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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

[3.14. Situation after the Nuremberg laws after 1935 - destruction of German Jewry since 1937]
After [on 15 September 1935] the Nuremberg laws were promulgated, the economic situation of German Jewry deteriorated swiftly. Kahn reported in November 1935 that Jewish businesses were being sold at ridiculously low prices and that Jewish unemployment had risen. Of 150,000 self-employed persons, 37,000 were now unemployed, including 20,000 who were on relief. Of the 120,000 employees and workers, 48,000 were unemployed, and of these 32,000 were on (p.136)

relief. In 1936 41 soup kitchens distributed 2,357,000 meals, and 3,000 places in old age homes were reserved for people whose families could no longer take care of them: the numbers were increasing.

(End note 74: 28-30-ZA report 1938)

Jonah B. Wise's forecast, made a year previously, that Germany would become an old age home and a graveyard to its Jews, was obviously in the process of realization.

[Jan 1937: Jewish work offices closed - work prohibition for Jews on any higher profession - World War I privilege revoked]

After early January 1937 all Jewish labor exchanges were closed, and the Arbeitsfront pressed for the discharge of Jewish employees in non-Jewish stores. A short respite was granted to German Jewry because of the 1936 Olympic Games, which took place in Germany, but persecution never really stopped. Jews were eliminated from newspaper staffs and from the arts, and they ceased to function as public notaries, apothecaries, veterinarians, and similar professions. The exemptions that had been granted earlier for frontline soldiers in World War I were now revoked.

[March 1937 approx.: Destruction of Jewry in Germany is going on]

In early 1937 there were no longer any illusions anywhere. JDC, which had moved from a position of qualified support for emigration to one of unqualified support, was quite certain that "the German problem is bound to solve itself before long. Certainly, it will not solve itself in an agreeable way. ... More people will leave in much larger numbers than statistics show; a great many have left and are here and elsewhere on visitor's passes and will never go back."

(End note 75: Felix M. Warburg at a meeting at the home of Ittleson, 4/29/37 [29 April 1937], R13)

[March 1938 approx.: 380,000 Jews in Germany left]

By early 1938 only 380,000 Jews were left in Germany. Of these, 82,000 were receiving winter relief and an additional 20,000 were getting special Jewish relief.

(End note 76: Executive Committee, 1/20/38 [20 January 1938]; Kahn on Germany, WYC, Box 327 (c), November 1935) [?]

German Jewry was approaching its end.

[There is no indication if the 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 Jews are counted within the figures or not].