On February 18th the Jewish Chronicle said prophetically, under the heading, “Finis Austriae”:--
"On a plain reading of the facts, no other conclusion can be drawn save that Austria is at last to be absorbed inside the Nazi tiger. The victory has been achieved by bullying and threats, by an ultimatum and, according to reports, by an actual display of armed strength. It has been described as a victory for peace. It can be that only if a resounding triumph for brute-force politics is calculated to speed the millennium. Other communities, looking anxiously across their frontier, may begin to ask where force will claim its next victim. And Signor Mussolini must have been promised his share of reward, if only to prevent his becoming less polite to the famous “axis.” By no stretch of words, therefore, can the latest Nazi aggression be considered a contribution to world peace. As for the Austrian Jews, whose situation was already precarious, they were recently given a foretaste of their future when the Viennese Nazis started smashing Jewish shop windows and damaging Jewish owned telephone boxes. The great gaol delivery of Nazis which is now in progress and the freedom that will presumably be given to the Party to demonstrate in the streets will not improve Jewish prospects. In fact, Austria is on the way to join the steadily-increasing number of States where Jewish rights are either dangerously challenged or actually filched away."
One month later, on March 18th, the prophecy came to fulfilment, and again the Jewish Chronicle lifted up its voice saying, under the heading “The Bully Strikes”:--
"Not even the blindest among us can fail to realise the sinister implications of this new step. It threatens the peace and progress of the world as nothing else has done since the Great War. It suggests that any country which sets covetous eyes on another can swallow it whole if it has the power. It means that the weakness of the weak is their destruction, that the nations in danger of being divided into the helpless cowering in fear and the powerful waiting to strike, that honourable understanding between peoples is imperilled, and that sheer anarchy is at hand. Such is the portentous significance of the crushing of Austria. That act is nothing short of a warning to the world to arm to the teeth. It scares the lesser Powers into compliance with the Dictatorial will, lest they go the way of Austria. It rears a great bullying hegemony in Europe which will bestride the Continent like a Colossus and eventually make life for other peoples intolerable. At the spot where the roadway once led into a free and independent Austria a sign-post should be erected: “This way to Armageddon.”"
There are 180,000 Jews in Austria. They are said to be “in a state of panic and hopelessness.” Prayers are being offered in the Synagogues for the safety of Austrian Jewry and refugees are already flowing in streams toward the frontiers. It is sad to read that some of these have been refused permission to land in England and have been sent back to France. One of these unfortunates took poison but was treated promptly by a doctor and his life was saved. He might have said with bitter truth that Austria would not let him live and England would not let him die.
Raiding of Jewish houses has begun, carried out by “storm troopers,” and all money confiscated. Among the raided places are the offices of the Jewish National Fund, the Austrian Zionist Federation, the Palestine office, the Keren Hayesod, and the editorial office of the Zionist paper, Stimme. A list of prominent Jews is given who are under arrest, and cries of “Perish Judah” are heard in the streets of Vienna. The Times publishes reports of shop-looting in the same city.
All Jewish officials have been dismissed, Judges and State Attorneys among them. The legal profession is declared closed to Jews, and Jewish doctors are disqualified from certain services. On cafés appear notices, “No Jews served here.”
Colonel Nathan spoke in the House of Commons, drawing attention to the persecution of Jews in Germany. He said, “Is there to be fresh martyrdom in Austria? A Jew myself, I feel for my fellow-Jews there. Are they to suffer the same persecution that has overtaken them in Germany?” He told how an Austrian Jew, a Rothschild, had had his passports taken from him, torn in pieces, and thrown back in his face. “Are representations to be made to Germany by His Majesty’s Government? What is the use of representations made to such a Government?”
It is “the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.” “Jacob shall return and be at rest, and none shall make him afraid.” So wrote Jeremiah millenniums ago.
- The Christadelphian, April 1st, 1938
Italy Follows the Nazis
“With headlong speed, the Italian Fascists are embarking on their anti-Semitic course, and are proving themselves zealous followers of the German Nazis. It would seem that they are endeavouring to arrive within a few weeks or months at the results achieved in Germany over a period of years. Within the space of several days they have decreed the ousting of Jews from educational life and the expulsion of foreign Jews, who, it is believed, are to be induced or compelled to colonise Abyssinia for the Italian conquerors.”
So writes a foreign correspondent of the Jewish Chronicle in Italy. The number of Jews affected is given in the News Chronicle as 15,000 foreign Jews, and the Jewish Year Book gives the total of Jews in Italy as 47,825 (census of 1931).
- The Christadelphian, October 1st, 1938
A Nazi Pogrom
The death of Herr Vom Rath, Third Secretary at the German Embassy in Paris, some days after he had been shot by a 17-year-old Polish Jew, has intensified the persecution of the Jews in Germany.
Put into the cold terms of a catalogue the rioters have burned scores of Synagogues in cities and towns from Berlin in the north to Cologne in the West, and Vienna in the east.
They have wrecked and plundered thousands of Jewish shops and restaurants; assaulted men, women and children in the streets and in their homes; arrested many thousands of people (10,000 in Vienna); drove between 25 and 30 Jews to suicide; and attacked a Jewish kindergarten.
“Berlin looked,” says an eye-witness, “as if it had been bombed. In some streets every second shop is wrecked.” The Berlin correspondent of the News Chronicle wrote on November 10th:--
"The rioting began in the early hours of this morning when formations of Hitler Youth and Storm Troopers streamed out of taverns where they had been celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of Hitler’s abortive march on Munich. Drunken and aflame, they set about their work of destruction.
Synagogues in Berlin were fired in just the same way that Van der Lubbe is said to have fired the Reichstag five years ago. Squads of youths, baffled by the stout doors, set ladders against the windows, broke the panes and jumped in with petrol cans.
They rushed round, spilling petrol over pews, walls, woodwork, defiled the Ark of the Covenant, where Jewish prayers are kept on parchment scrolls, and ignited the soaked premises in the glimmering light of early morning.
The flames licked up to the domes and the five Berlin fire brigades were summoned by the alarmed neighbours. Berlin synagogues were fired at intervals of about half an hour, indicating that probably the same gang dealt with them all.
Meanwhile, bawling, raucous gangs stumbled through the streets hurling bricks and stones through the windows of Jewish shops. These could be distinguished by the white lettering on the windows."
In Munich the Jews were officially ordered to leave in 48 hours.
At Kehl all Jews were ordered to report at the Police Station. After waiting for hours they were ordered to march through the streets escorted by Nazis.
This “exhibition” was intended to provide an “entertainment” for the German population who had gathered in the streets.
During their march through the town the Jews were compelled, under threats, to shout: “We have betrayed the German Motherland. We are responsible for the Paris murder.”
All the way these wretched people were insulted by the population, who shouted “Down with the Jews,” “Dirty dogs,” and spat on them.
Anti-Jewish demonstrations, and ransacking Jewish shops, were reported from all over the Baden country, where several synagogues were set on fire.
The News Chronicle correspondent says:--
"The attitude of the police is singular. It is noted that for some weeks past they have been confiscating the firearms of Jews, so that it was hardly possible for Jewish shopowners to defend their properties to-day.
It is thought that the police have been given orders to maintain a passive attitude toward the rioters while moving the crowds on and preventing traffic blocks."
The inspired German Press warns the Foreign Press to be careful how it comments on the German’s righteous revenge on the Jews for the murder of their diplomat. If too much attention is paid to this, reprisals will be officially carried out against German Jews.
Lord Rothschild, in a letter to The Times, says that any increase in Jewish torment is impossible, and that the dread work of the past few days is merely a concentration of what has been going on for three or four years. The difference is only quantitative, qualitatively it is the same.
Lord Rothschild also says that the German people as a whole deplore and detest the persecution of innocent people. Even many who sympathise with the Nazi regime, abhor the anti-Jewish cruelties.
The news from Germany of the anti-Jew riots is spread over the front pages of newspapers throughout America under black headlines and is being received with horror and anger. The general fear is that the riots, described here as the worst since 1933, will culminate in the expulsion of all Jews from Germany.