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August 27, 1965 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-08-27

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Death in the Offing--No Future for German Jewry

rection is punished with a long
prison sentence.
The Jews in East Germany
have no economic or even political
problems. They live outside regu-
lar, working society and seem to
have been abandoned politically
by the regime itself. "They know
that, at my 72 years, they will no
longer make a Communist of me,"
a bearded Jew told me. Their
problems are psychological: a
sense of claustrophobia or personal
and communal loneliness. "It is
like living in a death ward, with
every day one of us going but with
no one coming to replace him," a
local Jew told me.


Special JTA Correspondent in Germany
(Copyright, 1965, JTA, Inc.)

BONN—In East Berlin, at 26
Oranienbourgstrasse, s t an d s a
huge, grey ruin, like a haunted
castle out of another age. Its or-
nate Gothic front has been black-
ened by smoke and fire, its col-
umns have been shattered by time
and the hand of man, its marble
steps are missing. It is a syna-
Once, thousands of prosperous
and well-fed Germans burghers
worshipped in it. Today, an ugly
moss grows in the crevices between
the stones, and pigeons fly through
its glassless windows to nest under
the few standing arches. The side
walls and the back had been gutted
by fire during the infamous Crys-
tal night, the roof has disappeared
under wartime bombs, and the
former worshippers had gone up in
smoke somewhere in the Polish

prominent in the arts, science,
journalism, banking and business.
One recalls the names of Albert
Einstein, Lion Feuchtwanger, Ste-
fan Zweig, Alfred Kerr, Ullstein,
Tuchoisky, Reinhardt. Today but a
handful of Jews occupy even a
Besides this small, insignifi- modest place in West German pub-
lic life. Former Tel Aviv banker
cant community which slowly
shuffles along the sidewalks, Feuchtwanger, who owns a flour-
there are the other Jews, the ishing banking house in Munich,
strong, the powerful, those who and his Hamburg colleague, War-
ride in black Zis cars and who burg; trade union leader Ludwig
sit on the top floors of the gov- Rosenber g; Hamburg Mayor
Weichmann and a handful of uni-
ernment buildings which line
Marx-Engels Square. Most of _ versity lecturers, are among the
these are in their fifties or early few.

There are 850 Jews left in
East Berlin, with 450 more
scattered throughout the rest of
Communist East Germany. Nine-
ty-two per cent of them are over
55 years old, and there are only
four children. "In fifteen years
from now at the most, there will
be no Jews left here—they will
all have died of old age," said
the secretary general of the com-
munity, Hainz Shenk.

sixties — burning, ardent Com-
munists who returned to East
Germany after the war, often
from the West.

, Best known among them are
Foreign Minister Otto Winzer,
Minister for Interior Herbert
Grunstein, Minister for Cultural
Affairs Alexander Abusch, and the
two heads of the propaganda serv-
ices, Gerhard Eisler and Albert
Norden. Most of these men have
been at the head of the anti-Israeli
propaganda which has poured out
of East Berlin over the last year.
It is Foreign Minister Winzer who
has formulated the anti-Israeli
policy; and Gerhard Eisler, the
head of the radio and television
networks, who has spread it.
This Jewish "aristocracy" has
nothing in common with the com-
munity, never sees it and never
meets its members. One Commu-
nist Jewish journalist told me "we
are building a new society—while
the other Jews live in an old
world. Soon they will disappear
and there will be no Jewish prob-
lem whatsoever in the DDR —
just a problem of normal human
In neither Germany — West or
East—is there any longer a Jewish

Most of East Germany's Jews
are pensioners — the G e r m an
Democratic Republic, as the East
Zone calls itself, pays no repara-
tions and no restitutions. Persecu-
tees of the Nazi period, Jews and
non-Jews alike, receive, however,
pensions, on condition that they
reside in its territory. The usual
pensions are of 600 marks ($150)
per month and are often paid to
both the husband and the wife
who thus attain a relatively high
income, compared to the rest of
the population. Once every two
years they are granted "paid holi-
days" in an East European spa.
They enjoy free medical treat-
ment. They are in no danger from
any anti-Semitic symptoms. Anti-
Semitism in Eastern Germany is
considered a very serious crime,
and any manifestation in this di-

Frank Murphy Story: Career
• of Detroit's Great Liberal

Prof. Richard D. Lunt of the fred M. Landon, elevated to Presi-
Rochester, N.Y., Institute of Tech- dent."
nology has produced a most inter-
At the request of Clarence Dar-
esting biogr a-
row, Murphy "served on the ad-
phical study in
visory council of the American
the volume just
League to Abolish Capital Punish-

issued by Wayne
State University
Press under the
title "The High
Ministry of Gov-
ernment: T h e
Political Career
of Fr ank Mur-
This study
could, i n d e e d, Frank Murphy
have been subtitled: the career of
a great liberal. The former De-
troit mayor, the former governor

Murphy supported Detroit's Fel-
lowship of Faiths: "This organiza-
tion, of which Murphy was vice
president, was dedicated to achiev-
ing peace and brotherhood among

people of all races, religions and
cultures. It held that all the prob-

lems of the world, whatever they
might be, would be solved if man
would believe in what it termed
`real religion' or a 'Soul Force.'
Among the members were Pro-
testants, Jews, Catholics, Moham-
medans, Hindu s, Negroes and
When the Justice Department
was rounding up subversives, Mur-
phy "warned Americans of the
anti-Semetic virus and indicated
that purveyors of religious hate
would be prosecuted by the gov-

of Michigan, the late U.S. attor-
ney general and U.S. Supreme
Court justice was just that: one
of the country's most eminent

Dr. Lunt points to Murphy's
role as a defender of the on-

pressed, as one of the first to
defend the rights of the Negro

ernment e v en as Communists
to employment.
This volume deals with the po-
When Fr. Coughlin's influence
began to be felt in politics, when litical aspects of a great Ameri-
the Royal Oak priest attempted to can's life. It therefore does not in-
organize a third party in his battle clude the facts regarding Murphy's
against Franklin D. Roosevelt, role as a friend of Jewry, as a
Murphy "spoke gingerly" in re- supporter of the Zionist cause, as
pudiation of Coughlin's tactics. one who always came to the aid
While, in the past, he had admir- of those battling for justice when
ation for Coughlin, "Murphy then religious persecutions were in-
attacked Coughlin indirectly by volved. It does not include his
accusing him of sponsoring a fight against Nazism.
In its present form, it is a fine
third party because he wanted to
see the Republican candidate, Al- biography and serves as an adden-

14—friday, August 27, 1965

dum to both the history of De-
troit and Michigan and the politi-
cal,era .during which he lived.

FRI. AUG. 27

problem. In Eastern Germany loyal European partner and ally.
Jews will soon disappear alto- It is an affront to our dignity to
gether, in the Western part they be constantly reminded of the
are a small, sick and insignificant past!'
Most Germans in their 20's
Once there were in Germany reply: "I was not even born under
2-86 Jewish judges, 3,000 lawyers, the Third Reich or I was just a
6,000 doctors. Seventeen out of the small child. This is a new Ger-
46 Germans who received the many, why talk of the old?" Most
Nobel Prize between the two world German children will answer:
wars were Jews. Other Jews were "Hitler? Never heard of him."

Not a single prominent law-
yer, businessman, politician,
scientist or journalist has risen
from the Jewish community.
They seem to live, as they say,
in "a transitory period!' Eighty
per cent of the working commu-
nity are shop keepers or busi-
nessmen. Most of their busi-
nesses are of a nature which re-
quires little stock or fixed instal-
lations, enabling them "to flee"
if necessary, for the sensibility
to anything concerning anti-
Semitism is still far more acute.
in Germany than anywhere else.

The slightest anti-Semitic mani-
festation is seen as the rise of a
new neo-Nazi movement. Often
these fears are groundless and
never was this more spectacular
than this summer, when the "Bam-
berg smearer" was finally arrested.
For weeks this mysterious person-
age had kept the German police
in check and had given rise to a
spate of world-wide speculations
concerning the possible reorganiza-
tion of former Nazis. The smearer
turned out to be a sickly, stammer-
ing, 20-year-old youth- driven by a
paranoic desire to "avenge" his
father who had been arrested by
both the Poles and the Germans
for his activities in the SS.
This does not mean that anti-
Semitism is non-existent in Ger-
many. It has, however, gone under-
ground in both Germanies, East
and West. It is considered as a
far more serious crime than in
most other countries.
In the subconscious mind of the
civilized world, the ghost of the
Third Reich continues to rattle its
chains. But in Germany itself, 20
years have passed. German after
German will repeat when ques-
tioned on this subject: "It was
terrible what the Nazis did, but
now all this has passed and we
modern Germans are tired of be-
ing reminded of this period. We
are a democratic nation, the bas-
tion of the free world, a good and




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