Berlin is Purged of its Jews: the Jews in Berlin in the Year 1943
Ball-Kaduri gives a brief description of the life of Jews in Berlin from the beginning of the war until 1943. Severe restrictions were promulgated already in 1938. However, during the course of the war, persecutions were gravely intensified and included restrictions of movement, confiscation of electrical equipment, restriction of food supplies, cessation of education, compulsory display of the “Jewish Star,” and deportations to Lodz and Theresienstadt. Up to the end of 1942, the army prevailed in its demand that Jews employed in war factories should not be deported. Early in 1943, Goebbels and the Gestapo overruled this decision and carried out cruel mass deportations. At the end of 1942, there were 33,000 Jews in Berlin; three months later there were 18,500. Mixed Jewish–Aryan families tried to ease the sufferings of those being deported. The Reichsvereinigung der Juden (Reich Association of Jews in Germany) appointed by, and responsible to, the Gestapo had less and less independent authority and was eventually dismantled. Their files were destroyed during an air raid. During the second half of 1943, the Reichsvereinigung office was transferred to the Jewish hospital and handled health and social problems of Jews of mixed marriages. In 1944, the hospital still under Gestapo rule and directed by Dr. Lustig became an assembly station for deportations. Jewish collaborators were also housed at the hospital. About 3,000 Jews lived illegally in Berlin. However, many were caught and deported. By the end of March 1945 some 6,000 Jews remained in Berlin of whom only 162 were “full-blooded” Jews.