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THE PERSECUTION OF THE JEWS
It had long been a German theory that the First World War ended in Germany's defeat because of a collapse behind the lines. In planning for future wars it was determined that the home front must be secured to prevent a repetition of this 1918 debacle. Unification of the German people was essential to successful planning and waging of war. Hence, the Nazi political goal must be sought :-"One race, one State, one Fuehrer." Free trade unions must be abolished, political parties (other than the NSDAP) must be outlawed, civil liberties must be suspended, and opposition of every kind must be swept away. Loyalty to God, church, and scientific truth was declared to be incompatible with the Nazi regime.
The anti-Jewish policy was part of this plan for unification because it was the conviction of the Nazis that the Jews would not contribute to Germany's military program, but on the contrary would hamper it. The Jew must therefore be eliminated. This view is clearly borne out by a statement contained in a speech of Himmler's at a meeting of SS Major Generals on 4 October 1943:
“We know how difficult we should have made it for ourselves if with the bombing raids, the burdens and deprivations of war, we still had the Jews today in every town as secret saboteurs, agitators, and trouble mongers; we would now probably have reached the 1916-17 stage when the Jews were still
in the German national body.” (1919-PS) The treatment of the Jews within Germany was as much a part of the Nazi plan for aggressive war as was the building of armaments and the conscription of manpower.
1. HATE-PROPAGANDA AGAINST JEWS
The objective of the elimination and extermination of the Jews, could not be accomplished without certain preliminary measures. One of these was the indoctrination of the German people with hatred against the Jews.
The first evidence of the Party policies in this direction was expressed in the Party program of February 1920 (1708-PS). Paragraphs (4) and (6) of that program declared:
Only a member of the race can be a citizen. A member of the race can only be one who is of German blood without consideration of confession."
The right to determine matters concerning administration and law belongs only to the citizen; therefore, we demand that every public office of any sort whatsoever, whether in the Reich, the county or municipality, be filled
only by citizens.” (1708-PS) Hitler, at page 724 and 725 of Mein Kampf, spoke of the Jew. If the National Socialist movement was to fulfill its task, he declared:
"It must open the eyes of the people with regard to foreign
Aryan mankind.” (2662-PS) A flood of abusive literature of all types and for all age groups was published and circulated throughout Germany. Illustrative of this type of publication is the book Der Giftpilz. (1778-PS). This book brands the Jew as a persecutor of the labor class, a race defiler, a devil in human form, a poisonous mushroom, and a murderer. This particular book was used to instruct school children to recognize the Jew by caricatures of his physical features, (pages 6 and 7); and to teach them that the Jew abuses little boys and girls, (page 30), and that the Jewish Bible permits all crimes (pages 13-17). Streicher's periodical, Der Stuermer, (issue no. 14 for April 1937) in particular, went to such extremes as to publish the statement that Jews at the ritual celebration of their Passover slaughtered Christians:
"The numerous confessions made by the Jews show that the
and into the wine. The mixing is done by the Jewish head
solves himself thus of his sins.” (2699-PS) The Jew-baiting publication, Der Stuermer, was published by Streicher's publishing firm (2697-PS). In one issue of this periodical, Streicher, speaking of the Jewish faith, said:
“The Holy Scripture is a horrible criminal romance abounding with murder, incest, fraud and indecency."
"The Talmud is the great Jewish book of crimes that the
Jew practices in his daily life.” (2698-PS) This propaganda campaign of hate, of which the above quotations are but random samples, was too widespread and notorious to require further elaboration.
2. DISCRIMINATORY DECREES AGAINST JEWS
When the Nazi Party gained control of the German State, the conspirators used the means of official decrees as a weapon against the Jews. In this way the force of the state was applied against them.
Jewish immigrants were denaturalized (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 480, signed by Frick and Neurath).
Native Jews were precluded from citizenship (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1146, signed by Frick).
Jews were forbidden to live in marriage or to have extramarital relations with persons of German blood (1935 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1146, signed by Frick and Hess).
Jews were denied the right to vote (1936 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 133, signed by Frick).
Jews were denied the right to hold public office or civil service
positions (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 277, signed by Frick).
Jews were relegated to an inferior status by the denial of common privileges and freedoms. Thus, they were denied access to certain city areas, sidewalks, transportation, places of amusement, restaurants (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1676).
Progressively, more and more stringent measures were applied, even to the denial of private pursuits. They were excluded from the practice of dentistry (1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 47, signed by Hess).
The practice of law was denied to them (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1403, signed by Frick and Hess).
The practice of medicine was forbidden them (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 969, signed by Frick and Hess).
They were denied employment by press and radio (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 661).
They were excluded from stock exchanges and stock brokerage (1934 Reichsgesetzblattt, Part I, page 661).
They were excluded from farming (1933 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 685).
In 1938 they were excluded from business in general and from the economic life of Germany (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1580, signed by Goering).
The Jews were also forced to pay discriminatory taxes and huge atonement fines. Their homes, bank accounts, real estate, and intangibles were expropriated.
A report of a conference under the chairmanship of Goering, and attended by Funk, among others, which was held at 11 o'clock on 12 November 1933 at the Reich Ministry for Air, quotes Goering as saying:
“One more question, gentlemen, what would you think the situation would be if I'd announced today that Jewry shall have to contribute this one billion as a punishment."
"I shall choose the wording this way that German Jewry shall, as punishment for their abominable crimes, etc., etc., have to make a contribution of one billion; that'll work. The pigs won't commit another murder. I'd like to say again that I would not like to be a Jew in Germany."
(1816-PS) Following these whimsical remarks a decree was issued over the signature of Goering, fining German Jews the sum of one billion Reichsmarks (1938 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 1579, dated 12 November 1938, signed by Goering).
Similiar decrees are contained in 1939 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 282, signed by Goering; and in 1941 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 722, signed by Frick and Bormann.
Finally, in 1943, the Jews were placed beyond the protection of any judicial process by a decree signed by Bormann and Frick, among others; the police were made the sole arbiters of punishment and death (1943 Reichsgesetzblatt, Part I, page 372, signed by Frick and Bormann).
3. ANTI-JEWISH BOYCOTTS, RAIDS, AND VIOLENCE Simultaneously with the passage of these decrees and their execution, still another weapon was wielded by the Party and the party-controlled state. This was the openly sponsored and official anti-Jewish boycotts. The published diary of Joseph Goebbels, at page 290, contains this entry for 29 March 1933:
"The boycott appeal is approved by the entire cabinet."
(2409-PS) Again, on 31 March 1933, he wrote:
"We are having a last discussion among a very small circle and decide that the boycott is to start tomorrow with all se
verity." (2409-PS) Streicher and Frank, together with Himmler, Ley, and others, were members of a central committee who conducted the 1933 boycott against the Jews. Their names are listed in National Socialist Party correspondence for 29 March 1933. (2156-PS)
In this early 1933 violence against the Jews, raids were conducted on synagogues by uniformed Nazis. Attending members of the synagogues were assaulted, and religious insignia and emblems were desecrated. A report of such an occurrence was contained in an official dispatch from the American Consul General in Leipzig, dated 5 April, 1943, which stated:
“In Dresden several weeks ago uniformed Nazis raided the Jewish prayer house, interrupted the evening religious service, arrested 25 worshippers, and tore the holy insignia or emblems from their headcovering worn while praying."
(2709-PS) At a meeting in Nurnberg, before the representatives of the German press, Streicher and Mayor Liebel of Nurnberg revealed in advance to the gathered members of the press that the Nurnberg synagogue was to be destroyed. The minutes of this meeting, dated 4 August 1938, read as follows:
“The breaking up of the synagogue
(information must still be secret) "On August 10, 1938 at 10 o'clock a.m., the breakup of the