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Antisemitism in Tourist Facilities in Weimar Germany

Jacob Borut

  1. Fritz Fischer, Griff nach der Weltmacht: Die Kriegszielpolitik des Kaiserlichen Deutschland 1914-1918 (Düsseldorf: Droste Verlag, 1962). Fischer’s latest book, summing up his views, is appropriately entitled Hitler war kein Betriebsunfall (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1992).
  2. Christoph Nonn, “Zwischenfall in Konitz: Antisemitismus und Nationalismus im preussischen Osten im 1900,” in Jacob Borut and Oded Heilbronner, eds., German Antisemitism Reconsidered (Hebrew) (Tel Aviv: Am Oved, 1999) (in press). The studies he refers to are: Stephan Rohrbacher, Gewalt in Biedermeier: Antijüdische Ausschreitungen in Vormärz und Revolution (1815- 1848/9) (Frankfurt\Main: Campus, 1993); James Harris, The People Speak! Antisemitism and Emancipation in Nineteenth Century Bavaria (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994).
  3. This article is part of a wider project concerning everyday Antisemitism in Germany during the Weimar period, done under the auspices of the Vidal Sassoon International Center for the Study of Antisemitism at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
  4. Hans-Werner Prahl and Albrecht Steinecke, Der Milionnen-Urlaub. Von der Bildungsreise zur totalen Freizeit (Darmstadt: Luchterhand, 1979); Ursula A. J. Becher, Geschichte des modernen Lebenstils (Düsseldorf: Schwann, 1986), chap. 4, esp. pp. 198-211, 218-219.
  5. Christine Keitz, “Die Anfänge des modernen Massentourismus in der Weimarer Republik,” Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 33 (1993), pp. 179-209; idem, “Grundzuege einer Sozialgeschithte des Turismus in der Zwiscenkreigszeit,” in Peter J. Brenner ed., Reisekultur in Deutschland: von der Weimarer Republic zum “Dritten Reich” (Tűbingen : Max Nimeyer, 1997), pp. 49-71; Becher, Geschichte des modernen Lebenstils, pp. 216-217, 219- 221; Hasso Spode, “‘der deutsche Arbeiter reist’:Massentourismus im dritten Reich,” in Gerhard Huck, ed., Sozialgeschichte der Freizeit (Wuppertal: Hammer, 1980), pp. 284-289; idem, “Ein Seebad fűr Zwanzigtausend Volksgenossen. Zur Gramatik und Greschichte des Fordischen Urlaubs,” in Brenner, ed., Reisekultur pp.7-47.
  6. Keitz, “Die Anfänge des modernen Massentourismus,” pp. 187-188 ; Spode, “Seabad” pp. 19-20.
  7. Becher, Geschichte des modernen Lebenstils, p. 217; Prahl and Steinecke, Der Millionnen-Urlaub, pp. 31-32.
  8. Numerous such prospects were filed in the various files of the CV archive.(On their widespread distribution, see Keitz, “Grundzűge” p.68). That archive, discovered in Moscow in 1991, has been recently made available to Western scholars through large microfilm collections located in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, in Washington, D.C., and the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People (CAHJP) in Jerusalem. The collection in Jerusalem is larger than the one in Washington and encompasses nearly the complete CV archive. This collection was the major source of the materials for this study, and I thank Hadassa Asulin of the CAHJP for allowing me access to the microfilms. As those microfilms were not cataloged by the time of this study, the following references will cite only the file number and the microfilm frame number, preceded by the reference CVA.
  9. Plans of many hotels were printed in their brochures. The contents of the reading rooms—mainly if they provided antisemitic papers—were a point of discussion in several files in the CV archive.
  10. Quoted from a letter, CAHJP, CVA, file 2332, fr. 1053.
  11. Ibid., file 2340, fr. 2251.
  12. For examples, see ibid., file 2366, fr. 137 (a Jewish municipal physician in Berlin writing, in 1928, to the town council concerning Müritz in Mecklenburg, listed as a place where Jews were not welcome, noting that in his position he sent “almost daily” patients to that town, which received a lot of money from Berlin); ibid., file 2332, fr. 1029-1041, 1044-5 (the activities of Jewish leaders in the Reichsverband für Herren und Damenbekleidung concerning the annual meeting in Wiesbaden after a sharp rise in Nazi activities in that town).
  13. Ibid., file 2320, letter dated May 1,1931, fr. 2635.
  14. For ample information, see ibid., file 2342.
  15. Letter dated July 20, 1932, ibid., fr. 2436.
  16. Ibid., file 2342, fr. 2469-2470, 2513-4, and see also fr. 2609 and 2634.
  17. Ibid., fr. 2466-7. That stand characterized the late 1920s; in the mid-1920s, the position was more ambivalent.
  18. Ibid., fr. 2416-2417. That position changed in later years, and Berndt, now the mayor, declared, in 1936, that the town had no interest in Jewish visitors. CAHJP, CVA, file 2342, fr. 2728, and see the whole file on the treatment of Jews in Nazi times.
  19. Becher, Geschichte des modernen Lebenstils, pp. 213-214.
  20. Richard Hamilton, Who Voted for Hitler? (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1982), pp. 220-222.
  21. April 6,1922, CAHJP, CVA, file 2737, fr. 483.
  22. Hamilton, Who Voted for Hitler?, pp. 223-229; see other studies that reach that conclusion, as quoted by Hamilton in note 8, pp. 549-550.
  23. Ibid., p. 229.
  24. Letter from August 1925, CAHJP, CVA, file 2366, fr. 155, 159.
  25. Letter dated July 24, 1924; ibid., file 2334, fr. 1437-9.
  26. CAHJP, CVA, file 2366, fr. 150-151.
  27. Ibid., fr. 153.
  28. See, for example, Werner Teuber, Jüdische Viehhändler in Ostfriesland und in nördlichen Emsland 1871-1942 (Cloppenburg: Gunter Rünge Verlag, 1995), p. 96. On antisemitic tirades of the local preacher and the efforts to stop them, see Udo Beer, Die Juden, das Recht und die Republik (Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 1986), pp. 191-196.
  29. Albert Marx, Geschichte der Juden in Niedersachsen, (Hannover: Fackelträger, 1995), p. 183.
  30. Ibid.
  31. JTA Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 154, July 4, 1924, p. 5; no. 155, July 5, 1924, p. 3; no. 158, July 9, 1924, p. 3.
  32. JTA Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 154, July 4, 1924, p. 5; no. 182, August 6, 1924, pp. 1-2; vol. 6, no. 116, May 5, 1925, pp. 4-5.
  33. JTA Bulletin, vol. 6, no. 112, May 16, 1925, p. 1; no. 116, May 21, 1925, pp. 4-5.
  34. Wangerooge: CAHJP, CVA, file 2327, fr. 533; Bad Zinowitz: ibid., file 2405, microfilm HM2\8763, fr. 1312, 1323. See also the text of the “neue Zinnowitzlied,” ibid., fr. 1326.
  35. Ibid., file 2379, fr. 1220 and the form in fr. 1222.
  36. CAHJP, CVA, file 2366, fr. 150-151.
  37. The logic of that arrangement is not always clear. Some files are concerned with one locality, sometimes a small one, while other files include information about many localities, arranged alphabetically, and are very thick. A recent observer was surprised by the number of files dedicated to that subject: Dirk Walter, Antisemitische Kriminalität und Gewalt (Berlin: Dietz, 1998), p. 17.
  38. See the letter in CAHJP, CVA, file 2341, fr. 2398.
  39. See, for but one example, ibid., file 2318, fr. 2510-2512.
  40. Ibid., file 2340, fr. 2240-2269. This is the same case as that of the previously mentioned retarded child.
  41. Ibid., file 2341, fr. 2370-2377.
  42. Letter of September 21, 1928, ibid., file 2366, fr. 46.
  43. Ibid., file 2322, fr. 1327-1328. The Landesverband was the CV branch on a state or provincial level.
  44. Ibid., fr. 1302, 1307.
  45. Correspondence between the CV and the Israelitisches Familienblatt in 1931, in an effort to coordinate the lists (at least concerning one resort) is contained in ibid., file 2408.
  46. See Hamilton, Who Voted for Hitler?, pp. 220-222.
  47. The guests immediately left the hotel and demanded that the owner refund their deposit for the coming days. CAHJP, CVA, file 2375, fr. 761-762.
  48. Ibid., file 2375, fr. 818-819.
  49. See the extensive correspondence and a copy of the booklet in ibid., file 2393. On a booklet in Bad Reichenhall (Bavaria), see file 2391.
  50. Letter of June 25, 1931, ibid., file 2375, fr. 594-595.
  51. The local swimming pool was also filled with “shameful Gemeinheiten against Jews”; ibid., file 2342, fr. 2636-2637. For similar Nazi efforts in Bad Elster (Saxony), see ibid., microfilm HM2\8763, file 2413.
  52. See the case of Hahnenklee in the Harz mountains, already in September 1920; ibid., file 2340, fr. 2350-2351; and see the accusations raised against the local authorities for their efforts to fight such antisemitic measures; ibid., fr. 2345. The same practice was applied on the (wooden) bridge of Bad Tegernsee; ibid., file 2333, fr. 1393-1395.
  53. Bad Kreuznach and Bad Münster a. Stein; ibid., file 2372, fr. 326.
  54. Ibid., file 2332, fr. 1084.
  55. See, for example, a report concerning Bad Tegernsee; ibid., file 2333, fr. 1394-1395.
  56. September 26, 1926, ibid., file 2327, fr. 534-535.
  57. Letter, December 6, 1932, ibid., fr. 409.
  58. See the articles on the front pages of the weekly Das Wochenende of Wiesbaden, nos. 2, 3, 4, all from January 1929, calling on the Nazis not to carry out their public activities in the Kurviertel of that town. Copies of the last two articles are located in CAHJP, CVA, file 2332, fr. 1096-1097. See also a letter concerning the reaction of tourist authorities in Bad Elster (Saxony) to a Nazi march; ibid., microfilm HM2\8763, file 2413, fr. 2606-2608.
  59. See ibid., file 2342, fr. 2502.
  60. Ibid., file 2342, fr. 2497.
  61. See letter of June 22, 1930, ibid., file 2332, fr. 1010-1011.
  62. Wiesbadener Stadt-Nachrichten, June 21, 1930, ibid., fr. 1008.
  63. Ibid., file 2374, fr. 472.
  64. Ibid., file 2374, fr. 443, 445-446, 448.
  65. June 30, 1924, ibid., file 2328, fr. 638.
  66. March 1929, ibid., file 2332, fr. 1036, 1049-1053.
  67. Letter to the CV from August 23, 1932, ibid., file 2333, fr. 1366-1367.
  68. Ibid., file 2372, fr. 325-331.
  69. See ibid., and the following correspondence in that file.
  70. CAHJP, CVA, file 2340, fr. 2235-2237.
  71. The correspondence concerning these cases is located in ibid., file 2372.
  72. See an extensive correspondence about this doctor in ibid., file 2386. Not all doctors were openly antisemitic. In Bad Münster a. Stein, in the Rhineland, the local doctor was known to local Jews as an antisemite who had fought against their social integration and had tried to keep them out of the lucrative Kasino club. But he himself denied those accusations; see ibid., file 2372, fr. 330, 333-359.
  73. Copy in ibid., file 2330, fr. 873.
  74. Ibid., file 2331, fr. 983, and following letters in that file.
  75. For a case where Jewish children were insulted by Nazis in a sanatorium on the island of Wyk a. Föhr, see ibid., file 2318, letter dated April 17, 1924.
  76. Ibid., file 2375, fr. 605-606.
  77. Ibid., microfilm HM2\8763, file 2413.
  78. Letter from July 19, 1922; ibid., file 2329, fr. 866.
  79. Bad Reinerz: ibid., file 2390, fr. 1947-1992 (the incident took place in July 1925); Bad Oeynhausen (Westphalia): ibid., microfilm HM2\8762, file 2412, fr. 2460-2462 (August 1924); and see ibid., fr. 2483-2484, 2495, 2511-2518, for an earlier incident on a similar background. For another example of violence against a Jewish visitor, in the resort of Bad Wörishofen (in the Allgäu region of Bavaria) in July 1924, see ibid., file 2332, fr. 1257-1258.
  80. Report from July 11, 1926; ibid., microfilm HM2\8763, file 2405, fr. 1296.
  81. Letter of September 10, 1929; ibid., file 2340, fr. 2235-2237.
  82. For a report on the isle of Wangerooge, in 1926, see ibid., file 2337, fr. 534- 535; for reports about Rengsdorf (Rhineland), see file 2392; for a particularly pessimistic report about Bad Zinnowitz (Pommern) in 1931, which describes the place as completely controlled by Nazis, and that the few residents who tried to object were either boycotted “to the brink of starvation,” or ridiculed and considered insane, see file 2405, fr. 1243-1244. For an earlier report, see ibid., fr. 1296.
  83. Ibid., file 2340, fr. 2235-2237. Another example of the social seclusion of Jews is the case of a Jewish woman who travelled on vacation alone (not a common case) and had to leave her hotel after a few days because Christian guests in her hotel told the owner that they were not ready to sit near her during meals—and this was not in the north, but in the relatively tolerant Westphalia; ibid., microfilm HM2\8762, file 2412, fr.2474 (report concerning Bad Oeynhausen).
  84. Max Tau, Das Land das ich verlassen musste (Hamburg: Hoffmann und Campe, 1961), p. 113.
  85. Leo Löwenthal, Mitmachen wollte ich nie. Ein autobiographisches Gespräch mit Helmut Dubiel (Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 1980), p. 32; the same attitude was expressed by Robert Goldmann, Flucht in die Welt. Ein Lebensweg nach New York, (Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 1996), p. 87.
  86. May 13, 1922, CAHJP, CVA, file 2327, fr. 498.
  87. May 19, 1922, ibid., fr. 496.
  88. The date was apparently 1922, ibid., fr. 470.
  89. May 4, 1922, ibid., fr. 486.
  90. April 2, 1926, ibid., fr. 430.
  91. May 18, 1929, ibid., fr. 412.
  92. Ibid., fr. 486.
  93. July 31, 1921, CAHJP, CVA, file 2327, fr. 513.
  94. Letter from the CV to the hotel owner, November 17, 1921, ibid., file 2320, fr. 2709.
  95. Dresel, a dentist by profession, later became the chairman of the local Kurund Verkehrsverein, a post he held in 1931. He had frequent contacts with the CV concerning complaints about Antisemitism in local tourist facilities and acted as a sort of intermediary, trying to protect local tourist interests, but not to the point of supporting antisemites when there was clear evidence against them.
  96. CAHJP, CVA, file 2327, fr. 2703, 2705.
  97. June 1, 1922, ibid., fr. 2700-2701. See also in that file another case in Bad Neuenahr: a hotel owner who declared publicly that he was an antisemite and accepts no Jews, expressed his sorrow and said that this was said “in a mood of excitement,” and he did not mean it; ibid., fr. 2681, 2684.
  98. February 2, 1925, ibid., fr. 2685-2686.
  99. Letter of September 2, 1925, ibid., fr. 2674.
  100. Letter of May 11, 1926, ibid., fr. 2665.
  101. Letter of April 9, 1927, ibid., fr. 2663.
  102. Letter of April 11, 1927, ibid., fr. 2662.
  103. Letter from Landesverband Hannover to Berlin Centralle, March 23, 1930, ibid., file 2332, fr. 1016; see also frame 1014 and the ensuing correspondence.
  104. I intend to discuss this subject in a separate article.
  105. This is the claim of Anthony Kauders, German Politics and the Jews: Düsseldorf and Nuremberg 1910-1933 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996), whose findings are otherwise very similar to my own.
  106. “Every Jew, it seemed, was told by at least one non-Jewish friend: ‘If only every Jew were like you, there would be no Antisemitism...’ ”; Hainz Hartmann, Once a Doctor, Always a Doctor: The Memoirs of a GermanJewish Immigrant Physician (New York: Prometheus, 1986), p. 16.
  107. See the various articles in the forthcoming volume of Pinkas Ha-Kehillot - Germania (Hebrew) about the Hannover province, (forthcoming, 2001).
  108. See Kauders, German Politics and the Jews.
  109. Ibid., p. 184.
  110. Ulrich Herbert, “Vernichtungspolitik. Neue Antworten und Fragen zur Geschichte des ‘Hlokaust,’” in idem, ed., Nationalsozialistische Vernichtungspolitik 1939-1945: Neue Forschungen und Kontroversen, (Frankfurt/Main: Fischer, 1998), pp. 9-66, esp. pp. 63-65.