Nuremberg is a city in the German state of Bavaria, and forever synonymous with the Nazi rallies which were held annually from 1927 to 1938, the infamous Nuremberg Racial Laws and the home of Julius Streicher the publisher of Der Sturmer, which was fiercely anti-Semitic.
Jews had lived in Nuremberg from the 12th century, the Jewish community knew periods of prosperity and growth, as well as riots and expulsions, in 1922 the Jewish community was 9,280 the second largest in Bavaria.
Many of Nuremberg’s Jews were affluent merchants, industrialists, bankers and professionals. Their situation took a turn for the worse after the founding in Nuremberg of Der Sturmer, the notorious Nazi weekly newspaper, by Julius Streicher in 1923.
This was also the year of Hitler’s putsch attempt in Munich, and 1923 young uniformed Nazi’s roamed the streets of Nuremberg attacking hundreds of Jews and desecrated the Jewish cemetery. One Jew died of his wounds, during these disturbances.
The Reich Union of Jewish Frontline Soldiers reacted by posting armed guards at Jewish community institutions, riots against Jews continued and intensified after the Nazis success in the 1930 elections.
In Nuremberg assaults on the Jewish community after the Nazis rise to power were worse than in other German cities, on the 20 July 1933, SA storm-troopers broke into four hundred Jewish houses and confiscated cash and savings accounts; some 300 Jews, most of them members of the fraternal order B’Nai B’rith were arrested by the SA, herded into empty lots in the suburbs, and beaten up.
From the beginning of the Nazi regime in January 1933 until the 31 March 1934, 1,476 Jews left Nuremberg. The rate decreased sharply thereafter, and in the year beginning April 1937, only 298 Jews left the city.
The Nazis efforts to rid the city of its Jews were countered by the Jews radical re-organisation of their religious, educational, cultural, and social life, with the object of making themselves independent of their hostile environment.
At the same time the Jewish community organisation’s revenue and expenditures increased, unlike those of other Jewish communities in Germany. This was made possible by the Jews generally strong economic condition, with 728 Jewish enterprises still in existence at the end of 1936.
On the 8 November 1937 an exhibition opened in the city, “The Eternal Jew,” portraying the Jew as a taskmaster for international Bolshevism, aimed at enslaving Germany within the Soviet system.
On the 10 August 1938 on the orders of Streicher, the Great Synagogue and the adjacent Jewish community building were torn down, under the pretext “that they were spoiling the look of the city.” The synagogue’s Jewish Stone, a remnant of a medieval synagogue that served as the base for the Holy Ark, was saved by a non-Jewish architect.
On Kristallnacht, which took place throughout the Reich, at 2.00am, SA men armed with sticks gathered in the main city square and set fire to the Adas Israel synagogue, and the Ahiezer prayer hall.
Gangs of Nazi thugs went on a rampage through the streets of the city attacking Jews and wounding hundreds of them; sixteen Jews were murdered and ten committed suicide. These twenty-six victims constituted a substantial proportion of the total loss of life among German Jewry on Kristallnacht.
One hundred and sixty Jews living in Nuremberg were arrested and ill-treated in the city’s prison, and most of them were later sent to the Dachau concentration camp, hundreds of Jewish apartments and businesses were ransacked by the Nazi hoodlums.
The Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team
Copyright Carmelo Lisciotto H.E.A.R.T 2010