Prelude for a Maelstrom
“It was a beautiful evening in Hamburg. Yes, I remember it well.”
“Dinner was on the table. ‘Bratwurst I recall was what we were having.’ The radio was playing in the background. Well, we led your average middle class lives . Trips to the sea. Holidays to the spa at Carlsbad. Things were going well for us. You know. ‘Home life was good.’ Our business matters at the office were also running along well. We had just received nine extra orders for our canned goods.”
“Things began to change. Restrictions began to be introduced. Uncomfortably, our neighbours began to eye us differently.”
“It was then when I first began to notice that things were now upon a different kind of road…”
A prosperous central neighbourhood in old Hamburg, Germany.
Friendly searches of the citygoers.
Tune in to our evening broadcasts bitte [German: ‘please’].
We like it when you watch our programming. ‘Keep your unit on so we can see you vell.’
“Our society is becoming disturbingly inverted. Under the new laws the innocent must prove they are not guilty.”
” Not saboteurs; not suspect”
We review a book visiting the Hamburg before the arrival of the storm. It is a picture of an urban conglomorate previous to the descent of a ominous shadow upon that northern German city.
This book discusses the Hamburg Jewish community up until its destruction. Their world peaked then was destroyed.
Volume discusses Hamburg’s Jews; including Otto Wahrburg (of the well known banking family) and his role in trying to assist an unraveling Jewish community in this city with the Nazis corresponding rise to power.
On the Jewish community in Germany:
… democracy proved to be the prelude to their destruction (p.X)
Civilization is too easily taken for granted when we enjoy the benefits; it is in reality fragile, not just as it was in Germany in the 1930s but everywhere at any time (xi)
Reichstelle fur Sippenforschung (Office for Genealogy): reported in 1935: 475,000 full observant Jews; 300,000 full Jews but no attachment to community; and three quarters of a million mischlinge with one or two Jewish grandparents (p.127)
Decree of Blood Law (1935)
Mischlinge (first degree) – 2 Jewish grandparents; could only marry Jews
Mischlinge (second degree) could marry Germans
Geltungjuden –descended from only 1 or 2 Jewish grandparents but ‘counted as Jews’ because of involvement in Jewish community.
13.10.35 Dr. Frick announces that the detailed regulations of the Nuremberg Laws will be published in the next few days. We constantly live with a sword hanging over us. One has to fortify oneself for what is certain to come… (p.134)
Rabbis grasped the opportunity to provide leadership and restore self-confidence. They conveyed in their message that Jews would prevail, that after the days of shadow, sunlight would follow once more, that Jews trusting in God had overcome every enemy through the millennia and would do so again (p.155)
Rabbi Carlbach, spent his time strengthening Judaism and holding the Hamburg communities together, lectures to those who visited his house to learn, keeping in touch with Jews in prison and concentration camps, . Sunday mornings dedicated to bible studies, where he expounded on the uniqueness of the Jewish people, their mission, the grandeur of their past and the promise of the future. It took courage to declare in the synagogue in the presence of Gestapo stooges, who held him in grudging respect, that the people of God were eternal (p.157)
Just as Jeremiah encouraged those carried off to Babylon to care for the well-being of that state, God too had banished them in Germany so that there were Jews to pray for their country as well (p.157).
Nazi Germany still appeared to be a rechtstaat, a state where law prevailed, if one overlooked the fact that new laws were perverting justice (p.163)
Himmler gradually imposed his control over the police and the repressive machinery of the state (p.165)
Jewish assets were the target. The first was to find out what the Jews still owned (p.165)
The Berlin correspondent of the Daily Telegraph could hardly grasp what was happening, as he reported that ‘Racial Hatred and hysteria seems to have taken complete hold of otherwise descent people(p.174)
Diary entry 12.11.38: just after Kristalnacht, the gun confiscation order went out. A Jewish man, retired major, who had applied to keep his dagger and pistol from the First World War, and a retired major was told ‘This is all in the past now, and my advice to you now is to give up everything… (p.176)
Removal of Rights and Employability:
Mischlinge and Aryans married to Jews had to register their address and personal details with the police; driving licenses were no longer valid; Jews could no longer be registered as midwives; Jews were no longer permitted to use restaurants ; no new names on Jewish war memorials were permitted; policemen could no longer marry mischlinge (pp.190-191)
Racial Jewish defined children were removed from their parent’s homes and placed with a German mother. When it came to bureaucratic application (p.191)
Decent Germans showed solidarity with their Jewish neighbours but had to be careful. Germany in 1939 had become a very different place in six short years (p.192)
Jan 1, 1939 Jews had to add ‘Israel’ and ‘Sarah’ to their names (p.192)
The Propaganda Ministry hinted over the radio on what was happening in the East [in Russia] (p.230)
…the war was a totally different experience that the First war.
The best qualities of the German people have been undermined, religion despite all promises has been persecuted (p.231)
Elizabeth Schmit letter to pastor:
When one begins end up marking property [with star of david]
The Jerusalem kirshe in Hamberg stood up for the Jews
Confessing church pastor Gollwitzer in a sermon following Kristalnacht damning the caution of the church and condemning the cowardice of Christians , all of whom, he said, shared the guilt of the atrocities occurring (p.235)
The rations coupons issued to any Jews who somehow survived were marked with a large ‘J’ (p.255)
Percil schein (‘a reference letter of help shown to a Jew sought by Germans to show Allies) after war (p.255)
Gestapo files on Jews in Hamberg destroyed during Allied bombing raid ‘Gemorrha’. After this the Gestapo had no clue how many Jews were still in the city. (p.258)
By May 1935 no more than 20,000 Jews and Mischlinge were left alive in Germany. Out of 500,000 in 1933 , 210,000 had emigrated. (p.261)
The Jews and Germans of Hamburg
The Destruction of a Civilization 1790-1945
Nazi poster asking citizens to be aware of ‘suspicious persons’
The corporation “Hollerinth” printed on this poster was an International Business Machines (IBM) subsiduarywhich was responsible for managing the counting of the people in the Nazi Death Camps. Without Hollerinth’s punch cards the Third Reich could not have kept track of all the various people they were deporting, ‘herding’ into these death camps from throughout the continent of Europe.
Hollerinth’s advertizing adopted by the City of London, United Kingdom around 2003.
The storm comes when the people are at rest.
The maelstrom arrives ‘when we are busy with our own things’
Internal Passports are being introduced in the United states
“Americans have long had a visceral aversion to building a society in which the authorities could act like totalitarian sentries and demand “”your papers please!”” And that everyday intrusiveness would be conjoined with the full power of modern computer and database technology. When a police officer or security guard scans your ID card with his pocket bar-code reader, for example, will a permanent record be created of that check, including the time and your location? How long before office buildings, doctors’ offices, gas stations, highway tolls, subways and buses incorporate the ID card into their security or payment systems for greater efficiency? The end result could be a nation where citizens’ movements inside their own country are monitored and recorded through these “”internal passports.””
News Flash: New Department of Homeland Security Passport Cards
Source: State Department
To those reading this book review with us today… this is all for your own good . ‘You understand ja’?
Tagging werked very well in Germany …
Credit: Dean Rodina 2008
‘People Grouping’ worked well in South Africa …
Plebisite for Turtle Island:
Option 1: I want an ‘Indian Pass‘ system on my land
Option 2: I want an ‘Internal Passport‘ in my land