(To be continued tomorrow)
Henri Berenger, author of the following article, was for some time French Ambassador to the United States, having been appointed to that post on December 8, 1925. He has represented his country in many lands, and has often been a delegate to the League of Nations. Since January, 1912, he has been a member of the French Senate, representing the island of Guadeloupe.
Well-known as an author Mr. Berenger received the title of Laureate of the French Academy in 1894 and 1915. He is an officer of the Legion of Honor, and serves on a number of Senatorial commissions. He is at the present time president of the Senatorial Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Senator, ambassador, author, M. Berenger is considered one of the major French statesmen of today.
AFTER eighteen months, the national socialist party, having developed from the first seven adherents who grouped themselves around Adolf Hitler to the ten millions after the putsch at Munich, announced the twenty-five articles upon which its program would be based.
We discover in these twenty-five articles, published throughout Germany at just this time, the nuclei of all the decrees, all the ordinances, and all the laws which in 1933, thirteen years later, have been promulgated by Hitler.
I should like to remind you, as quickly as possible, of the principal articles in this racist program of 1920. You will find there the beginnings of what has since been done. We must at least admit that the national socialists are consistent in their ideas.
Articles 4, 5 and 6 treat the German Jewish question and their solution of it in the following way:
“Article 4.–None but members of the nation may be citizens of the State. None but those of German blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. No Jew, therefore, may be a member of the nation.
“Article 5.–Anyone who is not a citizen of the State may live in Germany only as a guest and must be regarded as being subject to foreign laws.
“Article 6.–The right of voting on the State’s government and legislation is to be enjoyed by the citizen of the State alone. We demand, therefore, that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the Reich, in the country, or in the smaller localities, shall be granted to citizens of the State alone.”
And Article 23, in conclusion, proposed besides “to exclude the Jews from the right to own newspapers and magazines or to write therein.”
OUTSIDE THE LAW
Thus, from this time on, the Jews were placed outside the law and excluded from the German community. This was only a program, but we shall see how it was realized thirteen years later.
On the seventh of April, 1933, that is, at the time Hitler came into power, what was the first law he promulgated? The law concerning the reestablishment of officials and professors. This time, it was a law; it was no longer an article in a platform.
“Officials of non-Aryan origin are to be displaced. As for the honorary officials, they shall be forbidden to act in any official capacity.”
And from then on, there came a rain of decrees and ordinances to explain, develop and give strength to the law, a rain of decrees and ordinances dismissing the officials, the doctors, the lawyers, the judges, the university professors, the privatdozent. All the members of the liberal professions were excluded from what they had been doing all their life and were reduced to seeking new occupations. It was the textual realization of the racist program of 1920.
THE “ARYAN” CLAUSE
And, as though this were not enough, along comes a new decree which applies to all “non-Aryans” and which excludes from the government of the State anyone who cannot prove that he has “aryan” blood running in his veins and that his maternal and paternal grandparents were of “aryan” stock.
National Socialism has, then, realized in less than fifteen years the whole anti-Semitie program that represented the German tradition, and has now made it a law of the State. And we learn today that this extends not only to the liberal professions, to the public administration, but even to the schools, and that the little children who cannot prove that they are “aryans” are the recipients of all sorts of obstacles in the secondary and primary schools. They are beaten, struck, spit upon, put on special benches, forbidden the right of playing with the others–in a word, placed in a sort of slavery. And the Third Reich decides that outside of the 80,000 Jews who have been able to leave this Germany, the others will not receive passports, that they and their descendants will be forced to submit to the persecution which the present regime countenances.
‘COLD’ AND ‘HOT’ POGROMS
And that is what I permit myself to describe as the “cold” pogrom, the legal pogrom.
But there was something worse than that, something entirely different. There were the “hot pogroms,” with violence, and massacre, and theft, and downright looting. I do not wish to tire you with instances of this, for most of you have followed this problem, and have certainly read the Brown Book (the Brown Book of the Titler Terror–Ed.), which contains a true account of the thousands of murders, massacres and annoyances. I wish simply to remind you of the written word–not spoken, mind you–in the Nazi book of Dr. Goebbels, minister of Hitlerist propaganda for German consumption: “The Jews must be killed off like bugs.”
But that is not all. They invented the refinement of the slow death in the country from which one can no longer leave. If one at least had the right to leave, I don’t say that that would justify or arouse them, but…But not even that–no passports. You Jews must stay! They created the concentration camps. It was not very original. It was a re-invention of what the Germans had done to the French and Belgians during the war.
And now the Hitlerites inflict upon fellow-citizens their system of concentration camps. Thus, at this moment, 75,000 people are imprisoned in such camps.
And still that is not enough. There is the boycott. The Jews are usually merchants, manufacturers or bankers–this is not a reproach, since the whole trend of the Middle Ages and our modern civilization forced them into these occupations. Therefore, it is necessary for the Germans to placard their businesses. Every “non-Aryan” house–that is, every Jewish house–is put on the black list. It is boycotted, as people say. Several husky young men in brown shirts stand in front of the store, and whoever has the effrontery to enter one of these stores is immediately denounced. Naturally, these stores are abandoned, so that the Jews are reduced to misery. What can they do? They cannot be university professors. They cannot be judges. They can do nothing. It is a sort of slow suffocation, a slow death. That is the reason for the great number of suicides. Thus, in spite of the gagging of the German press in every way, it is still possible to learn what sort of life is forced upon these 500,000 Jews. For, since 80,000 have left and about 15,000 have died, there are still 500,000 Jews living in the conditions I have just described.
Why is all this being done? Because the Jews are not “Aryans.” Even though they were born in Germany, though their parents, their grand-parents were born there, though they lived there, loved there, served as heroes and good soldiers in an imposed war there, they are not. “Aryans.” Even though they may love the Germany in which they have lived, they are not “Aryans.”