German Jewish Response
to the Nuremberg Laws

(September 24, 1935)


The Reichsvertretung* der Juden in Deutschland announces the following:

I

"The Laws decided upon by the Reichstag in Nuremberg have come as the heaviest of blows for the Jews in Germany. But they must create a basis on which a tolerable relationship becomes possible between the German and the Jewish people. The Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland is willing to contribute to this end with all its powers. A precondition for such a tolerable relationship is the hope that the Jews and Jewish communities of Germany will be enabled to keep a moral and economic means of existence by the halting of defamation and boycott.

The organization of the life of the Jews in Germany requires governmental recognition of an autonomous Jewish leadership. The Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland is the agency competent to undertake this. It has the support, with few exceptions, of the totality of the Jews and Jewish Communities, particularly the State Association of Jewish Communities (Landesverbaende) and all the City communities, as well as the independent Jewish organizations: Zionist Federation of Germany (Zionistische Vereinigung fuer Deutschland), Central Organization of Jews in Germany (Zentralverein der Juden in Deutschland), Union of Jewish Veterans (Reichsbund juedischer Frontsoldaten), Association for Liberal Judaism (Vereinigung fuer das religioes-liberale Judentum), the Organized Orthodox Community (die organisierte Gemeinde-Orthodoxie), Union of Jewish Women (Juedischer Frauenbund), Reich Committee for Jewish Youth Organizations (Reichsausschuss der juedischen Jugendverbaende).

The most urgent tasks for the Reichsvertretung, which it will press energetically and with full commitment, following the avenues it has previously taken, are:

1. Our own Jewish educational system must serve to prepare the youth to be upright Jews, secure in their faith, who will draw the strength to face the onerous demands which life will make on them from conscious solidarity with the Jewish community, from work for the Jewish present and faith in the Jewish future. In addition to transmitting knowledge, the Jewish schools must also serve in the systematic preparation for future occupations. With regard to preparation for emigration, particularly to Palestine, emphasis will be placed on guidance toward manual work and the study of the Hebrew language. The education and vocational training of girls must be directed to preparing them to carry out their responsibilities as upholders of the family and mothers of the next generation.

An independent cultural structure must offer possibilities of employment to Jews who are artistically and culturally creative, and serve the separate cultural life of the Jews in Germany.

2. The increased need for emigration will be served by large-scale planning, firstly with respect to Palestine, but also to all other available countries, with particular attention to young people. This includes study of additional possibilities for emigration, training in professions suited for emigrants, particularly agriculture and technical skills; the creation of ways and means to mobilize and liquidate the property of persons who are economically independent, the broadening of existing means of transferring property and the creation of additional such means.

3. Support and care of the needy, sick or aged must be assured through further systematic expansion of the Jewish welfare services provided by the communities to supplement government social services.

4. An impoverished community cannot carry out these varied and difficult tasks. The Reichsvertretung will try by every means to safeguard the economic position of the Jews by seeking to protect the existing means of livelihood. Those who are economically weak will be assisted by the further development of such economic aids as employment bureaus, economic advice, and personal or mortgage loans.

5. We are given strength in the present and hope for the future by the vitality of the progress in the construction of a Jewish Palestine. In order to draw the Jews of Germany even more closely into this development, the Reichsvertretung itself has joined the Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Hayesod) and appeals warmly to Jewish communities and organizations to follow its example. The Reichsvertretung offers its services to establish organizational links between the institutions of the Jews in Germany and the work of reconstruction in Palestine.

*

In full awareness of the magnitude of the responsibilities involved and the difficulties of the task, the Reichsvertretung calls on the Jewish men and women, and on all Jewish youth, to join together in unity, to maintain high Jewish morale, to practice strictest self-discipline, and show a maximum willingness to make sacrifices.

II

In accordance with a proposal made in the presidium of the Reichsvertretung, the Reichsvertretung, the state Federations and the communities are requested to cooperate closely in taking such organizational and personnel measures as are required in the Jewish bodies in order to ensure the vigorous and systematic carrying out of the new working program by all Jewish official bodies."

Juedische Rundschau, No. 77, September 24, 1935.

* Reichsvertretung der Juden in Deutschland – National Representation of the Jews in Germany.


Source: Yad Vashem