FW: Part IV Zionists And/As Nazis

Craven, Jim jcraven at clark.edu
Mon Apr 15 08:13:16 MDT 2002

>From Tom Segev "The Seventh Million: Israelis and the Holocaust"

"Senator [Werner Senator of the Jewish Agency] who was active in bringing
German Jews to Palestine, warned the Jewish Agency office in Berlin that if
it did not improve the quality of the 'human material' it was sending, the
agency was liable to cut back the number of certificates set aside for the
German capital. The immigrants from Germany enjoyed all sorts of special
benefits, Senator wrote. They received immigration certificates after only
six months of agricultural training, while in other countries up to two
years was required. Requests for family reunification from Germans with
relatives in Palestine were also quickly approved. All this required special
attention to the quality of immigrants, who should be true pioneers. Senator
was not referring to occasional errors in judgment, he assured his
colleagues; he was talking about a trend. More and more '
 ' welfare cases' were arriving from Germany, as well as too many
'businessmen with children' rather than single men and women.
  At one point it was decided that candidates above the age of thirty-five
would receive immigration certificates
 'only if there is no reason to believe that they might become a burden
here.' Accordingly they had to have a profession. 'Anyone who was a
merchant', the decision stated, or of similar employment, will not receive a
certificate under any circumstances, except in the case of veteran
Zionists.' This was in 1935. ' In days of plenty, it was possible to handle
this material [emphasis added]' , explained Yitzhak Gruenbaum. 'In days of
shortages and unemployment, this material [emphasis added] will cause us
many problems...We must be allowed to choose from among the refugees those
worthy of immigration and not accept them all.' " (p. 44)

Footnote: "In 1939 the world press followed the drama of the St Louis, a
boat carrying several hundred Jewish refugees from Germany.  No country
would give them asylum. The Joint Distribution Committee asked the Jewish
Agency to allot the passengers several hundred immigration certificates from
the quota. The Jewish Agency refused. In the end the refugees were allowed
into Antwerp. [note where many were exterminated after the takeover of
Belgium by the Nazis.]. (p. 44)

" German Jews who were given immigration permits 'merely as refugees' were
also considered 'undesirable human material' by Eliahu Dobkin, a Mapai
member of the Jewish Agency executive. 'I understand very well the special
situation in which the overseas institutions dealing with German refugees
find themselves, but I would like to believe that you would agree with me
that we must approach this question not from a philanthropic point of view
but from the point of view of the country's needs', Dobkin wrote to one of
his colleagues. 'My opinion is that from among the refugees we must bring
only those who meet this condition.' Leaders of the German immigrants
agreed. 'As I see it, 90 percent of them are not indispensible here', one of
them wrote to another." (pp 44-45)

"It was an incomparably cruel reality: every Jew who received an immigration
certificate during those years lived in Palestine knowing that some other
Jew who had not received that certificate had been murdered. This was the
basis for the sense of guilt that would later trouble so many Israelis who
escaped the Holocaust." (p 45)

to be continued...

Jim C

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