Gestapo Bars Zionist Leaders, Held “radical,” from Community Posts

With control of a 9,000,000-mark budget at stake, the Gestapo, Nazi secret political police, has barred a group of outstanding German Zionist leaders from seeking office in the Berlin Jewish Community on the grounds that they are “radical,” it became known today.

Disclosure of the official Nazi interference in a purely Jewish election was made with the publication of the Jewish Community’s united election slate.

It was learned today that the Gestapo had first ordered the various Jewish groups to patch up existing differences and to agree on a united list for their central council and executive. When this was willingly complied with, the Gestapo proceeded to blue-pencil from the slate the names of the most outstanding Zionists and ordered them replaced by other Zionists with little influence.

Those stricken from the list include Dr. Benno Cohn, who was recently detained for eleven days at Gestapo headquarters without charges having been filed against him; Ernst Marcus, director of Paltreu, Berlin office entrusted with execution of the Germany-Palestine transfer agreement; Dr. Arthur Rau, director of the Palestine Emigration Office here; Dr. Michael Traub, leader of the Palestine Foundation Fund in Germany and Dr. Georg Lubinski, head of the Central Office for Jewish Social Welfare.

Several of the men eliminated were to have been named to the executive which controls Jewish communal activities and operates a budget of 9,000,000 marks.

Zionist circles feel that the result of the Gestapo’s action will be to make Dr. Georg Kareski, leader of the German State Zionist Party, the chief representative of the Zionist interests in the executive, although he has been a bitter foe of the present Zionist leadership.

It is believed also that Dr. Kareski will practically rule the community’s affairs for the next four years, during which Berlin Jewry will be growing in importance as the provincial Jewish communities, under constant anti-Semitic pressure, progressively deteriorate.

This situation will be possible because, although Zionists formally have parity in the community’s council, the only Zionist representatives in the executive will be Dr. Kareski and his supporters.

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