de Vivre has reported on this awakening; the official organ of the Jewish World League and the favourite journal of the murderer David Frankfurter. In a broadsheet edition of this paper it states “Arrest the enemies of Jews!” And then a lament was published, which could not sound more sweetly in our ears. According to information by senior Jews in the World League, mobilisation in the whole of France has led to large scale anti-Jewish demonstrations. "It seems almost to us as though we are breathing German air," the reporter laments.
Demonstrations Against Jews
Indignation of the Population of West Germany
The news of the cowardly treacherous murder in the German Embassy has also evoked clear indignation among the population of Cologne. Everywhere in the old city and the suburbs of Cologne it came to passionate demonstrations against the Jews on Wednesday and Thursday. The anger amongst the population about the Jewish crime was so great that the windows of Jewish businesses everywhere and particularly the synagogues were smashed.
Out of sheer disgust at the crime of the murderous clique in Paris, there were already spontaneous rallies against the Jews in the evening hours of Wednesday. The population of Düsseldorf proceeded in large groups through the streets and it is only thanks to their extraordinary discipline that fellow members of the race of the cowardly murderer Grünspan were spared from harm or loss of life. However, the crime in Paris was too inhuman to remain with public chanting. Jewish businesses, which themselves – a sign of the impudence of the chosen people – even in the sixth year of the new Germany make themselves at home in the main shopping streets of Düsseldorf, fell prey to the justified rage of the people.
During the course of Wednesday night the Düsseldorf synagogue was stormed by ever greater crowds of people. The internal fixtures were completely destroyed as a result; later there was a fire. The fire quickly took hold of the entire building, so that the endeavours of the fire brigade could not achieve anything more. Cleansing the inner city of Jewish businesses also continued on Thursday morning.
Here the synagogue in Steeler Straße was set on fire. The internal fixtures of the building were burned. Likewise the synagogue in the district of Essen-Steele and the youth centre in Moltkeplatz were also set on fire. In the course of the anti-Jewish demonstrations in the centre of Essen on Thursday morning, shop windows of Jewish retail premises were destroyed.
Retaliation for the Jewish Murder
All Jews in Protective Custody
The greatest embitterment prevails in German districts concerning the malicious murder in Paris. Once again, it has been played out before our eyes how the Jews not only feel themselves bound through their religion, but that the drive towards world power is at the innermost core of the Jewish people. The cowardly act of the Jewish boy-murderer, Grünspan, give us just cause to say "To here and no further!" We must confront the temerity of world Judaism and give the gang of Jewish criminals their final warning: Our patience is at an end! If the international Jewish string-pullers do not to want to hear, then we will call in the Jews, who still enjoy the protection of the German Reich, to atonement according to the principle of retaliation and then, perhaps, on a value scale a hundred Jews will have to atone for one murdered German. In order to make this unflinching resolution clear, the SS Reichsführer ordered the arrest of all Jews last night.
Even in Steyr the SS was alerted and all the Jews were hauled from their beds by the men in black. Once again the intricacies of Jewish organisation are displayed, for strangely almost all the male Jews were away on “business”. Those Jews found in their homes were taken to the police barracks and held there in order to prevent the justified indignation of the embittered population. This time they were still dealt with politely. But with a repetition we could not undertake to guarantee it further. May this all be a warning: whosoever wilfully resists us will be destroyed.
Demonstrations against Jews took place in Cologne during yesterday, as in the other German cities. This fact can be regarded as a healthy reaction of the German people to the recent despicable treacherous act of a Jewish murderer towards a German compatriot. In a spontaneous operation, the population of Cologne forced a cessation of business in all Jewish shops in our city, as well as making the Jewish houses of prayer, the synagogues, which still stand as monuments to bygone Jewish power in our city, unfit for further use.
The broadcaster in Lemburg found it necessary to speak about the looting of Jewish shops. On walking through the city we were able to ascertain that the windows and placards on Jewish businesses had indeed been smashed and destroyed. However, nobody has enriched themselves from Jewish property. Moreover, no looters or uncontrollable elements were located there, here German compatriots merely gave expression to their disgust about the murder born from the atmosphere of incitement prompted by international Judaism.
Incidentally, this operation borne of public anger, has supported the extraordinary fact that a huge number of Jewish businesses can still be found in Cologne. Jews in Germany and in Cologne are in no way subject to as much gagging and subservience as those abroad would have one believe. These ladies and gentlemen are above all still doing extraordinarily well economically, an assumption that can be explained in that they are visible in public life time and again.
After the spontaneous demonstration against Jewry by German compatriots is over, we can say this: the National Socialist German government will find further ways and means of applying the various measures of atonement with regard to the representatives of every race who has again outrageously sullied themselves with blood.
The People's Answer
COLOGNE, 11th November
The huge disgust that has seized the German people on the news of the death of the young German diplomat assassinated by the cowardly Jewish murderous hand has prompted spontaneous rallies and demonstrations against Jewry in all German districts. As reports from the Reich say, the windows of many Jewish junk shops were smashed by the disgusted masses in many cities as well as the capital of the Reich, and some Jewish temples too, in which the teachings of the Talmud, songs of hate against everything non-Jewish, were disseminated, have gone up in flames. Judaism has thus for the first time received a clear answer to its hate and slander campaign of many years against Germanness throughout the world, whose victims were Wilhelm Gustloff and now also Party member vom Rath. For years the German people have dispassionately allowed the daily insults of Jews throughout the world to pass over their heads. All of the dirt and filth fabricated in the known centres of immigration of Paris, London and New York, and guided by the Jewish-influenced world press, could not even reach the soles of our feet. We know that the Jewish machinations throughout the world have recently brought the German people to the brink of a war. Even this possibility was anticipated cold-bloodedly and resolutely by the German people. Once the moment occurs, however, patience ends. The murderous boy Grünspan scornfully announced that he was shooting in the name of all Jewry and that he wanted to hurt the German people in the innocent victim of his vindictiveness. No Jews can cleanse themselves of this blood guilt, twist and turn though they may.
What has played out over the last 24 hours in Germany is the expression of a righteous disgust amongst the broadest strata of the German people. It cannot be regarded as retaliation. One murder by provocative Jewish louts is not atoned for through splintered window panes or perhaps a few well-deserved slaps round the face, the German people are also much too disciplined to allow themselves to be carried away by such “acts of revenge”. Whoever was witness to the demonstrations must much more wonder at the admirable discipline that was observed by the masses despite the unheard of disgust at the shameless cowardly murderous deed.
It has not come to “pogroms”, as the Jewish-Marxist foreign press already thought could be announced yesterday.
It is self-evident that the German people will continue to preserve discipline. The events may, however, show world Jewry that the German people will no longer allow themselves to be toyed with. Were the murder weapon to be raised against German compatriots, yes, even against the official representative of the Reich, then one cannot expect that the racial comrades in Germany will be dealt with kid gloves.
For this cowardly act of murder in Paris, as Dr. Goebbels stated, Jewry will receive a final answer through legislative channels.
World Jewry’s Relief Offensive
The dark figures who set world public opinion in motion in the democracies have found a way to cover up the devastating impression of international Jewry that the murder of Legation Secretary Herr vom Rath has evoked throughout the entire civilised world. They use common tricks to construct a “scandal” and give suitable documents with false horrific reports according to the usual methods. The justifiably deep disgust which prevails in every German as a result of this despicable murder of a German diplomat has led to spontaneous retaliatory measures against the Jews. It was the natural reaction of a people to unbearable provocation by the Jewish world press concerning unconscionable pressures by international warmongers and catastrophe politicians. For a people of honour it is no longer tolerable to be the object of acts that are dangerous to the public committed by an international clique, whose Jewish inspirers, to use a word of its craftsman, the murderer Grünspan, want to take “revenge” in National Socialist Germany. The German people are intelligent enough to see through what these dark figures are seeking, whose most fervent wish is to rush the peoples of Europe into war, from which these illusionists promise the fall of Germany. We accepted the cowardly murder of Gustloff without appropriate action, but – this should be kept in mind abroad – after this second murder we are no longer willing to keep silent. The international Jewish political criminality should know once and for all that the patience of the German people is herewith exhausted. They are no longer in the mood to allow themselves to be provoked and to accept with humility that German diplomatic representatives lose their lives for this society.
It is typical that even foreign papers, which want to be taken seriously, do not shy from presenting their “information” to the reader on the side of the relief offensive of the Jewish world press. They are suddenly no longer interested in the dark background of the murderous deed and the person of the murderer, they direct their friendly attention to full extent at the spontaneous consequences the murder in Germany. What horror stories can be thought up in terms must serve. From the smashed-in shop windows they make a sort of civil war. In one it was 100-200 people, in another 20,000-30,000 who dashed through the streets in violent turmoil. Apathy and cries of joy from every citizen are evoked by the talent for fantasy. In short, it is a wild tumult of contradictory comments, which are concocted to cater for every taste of sensation-hungry reader. If one is told, among other things, that the demonstrations by the people were carried out by “organised groups”, we can only say that they would have been a great deal more drastic if they had been “organised”.
The spontaneous operation against Jewry was denounced in the shortest period by the Government. But World Jewry should base no new “hopes” on that. It could be said to them that the position of the Jews in Germany in private, public and commercial life depends on the restraint of World Jewry. They do not strike the German people, only their racial comrades with their provocation. Insofar as foreign countries are interested in them, they are free to take in as many of them as their needs require. The German Government will now settle the Jewish question in Germany in the shortest period via laws and regulations. Germany has been provoked most gravely by this second murder; it will issue an appropriate response.
During the night, private houses and villas owned by Jews in Berlin suburbs were raided by young Nazis who drove up in cars. They hurled paving stones through the windows and destroyed all they could lay their hands on, shouting obscene insults at their victims. Heavy stones crashed onto the beds of sleepers. One Jewish couple, both deaf and dumb, were not spared. Some dwellings were smashed up inside, too.
Many Jews Vanish
Today hundreds of arrested Jews were sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp, Where Pastor Niemeller is interned. Apart from the thousands arrested, there are numbers of Jews who have just “disappeared.” Their families do not know where they are.
The caretaker of the Prince Regent Street Synagogue and his wife and child, who had not been seen since the synagogue was destroyed by fire two nights ago, have, I learn tonight, been taken to hospital. The custodian and the child are badly burned and his wife is suffering from a nervous breakdown.
When the incendiaries appeared, neighbours warned them that the caretaker and his family lived on the premises.
The new Aryan owners of smashed Jewish shops, mostly put up for ownership by the Party, today surveyed the ruins which they were to buy for a song and secretly wished that their fellow-Aryans had not been quite so thorough in giving vent to their ideals. Some shops are worth nothing more than the site on which they were built.
Near Breslau, the Gross Bresen Apprenticeship School for Jews who want to take up agriculture in foreign countries was raided by the secret police. Professor Bondy, the Principal, and 20 pupils were arrested. One Jew of 17 was told: "Grynszpan, the murderer, was only 17. That is why we are arresting you."
Sent to Concentration Camps
Another Train Load of Jews Leaves Vienna
[From our Own Correspondent]
Another train load of a thousand young Jews has left Vienna for concentration camps – it is believed at Mauthausen and Buchenwald. There is utter consternation among the Jews in Vienna in consequence of the announcement made by Field-Marshal Göring. There is the greatest anxiety as to how they shall obtain essential food supplies, as Jews cannot open their shops, and may not buy in “Aryan” shops. The High Commissioner will announce tomorrow what provision is to be made to meet this situation.
It appears that a number of old men and women, some of them invalids, were locked in their homes on Thursday by rioters, who took away their keys and also those of the house master, and sealed the entrance doors of the flats so that these old people could not get out, and no one could get into them until the doors were broken in on Saturday by police orders.
Help for the Persecuted Jews
America in the lead for a campaign
Washington, 16th November. agency (Havas.) President Roosevelt's declarations concerning the events in Germany read as follows:
"The news coming arriving from Germany over the last few days has profoundly affected the American people. If we received such news from other parts of the world it would have evoked the same reaction in all classes of the American people.
I had difficulty believing that such things could occur in the 20th century
In order to be informed first hand about the situation in Germany, I have issued instructions to the Secretary of State to recall the American Ambassador in Berlin back to Washington immediately."
The President emphasised that the recall of Ambassador Wilson does not diplomatically signify a denunciation, rather an invitation for purposes of consultation. He added that he could not state how long the Berlin Ambassador would remain in the United States and emphasised that at present the official protest to the German Government for the damage suffered by American Israelites in Germany has not yet struck. The President closed with the remark that the Intergovernmental Committee in London will do its best to render practical assistance and that he will examine all possible options for Jewish immigration personally. He said, however, that he could not yet give any details concerning this matter.
The New York Post described President Roosevelt's gesture to recall the American Ambassador in Berlin to Washington as:
a slap round the face for the National Socialist Government.
The leaders of American politics are busy with the assessment of practical measures that would be suitable to strike harder at National Socialist Germany. The Washington Post is of the opinion that Roosevelt wanted to make clear to Germany with his gesture that the United States could step into the lead of a protest. In political circles it is understood that at the moment no other opportunities exist to express:
disapproval of the persecution of the Jews.
The American newspapers defended themselves from threats expressed in National Socialist newspapers.
In the United States, the general impression is that Ambassador Wilson will not return to Berlin as long as Germany does not entirely change its position.
Exchange of Opinions Between London and Washington
LONDON, 16th November
English diplomatic circles consider an exchange of opinion between London and Washington about the Jewish problem a distinct possibility.
The Evening News writes: “Great Britain, France and the United States could together create a new home for the Jews from Germany and Central Europe. It is to be assumed that Chamberlain will present the proposal to the American President Roosevelt,
to lodge a complaint directly to the German Government together.
This proposal is currently being discussed between Washington and London, and the intention is to invite France to participate in this campaign. The United States Ambassador in London discussed this question on Sunday with the British Minister of Colonies and Dominions, MacDonald, and therein expressed the wish of his government that a decision is made immediately on this question. England together with its dominions intends, to allow Jews to settle in the less populated regions, whilst the United States will itself turn to the South American republics, so that these countries can accept Jewish immigration on a larger scale than hitherto promised. The United States itself is ready to accept 30,000-40,000 refugees.
Holland is Prepared to Accept a Few Thousand Refugees
THE HAGUE, 16th November
Prime Minister Colijn stated in the Lower House that the Dutch Government with the Governments of Great Britain, France, Denmark, Belgium and Switzerland has entered into negotiations with regard to easing the immigration of German Jews. Holland will build refugee camps, which could take in a few thousand Jews. The city council of Amsterdam unanimously agreed to a Socialist application, whereby the Mayor will be asked to take the necessary measures to accommodate German refugees in municipal inns.
Leading Jews in England with Chamberlain
LONDON, 16th November
Prime Minister Chamberlain received a delegation of the leading Jews in England on Thursday amongst whom were Lord Samuel, Lord Bearsted, Senior Rabbi Dr. Herz, Rabbi Dr. Weizmann. The delegation raised the idea of easing restrictions on the ability of Jews to migrate from Germany to English territories.
The New Barbarism
This week's outbreak of barbarism in Germany is on so vast a scale, is marked by an inhumanity so diabolical and bears marks of official inspiration so unmistakable that its consequences internal or external are, as yet, beyond prediction. Internally, there is sufficient evidence of the pity and disgust inspired in the ordinary, decent German citizen to make it both unreasonable and unjust to draw an indictment against a nation for crimes that are to be laid at the door of a party. That is the more to the credit of the German people, in that Dr Goebbels, whose apologia for what is happening is repulsive in its cynicism, is able through his control of the Press to disseminate utterly distorted accounts of events which have aroused the horror and approbation of the civilised world. Mr Hoover may have exaggerated when he said there had been nothing like it since the tortures of Torquemada – Russia might provide some parallels – but there will be few purists disposed to insist on a meticulous precision of comparison in such a case. President Roosevelt's condemnation is, in view of the restraint his position imposes, even more impressive than his predecessor's.
It is true that Jews in Germany have not been formally condemned to death; it has only been made impossible for them to live. Their crime is that they are of the same race as a frenzied boy of seventeen, who, distraught by the sufferings inflicted on his parents by the Nazi rulers of Germany, shot a member of the German Embassy in Paris. Nothing but unequivocal condemnation can be pronounced on political assassination by civilised men. It is only people of the type of the Nazi leaders who condone and even glorify it. They have exalted to heaven the murderers of Rathenau and Erzberger and Dollfuss, and their own record in the matter of assassination is too pertinent to be ignored at a moment when a political murder is being taken as a pretext for a mass-persecution that throws Germany back to the level of the Middle Ages. The so-called “blood bath” of June 30th, 1934, was simply a massacre – of women as well as men; General von Schleicher's wife was shot with him – without semblance of trial. An assassination only becomes an outrage when its author is a Jew, and if he is a Polish Jew it is on Jews, not Poles, that a vengeance which strikes the innocent alone is visited.
What form that vengeance has taken has been recorded in the British, French and American papers, if not in the German. On Thursday morning of last week, twenty-four hours after the death of Herr von [sic] Rath from the Polish Jew's bullet, by an obviously concerted plan – whether attributable to the Government or to the Party is immaterial –Jews were beaten up, Jewish shops were wrecked and looted, Jewish synagogues were set on fire throughout what is now known of the Greater Reich – for one result of the annexation of Austria and Sudetendeutschland is that Jews in those areas can now be subjected to the treatment to which their co-religionists in Germany proper were always exposed. Dr Goebbels imposed a veto, and the Government itself took the situation in hand. It began with arrests and consignments to concentration camps on an extensive scale. A reign of terror set in. Jews everywhere fled from their homes and hid shelterless and foodless in woods. By Monday the first set of anti-Jewish decrees had been promulgated. A collective fine equal to about £84,000,000 is imposed on the Jews of Germany – much to the benefit of the Government's precarious financial system. All the damage done to Jewish premises by Nazi mobs is to be repaired at the expense of Jews; but Jews will not be able to use the premises so repaired, for they are to be excluded from all economic activity in Germany from the end of the year onwards. No Jew may attend any public entertainment, no Jew may attend any German university, no Jewish child may attend any German school – but no Jew apparently may emigrate, or if he does he will go without a penny to support him or start him in a new life elsewhere. It is recorded that Jews who tried to escape from Sudetendeutschland were compelled to crawl on all fours over the frontier and were then sent back by the Czechoslovakian authorities at the behest of the Germans. Not one of the half-million victims is guilty of anything but the crime of being a Jew.
For the world outside Germany two problems, baffling in their magnitude and complexity are presented. One is the age-long problem of evil. Never before in living memory, or for generations before that, has brute force divorced from every canon of morality been erected into a national policy on a scale comparable with this, and there are no precedents to determine the attitude to be adopted towards it. No foreign Power can do anything for the Jews still in Germany. Any attempt to do that, even any expression of opinion on what has happened, may well make their lot worse, though silence would inevitably be interpreted as indifference or condonation. Even the protest our own Government has made is prompted, not by the pogrom itself, but by the outrageous charges brought by the controlled German Press against certain British public men, and the American Government, while indicating its judgment plainly by calling its Ambassador home, has refrained from official protest. In view of this impossibility of helping the victims of the Nazi terror so long as they remain in Germany, the impulse of most normally-minded people would be to reduce to the minimum of strictly official relations all contact with a country whose rulers apply the methods of barbarism in the midst of a civilised continent. To a large extent that must happen, for the events of the past week have obliterated the word appeasement, for the present at any rate, from the political vocabulary – a bitter and wholly undeserved reward of Mr Chamberlain's endeavours.
But that is only one problem. The other is how the Jews who have escaped from Germany, and those who may yet be expelled, may be helped. Execration of Nazi methods is dishonest and hypocritical unless every possible step is taken to give succour to the victims of those methods. As a whole the problem may be insoluble, but something at least can be done to alleviate suffering, and the duty to do that is a solemn charge on civilisation. A totally new effort on a totally new scale is called for. The Evian Conference of last July has led to nothing. Palestine could only accommodate a few thousand Jews at the outside. The United States is receiving some and could take more. Australia is receiving some and could take more. The Indian States are receiving some. It is incredible that in the vast spaces of the British and French Empires and on the North and South American continent there should be no room for a singularly industrious and resourceful people. The four African territories of Uganda, Kenya, Tanganyika and Northern Rhodesia have between them a white population of less than 40,000. Is there no room for any Jewish settlement there? The question must be faced at once and resolutely, and, if necessary, at some cost, by countries like Great Britain and the United States and France in the name of humanity. Ultimately, they will be enriched, not impoverished, by the harbourage they offer, though that should not be the operative motive. And there can be little doubt that hundreds of thousands of Germans, who have watched the pogroms with a shame and disgust as profound as our own would view any move to help the victims of their rulers with thankfulness.
The Week in Parliament
Our Parliamentary Correspondent writes: At no time since the summer of 1931 has the immediate political outlook been so uncertain. [...] On the wider issue of foreign affairs, no one doubts that Mr. Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement has been gravely jeopardised by the news from Germany. As regards the Nazi persecution of the Jews there is, of course, only one opinion, and the stoutest die-hards are as indignant as the most rabid Socialists. Nor have the latter attempted to make any party capital out of the sufferings of German Jewry. But the present Ministers are necessarily regarded by the public as men who are trying to make friends with the dictators and who are prepared to trust their assurances. Since the Munich Agreement was signed Herr Hitler has done everything in his power to strengthen the hands of the Government’s critics.
10th November in Germany
Balance Sheet of a Day under Hitler
- At Buchenwald concentration camp, 146 Jews have been murdered.
- In Munich and Vienna, news of more than 80 “suicides” was known.
- In Polzin, in Pomerania, an industrialist, father of three children, was murdered.
- In Frankfurt am Main, amongst the Jews arrested, 60 have “disappeared”.
- Entire families kill themselves.
- 8,000 Jews, suffering at a camp in Zbonszyn, on the Germano-Polish border, following the breakdown in negotiations between Poland and the Reich.
- Jewish women and children of Frankfurt am Main are threatened with starvation. Refusal to deliver milk for Jewish babies.
Blows and Injuries
Jews grievously injured:
- At Osnabrück.
- At Düsseldorf.
- At Nuremberg.
- At Danzig.
- In Munich and Vienna, manhunt in the streets.
- 4,000 in Berlin.
- 1,000 in Hamburg.
- Thousands in Munich and in Vienna.
- All the Jews of Nalbach (Saarland).
- All the Jews of Diefflen (Saarland).
- All the Jews over 18 years and less than 60 years of age of Frankfurt am Main, and locked in a concentration camp.
- Jewish lawyers, judges, assessors and doctors regardless of age.
- All Semitic travellers are apprehended at railway stations.
- In total, all over Germany: 35,000.
Sabotage, Pillage, Etc
- News of the death of Embassy Secretary von [sic] Rath was broadcast by radio to Berlin at 7.00 pm. “Spontaneous” reactions did not begin until six hours later, at 1 o’clock in the morning.
- 20 Hour of Vandalism Throughout Germany from 1.00 am to 7.00 pm on 10th November 1938.
- In Berlin: nine out of twelve synagogues.
- In Danzig: two synagogues.
- In Hersfeld: one synagogue.
- In Cottbus: one synagogue.
- In Potsdam: one synagogue.
- In Vienna: two synagogues.
- In Constance: one synagogue.
- In Bamberg: one synagogue.
- In Bayreuth: one synagogue.
- In Leipzig: one large shop (Bamberger and Hertz).
- In Reichenberg (in Sudetenland): one synagogue and numerous Jewish shops.
- In Old Brisach (Baden) [sic]: one synagogue.
- At Ihringen (Baden): one synagogue.
- At Munich, all the Israelites, the majority of whom were dragged from their beds in the middle of the night, had to hand over to the police the keys to their homes and garages.
- After which, they were given 48 hours to leave the town.
Thefts, Ransoms, Confiscation
- One billion marks fine has been imposed upon German Jews as a whole.
- Reparations by the Jews themselves for the damage that they suffered on the day of 10th November.
- Confiscation in favour of the State of the sums due to Jews from insurance companies.
- The Israelite community of Frankfurt am Main is obliged to meet the costs of the Jews (all the men over 18 years and under 60 years of age) sent to concentration camps.
- Of three thousand establishments in Berlin that have Israelites, almost 1,500 have been “surrendered” to “Aryans” in less than 48 hours.
- All Jewish fortunes exceeding 3,000 marks will be confiscated in favour of the State.
- Prohibition of Jews from owning retail and wholesale businesses, partaking in intermediate trade or practising a handicraft, even at home, from 1st January 1939.
- Prohibition of business owners from retaining a Jew in any managerial post. Work contracts of Jewish employees will be cancelled.
- Prohibition of Jews from frequenting theatres, cinemas, concert halls and all other entertainments.
- Prohibition of Jewish newspapers.
- Prohibition of cultural institutions and Jewish culture.
- Prohibition of Jews from advertising in the press.
- Closure of Jewish schools.
- Prohibition of the minority of Jewish children entitled to attend Aryan schools from further attendance.
- Prohibition of Jews from owning any weapon, not even a knife.
- Prohibition of Jews from attending universities where they were only admitted in very small numbers.
- Prohibition of Jews from selling their shares on the stock exchange.
- Prohibition of the Catholic Church from baptising Israelites.
- Obligation will be placed on Jews to wear a distinctive sign.
- Preparation of the medieval ghetto.
- Review of mixed marriages and divorce imposed on couples of Jews and Aryans.
After the Jews
- A short time after the attack carried out on Cardinal Innitzer's Palace in Vienna, the Nazis protested and smashed the windows of Cardinal Faulhaber's Palace in Munich.
- The Cardinal was prevented from delivering his sermon.
It is right to add to this tragic list the doubtless extremely numerous and serious facts, news of which has not crossed the frontiers.
The German Pogrom
Not sudden outbreak, but carefully planned
Mr Neville Laski's Charge
The Board of Deputies of British Jews at its meeting in London yesterday adopted on behalf of the Anglo-Jewish community a resolution in which "it records its sense of the tragedy which led to the death of a member of the German Embassy in Paris at the hands of a Jewish youth made insensate by the suffering of his parents following their expulsion from Germany, joins with the rest of the civilised world in the expressions of horror at the organised terrorism directed against the defenceless Jewish population of Germany, already brought to distress and misery by five years of unremitting persecution," and expresses its gratitude "for the sympathy with victims of Nazi persecution shown by our fellow-citizens of all denominations and all political parties and for the general support given to proposals that larger opportunities shall be given in the Empire and Palestine for the permanent settlement of refugees."
The resolution also appeals to the Government "to use its good offices in any way appropriate for the amelioration of the position of the Jews in Germany, trusts that in the forefront of any approaches made by the British Government to the German Government may be placed the necessity for permitting intending emigrants to remove their property with them, offers its wholehearted co-operation in any immediate and effective steps which have the purpose of affording relief and refuge to the victims of persecution, affirms the determination of the community to continue by unified efforts to overcome the terrible problem of human suffering created by recent events in Germany, and appeals to the community to give its generous and prompt support to the appeal for funds for the rescue of those in Germany whom it is still possible to save."
Mr. Laski's Statement
Before passing the resolution the Board heard a statement by Mr. Neville Laski in which he declared that there was ample proof that the whole action against the German Jews had been carefully and systematically prepared by the Nazi party. In this country and other civilised countries the view was widely held that the recent outbreaks in Germany were rather sudden developments, the result of a foolish act committed by a maddened Jewish youth in Paris. This view was false. The Paris crime was used as a pretext by the Nazi rulers.
"I use the word 'pretext' advisedly," said Mr Laski, "for I am firmly convinced that the Nazis were bent upon the entire destruction of the Jews in Germany and would have found an occasion sooner or later even if what happened in Paris had not occurred." "Dr. Goebbels said that the Government knew nothing of the happenings until they had started. It is possible that the Minister of Propaganda knew nothing about the plans, but it is certain that the district leader of the Nazi party of Berlin, the same Dr. Goebbels, knew perfectly well what was going to happen. It is possible that the head of the Secret Police, Herr Himmler, knew nothing about it until he ordered the arrest of the Jews, but it also certain that the head of the Black Guards, the SS, the same Herr Himmler, knew perfectly well what was going to happen."
"No words can adequately express the gratitude of us Jews of the sympathy shown us during the present German persecution," said the Rev. Leslie Edgar, Associate Minister of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, at a service held there yesterday, adding that Jewry was most thankful, too, for the prayer for the persecuted Jews offered at the Armistice service at Westminster Abbey, to the Archbishop of Canterbury and British statesmen for their protests, and "for many acts of helpfulness of our Christian neighbours."
"In all this" Mr. Edgar continued, "we have seen once again the power of the Christian spirit in England, that love of humanity, of justice and tolerance so characteristic of our country".
There was a widespread realisation that not only the fate of half a million German Jews was at stake but the whole future of civilised standards in the western world. England had already shown to the Jews her traditional and generous hospitality. But if the onslaught against human rights was to be effectively answered, some even greater gesture to the world was needed.
"Our hopes are pinned to England," Mr. Edgar concluded, "and our fervent appeal is addressed to her as a nation of vast resources and great influence who could give the lead to others and find in one of the wide spaces of the British Empire a home for our persecuted brothers."
The Council of the Association of Scientific Workers at a meeting in London on Saturday passed a resolution "strongly condemning the policy of deliberate oppression and brutal persecution of the Jewish minority in Germany on unscientific racial grounds as fundamentally opposed to the cultural views of an age of scientific enlightenment." The Council also decided to try "to ensure that no obstacle be placed in the way of immigration of refugee scientists."
Notice to Quit Permissible for Jewish Tenants – Actions to Terminate Tenancies Well-founded
Even before the shots in Paris steered attention towards the Jewish problem once more, the question whether landlords may serve notice to quit on their Jewish tenants or whether they are prevented from doing so by the Rent Act [Mieterschutzgesetz] had become pressing, particularly in Berlin.
It is known that there is an urgent need for accommodation almost everywhere in the Reich, but particularly in the large cities. This applies most especially to medium-sized and small homes. Also the numerous new and estate buildings that have already been built since the seizure of power and are still constantly being built could not meet demand up to now, as demand always continues to increase chiefly due to the numerous marriages. Amongst the people it has for a long time been felt to be an unstoppable situation that members of the Jewish people possessed huge homes, whilst working Germans were left without accommodation or had to help themselves in the most primitive ways.
Through an amendment made to the Rent Act in 1933, a certain compensation was introduced in that the Rent Act does not apply if the tenant did not have his home in Germany on 1st January 1914. However, this amendment does not suffice in order to do justice to the demands of everyday life. The question was therefore whether or not the Rent Act permits revocation of Jewish tenancies on other grounds. This question must be affirmed. The New Order in German society and in German landlord and tenant law has led to households becoming a significant constituent element of the landlord/tenant relationship and in landlord and tenant law. This means that house tenants should not only live alongside each other but care for the spirit of National Socialist society. The term household as it exists between landlord and tenant and between the tenants amongst themselves requires that all are bound by the same spirit and objectives; the National Socialist ideology.
From this reasoning, various German courts have seen fit to grant landlords’ applications for terminations of leases of Jewish tenants. This is stated in the German legal journal Juristische Wochenschrift of 1938 page 2975, published judgment of the Amtsgericht [local court] in Halle on 18th August 1938:
"Even in the household individual selfish interests can endure. A true household in the sense of this thought can only be formed and nurtured by right-thinking, German-thinking people and house occupants of Aryan descent; it is, of course, absolutely impossible with persons of Jewish origin, due to the existing racial differences. As the National Socialist state places particular value on forming and nurturing a true household and requires this attitude towards the sense of household from every member of the population, in the interests of the preservation of this household landlords and tenants of Aryan descent are not permitted to form and nurture such with tenants of Jewish origin and to live with them in the same household. The landlord must, therefore, be promised the right to exclude tenants of Jewish descent from this household and to demand they vacate this accommodation of their home. If such a tenant of Jewish descent does not comply with the landlord's eviction demand and the landlord of Aryan descent rejects the household with him, he interferes with the household between the landlord and other tenants of Aryan descent and by his further remaining in residence is guilty of a relevant harassment in the meaning of § 2 of the Rent Act.”
This view, which had already been expressed before the assassination of Legation Secretary vom Rath, has found particular emphasis and support as a result of the events in Paris. After what has happened in Paris, no German tenant can be expected to live in a house with Jewish tenants. Applications by German landlords against their Jewish tenants must therefore be affirmed for the reasons stated.
Jews Unwanted in the Whole World
The support of Jewish emigrants and, in particular, the question of where the “poor German Jews” should be brought occupied the British lower house [House of Commons] on Monday. As far as the Government’s intention is known, joint action is planned to bring together as many States as possible to make progress on this issue. At the moment when English helpfulness should be turned into actions, it seems not to be quite so glowing as newspaper reports had us believe last week. The various plans to allow a greater number of Jews into England have already encountered manifold resistance. It would seem they are only prepared to allow these Jews merely to use England as a transit stop for the overseas colonial empire.
The mendacity of the parliamentary debate was recognised by the Daily Express. The newspaper asks what good the debate can actually bring about and whether there was any intention to allow more emigrants into England. It would, of course, be a dangerous intention.
"We have already taken up our full quota of foreign Jews. We cannot assimilate them. Should we open the Crown Colonies to the Jews? Of course. There is sufficient space there and many undeveloped areas from which a man, through the sweat of his endeavours, and through unrelenting work could draw a wage of a thousandfold. But will the Jews go to these distant countries? Of course not. At most to Palestine, which cannot accept any more. The emigrant problem is an administrative issue that must be dealt with by Mr. Chamberlain and his colleagues.
Only one thing will be achieved as a result of this parliamentary debate, some elected representatives will succeed in directing general attention to their extreme views, which they would be able to give free rein to in the lower house. We do not see how far we or the Jews are served by constant accusations against Germany.”
The clear response from the Swiss Bundesrat [upper house of parliament] to the Dutch request regarding accommodating new multitudes of Jewish emigrants was met with tacit approval by the Swiss public. The Bundesrat statement should chime with the position of the governments of other European countries who have likewise repeatedly pointed out that they are already overrun with Jewish emigrants. In this context it is pointed out that these highly unpleasant “guests” are anyway only granted temporary residence in the expectation that those powers with large overseas territories would create the possibility of lasting accommodation.
Nothing tangible on this matter has occurred in recent months though, so that the small countries ask with a certain amazement why London and Washington constantly direct new unreasonable demands on the hospitality of these small lands. Switzerland regards itself per se already swamped as about 10% of its inhabitants are foreigners, of whom the majority have permanent residence, i.e. possess opportunities for unrestricted activity in working life.
Already in July of this year, as a new wave of Jews from abroad, namely Austria, came forth, Switzerland saw itself as obliged to close its borders and to even to install military supervision. Nevertheless a few thousand Jews came in and the population harbours the fear, mostly justifiably, that their accommodation in their own camps in the long run cannot be carried out and that over the course of time these Jews will then suddenly surface in more or less productive positions.
Switzerland is one of the most interesting examples where there too, where it is believed that anti-Jewish attitudes have been fundamentally rejected, anti-Jewish measures are perceived as unavoidable as soon as certain facts speak for themselves.
The Jewish question has once more been dealt with by Dziennik Narodowy [National Journal]. The paper writes that the nation in Europe that is free from the influence of Judaism will have a great and indisputable predominance over the other nations. Therefore Poland also gradually has to remove all Jews from its territory. This also holds true for all other countries in Europe. Such settlement of the Jewish question is a necessary precondition for a renewal of Europe.
Efforts in Poland hitherto undertaken towards the elimination of Jews from political, cultural and economic life must be doubled, tripled and increased tenfold. In order to maintain a happy, independent Poland, all political rights of the Jews in the State must be taken; they must be eliminated from cultural and economic life and then, finally, absolutely removed from Poland.
In answer to the hysterical cry of Jewish organisations in recent days, Senator Borah expressed his conviction that every attempt to amend the American immigration laws in favour of the Jews would falter from the strongest opposition in Congress.
Borah stated further: "I do not consider it desirable to amend the immigration law now. We could, at most, implement completely insufficient measures."
Roosevelt's instruction to the Labour Ministry too, to extend the visas of 15,000 refugees who are currently visiting America, was strongly criticised. The Chairman of the well-known House Committee on Un-American Activities, [Martin] Dies, stated in this regard that Roosevelt was not allowed to implement such an order. His actions contravene the sense of the law.
Finally a member of the Senate Immigration Committee also determined that even the Trades Unions would protest most keenly against a further increase in Jewish immigration. Even the Union men Lewis and Green, who are known as passionate supporters of a boycott against Germany, are of the opinion that Jewish immigration will not only increase current unemployment but would in particular increase significantly pre-existing anti-Semitic tensions.
Almost daily, reports are appearing in the London Press from which it can clearly be seen that in many parts of the Empire do not at all want to allow their countries to be deluged with Jews.
Thus stated the Australian Prime Minister Lyons, that the Australian Government is resolute in its stance to prevent the mass immigration of foreigners and that the associated settlements also will in no way be tolerated. A proposal apparently made in London, to settle Jewish emigrants en masse in Australia, was entirely out of the question. The Australian High Commissioner in London, Bruce, was very well aware of the stance of the Australian Government and will maintain it strongly.
"Only important Jews" (!), the Governor of Ceylon Sir Andrew Caldecott spoke thus in response to the Colonial Minister MacDonald. The current trade situation and unemployment in Ceylon allow no unrestricted admission of Jews. The Health Minister of Ceylon cautiously brought in a bill in the State Council, in which holding a medical surgery for foreigners would be prohibited.
32 Powers to Concert Refugees Plans
Hope of Swift Decisions at London Conference
Premier on Available Areas in Colonies
All Parties United in Deploring Persecution in Europe
The Home Secretary, Sir Samuel Hoare, stated in the House of Commons last night that joint action by 32 States in solving the problem of refugees from Germany was hoped for in the immediate future.
Announcing that the Evian Committee, on which these Powers were represented, would meet in London in 10 days’ time, he declared that inquiries as to how many refugees each country could take had already been made and had proved useful.
On behalf of the Government, he accepted an Opposition motion deploring the treatment of minorities in Europe and welcoming an immediate concerted effort by the nations to afford relief.
In a statement made earlier in the House, the Prime Minister disclosed that surveys were being made in the Colonial Empire to ascertain the possibilities of settlement. Tanganyika might provide 50,000 acres; British Guiana 10,000 square miles, Kenya, Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia smaller areas.
Mr. Chamberlain, appealing to all nations to co-operate in solving the refugee problem, declared that the country of origin should permit emigrants to take their property with them.
In a statement on Anglo-German relations, he said that no early meeting between the British and German Governments was contemplated.
10,000 square miles in Guiana
By our Special Representative
"Greatly impressed by the urgency of the problem." That phrase was the keynote of the brief statement on Jewish refugees from Germany in which the Prime Minister indicated to-day some of the lines of action of our Government. The number of refugees whom we can receive in the United Kingdom, said Mr. Chamberlain, is limited. Eleven thousand have come here since 1933. In the Colonial Empire he suggested important possibilities:
Tanganyika might provide about 50,000 acres of land for large-scale settlement.
Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland might receive small numbers of settlers.
British Guiana could offer not less than 10,000 square miles.
Mr. Chamberlain made it clear that much consideration had already been given to the resources thus available. He pointed out the necessity of action through voluntary organisations, which must conduct surveys and undertake the responsibility of preparing the land and settling upon it refugees of suitable types. Palestine could not provide a solution.
Then, in significant sentences, Mr. Chamberlain hoped that other countries would join with us in developing the work of the International Committee established at Evian-les-Bains, France, in July, and would make what contribution they could to the urgent need of facilitating emigration from Germany.
He had always declared that the Government had in mind the view expressed at Evian that the country of origin should enable emigrants to take with them their property.
This statement was the preface to a debate later in the evening when Mr. NOEL BAKER, from the Socialist Front Bench, brought forward a motion deploring the treatment of minorities in Europe and welcoming an immediate concerted effort among the nations, including the United States, to secure a common policy.
The motion made no mention of Germany, but Mr. Noel Baker, in a speech of emotion and fire, supplied that omission.
He began with the murder of the German Diplomat, Herr vom Rath, in Paris, declaring that political assassination was always detestable but not less detestable when it was the method by which a party climbed to power.
Then – he quoted THE DAILY TELEGRAPH AND MORNING POST's first summary of what occurred in Germany after the assassination. That upheaval, he maintained, was not spontaneous, but organised in advance.
The campaign was not supported by the German people. Germans were now helping the Jews whenever they dared.
Dr. Goebbels meant to rob the Jews of all their possessions for his party fund and to meet the bankruptcy of State finance. If he succeeded, anti-Semitism might blaze up in Eastern Europe; and Poland and Rumania might expel 4,500,000 Jews.
Mr. Noel Baker offered a programme of remedies. We should protest, we should make it clear that no cordial relations could exist between the German Government and the British people while persecution went on.
We might have to consider active self-protection. The number of Germans receiving our hospitality could be reduced.
Charity Not Enough
To meet the grave financial problem, we could take economic measures in the taxation of German goods and the control of German assets here.
Settlement of emigrants must be the work of a strong international machine. The League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was Mr. Noel Baker's choice for its chief.
We should, with other countries, guarantee a long-term loan. Private charity could not suffice. The nations which guaranteed loans would not lose their money.
Mr. HAMMERSLEY, from the Conservative benches, pronounced the problem of settlement well within the capacity of the world and the British Empire able to give great help.
Mr. MANDER suggested that financial pressure might be exerted, that Nazi Germans carrying on propaganda might be sent back to their country, or that the question of appropriating German property in this country might be considered.
Mr. LOGAN expressed the view of the “orthodox” Roman Catholic, declaiming strongly against the persecution to which the Jews had been subjected and demanding that the inevitable exodus should be treated as an international problem.
Sir ARCHIBALD SOUTHBY suggested that Jewry at large should help and asked for the strongest possible representations that refugees should be allowed to bring with them out of Germany sufficient to enable them to establish themselves elsewhere.
Issue not Domestic
Sir SAMUEL HOARE, the Home Secretary, who spoke for the Government, showed a practical and constructive sympathy with the plight of the Jews in Germany, which was approved by both sides of the House.
Having accepted Mr. Noel Baker's motion, he proceeded to avow that, although a believer in Anglo-German friendship and a staunch supporter of the Munich policy, he could not conceal deep feeling on the suffering of thousands for a crime with which they had no connection.
Measures taken against the Jews in Germany could not be an exclusively domestic question. Scores of thousands were made destitute and driven to seek admission to other countries.
The problem must remain international. No single country could hope to solve it.
Amid general applause, he announced that the Evian Committee representing 32 States would meet in 10 days. Mr. Myron Taylor, the United States Representative, was now on his way here.
Inquiries already made among the 32 Governments, as to how many refugees they could receive, had proved useful and they hoped that action would be taken in the immediate future.
Although the problem was not insoluble, international effort, with the active co-operation in effective organisation of all nations, was needed. We accepted the responsibility which fell upon us, as possessors of a great part of the world and large resources, to do our share.
The Dominions would speak for themselves. Their Governments had given the matter urgent attention and already admitted a substantial number of refugees.
To the Prime Minister's statement on the possibility of our colonies, Sir Samuel added that the survey would be expedited to find where immigration was likely to succeed. To a criticism put in an interjection by Mr. Noel Baker to Mr. Chamberlain that a tract in British Guiana had been refused for settlement of the Assyrians, he replied that the area now under consideration was of much greater extent and, if it proved suitable, large sums of capital would be found by co-religionists of the refugees.
Then he dealt at length with his own task as Home Secretary in controlling immigration to this country. He warned the House that his department had evidence of an underlying current of suspicion and anxiety about an alien influx.
If it rose to a big scale there was the making of a definite anti-Jewish movement. He did his best to stamp on animosity, but he had to be careful to avoid mass immigration.
Checks involved delay, but whenever a Jew could help himself or had friends who would look after him, he was admitted; 11,000 refugees from Germany and Austria had settled here and been instrumental in giving employment to 15,000 British workmen.
Extensions of the machinery for giving visas in Germany had failed to cope with the demand in the last 10 days, and much greater expansion would be necessary.
Then came a statement which made the House audibly uneasy. Though large numbers of visas had been given only a small number of immigrants had yet reached our shores. Many must have stopped en route.
"Concentration camps", Members commented.
Two classes, Sir Samuel went on, he was ready to admit en masse, transmigrants and children.
Numbers of transmigrants could come for intensive training. An experiment of that kind had already been successful with hundreds.
He announced a promise this morning to Viscount Samuel that the Home Office would provide facilities for a large number of “non-Aryan” children, Jewish or half-Jewish. Lord Samuel and others had arranged to bring all such children from Germany whose maintenance is guaranteed by anybody.
Sir SAMUEL HOARE "commended to his fellow countrymen in general" this opportunity of saving the younger generation of a great people and mitigating the suffering of their parents and friends.
He admitted a "terrible dilemma" for the Jewish fathers and mothers in Germany, but he had been told by someone who had just returned from work among them that they were almost unanimous that their children should go.
Dr. Colijn, the Prime Minister of Holland, had offered a temporary refuge in his country if there was hope of the children coming here. We should offer no obstacle.
For the larger effort, an international loan must be considered by the Evian Committee. We were ready to take our full part.
No Government was more sympathetic than our own, none more anxious to solve the problem or mitigate to the utmost the present suffering.
Mr. GRENFELL closed the debate with feeling untinged with vehemence. The quiet sincerity of his tones preceded immediately the passage, nemine contradicente, of the motion.
He spoke of the persons who came to the passport control office as if they were facing a tribunal which was to decide their life or death – and the help which was offered to them. The Jews had never failed to make their contribution to the destinies of the nations which had befriended them.
The Refugee Problem
Germany's latest drive against her Jewish citizens has given increased urgency to the refugee problem, which was the subject of an international conference at Evian last July. It was recognised that, while there was no lack of goodwill on the part of the nations taking part in the Conference, the practical problem of finding a permanent home for these unfortunates was beset by the greatest difficulties. Last night, the subject was discussed in the House of Commons, and again sympathy was freely expressed, but sympathy which cannot be translated into concrete schemes of settlement is of little avail. The most important contribution to yesterday's discussion in the House was made not during the debate but at question time by the Prime Minister. Mr. Chamberlain stated that, following the Evian Conference, the subject had been closely and constantly under examination by the Government. The practical outcome so far is not, however, very substantial. The United Kingdom itself cannot take any large number of immigrants. We have our own unemployment problem, and the admission of destitute refugees throws a heavy financial burden on the voluntary organisations who are undertaking responsibility for selecting, receiving, and maintaining these fugitives. Since 1923, about 11,000 men, women, and children have been settled in this country, in addition to some 4000 or 5000 who received temporary refuge pending settlement overseas. The Prime Minister did not hold out much hope of an increase in that rate of succour. Clearly, settlement in the United Kingdom offers no solution of a very large problem. What of the Colonial Empire? A large part, as Mr. Chamberlain pointed out, is not suitable for European colonisation, and, in addition, the interests of the native populations must not be prejudiced. But inquiries – which are being continued – show that provided suitable schemes are formulated and carried out by responsible organisations with a certain amount of financial backing, it may be possible to arrange for the settlement of parties of refugees in Tanganyika, Kenya, Northern Rhodesia, Nyasaland and, perhaps, British Guiana. About 50,000 acres might be available in Tanganyika – formerly German East Africa – in addition to a small scale settlement for 200 persons. The biggest, but also the most doubtful area lies in the interior of British Guiana. There, 10,000 square miles or more are available of land and climate deemed suitable.
The Socialists who raised the subject in the House of Commons last night appeared to be more concerned with an indictment of Germany than with the practical problems of finding new homes for these political and racial refugees. There is no excuse for Germany, just as there is and was no excuse for the horrible misdeeds of the Communists in Russia, about which Socialists and anti-Fascists are usually dumb. Germany has shown herself to be the brutal, domineering Power that many in this country and still more in France, knew her to be at the time when those who are foremost in denouncing her were her sentimental champions. That she has been allowed to acquire the power to tyrannise over her own people and threaten Europe is due to the softness of those who wished to release her from the shackles of Versailles. Now they would willingly put her back in fetters, but it is too late. We have to accept things as they are and one of the problems that a resurgent Germany has presented to the world – unfortunately it is not the only problem – is this matter of the refugees. Something must be done, and it must be something on a big scale. But for the hostility of the Arabs Palestine would have provided an ideal outlet. It is obvious, however, that at the present time we must proceed cautiously in that country. The need of caution was ignored by several speakers in the House last night, but theirs is not the responsibility. The problem would be eased if Germany could be persuaded to allow her expelled subjects to take out with them at least a proportion of their capital; and a strong demand in that sense should be lodged in Berlin by the Powers jointly. It is improbable, however, that it would have any effect, for Germany's financial plight is so desperate that she positively craves the confiscation of Jewish capital. The problem is so big that no one country alone can solve it. The Socialist resolution – which the Government accepted and which was adopted unanimously – called for concerted efforts. The Standing Committee of the Evian Conference, on which 32 Powers are represented, supplies an international basis for joint action; and surely, with all the good-will so lavishly expressed in the United States of America as well as here, means can be found for rescuing a large number, if not all, of these helpless sufferers, especially the children.
UNDER THE SWASTIKA
No, the Anti-Semitic violence was not spontaneous
On the contrary, it was wanted, organised by the Government and thoroughly prepared
Information coming to us from Germany brings out with painful precision the character of the preparations and the desired cruelty that provoked the anti-Semitic excesses, or rather pretexts through the assassination of Herr vom Rath, and which at times assumed the veritable aspect of a pogrom.
In Stuttgart, everything was methodically organised. SS squads in civilian clothing, under the protection of the Gestapo, set fire to all the synagogues in the city according to a predetermined plan. Systematic acts of vandalism committed against Jewish shops made the population indignant. Moreover, numerous passers-by were arrested in the street for expressing critical remarks addressed to the Nazis.
In Aix-la-Chapelle, the excesses were such that equivalents were sought in vain in the chronicles of the Middle Ages. It seems to have been demonstrated today that the leaders of the Nazi Party and the Hitler Youth organised the operation well before the assassination in Paris. Several weeks, indeed, before the murder of Herr vom Rath, there was talk in National Socialist circles of a “radical clean-up” before freeing Aix-la-Chapelle of all of its Jews. Just as the burning of the Reichstag had been the signal to Hitler's hordes for the hunt for Socialists and Communists, similarly in Aix-la-Chapelle, the murder in Paris would have been the signal for anti-Semitic persecution.
At 2 o'clock in the morning, when the death of Herr vom Rath was made known, all the heads of Hitlerian organisations were pulled from their beds by specially sent emissaries, and received the order to assemble with their men at specific locations in the city. Shortly beforehand, the usually very calm streets in Aix-la-Chapelle rang with the cries of hounded people and the crashing of broken window panes. In troops of several dozen men, Hitlerians in uniform covered the city. The head of each troop was in possession of a list of Jewish shops and homes. Lorries loaded with stones went from one troop to another to resupply them with projectiles. The police forces were sufficient, but it seemed that their function consisted of showing the gangs the shortest route to the place of looting and devastation.
The troop that gathered at the synagogue was accompanied by policemen who asked the Nazis to dispose of their cigarettes as they carried gasoline and petrol in uncovered containers. The doors of the synagogue were forced and flammable liquid spread artfully and then lit. The fire brigade was on scene before the fire, and they had been ordered not to intervene until the flames threatened the façade of the synagogue.
Meanwhile, on the streets, terrifying scenes were unfolding. It started with the looting of the shops. The author of these notes heard three men from Hitlerian groups complaining irritably to have found shoes that were too small. After which, when all the Jewish shops had been ruined, Jewish residences were stormed, unfortunate occupants were hurled onto the streets, surprised out of their sleep, without being given time to dress, they were beaten with clubs and cudgels and were forced to move as a group.
The crowd, which until then had passively assisted in the spectacle, found that the limit had been exceeded. When an old Jewish lady collapsed to the ground, beaten by a Hitlerian, and other uniformed criminals continued their blows, shouting "Kill this Jewish sow!", a brawl ensued between the perpetrators and the crowd, who wanted to make them the wrongful party, and was stopped by the police. In spite of the immense danger of such a gesture, many people took the black and blue persecuted Jews who were on the brink of being unrecognisable into their homes and gave them shelter as well as provisions to enable them to flee.
Especially in Catholic circles disapproval manifested itself. "Today, they are burning the synagogues", one often heard, "tomorrow they will burn our churches."
In the Saarland, the pogroms have surpassed in terror and ignominy everything that has been seen from the Nazis up to now. But, even there, the people demonstrated their disgust and disapproval courageously. Indicating the true culprits were not feared, who were, as was underlined, the Nazi government and in particular Messrs Streicher, Goebbels and Himmler, and not the Jewish youth who assassinated M. vom Rath. Furthermore, one does not cease from pointing out that the perpetrators are solely recruited from amongst venal elements, and notably amongst those with debts at Jewish shops.
In Saarbrücken, those Jews torn from their beds with their families were taken to the synagogue and had to set fire to it themselves with straw prepared by the Nazis. Some of the young hooligans wanted to lock the rabbi in the burning temple, but the police opposed it. After which, the Jews were led through the town in procession. But the population displayed its great disapproval. A worker's wife burst into tears and asked the Nazis to let the unfortunates go without torturing them so. She was, naturally, arrested immediately.
In all places in the Saarland, incidents of the same magnitude can be reported, as well as a comparable disapproval on the part of the inhabitants. Certain details suffice to show the base degree of the Nazis' actions. In Ludweiler, for example, Hitlerians throw themselves like wild beasts on a Jew, a tailor by profession, and shout: "We want to pay you for the uniforms you made us." In another place, in Losheim, the Nazis throw all the furniture and crockery of a Jew called Silve onto the street. After which they required the family to clear everything off the street in the next hour. When they returned, everything was, naturally, in the same state as before and the Nazis reiterated their demand, giving another quarter of an hour to the unfortunates to remove the traces of this devastation. When they returned, after this brief delay, Silve had hung himself from a tree and his wife had cut her arteries at the wrist. Note that Silve is a severely war disabled person. For him, as with all the other Jews, the Nazis stole all the money they found in the house and drank it away.
Such instances could be multiplied ad infinitum. Everywhere is the same ferocity, the same spirit of plunder, everywhere these crimes are only committed by teams specially organised by the Gestapo and its head, M. Himmler, and finally everywhere the German population in its great majority either has assisted this repugnant spectacle with an expression of silent disgust or has expressed its sympathy for the benefit of the victims.
The Assassin's Racism
On the day after the German pogroms, which have aroused the indignation of all the people and all the governments, except that of M. Daladier, L'Action Française, organ of total nationalism, flew to the rescue of Hitler’s Reich. On 20th November, M. Charles Maurras pressed the impudence as far as writing that the German Jews have been scolded at the most; the man with the kitchen knife, brimming over with hatred against a republican and disarmed Germany, tuned himself into a benevolent helper of the conquering and racist Germany. Charles Maurras' insolent lies have been taken up in diverse organs of international fascism published in French, notably by Le Petit Marseillais. They are answered not with arguments, but with figures. Thus, here are incomplete and provisional statistics of the murders committed by the National Socialist gangs. We have drawn them up by referring solely to testimonies in the major conservative or liberal papers of Great Britain, the information of which has never been denied and whose professional scruples are universally recognised.
JEWS BURNED ALIVE IN VIENNA DURING THE NIGHT OF 10th to 11th NOVEMBER
15 deaths and 72 seriously injured
“SUICIDES” IN MUNICH AND VIENNA
PRINCIPAL INDIVIDUAL MURDERS
The Sachsenhausen concentration camp affair merits special mention. On 11th November, 62 hostages arrived there under escort; the majority of them were lawyers, doctors and professors. Under blows from whips, cudgels and bludgeons, the prisoners were immediately set upon. Twelve of them were killed. Amongst the injured, several of them had their eyes gouged out and the majority were taken away unconscious.
The Sachsenhausen concentration camp affair merits special mention. On 11th November, 62 hostages arrived there under escort; the majority of them were lawyers, doctors and professors. Under blows from whips, cudgels and bludgeons, the prisoners were immediately set upon. Twelve of them were killed. Amongst the injured, several of them had their eyes gouged out and the majority were taken away unconscious.
We have only reported limited information. The majority of the victims of the brown terror could not be counted, let alone identified. On the other hand, it goes without saying that hundreds of Jews have died or are dying from their injuries. As M. Max Ferville wrote in l'Intransigeant, "the arrest of all Jewish doctors so that the wounded cannot receive treatment, leads to many of them dying".
Moreover, this violence and these murders have provoked indignant reactions on the part of the German people. Messrs Goebbels and Streicher have publicly taken sides and insulted "those who sympathise with the Jews". We have counted at least 500 arrests of “Aryans” who demonstrated their disapproval of the pogromists.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Nazi Persecution of Jews
What is happening in Vienna
To the Editor of the Manchester Guardian
Sir,– Like most other Left organisations, we are overwhelmed at the present time with the problem of dealing with refugees from the Fascist countries. Most urgent are the cases of anti-Fascists who were living in the Sudeten area and who are now given the alternative by the Czecho-Slovakian Government to leave the country or to return to the Sudeten area within a limited period.
Typical of one of these is a German who was sentenced to fifteen years for anti-Fascist activities in the Reich, who escaped across the Czecho-Slovakian frontier, and whose time limit to leave the country or to be deported to Germany expired last Saturday. We believe he is still in hiding in Czecho-Slovakia and hope to be able to get him away, but one of the difficulties is the limitation placed upon the visas by the British authorities. Only 100 visas have been allotted to all German anti-Fascists.
But my object in writing is not to draw attention only to the desperate plight of the refugees in Czecho-Slovakia. We tend to forget the tragic position of opponents of the Nazi regime, particularly if they belong to the Jewish race, who are left in Vienna. I attach a copy of a letter received from a Jewish Socialist in Vienna. It speaks for itself:
I want to tell you as shortly as possible how everything is. I think it is important that you should know what is going on and how urgent it is that help should still be given to enable the sufferers here to get out of the country. I do not think people in England can imagine what happens here to human beings. Hand-grenades have been thrown into the synagogues, and the crematorium looked like a battlefield. Flats have been totally robbed. If the Nazis could not find what they needed they smashed everything into pieces and the people were chased through the streets. They had to leave their flats with hardly anything on, sometimes in nightshirts and pyjamas. In some flats there now live from seventeen to thirty people because they are not allowed to live anywhere else. Other flats are empty because they have been closed officially.
Often when a Jew was caught in the street all his money, to the last penny, was taken away. All Jewish men who could be traced were arrested. They were fetched from their flats, from the headquarters of the Jewish Emigration Organisation, from public offices, passport offices, consulates, and even from hospitals. Poor Jews were arrested at the canteens where they got food; the food was either spilled on the streets or divided among other people. People were beaten in the streets, some of them so severely that they could not walk and fainted. Most of the people who were arrested have been freed, and they look as if they had undergone a serious illness. Some men were not ill-treated bodily; only their hair was shaved off. The men are not allowed, of course, to tell what happened to them while they were in prison, and they are threatened with the most terrible punishment if they do. But one hears one thing and another. It was, for instance, one of the great jokes among the Nazi guards to make one Jew beat another. God help them if they did not do it thoroughly! Once a boy declared that he would not beat his father, so the father was first beaten before the eyes of the son, and then the son before the father.
I have been told by a doctor who works in a Jewish hospital that many of the men have wounds of a most terrible and serious kind. There are many cases every day. People are brought with broken skulls. Some of them must lie on the floor, as there is not enough room for the many patients. Many die. Still more commit suicide. I have heard of seven acquaintances of mine who have killed themselves in these last few days. Most of them are women. The other day I saw four ambulances in fifteen minutes and that is no exception.
Friends of mine who lived in a small village were fetched the other day from their house. It was seven o'clock in the morning. There was an old man among them of seventy, a woman who was not much younger, their two daughters with their husbands, and two little children of seven and three years. They were driven like a herd of cattle through the village and brought to the police station at --. There the women and children were released after a short examination; the old grandfather was imprisoned for 24 hours without food (though he begged on his knees to get a tiny piece of bread) and then he was dismissed. Nobody knows where the two young men are, whether they are dead or alive. Their house and the money they had was confiscated. All that was left to them was 150 marks.
I know of another case where a man was missing for a week and then his wife found out that he was in a police prison. She was told that he would be taken to the concentration camp at Buchenwald. I think they tell this always to torture people, because I know of many cases where women were told by the Gestapo that their husbands or sons would be sent to a concentration camp and the men came home the following day. In this particular case, however, the man has not returned. Believe me, there is not one word in this letter which is not wholly true.
FENNER BROCKWAY General Secretary I.L.P.
35, St. Bride Street, London, E.C. 4, December 5
At the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, 12 Jews have been beaten to death
We have just learned the dreadful fate that was reserved for 62 Berlin Jews, arrested as hostages during the pogroms. They were, for the most part, lawyers, doctors, engineers, traders and two rabbis. They were transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in a single transport, led by a Berlin police officer and supervised by 12 policemen.
At the entrance to the concentration camp, the transport was awaited by two sections of SS in black uniform. The police officer offloaded the Jews from the lorry which brought them and, at the entrance, ordered them to proceed to the camp commandant's office and present themselves there. Only, the unfortunates had to begin by parading past two rows of thugs in black uniform, holding whips, cudgels and clubs.
The police officer, fearing the worst, asked the SS chief to let the Jews pass freely. The SS chief responded dryly that his duty consisted solely of taking the hostages to the required place. The Jews therefore had to pass through the two rows of SS whilst the most savage blows rained down on them. The policemen, unable to bear the cries of the martyred men, turned away. Those Jews who fell to the ground were beaten black and blue. This orgy of brutality lasted for half an hour. Then, other detainees were called on, and ordered to carry the unfortunates lying on the ground. Of the 62 Jews, 12 were dead, having had their skulls fractured.
The majority of the others lost consciousness, their faces were unrecognisable and all were covered in wounds and injuries. The chief of the SS section handed the police officer an “acknowledgment of receipt” confirming that he had brought the exact number of hostages.
This all took place on the 11th November 1938, in the afternoon, within Sachsenhausen concentration camp. As awful as these scenes of horror are, they only constitute one example among hundreds of similar occurrences which have taken place throughout the Third Reich during the month of November 1938.
What I saw at Dachau Camp
Eighteen Thousand Opponents of Hitler's Regime, of whom Twelve Thousand Jewish, are the Subject of the Cruellest Treatment
The National Zeitung of Basel publishes an interview of an escape from the Dachau concentration camp where 18,000 people are interned, many of whom are Jews and a group of Austrian opponents of Hitler's regime. For reasons one can easily understand, the Swiss newspaper does not communicate the name of its informant. The article is signed Meyer, a name as common in Switzerland as Durand is amongst us.
The number of Jews interned in Dachau following the night of the pogroms on 10th November is in the region of 12,000. It is easy to make the calculation as there are 14 barracks, called blocks, each of which is fitted out to accommodate 800 men.
M. Meyer evidently had trouble remaining as objective as possible and avoiding giving the impression that he was seeking to arouse indignation through exaggerated stories. Thus when I asked him if it was true that they intentionally or out of negligence allowed prisoners to die from cold, he answered animatedly....,
"I must clear things up. War was expected last May. In that case it was the intention to intern all Jews, for whom they had 10,000 suits made of blue and white striped canvas. Meanwhile, winter came and the clothes of very thin material provided only a very relative protection against the cold and humid climate in this marshy region where Dachau camp is located. The last arrivals could be counted amongst the most fortunate, as they were permitted to keep their own clothes. But the first 10,000 had to swap their warm and comfortable suits and underclothes for the canvas uniforms; their belongings were kept in numbered sacks. Those who have the chance to leave the camp alive see all their belongings back on leaving."
M. Meyer also consoles himself for having to sleep on hard planks. He explains this by the fact that every day, on cleaning the dormitories, some of the straw supplied at the beginning was lost. As it was never renewed, it ended up disappearing entirely. But, he adds, it would be wrong to attribute this to deliberate intention. In order to protect themselves from the cold at night, each prisoner had a blanket. For those who had the good fortune to be able to sleep, not in one of the dormitories but in a heated room, this sufficed. Nevertheless one was required to remove clothes and shoes on pain of receiving 25 strikes of a cane.
M. Meyer states that, as in Württemberg, the arrests were normally operated by law and order organisations, it was quite different in particular towns in Baden, where scenes of unspeakable barbarity could be seen to occur. In Kiel for example, just as in Offenburg, where the poor people were forced to march in step whilst singing Nazi songs. The only consolation which befell them was to note that the population did not hide its disgust and indignation at the sight of these proceedings.
After an interminable journey by rail and by bus, at last we arrived at Dachau, M. Meyer recounted. There was a roll call of all those who had brought a parcel with them which they had had to hand over to the guards before the journey. These were returned to them, but accompanied by a volley of blows with sticks administered by the SS guards. As for me, I congratulated myself for not having had a parcel; all the more so because their contents had to be given up to the authorities later with the clothes. Thus the unfortunates drew no advantage from their foresight. I will never forget my first night; night of terror in a waiting room full of poor people sobbing with despair and terror, fearing death, completely demoralised by the brutal treatment administered by young delinquents of 18 years of age.
The following morning, there was registration of new arrivals, medical inspection, shower, clothing and allocation to different blocks. For the majority of us, these formalities saw the end of the beatings, except as punishment for some so-called offence. One was beaten more for simple pleasure of beating us. Indeed, respect for the uniform amongst these people is held to such a degree that in their eyes a prisoner wearing convict's clothing has a right to more consideration than one dressed in civilian clothes.
The daily schedule begins at 5 o'clock in the morning on weekdays and 6 o'clock on Sundays. Ablutions are supervised by the eldest in the room, who has 200 people under orders. Basins of water are placed in the middle of the room. Those who have the means can buy a toothbrush, soap and a mechanical razor at the canteen. One is allowed to have up to 15 marks sent from outside each week, but this money disappears in no time at all, as the price of food and clothing are exorbitant. I will have the opportunity to say more about breakfast, which followed morning ablutions.
At half-past five, everyone had to gather on the main road alongside the blocks. Those with cleaning duties in the rooms can count themselves lucky, as they have half-an-hour less to stand still in the cold. As soon as the barrack has been made orderly, detachments march block by block to gather for general assembly on the main square where every morning there is roll call of the 18,000 internees. Not only in the morning, however, but three times daily: at half past two, and again at half past six.
The eldest in each block is charged with checking with the aid of their lists. Of a morning, this usually lasts until half past seven, but when there is any complication, departures, lost glasses or I don't know what, this can only finish towards 10 o'clock. You can imagine what this means for the elderly of 60 or 80 years dressed in thin clothes, remaining at attention in the rain, the cold, shoulder to shoulder, former professors, bank directors. Aryan internees, “political prisoners”, the “dodgers of the labour law” [work shy], “Bible Students” [Jehovah’s Witnesses] (American religious sect heavily persecuted by the Third Reich), are recognisable by their respective badges; after the roll call they have to work, mostly in the construction of new barracks. A group was pointed out dragging an enormous roller; they were the former governors of Austria. One recognised the former minister Kienboeck, and the mayor of Vienna, Schmitz.
As for the 12,000 Jews, they are not even judged worthy of working. They have to march, exercise and do gymnastics; at first they were allowed to sing, but not any more. You could cite many an example of the goodwill of junior officials, who are themselves former internees; but all indulgence on their part represent a danger to themselves. When there are SS guards close at hand, one walks faster, carries out exercises on tiptoe or they make you run the kilometres. The more the underlings are hard on the internees, the greater their chance of being freed.
There are individual or collective punishments. The latter are generally a prolongation of the painful physical exercises. The less severe individual punishment is to find oneself going without supper. On the slightest infraction, a cross is placed by you on the register: it is a warning there. On the third cross, they give you 25 blows with a stick. There are more severe punishments which I only know about through hearsay: such as being tied to a tree with you head hanging [Baumhängen], or you are thrown into a dark dungeon. As for insults such as “load of filth”, “shit”, “pigs”, one does not pay much attention as they are frequent.
There are many deaths at Dachau. I know of cases where in 20 days there were 5 to 7 deaths in a block of 800 men; after all it is only 1 per cent in 20 days! Cases of pneumonia are frequent. One man was shot by a patrol for having probably inadvertently opened the door to the room at night. Another received the same fate for having calling the camp authorities assassins aloud. A third died from an embolism.
Moving on to the everyday, breakfast consists of coffee and dry bread. In the beginning there was butter; but this was withdrawn from Jews, supposedly because they could use it to protect themselves from the cold! At midday there is soup during the week and stew on Sunday; fish on Friday. There is, of course, no notice taken of the prejudice of the Jews against pork. No “kosher” food. But although the usual is not copious, the cooking is not bad and one can say that the electric fittings are models of their type. In the evening there is tea with a piece of sausage or cheese. Those who have pocket money can supplement their rations in the canteen.
M. Meyer assured me that the most terrible thing about Dachau was neither the cold, nor the hunger, nor even the fear, but the uncertainty. The common law prisoner in prison knows the length of the sentence that he has to undergo, but in Dachau one is dependent on the whim of the authorities or dark and unknown forces.
Do not forget that this does not only relate to Dachau. Besides the 12,000 Jews who are interned there, there are many more of them in other concentration camps such as Buchenwald, Oranienburg and Chemnitz. It is estimated that around 80,000 is the number of those who have been torn from their occupations like this, from their families, without knowing anything to be blamed for. One asks oneself what all this may well mean. M. Meyer gives an explanation: according to him it concerns an intention of the Nazi leaders to rid Germany of all the Jews without exception at any cost. There is no longer a single Jew within Germany who does not wish fervently to leave the country, whatever it may cost them. “These persecutions have another consequence, certain countries, and notably the United States of America and the British Empire show greater disposition to open their borders to unfortunate German Jews. Very recently I heard a senior German official complaining about the bad attitude of many Swiss towards Germans make the following remark: "Our measures are without doubt special, but what does that signify abroad?"
"Special measures"? Without doubt! But when, as in the case that concerns us now, that of the Jews, these methods are applied precisely in view of the impression they create abroad, the foreigner has the right to express his opinion.
The authors of these pogroms, which have reached the depths of baseness and barbarity without equal, even in the Middle Ages, do not have the right to be surprised if the reaction abroad is not confined to a simple expression of pity for the Jewish victims.
320,000 Jews Freed from Camps Tell of Hardships
Twenty thousand Jews, put in concentration camps during the recent anti-Semitic campaign in Germany, have been released within the past month. All of them had to sign forms when they left stating that they would not give any information about the camps. Nevertheless, certain statements have been made. Here are some of them: In some camps one form of punishment was to have to stand to attention for 30 minutes in the glare of searchlights. At one time in one camp 16,000 men were in quarters designed for 7000. Camp inmates have to sing joyous songs to visitors to show how happy they are.
During a cold spell, a rumour was spread in Buchenwalde that caps would be distributed, as the inmates up till then had been bare-headed. Those who inquired about the rumour were made to do physical jerks. But conditions have improved there in recent weeks. Men are not forced to work, and they are allowed to receive warm clothes from friends and relatives. At Sachsenhausen, it is said that in some cases men were required to sign a form handing over such gifts to the winter help campaign. One man had to have his leg amputated. Gangrene had set in after the leg had suffered from a contusion. Almost all those released have badly inflamed hands, because they were made to do heavy work and were not allowed gloves. They worked in the rain, snow, or frost without any change of clothes. Their clothing became frozen into a solid mass and then they had to sleep at night in the same attire while it partially thawed out.
146 Deaths in Seven Months
During the last seven months, it is calculated there have been 146 deaths in all the camps. At present Sachsenhausen is rated as the worst camp. Until recently, it had 2000 inmates. Two groups of business men from Hamburg, after they had been admitted to the camp, had to stand continuously in the courtyard – one for 16 hours and the other for 26 hours. In all camps Jews wear on their shirts a Star of David on a coloured background. The colour indicates their offence – green for those who had previously been sentenced to concentration camps, red for race pollution, blue for political offences. Precedence is being given to ex-servicemen in releases and they are not forced to sign the customary promise to emigrate. Others are ordered to leave the country, often in as short a period as 10 days. Naturally they cannot obtain a visa, and they have either to go into hiding or try to leave the country illegally. If caught again they are taken back to the camps, but most of them seem to vanish.
British United Press