The beginning of the end of German Jewry


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27 April 1933

Announcement by the management of Edmund Jacobi Nachfolger concerning the holiday on 1 May

In 1933, 1 May—which was traditionally the day of the international working class—was declared a national holiday. By organizing May Day celebrations and drawing on Germanic pagan customs, the Nazi regime hoped to invoke the sense of a new national community (Volksgemeinschaft). Just one year later, this day had been renamed the "National Day of the German People."

In the city of Regensburg, Alfred Binswanger (1860–1933), director of the liquor manufacturer Edmund Jacobi Nachfolger, asked his staff on 27 April 1933 to participate "fully" in the celebrations and, without exception, to "make themselves available to their organizations." Binswanger had been arrested without reason just a few weeks earlier and now had to watch the ideological alignment (Gleichschaltung) of his company from the sidelines and urge his workers and employees to go along with the measures.

Parades were held throughout the country. A major state ceremony was held in Berlin and Hitler delivered a radio address. The new regime intended to integrate workers as quickly as possible and even the trade unions joined in the celebrations. In keeping with this general sentiment, the works council at Edmund Jacobi Nachfolger supported the management‘s appeal, stating in an almost threatening tone: "There can be no slackers among us."

However, the unions‘ hopes that they could continue to exist legally under the new government were dashed a few days later: union headquarters were occupied, leading union officials were arrested and union assets were confiscated.

Franziska Bogdanov

Categorie(s): businessmen | Regensburg | trade unions
Announcement by the management of Edmund Jacobi Nachfolger concerning the holiday on 1 May, Regensburg, 27 April 1933
Gift of Danny L. Goldberg