ZURICH (Mar. 15)
Dr. Otto Hirsch, principal leader of the Jews in Germany, has been arrested by the Gestapo and other Jewish leaders have been called up for compulsory labor service, it was learned here today.
These actions came before passage of the Lease-Lend Bill by the United States Congress, but at a time when Congressional approval seemed assured. The development gained added significance from the fact that the Nazi press and radio have been indicating possible reprisals against the Jews of Europe for passage of the aid-to-Britain bill.
Fearing anti-Jewish measures in Germany, Jews in Berlin were reported today to be spurring efforts to emigrate. They besieged consulates of overseas countries and pleaded that action on their visa applications be expedited. Two groups of German Jews who had succeeded in securing visas left Berlin yesterday for Lisbon on sealed trains.
Nature of the charges against Dr. Hirsch, if any, was not disclosed. He is the director of the Reichsvereinigung der Judea in Deutschland, central body of the German Jews. Other officials of the Reichsvereinigung were ordered to report for draft labor, which had not hitherto been imposed upon them because they were needed for duties in connection with Jewish emigration and social service.
Dr. Hirsch has been arrested several times in the past eight years and held for varying periods. In 1935 he was seized and held for a week in Columbia House, known as “the torture chamber of the Gestapo.”
One of the hints of possible retaliation against the Jews because of the aid-to-Britain developments in Washington was given by the Nazi newspaper, Berliner Beersen-Zeitung, which asserted that passage of the Lease-Lend Bill “already today burdens not only the Jewish emigrants, but also that portion of Jewry which is still in Europe with heavy responsibility.” The paper added that “the Jew Frankfurter did them no service in getting around and undermining American neutrality.”
The Berlin radio, in a German-language broadcast last night, declared that “the aid-to-Britain law means nothing else than an extension of Jewish rule to the European continent” and charged “a very primitive Jewish dictatorship over the American democracy.”
“It is this aggression of the Shylock type, insisting on its pound of flesh, which will be cut out of the living body of the young nations,” the broadcast said.
“This time the American Shylocks did not even think it was necessary to camouflage themselves, in line with the old liberal custom, and to indulge in the favorite game of mimicry. They can be seen in unfaked originality in photographs recently published here in Germany showing the present President Roosevelt and his closest collaborators, when he was still Governor of the State of New York, the strong hold of world Jewry.
“Since then they climbed up the ladder together with him and they carried him up to the heights–these Felix Frankfurters; Morgenthaus, Baruchs and Lelmans. They form the famous brain trust which up to a short time ago bashfully hid the fact that it was nothing but a very primitive Jewish dictatorship over the American democracy.”
Following Berlin’s lead, the Rome radio also sought to make a Jewish issue of American aid to Britain. A Rome broadcast said:
“The real masters of the situation, the bankers, many of whom are Jews–whether they are Jews or Gentiles, they are all in the same racket–so far remain in the background. In Mr. Roosevelt, who likes to remain in the foreground, they have an ideal instrument for their purposes, which is, of course, the double-cross…Europe’s position is impregnable. The Jews and their Gentile allies are bound, therefore, also to be beaten. And so is poor Mr. Roosevelt.”