Fear for Arrested Doctors Felt in Berlin Police Won’t Free Them
Menu JTA Search

Fear for Arrested Doctors Felt in Berlin Police Won’t Free Them

Download PDF for this date

Fear is being felt for the safety of the Jewish physicians, now numbering in the neighborhood of eighty, who were arrested in raids Friday on the consulting offices established by the Berlin Jewish community to aid ousted Jewish doctors, and since that time in individual arrests. It is felt that there is grave danger that the doctors will be sent to various prisons.

Release of the men has been refused by the political police until such time as a report on the confiscated material which the Nazi press vehemently claims bears out allegations that the medical unit was a “secret Marxist Jewish organizations”, is prepared. The press continues to make these charges although none of the arrested members of the advisory bureau have been in any way connected with radical organizations and although the proper authorities have been notified that the consulting offices have been reopened.

Herman Wilhelm Goering, Prussian premier, took a hand today in the case of the Jewish doctors who were arrested, it was learned by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. Premier Goering expressed his opposition against the linking up of the Kehillah, the Jewish community organization, with the arrests.

While it is not expected that the Jewish doctors who were arrested will be released soon, an official communique will be issued pointing out the difference between the Kehillah and the activities of the consulting office, which are not connected.


Among those arrested are men of international fame such as Professor Erich Seligmann, former head of the Health Office and German representative to the Geneva Congress on Hygiene, and Professor Strauss, head of the Jewish Hospital. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency previously reported that among the arrested doctors were Dr. Felix Theilhaber, reknowned physician and writer, and Dr. Speiser, vice president of the Jewish Nationalists group which supports the Hitler Government.

Professor Seligmann was arrested Saturday although the majority of the men arrested were taken into custody Friday.

Nazi doctors who instigated the raids on the Jewish physicians disregarded the condemnation and denunciation by Chancellor Hitler of high-handed extra-legal methods. They interpreted Hitler’s statements as applying only to business, not to the liberal professions from which they asserted the Jews must be driven out. It is generally believed on good authority that the arrests were instigated by Dr. Klause, head of the Nazi doctors’ organization. Klause is also believed responsible for the large-scale dismissals of Jewish doctors who are also war veterans and thus supposedly exempt from many of the discriminations against the Jews.


Ousting of Jewish war veterans who have seen service at the front has been accomplished by the Nazi doctors through many subterfuges and technicalities, chiefly through misinterpretation of the regulations. For example, Jewish artillerists are said not to have been in the front ranks and not to have been in battle. Radio telegraphers, who are generally known as occupying some of the most dangerous positions at the front, are also ruled out and former telegraphers cannot gain exemption because they did not fight in a physical sense, the Nazi doctors hold.

Furthermore, the six-months front service period which theoretically exempts Jews from discrimination, is too short, the declare and demand records of service in the frontline trenches of more than six months. Jewish exsoldiers proving that their battalions were in the trenches for long periods of time are asked by Klause for proof that they themselves were personally in the trenches since the fact that their battalions were there, was not sufficient proof.

This misinterpretation of the exemption regulations is not solely confined to medicine but applies also in law, teaching and the world of officialdom.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund