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George Messersmith’s Report to the State Department on the "Present Status of the Anti-Semitic Movement in Germany" (September 21, 1933)

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“Through the victory of the National-Socialist revolution, also those who have never before worked or fought for its solution have recognized the Jewish question as a national problem. Every one has acknowledged that the present situation is untenable. The unrestricted expansion and the equal treatment of Jews lead to unfair competition on the part of the Jews and to the surrender of the important positions of German spiritual and material value to those of a strange race. [ . . . ] This distortion of the Jewish problem must not be supported even by outward appearance, all the more as it would be political insanity if the national regulation of the Jewish question were mingled with questions of foreign policy. [ . . . ] All propositions which intended to create a permanent condition or a permanent regulation for the Jews in Germany do not solve the Jewish question, as they do not detach the Jew from Germany. And that is the main thing. The Jews, if they can live eternally as parasites in the nations which offer them their hospitality, will always remain a source of political danger where the open destructive fire of Bolshevism can again and again be set ablaze. [ . . . ] We must build up our country without the Jews; they can only remain strangers without nationality and may not occupy any legal and legitimate permanent position within the structure of the country. Only in this way will Ahasverus be forced to reach for his staff for the last time and exchange it for the axe and the spade.”

Since I last addressed a despatch to the Department on this subject, there has been no alleviation what[so]ever of the situation of the Jews in Germany. On the contrary their condition is growing steadily worse. The situations described in previous despatches continue to exist and in the time which has elapsed it is possible to see even more definitely the implacability with which the various laws and regulations affecting the Jews in practically all conditions of life in Germany are carried through. That this should be so was to be expected, for those who control the National Socialist movement and the Government have not changed their views with respect to the treatment of the Jews. I am informed that the Chancellor, Mr. Hitler, and the Minister of Propaganda, Dr. Goebbels, among the higher leaders of the Party are the ones who remain adamant on this question. Outstanding Americans and foreigners who have in the past months had an opportunity to talk with the Chancellor and who believed it would be important to give him the view of the outside world on the Jewish question have, I am informed, found it entirely impossible to speak to him on this question. If they endeavored to make any remarks on the Jewish question the Chancellor interrupted them and delivered his point of view, which, I am told reliably, has remained entirely the same from the outset. I am informed also from reliable and confidential sources that Mr. Keppler, who is the most intimate of the Chancellor’s economic advisors, Dr. Schmitt, the Minister of Commerce, and Dr. Schacht, the President of the Reichsbank, are not able to talk with the Chancellor on this subject and as soon as they endeavor to bring to him certain points of view, he refuses to listen to anything they have to say on this subject. This information comes to me from such creditable sources that I believe it may be taken as correct. Dr. Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda, who is still the principal spokesman of the Government on the Jewish question, will listen to what others say to him, but without comment, and apparently so far without any change in his opinions being effected. My conversations with various people closely connected with the Government and with the Party, some of them occupying responsible positions in the various Ministries, would indicate that these [individuals] would be very happy if a more mild Jewish policy could be carried through; but it is obvious that they are powerless as long as the opinions of the highest leaders of the Party remain unchanged.

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