Anti-Semitism in Germany

August 2, 1935

Report Outline
Revival of Violent Outbreaks Against German Jews
Persecution of Jews in Middle Ages and Modern Times
Anti-Semitic Policy of German National Socialists
Foreign Reactions to German Anti-Jewish Excesses
Special Focus

Revival of Violent Outbreaks Against German Jews

Events in germany during the last fortnight have tended to enhance fears that the outbreak of anti-Jewish violence in Berlin on the night of July 15 heralded the opening of a new campaign of persecution designed to lead ultimately to imposition of far-reaching additional disabilities on the non-Aryan population of the Reich. The initial disturbances were followed by others, while a wave of new local discriminations against Jews swept the country. In the meantime, sharp anti-Semitic utterances by prominent Nazis and fulminations in the controlled press have helped to stir up popular passions and to cause concern among the more sober and conservative elements as well as among the Jews.

Convincing evidence that the revival of anti-Jewish excesses enjoyed governmental tolerance, if not support, was given four days after the first riot, when Count Wolf von Helldorf, a former Storm Troop leader and a violent anti-Semite, was unexpectedly made police president of Berlin, succeeding the conservative Admiral von Leventzow. From the conference preceding his appointment there issued a declaration announcing the close cooperation of police. Storm Troops, party functionaries, and the municipality in fighting “reactionary plots, Bolsheviki, Jewish usurpations, and Communist attempts to undermine the regime.” It was guaranteed that “in the future the capital will retain its character as a German city conquered by the National Socialist party—worthy of the Reich and the German people.” The next issue of the Angriff, official Nazi organ and mouthpiece of Minister of Propaganda Goebbels, bore a banner headline declaring: “Berlin Is to Be Purged of Communism, Reaction, and Jews.”

Fear of New Nazi Measures Repressing the Jews

Subsequent statements from government sources deploring anti-Jewish activities of individual Nazis only served to increase apprehension that the state itself might be planning some mass action against the non-Aryan population. On July 27, for example, Count von Helldorf issued an order reminding the public that “the state and the [Nazi movement have always emphasized that individual action is forbidden… The battle against Judaism is being waged by the state and the movement in different fashion.” No cessation of anti-Jewish agitation followed this statement. On the contrary, influential Nazis continued their denunciations, and a general boycotting of Jews, expressing itself in various forms, tightened its grip on the country.

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