25 May 1933
Letter sent by Ernst Rosenthal from prison to Emil Krückmann and Krückmann’s response
One month after he had returned, on 23 May, Ernst Rosenthal was taken into “protective custody” in Chemnitz and jailed at police headquarters. The reason for his arrest was his stay in Madrid. In order to secure his release, he wrote a letter to Professor Emil Krückmann, the director of the University Eye Clinic in Berlin, on 25 May. Krückmann had led the German delegation at the Madrid conference and in his letter Rosenthal asked him to certify that he had been in attendance.
The police had apparently demanded proof of his attendance. Emil Krückmann confirmed this fact immediately upon receiving the letter from Ernst Rosenthal, whom he had apparently known from his days as an assistant doctor in Berlin. The confirmation arrived at police headquarters on 29 May. However, the police had already released Rosenthal just two days earlier. This incident illustrates the absolute despotism to which the Jews in Germany were subject at the hands of the authorities. For Ernst Rosenthal it was by no means the end of persecution and discrimination.
Letter from Dr. Ernst Rosenthal to Prof. Emil Krückmann:
Chemnitz, 25 May 1933.
Dear Privy Councilor,
For several days now I have been held in protective custody for taking part in the international ophthalmology conference in Madrid. I am writing to you today, dear Privy Councilor, since you served as head of the German delegation, to respectfully request that you confirm you saw me at the conference. If you could intervene on my behalf with the responsible official parties at the Ministry, I would be greatly indebted to you.
Sender: Dr. Ernst Rosenthal
Currently in protective custody
Letter from Prof. Emil Krückmann to Dr. Ernst Rosenthal:
Berlin, 27 May 1933
Former assistant of Dr. Hildesheimer in Berlin (currently in protective custody, police headquarters, Chemnitz/Saxony).
Allow me to respond formally to your letter as follows: As the representative of the German Reich, my task was not only to represent my country, deliver addresses and maintain and improve international relationships, but also to look after the individual Reich Germans attending the conference. Consequently, I took the opportunity to exchange a few words with each of them whenever I could. This was also the case with you and I hereby declare that I took note of your presence in the conference rooms on several (different) days and expressed my recognition of this fact through brief conversations.
You may use this letter as an official document.
(signed Prof Krückmann)
Director of the University Eye Clinic
(stamp of the University Eye Clinic Berlin)