Ernst Shtiz of the Gestapo decreed on this date in 1942 that all pregnant Jewish women in the Kovno Ghetto in Lithuania would be executed if their pregnancies were not terminated by mid-September. The ghetto had been established the previous June with some 29,000 Jews, 10,000 of whom were murdered in October. The remaining residents worked as slave laborers for the German military, mostly outside the ghetto’s boundaries. Rabbi Ephraim Oshry ruled that an abortion was permissible in order to save a pregnant woman from the consequences of the decree; the life of the woman took precedence, particularly since fetuses and babies were threatened with death along with their mothers. At the same time, the ghetto underground formed a group of women who were responsible for smuggling out children with documentation. “Great heroism was shown when children were taken outside the ghetto,” testified one survivor. “Three-year-old Tamara Ratner was put asleep with an injection of luminal to ensure she did not make a sound. Ida Shater together with the child’s father took the living parcel over the ghetto fence and left on the doorstep of Lithuanian children’s home . . . The home’s director Baublis was informed beforehand on such occasions. His trusted teachers expected children and took them into the home as ‘deserted children.’” In 1943, more than 300 Jewish fighters escaped from the Kovno Ghetto to join with partisan forces; the Jewish Council as well as some Jewish police collaborated with them.
“[Q]uite a few women refused to give in to the decree. They went underground in order to evade the prohibition, and with the help of the medical committee located near the ghetto labor department, they were released from their work obligations until they delivered their babies in secret. Dr. Aharon Peretz, one of the gynecologists in the ghetto, said that . . . because of the intensive abortion work and the shortage of proper hospitalization and treatment supplies in the ghetto, some of the operations were performed in the strangest and most dreadful conditions. Deliveries were performed in secrecy mainly by specially trained midwives, while doctors were called only in cases of severe complications.” —Leah Preiss, Jewish Women’s Archive
This is an article I do not want to write, about a man whose psychology and ideas have played a most important part in my life. I was raised in a modern Orthodox Jewish environment, spent many years in Israel, and earned a Ph.D. at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professionally, I am a Jungian analyst (trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich in the late 1970s) and I direct the New York Center for Jungian Studies. Additionally, for over eighteen years, I was an adjunct faculty member at New York University and have lectured on various aspects of Jungian psychology at NYU, throughout the U.S. and internationally. Given my background and still active involvement in the Jewish world, writing about Jung and anti-Semitism is neither an easy nor a dispassionate task.
I first discovered Carl Jung and Jungian thought through Dr. Rivkah Kluger, my first analyst, in Haifa. Jung had been one of Kluger’s own psychoanalysts, and in addition to being a Jungian analyst herself, she was a noted scholar and student of Jewish studies and Near Eastern religion. (Two of her books, Psyche and Scripture and Satan and the Old Testament, deal with building bridges to the world of the Bible through the application of Jung’s ideas.) Through Rivkah, a woman I loved dearly, I learned much about not only Jung’s psychology but also about Jung the man. As someone who knew Jung well, she felt that there was no possible way he could be seen as an anti-Semite. [click to continue…]
SS chief Heinrich Himmler received a report from SS-Obergruppenführer Oswald Pohl on this date in 1943 inventorying the materials taken from Jews in Auschwitz and its satellite camps. Cited items included 155,000 women’s coats, 15,000 children’s coats, 132,000 men’s shirts, 11,000 boys’ jackets, 22,000 pairs of shoes, and 6,600 pounds of women’s hair, enough to fill an entire railroad car. Also included in the inventory were nearly $500,000 in American currency and $116,420 in gold. Pohl’s report noted that 824 boxcars of goods had left Auschwitz: 569 to the Reich Ministry of Economy, 211 to VoMI (the Nazi agency in charge of ethnic Germans outside the boundaries of Germany), and 44 to other concentration camps, various other Nazi organizations, and the IG Farben factories near Auschwitz. Pohl, who oversaw the organization of concentration camps and slave labor, was captured by British troops on May 27, 1946, sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials, and hanged in 1951.
“Ultimately, about 60 million Reichmarks — 125 million Pounds in today’s money — would be generated [in Auschwitz and surrounding camps] for the Nazi state . . .” —PBS series, Auschwitz: Inside the Nazi State
In his last public speech, broadcast on this date in 1945, the twelfth anniversary of his ascent to power in 1933, Adolf Hitler declared that the struggle against “Jewish Asiatic bolshevism had been raging long before National Socialism came into power,” but that he had strengthened the “natural resistance stamina of our people” to withstand the Jewish infection that sought “systematically to undermine our nation from within.” Hitler warned that after the war, the European nations would not be able to withstand “bolshevism,” and called upon “every able-bodied German to fight with the complete disregard for his personal safety; I expect the sick and the weak or those otherwise unavailable for military duty to work with their last strength; I expect city dwellers to forge the weapons for this struggle and I expect the farmer to supply the bread for the soldiers and workers of this struggle by imposing restrictions upon himself; I expect all women and girls to continue supporting this struggle with utmost fanaticism.”
“The Kremlin Jews are moved exclusively by tactical considerations in their decisions to proceed with brute force in one case and temporary restraint in the other.” —Adolf Hitler
Otto Loewi, a German pharmacologist who discovered the role played by chemicals in the synaptic transmission of nerve impulses in the body, died at 88 on this date in 1961. Loewi shared the 1936 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for this discovery, but two years later fell victim to Nazi persecution and had to “voluntarily” surrender [...]
Heinrich Himmler inaugurated a program of medical experimentation upon Jewish internees at Auschwitz on this date in 1942, to obtain a fast and cheap method of sterilization “not only to defeat the [Jewish] enemy,” the SS Reich Leader wrote, “but also to exterminate him.” The sterilization campaign used both experimental drugs and x-ray radiation to [...]
Stefan Lux, a Czechoslovakian Jewish journalist born in Vienna in 1888, committed suicide in the assembly room of the League of Nations in Geneva on this date in 1936 to protest the rise of Nazism and the anti-Semitic Nuremberg Laws in Germany. Lux was a regular in the League’s press gallery. On the morning of [...]
Four Israeli Mossad agents captured Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, Argentina on this date in 1960. Eichmann had been living with his family for more than a decade, under the name Ricardo Klement. Israel’s intelligence network had been alerted by a Dachau concentration camp survivor, Lothar Hermann, whose daughter Sylvia had begun [...]
The first Nazi concentration camp liberated by the U.S. military, Ohrdruf, was entered by the 4th Armored Division of the Army on this date in 1945. Ohrdruf had been established as a slave labor camp near Gotha, Germany only six months earlier, and days before its liberation the SS had evacuated most of its 11,000 [...]
More than 6,200 Dutch physicians, 97 percent of the country’s doctors, went on strike against the Nazi-created Chamber of Physicians on this date in 1943. Mandatory registration with this newly formed guild would have forced the physicians to follow Nazi guidelines for racial screening and “euthenasia” for the handicapped and mentally challenged. Hundreds of the [...]