emigration wave 1933 in general]
[Emigration 1932 and
economic crisis worldwide]
The initial exodus of Jews from Germany in 1933 caught the
Jewish philanthropic organizations with little money at
their disposal. JDC had spent only $ 340,815 in 1932, and
with the economic crisis in the United States reaching its
height, the prospect for additional funds was bleak.
[1933: The first
emigration wave without preparation partly fails]
As we have seen, estimates of the numbers of Jewish
refugees were overstated at first: about 37,000 Jews left
Germany in 1933, the discrepancy arising largely from the
fact that a considerable number of German Jews returned to
Germany before long.
(End note 1: R17, 10/19/34 [19 October 1934] - JDC
memorandum from Paris to JDC Allocation Committee; this
stated that in 1933, 59,300 persons had fled, of whom
51,000 were Jews. By April 1934 these figures were
reported to have grown to 63,400 and 54,500 respectively.
The JDC Report for 1933 (R19) says that 52,365 Jews fled
Germany in 1933).
The reason for that was the inhospitable reception they
got in the refugee countries, where unprepared and
ill-financed ad hoc Jewish committees were incapable of
coping with the flow of refugees. The refugees themselves
were often taken aback by the hardships that freedom had
in store for them, and for which their mostly middle-class
backgrounds had not prepared them.
Tis was especially true in France, to which the bulk of
the refugees (some 21,250) turned in 1933. It should be
remembered that in that first year a high proportion of
refugees (72-74 %) stayed in Europe because they had not
prepared for emigration overseas.
(End note 2: See chapter 3, 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)].
This picture was to change materially in subsequent years.
The Jewish organizations tried to come to the aid of the
refugees. In the early spring of 1933 a conference of the
leading Jewish (p.138)
7: Jewish Emigration from Germany, 1933-1937*
(*Based on Werner Rosenstock; see note 2)
|No. of emigrants
|** Of these [129,000], 85,490 were
assisted through the Zentralausschuss (about 66
% of the total). Of those assisted, 44,311 were
"repatriated", mostly to Poland and other East
European countries; 17,130 went to Palestine,
10,196 to European countries, and 13,853 to
overseas countries. The large proportion of
repatriates among those assisted is due to the
poverty of many East European Jews who had
settled in Germany after 1918. The percentage of
the total number of emigrants who went to
overseas countries other than Palestine grew
from 7-9 % in 1933 to 41-46 % in 1936, and 60 %
in 1937 (see also JDC Primer (New York, 1945).
philanthropic groups was held in Paris, convened to all
intents and purposes by Kahn. Three million francs ($
160,000) was allocated on the spot - one million each by
JDC, the Alliance Israélite Universelle, and ICA [Jewish
Colonization Association]. A small steering committee,
composed of Neville Laski of the British Board of (Jewish)
Deputies, Dr. Louis Oungre for ICA, and Kahn, was to
distribute the money. With these funds it was hoped to
establish loan kassas in Germany, supply refugees in
France and other countries with essential relief, and work
for emigration and resettlement. The sums were soon found
to be insufficient, especially the 250,000 francs that
went to support refugees in France.
Apart from such well-established organizations as JDC,
ICA, and the Alliance, British Jewry now organized itself
for effective aid to refugees. In March 1933 an old aid
committee to help Russian Jewish immigrants to Britain,
the Jews' Temporary Shelter, was transformed into the
Jewish Refugees Committee, headed by Otto M. Schiff, a
cousin of Felix M. Warburg's wife. Quite contrary to the
American practice, a delegation that included Schiff,
Neville Laski, of the Board of Deputies, and Leonard
of the more conservative Anglo-Jewish Association went to
see the officials of the Home Office in London and assured
the British government that Jewish refugees arriving in
Britain would not be allowed to become public charges. An
Academic Assistance Council headed by Sir William
Beveridge tried to help refugee intellectuals, and managed
to support over two hundred such persons during the first
two years of the Nazi persecutions. A separate Jewish
Academic Committee helped professionals.