The order issued last week by the Nazi authorities prohibiting the appearance of non-Nazi publications, may put an end to the German Jewish press which now enjoys the largest circulation it ever had.
Driven into ghetto life, the Jews in Germany are now reading more of their Jewish press than ever before. It is in the Jewish press that they find an echo of their own life and a link with Jewish life abroad.
It is therefore small wonder that a publication like the Central-Verein Zeitung, the organ of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, now has a larger circulation than the Berliner Tagesblatt, once the most widely read German newspaper in Europe. The circulation of this German Jewish newspaper reaches 50,000, which is almost as much as the circulation of the Angriff, one of the two leading Nazi papers in the country.
The same is true also of the Berliner Gemeindeblatt. This paper, which is the official organ of the Berlin Jewish community, enjoys a paid circulation of about 50,000. It is not sold on the streets and limits itself to subscribers only. The volume of advertisements which this paper carries is far larger than that carried by the Berliner Tageblatt or any of the Hugenberg publications.
The Juedische Rundschau, official organ of the Zionist Federation in Germany which appears twice weekly, has a circulation of 35,000, and its advertising pages exceed the advertising seen in any of the Nazi publications, excepting the Voelkischer Beobachter.
The list of Jewish publications in Germany enjoying a large circulation is not exhausted with the above. There is the Hamburger Israelitische. Familienblatt with a circulation of more than 35,000. There is Der Schild, official organ of the German Jewish War Veterans, with more than 20,000 subscribers. There is the Israelit, an orthodox publication with about 5,000 subscribers, and the Juedische Allgemeine Zeitung, published by the Liberal Jewish group of Germany, with an approximate circulation of 8,000.
All these publications, as well as a dozen other smaller community papers, may now under the new regulations be liquidated by the authorities. The last means of inter-community contact will be lost to German Jewry. It will be deprived not only of the means of voicing its grievances from time to time through its own press, but also of knowing what is going on in Jewry throughout the world as well as in Germany.
That the thirst for such knowledge is now strong among German Jewry is best evidenced by the fact that the total monthly circulation of the German Jewish press is now estimated at 1,040,000, averaging two newspapers a month for every German Jew, which was hardly the case before the Nazis came into power.
To appreciate the significance of this average, it is sufficient to say that in Germany today there is one paper to every 20,000 of the non-Jewish population, and even this proportion is gradually declining since the German people have lost interest in their press and it contents.
Nazi leaders make no secret of the fact that they are greatly concerned about the substantial decline in the circulation of the German press. It is by the suppression of the Jewish, Catholic and Evangelic confessional publications that they hope to increase the number of readers of the German press. Needless to say, this will never be achieved as long as the press of Germany remains under the heel of Nazi censorship. The suppression of the non-Nazi press of Germany will not result in more foreign newspapers being read in the country, but will wield no increase for the newspapers appearing in Germany.