... the stones cry out – the November Pogrom

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Elisabeth Schmitz wrote three letters to Helmut Gollwitzer after the November Pogrom. She reported to him about attacks in Berlin and in the entire territory of the Reich on which she had gathered oral and written information. The Confessing Church, she appealed to Gollwitzer, may not keep silent about the latest crimes on the Day of Penance and Prayer.

Gollwitzer was one of the few pastors who dealt with the events in their sermons on the Day of Penance and Prayer, November 16, 1938. After having heard Gollwitzer’s sermon in Dahlem, Elisabeth Schmitz thanked him for it in a letter. She demanded from her church however that it include all of the victims of the November Pogrom in its intercessory prayers and write a personal message to the Jewish community – neither of which happened.

Schmitz feared the worst for the future, namely that the destruction of property would be followed by the destruction of people. And nobody will want to claim that these orders were not carried out just as promptly, just as unscrupulously and doggedly, just as evilly and sadistically as the current ones, she wrote astutely. She also saw Christianity in peril, too: I am convinced that – should it come to that – Christianity will also disappear from Germany with the last Jews.

Schmitz was well informed about events in Berlin and the German Reich by a network of friends and acquaintances and she interpreted this information extremely lucidly and presciently. She drew the personal consequence that she was unable serve this illegitimate state as a civil servant a single day longer.

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  • © Evangelisches Zentralarchiv in Berlin, Best. 686 Nr. 8426

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