840.48 Refugees/1714: Telegram

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

608. Embassy’s telegram No. 305, May 3, 11 a.m.57 The contemplated legislation outlined in the telegram under reference providing for a central Jewish organization was promulgated today in the form of a law which takes effect immediately. Its application with respect to Austria, however, is being postponed for the meantime.

The law provides that all German and stateless Jews residing in Germany shall be embraced within a “Reich Association of the Jews in Germany” which shall have recognized legal status and competence. The central office will be in Berlin and as its branches the association will employ the local Jewish religious associations (see in this connection Embassy’s despatch 74, April 3 [5], 193857). In addition to its primary function to further emigration the association will be responsible for the maintenance of Jewish schools and welfare systems and may undertake further duties assigned to it by the Minister of the Interior who shall approve its constitution and to whom it will be subordinated. The Minister of the Interior shall incorporate within the new Reich association all Jewish organizations and foundations and it is provided that those not incorporated shall be dissolved and their property shall fall to the state.

According to the law Jews may only attend schools operated by the association which shall include schools training for emigration [Page 590] and the association may draft for these schools former Jewish teachers who were dismissed from the State schools on a pensioned status. The Jewish schools will be considered as private institutions and will be supervised by the Minister of Education.

With respect to the responsibilities of the Association for Jewish welfare work it is provided that it shall “according to the means at its disposal support impoverished Jews to the extent necessary that the public service will not need to intervene”.

An editorial in this morning’s Völkischer Beobachter describes the law as a generous step for the orderly execution of the National Socialist aim of ridding Germany of the last Jew. It envisages that the welfare work of the Association and the assistance it will render to impoverished Jews to emigrate will be financed by membership dues as well as by special levy to be paid by emigrating Jews (see in this connection Embassy’s despatch 621, May [March] 8, 193858). The editorial states that “Germany is doing everything to make the particular favorites of the democracies as acceptable as possible to them” and asserts that if the latter are not helpful in providing emigration possibilities it is not Germany’s fault.

Transmitted to Embassy at London for American representative on International Refugee Committee.

Despatch follows.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not printed.