403,969 Jews among 38,120,173 German!
HOW DO THEY FARE
Fifty thousand Jewish laborers and artisans – not including clerks and other white collar employees – are to be found in Prussia today. How are they faring under the new regime?
To begin with, under the present regime, Jewish workers are not allowed to belong to unions. They have also been kept out of the so-called Labor Front, created by the Hitler government to replace the tradeunions.
Not alone the workers, but the employers as well, are members of the Labor Front. In this, the German government has followed along the lines of Fascist Italy, on the premise that there is no class distinction between employers and employees.
This union of Capital and Labour in one organization from which Jews are expressly in a particularly sad plight. He is still employed, but his interests are no longer protected by any one. Should he lose his job, he will have to apply for work to a Jewish concern, because no organization affiliated with the Labor Front will give him employment.
JEWISH WORKER ISOLATED
The Labor Front has thus isolated the Jewish worker in a ghetto. It has done the same thing with the Jewish employer. The difference between the two elements, however, is this – while the Jewish employer, is compelled by the authorities to employ non-Jewish labor, there is nolaw forcing the non-Jewish employer to give jobs to Jewish workers who are members of the Labor Front, from which Jews are automatically excluded.
This is the reason why a jewish laborer in Germany, once he loses his job, has a very small chance of reemployment. No matter how badly he may be needed, he will not be hired. Not being a member of the Labor Front, he cannont obtain a job in a factory or plant owned by "Aryans," and his only resort is a firmwhich is still under Jewish control.
And how many such enterprises are still controlled by Jews in the Gemany of today? It is therefore quite obvious that no better common laborer in Germany. He may still be employed in his old job, but he rises every morning with the dreadful thought that this may be his last day there, that an "Aryan" may replace him, that he may be thrown out of the factory and that there will be nobody to protect his interests.
Finding himself in such a nervous state, it is easy to imagine what the Jewish common laborer in Germany, in constant fear of losing his job, has to undergo. His non-Jewish fellow workers are organized, and only he alone is left outside the pale, isolated and not belonging to an organization. He sees the interests of his Christian fellow-employees more or less taken care of, while any one may do what he will with him.
He is still bent over his workbench, but he feels terribly isolated. He is totally dependent on the good – will of the Nazi cell in charge of the factory mangement, or the group of party members who are the actual commissars of the plant. Do they feel so inclined, they allow him to works, it they change their mind and decide to send him away, all they need do to get rid of him is to notify the administration of their decision.
A VERITABLE MARTYR
A Jewish worker in a German enterprise is a veritable martyr these days. He is watched and crutinized all day long by unfriendly eyes. It is no pleacure to find oneself for eight hours at a stretch, in such surroundings. He feels worse than a prisoner. He is among thirsty enemies. The very few radically minded workders that one still finds in German industry and who sympathize with their Jewish fellow-employees, cannot shoe his as much as a hint of their sympathy. They are afraid to give themselves away with a single friendly word, they are afraid of what may befall them if they do. A Christian worker who ventures to put in a communist, and who, in present day Germaby, is daring enough to be thought of as a communist and who is reckless enough to relish landing in a concentration camp?
THE ARTISAN’S PLIGHT
The Jewish situations of the factory worker. He cannot belong to the union of artisans and craftsmen organized and recognized by the government. He, too, belongs to those whom the present German government has isolated from the national industrial machine.
Not being organized any longer, the Jewish craftsman and artisan is no longer in a position to enjoy any of the benefits and rights which are now the sole privilege of his "Aryan" colleagues. He is shut off from all public life, cannot expect any orders and is dependent for a living on Jewish customers alone.
In the last analysis, the lot of the Jewish artisan may be somewhat beter than that of the Jewish factory worker in that he is more indepnedent. He need not fear that today or tomorrow he may find himself out of a job. He is not surrounded by Nazis on all sides, while at works; he perfoms his tasks in his own home or in his small shop where Nazi cells are unknown.
In one respect his plight is worse than that of the factory employee in that he is being openly boycotted. There is a decree in force according to which no government or municipal department, not any concern receiving a municipal subsidy, is permitted to order any articles from a Jewish craftsman. Charity institutions supplying the poor with shoes and clothing are not permitted to order these articles of Jewish shoemakers and tailors.
DIRECTORIES OF CRAFTSMEN
The policy of segregating the Jews in a ghetto has thus been as drastically carried out in the case of Jewish artisans as in the case of all other Jews. As a result of this policy, a number of Jewish communities in Berlin and other cities have begun to publish lists of Jewish craftsmen and artisans, appealing to the Jewish citizens to patronize their coreligionists. Special directories of Jewish artisans are now being issued, in order to inform the Jews where to apply whenever they are in need of the services of a Jewish craftsman.
Fifty thousand Jewish comon laborers and craftsmen are to be found in Germany today. Their situation is perhaps not as desperate as that of the Jewish lawyers and physicians, but it is far from enviable, very far, indeed.
(Further articles in this series will appear in the next few days.)
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.