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Jewish World War I Veterans under Hitler

170 Chapter 6 Defiant Germanness At the Wannsee Conference on 20 January 1942, the SS decreed that war-wounded and war-decorated Jews would not be deported to the East along with the rest of the Jewish population; rather, they were to be “relocated” to the privileged camp at Theresienstadt. To be sure, Theresienstadt was a theoretical construction, a way station on the road to Auschwitz. Yet the decision reveals that indecisiveness, expediency, and contradictory decision-making characterized Nazi policy against Jewish war veterans, which stood in sharp

1933, Nationalsozialistische Kreiszeitung Allenstein, USHMMA, RG-11.001M.31, reel 101 (SAM 721–1–2316a, 520–21). 11. Ibid. Levy was deported to Theresienstadt on 17 March 1943, and to Aus- chwitz on 29 September 1944. He did not survive the Holocaust. See, further, “Levy, Max,” Gedenkbuch: Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der nationalsozialistischen Gewal- therrschaft in Deutschland 1933–1945, Bundesarchiv, accessed 2 July 2019, http://www. bundesarchiv.de/gedenkbuch/en1103753. 12. Edwin Landau, HHL bMS 91 (126). 13. Tosh, “Hegemonic Masculinity.” Also see

recollected, 122 – 26 to ghettos, 135 – 40 on Kristallnacht, 118 – 22 masculine self-worth, preservation of, 123 – 26, 136, 137 – 38, 139 – 40, 170, 191 – 94 mass murder in: of general population, 149, 150, 171, 173; of vets, 136, 137, 140, 145, 186, 201 – 2 police, vets working as, 136 – 40, 164fig, 165fig, 166fig, 188 – 89, 193 – 94, 199 – 200 post-WWII reactions and experiences, 210 – 14 Proclamation No. 380, 149 – 50 releasing of vets, 2, 108, 125, 126 – 27, 130 status, preservation of in camps, 10 – 11, 103 from Theresienstadt to Auschwitz, 179, 183, 185

minority of the German people. Things looked very different, however, for the survivors of Auschwitz, Riga, and Theresienstadt. If the Jewish cohorts who fought in 1914–18 epilogue 211 “emerged from the war more acculturated than any previous generation of German Jews,” as Greg Caplan argues, there can be little doubt that 1945 was a watershed, one that signaled a distinct break with the past.14 Those who had experienced the deportations and the unspeakable horrors of the Nazi camps demanded more than mere reintegration; they expected acknowledg- ment of

255 Archival sources Bayerisches Haupstaatsarchiv, Abt. IV, Kriegsarchiv, Munich (BHStA/IV) Freikorps Offiziersakte Stahlhelm Vereine Bayerisches Haupstaatsarchiv, Munich (BayHStA/II) MInn 73725 (Polizei Berichte) MA 97668 (Der Krieg und die Juden) Bundesarchiv, Berlin (BArch) DO 1/32590 Theresienstadt NS 19 Persönlicher Stab Reichsführer SS NS 23 Sturmabteilung der NSDAP (SA) NS 26 Hauptarchiv der NSDAP R2 Reichsfinanzministerium R43 II Neue Reichskanzlei R58 Reichssicherheitshauptamt R72 Stahlhelm, Bund der Frontsoldaten e.V. R90 Reichskommissar für den Ostland

the ballroom, and behind each one of them waited ten or eleven people to comment on Johnson’s presentations, 124 Speaking the Unspeakable in Pos twar Germany considerations, revelations. And they said: My mother. Theresienstadt. My entire family. Treblinka. My children. Birkenau. My life. Auschwitz. My sister. Bergen- Belsen. Ninety-seven years old. Mauthausen. At the age of two, four, and fi ve. Maidenek” ( AN , 169). Compared to the hermetic language of Jesus’s parables, the language of the Jew- ish respondents, as it is presented here, conveys a

, 238–43 Supreme Administrative Court (Verwaltungsgerichtshof). See courts teachers, 24, 25, 27, 28, 52–56, 62–65, 84–91, 116–18, 134–35, 156–57, 164, 181, 209, 227, 234–35, 256 Terezín / Theresienstadt, 174 totalitarianism, 9, 265 Tůma, Anton, 96, 105 United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), 256, 260, 268 Ústí nad Labem/Aussig, 3, 154, 180, 181, 210 v boj, 203, 219, 226–28 Verwaltungsgerichtshof. See courts Volksdeutsche, 179–94, 196–201, 210 –18 Volkstumsarbeit, 177–86, 194, 201–3, 208–12 Volkstumsfond, 178

in Minsk (and later Theresienstadt) was the only Jewish former soldier to leave behind a detailed account of his experiences.102 In the absence of substantial victims’ testimony, the surviving files of the Lodz Ghetto administration (Ghettoverwaltung Litzmannstadt) yield some insights into the responsibilities and day-to-day inner workings of the Jewish Police.103 Together with the Lodz Ghetto Chronicle and postwar trial records, these sources shed light on how membership in the police gave Jewish veterans a means to exert some agency in the confines of

Her£, Jeffrey, 232n48 Herman, William, r69n4o Hewitt, Nicholas, 38n5, 43nr2 High art/low art, 36-37, 50, 52, 66, 68- 69, 71, 73-74 High modernism, 31, 249-51; Weiss and, 77, 93-96; Woolf and, 185-202 Hillach, Ansgar, 232n48 Hindman, Sandra, 136n3, 137n5, 152nr8 L'Histoire ancienne jusqu'ii Cesar, 143nr r, r6s Hodann, Max, 91-92, 96 Hollander, Robert, 99, 1021135 Holocaust, 55, 64-72, 249. See also Auschwitz; Theresienstadt Homer, r, 20-21, 36, 41, 174I147, 256- 57; criticism on, ro-r r, 33, 98, 102, II4, 190-91, 194; Iliad, 9, II, 14; Odyssey, 6