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July 8, 2012

Hitler’s persecution of Jewish lawyers

Filed under: Germany, Holocaust — Tags: — furtherglory @ 9:49 am

This quote is from an article on the Haaretz website, which you can read in full here.

There were 4,000 Jewish lawyers in Germany in 1933 with the rise of the Third Reich, constituting about 20 percent of all attorneys in the country. They held high office in the courts, the justice ministry and the bar association until a series of discriminatory laws disenfranchised them beginning in 1933.

Only 4,000 Jewish lawyers in Germany in 1933 when Hitler came to power?  How many Jews were there in Germany at that time?  According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, there were 523,000 Jews living in Germany in January 1933, but only 400,000 of them were German citizens.  This means that one out every 100 Jewish citizens in Germany in 1933 was a lawyer.

Most of the other 123,000 Jews in Germany in 1933 were Polish citizens who had been kicked out of Poland when Poland became a country again at the end of World War I.  These Jews became stateless after Hitler kicked them out of Germany in October 1938 and Poland refused to take them back.  This was what led to Kristallnacht on the night of November 9, 1938.

The population of Germany in 1933 was 67 million, according to the USHMM.  The Jews were only a small percentage of the total population, but 20% of the lawyers in Germany were Jewish.

According to the USHMM, about 70 percent of the Jews in Germany lived in urban areas, with 50 percent of all Jews living in the 10 largest German cities. The largest Jewish population center was in Berlin (about 160,000 in 1925), representing less than 4 percent of the city’s entire population.

Hitler’s main complaint about the Jews was that they were over-represented in positions of power in Germany. Hitler felt that this resulted in the Jews having too much influence.

In 1933, most of the Jews in Europe were not assimilated.  They had their own “state-within-a-state.”  Inside their ghettos, the Jews had everything that a country would normally have:  They had their own flag which is now the flag of Israel; they had their own national anthem, which is now the anthem of Israel; they had their own language (Yiddish) which uses the Hebrew alphabet; they had their own laws, based on the teaching of the Jewish religion.

Most importantly, the Jews had their own culture: their own foods, their own style of dress, their own kind of music, their own style of art, etc, etc, etc.  Even their clocks ran backwards because Hebrew is read from right to left, not left to right, as other languages are read.

According to Hitler, the Jews in Germany were responsible for the rise of everything that he was against: Communism, modern art, pornography, homosexuality, prostitution, etc. etc. etc..  Hitler believed that the Jews were in control of the Social Democrats political party in Germany and this would soon lead to them taking over Germany completely. He also believed that the Jews were responsible for Germany losing World War I.

Hitler wanted the Jews out of Europe in the worst way. This was what eventually led to the Holocaust. It all started with the persecution of the Jewish lawyers.

This quote is from the Haaretz article about the Jewish lawyers:

An agreement to probe the persecution of Jewish lawyers in Nazi Germany was signed last week by the bar associations of Tel Aviv and Berlin. The two groups resolved to research, document, exchange information and organize joint conferences on the subject, and to cooperate on human rights issues.

“We want to remember the past and cherish the memories of our Jewish colleagues who were persecuted by the Nazis, and to honor them,” Irene Schmid, who chairs the Berlin Bar Association, told Haaretz at Tuesday’s signing in Tel Aviv. “We want to pass on their memory to the coming generations and prevent Holocaust denial,” Schmid added. Also present were Effi Naveh, chairman of the Israel Bar Association’s Tel Aviv district, director general of the Justice Ministry Guy Rottkopf and German ambassador to Israel Andreas Michaelis.

A new book is now in preparation in Germany documenting the fate of the Jewish lawyers in Berlin after the Holocaust. “Many of them, about 160, went back to work in Berlin,” Schmid said.

The book and the agreement between the Tel Aviv and Berlin bar associations are part of a long-term documentation project, which includes an exhibit that has been presented internationally in recent years and a series of books, telling the stories of Jewish lawyers in Germany during the Holocaust.

This quote from the USHMM website tells about the fate of the Jews in Germany:

90% of the 214,000 Jews still left in Germany in 1939 were killed during the war.[1] A few thousand Jews were actually still living in Berlin when the Soviet army took over the city in 1945.[24][25] Most German Jews who survived the war in exile decided to remain abroad; however, a small number returned to Germany. Additionally, approximately 15,000 German Jews survived the concentration camps or survived by going into hiding. These German Jews were joined by approximately 200,000 displaced persons (DPs), eastern European Jewish Holocaust survivors. They came to Allied-occupied western Germany after finding no homes left for them in eastern Europe (especially in Poland) or after having been liberated on German soil. The overwhelming majority of the DPs wished to emigrate to Palestine and lived in Allied- and U.N.-administered refugee camps, remaining isolated from German society. After Israeli independence in 1948, most left Germany; however, 10,000 to 15,000 remained. Despite hesitations and a long history of antagonism between German Jews (Yekkes) and East European Jews (Ostjuden), the two disparate groups united to form the basis of a new Jewish community. In 1950 they founded their unitary representative organization, the Central Council of Jews in Germany.