Menu JTA Search

Letter Shows Crown Prince, Now Pro-hitler, Aware of Peril in Anti-semitic Program

The attitude of the Hohenzollern family towards the Jews is attracting much attention in the European press. The recent publication of the ex-Crown Prince’s memoirs, which disclose a strong anti-Semitic tendency, and in which the Crown Prince shows himself to be an out-and-out supporter of Hitler, as well as an article by the Crown Prince which was recently published in London, has provoked the Paris “Lu” to publish a copy of the following letter written by the Crown Prince in 1920 to his friend Major Anker, one of the leaders of the republican “Reichsbanner” organization:

Wieringen, October 31, 1920.

My dear Anker:

I have devoted much thought to the Jewish question, and have discussed this subject with a number of personages. It is undeniable that a strong current of anti-Semitism is at the present moment manifesting itself among the large masses of the German people. Nevertheless, I believe that the German Nationalist Party is exceeding the limits in this question. You know very well that for many years, before and during the War, I fought the nefarious influence of certain Jewish circles on the Government, the Press, on Politics and on the Army, and you are well aware of my vain attempts to get the Supreme Command of the Army, which absolutely abandoned me, to take some action with regard to the Berliner Tageblatt, the Frankfurter Zeitung, and the Vorwaerts. Nevertheless I believe that the situation has changed considerably since then. In my opinion it is certain that there is a large number of honest and nationalist Jews in Germany. Also I consider it undebatable that a large number of Jews, who, both before and during the War, contributed indirectly to the preparation of the debacle, have by now realized that the Revolution was a very bad business. Assuming that, what matters today is the reconstruction of Germany, I see no reason why life should be made unbearable by anti-Semitic persecutions for Jews, who form an influential section of the population, and why they should be turned into enemies of the State.

In my opinion such action would have no other result than to make the best among German Jews emigrate, and they would then use their international connections against their country.

In my opinion this would be a very bad thing for us. I consider it essential, today, to gain every man, be he of the Right or of the Left, so long as he shares the national ideal, for the cause of German reconstruction, and to utilize his services for this end.

Class prejudices and racial problems should no longer exist for us today.

Please write and tell me what you think of this attitude of mine.

Otherwise, there is nothing new here. My mother’s state of health is satisfactory.

With kindest regards,

Yours sincerely,

William.

The Crown Prince appears to have a very short memory, for all reference to this one-time attitude of his is omitted from his memoirs.

The change in the ex-Kaiser’s attitude towards the Jews is no less striking. To the end of the War some of the Kaiser’s best friends were Jews, chief among them being Herr Albert Ballin, the head of the Hamburg-American Line. Now, according to the London Daily Herald, he has abandoned his one-time friends in order to curry favor with Hitler. “He has not a good word to say for the Jews”, the Herald correspondent says. “He says that the Jews turned aaginst him after the War, and that now he has no use for them.”

It is a little surprising that even the Hohenzollerns, the “proudest family in Europe,” should have found it compatible with their dignity to try to curry favor with a Hitler. Apparently they still cherish hopes of a monarchist restoration, and consider it advisable to veer with the wind. It appears not to matter that by doing so they are disclosing their own crass inconsistency.

NEXT STORY