Wild Pumours of Jews Fleeing from Berlin Discredited: Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Fai
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Wild Pumours of Jews Fleeing from Berlin Discredited: Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Fai

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An alarmist report according to which Jews are fleeing from Berlin to escape the Hitlerist menace, appears in to-day’s issue of the “Daily Express”, whose Berlin correspondent writes there that “a Jewish banker friend of mine told me to-day that a large number of Jewish businessmen who are afraid of the antisemitic tendency of the coming Hitlerist regime are transferring their homes, and wherever possible their business headquarters, to Munich, the Bavarian capital”.

The Berlin office of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency states on enquiry that there is no basis for this report. The Jewish population of Berlin is not in flight, and Jews who happen to be leaving Prussia are not going to Bavaria.

The Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Faith tells the J.T.A. that there is no such movement among the Jews of Berlin as is suggested in the report.


The feeling in Bavaria at present with regard to the Jews is not so hostile as it was a few years ago, but it is not many years since Bavaria and Munich were hotbeds of antisemitism. Only as recently as Rosh {SPAN}#ashanah{/SPAN} 1930 the anti-Shechita law came into effect in Bavaria, and the Federation of Jewish Communities in Bavaria issued a statement in which it said: The Day of Atonement this year is a day of mourning for us, for in this beloved Bavarian fatherland of ours, once the land of justice and tolerance, of liberty of conscience and the unrestricted exercise of their religion by the members of all faiths, we Jews are now prevented from carrying out one of the essential rites of our faith. We must unfortunately bow to the situation. We must bear our burden worthily. The religious and secular leaders of Bavarian Jewry have made arrangements to provide for a kosher meat supply to be brought into Bavaria from outside.

The Hitlerist movement started in Munich, and has its headquarters there, and the chief Hitlerist organ, the “Voelkischer Beobachter”, appears in Munich. After the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch of 1923, the Hitlerist movement became unpopular, however, in Bavaria, and the most powerful Party in the country now is the Bavarian People’s Party, which constitutes the Government, a Catholic Party, corresponding to the Centre Party in the rest of the Reich.

In 1923, under the Government of von Kahr the Nationalist leader, who suppressed the Hitler-Ludendorff putsch, there were expulsions of foreign Jews from Bavaria, and vigorous representations against this practice were made by the Polish Government, since most of the deportees were Polish Jews, and also by the British Government, who, through

the Consul-General in Munich at the time, Mr. Clive, communicated to the Bavarian Government that Great Britain was viewing the expulsions with grave concern and disfavour. Mr. B.S. Strauss reported to the Jewish Board of Deputies at the time that the British Consul in Munich had under instructions from the Government made representations to the Bavarian authorities as to the painful impression which the expulsions had made on British public opinion.

The result of the various representations was that the expulsions were stopped.


The “Daily Express” deals with its Berlin correspondent’s message in a leading article in which it warns Hitler against pursuing an antisemitic policy if he should come into office.

“The Jews are leaving Berlin”, it writes. “Part of the new exodus is towards Munich. There, where Catholic power is strong, they believe the Church will protect them from the threatened violations of the Hitlerists. In Berlin they have played a vital part in the finance and industry of united Germany. In Bavaria it is likely that they will lend their support to the Bavarian movement for breaking with the German Reich.

“Hitler found that attacking the Jews was popular platform demagogy. If he comes into Government as a result of its success, he will find it bad politics and bad business. All through history there have been countries which oppressed and persecuted the Jews. One by one these countries have fallen from greatness. Let Hitler learn from history while he makes it”.

This is the attitude taken by the “Express” on the Jewish question on all occasions when it happens to deal with the subject. After the Hitlerist victory in the German Reichstag elections of September 1930, the “Daily Express” published an editorial in which it wrote in similar strain: There is an ugly wave of antisemitism breaking over Europe. Whatever force it gathers, it will not touch us in Britain. Here we prize the Jewish leaven in our national life, and the spiritual and artistic reinforcement it brings with it. The commercial and intellectual aptitudes of the Jewish people are seen at their best in Britain, because there is no ban upon them or bar against them. With us the problem of the Jews has been solved by their full absorption into all our multitudinous activities, and the nation is the richer and the happier for it. On the Continent they will learn in the long run that there is no other solution. There are pleasant and unpleasant Jews, just as there are pleasant and unpleasant Gentiles, but when a nation starts persecuting Jews as a whole, it is a confession of decadence and defeat.

Last February, too, when it started the publication in serial form of Louis Golding’s “Magnolia Street”, the “Express” referred in an editorial to the manner in which the book showed Jews merging and co-operating and said: On the Continent the Jews apparently will never cease to be regarded as a problem and a menace. In Britain they are accepted as a distinctive, but not an alien part of the common body of citizenship.


Similar reports of Jews fleeing from Berlin appeared in the press after “Black Sunday”, as the Hitlerist victory in the Reichstag elections of September 1930 became known, but these were soon found to be without foundation. The spirit of German Jewry was described at that time in statements to the J.T.A. by leading German Jews, like Professor Einstein, Dr. Ludwig Hollaender, the Director of the Central Union, Dr. Klee, the leader of the Zionists in the Berlin Jewish Community, Herr Heinrich Stern, the President of the Federation of German Jews, Dr. Bernhard Kahn, the European Director of the Joint Distribution Committee, and others.

The more dangerous anti-Dreyfusard agitation brought at one time almost the entire French people into the antisemitic camp, Professor Einstein said. I hope, in the case of the German people, too, once the economic situation improves, they will regain their equilibrium.

The Jewish answer, Herr Heinrich Stern said, must be to strengthen Jewish feeling and to arm spiritually against the sufferings that may be imposed from without.

Herr Ernst Wallach, Vice-President of the Central Union, said: The Jews must not despair. They must intensify their activities, to convince the masses that justice and equal rights for all citizens are the best way of assuring the future of Germany and the German people.

The attitude of the leaders of German Jewry has not changed since then.

A wave of antisemitism has swept over the German fatherland, and not a single Jew can escape it, was the way Dr. Bernhard Weiss, the Jewish Police Vice-President of Berlin, put it only a few days ago, but there could be nothing more unworthy, more pitiful than for us to retire from the fight for lack of courage. We must stand unflinchingly at our posts.


Speaking of the coming elections to the Reichstag, fixed for July 31st., the “Express” correspondent remarks that it will be interesting to see whether the Hitlerites, now that they are no longer fettered by propaganda restrictions, will be able to obtain, together with their Nationalist allies, a majority over all the other parties in the Reichstag.

In Prussia and the rest of northern and central Germany, he proceeds, the power of Hitler is growing stronger from day to day, emphasising in this connection the Hitlerist victory in the Mecklenburg-Schwerin elections.

The reconstitution of the Hitler storm troops and the parade of 20,000 Hitler soldiers in Berlin has now been fixed for next Saturday, he goes on. The parade is to be held either in the Lustgarten, the vast square in front of the ex-Kaiser’s Palace, or on the Tempelhof field, where in days gone by the Kaiser used to review his troops.

The “Times”, however, points out that the result of the elections in Mecklenburg-Schwerin must not be taken as symbolic of what is likely to happen in the coming elections all over the country. What is possible in Protestant Mecklenburg, where the Catholic Centre does not even run candidates, it says, is not possible in the Catholic districts. The Centre Party is long likely to be an important and possibly decisive factor in the national elections. Good German judges, though favourably disposed to the Nazis, do# not predict a majority of them in the Reich. They realise that a Nazi-Nationalist majority is possible, but think the Centre may after all retain the balance of power which it held for thirteen years.

In Oldenburg and Mecklenburg, the “Times” Points out, what the Nazis have done is practically to absorb the small parties which formerly faced German politics, and to have narrowed down the issue to a straight fight between Nazis and Socialists.

As for the Nazi storm troops, the “Daily Telegraph” suggests that while the Nazi storm troops are to be released from their ban, the permission will not be at all to the liking of Herr Hitler. It is said, it remarks, that the essential features of General Groener’s decree with regard to organisations of a military character will be retained. The Nazi youths will be allowed to wear their brown shirts and badges, but they will remain under State control. Moreover, they will be subordinated not to the Federal Minister of the Interior, but to the much more stringent supervision of the Minister of War. It is further stated that they will be prevented from assuming too great a resemblance to troops, and that they will not be allowed to live in barracks. In fact, it says, Herr Hitler will not receive his old toy back again as it was, but will be given a new one, with which he may play without any serious risk to a State Government by General Schleicher.

If the elections on July 31st. do not result in a clear mandate for a Government with the majority of the German people behind it, it adds, the Government intends to dissolve the Reichstag again. So far as the rumours are concerned of President Hindenburg retiring in favour of the ex-Crown Prince, the Government spokesmen vigorously deny them.

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