1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands."

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1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands."

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 17, 2016 2:09 am

In a faraway time and long ago place, been-there claimed that historians have ignored the “boycott” controversies of 1933. I quoted from Saul Friedlander’s book to show him an important, recent example of why he was wrong. Now comes David Cesarani in his new book - with an extended and very interesting discussion of the topic.

Cesarani takes the position that the Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses on 1 April 1933 was indeed the regime's reaction to mounting international outcry against the Nazi government’s Jewish policy. The Nazi - and denier - argument is that “atrocity propaganda," fomented by Jews, proliferated in foreign countries, and Germany had every right, even a duty, to do something about it and bring their adversaries to heel. For the Nazis, the American and British campaigns against the German government’s policies and actions became proof of the existence and power of “international Jewry.” This is the same proposition to which been-there has dedicated two of the longest threads in RODOH’s history. Let’s look at this, then, from Cesarani’s point of view (an earlier discussion of the 1933 boycott is found starting here and running for half a dozen or so pages at RODOH).

Pre-1933 background

Cesarani explains that the so-called boycott of Jewish businesses was not a new weapon for the Nazis in spring 1933 but rather a tactic that the SA had deployed at earlier times. For example, following the September 1930 elections, “Nazi gangs vandalized the Wertheim and Teitz department stores in Berlin and attacked Jewish shops along the Kurfürstendamm, the main shopping street of central Berlin. . . . Wherever they gained a foothold, [the Nazis] incited local people to cease buying from Jewish shops or dealing with Jews. On the eve of the Jewish New Year, 12 September 1931, 1,000 storm troopers again rioted along the Kurfürstendamm, assaulting anyone who they thought looked Jewish.” (pp 23-24) Cesarani describes a Nazi riot of late January 1933 in which 15,000 SA-men smashed the KPD headquarters - shouting "We {!#%@} on the Jew republic . . . We {!#%@} on freedom." (p 29) So, with events like there in mind, let’s dispense with the absurd denier argument that the Nazi boycott tactic was nothing more than a response to a Jewish declaration of war, supposedly made on 24 March 1933, on the Nazi government (the oft-cited “Judea Declares War on Germany” article in the London Daily Express, which in fact described campaigns in the US and Britain to boycott German goods in response to Nazi pressures on German Jews).

That said, the events of March-April 1933 need closer examination.

Early days after the Machtergreifung and following the election of 5 March 1933

The March election was conducted in an extremely fraught environment, as the German government took extraordinary measures following the Reichstag fire. Already the day following the fire, Hindenburg suspended civil rights. The SA established makeshift camps (Konzentrationslager, or KLs) for opponents or suspected opponents of the Nazis and the new government; brown shirt squads raided bars and cafés where leftists and Jews hung out. The KPD was outlawed and the SPD harassed. After the election (the Nazis failed to win a majority despite their terror tactics), “party activists turned on the Jews. From early March a rash of local boycotts spread across the country. (pp 36-37). Note the timing of these assaults: from early March, immediately after the election, weeks before the so-called Jewish declaration of war against Germany so beloved by deniers.

Cesarani explains that “These actions were not centrally planned or coordinated, but they stemmed from the well-honed Nazi practice of using intimidation to drive a wedge between Jews and non-Jews.” SA units and local governments took matters into their own hands and “began taking measures against Jews.” (p 37) Again, on 6 March, the SA attacked shoppers on the Kurfürstendamm, leaving many bloodied. The next day gangs set the synagogue in Königsberg on fire, “and two days after the, Jewish-owned stores.” Stores in other cities were defaced or vandalized, including large-scale attacks in Breslau, where Jews in court buildings (lawyers and judges) were targeted. (p 38)

Reactions to Nazi anti-Jewish actions - US and Britain

As the Nazi election terror unfolded, foreign observers reported home on what they were seeing. What was being seen? The British ambassador’s wife wrote in her diary, “All sorts of terrorising of Jews and socialists . . .” The British Foreign Office was informed that something like a “massacre” of the Jews was possible. Cesarani records that in the major city daily newspapers during this period “455 articles and editorials on Hitler and the Jews. . . . Two hundred local newspapers in the USA printed 2,600 pieces on events in Germany.”

Cesarani writes that in the US and Britain, “the extensive coverage of events led to outrage in Jewish communities.” (p 40) Jewish leaders began meeting and considering what they could do - with the idea of a boycott of German goods gaining currency. But, as been-there was schooled, Cesarani stresses the divisions among Jews and their leaders. In the US, the American Jewish Committee - representing better off, more assimilated, mostly German - preferred “quiet diplomacy” in coordination with the US State Department. Representing Jewish immigrants, who were less better off, the American Jewish Congress, led by Rabbi Stephen Wise, “responded more viscerally”; both trade unions and Zionist organizations promoted a more activist agenda.

As the bottoms up campaigning gathered headway, with rallies and demonstrations, the American Jewish Committee grew so alarmed that its leaders “condemned boycotts” and other forms of protest and tried to get American diplomats to help calm things with their German counterparts. But the activists went ahead anyway. Wise led a massive rally at Madison Square Garden on 27 March (with speakers including Senator Robert Wagner, two bishops, the mayor of NYC, and Al Smith) - and many 1000s of Jews and their supporters rallied in cites across the US (Cesarani estimates that a million people participated in the protests). It is also during March that Samuel Untermeyer began pressing for an international boycott of Germany (it was not until October, however, that the American Jewish Congress finally endorsed the boycott call).

According to Cesarani, American Jews were in a “triple bind”: lobbying was failing, radicals saw an opening to gain support, and German Jews hoped that Americans would step back and not inflame the German authorities. (pp 40-41)

In the Britain, Jewish leaders across the spectrum, fearful of antagonizing the Nazis and putting moderates in the government in a difficult spot, favored behind the scenes pressure and careful diplomacy. On 21 March they stated their opposition to street protests. But the bottoms up campaign surged forward in Britain as in the US - focusing on the boycott idea. The protest movement was especially active in East End of London, and on 24 March (the day the “Judea Declares” headline appeared) 1000s marched from the East End to the German embassy.

The British ambassador to Germany raised with Neurath the “adverse impact of persistent anti-Jewish attacks” in Britain; Neurath told him that it was Germany which was the victim. (p 42)

With the international protests continuing, the Nazis began to make plans for their response. On 26 March Göring, convinced of the fantasy of international Jewry, instructed German Jewish leaders to get their counterparts in the US and Britain to put an end to the boycott movement (misreading not only the relationship of German Jews to Jews in other countries but also, as we’ve seen, the nature of the boycott movement, which Jewish leaders had been unable to contain). Still, the Centralverein (central body of German Jews) telegram the American Jewish Committee: “We protest categorically against holding Monday meeting, radio and other demonstrations. We unequivocally demand energetic effort to obtain an end to demonstrations hostile to Germany.” (p 43) So far from stirring trouble and acting in unison with Jews in the US and Britain were German Jewish leaders that they also flew to London to try to get the protests stopped. They failed.

The Nazi anti-Jewish boycott of a April 1933

The international campaigns, blunted as they were, outraged the Nazis. Yet in March Hitler opted “to rein in the violence against political opponents and Jews,” prohibiting so-called “individual actions.” (The CV-Zeitung, newspaper of the German Jewish leadership, publicized Hitler’s stance.) (p 43)

Hitler’s prohibition failed to bring local actions (e.g., regulations against Jews) to a halt. Also, during late March, starting 27 March, Nazi bands went into action, especially in the Ruhr - “in Dortmund shots were fired into the establishment of a Jewish merchant. A hundred Jews were taken into ‘protective custody’ by the SA. The local rabbi and five other Jews were forced to parade through the street in Oberhausen.” (p 38)

Further, Hitler approved a nationwide boycott of Jewish businesses. He demanded that “international Jewry” stop the protests or the Nazis would proceed with retaliation, using their familiar boycott method. In late March, Goebbels, interpreting the situation through the lens of an international Jewish conspiracy and grossly misunderstanding the course of events, wrote in his diary, “We shall make headway against the foreign lies only if we get our hands on their originators or at least their beneficiaries, those Jews living in Germany. . . . We must, therefore, proceed to a large-scale boycott of all Jewish businesses in Germany. Perhaps the foreign Jews will think better of the matter when their racial comrades in Germany begin to get it in the neck.” (p 44)

On 27 March, Dresden diarist Victor Klemperer - a converted Jew married to a Christian woman - wrote, “The government is in hot water. ‘Atrocity propaganda’ abroad because of its Jewish campaign.” Klemperer perceived the logic of Hitler’s boycott: “We are hostages.” (p 45)

James McDonald, an American active in building support for the League of Nations, met with Putzi Hanfstaengl, an early confidant to Hitler, to convey to the Nazis the divisions among Jewish constituencies and that the protest campaign was not a Jewish invention but had broad support. Hanfstaengl wouldn’t have it, telling McDonald that Hitler had declared that “we are not afraid of international Jewry. The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.” (p 45) Schacht also rebuffed an appeal from McDonald.

In the last days of March, there was “violence against Jews” at “an unprecedented pitch.” Jews were seized from apartments, Jewish shop windows were smashed, there was a murder of a Jewish shop owner in Straubing, and in Cologne Jewish lawyers were kept from going toward.

At the last hour, the US tried intervening officially - but it was too late. However, responding to international reactions, Hitler had tamped down the boycott plans, curtailing it to a single day and enjoining the SA to keep things orderly. The boycott met with divided response among Germans, many of them uneasy with the tactic and the brutish violence of the SA.

Conclusion

Cesarani understands the boycott as a Nazi response to perceived threats from world-wide Jewry - within the Nazi frame of reference (a belief in a world-wide Jewish conspiracy and an idea of a sustained Jewish threat to Germany( and employing conventional Nazi techniques: “In Nazi thinking, the boycott was a rational response to an adversarial situation, the first foreign policy crisis they faced in office. But no diplomats or politicians at the time could grasp this.” (p 44) In Nazi thinking, the overseas campaigns proved the clout of international Jewry - and the boycott call, leveraging economic power, underscored the Jewish danger. “The reality - as the Nazis saw it - was a showdown between them and international Jewry.” (p 45) However, of course, “close scrutiny of the Jewish response in February and March 1933 would have revealed only division and dissonance. There was no chorus of ‘international Jewry.’ . . . [The Nazis] misread Jewish pluralism and weakness as a sign of unity and strength.” (p 43) Finally, says Cesarani, it didn’t “matter for the moment if ordinary Germans were ambivalent: the NSDAP was still drawing the lines between ‘them’ and ‘us,’ demonstrating that ‘they were now fair game.” ( p 49)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby NathanC » Wed Feb 17, 2016 4:47 pm

I made the mistake of reading the thread StatMech shared. He and the others who participated in it deserve medals. Jeff and I had the misfortune of tangling with Been There once, but oh god. That was just a sampler - he's ten times worse on his home turf. He's a complete psycho. It's like you're talking in English and he's talking in tongues.

On to the subject at hand.

I just finished Evans' "Coming of the third Reich". Contrary to Been There's assertions, it does discuss the US Jews' plans to boycott Germany in response to increased antisemitism. Evans also mentions that the organization of German Jews formally opposed the boycott and notified their US counterparts of the same, and got rebuffed.

Despite Been There's fantasies of a "war" between "International" Jewry and Germany, ordinary Germans weren't even into the Nazi Boycott. Evans mentions cases where they continued to patronize Jewish stores because they were cheaper than Christian stores. I don't understand how providing product at a lower price to consumers indicates any form of "warfare".

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Jeff_36 » Wed Feb 17, 2016 6:35 pm

I have gained the impression that deniers and apologists like to frame the antisemitic nazi mesures of the 30's as a retaliatory action for the supposed declaration of war. I'd say that the boycott by American Jews in early March better fits the mold of a retaliatory action, as it was clearly motivated by the documented antisemitic policy decisions of the Nazis long before elections.

I have been reading a biography of Henry Kissinger, a good portion of it discusses his childhood in Germany in the early 30's. Nazi incitement against Jews was rampant in the period leading up to 1933. I would say that the boycott was justified considering the Nazi invective.

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Feb 17, 2016 11:49 pm

I should add that one of the biggest strengths of Cesarani's discussion of the boycott battles of '33, which is the best I've read, is the attention paid to Jewish responses. (This strength is true of the book as a whole.) Cesarani takes seriously how Jews perceived Nazi actions and measures and what they did to protect their interests and defend themselves. He's very good on the nature of the Jewish communities - in Germany and overseas: he outlines how political, occupational or class, religious or organizational, ideological, age, veteran, gender, and regional differences among Jews shaped their responses to the Nazis - the critically important aspects of the history which been-there and other deniers subsume under categories like "international Jewry." Some of this gets "ugly," because there was not a single Jewish interest but many interests which led different people to pursue different lines - often lines that brought people into conflict and sometimes lines which led some to make "compromises" or to exploit divisions and inconsistencies among the Nazis in ways that embarrass one-dimensional, uplifting commemorative narratives.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:25 pm

Ullrich has a useful discussion (pp 230-235) of a point I posted about in relationship to all this, "Anyone with even half a brain knew that their coming to power was a bad thing for German Jews. Jewish organizations were correct to oppose them."

Quoting from Hitler's campaign speeches, Ullrich debunks claims that Hitler approached the September 1930 elections by downplaying the Jewish question (pp 230-231). In analyzing the Nazis' relatively broad-based appeal - and surprising electoral success in 1930 - Ullrich quotes Harry Kessler and Victor Klemperer speculating about possible civil war - and Thea Sternheim, writing in Berlin, "Most people from a Jewish background are fully disoriented" by the Nazis success at the polls. (p 233) A liberal Jewish columnist, Bella Fromm, was already considering emigration from Germany in the wake of the election. (p 234)

The significance of such evidence - and it exists in abundance for the '20s and early '30s - is that, contrary to the "Judea Declares War" meme, which pretends that the Nazis were birthed in January 1933, without a past and without a record, it provides the context for Jewish-led and other protests against Hitler's government from the moment it took power based precisely on the familiarity of observers with the Nazi movement and its goals, rhetoric, promises, and outlook. Including, of course, the party's anti-Semitic orientation.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:59 pm

NathanC wrote:I made the mistake of reading the thread StatMech shared. He and the others who participated in it deserve medals. Jeff and I had the misfortune of tangling with Been There once, but oh god. That was just a sampler - he's ten times worse on his home turf. He's a complete psycho. It's like you're talking in English and he's talking in tongues.

On to the subject at hand.

I just finished Evans' "Coming of the third Reich". Contrary to Been There's assertions, it does discuss the US Jews' plans to boycott Germany in response to increased antisemitism. Evans also mentions that the organization of German Jews formally opposed the boycott and notified their US counterparts of the same, and got rebuffed.

Despite Been There's fantasies of a "war" between "International" Jewry and Germany, ordinary Germans weren't even into the Nazi Boycott. Evans mentions cases where they continued to patronize Jewish stores because they were cheaper than Christian stores. I don't understand how providing product at a lower price to consumers indicates any form of "warfare".


Been-There has denieritus, the ability to ignore any relevant or even sane argument that disrupts his warped way of thinking.

Cesarani also notes how much ordinary Germans disliked or showed embarrassment over the Nazi one day boycott.

Cesarani also noted that Germans continued to do business with Jews to a large extent but that over time this shifted as more Jews left the country and Nazi Propaganda started to take affect.

I really liked Evans' Coming of the Third Reich.

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:38 pm

More context for the "reception" the Nazis were given in January 1933 (Ullrich, p 243): For the opening of the Reichstag session in October 1930, the 107 newly elected Nazi deputies famously entered the chamber in brown shirts with swastika armbands. But that was not all: Nazi bands carried out provocations and attacks on Jews in Berlin during the opening day. Ullrich quotes Harry Kessler on the "large masses of Nazis who demonstrated and smashed the windows of the [Jewish-owned] department stores Wertheim, Grunfeld, etc., in Leipziger Strasse. In the evening on Potsdamer Platz, crowds chanted 'Germany awake,' 'Death to Judah' and 'Heil, hell.'" Ullrich notes that the attacks targeted almost exclusively Jewish owned businesses.

In December, Goebbels organized an action against the showing of "All Quiet on the Western Front," the movie based on Remarque's antiwar novel of the same name. Goebbels wrote in his diary: "After 10 minutes, the [Mozartsaal] cinema already resembled a madhouse. The police were powerless." What did the Nazi activists do in this situation, having gained control of the theater? "[T]he embittered crowd," wrote Goebbels triumphantly, "turned on the Jews . . . 'Jews out!' they cried. 'Hitler is at the gates.' The police sympathised with us. The screening was canceled . . ." By mid-December authorities banned showing of "All Quiet on the Western Front" - and Goebbels could exclaim, "The National Socialist street is dictating behavior to the government." (p 243)

According to denier warbling about 1933, we are to ignore all this background of Nazi threats to and violence against German Jews and hold the Nazis instead to be victims of the Jews and "international circles" whose protests, according to denier logic, were unprovoked.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:53 am

A few more notes from Ullrich's book showing how inane are denier pretenses about Jewish responses (the so-called declaration of war, the "unprovoked" Jewish assault on the new Nazi leadership of Germany) to Hitler's chancellorship. Again, the point is that Nazi attitudes toward Jews were neither a tabula rasa nor a secret.

1. During the July 1932 election campaign, Hitler "entirely left out any shrill anti-Semitism" from his speeches and sloganeering (p 315). Just the same, following his setback in his quest for power in mid-August of that year, the SA went on a rampage, conducting attacks against the left - KPD and Reich Banner (SPD) - that "claimed a number of lives. Attacks were also directed at trade union buildings, left-wing newspapers and Jewish locations like the main synagogue in the city of Kiel." (p 322) It was also in August, just before Hitler's disappointment in negotiations with Hindenburg, that nine SA men in uniform murdered a KPD member in Potempa in Upper Silesia; the SA men dragged the victim from his bed and kicked him to death in his home. In response, Hitler declared his support for the SA men, and late in August Goebbels wrote an article entitled "The Jews Are to Blame." Here, in an angry response to a quick verdict against the SA men, Goebbels wrote, "Never forget it comrades! Repeat it out loud a hundred times a day until the words follow you into your deepest dreams: The Jews are to blame! And they will not evade the criminal tribunal that they deserve."

Ullrich laconically notes, "By that point, anyone in Germany could have figured out what would await the country if the Nazis ever came to power." (p 323)

2. On 4 January 1933 - and this will not have been public but underscores Hitler's long-standing thinking and determination - Hitler met with Papen to consider how the two might oust Schleicher from the chancellor's office. Paper suggested a power-sharing arrangement, whereupon, according to a later affidavit from businessmen Kurt von Schroder who was present at the meeting, Hitler gave a monologue during which he proposed that any new government undertake at once "the removal of all Social Democrats, Communists and Jews from leading positions." (p 351)

3. When Hitler's appointment as chancellor was announced, along with the "Cabinet of National Concentration" bringing together the members from the far right nationalists, Emerentia Krogmann, wife of a wholesaler, wrote in her diary, giving her interpretation of the meaning of the dramatic events of 30-31 January 1933, "Hitler is Reich chancellor! It's true! Farewell Marxism! Farewell Communism! Farewell Parliament! Farewell Jews! - Here's to Germany!" (p 371)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Balsamo » Tue Dec 06, 2016 12:23 pm

Great Posts, Statmec.

Those remind me of a very good "beach book" i have read a couple of years ago - by beach book i mean which are easy reading and not academic - by Erik Larson called " In the garden of beasts".
It reads like a novel but is essentially based on private diaries of William Dodd, US ambassador in Berlin, and of his daughter.

Image

It is really good in describing the "spirit" of Berlin in 1933 and the first years of Nazi in Power, Dodd perception of the regime, Antisemitism, etc. But through his daughter Martha's diary, we get close to those first Nazi personalities who were fascinating her. She was closed to Ernst ( Putzi) Hanfstaengl whose mother was American, had an affair with Rudolf Diels, etc.

The good thing is that it is an easy read.

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:57 pm

Ullrich adds some interesting details on the 1 April 1933 Jewish boycott:

1. Paralleling Cesarani's coverage, Ullrich describes how in early March 1933, following the infamous 5 March election, SA squads had launched another series of attacks on Jews along the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin, injuring many people, some seriously. These assaults were part of a pattern of anti-Jewish violence after the so-called Machtergreifung: "Physical attacks on Jews and Jewish businesses had become part of everyday life in many cities and areas. Usually they were organised by local SA and party activists." It was reports about such actions that triggered protests in foreign countries including 250,000 demonstrating in NYC in late March (that protest occurring two days after the so-called Jewish declaration of war), as noted above. (p 441)

2. Ullrich says that in part Hitler's approval of the anti-Jewish boycott of 1 April was intended "to channel the 'wild' activities of the SA toward a common end," keep the respect of the SA and party radicals, and maintain his prestige as a radical leader (this calculation aligns with Cesarani's argument noted above). The formal purpose of the boycott was to punish German Jews for foreign criticism of the Nazi government, including its early anti-Jewish practices. Ullrich quotes the main slogan of the boycott - "No good German still buys from a Jew and lets himself be talked into purchases by a Jew or his backers" - which implies to me still another goal: the use of indirect forms of popular coercion to build support among German non-Jews for the Nazis' special idea of Volksgemeinschaft, the exclusive national community, that is, the ostracism and social isolation of Jews and the "defense of Germany" against foreign countries was meant also as an integrative measure for the new type of polity the Nazis meant to build. (p 442)

3. Again, in line with Cesarani, Ullrich explains that Hitler promised his cabinet - given economic concerns about the boycott raised by Krosigk and Eltz-Rübenach - that the boycott would be called off if the UK and US governments "issued immediate statements condemning foreign criticism of Nazi Germany. . . . In fact, both foreign governments agreed to the statement demanded on the evening of 31 March, but that was deemed too late. The mobilised party grass roots were itching for action, and Hitler would have lost face, even had he wanted to call off the boycott." An early case during the Third Reich, then of Hitler's propensity to intimidate opponents, get them (in this case the UK and US supposedly standing in for Jewish protesters) to cry uncle and give in to his presumed demands, and then for the Führer to proceed with attacks against them anyway. (p 442)

4. The night before the boycott began, the Führer told Italian ambassador Cerrutti that "I'm absolutely certain that in 500 or 600 years the name Hitler will be universally glorified as the name of the man who once and for all eradicated the global pestilence that is Jewry." (p 443) This megalomaniacal pronouncement indicates the importance which Hitler attributed to these events/actions and underscores the continuity, from the early years of his career through the Third Reich, of Hitler's conviction of the necessity of somehow dealing with "international Jewry" and his personal commitment to this mission.

The reason I am focusing so much on this topic is in part to convey some of the value of this new Hitler bio, which grows better by the hour of my reading, but also to convey the importance of digging into the historical context in "combating" denier memes. There is a lot behind the "Jewish declaration of war," which the denier pieces we know without exception fail even to delve into. There was, as we can see, no single reason for its being planned and its going ahead. It is worth understanding from the Nazi pov why it was undertaken. Another important question has concerns responses to the Nazis: having less to do with the justifications for anti-Nazi protests of 1933, which clearly were many, and more to do with the variety of Jewish and non-Jewish responses to the coming of the NS state, which paths, if any, were effective and which counterproductive, why various groups took the paths they did, and other similar issues. It's a shitload more interesting to think about this complex history than to debate deniers over whether the simple-minded idiocies of WUF.

As an aside, I find interesting how closely two recent "big books," based on archival research, arrive at well-matching conclusions about these events. Ullrich doesn't cite Cesarani as a source for his discussion.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:20 pm

Furtherglory just posted a fascinating piece of fiction on this:
https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2016/12/08/remembering-the-day-when-the-jews-declared-war-on-germany/#comment-74250

I commented on this. She is now really upset with me.

:lol:
:lol:

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:15 pm

Awareness of the persecution of Jews by Germans prior to the Nazi assumption of power in Germany was such that in Yugoslavia in 1932 a journalist calling himself "Danubiensis" was to write an article for the Belgrade newspaper "Justice," entitled "Why Are the Germans Harassing the Jews?" (10 August 1932). The conclusion a supportive Danubiensis reached was that the Nazi movement used brutal tactics against German Jews to win a "cultural struggle," defend Christianity, and beat down Zionism, which "is just as dangerous and subversive for many states as Communism." Specious and ill-informed as were the details of his arguments, Danubiensis made his point: the Nazis in his view had the right to harass and use strong-arm tactics against German Jews to defend German culture from the beliefs and practices of Jews. The Yugoslavian journalist knew well what the Nazis were up to in Germany, already in 1932. Similarly, Yugoslavian anti-Semites knew where to go, as well, for inspiration: by fall 1932 they were painting swastikas on the building of the Jewish community in the city of Palmotićeva as well as on coffeehouses and shops deemed "Jewish." None of this was provoked by a fictitious Jewish war declaration in March 1933.

Goldstein & Goldstein, pp 17-18
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:39 pm

The Judea Declares War (24 March 1933) gambit is one of HD’s goofier efforts. Even so, discussing the goofy can sometimes lead to something useful, in this case, to understanding of how Jews actually reacted to the “seizure of power.” Rudberg’s book on the responses of Swedish Jews to the Third Reich and the Holocaust has some helpful material on this.

In Sweden, the Jewish Community in Stockholm (Mosaiska försmalingen i Stockholm, MFST) established a relief committee for German Jews in April 1933. The MFST acted in consultation with German Jewish organizations, especially from the outset with the Zentralausschuss für Hilfe under Aufbau der deutschen Juden (ZA). The leaders of the Stockholm Jews, among them Rabbi Ehrenpreis, met with Leo Baeck during 1933 and agreed not to organize emigration to Sweden during these months: “they thought it would harm the position of the remaining German Jews and further aggravate their situation.”

According to Rudberg, this was just one way that the German Jewish leaders “influenced the Swedish Jewish response to the plight” of German Jews. The founders of the German ZA were Ludwig Tietz and Max Warburg; Tietz had close contact with Chaim Weizmann in the UK and Warburg was brother of the leader of the Joint in the US. The program that the German leaders worked out with the Swedish Jewish leadership was straightforward and focused during early 1933 on Jewish emigration from Germany: 1) the MFST used the relief committee to fund refugees settling in Sweden; 2) vocational retraining for Jewish refugees was a priority; 3) Tietz and Warburg were interested in helping a boarding school for German Jewish children in Sweden – with an eye to eventual emigration of the students to Palestine.

Tietz visited Stockholm in September 1933; Tietz gave the Swedish Jewish leaders an overview of the situation for German Jews, emphasizing concerns for youth, whose “opportunities to make a living” were vanishing. “Tietz emphasized that large-scale emigration was inevitable” – he meant 50,000 Jews over 10 years! The German Jewish leaders didn’t want money to be sent to Germany; what they wanted to focus was still education and training for vocations. Tietz “emphasized that no measures should be taken that could lead to the deterioration of the situation for Jews” in any country where Jews might be retrained for vocations. Tietz also asked that the Swedish Jews not undertake any actions that were not coordinated with and approved by the ZA and that they refrain from aiding individuals seeking assistance outside organized channels. The MSFT should focus on 1) “support [for] vocational training in Palestine and other countries”; 2) sponsor agricultural training for Jewish pioneers (chaluzim) in Sweden; 3) getting the boarding school for German Jews up and running in Sweden. Tietz’s parting comments, to a broad group of Jewish leaders in Sweden, “sought to discourage . . . large-scale emigration of Jewish refugees from Germany.”

Early in 1933 already Neville Laski, co-leader of the Joint Foreign Committee of British Jews (also president of the Jewish Board of Deputies and a leader in foreign outreach of British Jewry), told the Swedish Jews to emphasize, in Laski’s words, “that our claim for our brethren in Germany is for the restoration of equal rights before the law with non-Jews, of which rights they should never have been deprived. . . . [T]he discriminatory aspect might be stressed” in discussions with non-Jews – and exaggeration should not be used. In this vein, Laski stressed that activities must not aggravate the situation or irritate the Germans: “Our quarrel is not with Germany as a state” – but “We will not tolerate the existence within the confines of Germany of a helot class of German Jews.” The British Board of Deputies refused publicly to endorse or support the boycott of Germany during 1933; Laski later sent to the Swedish Jewish leaders a memo, however, telling them that “we must face the fact that hundreds of thousands of German Jews will either slowly starve or be driven to commit suicide . . .” and urging care in sending money to Germany or spending money “which may come into German hands.” The memo said, far from declaring war against Germany, that the Jews should work to end discrimination against German Jews “UNTIL the Hitlerites have officially altered their anti-Jewish attitude, and we must show them that WE CAN HOLD OUT AS LONG AS THEY OR LONGER.” During 1933 Rabbi Ehrenpreis twice told newspapers, as agreed with the British Jews, “that Swedish Jews would not declare an official boycott on German Jews.”

Two international conferences of Jews were held during 1933. The World Jewish Congress held a preparatory meeting in Geneva which the MFST decided not to attend. Also, the American Jewish Congress chose not to attend, believing that the Jewish nationalist theme was too dominant. The British Jewish Board of Deputies and the Dutch didn’t attend – and, according to a report Ehrenpreis had the Copenhagen delegate make, the French and Swiss were not well represented. The conference supported the boycott, League of Nations involvement to support German Jews, and Jewish immigration to Palestine.

A second conference was held, this one in London, beginning at the end of October, and this time the MFST participated. Ehrenpreis reported that the conferees – 45 Jewish organizations from 30 countries – were more united than expected and that the conference was apolitical, exclusively focused on relief. The themes were similar but not identical to those which the Swedish Jews had agreed with their German counterparts earlier in the year: 1) fundraising to support Jewish emigration to Palestine; 2) education for Jewish youth; and 3) vocational retraining with an emphasis on agriculture to support life in Palestine. Along with the encouragement of settlement in Palestine, Ehrenpreis reported that other countries for Jewish emigration would have to be sought.

Laski co-authored a report on what should be done to support German Jewry. Based on the Geneva conference discussions, the report came out against trying to take political action against Germany via the League of Nations; rather, the report advocated putting pressure on the Nazi government to improve the situation of Jews and to allow more favorable emigration terms. The report warned against rhetoric that could be “seized on by the enemies of the Jewish people.” Finally, the report said that Jewish leaders generally rejected the proposal made by Stephen Wise that a world Jewish congress be established.

When, in 1936, three years after the supposed world Jewish war was launched against Germany, the World Jewish Congress was established, the Swedish Jews did not join. The Swedish Jews, in keeping with the course set along with German Jewish leaders, maintained their focus on relief – and worked internationally through the Joint to do so. The Joint, which funded Jewish self-help and relief, favored Jews living in their countries; given the situation in Germany, however, the Joint supported organized emigration as long as it was implemented in ways that did not aggravate the government. In this regard, the MFST engaged in limited political activity, “such as lobbying for Sweden and other states to accept more refugees” and providing aid to Jews in Palestine.

How these activities of Swedish, German, and other Jews – which focused on relief, education, and training and support for refugees – which were conducted conservatively and with care not to exacerbate the difficult situation of Jews in Germany – and which were taken in debate with and opposition to some Jewish and non-Jewish groups who favored a boycott of Germany and stronger political action - can be transmogrified by deniers into a declaration of war is beyond my imagination.

Rudberg, The Swedish Jews and the Holocaust, pp 53-63
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Balsamo » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:59 pm

Good post,
A a reminder of how much time has been wasted on Rodoh on that...

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby iwh » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:00 pm

...so to put it in layman terms, The Nazis were attacking Jews as soon as and even before they got into power in 1933 and before the so called "declaration of war" in the form of a boycott of German goods was proposed by Jews in the US.

The fact is that the threat of a boycott of German goods was a result of brutality against German Jews. Simple.

Not exactly rocket science is it.....
For a debunking of new boy on the block John Wear see:

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Denying-History » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:13 pm

iwh wrote:...so to put it in layman terms, The Nazis were attacking Jews as soon as and even before they got into power in 1933 and before the so called "declaration of war" in the form of a boycott of German goods was proposed by Jews in the US.

The fact is that the threat of a boycott of German goods was a result of brutality against German Jews. Simple.

Not exactly rocket science is it.....


For the deniers it is.
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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Jeffk 1970 » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:47 pm

I always enjoy the oldies but goodies.

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:37 pm

iwh wrote:...so to put it in layman terms, The Nazis were attacking Jews as soon as and even before they got into power in 1933 and before the so called "declaration of war" in the form of a boycott of German goods was proposed by Jews in the US.

The fact is that the threat of a boycott of German goods was a result of brutality against German Jews. Simple.

Not exactly rocket science is it.....

No indeed, not rocket science!

And then add that Jews in different countries were divided in their responses to Nazi persecution of German Jews but most agreed with German Jewish leaders on moderate actions to support the persecuted, favoring relief for victims of the Nazis and education/retraining but opposing boycotts and other actions that would aggravate conditions in Germany. Nevertheless and regardless of what course Jews opted for in the early months and years of the Third Reich, the Nazis kept up their persecution of German Jews. What the Jews did made no difference to the Nazis.
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Balsamo » Thu Oct 26, 2017 10:48 pm

The "Sturmer" started being published in 1924, and started attacking Jews in ... 1924

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Jeff_36 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:24 am

Statistical Mechanic wrote:.................met with Leo Baeck


That is a name I have not heard in a long time........

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby NathanC » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:31 am

iwh wrote:...so to put it in layman terms, The Nazis were attacking Jews as soon as and even before they got into power in 1933 and before the so called "declaration of war" in the form of a boycott of German goods was proposed by Jews in the US.

The fact is that the threat of a boycott of German goods was a result of brutality against German Jews. Simple.

Not exactly rocket science is it.....


Indeed. Not sure if it was mentioned before, but in his account of the Munich Putsch in 1923, Ullrich points out that as part of Hitler’s attempted coup, the SA started carrying out actions that they would 10 years later: such as arresting random Jewish people, robbing them, and taking them as hostages. Had the putsch succeeded, Hitler would have already had them confined in “collection camps”. Even a British ennvoy in Munich could see it.

Victim blaming at its finest

ETA: I just saw that Stat Mech did mention Ullrich. I’m only just starting with him and can’t wait to reach his account of the 1930s that Stat Mech mentioned

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Re: 1933 Boycott of Jewish Businesses in Germany: "The Jews must be crushed. Their fellows abroad played into our hands.

Postby Statistical Mechanic » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:16 am

Any goofy, or incredibly important, thing can pop up somewhere on the Web at any time. Like tonight. An interesting thing. At The Daily Beast. Where one of the lead stories is "Samuel Untermyer: The Superlawyer Turned Superlandscaper - The cut-throat qualities that made Untermyer the first American lawyer to nab a one-million-dollar fee morphed into aesthetic impulses that made his multi-million bulb garden grow."

The piece links to material I made use of when discussing Untermyer with Chris Crookes (been-there) - discussing is perhaps not the right word when it comes to interacting with Crookes - and attempting to place Untermyer in context (Untermyer is the U in WUF = Weizmann Untermyer Forrestal):

"'Hitler's bitterest foe': Samuel Untermyer and the boycott of Nazi Germany, 1933-1938"

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy (with links to other relevant articles)
. . . I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason—Coleridge, for instance, would let go by a fine isolated verisimilitude caught from the Penetralium of mystery, from being incapable of remaining content with half-knowledge. - John Keats, 1817


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