The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Nazi Conspiracy & Aggression
Volume I Chapter XII
The Persecution of the Jews
(Part 3 of 14)


Simultaneously with the passage of these decrees and their execution, still another weapon was wielded by the Party and the party-controlled state. This was the openly sponsored and official anti-Jewish boycotts. The published diary of Joseph Goebbels, at page 290, contains this entry for 29 March 1933:

"The boycott appeal is approved by the entire cabinet." (2409-PS)

Again, on 31 March 1933, he wrote:

"We are having a last discussion among a very small circle and decide that the boycott is to start tomorrow with all severity." (2409-PS)

Streicher and Frank, together with Himmler, Ley, and others, were members of a central committee who conducted the 1933 boycott against the Jews. Their names are listed in National Socialist Party correspondence for 29 March 1933. (2156-PS)

In this early 1933 violence against the Jews, raids were conducted on synagogues by uniformed Nazis. Attending members of the synagogues were assaulted, and- religious insignia and emblems were desecrated. A report of such an occurrence was contained in an official dispatch from the American Consul General in Leipzig, dated 5 April 1943, which stated:

"In Dresden several weeks ago uniformed- Nazis raided the Jewish prayer house, interrupted the evening religious service, arrested 25 worshippers, and tore the holy insignia or emblems from their headcovering worn while praying." (2709-PS)

At a meeting in Nurnberg, before the representatives of the German press, Streicher and Mayor Liebel of Nurnberg revealed in advance to the gathered members of the press that the Nurnberg synagogue was to be destroyed. The minutes of this meeting, dated 4 August 1938, read as follows:

"The breaking up of the synagogue (information must still be secret)

"On 10 August, 1938 at 10 o'clock a.m., the breakup of the

[Page 983]

synagogues will commence. iGauleiter Julius Streicher will personally set the crane into motion with which the Jewish symbols, Star of David, etc., will be torn down. This should be arranged in a big way. Closer details are still unknown." (1724-PS)

Streicher himself supervised the demolition, according to a newspaper account of 11 August 1938, which described the scene:

"In Nurnberg the Synagogue is being demolished; Julius Streicher himself inaugurates the work by a speech lasting more than an hour and a half. By his order then -- so to speak as a prelude of the demolition -- the tremendous Star of David came off the cupola." (2711-PS)

These accounts of violence were not localized anti-Semitic demonstrations, but were directed and ordered from a centralized headquarters in Berlin. This fact is established by a series of teletype messages sent by the Berlin Secret State Police Headquarters to police chiefs throughout Germany on 10 November 1938, which contained instructions pertaining to the prearranged demonstration (3051-PS). One of these confidential orders, signed by Heydrich, provides:

"Because of the attempt on the life of the Secretary of the Legation von Rath in Paris tonight, 9 November 1938-10 November 1938, demonstrations against Jews are to be expected throughout the Reich. The following instructions are given on how to treat these events:

"1. The Chiefs of the State Police, or their deputies, must get in telephonic contact with the political leaders who have jurisdiction over their districts and have to arrange a joint meeting with the appropriate inspector or commander of the Order Police to discuss the organization of the demonstrations. At these discussions the political leaders have to be informed that the German police has received from the Reichsfuehrer SS and Chief of the German Police the following instructions, in accordance with which the political leaders should adjust their own measures.

"a. Only such measures should be taken which do not involve danger to German life or property. (For instance synagogues are to be burned down only when there is no danger of fire to the surroundings.)

"b. Business and private apartments of Jews may be destroyed but not looted. The police is instructed to supervise the execution of this order and to arrest looters." (3051-PS)

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