The German Jews in America
A Minority Within a Minority
A Minority Within a Minority
In 1656, twenty-three Jews arrived
in New Amsterdam, later New York, from Recife in Brazil. They were the first
Jewish community settled in North America. Other Portuguese and Spanish speaking
Jews came later.
A much larger immigration of Jews
came from Germany, principally during the 19th century after the
revolutions of 1848 had failed. These German Jews came together with thousands
of other Germans and settled not only in East Coast cities but also all over the
United States. The early Jewish settlers were mainly peddlers who later
established the first department stores in the United States. By the beginning
of the 20th century there were about 40,000 German Jews in America.
They were well received by the overwhelming Protestant majority, as they
exhibited many of the attributes of the Calvinist culture then most common in
the United States
second immigration of German Jews to the United States was provoked by
the ascent of Hitler and the persecution of German Jews beginning in January of
1933. At once Jewish stores were boycotted, Jews were beaten in the streets,
Jews were prohibited from working and earning a living , all Jewish bank
accounts were confiscated, synagogues were burned down, and Jews were sent to
concentration camps in Dachau, Ravensbruck, Bergen-Belsen, and several other
places, all in Germany.
were at that time 680,000 Jews living among about 72 million Christians in
Deutschland. At once Jews applied to the American consulates for visas to come
to the United States. It would have been possible to rescue all German Jews
under the quota system then enforced.
The German quota was so large at
that time because Germans had come to the United States since revolutionary
days. Unfortunately for the German Jews, Franklin Roosevelt had become president
of the United States in 1933. A determined enemy of the Jewish people, Roosevelt
ordered the State Department to cut the German Jewish immigration to a minimum.
In this Roosevelt was helped by
the American Jewish community under the leadership of Rabbi Stephen Wise. Rabbi
Wise was at that time the president of all major American Jewish organizations.
For that reason, Roosevelt had befriended him because Roosevelt wanted Wise to
deliver the Jewish vote to him and the Democrats. Thereupon Stephen Wise held
numerous speeches and wrote articles in which he claimed that the German Jews
were exaggerating their persecution and should not be allowed into the United
States. Nevertheless a few German Jews came to America before the United States
entered the Second World War in December 1941, when nearly nine years had passed
since the Nazis had taken over the German government.
During all these years, the
American Jewish community, with few exceptions, voted
for Roosevelt and supported his policies against the German Jews. There
can be no question as to the complicity of Franklin Roosevelt and his supporters
in the mass murder of the German Jews, who were deliberately kept from coming to
the United States and from escaping
certain death. Even when only 900 German Jews sought to enter the United States
after the ship St. Louis was not allowed to land in Cuba despite visas allowing
the Jews to enter that country, Roosevelt refused to allow these Jews to find
refuge here. The ship returned to Germany and the American Jews kept voting for
After the Second World War, only
5000 German Jews had survived in that country. These 5000 were almost all
married to non-Jews.
In 1956, the newly established
German government, now a democracy, allotted some money to a New York committee
of American Jews for the purpose of establishing in the United States libraries
or other institutions commemorating the Jewish communities which had been
destroyed by reason of the Nazi persecutions. The New York committee allocated
money to the Polish Jews, the Russian Jews, the Lithuanian Jews, and all other
Jewish communities exterminated and murdered. The committee, however, refused to
allocate any of these funds to commemorate the German Jews. Indeed, there is
today in New York the Leo Baeck library commemorating German Jews. The money for that library was collected in Israel, because American Jews
refused to even give German Jews what was rightfully theirs according to the
German government request.
Today, in 2019, there are very few
German Jews in America who came during the 1930s. This tiny minority within the
American Jewish community has reached old age. Their erstwhile existence is
obliterated and unrecognized and resented by the overwhelming American Jewish
establishment, who to this day support the enemies of the Jewish people and the
enemies of Israel.