BERLIN (Feb. 5)
All German Jewry’s hopes center today on two developments in London. One is the Palestine conferences. The second is the Nazi proposals for a program of “orderly emigration” of Jews from the Reich which will soon be presented to a plenary meeting of the Intergovernmental Refugee Committee by George Rublee.
In Jewish circles here the atmosphere is one of anxiety rather than optimism. This is only partly due to the rather dismal tradition that has already been built up by past international conferences in behalf of Jewry. There is no illusion here as to the difficulties of the Palestine question or of the capital transfer problem for emigres. What sharpens their anxiety more than anything else is the threatening international situation, which somehow manages to defy the impossible by becoming worse daily.
The latest internal developments are the creation of a Reichsvereinigung, or central authoritative body, for German Jewry, and the imminent establishment by the Nazis of a central emigration bureau for Jews. Superficially, both would seem advantageous to the Jews. Many Jews have felt the need of a central body coordinating all the various emigration, welfare and educational activities which must be carried out in behalf of what will soon become a veritable colony of paupers. And any Jew preparing to emigrate will admit readily that a central State bureau enabling him to get the endless papers at one swoop instead of making the rounds of Prussian bureaucrats is something for which to be grateful.
Between the Nazis and Jews in Germany there is one point of view held in common — the Nazis want the Jews out and the Jews want to get out. The difference lies in the fact that to the Nazi, Jewish emigration is accomplished when the Jew is across the border — any border — without a penny or bread assured for the morrow, while the Jew clings desperately to the hope that emigration can mean not flight, but a planned, prepared change of abode where life, if it cannot be picked up where it was broken off, can at least be started over with some chance of success.
The Rublee negotiations here which ended last week were aimed specifically at receiving from the Reich a proposal for orderly emigration of Jews. It remains to be seen whether under the new set-up the word “orderly” will mean what Mr. Rublee and the rest of the world have the right to think it means.