Read the headline, and the sub-head and then the date. This is March 24,1933 and the Daily Express is reporting a concerted effort by Jews around the world, including powerful Jewish financial interests, to boycott German goods with the aim of crippling the country’s already precarious economy.
Its Special Political Correspondent correctly says they had, in effect “declared war” on Germany.
He could hardly have missed the story because on March 12 the American Jewish congress announced a massive protest at Madison Square Gardens for March 27 and the day before, on March 23, 20,000 Jews protested at New York’s City Hall and rallies were staged outside the North German Lloyd and Hamburg-American shipping lines. Boycotts were also mounted against German goods throughout shops and businesses in New York City.
The article described a forthcoming “holy war” in which Jews everywhere were urged to boycott German goods and engage in mass demonstrations against German economic interests. According to the Express:
The whole of Israel throughout the world is uniting to declare an economic and financial war on Germany. The appearance of the Swastika as the symbol of the new Germany has revived the old war symbol of Judas to new life. Fourteen million Jews scattered over the entire world are tight to each other as if one man, in order to declare war against the German persecutors of their fellow believers.
The Jewish wholesaler will quit his house, the banker his stock exchange, the merchant his business, and the beggar his humble hut, in order to join the holy war against Hitler’s people.
The Express said that Germany was “now confronted with an international boycott of its trade, its finances, and its industry…. In London, New York, Paris and Warsaw, Jewish businessmen are united to go on an economic crusade.”
So what, you ask, prompted this attack on Germany? The answer lies in the events of the previous seven weeks.
Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933. The National Socalists didn’t have a majority in the Reichstag, but they did have police powers and on February 24 the Gestapo raided the Communist Party (KPD) headquarters. Three days later the Reichstag building caught on fire and Communists were blamed for an attempted coup. Orders were given to arrest all the KPD members.
The result was that when the National Socialists subsequently proposed a bill to give the Chancellor dictatorial powers, it passed on March 23 with a three-quarters majority. Shortly afterwards the KPD and the Social Democratic Party becamed banned organizations.
So now we have the context for the New York demonstrations. It was partly a premptive effort to topple Hitler before he could take real power, and partly a protest over the police sweep against the KPD. It wasn’t a response to an attack on Jews per se, but on the left-wing organizations they supported.
Meanwhile, the Jews in Germany were horrified. If the international campaign against Germany gained any traction, they would be the immediate losers. As a result,The Zionist Association of Germany put out a telegram on the 26th of March—two days after the Express article—rejecting many of the allegations made against the National Socialists as “propaganda,” “mendacious” and “sensational.”
No matter; the big rally at the Gardens went ahead and 40,000 Jews showed up to shout support for the boycott and opposition to Germany. The “This is Zionism” website takes up the story:
“Hitler himself responded to the Jewish boycott and the threats in a speech on March 28 – four days after the original Jewish declaration of war – saying:
Now that the domestic enemies of the nation have been eliminated by the Volk itself, what we have long been waiting for will not come to pass.
The Communist and Marxist criminals and their Jewish-intellectual instigators, who, having made off with their capital stocks across the border in the nick of time, are now unfolding an unscrupulous, treasonous campaign of agitation against the German Volk as a whole from there….
Lies and slander of positively hair-raising perversity are being launched about Germany. Horror stories of dismembered Jewish corpses, gouged out eyes and hacked off hands are circulating for the purpose of defaming the German Volk in the world for the second time, just as they had succeeded in doing once before in 1914.
Thus, the fact—one conveniently left out of nearly all histories on the subject—is that Hitler’s March 28, 1933 boycott order was in direct response to the declaration of war on Germany by the worldwide Jewish leadership just four days earlier.” This is Zionism continues:
“To understand Hitler’s reaction to the Jewish declaration of war, it is vital to understand the critical state of the German economy at the time. In 1933, the German economy was in a shambles. Some 3 million Germans were on public assistance with a total of 6 million unemployed. Hyper-inflation had destroyed the economic vitality of the German nation. Furthermore, the anti-German propaganda pouring out of the global press strengthened the resolve of Germany’s enemies, especially the Poles and their hawkish military high command.
The Jewish leaders were not bluffing. The boycott was an act of war not solely in metaphor: it was a means, well crafted, to destroy Germany as a political, social and economic entity. The long term purpose of the Jewish boycott against Germany was to bankrupt her with respect to the reparation payments imposed on Germany after World War I and to keep Germany demilitarized and vulnerable.”
All of this, I repeat, ALL of this, was prior to the restrictive laws, the seizure of goods, the forced labour camps. Indeed, had Jews outside Germany searched for a better way to isolate their co-religionists inside the country, they could hardly have hit on a more powerful weapon.
This context shows Germany’s anti-Jewish measures, later under Hitler and during the war, were in response to a campaign launched against Germany by the Jews. Indeed, blaming Germany for its response became part of the campaign itself.
This is all very clever: a boycott, then blaming the German response as a reason for the boycott; it’s the very definition of fake news.
Many commentators are skeptical that Communists set the Reichstag fire, or that the Communist Party of Germany was planning a coup. And yet, the threat expressed by Hitler at the time had a real basis.Wikipedia notes that:
“After the Nazis came to power in January 1933, (Ernst) Thälmann (leader of the KPD) proposed that the SPD and KPD should organise a general strike to topple Hitler, but this was not achieved. In February 1933, a Central Committee meeting of the already banned KPD took place in Königs Wusterhausen at the “Sporthaus Ziegenhals”, near Berlin, where Thälmann called for the violent overthrow of Hitler’s government. Following the Reichstag fire, on March 3, he was arrested in Berlin by the police.”
So, to put all this in order, first Thälmann proposes a general strike in January together with the Socialists. This fails. Then, in February, he proposes the KPD should launch a “violent overthrow” of the government. This is followed by the Reichstag fire,Thälmann’s arrest, the first American Jewish protests, March 12, and the Enabling Act, March 23.
In the end, what the Jewish call for an economic boycot of Germany did was to turn a political issue between the Communists and National Socialists into a racial issue between the National Socialists and the Jews.
Did American Jews realize what they were doing? Do they even today?