The beginning of the end of German Jewry

1933

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Tuesday
25 April 1933

“Writ of protection” issued by SA squad leader Wagner to Heinrich Katz

Ten thousand reichsmarks is the amount that the Darmstadt businessman Heinrich Katz (1902–1969) paid for this note from the SA group in his town. He hoped that the orders on it would exempt his shoe store at Kirchstrasse 10 from further boycotts and keep his property from being damaged. We do not know whether his efforts proved successful and the store was in fact spared from further “actions” on the afternoon of 25 April.

The “writ of protection”—consisting of the simple sentence “From noon today all actions are prohibited”—was written on the back of a subscription form for the Nazi newspaper Hessenhammer. It was signed and stamped by the squad leader of the SA assault unit “III/115 Wagner.” The group’s office was located next to the shoe store, which Heinrich Katz had taken over from his stepfather, Israel Rubin, in 1932.

When sales dropped by 50 percent in 1934, Katz was forced to close his business. In August 1935 he emigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine together with his wife. There he first worked as an employee in the shoe industry before opening his own shop in Tel Aviv in 1948.

In the 1950s Katz told the lawyer representing him in a restitution case about the money he had paid to the SA. However, he asked his lawyer “not to mention this incident”—probably because he was afraid the German authorities would not believe him.

Jörg Waßmer

Categorie(s): boycott | merchants
“Writ of protection” issued by SA squad leader Wagner to Heinrich Katz, Darmstadt, 25 April 1933
Gift of Rivka Ginsberg
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