Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Friedrich Justus Perels formulated two reports about the deportation of Jews from Berlin by the Nazis. The opening statement of the second report is simply disturbing…

I. Preparation: Short written notifications were sent to the Jewish community by the housing office to the effect that one’s apartment or room (in the case of lodgers) was scheduled to be vacated by “official decree.”


The recipients of this notification, some of whom received it by pneumatic post (mail sent through tubes that run on a track or chute), were required to go to person to the housing office (along with any lodgers) on the same or the following day; workers were required to take time off for this purpose. The questions asked mainly concerned family status, work conditions, and genealogy, above all that of the spouse. The notifications had to brought along and turned in so that no one retained anything in writing. The people were forbidden from seeking another apartment or room.

The meaning and purpose of this measure were kept secret. Either immediately before or after these finding by the Jewish community, most of those affected received questionnaires regarding their…


the contents of their apartments,


linens (towels, bedding, table linens).

All their property had to be decreed; for clothing and linens this referred to whatever exceeded the “normal amount.” As a guide an itemized list of these “normal requirements” was attached. (For a a woman, for example, two dresses, two undershirts,, three pairs of underpants, six handkerchiefs, etc.). This questionnaire had to be filled out and returned within one day, or two at the latest (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works: Volume 16: Conspiracy and Imprisonment: 1940-1945, 227).

We will at look parts II, III, IV and V of this second report in future posts. I cannot imagine a society so evil that that it round that it systematically eliminates people of another race. I know I am naive, but it is still shocking.