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Notes on Germany

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The Hitler government has carried out its threat and has issued a list of the thirty-three German emigrants who have been deprived of their German citizenship.

This list will one day occupy a place in the history of the political liberation movement in Germany such as is held nowadays in American history by the list of those who came on the Mayflower, for every one of those whose name is on this list has thereby given proof of his incorruptible Republican convictions which were bound to provoke the special enmity of Messrs. Hitler, Goering and Company.

Among those thirty-three, if we leave out of account a few members who are of partly Jewish origin, there are ten Jews. Some of them are men who are known the world over. They should certainly have had the honor to have Einsterin’s name included with their own had not Einstein notified the German government three months before that he no longer regards it as an honor to be a German citizen so long as Germany is ruled by Hitler.

There is a good deal of the comic in the fact that a man like Chancellor Hitler, who only recently obtained his naturalization as a German subject through the back door, now denies German citizenship to men like Heinrich Mann, who, like his brother Thomas, who is still tolerated, belongs to a Luebeck family that for centuries provided that ancient free Hanseatic city with Senators and Lord Mayors.

The expatriated Jews all belong to families who have lived for centuries in Germany. My own ancestors, as I can prove by official document, were about the year 1670 already living in a small town in Brandenburg, about an hour’s distance by motor car from Berlin. . All of us on the list, we Jews, too, instead of letting Hitler make regulations about our Germanism have much more right to question his own title as German. And the world, especially the Jews of the world, should ask him publicly how it is that he who slunk into German citizenship by getting his party comrade Frick to appoint him a government official of Thuringia has obtained the right to annul the citizenship granted under the republic to Jews of Eastern Europe.

But there is one thing that has now become a burning issue. And that is the need to do something urgently concerning passports for emigre German Jews. American Jews too ought to see to it that full effect should be given to the proposal put forward amid applause in the British House of Commons by Locker-Lampson that Palestine citizenship should be conferred upon German Jews, not only upon those living in Palestine, so that they would receive Palestine passports, which would in effect place them under the protection of the British Empire.

I should regard it as a great honor to become, in this way, a citizen of the Promised Land.

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