1 1 0 D O C . 3 0 I M M I G R A T I O N F R O M T H E E A S T
29. “Immigration from the East”
Published 30 December 1919
In: Berliner Tageblatt, 30 December 1919, Morgen-Ausgabe, p. 2.
Among the German public voices are increasingly heard that demand legal mea-
sures against Eastern European Jews. It is claimed there are 70,000 Russian, i.e.,
Eastern European Jews, in Berlin alone; and these Eastern European Jews are al-
leged to be profiteers, black marketers, Bolsheviks, or elements that are averse to
work. All these arguments call for the most sweeping measures, i.e., herding all im-
migrants into concentration camps or expelling them.
Measures that devastate so many individuals must not be triggered by slogan-
like assertions, even less so as objective reexamination has shown that we have here
a case of agitation by demagogues that does not reflect the actual situation and is
not a suitable means for counteracting existing wrongs. Agitation against Eastern
European Jews especially raises suspicion that calm judgment is being dimmed by
strong anti-Semitic instincts and, simultaneously, that a specific method is chosen
which, by influencing the mood of the people, diverts from the true problems and
from the real causes of the general calamity.
As far as is known, an official inquiry by the authorities that would undoubtedly
reveal the baselessness of the accusations has not been conducted. It may very well
be true that 70,000 Russians live in Berlin; but according to competent observers,
only a small fraction of them are Jews, while the overwhelming majority are of
German descent. According to authoritative estimates, not more than 15,000 Jews
have immigrated from the East since the signing of the peace treaty. Almost with-
out exception they were forced to flee by the horrible conditions in Poland and to
seek refuge here until they are given an opportunity to emigrate elsewhere. Hope-
fully, many of them will find a true homeland as free sons of the Jewish people in
the newly established Jewish Palestine.
It is quite likely that there are Bolshevist agents in Germany, but they undoubt-
edly hold foreign passports, have at their disposal ample funds and cannot be seized
by any administrative measures. The big profiteers among the Eastern European
Jews have certainly, long ago, taken precautions to elude arrest by officials. The