German Jews Called Belgians of Next War by Returned Rabbi
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German Jews Called Belgians of Next War by Returned Rabbi

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“The stories of anti-Semitic atrocities we have heard over here were not exaggerated essentially,” according to the Rev. Dr. Adolph Coblenz, rabbi of the Chizuk Amuno Congregation, who has returned from a two-month tour of Germany.

“By that,” the rabbi added, “I do not mean to confirm every story that has reached the United States, but merely to say that as a whole, the atrocities have not been overemphasized or distorted. Some of the German Jews who signed repudiations of the atrocity reports under pressure by the Nazis told me privately that the protests which those reports had inspired outside Germany had averted greater violence on the part of the Nazis.

“I learned that anti-Semitism is not a side issue with the Hitler Government but the dynamo that keeps the machine going. That is plain from the way the newspapers throughout Germany devote themselves day after day to printing anti-Semitic propaganda. It is the chief issue with the people, although, as I suspect, it may be only 3 political instrument with their Nazi chiefs.”


What most appalled the Baltimore rabbi in Germany, he said, was the failure of the nation’s intellectual, religious and other non-political leaders to protest the anti-Semitic campaign.

Incidentally, he said that, except for being pushed off the sidewalk by uniformed Nazis, he was not molested in Germany. Conditions, he added, are much worse for the Jews in small towns, “where the area of exposure is greater,” than in the cities.

“The military spirit,” he continued, “is once more beginning to prevail in Germany. Germany is being trained into a war hysteria. The small Jewish minority in Germany is the ready-at-hand and helpless victim of a war for which Germany furiously is preparing. The attack upon the Jews is the first battle in that war. The Jews in Germany are the Belgians of the oncoming war.”

Whereas there is a growing undercover opposition to the Hitler regime, Dr. Coblenz declared, it has not yet approached the point of effectiveness.


Most of that opposition, he explained, comes from the Communists, of whom there were 6,000,000 in Germany when Hitler rose to power.

“They have been gobbled up by the Nazi movement,” he continued, “and many now wear the brown shirt, but surely nobody believes that they changed their attitude overnight. They are busy and will give Hitler trouble.”

Asserting that there is no hope for the Jewish people in Germany, Rabbi Coblenz declared the young Jews must leave the country.

“The older Jews—they will find some way out to eke out a living until, gradually, they cease to exist,” ### added.

“Meanwhile,” he said, “we must ### all in our power to aid them and ###e must continue to protest, with ###ignity, against the anti-Semitic campaign. ###n convinced that such protests do good; the criminal does ### want to be shown up.”

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