The Ambassador in Germany (Dodd) to the Secretary of State

No. 2313

Sir: I have the honor to report that Reichminister of Education Rust has ordered an inquiry to be undertaken for the declared purpose of bringing about by Easter of next year as complete a separation as possible between Aryan and non-Aryan pupils in all German schools. As a first step, separate Jewish elementary schools are to be established in communities where there are 20 or more Jewish children.

The text of the ordinance has not been published but summaries appeared in the daily papers of September 11 supplemented by certain remarks made by an official of the Ministry at a press conference the day before. It is explained that the State, in pursuance of its aim for the complete elimination of Jewry from German life, has found it necessary to turn its attention to the schools again. Much had already been done by granting permission for the setting up of separate private [Page 383] and public schools for children belonging to the Jewish religion, but in many places there were still disproportionately large numbers of Jewish pupils, despite the limiting legislation of April 25, 1933 (see Embassy’s despatch No. 2351 of May 2, 193335). Moreover, it is stated, separation must be carried out by race rather than religion, it being found that the presence of the Jewish child “proves an extraordinary impediment in National Socialist instruction and makes impossible the necessary harmony, founded on race, between the teacher, the pupil and the subject of study.”

It is stated that consquently the Minister of Education had decided to effect the “most complete separation possible” and that as a beginning he would cause to be set up special Jewish elementary schools (Volksschule) in all communities where there were 20 or more Jewish children. All the children would be taught in one class if there were not a sufficient number to make up several grades. Full-blooded Jews or children with one Jewish parent would be obliged to attend these schools but so-called quarter Jews or children with only one Jewish grandparent would be exempted from the requirement and would be permitted to attend the regular state schools. The press summaries emphasize that this arrangement for the elementary schools is but a first step and that corresponding measures will follow for other kinds of schools, including secondary and technological institutions, after the enquiry has been completed.

It may be remarked that this action, while drastic, may perhaps be beneficial in removing Jewish children from the ordinary schools where they occupy a definitely humiliating position. On the other hand it may conceivably work hardship upon baptized Jews who will be forced on racial considerations alone to send their children to schools where the Mosaic religion may be predominant. Furthermore, the detriment to teaching that will ensue in communities where there are only a sufficient number of Jewish children to form a single class, is obvious.

Respectfully yours,

William E. Dodd
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