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The Bulletin’s Day Book

April 12, 1934
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Several days ago the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that Dr. Wilhelm Frick, Reichminister of the Interior, had paid a mysterious visit to Palestine. It was one of those stories hard to reconcile with the facts because the worthy Dr. Frick has been one of the most violent anti-Semites in the National Socialist movement of which he has been a leader almost from the start and it seemed incredible that a man who hated Jews as whole-heartedly as he would visit the traditional home of the Jews. The report, however, was officially confirmed.

Dr. Frick, who first gave Germany a taste of what Nazi rule would be like when, as Minister of Education in Thuringia, he introduced anti-Semitic prayers as part of the program in the public schools, according to the New York Times correspondent, went to Palestine incognito as a pilgrim, visited the “Jewish Wailing Wall, the Mosque of Omar, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Bethlehem, Jaffa and Haifa.”

It would have been most interesting for him to visit the German refugee settlements and see how the men and women his policy drove from their homes are carying new lives for themselves. As Reichminister of the Interior, having to deal in large part with the problem of unemployment in Germany, it would have been most educational for him to visit Tel Aviv and other Jewish centers and see how “non-Aryans” whom be considers unfit to live in Germany have constructed a society free of unemployment.

According to the Times correspondent, “it is reliably reported that on one occasion he sat in a hotel lobby at the same table with Dr. Chaim Weizmann, the Zionist leader, knowing the identity of Dr. Weizmann.”

Dr. Weizmann is head of the Zionist commission for the settlement of German Jewish refugees in Palestine. Frick is as responsible as any other single individual, with the possible exception of Hitler, for the existence of a German Jewish refugee class.

The occasion of their juxtaposition had all the elements of the dramatic. It is a pity that the two men–one responsible for the creation of refugees and the other for their assistance–did not converse, and that there is no record of that conversation.

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