Radio Broadcast By Karl Kaufmann: “Against the Lies of Our Enemies about Supposed Events in Hamburg,” Reichssender Hamburg, March 29, 1933

English Translation

    [00:16-00:50]


    National compatriots, in its fourteen-year struggle against the red and gold International,
    the National Socialist movement has constantly pointed out that both Social Democrats and Jews have
    invariably used their international connections to harm the German people and to act against the German homeland
    before the war, during the war, and after the war. These historical facts can be proven by a large amount of
    incontrovertible evidence.


    [03:58-06:17]


    Today no one has laid a finger on a single Jew. When not one of
    the many responsible
    [italicized passages are very muted and hard to understand] agitators of Social Democracy
    [italicized passages are very muted and hard to understand] has been held responsible, both
    international Jews and international [italicized passages are very muted and hard to understand] Social Democrats use
    their international ties and connections in treasonous ways in order to have
    lies and horror propaganda against Germany spread abroad in a manner that
    defies description and is an unprecedented slap in the face of truth. These
    circles should know, however, that the meekness of a national government may have
    its limits and that the actions of both international Jewry and international
    Social Democracy may be turned into a terrifying weapon by those involved in Germany
    and will be used to retaliate against the authors of these actions operating in foreign countries. It will
    retaliate if these organizations do not employ all means of reporting the
    truth about the situation in Germany and if they do not use their influence
    in order to put an end to this untrue, lost [05:20: unclear (articulation)
    perhaps: dishonest], and dangerous horror propaganda being spread abroad. The
    government’s counteractive measure will first consist in allowing the
    boycott campaign against Jews in Germany to continue as long as foreign governments fail
    to take any measures against the mendacious campaign run by the Jews and the Social Democrats.
    In our opinion, this will act as an effective defense; that this
    measure, like all measures by the NSDAP, will be carried out in peace and with orderliness,
    without violence, without laying a finger on anyone is the natural
    imperative of National Socialist, unfailingly practiced discipline.


    [10:32-12:47]


    Exemplary [?] of this taste of Social Democrat mendacity is the outrageous agitation in
    America and Paris by the Jewish professor from Germany, Einstein.
    Don’t try to tell us that you do not have any influence on these circles from
    here. If the will existed, it would have long been possible for the German Jews,
    apart from [...], names, declarations, I would like to recall the declaration by Hamburg’s
    Israelite community
    that they would use their foreign connections
    in order to ensure that the truth about Germany is being publicized abroad. Here is striking evidence
    that a well-known Jew from Germany stoops to spreading
    outrageous lies abroad. From this fact, too, follows the right and the duty of the national government to
    permit the counteractive measures by the people’s movement until the
    governments of those countries in which this horror propaganda is being spread will do
    what is necessary in order to calm things down and acknowledge the truth. In his major speech
    before parliament, Reich Chancellor Adolf Hitler has declared that he wants to live in peace and unity
    with the other countries of the world. The dangerous ramifications of this agitation through
    lies and horror propaganda spread abroad become evident in an inquiry
    made during Prime Minister’s Questions in the English House of Commons. In this session, the English Prime Minister
    MacDonald was asked in all seriousness whether he could confirm a report on the execution or
    murder of fourteen hundred  [1.400] people in Hamburg alone.


    [13:24-17:10]


    When Hamburg’s Israelite community ends its declaration
    with the sniveling sentence: “With God’s help German Jews will succeed at
    overcoming antisemitism,” we can only advise Hamburg’s Israelite community
    to make sure that all reasons and conditions which had to lead to antisemitism
    are eliminated posthaste. The required positive measures should be taken by
    Jewry in Germany on their own initiative. For us there is no negative Jewish question, but
    only one in a positive sense. When the middle class today finds its existence dead and buried
    while Jewish department stores are mushrooming everywhere, when Germany’s
    academic youth, relegated to the ranks of the proletariat, waits for work to no avail while
    Jewry is represented in the legislature, medicine, and law in a percentage
    disproportionate to the Jewish population in Germany, one can
    hardly call Germans’ demand for equality in their own homeland
    Antisemitism. This demand made of the Jewish guests in our nation is an
    inviolable and inalienable right of all German national compatriots. A few
    short examples: According to information from the statistical office,
    Hamburg’s Jewish population represents 1.7% of Hamburg’s total
    population, so less than 2%. However, at the municipal court
    the quota of Jews is 10%, at the provincial court it is 20%, at the
    higher regional court it is 30%, among senate presidents it is 50%, and among
    attorneys it is 43%. Circumstances are even worse among
    physicians. In Hamburg’s [15:45] Medical Association, Jews,
    who represent 1.7% of the city’s population, are represented with 30.9%.
    The skilled trades and mid-size businesses are hurt by department stores through
    the abuse of the freedom of trade in a manner which, for the sake of justice
    and protecting the national economy, can no longer be quietly tolerated
    in the future. Thus it is not of the Jews, but
    simply a matter of reestablishing equality for the Germans in their own
    homeland when it is demanded that in future, Jews should only
    be represented in proportion to their share of the total population […]. As
    NSDAP officer in charge of the municipality of Hamburg, I want
    to make it absolutely clear that the nature of our legal measures will depend on the
    manner in which [17:00] the horror propaganda against Germany spread abroad
    will taper off. A word to Hamburg’s press on this matter: [17:10]


    Source Description

    This radio address by Karl Kaufmann, NSDAP Gauleiter in Hamburg, which was broadcast on March 29, 1933 by Norddeutscher Rundfunk, was part of a nationwide campaign which culminated in the “boycott against Jews” of April 1, 1933. His address provides insight into the National Socialist image of “the Jews.” They are characterized as an internationally operating minority who knew no national loyalties but instead acted in a manner that was “treasonous against the fatherland." In his address Kaufmann justifies the call for a boycott of Jewish businesses by portraying it as a defensive reaction to the “horror propaganda” spread by “international Jewry.” In contrast to the general tenor of the campaign, Kaufmann not only attacks the Jews but also devotes a considerable part of his airtime to Social Democrats, whom he characterizes as internationally operating “traitors of the fatherland,” just like the Jews. In order to prove his accusation of “horror propaganda” being spread, Kaufmann refers to critical remarks made by Albert Einstein about National Socialism, to an inquiry made by an MP in the British House of Commons, and to a flyer printed by Czechoslovak Social Democrats. Other passages of the address attack German Jews and especially Jewish lawyers, physicians, and department store owners, who—Kaufmann suggests—were responsible for the existential problems faced by young academics and small businesses. Kaufmann’s address ends with a call for discipline directed at his fellow party members and with threats directed at the press as well as at potential “rabble-rousers.” The entire address was more than 22 minutes long. The excerpts selected here mainly show Kaufmann legitimizing the antisemitic policy implemented by the National Socialist regime while it established itself.
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    Recommended Citation

    Radio Broadcast By Karl Kaufmann: “Against the Lies of Our Enemies about Supposed Events in Hamburg,” Reichssender Hamburg, March 29, 1933 (translated by Insa Kummer), edited in: Key Documents of German-Jewish History, <https://dx.doi.org/10.23691/jgo:source-94.en.v1> [September 22, 2017].