Berlin (Aug. 30)
The general German election of 1930 is characterized by an exceptionally strong wave of anti-Semitism and Jewish interest in its outcome must, therefore, be more intense than otherwise, declared Dr. Bruno Weil, vice-president of the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, in an interview today with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Dr. Weil has just been nominated as the candidate in the Berlin area of the newly organized Constitutional Party.
The present wave of anti-Semitism. Dr. Weil pointed out, can be compared only with that of the 1880’s, but now it seems to embrace a much wider section of the population. Explaining that the German defeat in the War and the present tense economic situation have created what is partly a sentimental and partly a deliberately exploited ground for modern anti-Semitism, Dr. Weil said that whle the anti-Semitism of the 1880’s sought to justify itself on ethical, moral and even religious grounds, today it is national and racial.
“There are, unfortunately, very strong romantic and mystical ideas existing in Germany on this subject now which are scientifically unsound,” Dr. Weil stated. “That is so especially in the case of the teachings of the National Socialists (Fascists), who are the most dangerous enemy of German Jewry, and whose aim is to split Germany racially according to the doctrine of the so-called Nordic race superiority. The Nordics are identical with neither the Aryan nor with the Germanic race.
“What these modernistic anti-Semitic race theoreticians want to do is to divide up the population of Germany, apart from the Jews, into at least five different blood groups, only a small section being treated as belonging to the Nordic, the superlative race. The idea of belonging to the supreme race of mankind naturally flatters the instinct of the masses, and it is this that the National Socialists have to thank for their undeniable successes, and not the imbecility of their race teachings.”
Tracing the make-up of the German political parties and their attitude towards the Jews, Dr. Weil said that hitherto the Liberal and Democratic elements of the German bourgeoise, politically represented by the People’s Party and the Democratic Party as well as the Centre Party and the Social Democrats and Communists, have held aloof from this idea. Of late, however, he explained, the People’s Party has joined a National Socialist cabinet in Thuringia and the People’s Party failed in a similar experiment in Saxony only because of the opposition of the Democrats and the People’s National Federation.
Dr. Weil pointed out that because the two workers’ parties, the Communist and the Social Democrats, are interested in the specific question of fighting anti-Semitism only in so far as it affects their general party principles, but not in the special needs of German Jewry, and because the Centre Party is a purely Catholic party, German Jewry in so far as it is not identified for class reasons with the workers’ parties, has since the days of Jewish emancipation found its political representation within the bourgeois Liberal and Democratic Parties.
THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY
It is in the Democratic Party, Dr. Weil said, that the Jews have played their most important part in German political life. “It has had,” he declared, “among its members, Hugo Preuss, Dr. Theodor Wolff, Georg Bernhard and the late Walter Rathenau and Ludwig Haas. Its danger of being crushed between the purely economic parties and the agrarian parties on the one hand and the religious parties on the other compelled its leaders to liquidate it and form the new Constitutional Party together with the People’s National Federation, a number of young People’s Party men and some Christian Trade Union members.
“This fact has caused some concern among the Jews of Germany since the most important element in the new party, after the Democrats, is the People’s National. Federation which is, to a large extent, in personal union with the Young German Order, whose constitution restricts its membership to people of German (Aryan) blood, and which sprung out of the soil of anti-Semitism, although it has developed along different lines from the National Socialists.
“While the latter are bitterly opposed to the Versailles Treaty, the Young German Order has come to accept the Republic and its leaders and has recognized that German foreign policy can succeed only by conciliation with France. Its leaders claim that it is now completely free from anti-Semitic prejudices. It must be remembered, however, that the Constitutional Party had been founded not together with the Young German Order but with its ally, the People’s National Federation, which, from its inception, has guaranteed equal rights to all, and is also the only organization of its kind that has been vigorously fighting the National Socialists,” Dr. Weil concluded.