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A questionnaire

Anti-Semitism in the Saxony town of Merseburg drives Bernhard Taitza to emigrate

"Means for establishing a life, provided that export will be authorized; means to cover travel costs: 'None. RM 8000, confiscated in Germany and which I am seeking to have released. Otherwise, my relatives in America will provide me with sufficient means of subsistence.'"


The negligible number of Jews (50 out of a total of 31,576 in 1933) in the town of Merseburg, in Saxony, did not dissuade local Nazis from terrorizing them. As early as 1934, Bernhard Taitza, a local merchant, reported on Jewish residents’ anguish at Nazis marching past their homes while singing anti-Semitic songs. The atmosphere became so unbearable that in 1938 he made his way out of Germany to Prague. Days later, on August 18th, he submitted this questionnaire to HICEM, founded in 1927 as a coalition of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the Jewish Colonization Association and Emigdirect, another Jewish migration organization. With two children already residing in America, Taitza was fortunate enough to have an affidavit and didn’t have to worry too much as to whether he would regain possession of the money confiscated from him by the Nazis.



New Synagogue Berlin – Centrum Judaicum


Bernhard Taitza, former Merseburg, arrives at CSR ; CJA, 1 C Hi 1, No. 21, #12497, Image 1


on the days before