Paris (Sep. 16)
Although the plight of the provincial German Jew is usually thought to be worse than that of the urban resident the fact of the matter is that many a tragedy will be found among Jews of the great cities where they are still trying to hold on to their former lives, the Pariser Tageblatt said in a recent issue.
The newspaper quotes several cases to substantiate its assertion, among them that of an old music teacher. The man is sixty years old and has for decades held a position in one music institute. His natural love for his country was intensified by his profession, for German music was to him the essence of art. The post-war inflation wiped away the small savings he had accumulated.
In 1933 the Jewish musician was informed that he was an “inferior person.” He still has his position, but under very different circumstances. Because of the decline in the number of pupils the institute no longer is paying salaries, giving the teacher merely the tuition #ees, which are just about enough to cover carfare and other incidentals.
But punctually every morning the teacher appears at the institute, whither he is drawn by old associations. He hurries forth eagerly, and resturns, crestfallen, at evening. His “pure Aryan” pupils have made his day miserable with taunts about his racial “inferiority.”
Neither he nor his wife goes hungry as yet, for he still has a bit of money saved. But his wife is ailing, the money is giving out and the taunts grow unbearable. So the old teacher is preparing to leave the country, and is learning to play the organ, that he may have a “trade in hand.” He has rigged up a contraption on his piano, and in a significant silence shared by his wife, “studies” atop a high stool every night.
“May a benevolent fate close the eyes of the old pair forever, that they may be spared the sight of a world’s miserable ness,” prays the writer.
Among the other tragedies described is that of a young engineer who was always a fervent patriot and a conscientious Jew. In 1914, when he was scarcely seventeen, he enlisted, volunteering in all sorts of dangerous situations. He received the Iron Cross, first class, at the same place and on the same day as Adolf Hitler did. Not content, he volunteered in Macedonia, where a shell shattered his leg, which was amputated.
In 1920 the young man began his studies.