Volume 3  –  document 221

On 14 September 1941 Daniel Lotter from Fürth criticizes the introduction of the requirement for Jews to wear the yellow star1Original privately owned; copy in IfZ-Archives, F 601; typewritten version in the Deutsches Tagebucharchiv in Emmendingen. This document has been translated from German.

Diary of Daniel Lotter,2Johann Daniel Lotter (1873–1953), lebkuchen baker; took over his parents’ lebkuchen bakery in Fürth in 1897; joined the Masonic Lodge ‘Truth and Friendship’ in Fürth in 1901; on the supervisory board of a purchasing cooperative in Fürth; member of the church administration of the Evangelical-Lutheran parish of St Michael’s from 1929. Fürth, entry for 14 September 1941

Today Franz’s3Franz Segitz (1912–1941), Daniel Lotter’s son-in-law; killed in action in the Soviet Union on 18 August 1941. passing was commemorated in a very dignified and moving way in the service at St Michael’s Church.

The losses in Russia are immense. Obituaries are piling up in the newspaper, and the mood in the country is becoming gloomy in view of the threat of a third winter of war. In conversation, one frequently hears that the war will not end well. The newspapers only report favourable things, of course, and the successes of our Wehrmacht in Russiacontinue. St Petersburg is surrounded, and the toll of sunken English cargo ships remains very high. But bad news is also seeping through: England is trying to prise Italy away. The Duke of Aosta, a brother of the Italian king who was taken prisoner in Abyssinia, is said to have been sent to Italy on an aeroplane to take care of negotiations.

Mussolini’s four-day visit to the German headquarters is surely connected to these negotiations.4Amedeo of Savoy, Duke of Aosta (1898–1942), viceroy of Italian-occupied Abyssinia from November 1937. In May 1941, he and his troops surrendered to the British army, and he was taken captive. On the meeting between Hitler and Mussolini in August 1941, see Doc. 206, fn. 10. Last Thursday, Roosevelt delivered a broadcast address. The wording has been withheld from the German public, as usual, but even according to German reports, its menacing and strident tone surpassed everything that the US president has said up to now.5On 11 Sept. 1941 Roosevelt announced that he had granted the navy permission to attack German ships if they were approaching American waters or ships under the US flag: New York Times, 12 Sept. 1941, pp. 1 and 4. See also Völkischer Beobachter (northern German edition), 14 September 1941, p. 1, and Frankfurter Zeitung, 14 Sept. 1941, pp. 1–2.

Japan – whose intervention in the war was to be reckoned with in the event of a US attack, according to the Tripartite Pact6On 27 Sept. 1940 the German Reich, Italy, and Japan concluded a pact in which they assured mutual recognition of the ‘new order’ that was to be created in Europe and East Asia. – is conducting negotiations with America, initiated by Tenno’s7Title of the Emperor of Japan; from 1926–1989 this was Hirohito (1901–1989). special envoy to Roosevelt. A Japanese newspaper writes with utter composure: ‘America’s intervention in the European war is within the realm of possibility. First, however, America must sort out its relationship with Japan; the USA is not prepared for a two-front war.’8The front page of the Frankfurter Zeitung on 14 Sept. 1941 reported on corresponding articles in the Japanese print media. So the Japanese seem to consider it completely fine to bail out when favourable conditions are put in place for them.

Recently, the Volga Germans have been treated in the most inhumane manner, having already been reduced in number from 2 1⁄2 million to 400,000 as a result of barbaric treatment by the Russians. They are set to be ‘transplanted’ to Siberia, which will surely mean the certain demise of these remaining brave German Volksgenossen.9Between August and Oct. 1941, Stalin had the so-called Volga Germans deported from their home areas to Siberia and Central Asia. On 28 Oct. 1941, the Volga German Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic (established in 1924) was dissolved.

Of course nor do our rulers refrain from treating foreign races in an appalling manner. After taking from the German Jews their businesses, property, and most of their assets, and robbing them of every source of income, on 19 September a regulation is due to take effect that requires them to wear a yellow star with the inscription ‘Jew’, visible and tightly sewn on.10See Doc. 212. What they seek to achieve with such pointless and sadistic torments is a mystery to me. In order to have the regulation make a particularly malicious impact, they are implementing it on the so-called ‘long day’, the Day of Atonement and highest holy day of the Jews.11On 19 Sept. 1941, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) was imminent; Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) fell on 1 Oct.

This document is part of:
German Reich and Protectorate September 1939–September 1941 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2020)