Tuesday 7 August 2007

A Prussian general’s remarks on the role of Jews in Germany

Paul von Hindenburg (1847-1934), Prussian general and war hero of World War I, served as president of the Weimar Republic from 1925 until his death in 1934, when Hitler took over the office of president.

“The imperial military rules and regulations [before 1919] that were discriminatory to the Jews of our country were not drawn up by me. As a subordinate to the high military command, I had to abide by these laws, of course. But let me assure you that I was never in favour of any discriminatory laws against any element of our citizenship. …

The Jewish people have given to humanity some of its greatest men. Germany is proud to have among its citizens a scholar of the calibre of Prof. Einstein. I do not need to tell you that in Germany your race has a significant share in the development of the German culture. …

Informed as I am of the multiple activities of the Jewish race, familiar with their history and coming in contact with the outstanding representatives of your race, I fully appreciate the part Jews play in Germany and all over the world in the advancement of humanity toward a better world. …

No, there is no room for intolerance and prejudice, if permanent world peace is to be established. That is why I granted you this interview, in spite of my aversion to talking to the press, in order to make it clear once and for all that democratic Germany will not tolerate any prejudice toward any race or creed.”

In an interview granted to Miriam Sterner, in American Jewish World, June 29, 1928
Anti-Semitism before the Holocaust, by Albert S. Lindemann, Longman 2000
Albert S. Lindemann is Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara

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