24 July 1933
Letter informing the judge Franz Bunzel of his forced retirement
But in July 1933 his career came to an abrupt end. Around 15 percent of the judges in Hamburg were Jewish and like many other Jews Bunzel fell victim to the ideological alignment (Gleichschaltung) of the civil service as dictated by the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service. On 24 July he received a letter from the justice department informing him that he was being retired as of November that year. The letter also suggested that he take leave until that time. Although Bunzel had served in the First World War, he was unable to claim the exemption granted to other frontline soldiers. As a result, he was also not allowed to work as a lawyer.
Nevertheless, thanks to his legal knowledge and the commercial training he had received during his clerkship at his father’s company, Bunzel was able to find new employment with a private bank. However, in 1936 the bank’s Jewish owner was forced to cease operations and emigrated. Bunzel oversaw the liquidation of the business, a process that dragged on until 1938. At this time his pension as a judge was being paid into a special account to which he had no access. Seeing no future for himself in Germany, Bunzel immigrated to the United States via the Netherlands with his fiancée, Annelise Münden.
Hamburg Justice Department
Hamburg 36, 24 July 1933
I hereby notify you that on 18 July 1933 the Reich governor decided to place you on the retired list under Section 3 of the Reich Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service, passed on 7 April 1933.
Your retirement will begin on 1 November this year and you will receive a pension of 3768.69 reichsmarks based on service calculated from 3 December 1917.
In view of your retirement as of 1 November 1933, it is suggested that you request leave until this time. Such a request will be granted immediately since you have not yet been assigned any duties for the court holidays.
The President of the Hamburg Justice Department On behalf of
Judge Dr. Franz Bunzel.