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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 4. Refugees: 1933-1938 [Whole chapter]
[4.1. First emigration wave 1933 in general]

[Emigration 1932 and economic crisis worldwide]

The initial exodus of Jews from Germany in 1933 caught the Jewish philahthropic 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)

Table 7
Jewish Emigration from Germany, 1933-1937
(Footnote: Based on Werner Rosenstock; see note 2)
No. of emigrants
Footnote: 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, tha Alliance Israélite Universelle, and ICA. 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, Fritish 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 Montefiore (p.139)

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.


[4.2. Foundation of new Jewish organizations in Europe]

[April 1933: Foundation of Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF)]

All these and other efforts were unified in April 1933, when a committee was formed at the Rothschilds' residence in the New Court in London, which soon became the Central British Fund for German Jewry (CBF). There was parity in the new body between Zionists and non-Zionists, and the first chairman of its Allocations Committee was Sir Osmond d'Avigdor Goldsmid, president of ICA. Separate collections of Zionist funds ceased, but in fact a large proportion of the funds collected went to Palestine.

(End note 3: Norman Bentwich: They Found Refuge (London  1965), pp. 14 ff.)

JDC was not very happy about the new body, its composition or its policies. JDC thought that CBF was too much under Weizmann's influence - and indeed, despite the parity principle, Weizmann and Nahum Sokolow (then president of the World Zionist Organization) were the main forces behind CBF.

[1933: Fund raising of CBF - sections where the money goes: Palestine, Britain, France]

By February 1934 CBF had collected 203,823 pounds, which was proportionately more than JDC and the United Palestine Appeal (UPA) had managed to raise in the United States in the same period.

(End note 4: Charles J. Liebman reported to Warburg on August 30, 1933 (WAC, Box 303 (c), that the British had so far raised an average of $3 per British Jew, compared to $.50 for French Jews and $.24 for U.S. Jews).

Of this sum, 132,519 pounds were allocated; 32 % went to support Palestine programs, 23 % was used for the 2,500 refugees who came to Britain in 1933, and 25 % went to support vocational training of refugees outside of Germany, most of which was directed toward Palestine. The allocation for French refugee committees, who were bearing the brunt of the German refugee problem in 1933, amounted to 10,479 pounds (or about $ 50,000). JDC had no choice but to assume the main burden of the effort in the refugee countries generally and in France in particular; in 1933 it spent $ 125,000 in France.

French Jewry itself set up a number of bodies to deal with the (p.140)

situation. An older aid committee, the Comité d'Aide et d'Accueil, was absorbed into a national committee

(End note 5: Comité National de Secours aux Réfugiés Allemands)

under Senator Henry Berenger, with Baron de Rothschild as the active chairman. The committee's budget for 1933 amounted to $ 477,000, of which JDC covered 20 %.

(End note 6: L (JDC Library) 13 -report for 1933 and the first months of 1934)

Another committee, called Agriculture et Artisanat, engaged in vocational training, mainly but not exclusively for Palestine. HICEM (an emigration association), Hechalutz, and OSE were also active in France from the start, OSE specializing in aiding children.

The very fact that thousands of refugees returned to Germany during 1933 shows quite clearly that all these efforts to help were of little avail. JDC, together with other interested agencies, was desperately looking to governments and the League of Nations to find solutions that a private agency could not possibly undertake.


[4.3. Germany blocks in the League of Nations - foundation of a High Commission for Jewish refugees]

[29 Sep 1933: UNO session wich proposals for Jewish refugees - Germans blocking - resolution for a commission outside of the UNO]

On September 29, during the seventy-third League of Nations session in Geneva, the Dutch foreign minister, de Graaf, made a plea to the second committee of the League Assembly to help German refugees. Money, he thought, would probably come from Jewish organizations, but organized international help was essential. At that stage, however, Germany was still a League of Nations member and threatened to vote against any proposal to set up a League commission for refugees from Germany. Unanimity was a condition for League decisions, and therefore the Germans were able to block action effectively. Several of the smaller nations proposed that a commission be set up that would technically be outside the League machinery. On October 11 a resolution to this effect was passed by the League.

[Coordination with the "USA" for an international commission]

It was obvious from the start that any international commission of this kind would have to include representatives of the United States if it was to be at all effective. As a matter of fact, the Dutch had approached the American representative in Switzerland on September 28, the day before their abortive effort in the League, and asked his help in setting up a commission.

(End note 7: Foreign Relations of the United States (1933), 3.366)

The American Jewish organizations were very much interested in such a commission, which would lend international support to refugee aid. They (p.141)

were also aware that the success of such a commission might well hinge on the personality who would head it. For that reason, on October 18 Henry Morgenthau, Sr., wrote to Secretary of State Cordell Hull suggesting that James G. McDonald, a respected member of the New York Times staff and president of the Foreign Policy Association since 1918, be nominated. Significantly, he added that this proposal had the support of both the American Jewish Committee and JDC.

(End note 8: WYC, Box 303 (b), Morgenthau to Hull, 10/18/33 [18 October 1933])

[McDonald nominated for high commissioner for refugees (Jewish and other) coming from Germany]

Support by the two closely allied agencies was not surprising at all. The Times was owned by Jewish liberals of the old school, and Mc Donald, a devout Christian and humanist, had gained the respect of Jew and gentile alike. On top of that, he was a personal friend of Felix M. Warburg's, and Warburg had apparently supported his candidacy with Morgenthau. In his letter to Roosevelt on October 19, Hull said that he thought an American might indeed be suggested for the post, but he himself was by no means enthusiastic about American involvement in this essentially European affair. In case the president thought differently, Hull suggested a number of prominent Americans who might be considered for the post; McDonald's name was not among them - apparently, Morgenthau's letter had eigher not reached Hull or had been ignored. However, Roosevelt did indeed think differently, and McDonald was nominated for the post of "high commissioner for refugees (Jewish and other) coming from Germany", and on October 26 was appointed by the League of Nations.

[Structures of the "High Commission"]

Twelve member states composed the governing body of the High Commission, chaired by Viscount Cecil of Chetwood. The United States was represented by Prof. Joseph P. Chamberlain of Columbia University, and expert on refugee matters. An advisory council of voluntary organizations was to include 20 bodies, ten of them Jewish.

[Misuse of the Jewish organizations: They should solve all problems alone - naive governments]

Immediately after this commission was set up it became clear that at least some of the governments saw its existence as a convenient way of shelving the whole problem and handing it over to the Jewish organizations to deal with as best they could. Here, as in (p.142)

so many other instances throughout the 1930s, JDC central leadership proved that its understanding of international politics as they applied to the Jewish refugee problems was characterized by a naivité that was sometimes quite unbelievable.


[4.4. Chaos in Europe with Jewish committes without funds - Joint finances a big part of the High Commission]

[Oct 1933: French and Belgian committees withous funds - borders will be closed - chaos - the naive European governments don't feel obliged]

The situation of the refugees in Western Europe on the eve of the establishment of the High Commission was extremely precarious. On October 11, 1933, Kahn cabled to New York that the French National Committee was without funds and that therefore the French government would immediately close the border. At the same time, the Belgian committee was in the process of being liquidated, and five to six hundred refugees would have to leave Belgium; they would probably try to enter France. A similar situation was developing in Holland.

These and other countries were now closed to refugees. What was worse, Kahn said, the Geneva decision to set up a High Commission meant, in fact, that the private agencies were expected to foot the bill and that the governments would not spend a penny on the refugees.

Baerwald answered in a rather hurt tone that Kahn's cable seemed "surprising to me"; why did handing over the refugees' problems to the government in France mean the closing of the borders? As to Geneva, although the new commission would not be part of the League of Nations machinery, the very fact that it had been proposed by a number of governments made it "seem to us that governments cannot refuse (to) provide part of funds."

(End note 9: 14-47, 10/12/33 [12 October 1933], 10/13/33 [13 October 1933])

It seems that Baerwald, the liberal Jew and humanitarian, could not bring himself to believe that the governments would actually wash their hands of the Jewish refugee problem. More than that, the self-interest that motivated governments was something that he and his friends categorically refused to see.

[Joint has to finance a big part of the High Commission(!) and has to finance McDonald (!)]

JDC involvement in the McDonald Commission was considerable. JDC not only had to pay for a significant part of the High Commission's expenses

(End note 10: The High Commission's budget in 1934/5 was $ 138,000, of which JDC covered $ 41,250 (CBF contributed $ 21,250; ICA, $ 40,000; the rest was paid by UPA and some smaller contributors).

and support McDonald personally, but also had to enter the lists with other groups to get their proportionate contributions to keep the commission going. McDonald's secretary was Nathan Katz, secretary of JDC's Paris office. McDonald (p.143)

asked for and obtained the advice of Kahn or Warburg for most of the projects and negotiations in which he was engaged.


[4.5. High Commissioner McDonalds without big success - no countries for the Jewish refugees]

[1st meeting of the High Commission: No representatives of Argentina and Brazil]

At its first meeting in London, the government representatives to the High Commission announced that their respective governments were under no obligation to pay any part of the commission's expenses. Two of the invited states (Argentina and Brazil) did not bother to send their representatives.

Expenses were in fact covered by the Jewish organizations, which meant that JDC, CBF, and ICA footed the bill.

The governing body was therefore more of a hindrance than a help.

[Rivalries in the High Commission: English want an English man Lord Cecil as head of the High Commission]

On top of that, rivalries, both among the governments and the voluntary organizations, made things difficult. The British, a JDC report from London said,

(End note 11: 14-46, 1/17/34 [17 January 1934], memo of Nathan Katz)

had resented McDonald's appointment in the first place, having hoped that Lord Cecil would get the post. Among the voluntary agencies, ICA insisted on the exclusion of "democratic and mass organizations", whereas Weizmann and Goldman, representatives of essentially just such groups, wanted the commission to have the widest popular appeal.

(End note 12: WAC, Box 316 (b); Norman Bentwich, British Zionist and McDonald's deputy, was said to have stated that the power to control Jewish affairs must not be vested in a small group of American Jews).

[McDonals knows Dachau cc and is persona non grata in the Third Reich]

Under the circumstances it was surprising that McDonald achieved anything at all. He had visited the Dachau concentration camp in September 1933, before his nomination, and had easily seen through the propaganda effort of the Germans. Hence he was, to a large degree, persona non grata in Germany. Schacht, the Nazi minister of finance, with whom McDonald had hoped to conduct negotiations concerning the easing of emigration procedures for Jews, refused to see the new high commissioner or to arrange for an interview between him and Hitler.

[Late 1934: McDonald in Berlin without success]

After protracted preparations McDonald finally managed to visit Berlin in late 1934.

(End note 13: WAC, Box 316 (e), 11/17/34 [17 November 1934], McDonald to Cecil)

There he negotiated with a vice-president of the Reichsbank (German State Bank), and finally arranged for the educational transfer.

(End note 14: See above, p.126).

In fact, the mission and the negotiations ended in failure.

[7,500 refugee academics taken out of Germany by McDonalds intermediation]

Mc Donald was not much more successful in his other endeavors. He did intercede with governments and persuade them to accept refugee academics, and thereby helped voluntary organizations (most of them supported by JDC and CBF) to take out some (p.144)

7,500 such persons from Germany by the middle of 1934.

(End note 15: WAC, Box 316 (a), 7/7/34 [7 July 1934], report by McDonald. Of the 7,500 persons, 600-700 were academic teachers, 5,200-5,500 were professionals (engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc.), and the rest were students).

[On McDonalds ideas: Foundation of Émigré Charitable Fund - foundation of Refugee Economic Corporation (originally called Refugee Rehabilitation Committee)]

McDonald also thought that the Jews should set up a corporation that would deal with settlement and exploration. This was accepted by Warburg, who set up two organizations to implement McDonald's suggestion. One was the Émigré Charitable Fund, which was to advance emigration by supporting vocational training, resettlement loans, and transportation. By 1936 ECF had called upon $ 275,000 of the subscriptions to its fund, but had managed to spend no more than $ 66,186, most of it for retraining emigrants in Latin America.

Another body set up by Warburg was the Refugee Economic Corporation (originally called Refugee Rehabilitation Committee), which was incorporated in 1934. The success of this venture, in which Charles J. Liebman was the moving spirit, was not much greater. By the end of 1936 REC had appropriated $ 550,000, over half of it to the Huleh and other development projects in Palestine.

(End note 16: On ECF and REC, see 28-1; Executive Committee, 9/20/34; R52 (current reports). By the end of 1938 ECF had spent a total of $ 136,072, and REC, $ 463,297. REC's ventures included the purchase of 45,000 acres of land in Costa Rica, at the instance of Samuel Zamurray, president of the United Fruit Company. This land had to be sold again after it was discovered that it was not suitable for settlement. REC also supported the International Student Service in Geneva and gave some small sums of money to HICEM for the transportation of refugees to Latin America).

The distinct impression is gained that these were cases of dissipation of efforts at a time when it was extremely difficult to find essential funds to support the emigration of refugees. JDC was involved in all this, although not formally: the boards of the two bodies mentioned above were manned by JDC and American Jewish Committee stalwarts, friends of the Warburgs. The same circle of persons was again called upon to help, and the results were mediocre, to say the least.
[Latin America: Brazil and Argentina with money conditions - only Paraguay and Uruguay with easy access]

McDonald tried very hard to obtain entrance for Jewish refugees into Latin America. His quiet negotiations with the respective governments met with some, but by no means spectacular, success. Brazil closed her gates to immigrants in June 1934, except for those who had a minimum of $ 200 in cash. In Argentina at that time 25 pounds were needed, and the immigrant had to arrive as a first-class passenger. Later in the year Argentina became closed to all but agricultural laborers, and of the major countries of immigration in South America only Paraguay and Uruguay remained relatively easy of access to refugees.

(End note 17: 14-46, 8/31/34 [31 August 1934], Goldsmid to Schiff; also Executive Committee file, meeting at the Harmonie Club, 6/14/35 [14 June 1935])

[Expensive emigration to Latin America - 4,000 German Jews April 1933-October 1935]

Immigration to Latin American countries was very expensive. (p.145)

Except in cases where refugees had relatives there who could pay for their passage and produce the "landing money", and except for a relatively few families of means, HICEM and other emigration and resettlement agencies had to pay the bill. JDC participated in HICEM's efforts to the tune of over one-third of HICEM's budget.

(End note 18: R16; HICEM's budget in 1934 was $ 428,500, of which ICA covered $ 179,500, and JDC $ 165,000).

All these efforts brought 4,000 German Jews to Latin America between April 1933 and October 1935, of whom over one-third were assisted by HICEM and ICA.

(End note 19: Jewish Chronicle, 4/10/36, article by Dr. Arthur Ruppin, in the special supplement, p.v. The period covered by Ruppin's statistics was April 1933 to October 1935).

[Russian plans for Russian and German Jews on Crimea - only German doctors are accepted]

In the meantime, negotiations were being conducted between Joseph A. Rosen and the Soviet government. In a memorandum of February 3, 1934, Rosen reported to Warburg that the Russians might allocate 5,000 acres in the Crimea for the settlement of Jewish families, 3,000 of whom would be Russian refugees and 5-600 German Jewish refugees.

(End note 20: WAC, Box 321 (b), 2/3/34 [3 February 1934])

After one year of acclimatization, the refugees would be given the choice of either Soviet citizenship or exit from Russia. Negotiations in this vein continued throughout 1934 and 1935, but the only Jewish refugees accepted by the Soviets were a number of doctors. (Their fate was briefly dealt with in chapter 2).

As time went on, McDonald became more and more pessimistic regarding the efficacy of quiet diplomacy in convincing the governments to act in favor of refugees. Yet the problem generally did not seem to him to be insoluble. True, German Jews had to leave their country of origin, but only half a million people were involved.

[With 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 Jews there are 760,000 Jews in Germany, see p.114, chapter 3.4].

JDC saw the problem in a similar light.

[Jewish emigrants are not welcome because of lack of unemployment in Europe]

In 1935 there were no more than 40,000 Jewish refugees in European countries awaiting settlement. "Considering their number, the problem of these refugees would not ordinarily have been insoluble. But severe economic depression forced nations to limit the number of immigrants and to debar foreigners from employment because many of their nationals were without work."

(End note 21: R14, 1935 JDC report)

[McDonald's plan: 1/2 in Palestine, 1/4 in "USA", 1/4 in the whole world]
McDonald had a simple solution for the problem: one-half of German Jewry should be absorbed in Palestine, one-quarter in the United States, and the rest dispersed throughout the rest of the world.

[Obstacles for Jewish emigration: Unemployment, political naïvety, prejudices]
And yet it seemed that there was no way to implement this simple formula. Economic crisis, political (p.146)

obstacles, prejudices - all these vitiated a perfectly sensible and straightforward approach.

[McDonald's Palestine dream for the German Jews - the Joint gives in]

McDonald had always been a friend of Zionism. Now, with the doors of the West increasingly closed to Jewish refugees, he was led to state that the more he heard of "vague and always indefinite talks about possibilities of immigration to other parts of the world, the more I appreciate the value of Palestine."

(End note 22: WAC, Box 316 (c), McDonald to Warburg, 5/5/34 [5 May 1934])

[And nobody asks the Palestinians].

This attitude differed materially from that of JDC; even Warburg, whose connections with the Jewish Agency were quite close, expressed his essentially non-Zionist views fiarly strongly. As early as October 1933 he had written to Goldsmid, chairman of ICA, that "we cannot trumpet Palestine too loudly without raising false hopes in the people who cannot get in."

(End note 23: WAC, Box 304 (c), Warburg to Goldsmid, 10/26/33 [26 October 1933])

Indeed, JDC's main objection to the policies of CBF was that it was under Zionist influence and that a large proportion of its funds - too large, JDC thought - were destined for Palestine.

But in 1934 JDC slowly began veering around to McDonald's point of view. Warburg himself was arranging for money to be paid to McDonald, who was by no means a rich man, in order that McDonald could remain independent of his small salary as a high commissioner. But McDonald was in no sense a blind follower of anyone, certainly not of Warburg. Relations were cordial, opinions were allowed to differ, and in the end Warburg tended to se Mcdonald's point. Hyman seems to have expressed his chief's views when he states that "no other single place has been able to receive thus far as many refugees as has Palestine. To that extent, without indulging in questions of Zionist or non-Zionist philosophy, we must all recognize the great utility of Palestine as a place of refuge."

(End note 24: 14-46, Hyman to Rosenberg, 4/13/34 [13 April 1934])

[McDonalds efforts to open the "USA" for German Jews - the law against "public charge" in 8 Sep 1930]

In the course of his attempts to open up the doors of America to refugees, McDonald tried to break the administrative blocking of Jewish emigration from Germany to the United States by the so-called Hoover executive order of September 8, 1930. That order had instructed consular officers to refuse visas to applicants who could not prove that at no time in the future would they become (p.147)

public charges.

(End note 25: Arthur D. Morse: While Six Million Died; New York 1968, p.135)

The result had been a drastic reduction in visas to the United States. Consequently, in October 1935 McDonald approached Warburg and asked him to use his influence with the Roosevelt administration to ease these regulations.

(End note 26: WAC, Box 324 (a), McDonald to Warburg, 10/29/34 [29 October 1934])

[1 Nov 1935: Only 10 % of the German immigration quota for the "USA" are utilized - Roosevelt estimates 80 % of the immigrants are Jews - the "US" government is not helping McDonald's ]

Warburg turned to Herbert H. Lehman, and on November 1, 1935, Lehman wrote to Roosevelt. Only 10 % of the yearly immigration quota from Germany - about 26,000 persons [would be allowed yearly] - was being utilized, he argued. The people who wanted to come were of the same ilk as "my father, Carl Schurz, and other Germans who came over here in the days of 1848."

(End note 27: WAC, Box 336 (c), 11/1/35 [1 November 1935])

An increase up to 5,000 visas for refugees was asked for.

On November 13 Roosevelt sent his answer.

(End note 28: Ibid. [WAC, Box 336 (c), 11/1/35 [1 November 1935])

In fact, the administration argued, while the German quota was 16.9 % of the total allowed immigration, Germans comprised 26.9 % of all those actually coming in, because the total number of immigrants allowed into the United States was small. In 1933 1,798 Germans were allowed in; in 1934, 4,715; and in 1935, 5,117. This of course, included non-Jews as well, but about 80 % were estimated to be Jews. However, the letter went on, the State Department had issued instructions, "now in effect", that refugees should receive "the most considerate attention and the most generous and favorable treatment possible under the laws of this country".

It appeared that McDonald's initiative had brought positive results but the facts were different. It has been proven quite conclusively that both at the State Department and at lower levels, obstruction continued and even intensified as far as the issue of visas to Jewish refugees was concerned.

[The "American" McDonald is abandoned by his own "American" government...]

(End note 29: There is no mention of Roosevelt's letter in Morse's book).

[Late 1935: McDonald's proposal at the British government for intervention in Berlin fails]

McDonald was no more successful in his attempts to have the great Western powers intervene diplomatically. Late in 1935 he tried to obtain British support for an intervention with the Germans, but failed.

[Oct 1936 and Feb 1936: McDonald's proposals at the "US" government for intervention in Berlin fail]

In October 1935 and again in February 1936 he failed similarly to get the United States government to intervene on behalf of German Jewry.

(End note 30: Morse, op. cit [While Six Million Died; New York 1968], pp. 189-90; also: WAC, Box 324 (a), exchange of letters between McDonald and Warburg, 10/10/35 [10 October 1935], 10/21/35 [21 October 1935])


[4.6. Hostile European governments - the negative propaganda from Nazi Berlin about Jewish refugees is "successful"]

[Since 1934 appr.: European governments are indifferent and partly hostile to German Jewish refugees]

Besides trying to find places of refuge for Germany's Jews, McDoland saw that his main task was to ease the fate of those German (p.148)

Jewish refugees who were now in European countries. There he encountered governmental indifference - sometimes even hostility - that nullified much of his work.

[European governments want to get rid of the German Jewish refugees by McDonalds!]
He was perfectly aware that the governments saw in him a means of getting rid of the refugees.

(End note 31: WAC, Box 316 (d), McDonald to Warburg, 8/16/34 [16 August 1934])

[Nov 1934: McDonalds reports high charges for documents and no work permission for Jewish refugees]

At a meeting of the governing body of the High Commission in early November 1934 he chided the governments for harrying the refugees, making them pay exorbitant sums for official papers, and especially for refusing them the right to work. He tried to prove to them that they would only gain by allowing refugees to enter their countries and work there.

[Since 1933: Hitler regime makes propaganda against refugees in whole Europe - and governments let starve the refugees]

However, German anti-Jewish and antirefugee propaganda had obviously been successful, and had "made the position of the refugees more uncertain in some countries and their admission more difficult in others."

(End note 32: JDC Library, London meeting of governing body, 11/1-2/34 [1-2 November 1934])


[4.7. McDonalds quits his job - his call for "collective action"]

[Early 1935: France refuses work permits to Jewish refugees [also] because of economic crisis]

McDonald's main problem was France. There, in early 1935, French Jewish committees defending French government policy explained why no work permits could be given without increasing anti-Semitism in an economic crisis situation. JDC, McDonald's main ally, was represented by Kahn, who stated his strong disapproval of the French Jews and argued that many people, including 1,200 children, were literally starving in Paris - a situation that was completely unjustifiable.

(End note 33: R16)

The partial or complete failure of his efforts finally led McDonald to consider resigning his post. By the autumn of 1935 the French were treating McDonald "like a small office boy whose services are no longer needed and who should be dismissed on the spot", as Kahn put it.

(End note 34: WAC, Box 323 (c), Kahn to Warburg, 10/30/35 [30 October 1935])

[Sep 1935: McDonalds gives up his post and suggests Norman Bentwich]

McDonald was too independent, too demanding, and too energetic. He was moving to radical positions. In a letter to Eleanor Roosevelt he prophesied a further great exodus of German Jews and asked how long these matters were to be regarded as purely of German domestic concern."

(End note 35: WAC, Box 324 (a), McDonald to Mrs. Roosevelt, 7/24/35 [24 July 1935])

Finally in September he decided to resign, and suggested Norman Bentwich as his successor.

(End note 36: WAC, Box 324 (a), McDonald to Warburg, 9/9/35 [9 September 1935])

[Demission letter: McDonalds calls for "collective action"]
His resignation was a political act. It took the form of a letter to the secretary-general of the League of Nations and was published in the world press either verbatim or in fairly extensive (p.149)


(End note 37: Dated 12/27/35 [27 December 1935]; see Jewish Chronicle, 1/3/35 [3 January 1935])

Norman Bentwich, James N. Rosenberg, and Felix M. Warburg had been fully consulted, and the letter was really something of a collective effort. Specifically, McDonald condemned Nazi policy toward Jews and called for "collective action" by the League of Nations, denying that this was an internal German problem. Practically speaking, his demand for "friendly but firm intercession with the German Government, by all pacific means on the part of the League of Nations, of its Member States and other members of the community of nations" was hardly likely to move the Germans, even had it been accepted. But the value of the document lay mainly in the unequivocal condemnation of German policies emanating from the international official charged with dealing with the refugee problem.

McDonald's resignation had no immediate positive effect. Some papers in Britain that published extracts from the letter showed in their comments how far removed they were from a realistic appreciation of the situation.

[British voices mean, Hitler would give in or would withstand]
On December 10, 1935, for example, the London Times wrote that Germany would not be able to withstand the pressure of public opinion, and the News Chronicle added that Mr. Hitler would ignore world opinion at his peril.

[14 February 1936: New high commissioner is Sir Neil Malcolm]
On February 14, 1936, the League of Nations designated a retired British general, Sir Neil Malcolm, as the new high commissioner. When asked what his policy would be, he replied clearly and succinctly: "I have no policy, but the policy of the League is to deal with the political and legal status of the refugees. It has nothing to do with the domestic policy of Germany."

(End note 38: Quoted in Morse, op. cit [While Six Million Died; New York 1968], p. 191)

[Joint sees that the High Commission cannot help - Joint has to help directly]
The attempt to deal with the Jewish refugee problem on an international and humanitarian level had met with its first failure; it constituted a severe check to JDC's efforts of rescue and aid to German Jewry. These efforts centered mainly


[4.8. The first emigration wave - no help and the reasons - German Jews impoverished in France - partly return to Germany]

[1934: French Jews want to get rid of the German Jewish refugees because of economic crisis and "USA" is not helping either]

The attitude of French Jewry to German Jewish refugees was a source of constant and occasionally bitter criticism by Kahn in his letters to JDC in New York. French Jews were inclined to criticize American Jewry for not helping enough - this (p.150)

was in 1934, at the height of the economic crisis in the United States. The solution advocated by French Jews was to get the German Jews to emigrate as quickly as possible. They even repeated these demands in official bodies where they were represented such as the Advisory Council of the McDonald Commission, and Kahn thought he had to threaten with a negative reaction on the part of American Jews if it became known that French Jews wanted to get rid of the refugees.

(End note 39: Dr. Kahn's material, file Hilfsverein, 1932-1935, Kahn to Hyman, 5/11/34 [11 May 1934])

[1933-1934: France: National Jewish committee quits in 1934 - liquidating commission takes over support for impoverished Jewish refugees in France]

The National Committee that had been set up in 1933 dissolved in June 1934. A liquidating commission, which was to have taken over support for deserving refugees, refused help to certain categories of emigrants. These included people who had not applied for aid previously but had now used up their resources and could not continue without aid. Having sold all their effects, including clothing, people had to find money for hotel bills. Many were faced with the "alternatives of stealing or begging. Thefts, and what is more frequent, cases of petty larceny"

(End note 40: Gen. & Emerg. Germany, refugees 1934/5, German Commission report (translated), signed by Prof. Georg Bernhard, Dr. Sammy Gronemann, and Dr. Oscar Cohn, among others).

were reported. Well-to-do German Jewish refugees managed to collect 200,000 francs in early 1934, but this was not enough. A similar effort in Britain had to cease when CBF demanded that all money be channeled through its own organization. Facilities in Paris were bad: the only shelter in Paris was crowded and vermin-infested.

[1934-1935: France: Little agriculture training for Jewish refugees by Agriculture et Artisanat]

Groups that tried to train refugees for emigration, such as Agriculture et Artisanat, could show only very modest results: by 1935, the latter group had trained 350 men, of whom 200 had left France. HICEM helped 2,343 people to emigrate in 1934.

(End note 41: R22, 1934 draft report)

[Kahn resumes: Economic crisis and unemployment makes Jewish refugees to an enemy]

There seemed little possibility of solving the problem with the means then at the disposal of Jewish organizations. Kahn summed it all up by saying that the economic crisis and the many unemployed in the very cities where the refugees were trying to settle "had led humanity back to those savage days of human history when every stranger who came to a foreign land was considered an enemy who had to be destroyed."

(End note 42: R16, Kahn report, 1/3/35 [3 January 1935])

[1934: France: Direct help for refugees by the Joint - French Jews are blocking the settling of German Jews]

There was really no successor organization to the National Committee, and JDC simply did not have the means to feed and clothe (p.151)

the refugees. There were about 10-12,000 Jewish refugees in France in 1934, of whom probably not more than 3,500 were completely dependent on aid. Yet JDC had to spend $ 170,000 directly on refugees in France, because local support withered. JDC tried to obtain work permits by direct intervention with the French premier, Flandin. "The French Jews did everything possible to frustrate our efforts at constructive work there. ... We might have been able to settle several hundred families on the land in France, and it would have done a great deal of good for the Jews there. We may still be able to do so, but we have already met with insurmountable opposition there. The reason is that the French Jews are afraid of anti-Semitism."

(End note 43: Executive Committee, 1/7/35 [7 January 1935]; cf. also 1/4/34 [4 January 1934])

[1934: Political murders in France spread fear of anti-Semitism - Jewish refugees are not admitted]

The truth of the matter was that French Jewry was frightened by the rise of French Fascist movements, which caused serious disturbances in Paris in February 1934. After the assassination in Marseille of King Alexander of Yugoslavia and the French foreign minister, Louis Barthou, on October 9, 1934, the head of the French Jewish Consistoire, the highest religious institution of French Jewry, declared that nothing should be done to settle the refugees permanently in Paris.

(End note 44: See note 39 above; Kahn letter, 10/26/34 [26 October 1934])

[German Jewish refugees returned to the Third Reich land in concentration camps]

JDC had little alternative but to aid, to the best of its very limited resources, as many refugees as possible to emigrate from France. During 1934 many refugees had no other choice but to return to Germany. 1,200 to 1,500 did so from Holland and twice that number from France.

In 1935 the refugee committees ceased this practice because they learned that the Germans had been sending Jewish returnees to concentration camps from late January on. A JDC bulletin quoted a German government circular to the effect that "these repatriates should be brought into a concentration camp to learn there the National-Socialist tenets, which they had no opportunity to learn while they were abroad."

(End note 45: R16, JDC monthly bulletin, nos. 1 & 2, 3/6/35 [6 March 1935]; ibid., nos. 3 & 4, 6/3/35 [3 June 1935])

[1935: France: No help for German Jewish refugees - deportation orders - few deported Jews - hided Jews]

In 1935 the situation worsened. Welfare for German Jewish refugees came to a virtual stop. JDC efforts to have French Jewry inaugurate a new campaign to raise funds met with no success. The French government was issuing deportation orders by the thousands, (p.152)

though few were actually carried out against Jews. In the early part of the year there probably were not more than 9,000 refugees in France, of whom about 2,000 were estimated to be in hiding from deportation.

(End note 46: R14, Kahn's report for 1935, Jan. 1936)

[1936: France: All local French Jewish committees quit - Joint is alone helping the Jewish refugees in France]

By the end of 1935 and in early 1936 the refugee aid committees that had mushroomed in France in 1933/4 began to disappear. Agriculture et Artisanat dissolved in 1936;

(End note 47: In Paris there had been a committee known as the Assistance Médicale aux Enfants run by a lady doctor, a refugee from Germany, with the help of her lover, another German refugee. She used the name of the Baroness de Rothschild for raising money without bothering to inform that lady of the fact, and provided medical assistance to some 1,200 infants and small children (R16, May 1935 report). She also received some JDC funds. One day her lover's wife turned up and found the couple at the Assistance Médicale. The lovers escaped through the window, the wife committed suicide, the baroness discovered that for two years she had been the head of a fairly well-known institution, and the Assistance Médicale dissolved. What happened to the children who had received its help is not recorded (R15, Kahn to Morrison, 3/1/36 [1 March 1936]. Similarly, an organization called Renouveau, purporting to train youngsters under the influence of religious Zionism, came to an ignominious end (28-9).

others followed suit. With the advent of the left-wing Popular Front government in 1936, the Rothschilds and their supporters tended to withdraw from the scene. Kahn, usually so conservative in his opinions, was moved to say that apart from JDC "nobody cares about the German refugees in France, neither ICA, the Jewish community, the British (Jews), nor any other organization."

(End note 48: Dr. Kahn's material, file Hilfsverein, 1936-1939, Kahn to Baerwald, 6/18/36 [18 June 1936])


[4.9. Nuremberg race laws 1935 provoke speedy action - Council for German Jewry in London - but no action]

[Sep 1935: Nuremberg race laws make clear that German Jewry has to emigrate]

The steady worsening of the situation was punctuated by the passage of the September 1935 Nuremberg laws in Germany, which openly made Jews into second-class citizens. After the fall of 1935, it became clear to many that German Jewry had no choice but to emigrate. The problem was how long this would take and what the financial and political tools would be necessary to effect such emigration.

[McDonald's last action brings British and American Jewish bodies together - speedy action needed]
McDonald's last, and this time at least partially successful, effort was to bring together the British and American Jewish bodies for common action in face of the threat to German Jews.

The irony of a non-Jewish humanitarian's being the essential factor in achieving cooperation between Jews should not be overlooked: McDonald reported to a rather reluctant Warburg in November 1935 that he was trying to persuade Lord Bearsted and Simon Marks, two leading British Jews, to come to the United States to meet with American Jewish leaders.

(End note 49: WAC, Box 324 (a), McDonald to Warburg, 11/21/35 [21 November 1935])

Among British Jews he found, he said, an unanimous appreciation of the dangers and of the necessity for speedy action. Soon the moving spirit in the British camp became Sir Herbert Samuel, the noted liberal leader and moderate Zionist (he had been the first British high commissioner to Palestine after World War I).

[Since Dec 1935: Speedy action - Lord Bearsted and Marks present a British emigration plan - also an ICA plan - 12 to 16 million $ costs]

Events then moved at unaccustomed speed. In December 1935 (p.153)

Lord Bearsted and Marks announced the forthcoming visit of a "leading Jewish statesman" - obviously Samuel was meant - and asked for the postponement of separate fund-raising campaings in America until consultations regarding a concerted emigration plan from Germany could be agreed upon. They were thinking of a plan to take 23,000 Jews out of Germany yearly. Warburg's reaction was guarded. The visit would be welcome, but JDC was quite clear about preserving its independence.

In Britain, meanwhile, ICA took a similar stand: Goldsmid promised cooperation and coordination, but declared that ICA would retain its independence. The reluctance with which the more conservative groups regarded the proposals stemmed at least partly from the fear of being swamped by Zionist influence. Their caution was strengthened by the fact that early in January items appeared in the New York Times playing up the emigration plan and the forthcoming British Jewish visit to the United States - Warburg was quite certain that any publicity at that early stage was most unhelpful. Also, Warburg was not quite clear what the plan actually consisted of. According to one version it would cost $ 16 million; another version said $ 12 million for four years.

[21 January 1936: New York: Jewish British emigration plan presented - foundation of the Council for German Jewry in London]

On January 21, 1936, three representatives of British Jewry arrived in New York: Sir Herbert Samuel, Simon Marks, an ardent Zionist, and Lord Bearsted, a non-Zionist. To JDC the delegation seemed obviously weighted on the Zionist side. For about two weeks the delegation held talks with JDC, the Refugee Economic Committee (REC), and the Zionists. The plan now became clearer: there were, the guests said, some 94,000 young Jews between the ages of 17 and 35 still in Germany. It was proposed to help 8,000 of these to emigrate yearly to Palestine, 4,000 to the United States, and 4,000 to other countries. Altogether, 64,000 young adults would emigrate in four years. On top of that, an annual emigration of 5,000 children, and 500 Youth Aliyah to Palestine, would mean another 22,000 in four years. Older people who would leave with their younger relatives would swell the total number to 42,000 yearly, or a total of 168,000 in four years.

(End note 50: 15-7, for a summary of the correspondence and reports on the delegation's visit. See also Bentwich, op. cit. [They Found Refuge (London  1965)], pp. 30 ff. The origins of the plan can be traced to May 1935 at least, when a similar plan was submitted to JDC by Max Kreutzberger, secretary of ZA (Executive Committee [Zentral-Ausschuss], 5/22/35 [22 May 1935]). He spoke of an emigration of 15-20,000 annually, half of whom would go to Palestine. The idea seems therefore to have emanated from German Jewry itself and been accepted by McDonald, who then obtained the agreement of CBF leaders in London to support it).

The (p.154)

cost of all this would be about $ 15 million, of which two-thirds would be borne by United States Jewry and one-third by British Jewry. A central coordinating committee, to be called the Council for German Jewry, was to be set up in London.

The American Jewish bodies agreed to these proposals in broad terms after some rather heated discussions. JDC leaders declared that they understood the council to have coordinating functions, because JDC's contributors would hardly agree to having the distribution of their funds determined by people in another country. Also, what JDC undertook to do was essentially to devote their funds (other than their commitments to Eastern Europe and other places) to the saving of German Jewry in coordination with the others. This, of course, was what JDC had been doing in any case, so that behind the façade of declarations of goodwill the situation had not changed materially when the British delegation left on February 5, 1936.

On January 1 Samuel had been received by Roosevelt, who had promised him "a sympathetic attitude on the part of the (U.A.) German consulates in the case of all suitable applications for emigration visas to this country."

(End note 51: Ibid. [15-7, Executive Committee / Zentral-Ausschuss (ZA), 5/22/35 (22 May 1935)])

Yet at the final meeting of the delegations, Marks was more realistic than the enthusiastic newspaper reports when he said that in fact the British delegation had accomplished very little.

[Skeptical voices of the Joint to the agreement - Zionist efforts to get German Jews to Palestine]

Some JDC leaders saw even the small measure of agreement as a mistake. Vladeck, Marshall, and Rosenberg argued that the Zionists would simply use the agreement for getting Jews into Palestine. Zionists, Vladeck said, agreed with Fascists that Jews should get out of Europe. That was the reason why the Zionist flag was protected in Germany. Repercussions in Eastern Europe to such large-scale emigration might increase anti-Semitism there because governments would think that they could evict Jews with Jewish financial support. If this meant, said another participant in the discussion, "that when Jews are hurt, they shall immediately be taken out of the country through a grand exodus, and ... that money is paid to bring people out of places merely becaues conditions are bad there, we would only succeed in muddling up the (p.155)

situation for other Jews all over the world." On the other hand, William Rosenwald argued, the Zionists got their funds on the strenght of the German crisis and yet only about 13 % (actually about 20 %) of the adminissions into Palestine were from Germany. If, as a result of the new plan, the Zionists would devote a larger proportion of their funds to help German Jewry, he said, the plan would commend itself "to many of us."

(End note 52: Executive Committee, 2/10/36 [10 February 1936]; 15-11, Rosenwald memo, 2/1/36 [1 February 1936]. Cf. also Forverts, 2/17/35 [17 February 1935])

Warburg's influence neutralized the opposition, and the overwhelming majority of the leading JDC laymen supported the new plan. However, events in London soon made it seem that at least some of the criticism had been justified.

[The Council for German Jewry: Always quarrel about Palestine or not]

The council was to be set up in London and consist of six men - three each from Britain and the United States. The three Americans were to be Warburg, Baerwald, and Rabbi Stephen Wise, the Zionist leader. With Samuel and Marks considered as Zionists, there would thus be an equal representation of Zionists and non-Zionists on the council. However, after the British delegation had returned to London, Marks invited Weizmann to join and, probably in order not to appear partial, Goldsmid of ICA as well. This was done without prior consultation with the Americans. On top of that, the British now interpreted the agreement in New York to mean that JDC would raise funds over and above what it was spending for all its other purposes.

In the early April session in London of the council's Preparatory Committee, Kahn emphatically denied this interpretation.

On April 6 Warburg wrote a very outspoken, though humorous, letter to Bentwich, who had been appointed director of the council, together with Sir Wyndham Deedes, a non-Jew and a pro-Zionist. The council was, Warburg said, clearly top-heavy on the Palestine end. His enthusiasm, he added, was somewhat dampened. the English had allocated their money to Palestine "in its entirety"; the conssultations were therefore somewhat futile and, he added, "some of us feel that we had better stay at home and saw wood and satisfy the givers, as we have in the past, by spending their contributions as the givers would want and as the recipients desire."

(End note 53: 15-3, Kahn to New York, 4/3/36 [3 April 1936]; Baerwald to Samuel, 4/7/36 [7 April 1936]; Warburg to Bentwich, 4/6/36 [6 April 1936]. As to Warburg's statement that the British had allocated all their funds to Palestine, the situation by the end of October 1936 was that of the 721,035 pounds collected by them in Britain, 392,000 pounds had been allocated, of which 51 % went to Palestine (see: Council of German Jewry, interim report, 10/30/36 [30 October 1936], JDC Library). Cf. also: Executive Committee, 5/4/36 [4 May 1936]).

In the end only about half of the British funds went to Palestine. (p.156)

[Council for German Jewry: Quarrel about money for Palestine]

In the spring of 1936 the Zionists were demanding that 250,000 pounds be allocated to aid the immigration to Palestine of 3,500 young trainees. This would have meant that a very large sum of money would go to settle a relatively small number of people, and JDC felt that it could not agree to that - although there seems to have been no protest on JDC's part when HICEM and ICA spent very large sums to effect the settlement of equally small numbers of people in Latin American countries.

One of the paradoxes of the situation was that the Zionists, especially in America, had not been at all enthusiastic about the stablishment of the Council for German Jewry.

[1933: Boycott of German goods supported by American Zionism]
Under the influence of Stephen S. Wise, American Zionism had come to support the boycott of German goods that had been started by Abraham Coralnik and Samuel Untermeyer in 1933, to which JDC was very much opposed.

[Beginning 1936: American Zionists don't want to buy German goods for Jewish emigration]
American Zionists thought that the council's plan was similar to the Jewish Agency's German transfer scheme, to which American Zionism was largely opposed. This, as we have mentioned, consisted of an agreement to take out Jewish capital to Palestine in return for the promotion of the export of German goods.

The boycott trend in the United States was so strong that JDC, itself eager not to clash with the Zionists on this issue, decided that no plan should be implemented that would facilitate the export of German goods.

(End note 54: JC-1/10/36 [10 January 1936], 1/31/36 [31 January 1936])

[5 Feb 1936: Zionists want emigration to Palestine in any case, also with German goods]
Now, after the delegation had returned to London and the Zionist influence had gained weight, the situation was reversed: the Zionists had been enthusiastic supporteres of the council's plans, whereas JDC's ardor had cooled considerably.

[Council for German Jewry: American representatives in majority with three JDC members are administrating British money]

The marriage then had hardly taken place when a separation occurred, though both sides took great care not to announce a divorce. On paper there were soon five American Jewish members of the council, of whom three were JDC representatives (Warburg, Baerwald, and Liebman; Liebman represented REC, which was a JDC affiliate). The two others were Zionists. In reality, there usually was an American delegate representing the JDC members in London who partook in the council's deliberations.

Practically speaking, the money the council spent came from England only (p.157)

and was allocated by the British members of the council. As to the rest, there was much exchange of information and consultation and some common action in Europe, especially in the refugee countries, but no pooling of resources.

[No action to save young German Jews by the Council because of lack of places]

The grandiose plan to evacuate young German Jews remained on paper.

To be sure, the reason for the inaction did not lie mainly with interorganizational differences of opinion. Money alone, even had there been much of it (which there was not), would not have solved everything. There had to be places to which emigrants could be directed, and on this major point the council did not advance beyond what McDonald had done.

Max Warburg and Otto Hirsch from Germany "begged and pleaded for action, meaning that monies be made available to start sending (refugees) at the rate of 500 a month out of Germany to various parts of the world, in addition to immigration to Palestine."

(End note 55: Executive Committee, 7/2/36 [2 July 1936], report by David Bressler)

[Spring 1937: Warburg's initiative for an umbrella organization of Jewish leaders]

In the spring of 1937, during the last months of his life, Warburg was working on an idea to create an umbrella organization of Jewish leaders of major organizations, to be weighted very definitely on the non-Zionist side.

(End note 56: Executive Committee, 4/14/36 [14 April 1936])

[July 1937: Paris: Foundation of an umbrella organization of Jewish leaders under Warburg - only one session]

Such a committee was in fact set up and met in July in Paris for the first and only time. But one may doubt whether a mere reshuffling or organizational change would have made much of a difference in a situation that was determined by the non-Jewish world rather than by Jewish leadership.

Short time after July 1937: Death of Felix Warburg
(p.158). JDC leader Felix Warburg dies on 20 September 1937 (p.250).

[Early 1937: Warburg's trip through Europe brings only few places for German Jews to emigrate]

Warburg himself had been to Europe in early 1937, and his report was not encouraging.

(End note 57: R13, Warburg at a meeting at the St. Regis Hotel, 4/29/37 [29 April 1937]; Executive Committee, 9/27/37 [27 September 1937])

Small numbers of people could emigrate to a few places with the help of large sums of money, provided this was done quietly; the same was true of the United States, where fear of anti-Semitism caused Jews to keep very quiet regarding the numbers of Jews entering the country. Palestine was, in 1937, awaiting the verdict of the Peel Commission, and immigration was becoming restricted. The outlook was bleak.

[Until 1936: Palestine splits the emotions of the Jews]
Until 1936 Palestine was, as we have seen, a main focus of emigration for German Jews. This fact and the emotions aroused in the Jewish world by the controversy about Palestine, as well as the bearing it had on the relations in the United States between (p.158)

JDC and the Zionists, caused JDC to devote a fairly significant part of its thinking to the Palestine problem.


[4.10. The involvement of the Joint in Palestine since 1920]

[Investments of the Joint Distribution Committee in Palestine]

JDC's involvement in Palestine had begun with the founding of the organization, for JDC ahd come into being in the wake of efforts to aid suffering Jews in Palestine in 1941. In the 1920s Warburg's and Baerwald's non-Zionism did not preclude a deep interest in what they considered to be constructive work in that country. They took a businesslike approach to the growth of Palestine's economy by investments that would produce profits, loans to sound enterprises, and the development of natural resources.

[The Zionist funds just organize immigration to Palestine - nothing more]

The Zionist-inspired funds had a different policy. What was important to them was the development of the country's capacity to absorb immigrants - and if money had to be "wasted" in order to build enterprises or to develop social experiments whose results would take many years to prove themselves, they were not averse to that. The desire for economic profit to them was secondary to national interests.

[Partly JDC leaders consider Palestine like "USA" to settle]

To a number of JDC leaders, Palestine was essentially an Arab country into which Jews had a right to immigrate and in wich they should settle and develop their institutions, in much the same way that they had done in North America. "The picture of British guns", one of them said, "forcing a foreign rule upon a majority population so that a minority can obtain political, economic and cultural privileges does not accord with the conscience of peoples bred to the principles of free self-government."

(End note 58: WAC, Box 252, Marshall to Weizmann, 12/4/29 [4 December 1929])

[1929: Palestine: Warburg establishes tripartite committees with Moslems, Christians and Jews - committee for cooperation]

Warburg, with his penchant for neat organizational structures, was trying in 1929 to set up tripartite committees of Moslems, Christians, and Jews. This was to be crowned with a committee for cooperation, chaired by his friend, Judah L. Magnes, chancellor of the Hebrew University.

(End note 59: WAC, Box 252, Warburg to Magnes, 10/9/29 [9 October 1929])

[August 1929: Arab rioters murder Jews at Hebron and other places]

All this came in the wake of the August 1929 disturbances during which Arab rioters brutally murdered large numbers of defenseless Jews at Hebron and other places.

[Joint does not see: Support Palestine means support a Jewish national movement]

Basic to the approach of JDC leaders was a misunderstanding of the tremendous drive of a desperate Jewish nationalism, now swiftly spreading to the North American continent as well, with which they were utterly out of (p.159)

sympathy. They thought they could channel what they considered to be the more moderate Zionist ideas into investment companies and business expansion and ultimately arrive at some political compromise guaranteeing civil rights to Jews. But they, too, felt that they had to participate somehow, that in some way Palestine was their concern as well; and in the process they helped to build solid foundations for a Jewish national movement in Palestine - a result that they had not foreseen and certainly would have deprecated.

[1920s: Palestine: Working groups under indirect JDC supervision]

In line with JDC principles generally, work in Palestine in the 1920s was slowly transferred to responsible groups that carried on under indirect JDC supervision. JDC supported the Hebrew University and some yeshivoth directly.

[June 1925: JDC joins the Palestine Economic Corporation (PEC)]

But in June 1925 it joined the Brandeis wing of the Zionists in setting up the Palestine Economic Corporation (PEC). To this body it transferred all its economic work in Palestine and promised additional funds. All this came to a total of $ 1.5 million, which was to be paid within three years.

[1922: JDC and ICA found the Central Bank of Cooperative Institutions in Palestine]
Most important among the assets transferred was the majority share of JDC in the Central Bank of Cooperative Institutions (founded 1922), of which the other main partner was ICA. That bank, run (starting in May 1925) by Harry Viteles, an American who had settled in Palestine, had become a central banking institution for Palestine's budding cooperatives. Between 1922 and 1929 it loaned $ 3 million to a variety of local bodies and individuals.

[JDC with the Loan Bank (Kupath Milveh)]
Other assets transferred included the Loan Bank (Kupath Milveh), reorganized in 1924, which provided small loans mainly to small businessmen and artisans on the same lines as the JDC kassas did in Eastern Europe.

[Jewish settlements 1922-1926 - crisis 1926/1927]
All these activities were vital in enabling the young Jewish settlement in Palestine to weather the crisis of 1926/7, which resulted from an ill-advised building boom and rash investments in trade.

[JDC actions in the Palestine Economic Corporation (PEC)]
JDC could not fulfill its obligations to PEC because of the economic crisis in America. Had PEC not been, practically speaking, a JDC affiliate, JDC would have run into considerable difficutleis because of its inability to pay the full amount promised. But with (p.160)

Warburg as honorary president, and Bernard Flexner, another JDC stalwart, as chairman, work continued despite the fact that JDC had only paid in $ 1,164,000 by early 1930 and was paying PEC only small amounts of the rest of the sum throughout the 1930s.

[Activities of the Palestine Economic Corporation (PEC): Jerusalem, Tel Aviv - purchase of land - infrastructure - mining]

PEC invested its funds in Palestine not only through the institutions already mentioned but also by supporting the Mortgage and Credit Bank, which helped finance the building of much of modern Jerusalem and northern Tel Aviv. In 1932, with PEC help, the bank participated in setting up the Kiriat Hayim suburb in Haifa and a number of smaller urban settlements elsewhere. PEC joined PICA (ICA in Palestine) in supporting the Palestine Water Company and helped equip them with modern American drilling machinery. The Haifa Bay Land Company, in which PEC also invested handsomely, bought land in Haifa Bay and provided settlers with easy access to land.

[This land was bought from Arab owners on which the Palestinians had been farmers. So the Palestinians are driven out. The normal slang names the Palestinians Arabs, too and mix Arabs and Palestinians].

Flexner, Warburg, and Robert Szold also represented PEC on the board of the Palestine Potash Company, which was developing the Dead Sea resources, after PEC had acquired $ 262,631 worth of the company's shares.

[Herzl had promised that there could be gold in Palestina to find like in South Africa].

[March 1929-Jan 1931: King David Hotel in Jerusalem]
In March 1929 PEC provided 20,000 pounds of the 165,000 pounds subscribed to the Palestine Hotels Company, organized by private investors in Egypt and England. As a result, the King David Hotel in Jerusalem was completed in January 1931.

(End note 60: Files 107-17 (period up to 1933)

[Since August 1929: Moslem crowds rioting in Jewish settlements]
Another JDC involvement in Palestine affairs resulted from the August 1929 disturbances. Moslem crowds, incited by the mufti of Jerusalem, Amin El Husseini, killed and pillaged in Jewish settlements wherever they could.

[23 Aug 1929: "USA": Emergency Fund for the Relief of Palestine Sufferers established]

On August 23 the news regarding the slaughter of Jews at Hebron had reached the United States, and within four days an Emergency Fund for the Relief of Palestine Sufferers had been set up under David A. Brown of JDC, with the full participation of the Zionists. Julius Rosenwald, Nathan Straus, and Felix M. Warburg were honorary chairmen. The participation of Rosenwald marked the effort as essentially humanitarian and nonpolitical. 25,000 dollars was donated by each of the three chairmen and $ 50,000 by JDC. In the end total contributions (p.161)

amounted to $ 2,210,474. Together with contributions collected in Palestine itself, the total amount was 589,768 pounds.,

The next problem was how to spend the money.

["USA"-Palestine: Emergency Fund: Jonah J. Goldstein and his wife are nominated to distribute the funds - Emergency Fand distribution committee established]
In September 1929 Warburg nominated Judge Jonah J. Goldstein and his wife, Mrs. Harriet B. Lowenstein-Goldstein, comptroller of JDC, to go to Palestine and distribute the funds there. On their way the Goldsteins stopped over in London and arranged for the coordination of British and American efforts.

In Palestine, local and British Jews soon took charge, and the Goldsteins became but partners in the effort. They left in December 1929, and the expenditure of funds was supervised by a committee composed of Brig. Frederick Kisch, a British Zionist leader who lived in Palestine, Pinhas Rutenberg, founder of the Palestine Electric Company; and Maurice B. Hexter, who represented JDC interests. The practical work was done at first largely by Mrs. Bentwich, later by the Palestinian Zionist Elijah Berlin and Charles Passman (Passman, an American, represented ICA in Palestine).

The funds collected were much larger than the situation acutally required. The families who had had to leave Hebron and a few other places were quickly settled, and their needs seen to. IN fact, local funds had satisfied most of these needs before the American fund became effective.

[Since Dec 1929: Emergency Fund changes from relief to reconstructive activities - investment fund]

In December [1929] a reorganization of the fund led to a change from relief to reconstructive activities. As a result, quite unexpectedly the Emergency Fund, originally intended as a pure humanitarian gesture, became an investment fund that supported such things as land buying (together with ICA), the development of the Huleh Valley concession, lands in the north of Palestine, the settlement of Hartuv near Jerusalem, Ein Zeitim near Safed, and the resettlement of Be'er Tuvia, which had been destroyed in the disturbances. Apartment houses near Haifa, security buildings (which, in fact, meant subsidies for the Haganah), telephones, access roads, and so on were financed by the Emergency Fund. In Jerusalem the agricultural school at Talpiot and the fortress-dining hall at Ramat Rachel, which in 1948 broke the Egyptian attack on the soughern approaches to the city, now stand (p.162)

as monuments to the Emergency Fund.

(End note 61: R10, report of the Emergency Fund, 1936, by Maurice Hexter. Cf. also interview with Judge Jonah J. Goldstein (H)

A total of 332,748 pounds was spent on this kind of reconstruction, as distinct from relief.

[1922-1933: Joint Distribution Committee is not investing much in Palestine]
In the early 1930s, until Hitler's takeover, JDC did not spend large sums of money in Palestine; it limited itself to partial support of some yeshivoth and the Hebrew University (the latter, one suspects, largely because of Judah L. Magnes's personality). However, after the advent of the Nazis in Germany, the situation changed completely. German immigration to Palestine increased sharply.


[4.11. 1933-1935: German Jewish immigration to Palestine - figures]

During the first three years, 1933-1935, the figures were most impressive. Of a total of about 81,000 Jews who left Germany 22,700 (28 %) left for Palestine. In 1935, when 62,000 Jews entered that country, it seemed as though this was the most practical solution to the problem of the refugees, politics and ideology aside.

[Joint fights for priority to German Jews coming to Palestine]
Yet even in that heyday of optimism as regards the future of the Jewish settlement in Palestine, two problems arose to plague JDC. The first was the obvious fact that while the German emergency was getting grimmer year by year, the Jewish Agency allocated to German Jews well under a third of the entry permits into Palestine. JDC exerted considerable pressure on the Agency to change this policy and to give German Jews an absolute priority.

Table 8
Immigration (Legal) to Palestine of Jews from Germany and Austria
From Germany
From Austria
% of total (legal)
6,803     328    
7,131     22.3
8,497     928     9,425     21.4
7,447     1,376     8,823     14.5
7,896     581     8,477     26.8
3,280     214     3,494     28.1
4,223     2,964     7,187     40.5
38,146     6,391   
(End note 62: Sources: 15-2, Max Birnbaum; Rosenstock, op. cit, pp. 15-32, HOG report on immigration to Palestine. The figures included "tourists" who satyed on in Palestine and were later legalized by the government. If we combine the above figures with those in Table 7, we will see that Palestine absorbed approximately 18.4 percent of total Jewish emigration from Germany in 1933, 36.8 % in 1934, 35.4 % in 1935, 31.5 % in 1936, 14.2 % in 1937, and 12 % in 1938. The figures may have to be revised upwards very slightly to take into account illegal immigration to Palestine in those years. Between 1933 and the end of 1938 about 165,000 Jews left Germany, and of these about 45,000, or 27.2 %, entered Palestine).


However, the Central Bureau for the Settlement of German Jews in Palestine, an Agency office run by Dr. Weizmann, could not accede to the request. The Agency had to consider the claims of Jews in Poland, Lithuania, and Romania, because those were the main constituents of the Zionist organization and also because the situation of the Jews in Eastern Europe was, from the economic point of view certainly, even worse than that of the Jews in Germany. In desperation, the Zionists even looked to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries as temporary havens. Weizmann stated that "there was plenty of room in Syria for Jewish immigrants and that he understood  that Jews would be welcomed to that country."

(End note 63: 14-51, CBF Allocation Committee meeting, 5/7/34 [7 May 1934])

JDC's second problem was that the Zionists attempted to make it use its funds for transporting emigrants to Palestine. In this they succeeded in a large measure. JDC put the cost of transport to Palestine, indluding its expenditures for vocational training for Palestine, at about $ 993,000 between 1933 and the end of 1938.

(End note 64: 42-Palestine immigration, 1938-43)

Even if the computation was exaggerated, as it seems to have been, there is no doubt at all that JDC did in fact support immigration to Palestine to a marked degree. This was at a time when there was considerable competition for funds in the United States between JDC and the United Palestine Appeal. According to one JDC compilation, various Palestine-oriented appeals collected a total of $ 2,848,000 in the United States in 1933/4, whereas the JDC collections amounted to $ 2,553,000

(End note 65: 42-Palestine, general, 1933-38)

at the same time. Weizmann's Central Bureau in London received 936,000 pounds

(End note 66: 15-32)

between October 1933 and December 1938, or about $ 5 million. JDC income between 1934 and 1938 came to about $ 12.8 million;

[Reasons for the Joint Distribution Committee to support emigration for Palestine - connection with ZA]

but JDC had to give aid to East European Jewry, apart from looking after refugees everywhere and supporting German Jewry as well. Why then should JDC also support Palestine ventures?

In April 1934 JDC issued a statement of policy, which said: "Were the CBF, the ICA, the Jewish Agency for Palestine to agree to a sharing of these responsibilities (for everything outside of Palestine), which no other agency in large measure has attempted to meet, the JDC (p.164)

could see its way clear to an understanding whereby important part of its resources can be applied toward the settlement of German Jews in Palestine."

(End note 67: 14-46, Statement of Policy, 4/20/34 [20 April 1934])

Despite the declaration, in practice JDC had no choice but to support the Palestine immigration office in Berlin, because it was part of the Zentral-Ausschuss, and JDC could not help supporting ZA in all its activities. Even apart from that, Kahn found it necessary to support Hechalutz in France and Poland, in Holland and Austria, because it was one of the agencies that made the most effective use of the money given them. On Palestine, JDC suffered from a split personality; while heated arguments might take place in its Executive Committee on how to avoid spending too much money there, Warburg would declare at the National Council that "the money spent there, wich at one time might have worried us, is well founded and well spent."

(End note 68: JDC Library, National Council meeting, 4/13/35 [13 April 1935])


[4.12. Palestine: Arab unrest against partition plans 1935-1939 - Joint leaders are against any partition of the Holy Land]

[Palestine: Arab unrest 1935-1939 against Jews and against partition plans of the Peel Commission 1937 - Joint leaders against partition]

After 1935 the situation changed. Growing Arab unrest finally flared up in early 1936 into a rebellion that was to last, with interruptions, until 1939. The British sent a royal commission under Lord Peel to investigate the causes of the unrest. The Peel Commission reported in July 1937 and suggested that the country be partitioned into an Arab and a Jewish state.

JDC was not a political organizationi, but its leadership consisted of men who, as members of the Jewish Agency's non-Zionist wing, were deeply involved in Palestinian affairs. Warburg and his friends were very definitely against partition, because that would create a Jewish state, and they thought that such a state would be a calamity for the Jewish people. The whole concept of Jewish nationhood, as we have seen, ran counter to their brand of Judaism, and they became very active in trying to combat partistion with all the strenght they could command.

JDC was not only informed of Warburg's opposition to the  plan, but also at JDC Executive Committee meetings he took the occasion to explain his views and to get the unanimous support of the members. The Jewish state would be a declaration of war against the Arabs, Warburg argued. Besides, the Jewish state itself would be so small that it would soon (p.165)

have to restrict immigration. The goal of American Jews was to "open Palestine as wide as possible for the immigration of Jews from countries of the Diaspora, at the same time safeguarding the English interests in Palestine and assuring the Arabs that they will not be outnumbered."

(End note 69: Executive Committee, 9/23/37 [23 September 1937])

Despite the stand taken by JDC leaders on partition, the argument with Zionism receded somewhat into the background after 1936.

[Since 1936: Palestine gets English restrictions for immigration - approach between JDC and United Palestine Appeal (UPA)]

The British began restricting immigration into Palestine, and Palestine could no longer be the immediate answer to the pressing problems of European refugees. In 1937 and 1938 the proportion of refugees that were absorbed in Palestine dwindled to a half and then a third of what it had been in the first few years of the Nazi crisis. This and the failure of the partition scheme - despite its acceptance in principle by a majority of the Zionist movement - caused JDC and UPA [United Palestine Appeal] to draw progressively nearer to one another. Both were now interested in opening the doors of Palestine, and the Zionists could not but accept the idea that other countries too would have to be persuaded to accept a share of the refugees coming from Nazi Germany.


[4.13. Fund raising competition between Joint and Zionists]

[JDC and American Zionists fund raising work]
Another aspect of the relationships between JDC and the American Zionists was the eternal problem of competitive fund raising. Two problems arose: what proportion of funds raised by the American Jewish communities for all purposes should be diverted to what was known as overseas relief; and how these overseas funds would be divided between Palestine and other areas. As far as the first problem was concerned, the interests of both Zionists and non-Zionists obviously coincided. They both wanted a growing proportion of the funds raised to go to help Jews abroad, including those in Palestine. After the worst of the depression was over, that is, from 1935 on, the proportion of overseas relief as compared to local expenditures began growing.

(End note 70: Zosa Szajkowski: Budgeting American Overseas Relief, 1919-1939; In: American Jewish Historical Quarterly 59, no. 1 (September 1969): 87 ff., 110)

During the depression an attempt was made to set up a combined fund-raising agency, the United Jewish Appeal. This body was set up in March 1934 by JDC and the United Palestine Appeal under Louis Lipskc and Morris Rothenberg; their aim was to raise $ 3 million, of which (p.166)

JDC was to get 55 %. However, no more than $ 1,246,000 came to JDC, and the 1935 results were even less impressive: total JDC income went down to $ 917,000.

[Quarrel who pays for the transportation for Palestine]
Disagreement on what the money should be spent for also troubled the relationship between the two agencies. A case in point was the question of who should pay for the transportation for immigrants to Palestine, discussed above. This was a major reason for JDC's terminating the agreement with UPA. The attitude of the Zionists, so JDC thought, was to get money from American Jews on the strenght of the German emergency and force JDC to use it for transportation to Palestine, while themselves refusing to contribute to expenses in Germany or ghe refugee countries.

[Jewish Agency has become in fact a Zionist front organization]

Behind this argument

(End note 71: Ibid. [Zosa Szajkowski: Budgeting American Overseas Relief, 1919-1939; In: American Jewish Historical Quarterly 59, no. 1 (September 1969)] p.88, quoting from letter of Caroline Flexner (10/29/35 [29 October 1935]) to Herbert H. Lehman. Also: Executive Committee, 10/9/35 [9 October 1935])

lay the feeling of Warburg and his friends that the Jewish Agency, in which they were supposed to be equal partners, had in fact become a Zionist front organization.

[October 1935: Breakup between UJA and JDC]
The breakup of UJA by JDC in October 1935 was probably intended also as a warning to Weizmann to take the non-Zionists more seriously.

[Joint: Hyman sees Zionism as a reason for anti-Semitism in Europe]

In 1936 and 1937 relations with American Zionism remained strained organizationally, despite a growing recognition of a similarity in aims and objectives. Ideologically, the case for JDC was put very clearly by Hyman in 1937. Stating that non-Zionists supported a "great Jewish settlement of refuge and of cultural development in Palestine", he said that they "decline to regard themselves as actually or potentially elements of a Jewish nation, with its center in Palestine." Zionism, he thought, was giving anti-Semites the pretext for evicting Jews from their countries. To him and his friends, "America, France, Holland, England is home and homeland."

[That's true: Zionist organizations work with the Hitler regime to organize pogroms and racist laws so the Jews are driven out. But at the end the Hitler regime plans to occupy Palestine, so the Jews had lost all].

[The fund raising quarrel - JDC is loosing it's position against the Zionists since 1936 appr.]

Hyman was against a "fusion" (that is, a combination for fund-raising purposes) of Zionists and non-Zionists. He wanted the proponents for each program to appear before the public separately: "The one that seeks to make Palestine the Jewish homeland, the core and kernel of Jewish conscious objective; the other that deems the primary goal the integration of Jews with the life of their lands of birth or of adoption."

(End note 72: Joseph C. Hyman: Jewish Problems and Activities Overseas; In: Proceedings of the National Conference of Jewish Social Welfare, 1937)

In actual fact JDC probably was bound to lose by an alliance (p.167)

with the Zionists, simply because alone it could get more funds out of the richer elements in Jewry, who generally were more inclined toward Hyman's ideology than toward that of the Zionists. This situation was to change considerably in the last year before the war, but even before that, JDC was having more difficulties because local welfare funds tended to refuse to raise funds separately for UPA and JDC. In a growing measure they and the professional associations in the large Jewish communities insisted on united campaigns, the proceeds of which would be handed over to the overseas relief agencies according to prearranged percentages.

Slowly but surely this grass-roots attitude left the JDC leadership isolated in its desire to continue independent fund raising. As the situation in Europe deteriorated, JDC reluctantly began to come around to the idea of a lmore permanent alliance with UPA. This development itself reflected the shift in emphasis in Jewish leadership: the welfare funds were increasingly controlled by professionals - social workers, fund raisers, and the like. The lay leadership was slowly losing ground.


[4.14. Emigration to North "America" - activities of the Joint in North "America"]

The other main center of immigration for Europe's Jewish refugees was, of course, the North American continent itself. Much has been written to show how restrictive United States practices were, and how occasional attempts by groups and individuals to break through the wall of histility were foiled by the great latitude that was given to local consuls in their application of visa-granting procedures, and by the support these consuls were given in their restrictive attitudes by State Department officials.

(End note 73:
-- Morse, op. cit. [While Six Million Died; New York 1968];
-- Henry L. Feingold: Politics of Rescue; New Brunswick, N.J., 1969;
-- David S. Wyman: Paper Walls; Amherst, Mass., 1968)

The actual statistics of immigration from Germany to the United States in the 1930s certainly bear witness to these strictures, at least as far as the first years of Nazi rule in Germany are concerned.

The total up to 1938, according to this source, was 63,485 persons from Germany (including Austria, after March 1938). If 85 % of these immigrants were Jews, then the Jewish immigration from Germany would have been about 54,000. The quota for Germany was 26,000 (together with the quote for Austria it came (p.168)

Table 9
Immigration from Germany to the United States
July-December 1938
No. of immigrants
(End note 74: See Germany-AFSC file)

to 27,370); it is therefore clear that up to 1936, U.S. immigration practices even uinder the existing quota arrangements were very restrictive.

But this is no longer quite so clear after 1936. The quota was utilized in 1936 to the extent of 40 %, rising to 63 % in 1937 and to 71 % in slightly over half of fiscal 1938/9. The quota itself was very small, and the fact that even that was not fully utilized is a grim reflection of American practices. The increase in immigration into the United States came just as the British were restricting entrance to Palestine, and by the end of 1938, 38 % of the Jews emigrating from Germany had come to the United States.

JDC's attitude toward Jewish immigration into the United States was ambivalent. The main desire of the organization was to avoid publicity about the numbers of Jews entering the country, for fear of an outcry from the many restrictionist elemtns in and out of Congress. JDC allocated money to groups and organizations engaged in absorbin these immigrants in the United STates, but efforts were made to avoid publicity. These expenditures came to $ 237,180 in 1936 and climbed to $ 342,000 and $ 500,313 in the two succeeding years.

(End note 75: R13, 1936 draft report, and ibid. [Germany-AFSC file], 1937 and 1938 reports)

the great advantage in bringing so many refugees to countries outside of Europe was that for the majority, their wanderings were thereby ended. Overseas settlement mjeant final absorption within a reasonable period of time. By contrast, refugees in European countries could not expect to remain there indefinitely. Most of (p.169)

them had to plan another move, and their stay in Europe was frought with economic difficulties and endless frustrations.


[4.15. Jewish haven Holland was not only a good haven]

[The first refugee wave - Mrs. Gertrude van Tijn - partly return to the Third Reich in 1936]

One of the major havens for refugees in Europe was Holland, with Belgium not far behind in importance. Holland had no visa requirements for entrants from Germany, and it was therefore quite easy to escape to the friendly republic to the west.

In March 1933 an ad hoc refugee committee was first created there under the auspices of David Cohen, a professor at the University of Amsterdam, who was active in Jewish causes. After the April 1 boycott in Germany, the stream of refugees increased considerably, and Professor Cohen and his collaborators asked Mrs. Gertrude van Tijn, a social worker of independent means who was herself of German Jewish birth, to take over the refugee work.

[1933: Committe for Jewish Refugees set up - economic crisis and unemployment - the committee advises the Jews back to the Third Reich]

A Committee for Jewish Refugees was set up, and fund-raising machinery was created. In 1933 some 3,682 refugees arrived in Holland,

(End note 76:
-- R19. For statistical material on Holland, see also:
-- JDC report for 1934, and:
-- JDC report for 1933 and the first months of 1934,
both in the JDC Library. Also: R16, monthly bulletin nos. 1 & 2, 3/6/35 [6 March 1935])

and they were helped to either integrate into the Dutch economy or emigrate. For this latter undertaking another committee was set up, in which Mrs. van Tijn also occupied a central role. As in France, there was never enough money, and when there was little chance of either emigration or absorption into the Dutch economy - there were 451,000 unemployed in Holland in 1936 out of a population of 8,000,000 - the committee could only advise the refugees to return to Germany.

In 1933, 615 are said to have returned; by 1934 the total number of returnees was between 1,200 and 1,500. This was about a fourth of the total number. The rest were eigher absorbed in Holland or emigrated (5,500 in 1933 and 1934).

[1934: Mrs. van Tijn announces the liquidation of the Dutch Jewish Relief Committees]

With the relative abatement of anti-Semitic persecution in Germany in 1934, it seemed that the emergency might soon be over. Mrs. van Tijn, in a memorandum entitled "Liquidation of Dutch Jewish Relief Committees", wrote that soon the whole problem would be solved. She was not expecting much more help from JDC, and consequently did not know what to do with the refugees that still remained. "As we have from the beginning always repatriated as many people as possible (in all nearly 900), it will not be an easy matter to send back many people now. In some cases the anternative (p.170)

of stopping relief money is being adopted."

(End note 77: 30-Germany, refugees 1934/5, van Tijn memo, 7/22/34 [22 July 1934])

[Removal of German Jewish refugies - and of "old" non-German Jewish immigrants from before 1933, too]

The Dutch government was also anxious to remove these refugees from the Dutch cities, and Kahn reported in August 1934 that even non-German Jewish refugees who had come to Holland and Belgium prior to 1933 were being repatriated. 2,000 such "old" immigrants were being threatened with expulsion by the Dutch.

(End note 78: Ibid. [30-Germany, refugees 1934/5, van Tijn memo, 7/22/34 [22 July 1934]; Kahn report, 8/22/34 [22 August 1934])

The relations between the Dutch committee and Kahn in Paris were excellent; in retrospect it appears that Mrs. van Tijn thought they were more rosy than they actually were.

(End note 79: Oral testimony (H) of Mrs. van Tijn (1968). Cf. also Mrs. van Tijn's memoirs (manuscript), p.8; thanks are hereby expressed for permission to use this valuable source).

[JDC pays for Dutch committees]

The committee repeatedly threatened to close its doors because the means put at its disposal by local Dutch Jewry and by JDC and other bodies simply were not in proportion to the needs. At the last moment it was always JDC that provided the needed sums; Kahn was very partial to Mrs. van Tijn's powerful personality, accurate bookkeeping, and German Jewish background, and in New York these sentiments were echoed as well.

(End note 80: Germany, organizations and institutions, "C"-Holland, letter to Kahn, 1/7/34 [7 January 1934]. Executive Committee, 3/26/35 [26 March 1935], where Jonah B. Wise declared that the Dutch Committee "needs assistance and should get it. They work efficiently and constructively." See also: R14, Kahn's report for 1935, in January 1936; and sources in note 79 above).

[Rising number of Jewish refugees after Nuremburg laws 1935 and after occupation of Austria and CSR - Holland makes border crossing difficult]

By the end of 1934 some 9,000 Jewish refugees had arrived in Holland. There seems to have been a marked decrease in 1935, but after the Nuremberg laws in the autumn the movement increased again. In 1936, especially toward the end of the year, an estimated 600 people were coming in monthly. Of these, many found a solution to their problems by themselves; but over 1,000 people were dependent on the committee, and 361 had to be supported by it.

In 1937 another decrease in the flow of refugees made the local committee believe that its task might soon be over. But 1938, with its multiple disasters in Austria and Czechoslovakia, caused the flow of refugees to increase again. Dutch restrictions on the entry of Jews from Germany grew, and border-crossing became very

Table 10
JDC Expenditures in Holland
$ spent
(End note 81: Sources:
-- 34-Germany, refugees in Holland, 1941/2;
-- Holland-report 1936.
It appears that these figures included a part of HICEM expenditures in Holland, because JDC contributed to HICEM expenses. Between 1933 and 1936 the total expenditure of the Dutch Committee came to 1,690,537 Dutch guilders, of which JDC's direct contribution came to 334,677, or 20 %. HICEM's expenses came to 189,608, and CBF contributed 57,040; the rest was covered by money raised from Dutch Jewry).

(p. 171)

difficult. All told, probably at least 30,000 Jewish refugees entered Holland from Germany between 1933 and 1940.

(End note 82: 31-Refugees, 1939/42; for other figures quoted in the text, see: Executive Committee, 11/24/36, and sources for Table 10).


[4.16. Jewish haven in Belgium until 1938]

[Emigration wave - since 1938 border crossing is made difficult]

A similar situation developed in Belgium. Two committees functioned there: one in Brussels under Dr. Max Gottschalk, and a second, less effective one, in antwerp. JDC allocations to Belgium also grew, approximating the expenditure in Holland

(End note 83: Expenditures in 1934 came to $ 16,589; these had risen to $ 94,000 in 1938, and jumped to $ 649,000 in 1939 (34-Germany, refugees in Holland, 1941/2).

and about the same number of refugees arrived there. By 1940 30,000 refugees were estimated to have entered the country since 1933. Of these, about one-half arrived before 1938 and the rest after March 1938.

(End note 84: R9, JDC report: "Aid to Jews Overseas", 1939 and the first six months of 1940; and: 31-Refugees, 1939-1942)

The Belgian government, which had been very liberal during the early 1930s, became more and more restrictive toward the end of the decade. Gottschalk's committee was in serious trouble by the autumn of 1938.

[Training farm Wieringen for young German Jews for emigration to Palestine]

Probably the most impressive piece of work done by the refugee committees in the Benelux countries was a retraining farm at Wieringen in Holland, establishes on March 13, 1934, by Mrs. van Tijn's group. On the lands of a typical Dutch polder-land reclaimed from the sea - an attempt was made to prepare young German Jews to emigrate and become farmers in various countries. After social difficulties encountered during the first couple of years of Wieringen's existence, owing to the presence there of Communist youth, the farm became a great success. The Communists disappeared from the farm during the Spanish Civil War, and the majority of the young people who remained and those who joined later from Germany leaned toward Palestine.

Wieringen was in fact run by a Palestinian couple, Moshe and Lea Katznelson. By April 1936, out of 60 youngsters, 33 had gone to Palestine. In late 1938, after the November pogroms in Germany, a noted German Jewish educator, Dr. Kurt Bondy, brought over 20 pupils from the training farm at Gross-Breesen in Germany. Up to 1939, it appears, 245 pupils had left Wieringen, of whom 111 went to Palestine.

(End note 85: Gertrude van Tijn: Werkdorf Nieuwesluis; In: Leo Baeck Yearbook; London 1969, 14:182-99)


[4.17. Jewish haven Switzerland mostly temporarily for emigration overseas]

[No visa needed]
The position in Switzerland was in many ways unique [like in Belgium]. There was noneed to possess a visa to enter the country, though identification papers were, of course, demanded. Switzerland was interested (p.172)

[The right radical Fronts provoke anti-Jewish propaganda]

in maintaining her tourist industry, and whe also had a strong tradition of granting asylum to political refugees. At the same time, however, there was a strong anti-Jewish feeling in many of the more conservative parts of the confederacy (Switzerland did not allow the general entry of Jews into the country at large until 1966), and in early 1933 the Naitonal Front, supported by the ex-chief of staff of the Swiss army, revealed itself as a Nazi group, its propaganda based largely on anti-Semitic themes. In the autumn of 1933 the Swiss Nazis achieved significant gains in cantonal and municipal elections. Their propaganda provided the background for an action brought in a Swiss court against the libelous Protocols of the Elders of Zion; ultimately the Protocols were proved to be a forgery.

Swiss Jewry numbered about 18,000 persons in 1933.

(End note 86: Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957]), p.60)

[SIG working for the German Jewish refugees - no money from Joint Distribution Committee needed]

It was organized under the Schweizerischer Israelitischer Gemeindebund (SIG), founded in 1904, and in the early 1930s its president was a member of one of the old Swiss Jewish families, Jules Dreyfus-Brodsky. As in Holland, but unlike the situation in France, the existence of a united Jewish representation made work for refugees from Germany considerably easier. An existing organization affiliated with SIG, the Verein Schweizerischer Israelitischer Armenpflegen (VSIA) undertook to care for the refugees. Among the leaders of VSIA, a manufacturer from Saint-Gall, Saly Mayer, soon stood out as a prominent personality in the field of aid and rescue.

At the beginning a mass flight into Switzerland occurred, largely of fairly well-to-do persons. It appears that from April until September 1933 some 10,000 people, presumably mostly Jewish, arrived in Switzerland via Basel alone.

(End note 87: Ibid. [Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957])], p.65)

As in other countries however, a high proportion of the refugees returned to Germany before long. It seems that the number of Jews who remained in Switzerland exceeded 5,000 in 1933, and the Swiss Jewish community collected over 150,000 Swiss francs to support about a half of these who were without means. Thus in 1933 no JDC help was needed. (p.173)

(End note 88: SIG, Festschrift zum 50-jährigen Bestehen [festschrift for 50 year jubilee]; Zurich, no date [1954], p. 13 (Dr. Leo Littmann: 50 Jahre Gemeindebund [50 years federate corporation])

[7 April 1933: Swiss government refuses the status of "political refugee"]
The attitude of the Swiss government toward these refugees was ambiguous. A police circular of April 20, 1933, based on a government (Bundesrat) decision of April 7, declared that Jews could be considered political refugees only if they had actually been politically prominent personalities in Germany; the general anti-Semitic actions of the Nazi government did not entitle Jews to the status of political refugees.

(End note 89: Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957]), p.55)

[31 March 1933: Swiss government states Jewish refugees can stay only temporarily]
A circular of March 31 defined what became standard Swiss policy in the years thereafter: Jews could come to Switzerland on a purely temporary basis, that is, provided they undertook to leave the country again at the earliest possible opportunity.

[Swiss population was helping the Jews getting visas for overseas and got much money from the Jews for that. At the same time Switzerland was the holiday center for the Nazis in Davos (sanatorium) and Zurich (banks). Whole Switzerland was covered with holiday houses for German Nazi youth, and the right radicals were "prepared" with future "gauleiters" and sites were elected to establish concentration camps when Hitler's army would come].

[Argument of the Swiss government "Überfremdung" has no base - less than 0.5 % Jews in Switzerland]

Two arguments were advanced against the settlement of Jewws in Switzerland: unemployment and the danger that the country would be swamped by strangers (Überfremdung). The problem of unemployment was serious indeed, for in a population of less than four million there were 68,000 unemployed in 1933 and 39,000 in l1936; the trade unions objected strongly to the entry of additional workers into labor's ranks, especially in the professions.

Yet the number of Jews trying to find work in Switzerland was very small; the total Jewish population in Switzerland amounted to less than 0.5 % of the Swiss people. The Überfremdung argument was therefore based not so much on facts as on prejudice. This was directed especially against Jews from Eastern Europe, who were declared to be alien to the Swiss way of life (Wesensfremd).

[Supplement: There was a Jewish immigration 1918-1922 with some Jews from Eastern Europe which really were not alien to the Swiss way of life, and these were taken always as an example for the propaganda].

It was true that the proportion of foreigners in Switzerland was higher than in any other European country (14.7 % in 1910 and 8.7 % in 1930), but the percentage of Jews among these was infinitesimal.

(End note 90: Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957]), p.59-60)

[Work of SIG: Support the Jewish refugees for further emigration]
SIG, faced with an extremely careful if not actually hostile attitude on the part of the Swiss Ministry of Justice and Police, therefore undertook to support any refugees who might be without means, and tried its best to keep the problem of Jewish refugees out of the public view. It seems that Dreyfus-Brodsky took pains to make clear to the Swiss authorities that while SIG was interested in the entry of as many refugees as possible, it was in agreement with the policy of trying to get them to emigrate as quickly as was (p.174)


(End note 91: Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957]), p.69; Ludwig shows that this was not the only case when such statements were made by Swiss Jewish leaders).

It is not clear whether this was said because it was politically wise to say it, or whether fear of anti-Semitism or other motives were at work. At any rate, whereas SIG waged a public battle against Swiss anti-Semitism and in 1936 became a member organization of the World Jewish Congress, it made no attempt to try to change the restrictive practices of the government by political pressure or by direct or indirect intervention.

[Stateless Jews since 1934 - Swiss government allowes refuge - refuge of children is not allowed]
The federal government continued to waver between restrictionism and a tendency to maintain the liberal tradition of aid to refugees. When Germany began to deny citizenship to an everlarger number of refugees, thus making them into stateless persons, the Alien Police Department issued another circular (on September 14, 1934), asking cantonal authorities not to deny refuge to people simply because they had become stateless; yet when the Swiss Emigrant Children's Aid Organization (SHEK) asked the government to allow emigrant children into the country, the reply was a harsh negative.

[Since 1934: Document quarrel about stateless German Jewish refugees - convention 1937]

In the meantime [in 1934, when the Third Reich made the Jews more and more stateless persons without nationality], international organizations as well as governments were becoming concerned over the problem of identity papers for refugees. MacDonald had failed in his attempts to persuade the governments to provide  the refugees with special identity documents. After his resignation in July 1936, a conference took place unter League of Nations auspices in Geneva, where there was proposed for ratification by the governments concerned an agreement that would provide the refugees with appropriate papers, similar to the Nansen passports of an earlier decade.

Under the new convention, the governments undertook not to deport refugees to Germany unless the person concerned willfully refused to prepare for his emigration to another country. Although the Swiss did not want to be the first to sign, they began to implement the convention's terms. Finally Switzerland signed the convention, after a number of other states had done so, in August 1937. Following this act, the Alien Police [Ausländerpolizei] declared (also August 1937) that deportations of refugees to Germany should be undertaken only in exceptional cases.

(End note 92: Carl Ludwig: Die Flüchtlingspolitik der Schweiz seit 1933 bis zur Gegenwart. Bericht an den Bundesrat [The refugee policy of Switzerland since 1933 to the present]; Zurich, no date [1957]), p.70)

[Growing relationships between JDC and SIG 1933-1937]

JDC help was not forthcoming for VSIA until 1938, when it (p.175)

became clear that the local community could not possibly pay for the large number of Jews escaping from Germany and Austria. From April 1933 to the end of 1937, over 700,000 Swiss francs were spent by Swiss Jewry, or about 8 Swiss francs ($2) per person yearly, which was considerably more than any other Jewish community gave at that time. Yet while JDC did little more than watch the situation, the relationship between Kahn and his successor, Morris C. Troper, on one hand, and the heads of SIG, on the other, grew progressively closer. This was especially so after 1936, when Saly Mayer became the president of SIG. The importance of this connection was to make itself felt later on, Until the grat rush into Switzerland in 1938, the number of refugees there was not high. In 1935 Kahn estimated them to be 2,000, of whom only a few 100 needed help.

(End note 93: R14, Kahn report of January 1936 for 1935. About 300 persons weree actually being cared for, on the average, by VSIA. JDC expenditures in Switzerland came to $ 7,010 in 1935, $ 4,200 in 1936, and $ 4,935 in 1937. Some hospitals and cultural enterprises were supported).


[4.18. Other countries for German Jewish refugees and emigration overseas]

[Other countries]

Jewish refugees went to other European countries as well. In Italy there were 1,000 refugees in 1935; and varying numbers of people were temporarily stranded in other countries. But most of these small groups of Jews found their way sooner or later to countries overseas where they could hope to establish a new life. During the first two years of Nazi rule those who could find no way to emigrate usually had to return to Germany.

[6,000 Jews from Poland prefer the Third Reich]
Thousands returned not only from Western Europe, but also from Poland, because they "preferred the bitterness in Germany to the misery in Poland."

(End note 94: R16, monthly bulletin, March-April 1935)

Apart from the repatriates from Germany, one report puts the German Jewish refugees in Poland between 1933 and 1938 at 6,000. These were either German citizens, some of them of Polish origin, who had lost all contact with Poland, its language, and its Jewish population, or else actually German Jews proper. Most of them either returned to Germany or left Poland for other havens.

The total number of Jews who returned to Germany in 1934 was put at 11,000.

(End note 95: Executive Committee, 3/26/35 [26 March 1935])

[Returning Jews are sent to concentration camps - overhanded Jews by the police]
It was not until early 1935, when the Nazis began sending returning Jews to concentration camps, that the stream of returnees dwindled to a trickle; most of these were people who had been deported from countries of refuge to Germany by the police in those countries. (p.177)

[Czechoslovakia as a temporarily stay for German Jewish refugees - Mrs. Marie Schmolka]

One country that served as a transit point for thousands of Jews in the 1930s was Czewchoslovakia. In 1933, with the first wave of refugees, some four thousand Jews arrived there. At first there were separate refugees (2,500) were cared for in Prague. By 1933 a Comité National Tchécoslovaque pour les Réfugiés Provenant d'Allemagne had been founded to represent Jewish and non-Jewish political refugees to the government. The chairman of this committee was Mrs. Marie Schmolka, head of the HICEM office at Prague. Up to 1936 a total of some 6,500 refugees passed through Czechoslovakia, but most of them left the country.

In 1935, when only 800 Jewish refugees remained, Mrs. Schmolka became the head of a central Jewish refugee committee, the Jewish Social Institute (Sociální Ústav), which in effect became the equivalent of the Dutch and Swiss type of centralized community efforts.

(End note 96: JDC Library 13, 1933/4 report. See also: Kurt R. Grossmann: Emigration; Frankfurt 1969, pp. 41 ff.; Also: R14, Kahn report for 1935)

Indeed, there was much in common between the energetic and resourceful individuals at the head of each of these committees: Gertrude van Tijn, Saly Mayer, Marie Schmolka; and JDC trusted them fully. In Czechoslovakia, JDC contributions were very small, and until 1938 the Czech Jewish community itself paid for the help it gave to German Jews under the fairly benevolent protection of a government, whose intense dislike of the German contributed to its humanitarian attitude toward the refugee problem.


[4.19. Danzig: Peace until 1937 - riots 1937 and emigration]

[1933 and 1934: Announcements that no Nazi legislation will be introduced]

A special problem arose in Danzig, which was a free city under the protection of the League of Nations. Danzig's population, which was almost wholly German, became more and more influenced by Nazi ideology. The local Nazi leader, Artur Greioser, had declared in August 1933 that no "Aryan" legislation would be introduced in the city; another declaratioin on July 2, 1934, even went so far as to say that the constitution of the city "makes it impossible for inhabitants to have their rights restricted in any way on account of their race or creed."

(End note 97: 12-14, report by Neville Laski, 10/15/34 [15 October 1934])

[The situation worsens]

Yet despite these fine words - representing probably not only a tactical move of the Nazis but also the more moderate policies of the first Nazi ruler in Danzig, (p.177)

Hermann Rauschnign (who later changed sides and turned against Nazism) - the actual situation deteriorated steadily. Newspaper attacks sparked a boycott, and Jewish lawyers and doctors soon found their jobs threatened by an unofficial but effective line of action.

[3,000 native Jews, and 5,000 Polish Jews in Danzig]

There were about 3,000 native Jews in Danzig, in addition, about 5,000 Polish Jews, who had been attracted by the favorable economic conditions there, had entered the city.

[Riots on 21 and 23 October 1937]

In late 1937, a time when there was relatively little overt anti-Jewish activity in Germany, disaster struck the Danzig community. Two days of violent outrages (October 21 and 23) were followed by the arrest of Jews and the seizure of the property of prominent Jewish merchants. JDC had not supported Danzig Jews prior to these events, save for $ 1,000 it had once donated for the creation of a Free Loan kassa.

[Joint Distribution Committee in Danzig - Isaac Giterman - discussion if the Jews should leave or not]
Now it sent the head of its Warsaw office, Isaac Giterman, to investigate and to send back a recommendation for action. Giterman reported that the situation was disastrous and that emigration from Danzig should receive the same kind of priority as emigration from Germany.

(End note 98: Ibid. [12-14, report by Neville Laski, 11/4/37 [4 November 1937])

Some money was sent to support relief cases, but the problem was how to handle the larger issue. It was clear that a significant proportion of the newer Polish immigrants would have to leave the city and return to the misery of Polish Jewish existence. Kahn was quite reluctant to support Danzig openly for fear that other governments would draw the conclusion that Jewish organizations would always rescue the Jews if they were threatened with expulsion.

(End note 99:
-- Ibid., [12-14, report by Neville Laski, 11/4/37 [4 November 1937];
-- Kahn at a meeting in Paris, 12/12/37 [12 December 1937]: "Man darf nicht zeigen, und dies besonders in Danzig wegen dessen internationaler Lage, dass, sobald die Juden durch die Regierung bedrückt werden, gleich jüdische Organisationen zur Stelle sind, die mithelfen, dass die Juden den Platz räumen."
["One mustn't show, and surely not in Danzig because of its international position, that, as soon as the Jews are pressed by governments, Jewish organizations are coming and helping to bring away the Jews."])

In the end a small sum ($ 12,500) was appropriated for the support of Polish Jewish returnees from Danzig, on the condition that the recipients prove they could make themselves self-supporting with the help of the money they received. There was to be no relief and also no support for large-scale emigration.

Giterman's opinion was different: he thought that the situation in Danzig paralleled that in Germany; he felt that there was no escaping the conclusion that the Jews had to leave Danzig. At the end of November 1937 Giterman sent another report to Kahn, in which he repeated his previous statements and added that Jewish (p.178)

capital in the city was no longer transferable because Jews were forbidden to sell their property, and therefore they had to be supported.

[Jewish emigration from Danzig 1937 and 1938]
Despite the reluctance of JDC, Jewish organizsations in Danzig saw no other alternative but to help as many Jews emigrate as possible. Between October 1937 and the end of 1938 4,900 Jews left Danzig; 3,300 went back to Poland, and the rest went abroad. These were the official figures. But Giterman thought that in actual fact fewer people had emigrated and that 5,500 Jews were still in Danzig.

[Giterman for emigration to Palestine - illegal emigration to Palestine]
Giterman was in favor of a well-organized emigration plan, whereas the Danzig community, under the influence of the Zionist-Revisionists (whose leader Giterman rather rashly suspected of being in the service of the Gestapo), was trying to find the means for mass illegal emigration to Palestine.

(End note 100:
-- Ibid. [which?];
-- Giterman report of 12/30/38: "A Jewish community has started the dangerous adventure of deporting their own members from Danzig." Giterman warned JDC "not to assume any responsibility for this adventure." The text of this document is an English translation of the original, which is missing).

JDC, Giterman warned, should not give its support to these plans. In the end, of course, the people who did go on illegal ships to Palestine were saved from what followed in their native city.

(End note 101: Eliahu Stern's Ph.D. thesis at the Hebrew University, on the Danzig community, should clarify these points before long).

JDC, on the other hand, increased its support for Danzig. It spent $ 24,885 there in 1938, and $ 54,000 in 1939.


[4.20. Austria: Blumenkrieg (war of flowers) and 185,246 plus x Jews affected by NS government]

In early 1938 the situation as far as Jewish emigration was concerned began to change for the worse. In March 1938 Hitler conquered Austria by a Blumenkrieg, that is, the only things that were thrown at the German soldiers upon their entry into Austria were flowers. Austrian Jews, 185,246 of them, and an unknown number of persons considered Jewish by Nazi criteria found themselves trapped. (p.179)