BERLIN (Nov. 25)
The Goering decree banning Jews from trade was virtually in force today, although not scheduled to take effect until Jan. 1, as police continued to close down Jewish shops all over Berlin. All Jewish shops, except for a few that are foreign-owned, were closed today.
Comparatively wealthy Jews whose income has been cut off and whose cash is dwindling have been given a special concession, under which if they prove they do not have means of subsistence they will be permitted to sell securities to the value of 1,000 marks (nominally $400), with each transaction requiring special approval by the authorities.
The drive against the shops was begun by the police yesterday, shortly after the shops had reopened after repairing the damage of the pogroms early this month. Most of the affected stores are large and had been doing a fairly good trade in recent days. The police did not interfere with shops owned by American, British and French Jews, but those of other foreign Jews were not exempted.
“You will have to stay shut until the shop is ‘Aryanized’ police told one Jewish shopkeeper on the Kurfuerstendamm. In another shop a policeman said: “You are ordered to stay closed for your own protection.”
Since the Goering ban was not scheduled to go into effect until Jan. 1, those able to reopen their shops had been trying to dispose of as much of their stock as possible before being forced to liquidate their businesses or turn them over to “Aryans.” The shopkeepers were also motivated by a decree requiring them to pay employes’ salaries until Jan. 1. If the shops are banned immediately hundreds, together with their families, will be left without a source of income, but with weekly payroll obligations.
Meanwhile, in view of the uncertain Jewish housing situation, gas and electric companies are demanding special deposits from Jews. Requests by Jews for clearance papers from the Finance Ministry, required for passports, are again being accepted. Apparently Jews who will not be assessed the 20 per cent levy to make up the $400,000,000 “fine” (those having capital of less than $2,000 are exempt) will be granted papers without undue difficulty, while others will apparently be held up until the assessments are paid. The Reich emigration office is not now accepting new passport applications, except from persons held in concentration camps or those who are able to emigrate before the middle of January, assertedly because of pressure of work.
Between 100 and 150 Jews have been released daily from the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the last three days. Dr. Philip Eugen Goldschmidt and his brother, Arthur, committed suicide together because of worry over the fate of their arrested family and intimates.
The Reich propaganda machine is trying hard to prove that the German Jews are free to follow their own cultural bend. One-third of the single-sheet Jewish news page issued as the sole Jewish paper for German Jewry is devoted to activities of the Jewish Culture League, urging Jews to do their “duty” and attend the performances. An announcement by Hans Hinkel, Commissar for Jewish Affairs, that the newspaper was being printed without objection by the authorities and could be read by Jews throughout Germany, is prominently displayed.
The paper is being published on a semi-weekly basis by the staff of the Juedische Rundschau, Zionist organ, under the editorship of Herr Kreindler, formerly editor of the Gemeindeblatt. It is delivered to all subscribers of the regular Jewish newspapers, which have been under ban since the assassination of a German Embassy official in Paris by a young Polish Jew.
Under orders of the Propaganda Ministry the Jewish Culture League Tuesday night reopened its Berlin theatre with a performance of “Rain and Wind– A Merry Play in Six Scenes.” With thousands of Jews in concentration camps and the whole of German Jewry facing economic death, the “merry play” filled the house to only a third of capacity. Fritz Wisten, dramatic director of the League, was released from a concentration camp last week to direct the play.