Berlin (Apr. 24)
German Jewry is dismayed by the results of to-day’s elections to the Prussian Parliament, in which the Hitlerists have emerged as the largest single Party, with a prospect of becoming one of the chief partners in a Coalition Government. The Hitlerists polled nearly eight million votes, practically maintaining the figure they obtained in the second ballot of the presidential elections, which had been regarded as the high-tide of Hitlerist success, and was thought to be already receding, and doubling the vote they had obtained in the Reichstag elections of 1930, which became known at the time as “Black Sunday”.
The present elections have almost destroyed the effect of the recent victory of the Constitutional Parties in obtaining the re-election of President Hindenburg against Hitler.
About 85 per cent. of the electors entitled to vote went to the polls to-day, and about 35 per cent, of the poll has gone to the Hitlerists.
However heavy the Hitlerist poll, the Hitlerists are not, however, sufficiently strong to form a Hitlerist Government, even with the support of their allies, the German Nationals. At the same time, many seats have been lost by the Republican Grand Coalition, the Centre (Catholic) Party alone having maintained its old strength, and there is no possibility of the present Republican Government, headed by ######### Braun and Herr Severing, retaining office.
The situation in the Prussian Parliament is a very difficult one. There are 160 Hitlerist Deputies (where in the last Parliament there were only 9), 30 German Nationals and 12 other Deputies of varicus Parties of the Right, making a total of 202 on the Hitlerist side out of the total number of 426 seats, with the Republican Parties having a total of only 169 seats, made up of 93 Social Democrats, 68 Centre Party Deputies and 8 Deputies of the State Democratic Party. The balance is held by the Communists, with 56 seats, who are not likely to give their support to either side to enacle it to form a Government.
There is a possibility that the Federal Government may appoint a Cabinet of officials to carry on administration in the absence of a properly constituted State Government.
The only other way seems to be for the Centre Party to join the Hitlerists and their allies in a moderate Hitlerist-Centre Coalition Government. The democratic sections of the Centre Party are opposed to such a Coalition, but the Centre Party also has an extreme Right wing, which is making efforts to bring about the formation of such a Hitlerist-Centre Coalition Government.
The Hitlerists will agree to that, it is stated, only on condition that their representatives will be included also in the Federal Government headed by Dr. Bruening, himself one of the leaders of the Centre Party, which would practically cancel out Dr. Bruening’s defeat of the Hitlerists in the Hindenburg election.
On the other hand, the formation of a Hitlerist-Centre Government would leave the lot of the German Jews less intolerable than it would be under a purely Hitlerist Government, since the Centre Party representatives would check the antisemitic extremism of their colleagues.
Jews would probably be dismissed from the public service everywhere, but the Centre Party is definitely opposed to the withdrawal of citizenship rights from German Jews, and would be able to prevent such action being taken.
The position of the large numbers of East European and other foreign Jews living in Germany is, however, a serious matter, and the outlook for them is very black.
No Jews have been elected to-day anywhere, except in the Prussian Parliament, where three Jews have been returned as Socialist Deputies, two no longer Jews.
In the other States where elections have taken place to-day, the Hitlerists have also secured big successes, though only in Anhalt have they been able to obtain a majority of the seats, together with their Nationalist allies, and will be in a position to form a Government. In the Hamburg Parliament the old Government remains in power. In Wurtemburg, the Nazis have had a great victory, but the old Government has still a small majority, and in Bavaria, the old Government has also maintained its majority, though the Nazi representation has been increased.