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"Jews did not suffer persecution within Germany prior to 1933"

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posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:14 PM
This is an e-mail I just received from a German refugee of post-WWII, copied and pasted below:


Hi there

I am new to vintage _____ collecting and so am still finding out about the key characters involved in the early years of the great houses. I came across the name ______ yesterday and wondered who he was. I read your article this morning and feel you have misinterpreted some of the key aspects of his early life. I am concerned to correct the false impressions to ensure that information is as accurate as possible. People will read such things over and over, as each new generation discovers people like Katz. We owe it to the internet to provide carefully researched information. Your research has some very interesting things, especially the documents you have found. However, the documents do not really support your conclusions.

Almost all of the ‘early history’ of Katz in Germany lacks understanding of the history of pre Nazi Germany. In 1924, Hitler was in jail, the party was composed of ‘three men and a dog’ based almost entirely in Bavaria and there were as many communists as right wing nationalists. It was just as likely that Germany might become a Communist state during the 20s as a Nazi one. Germany was suffering from the worst hyperinflation in the history of the Western world. In the early 1920s jews were prominent in almost every important phase of German life. They occupied highly respected positions throughout society. They were doctors, lawyers, scientists, academics as well as businessmen. The move against jews did not come until Hitler came to power in 1933 during the Great Depression. Until then, anti-Semitism was not a driving force in German political matters. If anything, Germany (which you must remember had only been a country since 1870) was driven by militarism and nationalism. These two things come from the influence of Prussia and were not surprising since Prussians had enormous influence, especially in the army. Nationalism is characteristic of countries still finding their identity.

In Germany you had no history of pogroms, as you had in Russia. Jews did not suffer persecution within Germany prior to Hitler taking power. They were deeply integrated into the general community. So your reflections on his home town and the effects of his leaving is also without real evidence. Your take on the history of Katz is heavily influenced by a US understanding of Nazi history, as though everything that happened in the period before the end of the War and the Great Depression was a precursor to World War II and the Holocaust. So, you have twisted the events of Katz’ life to suit your theory.

I suggest if you really want an understanding of why Katz would have left Germany in 1924, read a short history of Hyperinflation in Germany (My grandmother lived through it and I know how it hit people, all people, and what a disaster it was for the whole nation.) As a child I had stamps with a value of 2,000,000 Marks stamped on them. It is only when you see the old banknotes (million Mark notes bought a loaf of bread) and stamps can you begin to imagine the misery of the German people and the anger at the Allies whose war reparations demands caused this. Imagine you had 1,000 Mark in the bank, which over a week couldn’t buy you a stamp anymore. Of course, you’d leave. You simply couldn’t survive very long. Banknotes became so much worthless paper.




My questions to ATS members are:

How should I respond to this woman, and do so with kindness? Obviously she has revised history (as many Germans have) to save face. What would you say?

Thanks for your advice.

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:24 PM
If you're just looking for information on Robert Katz, maybe she could read this report based on interviews of Katz' son?

Katz left Germany to live with his brother, not so much because of any persecution, maybe that's all she was referring to, and not Jewish people as a whole?

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:33 PM
I don't understand which part of her statement is supposed to be incorrect?

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:38 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

She seems to know what was what. You heard of Jewish persecution in France before WW2,but not in Germany.

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 04:56 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

Antisemitism in 'Germany' dates back to (at least) the Marchrevolution in 1848.
Not to the extent it reached in the 3rd Reich obviously.

On the other hand it is also true that Jews were sort of integrated within German society in the 1920s.
Even alot of high decorated soldiers in WWI were Jews.

So she is partially correct.
edit on 10-2-2015 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:01 PM
Jews occupied the first ghettos all over Europe. Some countries systematically stripped them of the right to work, own property, etc., until they were locked away in the worst parts of the city. THOSE were the first ghettos!

Sometimes Jews were only allowed to be "money lenders" - and still could make a living from that. This was later misinterpreted and inflamed as "all Jews care about is money." If those are the skills passed on to you by generations of patriarchs who were not allowed to work or own land, OF COURSE those skills will have special meaning and value!

If you want the real picture of what was going on in the "depths of depravity" in Hitler's Nazi Germany, check this out:

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:07 PM
What points exactly do you disagree with? It is definitely true that there was no national policy of Jewish persecution prior to the rise of the Nazi Party, but Jews were definitely persecuted, as they have been for hundreds of years in Europe. After German unification in 1871 there was a petition that was signed by 200,000 people, urging the government to stop Jewish immigration into Germany, and to pass laws restricting Jews from certain occupations. By the 20th century this anti-Semitism in Germany declined considerably, but then it increased after the end of WWI. This was mainly due to a belief that Germany was not beaten on the battlefield, but instead was betrayed from within by Jews. In fact, the armistice ending the war was signed by a Jew, which certainly was not a fact lost on the post-war German population. But then things changed once again as the years went on. The heavy financial burdens imposed by the victors of WWI, as well as territorial concessions, had created horrible conditions in Germany, but these conditions started improving a great deal. I believe that as conditions improved, anti-Semitism declined. That is not to say it was non-existent, since there were still a number of individuals holding such beliefs, some of them quite vocal, but it was not as bad as it was right after the end of the war.

To save time I will just say that the persecution of the Jews right before the Nazis came to power was not much different from the persecution the Jews have suffered for hundreds of years. The real persecution, which occurred on a much larger scale and with much more violence, began after Hitler had been in power for years. It seemed to start gradually, with certain edicts dictating what Jews could or could not do, and then this was altered and the idea of a "final solution" was orchestrated. So it can definitely be argued that Jews were not persecuted prior to the rise of the Nazi Party, because such persecution was not a national policy, meaning it was not sanctioned by the state, and thus was mainly composed of isolated incidents involving non-state actors/civilians. The same type of conditions existed in the United States around that time, but we do not think of the US persecuting Jews in the early 20th century. This is because, as it was in Germany, there was not a national policy or state-sanctioned persecution.

Anyway, Hitler was released from Landsberg in 1924 and he had virtually no chance of coming to power. There was not much interest in the Nazi ideology. What the people would have heard in Hitler's speeches were nothing more than broad promises with no details included, and you have to also remember that this was at a time when what a politician said was not as important as how he said it, or how he was physically perceived. This was a part of why Hitler studied himself in a mirror, and methodically worked out how he would give his speeches. He would make the audience wait as he took the podium, as he would stand in silence for about a minute. Then he would start very softly and quietly, getting louder and more energetic as the speech went on, and it would culminate in what everyone has seen in videos of Hitler's speeches. I am getting ahead of myself however. So Hitler gets out of prison and the Nazi Party is not looking too hot.

Everything changed when the Great Depression struck the United States, and subsequently the rest of the world. Had this never happened there is no way Hitler could have achieved power, since the Nazi Party was simply not that popular before this time. There were multiple elections, the last of which occurred in 1933 and which the Nazis won, gaining 44% of the seats in the Reichstag. Hitler was already Chancellor at this time, and in my opinion the voting percentage clearly indicates that the Nazi Party could only have been supported by about half the population. Maybe less, but definitely not more. It was at this time that Hitler worked to finally get the Enabling Act passed, which is when he became an actual dictator, Hindenburg's control aside, although the latter could do nothing at this point to reverse the gains of Hitler and the Nazi Party.

If we go back to the election of 1930, at which time the Nazis held a whopping 12 seats, one can see the dramatic rise from 12 to over 100. At that time the KPD, which was the Communist Party of Germany went from 54 seats in the Reichstag to 77, which is a clear indication that the Communist Party was in fact in a decent position before Hitler became Chancellor, which means that history definitely could have been different, with the Communists gaining a majority. The Great Depression is one of the key turning points, and what happened with the Nazis because of that event. Had that never happened...who knows? A Communist majority was not out of the question, especially considering that the USSR was pursuing a national policy of "expanding the Communist revolution," in keeping with the ideas of Marx and Engels, and they truly wanted to see a spread of their doctrine worldwide.

In fact, the USSR was positioning itself to invade Germany in 1940, and would have been ready sometime in 1941. After the Nazi invasion, with Operation Barbarossa, the extent of the Soviet offensive deployment became evident. Hitler even stated that had he known the true disposition of Stalin's forces, he probably never would have launched the invasion in the first place. Historians debate the fact that the USSR was going to invade Germany, but the fact that there were so many Soviet prisoners taken, and that they were massed on the border in offensive, not defensive positions, clearly indicates their intention. Some people refuse to accept this because they feel this means that the Nazis had to launch a preventive strike, before the USSR struck Germany, but this is not the case. Hitler and the high command simply underestimated Stalin's intentions, his troop numbers, and his policy. With the publication of newly discovered Soviet documents, starting in the 90's, it became clear that the Soviet Union was preparing for an offensive war. I suppose I did not need to get into all that, as I just wanted to illustrate that the USSR would have wanted to influence the policies of their neighbors, and would have felt much better had the Communists gained power in Germany. Which again, could have happened if things had worked out slightly differently. There is just too much history to get into it all in this post.
edit on 2/10/15 by JiggyPotamus because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:13 PM
a reply to: amurphy245

Racism against Jews pre 1933 was probably part of the daily life , like it is part of our daily life , yet it did not kick off after Hitler came to power , and enabled this state sponsored racism.

This being one of the main events that made Jew procescution a national industry ( pre WO2 ) :

Until then, anti-Semitism was not a driving force in German political matters. If anything, Germany (which you must remember had only been a country since 1870) was driven by militarism and nationalism. These two things come from the influence of Prussia and were not surprising since Prussians had enormous influence, especially in the army. Nationalism is characteristic of countries still finding their identity.

Even in the Second World war the Prussian Military order had some degree of power , Hitler did not like the Prussians , if i remember correctly he even had plans to abolish the Werhmacht and make the SS the primary fighting force , being run by his trustee Himmler.

All and all i gotta agree with this letter , because i do not think there was organised racism against Jews only pre 1933 , basicly every kind of minority was being targetted by nationalists.

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:17 PM
Here's a book that may have some useful information: 3610053&sr=1-2-fkmr2&keywords=non-fiction+about+Jews+in+Germany+before+WWII


posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:37 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

I fail to see where she is in error....

Jews did hold positions of prominance. This is one of the reasons it was easy to point the "dogs" at them. If they had been poor and lacked control, the Nazi's would have had a hard time blaming everything on them.

Pre-WWII, post WWI Germany did experience an extremely bad economy. There was no hope for anyone... Germany was "held down" so to speak by the Treaty of Versaille that heavily punished Germany for WWI. Hitler offered hope...Hitler offered pride in self and country. Pretty potent stuff for a country on the ropes....

What is your impression of pre WWII Germany?

edit on 10-2-2015 by bbracken677 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 05:50 PM
a reply to: bbracken677

After Germany lost WWI, France stuck it to them for "reparations" that drained Germany and prevented a quicker recovery.

Hitler was a chameleon. When he was running for President (and he was elected, he did not just grab the office), he was famous for giving different speeches to different crowds. To the educated and intellectuals, he harped on how wonderful Germany was, and how they needed to throw off the yoke of French reparations in order to see that greatness manifest. To the blue collar crowd, his speeches were all about blaming the Jews.

This helped explain how Hitler and the Nazis got such widespread support from all segments of German society. AND why he was more or less forced to come up with a Final Solution against all minorities that weren't the Ayran Ideal.

Although Goebles propaganda machine was always in hyper-drive. And this mishmash of lies was also totally believed by the German soldiers. When they were brought to POW camps in the U.S., people tried to show them photos and newspapers that Hitler was losing the war, and they just laughed it off. They just knew Germany would win anyday now.

(One German POW on a ship approaching the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor, was overheard wondering aloud "How America rebuilt it so fast.") n+America

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 06:17 PM
a reply to: MKMoniker


Initially, quite a large segment of Jewish society considered Hitler to be good for them as well as Germany. They didnt get it for some time. What was good for Germany was good for them too....they were German after all.

posted on Feb, 10 2015 @ 07:44 PM
Yeah, Racism and Bias and scapegoating etc are always there, "finding evidence" of bigotry, you could pick any group of any race etc etc et al here in America and find the incidence... none of that is what happened in the Holcaust

We shouldn't lie there is always bias and preference, and I think and I say this as a Jew, it's actually NORMAL

So she's right

Jews were completed accepted prior, for the most part as much as you can be a statistical minority and not have "S Talked" about you or even acted on by an occasional nut case...

But when a society induces a mass hysteria of sorts around it... that's a whole different Animal, i don't claim to fully understand it but I liken it to an infection, a disease and for whatever reason these things happen in society sometimes, the so called "witch hunts" where a group is demonized to a point as to be dehumanized to a degree where people commit atrocities en mass...

I have honestly wondered if an actual pathogen we don't understand might be involved...

posted on Feb, 11 2015 @ 04:54 PM
OK, I don't agree with the woman who sent me the e-mail, which means I don't agree with most of you guys. Here's why:

1. Hitler was only in jail for 7 and a half months. He didn't even serve out his entire sentence. The writer of that email in the OP wants us to believe, by saying this, that Hitler was removed from the political scene. Nah, not so much. Also, during the time he was in jail (1925), he wrote Mein Kampf.

2. As Walter Rathenau found out, even in 1905 there was hardly any chance of a Jew receiving a judgeship, and even then only if the Jewish candidate renounced his faith and converted to Christianity (quote). Jews were still restricted from positions of power or authority.

3. A higher percentage of German Jews fought in World War I than that of any other ethnic, religious or political group in Germany; some 12,000 died for their country. After the War, many Germans blamed the loss on the Jews, claiming they had stabbed the Motherland in the back.

An illustration from a 1919 postcard showing a caricatured Jew stabbing the German Army in the back with a dagger. The capitulation was blamed upon the unpatriotic populace, the Socialists, Bolsheviks, the Weimar Republic, and especially the Jews. (source)

4. Jews and other Eastern Europeans were significant contributors to the cultural boom in Berlin during the Twenties. For a few years, Berlin was an important crossroads of the Yiddish- and Hebrew-speaking Diaspora between Eastern Europe and North America (source).

5. Here's an emigration chart showing that Jews did begin leaving before Hitler took power in 1933:

6. The writer ("Lili") claims that the Nazi party was "composed of ‘three men and a dog’ " and says it was "based most entirely in Bavaria". First of all, with the signing of The Bamberg Constitution on August 12, 1919, Bavaria became "the free State of Bavaria (Republic) as a land of the Federal Republic of Germany" (source). Secondly, the "Deutschvölkischer Schutz und Trutzbund" (German Nationalist Protection and Defiance Federation), which was founded in February, 1919, for the purpose of "fighting" Judaism (source). By 1923, it had just under 180,000 members. Their slogan was "Germany for the Germans". Here's a portion of their Constitution:

"The Bund fights for the moral rebirth of the German people . . . It considers the pernicious and destructive influence of Jewry to be the main cause of the defeat and the removal of this influence to be necessary for the political and economic recovery of Germany, and for the salvation of German culture."

That same year, 1919, saw the birth of the Nazi party. First known as the German Workers' Party, or DAP, it quickly became the National Socialist German Workers' Party, or NSDAP, which is where the word "Nazi" came from (source).

OK, gotta run right now, but I've got more for later.
edit on 11-2-2015 by FathersGrace because: sp error

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:03 PM
OK, last point: The writer of the e-mail in the OP claims there was "no persecution of the Jews prior to 1933".

Oh, really?

First, let's look at the definition of persecution:
"Hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs. Persistent annoyance or harassment."

This persecution can take form in different arenas and in differing ways:

- religious (Jew as Christ-killer),
- economic (Jew as banker, usurer, money-obsessed),
- social (Jew as social inferior, "pushy," vulgar, therefore excluded from personal contact),
- racist (Jews as an inferior "race"),
- ideological (Jews regarded as subversive or revolutionary),
- cultural (Jews regarded as undermining the moral and structural fiber of civilization).

I do not believe that Germany suddenly began persecuting Jews in 1933 and only as a result of Hitler's rise to power. I believe there were many, MANY incidents of racism well before that time. I believe that many Jews were nervous about this, and many sought to flee the country but were unable to, for multiple reasons. I also suspect that many saw "the handwriting on the wall".

In my opinion, the woman who wrote this e-mail makes some good points which are accurate. But I also think she declines to admit the extent to which her beloved Motherland was swelling with hatred against Jews. The ensuing German generations are ashamed of their legacy (at least some of them are) - and rightly so. But I do find it alarming when I see denial creeping in.... They did the same damned thing at the end of WWI. They were never ashamed at having started the War, only embarrassed at having lost it. They resented the very notion of "reparations", and decided the only reason they had lost to begin with was because their own Jewish infantrymen had double-crossed them.

The following quote sums up my feelings:

"All the essential elements of what would become Nazism were present in the lead up to WW1. Indeed these ideas contributed to the enthusiasm with which the German people followed the Kaiser to war. Take Heinrich von Treitschke, professor of history at the University of Berlin from 1874, virulent anti-Semite, and champion of Prussian militarism who believed that when the "safety of our country is at stake, no consideration of what is just and unjust … must intervene" and that “war is justified because the great national personalities can suffer no compelling force superior to themselves." Or perhaps his successor Hans Delbruck, a confidant to the Kaiser, who admitted that “in reality we would like to exterminate all the Poles”, but accepted that this was not then possible. Friedrich von Bernhardi, Prussian general and leading military historian, insisted in 1911 that "without war, inferior or decaying races would easily choke the growth of healthy budding elements". "New territory must … be obtained at the cost of its possessors … by conquest, which thus becomes a law of necessity".

It was all there in the decades leading up to 1914. The racism, the exaltation of the will, the calls for extermination of "untermensch", and for lebensraum. Hitler didn't appear out of nowhere. As he made clear in Mein Kampf he came out of WW1 imbued with the ideas and principles he would later put into practice in WW2. We shouldn't forget this in 2014."

Important!!! Please see this link.

And this article, "Why Germany doesn't want to remember the first world war".

Thanks for reading!

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:06 PM
a reply to: bbracken677

What is your impression of pre WWII Germany?


If you have a chance, please read my post of today's date. I think (hope) it will answer your question. Thx.

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:32 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

By 1933, German Jews were largely urban, middle class, prosperous in business, and well represented in the professions (especially medicine and law). They were culturally integrated but represented less than 1 percent of the total population.

I present this quote:

There is great distress in German Jewry....New distress has overtaken us. Jewish people are torn away from their work: the sense and basis of their lives have been destroyed." Central-Vereins-ZeitUng. April 21, 1933

In 1933, 600,000 Jews lived in Germany: 20 percent were immigrants from Eastern Europe and 80 percent were German citizens. Many were descendants of Jews who had settled in Germany for nearly 2,000 years. They were socially integrated and participated in German intellectual, cultural, economic, and political life. Nevertheless, they were seldom fully accepted as social equals in German society.

Clearly, 1933 was an important date regarding Jews in Germany. No doubt that post WWI the Jew's perception by right wing Germans was in decline...

What was it, pray tell, that occurred in 1933?

edit on 12-2-2015 by bbracken677 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:39 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace
Another quote:

In his book "Mein Leben als deutscher Jude" ("My Life as a German Jew"), Dr. Nahum Goldmann describes the "phenomenal rise of German Jewry" as follows:

"German Jewry, which found its temporary end during the Nazi period, was one of the most interesting and for modern Jewish history most influential centers of European Jewry. During the era of emancipation, i.e. in the second half of the nineteenth and in the early twentieth century, it had experienced a meteoric rise.... It had fully participated in the rapid industrial rise of Imperial Germany, made a substantial contribution to it and acquired a renowned position in German economic life. Seen from the economic point of view, no Jewish minority in any other country, not even that in America could possibly compete with the German Jews. They were involved in large scale banking, a situation unparallelled elsewhere, and, by way of high finance, they had also penetrated German industry. A considerable portion of the wholesale trade was Jewish. They controlled even such branches of industry which is in general not in Jewish hands. Examples are shipping or the electrical industry, and names such as Ballin and Rathenau do confirm this statement. I hardly know of any other branch of emancipated Jewry in Europe or the American continent that was as deeply rooted in the general economy as was German Jewry. American Jews of today are absolutely as well as relatively richer than the German Jews were at the time, it is true, but even in America with its unlimited possibilities the Jews have not succeeded in penetrating into the central spheres of industry (steel, iron, heavy industry, high finance, shipping), as was the case in Germany.

Their position in the intellectual life of the country was equally unique. In literature, they were represented by illustrious names. The theatre was largely in their hands. The daily press, above all its internationally influential sector, was essentually owned by Jews or controlled by them. As paradoxical as this may sound today, after the Hitler era, I have no hesitation to say that hardly any section of the Jewish people has made such extensive use of the emancipation offered to them in the nineteenth century as the German Jews! In short, the history of the Jews in Germany from 1870 to 1933 is probably the most glorious rise that has ever been achieved by any branch of the Jewish people". (p. 116)

edit on 12-2-2015 by bbracken677 because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:43 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

In the early 1920s jews were prominent in almost every important phase of German life. They occupied highly respected positions throughout society. They were doctors, lawyers, scientists, academics as well as businessmen. The move against jews did not come until Hitler came to power in 1933 during the Great Depression.

Contradictory. AHitler rode the rising tide of Jew hate that became more prominent as he fanned the flames in order to further his agenda, just like the rise of anti Muslim rhetoric is being used today to justify domination of the Middle East by the West…

For OIL !

posted on Feb, 12 2015 @ 12:44 PM
a reply to: FathersGrace

And by a strange paradox, the German Jewry has become a stronghold of the finest German civilization. The German theatre, the film, literature, and--in large measure--music and painting have suffered severely during the last ten months. German science has received irreparable damage, not merely by the loss of Jewish and liberal scientists, but by the ascendancy of a spirit that is unscientific, or rather anti-scientific. German thought has been equally damaged--German political thought has ceased to exist. There is a profounder understanding of German classical literature amongst Jews than amongst Nazis. There is a Jewish theatrical company which does superb performances of German drama, though only “non-Aryans” are admitted (not the Jews but the Nazis exclude the many “Aryans” who, wishing to see a good play just for once, would like to come).

It would be an illusion to suppose that there can be any amends for the persecution--the cost in physical and mental suffering, in lives, and in the total ruin of families and fortunes has been far too great. And “surely oppression maketh the just man mad”. A terrible hatred and bitterness that often break out inwardly, poisoning a whole mind, or, in the home, creating rancor, ill-temper, and disruption, are common enough in the absence of any outward justice or possibility of redress. Some German Jews have acquired an extraordinary obsequiousness and a disposition to accept any compromise. But the stupendous disaster that has overtaken the German Jewry, one of the most civilized and intelligent communities in modern Europe, has also produced in many of its members a greater self-reliance, an intensification of the inner life, a deepened religious sense, and a passionate devotion to the permanent values inherent in Judaism. [23 January 1934]

Sources: The Manchester Guardian, (January 22-23, 1934)
edit on 12-2-2015 by bbracken677 because: (no reason given)

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