The drafting of a law to regulate the rights of citizenship proposed some time ago has now been done and the “Jew Law” as it has been called is now published. This new law, says the Jewish Chronicle on January 9th, divides the population into four classes: full-blooded Aryan German citizens; foreign subjects resident in Germany; Germans resident in foreign countries; and German citizens of alien blood, “especially (sic) Jews, Wends, Poles and Gypsies who possess German citizenship.” It recommends that Jews “should be given the protection of the Reich, but not citizenship in the narrower sense.” Such full rights should be given only to those Jews who fought at the front, or who have rendered Germany “other specially valuable services.” Dr. Nicolai recommends for consideration minority-rights for Jews “similar to the rights in practice in other countries.” Any new law, he says, must strictly prohibit the employment of Jews in public positions. He then advocates measures to “protect the German nation from mixing with Jews, Mongols, Negroes and Gypsies.”
These measures include prohibition of intermarriage, immigration restrictions, deportation of aliens, complete expulsion of alien races from certain professions and restriction of numbers in others.
Von Papen, the Vice-Chancellor, in an address said:--
“Jews in Germany cannot hope for any changes in the future. The Government intends to proceed with the racial policy, and it means to make Jews disappear from public life. Enforcing racial policy, however, does not mean stimulating racial hatred,” he claimed, and he disagreed with the Austrian bishops who recently accused Germany of fostering racial hatred. “Germany is not acting against the Jews, but only combating the growth of Jewish influence.”
Under the heading, “The Terror is not over” the Jewish Chronicle says on February 2nd:--
There is an impression abroad that the reign of terror in Germany is over. “Things,” we are told, “are settling down now. The ghastly physical horrors of the early days of the revolution are ended. Persecution goes on, of course, but it is all done in an orderly manner now, without violence, and for the most part quite legally.” Those who dismiss the matter so lightly forget that there are still sixty concentration camps in Germany containing 50,000 “political” prisoners, few of whom have been convicted of any offence. They forget, too, the State torture chambers of the Gestapo, the very establishment of which is an admission that terrorism is an organic part of the Hitlerist regime.
- The Christadelphian, March 1st, 1934
Jewish Rights.—Turning from the Irish situation to the German, the Saturday Review of August 18th says:—Meanwhile Hitler teaches the German nation to walk their traditional goose-step backwards. According to the Munich correspondent of The Times, the entire property of a Jewish merchant now resident in London has been confiscated, on a charge of taking capital out of the country. Other similar charges have been made against other Jews, who have been fined or imprisoned in their absence. Hitlerism, in fact, is getting completely out of hand. Something must be done about it. The Saturday Review is neither Semite nor anti-Semite. We recognise and acknowledge, as all students of history must, the immense debt owed by all Gentiles and Philistines to that indomitable race which has contributed so much to our common heritage of art, music and literature. We recognise, too, that a country which allows its finances to be controlled by those whose interests are racial rather than national is at once in danger. Germany to-day is in no such danger; but there is a grave risk that so long as she pursues, ib rebus Judæis, her present blind and irrational policy, she will find herself among civilised nations ex-communicate. Sooner or later Hitler or his successors will recognise this; but in the meantine the docile German nation is being led into a wilderness beyond which there is no Promised Land.
- The Christadelphian, February 1st, 1934
Germany and the Jews
Though the petty persecution and wholesale banning of the Jewish population of Germany continues, there are signs of the stirring of saner impulses in some directions. Whether these are being roused by self-interest rather than humanity and justice is questionable, but from whatever motive, they will make for better conditions for the Jews of Germany if they continue and increase. Twenty-six orders have been issued since May for the toleration of Jews in certain special cases. Sometimes it is the reinstatement of a teacher or a lecturer who could not be replaced. Or in some important business it was found impossible to displace a Jew without serious embarrassment. There is a feeling rising that is thus expressed by the Jewish Chronicle. The spirit of the toleration orders was “to the effect that anti-Semitism was all very well in its way and is still a principle to be respected, but ‘life is real, life is earnest’ and the immutable laws of economics contain no Aryan clause. Jews must therefore be tolerated in business for the sake of national reconstruction.”
Illustrating this the instructions issued for the great Württemburg Annual Fair by the Minister of Economic Affairs in that city, direct that there be no bar against Jewish traders at the Fair, and further the Rules say:--
(1) No discriminatory measures are to be practised by the local authorities against non-Aryan workers or artisans; (2) No specific anti-Jewish ordinances dealing with trading are to be issued anywhere throughout the State; (3) Jewish artisans are to be freely permitted to sell their produce at public markets and bazaars and to enjoy the same privileges as non-Jews; and (4) The police are to take special measures to protect Jewish traders at annual fairs and public markets.
There is also some slackening of the severe edicts against Jewish lawyers, and the dismissal of Jewish employees without notice or compensation.
Another sign of better things is the firm stand taken by the Pastor’s League against the “German Christian Movement” which calls for the abolition of all Jewish ministers and all ministers who do not take prominent part in the “National Reformation.”
The resolution was moved by Dr. Krause, leader of the Berlin section of the Nazi Christians, who demanded that the Old Testament should disappear from religious instruction books, that all passages of an “obviously superstitious character” should be abolished from the New Testament, and that the Crucifix should be discarded in favour of the Swastika. He declared that everything that sprang from a spirit “foreign to ours” must be removed from the German people’s Church “be it ever so ancient or apparently venerable. Holy places must be sought for not in Palestine, but in our Fatherland.” The meeting was presided over by Dr. Hoffenfelder, the Bishop of the province of Brandenburg, in Nazi uniform.
The Pastor’s League opposed the motion and received such support from the country that--
On thursday (November 23rd) Dr. Müller received a deputation of the Pastor’s League and said he would promulgate a “Church law annulling all Church laws passed this year until the issue of a Reich law.” This law has now been promulgated and includes the revocation of the law passed by the Prussian General Synod excluding from Church office all persons of “non-Aryan” descent or persons considered “politically untrustworthy” or persons not accepting the principles of the new Church constitution.
It is not a great victory and the Pastor’s League is not yet satisfied, but it is a set-back for the wild men.