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Anti-semitic Signposts In Germany

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#1 tinkerbells

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 11:47 AM


Please can you tell me if the Gauleiter was responsible for erecting anti-Semitic signs such as "Jews not welcome here" in German towns and villages. Would he have been following party orders or acting on his own initiative? Or would ordinary Germans have been involved in putting up such signs, acting on their own initiative?

Hope you can help. Many thanks,


#2 Mr. D. Bryant

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:01 PM

The short answer is probably both, but I have not been able to find a definitive reference.

The signs at the entrances to towns were brought in in 1935, as part of the escalating measures against Jews. The use of "Juden unerwuenscht" signs spread rapidly, being seen in shop windows, restaurants, swimming baths etc. I am pretty sure that the Nazi Party was responsible for the original orders. However, I also think that individual Germans were happy to put up such signs without necessarily being told to do so. At the Nuremburg Trials a blockleiter was asked on whose authority the signs were put up, but replied that he did not know. Either he was lying or, because he was only appointed during the Second World War, he was not in a position to know. His testimony is transcribed here, for example. What is certain is that, in the run up to the Olympics in 1936, prominent signs were ordered to be taken down. There is a reference to this on page 133 of 'Das Dritte Reich und die Juden: die Jahre der Verfolgung 1933-1939' by Saul Friedlšnder.

Interestingly, there is an example of such a sign in the Imperial War Museum. It has been bent in two at some time in the past, whether by someone after the Nazis, or by the townsfolk trying to hide it in 1944/5 I don't know.

#3 tinkerbells

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 07:05 PM

Thank you very much for your help. It is really appreciated.

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