The Gathering Storm

26 April 1923

The Anti-Semitic Movement in Central Germany

By Kurt Sabatsky, District Leader within the Centralverein

The population of Germany has been particularly prone to political extremes since the revolution. This was proved by the Communist uprising in 1921, which found a large following here. So it is no wonder that, especially encouraged by the ever-increasing economic difficulties, wide swathes of the population of central Germany also joined the radical right-wing movement either in the form of National Socialism, the German Social Party or the German People’s Freedom Party.

The focal point of fascism in Central Germany is to be found in Strassfurt, where under the direction of Hans Hottenrot[1] the “Mitteldeutsche Presse” appears, a paper of the very worst tone. Since the paper’s political agitation was in many cases also connected with attacks on the existing form of government, the Chief President of the Province of Saxony has already seen fit to ban the paper six times on the basis of the law for the protection of the republic, and the State Court in Leipzig has given Mr Hottenrott the opportunity for a few years of inner reflection. Here is just one of the many stylistic blunders that are repeated daily in every single issue of the “Mitteldeutsche Presse“, not only in political articles, but also in almost all local reports and features. For example, Mr. Hottenrott recently wrote that the Jews, who had created the ‘Soviet dictatorship’ in Bavaria, had the tongues of 69 Catholic clergymen cut out there during Communist rule.

It should be noted that nationalists have been responsible for systematic agitation in all workers’ trains, and so there is hardly a workers’ train from Magdeburg to Schönebeck or to Burg in which the agitators are not stirring up against the Jews.

In Halberstadt the National Socialists have recently attempted to undertake a major action under the leadership of the notorious editor of the weekly magazine ‘Sturm‘ in Hanover, which is also widely distributed in Central Germany, Herr (Georg) Quindel[2]. Quindel appeared there with a group of former officers and students, some of whom had come from as far away as Munich, and whipped up a wild and dangerous antisemitic and anti-state agitation at a meeting of trusted members of the Völkisch movement.

The fact that Halle is contaminated in an evil way does not need to be emphasised, because given Halle’s character as a university town, this must unfortunately be taken for granted today. But here, too, certain national socialist currents are already noticeable in the working class. In the Leunawerke[3], which is located between Werseburg and Weissenfels and became famous for its communist rebellion[4], fascism is spreading among the employees and is tolerated by the factory management.

The Mansfeld mining district[5] has also been heavily worked on by the Völkisch. The German agitator Dolle[6] travelled around there, telling the miners the fairy tale of ritual murder and other horror stories about the Jews.

The northern part of central Germany, the Altmark, is agrarian, and in this part, too, Radau-antisemitismus[7] is making itself vividly felt. In Gardelegen[8], Jewish shopkeepers recently had their windows smashed and their shop-window signs soiled and demolished. They didn’t even hesitate to destroy the signs of Jewish doctors. The “Salzwedeler Wochenblatt” was published in Salzwedel, and its Jew-baiting contributed to the creation of such an atmosphere of hooliganism in the Altmark.

It goes without saying that the Centralverein is doing everything in its power to counter this agitation, which not only poses a grave danger to Jewish Germans, but also to the peace and security of the state in general, and that attempts are being made to inform wide circles of the Christian population of all classes about the reprehensibility of Jew-hatred. However, education and defence can only be successful if all Jewish Germans are aware of the danger that arises from the völkisch activities and do not allow themselves to be surpassed by their mortal enemies in their willingness to sacrifice.

[1] Check WHL Hans Ignaz Hottenrott acquired the Strassfurter Tageblatt and re-named it the Mitteldeutscher Presse und Strafurter Tageblatt on 1 November 1918, and steered it into a radical rightwing and antisemitic newspaper

[2] Fanatic antisemite and anti-bolshevist, publicist, Hannover

[3] The Leuna Works is one of the largest chemical industrial complexes in Germany.

[4] The Communist Workers’ Party of Germany KPD instigated a strike throughout the works in 1921.

[5] A region in the south-west corner of the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

[6] Heinrich Dolle was an antisemitic author and agitator.

[7] Roughly translated as ‘radical antisemitism’ evolved in the 19th century and was characterised by a particularly violent form of harassment which hadn’t been sanctioned by the state.

[8] Town in Saxony-Anhalt

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