Report on the situation of the Jews in Berlin - page 1

Erich Zwilsky1945-08-01

Jewish Museum Berlin

Jewish Museum Berlin

Report by Erich Zwilsky (1896–1961) re: the Jews in Berlin, typewritten, 2 pages, Berlin, 01.08.1945.

In his official capacity as head of administration at the Jewish Hospital in Berlin, Erich Zwilsky describes the situation of the surviving Jews in Berlin shortly after the end of the Second World War, and simultaneously requests material aid in order to facilitate their emigration

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  • Title: Report on the situation of the Jews in Berlin - page 1
  • Creator: Erich Zwilsky
  • Date: 1945-08-01
  • Location: Berlin-Wedding
  • Physical Dimensions: 29,8 x 21 cm
  • Original Language: deutsch
  • Provenance: Gift of Klaus M. Zwilsky
  • Transcript: Berlin N65, 1 August 1945 Iranischestr. 2 Re: Jews in Berlin There are currently an estimated 7,000 Jews living in Berlin – it will be possible shortly to convey the exact number, once the registration process now underway is concluded. It may be supposed that circa 30 percent, i.e. the Jews by religion, have a wish to emigrate from Germany. This wish has its origin in the deeply rooted anti-Semitism of the German people and, in most cases, the sheer insurmountable difficulties of founding a new existence. The anti-Semitism is furthermore clearly palpable in all sections of the German population, also in the highest social circles. The Jews in many cases continue to face major problems with the German authorities. Not even the Jewish returnees from the concentration camps find support and aid, since they are not recognized as victims of fascism, because they were not politically active but were persecuted “only as Jews.” To build an existence in the unforeseeable future appears impossible. On account of the almost complete lack of goods, the destruction of most factories and office buildings, and the never-ending problems with transport, it is impossible to run a business. In almost all other occupational sectors unemployment is very high. In addition, the Jews are not only in a state of psychological ruin owing to the Gestapo’s coercive actions, but also completely destitute as a result of the blanket confiscation [of their property]. Those Jews who, in spite of everything, still have some money on a savings or a bank account are now faced with the universal ruling by which such assets are completely frozen for the time being. It must be said, to name just one example, that even the release of the not inconsiderable cash reserves and property of the Jewish Community was unable to be effected to date, despite presenting the case repeatedly to the German authorities. Yet the release of these assets alone could have substantially contributed to mitigating the financial distress of the Jews in Berlin. The Jews are indeed greatly indebted to those who liberated them from the clutches of the Gestapo yet the current situation nonetheless remains extremely grim, and that is why those Jews who are not bound to Germans by family ties have no other wish but to leave this country which has inflicted such ignominy on them, and to invest their labor and diligence in beginning a new life in a new homeland. A further wish of these Jews is to enter into contact with those of their relatives already abroad and send them a sign of life. We have no material at our disposal that would allow us to judge how many Jews are still alive in Europe and wish to emigrate. As far as we have been able to ascertain, Romania is the country with most Jews today; here, the evacuation of only a relatively small number was effected. The number of Jews in the eastern marginal states [of the former Reich] is small. According to reports from the concentration camps, most of the Jews in Riga, for example, were murdered. The number of survivors is said to be 4,000. The number of surviving Jews in Poland is estimated to be 45,000. With this portrayal of the present situation of the Jews we address to the world the urgent appeal: help us build a new life abroad. Erich Zwilsky Head of the Jewish Hospital in Berlin
  • Type: Typescript
  • External Link: http://objekte.jmberlin.de/object/jmb-obj-199305
  • Inventarnummer: 2003/141/110

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