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Reich Counts Berlin Jews; Notes Race on Passports, Car Licenses

What amounts to a general census of the Jewish population of Berlin is being carried out now by the police. While the authorities refuse to divulge the purpose of the count, it is apparent that at least one motive is to assure that passports and other identification documents clearly indicate the owners as Jews.

Police officials daily “invite” the heads of Jewish families in their districts to bring to headquarters all passports, driving licenses and other documents in possession of the family. All the documents are marked by the police with red ink lines under the owner’s name. This is the first time since the advent of Nazism that passports clearly mark their owners Jew or “Aryan.” It is not yet clear whether newly issued passports will be marked in the same way. Drivers’ licenses are being similarly marked.

In this connection, it is pointed out that the Reich authorities have suddenly dropped the practice of assigning special license numbers to Jewish-owned cars. The probable explanation for this is that Jews with such numbers chose to sell their cars, even at heavy loss, rather than to drive them, which caused violent objections by second-hand car dealers unable to maintain their prices.