Flashback: BDS circa April 1, 1933


1933 bild
Sounds eerily familiar. Anti-Jewish boycott then is today’s BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction):

April 3, 1933

Anti-jewish Boycott Opens Throughout Germany; Armed Nazis Picket Jewish Stores and Offices of Jewish JTA archives (thanks to Choi)



Berlin, Apr. 1 (JTA) –

Thirty thousand Nazis are picketing Jewish shops in Berlin today.
The city presents a strange spectacle. A stranger walking through the streets would be puzzled to know whether Berlin had suddenly been involved in a gigantic strike, or whether it had been placed under
martial law. Scores of motor lorries bearing anti-Jewish placards may be seen rushing through the streets. Platoons of marching Nazis, headed by brass bands, appear everywhere, either to take up positions outside
Jewish stores or as part of the general demonstration. In all towns there are parades of National Socialists, blocking the shopping quarters or ostensibly maintaining order and preventing the anti-Jewish boycott degenerating into violence.

Throughout Germany all Jewish shops, large and small, are closed, including those of Tietz. The Jewish shop windows have been pasted over with posters printed in German and English, bearing slogans such as “Germans, Defend Yourself Against Jewish Propaganda of Atrocities by Not Buying from Jews.” Leaflets are being distributed in the streets, recalling the innumerable slanders which are the general features of
Nazi propaganda.

Among the vilest of the propaganda is a new pamphlet distributed in the Berlin streets,
Naziboycottentitled “The Crimes of Jews Throughout History.” This pamphlet, which appears to be designed in view of the approaching
Passover, repeats the age-old calumny—that of Jewish ritual murder—and
declares that “Jews killed Christian children for Passover between the
Twelfth and Fifteenth Centuries.”

The boycott of Jewish professional men has not been overlooked. Throughout the country, the German Physicians’ Societies, Dentists’ Societies and Bar Associations have issued their proclamations and their
appeals to the public to shun Jewish doctors, dentists and lawyers. Here too, the Nazis are cooperating by picketing the offices of Jewish professional men and frightening away clients. Even Jewish hospitals
have not been overlooked, the Nazi pickets having been stationed at famous Jewish institutions, which for decades have been a by-word in Germany for medical efficiency and which have always received patients irrespective of creed.

In Berlin, as well as in most other parts of Germany from which reports have arrived, Nazi Storm Troops have been served out with carbines and posted outside Jewish shops, which failed to open this
morning, so that the armed Nazi pickets had nothing to do but to survey the general excitement prevailing in the business quarters.

True to their threats, the Nazis have, in many places, set up cameras outside large shops, ready to photograph clients who may dare to enter. Besides the cameras, large posters have been pasted up declaring that
the photographs of all those caught entering the boycotted shops, would be shown in the local cinemas that evening.

At the very last moment, the Nazi authorities, however, actually modified certain of the provisions of the boycott. Thus, the order instructing Christian employees to demand two months’ salary in advance from Jewish employers was countermanded yesterday, although in many cases, Christian employees had actually demanded and received two months’ salary on the previous day.

It is admitted, however, that the last-minute withdrawal of the instruction to demand two months’ salary is influenced more by solicitude for the German financial structure rather than humanitarian consideration. The Nazis obviously realized at the last minute that the
wide-spread withdrawal of vast sums of cash might seriously affect the financial structure. An indication of this may be seen in the fact that Jewish banks have not, for the time being, been subjected to the general boycott, obviously owing to the fear of the economic effects.

Not less harmful and dangerous than the boycott itself, is the series of inflamatory meetings called for this afternoon in every German town and city with the object of explaining the boycott and intensifying the anti-Jewish hatred. All Christian employees of Jewish shops have been ordered to meet at central points in their various cities in order to listen to the official explanation of the boycott, the story of how world Jewry is planning to destroy the Third Reich and international Jewry’s propaganda of hate, alleged to have incited the world against Germany in 1914, and preparing to do the same now.

The greatest of all these meetings will be held at the Lustgarten this afternoon, where thousands of uniformed Nazis and employees of Jewish businesses are to concentrate in order to listen to a harangue by Goebbels.

The significance of these meetings may be well understood from similar meetings held yesterday in Berlin and Munich. The Berlin meeting, which was addressed by Goebbels, now Minister of Propaganda and Enlightenment. Goebbels, addressing a gathering of many thousands, prefaced his address with a few words of the most bitter hatred, which aroused the whole crowd into a mad frenzy against the Jews and there were general cries of “Hang them! Hang them!” These cries were again repeated when Goebbels made some insulting references to Einstein and Feuchtwanger. “We have not hurt one Jewish hair,” Goebbels proclaimed, “but if New York and London carry out a boycott of our goods, we will take our gloves off.”

A similar meeting was held at Munich, which is now the headquarters of the boycott movement and where a Central Actions Committee, in charge
of the boycott, is located, was addressed by the notorious Julius Streicher, regarded as one of the bitterest anti-Semites in the Nazi Party. To a concourse of a hundred thousand Bavarians, he released himself of the vilest anti-Semitic epithets in the Nazis’ vocabulary, and made it clear that, in his view, the boycott was but a prelude to economic and political annihilation. Neither in the speech of Goebbels nor that of Streicher was there any sign that the Nazi leaders had any intention of relenting or even of preparing their followers for a climb-down. Nothing could be more significant and less premonitory of peace than Streicher’s outburst, which received tremendous applause from the vast multitude, “The Jews who crucified Christ are now themselves on the way to Golgotha.”

Although the announcement that the boycott was to be suspended this evening, may have produced a certain amount of relief abroad, it cannot be said that German Jewry shares such relief. The fact that the Nazi authorities had declared in advance that they are aware that Communists are preparing to provoke them by engaging in the plundering of Jewish shops, is regarded by many as showing that the Nazis themselves do not expect the so-called truce to pass off quietly….

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