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The best revenge

Paul Steiner dreams of Jewish self-determination in his diary

“The ‘civilized‘ world does evince indignation about the barbarity of the Germans, who truly do not deal with us very gently. But what do they do for hundreds of Burgenland Jews, who, for example, are making a tugboat in the middle of the Danube their shelter, or a patch of land between Germany and Yugoslavia?”


A month and a half after the “Anschluss,” Paul Steiner is still incredulous. Everything seems so unbelievable, he writes in his diary, that “even ones own words are becoming astonishing and dubious.” He wonders what the outside world is doing for the Jews in light of German barbarity, especially for the Burgenland Jews, who were brutally expelled right after the “Anschluss” and ended up stranded in totally inadequate shelters while their belongings were appropriated by their former neighbors. Steiner also imagines the “revenge” that Jews will exact, shaming the world with their achievements once they are given the right to self-determination.



Leo Baeck Institute – New York | Berlin


Paul Steiner Collection, AR 25208; Box 1, folder 7


on the days before