Friday, March 30, 2012

Chronology of Jewish Persecution: Europe 1939

January 1939

Reichsbank President Hjalmar Schacht informs Adolf Hitler that Germany’s economy is on the verge of a disastrous inflation.

“Illegal immigration” begins from Germany to Palestine. 27,000 Jews will illegally immigrate by the end of 1940.

January 1

Jews are eliminated from the German economy; their capital is seized, though some Jews continue to work under Germans.

At the Buchenwald, Germany, concentration camp, Deputy Commandant Arthur Rödl orders several thousand inmates to assemble for inspection shortly before midnight. He selects five men and has them whipped to the melody played by the inmate orchestra. The whipping continues all night.

January 5

Germany declares Karaite Jews exempt from enforcement of the Nuremberg Laws.

January 17

Decree pertaining to the expiration of permits for Jewish dentists, veterinarians, and pharmacists.

January 24

Nazi Generalfeldmarschall Hermann Göring orders Reinhard Heydrich to establish a Jewish Emigration Office, and informs him to speed up the emigration of Jews. Heydrich appoints Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller to head it.

January 30

On the sixth anniversary of his appointment as chancellor, Hitler threatens in the Reichstag that if war breaks out, the result will be the extermination of Europe’s Jews. Ridiculing the Western Allies’ lack of humanitarian action in regard to the Jews, he notes that “it is a shameful spectacle to see how the whole democratic world is oozing sympathy for the poor, tormented Jewish people, but remains hard-hearted and obdurate when it comes to helping them.”

February 3

A bomb destroys a Budapest, Hungary, synagogue, killing one worshipper.

February 7-20

The St. James Palace Conference is held in London to find a peaceful solution to the political stalemate in Palestine. Jewish delegates withdraw when Arab delegates refuse to meet with their Jewish counterparts--and when British delegates support the Arab position.

February 9

Anti-Jewish legislation is passed in Italy.

February 10

Pope Pius XI dies. His unpublished encyclical on racism and antisemitism does not go beyond the Vatican’s traditional policy concerning Jews. This policy is based on the doctrine of St. Augustine that the Jews are Cains who must not be killed but who must wander in suffering for all eternity, until they see the light and choose conversion to Roman Catholicism.

February 20

The German-American Bund stages a rally in New York City. About 20,000 enthusiasts attend; they come mostly from Father Charles Coughlin’s Christian Front.

February 21

Nazis require Jews to relinquish all their gold and silver.

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