Page 15 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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Jewish Publishing in Nazi Germany,
I t
i s
w e l l
k n o w n
that during the National Socialist period the
exercise of the cultural profession was possible only for mem­
bers of the Reichskulturkammer (Reich Chamber of Culture,
which was ‘cleansed’ of Jews and political opponents of the Nazi
regime) or its specialized bureaus, which were created by Reich
law in the fall of 1933.1Today we know that initially there was
no regu la tion excluding Jews from membership in the
Reichskulturkammer, with the exception of the press bureau,
for which h a rsh e r ord inances were enacted by the
Schriftleitergesetz (Reich Press Law) of October 4, 1933. This
means that at first all Jews who were active in publishing or
bookselling or who aspired to such activities were accepted into
the Reichskulturkammer, often because they had been pushed
out of other professions by Aryan ordinances in those profes­
sions.2 Contrary to expectations, the exclusion of Jewish pub­
lishers and booksellers that commenced in 1935-1936 proved
* Translated by Dr. Shelley Frisch from a paper delivered at the conference,
“Self-Assertion in Adversity; The Jews in National Socialist Germany
1933-39,” held by the Leo Baeck Institute in Berlin in October 1985 and
published in
Die Juden im Nationalsozilistischen Deutschland
(The Jews in Nazi
Germany 1933-1943), ed. Arnold Paucker. Tubingen: J.C.B. Mohr, 1986:
Schriftenreihe wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen des Leo Baeck Instituts
1 Law o f the Reichskulturkammer o f September 22, 1933 (
1933. p.6 6 If); first ordinance o f November 1, 1933
pp. 797-800).
2 E.g., lawyers by the Rechtsanwaltsgesetz (Reich Attorney law) o f April 7,
1933, civil servants by the Berufsbeamtengesetz (Reich Professional Civil
Servant Law) o f April 7, 1933, and editors o f newspapers and political pe­
riodicals by the Shriftleitergesetz (Reich Press Law) o f October 4, 1933.
For details conerning the construction o f the Reichskulturkammer see
Volker Dahm,
Das jiidische Buck im Dritten Reich.
Part I:
Die Ausschaltung
derjiidischen Autoren, Verleger und Buchhandler
(Frankfurt, 1979) (special pub­
lication o f the
Archiv fu r Geschichte des Buchwesens,
vol. 20, 1979), cols. 33-62.