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Yehuda Bauer: My Brother's Keeper

A History of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee 1929-1939

[Holocaust preparations in Europe and resistance without solution of the situation]

The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia 1974

Transcription with subtitles by Michael Palomino (2007)



Chapter 3. Germany: 1933-1938

[3.5. The first emigration wave in 1933 - partly return]

[The Jewish Central Committee (ZA) in Germany and it's branches]

ZA [Zentral-Ausschuss für Hilfe und Aufbau, Engl. Central Committee for Help and Reconstruction] had to deal not only with the members of the Jewish community, but also with fairly large numbers of those who, although of Jewish parentage, had severed their link with the Jewish community prior to the Nazi rise to power. The various components of ZA dealt with different aspects of the German Jewish situation.

-- The Hilfsverein was the emigration agency for countries other than Palestine or Eastern Europe;
-- the Palästinaamt dealt with emigration to Palestine;
-- the Hauptstelle for Jewish wanderers dealt with repatriation of East European Jews to their countries of origin.

In addition, CV [Central-Verein, Hilfsverein] was also a part of ZA [Zentral-Ausschuss], as were the welfare organization of German Jews (Zentralwohlfahrtsstelle), the committee for education of RV [Reichsvertretung], the center for economic aid, the center for Jewish loan kassas, the united center for Jewish labor exchanges, and the organization of Jewish women. (p.114)

[Jews lining up before the offices of Hilfsverein (CV) and Palestine office]
The immediate major problem as far as Germany was concerned was that of emigration. With the rise of the Nazis to power, large numbers of terrorized Jews crowded the offices of the Hilfsverein and the Palestine office in search of an opportunity - any opportunity - to leave Germany.

[Arbitrary emigration: Jews come back because of lack of place or work]
Quite a number of people who had crossed the frontiers into some of the West European countries had to return to Germany soon afterward because they could not find a place to live or an occupation that would provide them with a livelihood.

[Jewish emigration 1933: 37-40,000]
The exodus of 1933, which was brought on by panic, soon subsided. At first, exaggerated figures were given as to the number of those who had left Germany. At the end of 1933 52,000 Jews were said to have fled Germany. However, it appears that a considerably smaller number left the country. Apparently not more than 37-40,000 Jews actually left Germany during that year and stayed away.

(End note 19: Werner Rosenstock: Exodus 1933-1939; In: Leo Baeck Yearbook; London 1956, 1:373-90. The author bases his article on one by Dr. Kurt Zielenzieger in the December 1937 issue of the London journal: Population).