Sunday, May 04, 2014

Violence and Threats against Jews 1923-1931 as reported by the JTA

In the 1920s, a steady stream of antisemitic threats, some of an exterminatory nature, were made across central Europe, as reported by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. On February 4, 1923, the JTA reported from Bucharest that: 
Wholesale pogroms on Jews are urged as a means of providing corpses [for] the dissection rooms of the Klausenburg University, in an article appearing in the students’ publication there. The writer predicts that the pogroms will serve a two-fold object: the extermination of the Jew, and the supply of corpses. The University authorities have taken the student publication’s assertion under advisement. 

A month earlier it had reported from Vienna that a "pitiless extermination" of Austrian Jews was being promised:
A typical letter which the "Wiener Morgenzeitung" handed over to the authorities has this peroration: "In the near future the Aryan people will arise and mercilessly put and end to the Jewish domination. The Jews will first of all be stricken down, then indiscriminately murdered, exterminated and hung, their bodies being thrown in the Danube. Then and then only shall Vienna be free of this vampire. Help us, oh God of the Germans, in this task."
In Germany, the Nazis carried out violence against Jews repeatedly in certain places. For example, in May 1927 and September 1931 there was violence against Jews in Kurfuerstendamm. On the former occasion, the JTA reported
Anti-Semitic disturbances took place last night on Kurfuerstendamm. A group of 100 members of the National Socialist Party, the anti-Semitic organization disbanded by the police, distributed anti-Semitic leaflets and sang Hakenkreuz hymns. The hooligans attacked many Jewish passersby. The police intervened, arresting twenty.
On the latter occasion, the “Angriff”, edited by Goebbels, published "a cartoon showing Jewish heads rolling in the ground before the Hitlerist hurricane."

Goebbels himself had promised a pogrom a year earlier, when he stated that "When a single Hitlerite leader falls we shall answer with a pogrom on the Jews." Thus eight years before Kristallnacht, pogroms were already part of the Nazi package of violence and threats with which German Jews had to contend. Furthermore, this was allied with vicious antisemitic lying propaganda, such as the claim that "Jews were systematically corrupting Christian girls, and spreading venereal disease among them as part of a calculated plot to exterminate the Christian population."

1 comment:

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