GHDI logo

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)

page 6 of 7    print version    return to list previous document      next document

Even consideration of religion has not prevented the arrest of persons of the Jewish race who were born and baptized as Christians. A typical example of this character is the arrest in Stuttgart of Dr. Gabriel, who until 1933 was the head of the Bureau of Academic Information at the University of Cologne. It is understood that Dr. Gabriel, who is said to have collaborated for some time with Professor Sprague of Columbia University, has been placed in a concentration camp at Welzheim, W├╝rttemberg.

So far as Stuttgart is concerned, I can state confidently that these so-called reprisals against the Jews were not a spontaneous movement originating from the people as a whole. In any event, the movement clearly seems to have been well organized and planned and carried out by persons having the confidence of the authorities. For instance, the fire brigade was stationed in the vicinity of the synagogue in Bad Cannstatt before the building was ever set on fire. Again, on Thursday morning (November 10th) while the demolition of Jewish shops was in full swing at Stuttgart, a new 12-cylinder Mercedes automobile carrying high S.S. officials drove up in front of the shops under devastation. These men made an inspection of what was going on, and apparently after giving their approval drove pompously away while the destruction continued.

Dr. Max Immanuel, a member of the board of the Berlin Credit Investment Company, who is said to have collaborated closely in the past with Herr Schacht, has informed me that all the interior furnishings of his sister's home in Nuremberg were completely destroyed. Nuremberg seems to have been the scene of much destruction and ill-treatment.

Only yesterday (Sunday, the 13th of November) the wife of a prominent Jew in Nuremberg whom I have known well for several years, and who has been of much assistance to me in connection with certain reports, called at my home in the hope that I could render some assistance in obtaining the release of her husband who was arrested [at] about 3.30 o'clock on the morning of November 10th. This lady told me that she had been awakened [at] about 1 o'clock by rude knocking and [the] ringing of her door bell. Men in S.A. uniform entered abruptly when the door was opened and immediately began to destroy the furnishings of the drawing room and dining room. Leather chairs were cut and stabbed with knives to such an extent that they are now practically worthless. China was thrown on the floor and broken. Not a piece of glassware was left unbroken in the apartment. When these men left, the interior of the building, except the bedrooms which they did not enter, were a mass of ruins.

This destruction did not satisfy the people responsible for it, for at approximately 4 a.m. two men dressed in civilian clothes and representing the police again called at her home and rudely demanded that her husband dress immediately. Her husband was placed under arrest and transported to prison. Although this lady is a person of some influence and has contact with the police at Nuremberg, she has not yet been able to ascertain to what prison or concentration camp her husband has been transported.

During the course of the day two people reported to me that the Jewish Old People's Home in Neustadt, Palatinate, had been burned to the ground and that about sixty inmates, all of whom were old people, and some of whom were ill and crippled and some just merely infirm from age, had been removed to the Jewish Old People's Home at Mannheim. There was really no accommodation for them in the latter institution and apparently they have been lying on the floor here and there in the building.

There are many similar stories, but I feel that you will be sufficiently informed to wish me now to turn to the immediate experiences which I have had during the past few days as the officer in charge of the Consulate at Stuttgart.

first page < previous   |   next > last page