German Jews and the Holocaust

Contrary to the article ``Growing Anti-Semitism Concerns German Jews,'' Aug. 10, most German Jews did not perish in the Holocaust. Of the roughly 550,000 Jews living in the country when Hitler came to power in 1933, one-third had left the country by the end of 1938, and another third escaped before [US involvement in] World War II began. Approximately one-fourth of the original community died in concentration camps.

While it is true that the German Jewish presence was virtually eradicated during the Third Reich, individual German Jews actually fared better than their counterparts in countries like Poland, where the percentage of Jews killed by the Nazis was much higher. John Dippel, Plermont, N.Y.

German Jews and the Holocaust

The author writes: ``About 560,000 Jews lived in Germany when the Nazis came to power in 1933. Almost all died in the Holocaust.'' This is not correct.

Lucy Dawidowicz writes in her book, ``The War Against the Jews'': ``When the Nazis seized power in 1933, 500,000 Jews ... lived in Germany. Subject to terror and an accelerating process of discrimination, isolation, and expropriation ... nearly 150,000 Jews emigrated by November 1938. The pogrom of Nov. 10, 1938 (Kristallnacht), and subsequent German policy of forced emigration hastened the exit of another 150,000 Jews.''

Helen Fine, in ``Accounting for Genocide,'' writes, ``Despite some German Jews initial reluctance to leave ... by September 1941 over two out of every three Jews in Germany in 1933 had fled.'' G. Swisher, Oakland, Calif.

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