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Proposal to Remove Jewish Students from Public Schools in Frankfurt Am Main

Document 1:
14 May 1933
Mayor of Frankfurt
To Department of Education:

After the change of government, it is time to deal with the issue of schools for Jewish students. It should be examined whether Jewish children should be transferred to other schools.

What is your position on the matter?

Document 2:
20 June 1933
Department of Education
To Mayor of Frankfurt

In our report of 31 May 1933 regarding financing of private schools we have pointed out...that the city has no legal obligation to pay for the elementary school of the Jewish community, but we recommend continuing the financial support, otherwise the city will have much higher costs for these students [if they are transferred to municipal schools]. According to the Law for Mandatory Education of 15 December 1927 Paragraph 1, education is mandatory in Prussia for all citizens and children who permanently reside in the Reich....The law does not differentiate between Jewish and Christian children. The number of Jewish children who come under the law in Frankfurt is 1827. Of these 662 go to public schools, 751 to the private school of the Jewish community and 459 to the Philantropin private school. According to Paragraph 7 of the VUG the budget of the elementary schools has to be covered by the city. Therefore, the city is obliged to pay for the cost of education for all Jewish children.

The fact that 1210 children study in the two Jewish schools saves the city considerable funds, as it is only the school of the Jewish community that receives municipal financing.... Also from the political-communal point of view, it seems more adequate to enable the continued existence of the private schools than to establish new public schools or create special classrooms.

A change of the mandatory education law such that Jewish children would have to go to school, but would prevent their registering in a general public school, seems impossible. We can also assume that the Jewish demands to turn their schools into schools open to everyone will not be accepted by higher echelons of the government. One has to consider that the Jews will be obliged to close their schools because they will not be able to sustain them financially. And then, the public schools will be obliged to take in all the Jewish students in the city, which will create a heavy financial burden for the city.

We are therefore of the opinion that no legal changes ought to be made in the existing situation as present circumstances are preferable for the city.

Document 3:
30 June 1933
Frankfurt Finance Department

In the present legal situation with the existence of mandatory education the cheapest solution for the schooling of Jewish children is to continue financial support by the city to the Jewish community.... The only way to exempt the city of the costs of education for Jewish children is by a change of the law that would oblige the Jewish community to pay all the education costs of the Jewish children. We are unable to say whether such a solution is possible.

[On 10 September 1935 (during the Nuremberg Party rally) the national government declared that all Jewish students were henceforth educated in separate schools or separate classrooms. The Mayor of Frankfurt informed the Regional President that compliance with this new law would be problematic. The creation of a school for the 306 Jewish children still attending public schools would draw additional Jewish children from private Jewish schools' at present paid for by the Jewish community. This would increase the financial burden on the city. Instead the mayor suggested that Jewish children be segregated into separate classes at two schools.

The school officer of the city disagreed with the Mayor in his report of October 2. He suggested transferring the Jewish children into the public schools that already had a large number of Jewish students. The Jewish teachers still employed by the city would also be transferred to these schools.

The Jewish children could still go to the public schools until 1938. But in fact more and more Jewish children were voluntarily transferred by their parents to Jewish schools because in a public school Jews were liable to be harassed by their classmates and in many cases by teachers. The Jewish schools of the Frankfurt community continued to exist until the end of the school year of 1941/42, and were closed by order of the Reich Security Main Office.]

Document 4:
7 July 1942
Minister of Science, Education and Education of the People
To Prime Minister in Wiesbaden

Considering the recent advance of Jewish resettlement [deportation to the East], the Minister of Interior, Reich Security Main Office in coordination with the Reichsvereinigung [the Reich Association of Jews in Germany] ordered the closure of Jewish schools after 30 June 1942. All the students are to be informed that after 1 July 1942 any kind of teaching of Jewish children, whether by paid teachers or by volunteers is forbidden....

Source: Dokumente zur Geschichte Frankfurter Juden 1933-1945 (Frankfurt/Main 1963) p. 104-106.

Source: Yad Vashem