The Chargé in Germany (Gordon) to the Secretary of State

No. 2352

Sir: As a further sample of the anti-Jewish drive now being carried on in Germany, I have the honor to enclose in original and translation a law and an executory decree, concerning animal slaughter, both of April 21, 1933, appearing in the Reichsgesetzblatt No. 39 of that date.15

As is well known, the physical side of kosher ritual requires that the animal be conscious and be killed by cutting the windpipe and throat with a special knife. This is to carry out the sacrificial idea on which the ritual is based.

The new German regulations prevent this in two main ways; first, by requiring that such animals (the ones coming under the kosher category, although this is of course not specifically mentioned) shall be “narcotized” before blood is drawn, and second, by prohibiting killing by a stab in the neck. Exceptions are made, as in the case of fowl and rabbits, which, however, it is believed may not be included among the kosher animals.

The reason offered for this new legislation was that of humane treatment. But inasmuch as slitting the windpipe (the kosher method) is held to cause instantaneous unconsciousness, the real underlying motive of the enactment appears plainly to be anti-Semitism.

Respectfully yours,

George A. Gordon
  1. Not reprinted.