Berlin (Feb. 3)
While the “night of the long knife” has not materialized, upon Hitler’s accession to the Chancellorship, and the Nazi Storm Troops have not been incorporated in the regular police department, the present situation promises to be dangerous for the Jews, in the opinion of representative Jewish leaders of Germany interviewed by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
While there is a great need to impress upon the Jewish population the urgency of maintaining a calm attitude, they are fully alive to the seriousness of the situation which presents itself and the dangers which loom, the Jewish leaders declared.
There is the danger, they hold, that the Hindenburg circle, for the purpose of securing Hitler’s co-operation in the interests of the country and neutralizing the opposition of his party, may readily agree to concessions aimed against the Jews. While the Hindenburg circle may prevent discrimination against the Jews from being authorized by Parliamentary action, they may, notwithstanding, permit Nazi Ministers and officials to conduct a policy of provocation and persecution against Jewish individuals and Jewish groups.
Such elasticity with regard to the Jewish question, may enable Captain Herman Goering, Minister of Interior for Prussia, to carry out his plans against the Jewish Statenlose; namely to expel them from Germany or to confine them in prison camps, it is feared.
In connection with the compulsory labor item, one of the principal planks of the present program of the government, the demands of the Nazis may be acceded to and Jews be excluded from compulsory labor, paying, instead, an additional tax of five percent.
Some hope that the Nazi anti-Semitic policy will be mitigated, is placed by the Jewish leaders, in the presence in the cabinet of Franz von Papen, Dr. Alfred Hugenberg and General von Blomberg.
Hugenberg, the present Minister of Labor, it is recalled, fought anti-Semitism in his own party, the Nationalist Party. General von Blomberg, the Minister of Defense, has participated in meetings of the Union of Jewish Veterans, it is also recalled.
On the other hand, Jewish leaders are wondering why these German leaders enabled Hitler to become Chancellor before the dissolution of parliament, thus increasing the Nazi chances for new election gains.
It is pointed out that former Chancellor von Schleicher asked for the dissolution of Parliament and was refused, at a time when such action might have brought about a further decline in Nazi strength.
With no concrete knowledge of the extent to which those who oppose Hitler’s anti-Semitic policy, will seek to hinder it, Jewish leaders are entertaining grave fears for the future. They fear that the new elections will further entrench Hitler in power, so that a Nazi government will be permitted to remain in office for a considerable period. In such an eventuality, Nazi Ministers will not hesitate to carry out their anti-Semitic policy, it is believed.