The Via Dolorosa of German Jewry

(Dr. Bernhard, one of the most famous journalists of the German Republic cra and editor-in-chief of the Vossische Zeitung, is now an exile from Germany living in Paris where he edits the Pariser TAgeblatt. The following is the second of three articles by him which will paaear in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.)

BY DR. GEORG BERNHARD

Atrocities have been committed against Jews in Germany that can be authenticated. Things have been done that civilized people find it hard to understand. But the atrocities are not the worst things that have happened. It is really helpful to the Nazi regime if people dwell on the atrocities, because it diverts the attention of the world from the ssential fact that the whole of the new legislation, the administrative propaganda conducted by the official or ganizations and press are, without any bloodshed, but very deliberately and callously extinguishing the last spark of life in the Jews of Germany. Foreign opinion is weell enough informed on this point so far as the link all the details together, establish the connetions between them and draw attentions to the economic consequences that must follow these activities, whichy are not at all sporadic outbursts, but carefully planned and deliberately organized. We must make the world aware of their implications, what they mean for the economic future of the Jews of Germany, and for the future of civilization in Germany, and also the compulsory emigration of Jews from Germany must impose upon the rest of the civilized world.

When the big boycott of Jewish shops and businesses in Germany began on April 1st, it was justified on the ground that it was only a counter-move against the anti-German atrocity propaganda abroad which German Jewry was alleged to be supporting. These people would not admit to the world that it was directed againt Jewish competition. The boycott lasted only day. It was said to have been called off because the purpose of the boycott had been achieved. The Jews of the world had been made to realize that their anti-German activities woud only hit the Jews of Germany.

FOREIGN INTERVENTION

Actually, however, the boycott was called off as a result of foreign intervention. It is understood that Signor Mussolini himself warned the German government that the boycott would react very unfavorably on Germany’s position abroad. It seems conclusive that representations were made by the British and American Ambassadors, who emphasized th anxiety felt on account of British and American acapital invested in Germany.

The speedy abandonment of the boycott deceived for a time nto only foreign opinion, but also the German jews themselves. So far as the German Jews are concerned, their impressionthat the boycott was a failure was strengthened by the fact that the population, at least in the cities, was indifferent or even antagonistic to the boycott. I have been personally informed that people who beling politically to the Right made a special point of buying in Jewish shops on the day of the anti-Jewish boycott. There was alos th fact that the Jewish shops and businesses discovered that their losses were confined to the one day of the boycott. Business revised after that, and in most towns, the larger Jewish concerns, in particular, found business as usual.

SECRET MOVEMENT

It was soon seen, however, that the official boycott was only the starting-point of a big secret boycott movement, which increased in intensity from week to week to week, not just a starting-point, but a careful and thorough preparing of the ground. If Jewish shops were to be boycotted, there must first be a complete register showing which shops belong to Jews. So the boycott committee instructed all its sub-divisional committees, which exist in the remotest villages, to supply a full list of all local Jewish shops and enter prises. And these lists assumed their real importance only after the official one-day boycott. For now it was possible through propaganda conducted at the meetings of members of the National Socialist Party and at the meetings fo the National Socialist industrial and commercial cells, and not only by speeches, to insist that there must be no buying in specified shops, giving the name, the street and the kind of business conducted, so that there could be no way of circumventing the order. This propaganda, once it was started, did not subside but, on the contrary, became increasingly effective, since the National Socialist Party, and, above all, of the national Socialist workers’ cells had increased enormously since April 1st. The suppression of all Trade Unions and their incorporation in the general Labor Front also helped, and particularly the fact that men and women who did not demonstrate their active sympathy with National Socialism could no longer expect to earn a livelihood in Germany.

(Copyright, 1934, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)

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