362.1154 Spiegelberg, Betty G./1

The Consul General at Munich (Hathaway) to the Secretary of State

No. 773

Sir: I have the honor to report that Mrs. Betty G. Spiegelberg, an American citizen holding passport No. 999, issued March 21, 1934 by this office, has brought to my attention correspondence she has had with the Reichsverband der Deutschen Korrespondenz-und Nachrichtenbueros E. V. Berlin (Reich’s Association of German Correspondence and News Bureaus) and has requested intervention with the authorities to protect her right to continue the business she has been carrying on, that of literary agent, obtaining on commission or by purchase articles from authors outside Germany and marketing these to suitable German publications. There is enclosed97 copy of a memorandum made by Counsellor of Justice Dr. Adolf Veit in behalf of Mrs. Spiegelberg, setting forth the facts of the case and the argument as he would make it under the Treaty between the United States and Germany,98 letter dated January 18, 1936 addressed to “Die goldene Feder”, the name under which Mrs. Spiegelberg carried on her business, by the Reichsverband in question; copy of Mrs. Spiegel-berg’s reply of January 20, and a further letter from the Reichsverband dated January 23.

This last letter sums up the matter it seems to me very fairly and clearly from the point of view of the German authorities, and it is desired to direct the particular attention of the Department to this letter which is a formal statement from an official body acting under the laws of and by the authority of the German Government. The issue would appear to be whether an American citizen of Jewish extraction can under our commercial Treaty claim the same rights in Germany as any other American citizen notwithstanding that German regulations exclude persons of Jewish origin, without regard to citizenship, from certain activities in Germany. Dr. Veit argues so ably for the equal right of all American citizens under the Treaty with Germany that it has seemed best to include his memorandum, though in the time at my disposal it is not possible to provide a translation of it. Translations of the three letters in question, however, are enclosed herewith.

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Mrs. Spiegelberg’s husband, Mr. Washington S. Spiegelberg, an American citizen born in New York City February 22, 1866, was a clerk in this Consulate General from August 20, 1914 down to the closing of the office in 1917, and is a highly reputable person. He and his wife are as deserving of consideration in this matter as any one presumably can be. It is understood that there is no complaint whatever against Mrs. Spiegelberg other than that she is a Jewess and that accordingly under the present German laws and regulations she may not take part in any activity having to do with German periodical publications, as such activities are permitted only to persons belonging to the Reichskulturkammer (Reich’s Chamber of Culture) and its suitable subordinate groups, and membership in these bodies is forbidden to Jews.

The case of Mrs. Spiegelberg was informally brought to the attention of the Embassy and the Consulate General in Berlin, but as it appears that they are not in a position to take any action, it has seemed best to submit the facts for the information of the Department in the hope that the Department will find it possible to determine what, if anything, may be done for Jewish citizens suffering from the German restrictive regulations. Mrs. Spiegelberg fortunately is not dependent for her living upon the proceeds of this business from which she is being debarred, but it is to be assumed that other cases will arise in which the forbidden business constitutes the sole source of income of an American citizen.

Respectfully yours,

Charles M. Hathaway, Jr.
  1. Enclosures not printed.
  2. Treaty of friendship, commerce and consular rights between the United States and Germany, signed December 8, 1923, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 29.