5

What was the stance of Nazi doctrine (officially or otherwise) towards pro-Nazi Jews? How did this attitude change (if at all) from the early-mid 30s to the early 40s?

To illustrate one example where this question might have been relevant, imagine a person who was a staunch supporter of Nazism who discovered he was Jewish. What are possible actions this person could have taken if he wanted to do the 'right thing' according to Nazism?

  • 1
    Would it help if I modified my original question by removing my reference to Hitler and instead asked about Nazism's stance towards Nazi Jews? @LateralFractal started an interesting response to what I believe is an on-topic question for this website. Specifically, what are examples (if they exist) of documents 'describing what was expected of pro-Nazi Jews'? – JustAsking Nov 5 '14 at 0:08
  • Yes I believe the less personal the question, the more likely the question is answerable - which doesn't mean the history.se membership has an answer or an answer even exists; but no longer close fodder in my opinion. At current it sounds a little like an evil twin version of "What would Jesus do?" – LateralFractal Nov 5 '14 at 0:11
  • I do not understand why this has been closed. I good question AFAIK. Please vote for reopen, I can try to answer. – Anixx Nov 5 '14 at 5:39
  • It was the earlier version of the question that was closed @Anixx (check the revision history). In any case, the question is open now. – yannis Nov 5 '14 at 14:52
  • 1
    Thanks for taking the time to improve the question @JustAsking. – yannis Nov 5 '14 at 14:53
7

The Nazi doctrine was to eliminate all Jews sooner or later, no matter what were their views.

But the Nazis of course could protect some selected Jews, based on whether they were useful rather than their attitude, but this usually meant only that they will come for them later.

Note also that the various Nazi institutions could conduct different policy, sometimes contradicting each other. The only thing that could be guaranteed is that the position of the Jews could not be better than was written in the adopted laws. Thus some institutions that employed Jews often came under disappointment as new restrictive laws were adopted.

That said, you can consider for instance Julius Pokorny, an autor of the largest dictionary of the Proto-Indo-European language till today. He was a German patriot and supporter of German nationalism. He was issued a certificate of no complaints from a local NSDAP office and even managed to receive the state pension. But by 1935 he was fired due to the law. He lived in Germany till 1943 when the new regulations made his existence in Germany a legal grey zone. At this time he was invited to Switzerland to make lectures there.

In general German Jews were required to go to "labor service", they were told that while Germans fight, Jews are obliged to work (which at first glance looked quite just). But upon crossing the German border the Jews were stripped of German citizenship. Then they were sent to the ghettos. And then Nazis required each ghetto provide people for "resettlement to the East", that is murder.

Whether supporting Nazism could improve conditions for a particular Jew is not clear. In some cases more loyal Jews were appointed at some ghetto positions. For instance, the head of the Warsaw ghetto police was a baptized Jew and apparently an anti-semite. But this was not a general rule, usually the leading positions in ghettos were occupied by more authoritative, prominent and trusted by the masses people rather than just super-Nazi-loyal (because the Nazis themselves understood that a stunch Nazi loyalist would have troubles in ruling the Jews).

As such the most Jews who lived in ghettos were required to sign to the ideology "we will work hard so that Germany needed us so they would not kill us for longer time, and maybe then something will change (Nazis change plans, Hitler dead or anything else)" rather than supporting Nazism (and open support for Nazism would most likely lead to even earlier deportation to the death camps).

There was also a distinguished ghetto, Teresienstadt, which the Nazi propaganda portrayed as a prosperous Jewish settlement. The most prominent German Jews and those who had WWI decorations would have been sent there. But the ghetto became overcrowded over time and many Jew were sent to other places. As in other ghettos it was up to Jews themselves to decide whom to deport.

That said, even the most loyal ghetto leadership and employees were sooner or later sent to the death camps.

  • Certain people could get their Jewishness "laundered" by the authorities but this was not common. – Oldcat Nov 5 '14 at 18:29
  • @Oldcat only temporarily – Anixx Nov 5 '14 at 18:38
  • They let some Jews run, mostly wealthy families or as part of the bargain for cooperation of the community leaders, but generally that also meant exile (or more like escape) from German occupied territories. – Greg Nov 5 '14 at 19:10
  • And don't forget personal friends of senior party officials who were given false papers to hide their Jewish nature, in large part because acknowledgment of being friends with a Jew would be an embarassment to the senior official. – jwenting Nov 11 '14 at 7:24
1

One famous example is Erhard Milch (30 March 1892 – 25 January 1972) who was a German field marshal who oversaw the development of the Luftwaffe as part of the re-armament of Nazi Germany following World War I. Milch's father was Jewish but this fact was hidden by Hermann Göring. It is also possible his mother was Jewish and that would make him fully Jewish. Keep in mind that Jews in Germany was well-integrated and many saw themselves as Germans first. And in the military their job was to follow out orders, not to question political decisions.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.