Berlin (Jul. 29)
The official order withdrawing German citizenship from all Eastern European Jews was announced today by the ministry of the interior. The order is based on the Nazi cabinet’s decision to this effect reached here last week.
Only those Eastern European Jews who served in the war as German soldiers, or “such Eastern European Jews who show special achievements in the interest of Germany.” will be excluded from the ban. The number of these persons, in comparison to the total number of East European Jews, is insignificant.
In cases where an Eastern European Jew who was naturalized a German citizen is already dead, his wife and children will nevertheless lose their German citizenship, the order ruled. Another class to lose their acquired naturalization privilege are “criminals.” In effect, this places all Eastern European Jews in the same category with murderers and thieves.
The Reich’s ministry of the interior also announced today that every German-born person guilty, even indirectly, of aiding the spread of anti-Hitler propaganda will lose his citizenship and have his property confiscated. This order opens wide possibilities for the official confiscation of German Jews’ property and the withdrawal of citizenship from German Jews, for the Nazis will be able to interpret any trivial remark as anti-Nazi and accuse the German Jews on invented testimony.
A third order today officially withdrew German citizenship from those Germans resident abroad who have been unfaithful to the Nazi regime. Their property was ordered confiscated, in the interest of the state.
Revocation of German citizenship from Eastern European Jews has already been started. A number of Jews in Berlin, all of whom were recently naturalized, were suddenly visited this week by members of the political police who served them Nansen, League of Nations passports, made out in their names and took away their German passports.
The police, in demanding the return of the Jews’ German passports, refused to state any reason for this action.
The government promulgated the law empowering it to cancel citizenship granted between November 9, 1918, and January 30, 1933, after a long cabinet meeting on July 14. About 10,000 Eastern European Jews are liable to be affected by the new law, it is estimated. Most of them are of Russian, Polish or Roumanian origin and will be rendered staatenlose (persons without a country) if the countries in which they were born refuse as is anticipated, to restore the citizenship which they renounced when becoming Germans.
Many German Jews who have fled abroad are liable to have their banking accounts in Germany, which they were not allowed to withdraw, and their immovable property seized if they do not return to Germany when their exit visas expire.