News | Published:

Jews in Germany

Nature volume 131, page 612 (29 April 1933) | Download Citation



THE political significance of Nazi revolutionary supremacy under Herr Hitler in Germany is outside our field; but the treatment of the Jewish learned and professional classes stands condemned in the eyes of the intellectual world. It is a relapse to the crass repression of the Germany of Heine's day and the Juderihetze of Prussia fifty years ago. An outstanding case is the resignation by Prof. James Franck, Nobel prizeman with G. Hertz for physics in 1925, of his chair in experimental physics in the University of Göttingen. Prof. Franck, it is said, probably would have been spared the forced retirement now operative against Jewish officials, including university professors; but he feels that Germans of Jewish descent are being treated as foreigners and foes of the Fatherland, and asks to be released from his office. Prof. Franck served with distinction during the War and received the Iron Cross of the First Class. His action follows fittingly on the retirement of Prof. A. Einstein from Germany, and is the logical, indeed the only, reply for a man of his standing to the acts by which Jews are being excluded from the liberal professions and debarred from the universities. This is the achievement of a movement which, ever since the War, has sought to mould the German people to one pan-Teutonic pattern—in accord with neither the facts nor the conclusions of ethnology. In the denial of a part in Germanic culture to any element alleged to be foreign, Jews, liberals and socialists are to be treated alike; but Jews have suffered most.

About this article

Publication history





    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

    Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing