President von Hindenburg of Germany, in an open letter from the American Jewish Congress, is asked to use his prerogatives under the Weimar Constitution to “rescue from certain extermination the 600,000 Jews of Germany who look to you for succor.”
The letter, which is signed by Bernard S. Deutsch, president of the organization, points out that the Weimar Constitution has not been formally abrogated and that the prerogotives of the President of the Republic, which include the right to dismiss the Chancellor, have not been impaired by the enabling act of last March. It expresses the view that in conferring dictatorship powers on Adolf Hitler, it was not the President’s intention to “defy the foundations on which the German republic was built” or “to vanquish every principle of humanity in relation to the Jews.”
The letter charges the Hitler Government with contravening fifteen articles of the Reich constitution, and enumerates these clauses with the specific facts of their violation.
“We submit that the killing of some three hundred Jews and more for no other reason than that they are Jews; that the heinous torture of some 3,000 Jews for no reason except the blind hatred of the National Socialists for the so-called non-Aryan; that the arrest of thousands of Jews and their incarceration in prison camps on spurious charges; that the deprivation of the citizenship rights of the Jews on the ground that they are non-Aryans; that the withdrawal from them of means of livelihood, their ostracism as a pariah caste; their exclusion from the political, social and cultural life of the country; the espionage exercised against them; the expropriation of their property and the refusal to permit them free exit from the country, constitute a contravention of the Constitution of the German Republic and inexorably call for the intercession of the President of the Reich,” states the preamble to the letter.
JEWISH VETERANS NOT EXEMPT
“Not even the Jewish veterans of the war are spared from this inquisition. To them as to their co-religionists, in every walk of life, every means of substinence is denied. This despite the fact that 96,000 Jews served their country during the war, fighting side by side with their Christian brethren in the army of which your Excellency was the commander-in-chief. Twelve thousand gave their lives for the Fatherland; thousands were wounded and crippled for life. And their reward today is the denial of the elementary rights of human beings in their native land.”