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German Public Opinion – Sopade Reports of the German Socialist Party

1. On the night of 1 May [1935] large stones were thrown from a car at the windows of a shop belonging to the Jew Pappenheim in Weisenburgplatz. The rocks smashed the window panes. The following day, a large crowd gathered outside the store and openly opposed these excesses. One heard comments such as incredible goings-on, cheeck, vandalism etc. Thus, it was clear that the population had no sympathy with the tricks of the Nazis. In the end, the police had to disperse the crowd which was getting bigger and bigger. It was clear to the observer that this incident was not the result of mass discontent but an act planned by a few criminals. National Socialists also appeared in front of the Jew Schwarzs shop and warned customers not to enter the shop. But it was noticeable that no one let themselves be put off; in fact, one could see that some customers demonstratively carried the goods they had bought with hardly any wrappings.

2. The owners of pubs are compelled - with the threat of boycotts and other consequences - to put up notices with the inscription: Jews are not welcome here. The majority of pubs already have these notices. Many hang them up in inconspicuous places. One day a Jew found one of these notices up in a cafe where he was a regular customer. He asked the manageress why she had not told him that he was not welcome. The manageress kept apologizing and told the customer that he should stay and that she had been made to put up the notice.

3. The Jewish laws are not taken very seriously because the population has other problems on its mind and is mostly of the opinion that the whole fuss about the Jews is only being made to divert peoples attention from other things and to provide the SA with something to do. But one must not imagine that the anti-Jewish agitation does not have the desired effect on many people. On the contrary, there are enough people who are influenced by the defamation of the Jews and regard the Jews as the originators of many bad things. They have become fanatical opponents of the Jews. This enmity often finds expression in the form of spying on people and denouncing them for having dealings with Jews, probably in the hope of winning recognition and advantages from the Party. But the vast majority of the population ignore this defamation of the Jews; they even demonstratively prefer to buy in Jewish department stores and adopt a really, unfriendly attitude to the SA men on duty there, particularly if they try and take photographs of people going in

Source: J. Noakes & G. Pridham, (eds)., "Nazism 1919-45: A History in Documents and Eyewitness Accounts," Vol. 1, The Nazi Party, State and Society 1919-1939, New York, 1983, pp. 545-47.

Source: Yad Vashem