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American Consul Samuel Honaker's Description of Anti-Semitic Persecution and Kristallnacht and its Aftereffects in the Stuttgart Region (November 12 and November 15, 1938)

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Arrests and Other Persecutive Activities.

It has been learned from reliable sources that practically the entire male Jewish population of the city of Stuttgart, ranging from the age of eighteen to sixty-five years, has been arrested by authorities representing the police. In most cases the arrests are reported to have been effected by two policemen wearing civilian clothes. These arrests included many prominent Jewish businessmen and several consuls of foreign states, among whom the most notable is the Danish Consul General for Württemberg. All of the arrested persons were immediately conducted to police headquarters and then placed in cells. During the course of November 11th some of the persons arrested were transported to Welzheim, which is the most important concentration camp in Württemberg. Arrests were also made as late as 10 A.M. on Saturday, the 12th of November. It is understood that the latter arrests consisted very largely of young men living in rural districts, who have since been brought to police headquarters in Stuttgart.

In several small places in Württemberg, notably in Rexingen, Buttenhausen, and Laupheim, Jews have been prohibited from leaving their homes since the 10th of November. They are not permitted to receive or send mail. Unconfirmed reports are even to the effect that these persons are having difficulty in securing food, and in some cases it has been reported that farmers have been slipping food to them through the back doors of their homes.

In Heilbronn an order was issued Friday (November 11th) prohibiting Jews from entering cinemas in that city. Early on the morning of the 10th of November a number of Jews who had been arrested were forced to march in the streets of Kehl two by two, reporting in chorus: “We are guilty of the murder in Paris and we are traitors to Germany.” Among there were ex-servicemen, some of whom had been wounded during the Great War, and some of whom had received war decorations.

At the time of writing this report it seems as if arrests in rural districts have not been as widespread as in the city of Stuttgart. Many Jewish men, some of whom are of excellent business standing, are reported to have left their homes on Thursday and to have disappeared in the meantime. Their friends assume that they are wandering about, in the hope that possibly the storm will blow itself out and they will be left unmolested. It is reported that, in such cases, the police have left word with their families that the missing men should report to police headquarters as soon as they appear at their homes. Naturally, there are rumors of many suicides, especially of elderly Jewish men, but so far reports of this kind have not been confirmed.

Although the writer has spoken with the proprietors of homes which have been demolished in other parts of Germany during the last few days, no attacks on private houses and apartments occupied by Jews in Württemberg have been reported in the case of Stuttgart, with the exception of two isolated instances. It is known, however, that the Jewish State Orphans’ Asylum in Esslingen, which is only about six miles from Stuttgart, has been forcibly evacuated and the children chased out into the streets. Many families, the males of which have been arrested, are without any money and are now being assisted by more fortunate Jewish families. Jewish organizations have not been able to extend aid during the last few days, for their offices have been closed and their funds sequestered.

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