Germany's Foreign Minister von Neurath Denies Reports of Jewish Persecution

Germany's Foreign Minister von Neurath Denies Reports of Jewish Persecution

Konstantin von Neurath
Source: Deutsches Bundesarchiv

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Germany's Foreign Minister, Konstantin von Neurath, gives an interview in which he likens the recent reports in foreign press about German Jews being persecuted to the earlier and false atrocity stories attributed to German soldiers during World War I.

Neurath goes on:

"It is my duty, both because I must defend the honor of my people, and because I am a responsible statesman, to warn the world against permitting the baneful spirit of calumny in vogue during the war to flare up again. ...

I find no other explanation for the present propaganda unloosed against the German government than to consider it a deliberate, sudden rebirth of the vilification campaign conducted during the World War. Just as Belgian atrocity stories then mentioned chopped-off children's arms, so there is talk today of allegedly gouged eyes and cut-off ears. One would really think that the foreign public, which meanwhile realized the untruth of the World War atrocity stories, would not so easily again be deceived by a new dishing-up of similar fairy tales. ...

If at the beginning of the national revolution certain excesses may have been committed by isolated individuals, then that is certainly regrettable. At the same time it must be said that never in history did a revolutionary upheaval occur like that which now is completed in Germany without an accompaniment of certain hardships. According to my opinion, the German people gave proof of their tremendous innate discipline by the fact that such arbitrary individual acts took place only in a few cases, and even then only in comparatively mild form.

As concerns the Jews, I can only say that their propagandists abroad are rendering their co-religionists in Germany no service by giving the German public, though untruthful news about persecution and torture of Jews, the impression that they actually halt at nothing, not even lies and calumny, to fight the present German government. Why, even a prominent Jewish banker told one of your American colleagues 'we reject all foreign interference. German Jews are he-men enough to help ourselves.'

Actually, every visitor must agree that when he walks through the streets of Berlin even today he encounters Jews, poor as well as elegantly dressed, who are attending their business and nobody has hurt a single hair of theirs. It is regrettable that not only the Yellow Press, but even some papers of the highest standing have permitted themselves to be duped by this propaganda."


Statement of Nuremberg defendant Konstantin von Neurath (Aug. 31, 1946)

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