Intensified interest in Zionism and strictly Jewish activities is the result of the Nazi segregation of the Jewish population in Germany, Herr Julian Lehmann, editor of the Hamburg “Israelitische Familienblatt,” who arrived yesterday on the Berengaria, told a Jewish Daily Bulletin reporter.
Arriving with his wife, Frau Else Lehmann, for a short visit in the United States to observe for his newspaper the situation of German-Jewish refugees in this country, Herr Lehmann declared that Jewish organizations of all types, from sports clubs to synagogues, are undergoing a transformation as a result of the expulsion of Jews from all national activities. The youth of the country, who formerly had a vent for their energies and ambitions in other fields, are organizing into sport-clubs, under the sponsorship of the Jewish “front-soldaten,” or front-line fighters in the World War, and into back-to-the-soil movements with a view to preparing themselves for farming either in Germany or Palestine if entry should be obtained for them.
“A people without a future,” is what Herr Lehmann calls the Jews in Germany, who have been ousted, he declares, from every professional field except, under severe restrictions, law and medicine.
Referring to the situation in Hamburg, his own city, Herr Lehmann said that the circulation of his paper, “Das Israelitische Familienblatt,” which was 26,000 a year ago, has gone up to 40,000. Exclusively Jewish cafes and theatres have been established as the only places where a Jew can find himself at ease. “The situation of the Jew has stabilized itself in the last year” is Herr Lehmann’s opinion, “and Jews can live at peace if they are willing to keep to themselves and follow only commercial and manual pursuits.”
Herr Lehmann, who served on the Western-Front for four years and is the holder of three medals, including the Iron Cross, was formerly an editor of the “Frankfurter Zeitung” but journalism, like most other things in Germany, has been “purged” of Jewish influences, with the result that approximately 500 Jewish newspaper men and women in Berlin alone have been set adrift, with only the Jewish press to resort to for a livelihood. Herr Lehmann’s editorial desk at “Das Israelitische Familienblatt” is piled with manuscripts from Jewish journalists, most of which would have once found an eager market, but for which there is now no place.
Not more than $80 each was permitted to Herr and Frau Lehmann as travel expenses on their visit here. They were allowed to take along $20 apiece and $60 more could be forwarded to them, at their destination. But for any additional expense the government made no provision. The editor of the Familienblatt has been travelling through Poland, France, Belgium and Holland for his survey of conditions among the refugees. Since his last visit to Austria, he declares, he has had no news of the situation there, except from newspapers of the foreign countries he visited. Not only are German papers censored but mail between Germany and Austria is also examined by the government, so that correspondents are extremely cautious in their dispatches.