During World War I, the German government carried out a census of Jews to prove that german Jews weren’t pulling their weight in the war effort. What they found out instead was that Jews were overrepresented on the front lines.

Judenzählung

Judenzählung (German for “Jewish census”) was a measure instituted by the German Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL) in October 1916, during the upheaval of World War I. Designed to confirm accusations of the lack of patriotism among German Jews, the census disproved the charges, but its results were not made public. However, its figures were leaked out, being published in an antisemitic brochure. The Jewish authorities, who themselves had compiled statistics which considerably exceeded the figures in the brochure, were not only denied access to the government archives but also informed by the Republican Minister of Defense that the contents of the antisemitic brochure were correct. In the atmosphere of growing antisemitism, many German Jews saw “t… Continue Reading (4 minute read)

7 thoughts on “During World War I, the German government carried out a census of Jews to prove that german Jews weren’t pulling their weight in the war effort. What they found out instead was that Jews were overrepresented on the front lines.”

  1. Hrtzy

    > “In October 1916, when almost three thousand Jews had already died on the battlefield and more than seven thousand had been decorated, War Minister Wild von Hohenborn saw fit to sanction the growing prejudices. He ordered a “Jew census” in the army to determine the actual number of Jews on the front lines as opposed to those serving in the rear. Ignoring protests in the Reichstag and the press, he proceeded with his head count. The results were not made public, ostensibly to “spare Jewish feelings.” The truth was that the census disproved the accusations: 80 percent served on the front lines.”

    Initially, the Nazis gave an exemption to those Jews that had fought in WWI, but that would change.

  2. manic_pixiedreamboy

    That’s not fair, they changed the outcome by measuring it!!

  3. PhillyTaco

    I learned in an old TIL that Mark Twain once criticized Jews for not fighting in the American Civil War. When later it was revealed that the percentage of American Jews in the war was *greater* than their population would suggest, he issued an apology and retraction.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concerning_the_Jews

  4. Remorseful_User

    True. Yet the far right kept lying by claiming that it was the Jews who “stabbed the country in the back” by sabotaging the war effort. The fact is that they were beaten because both sides were running out of everything and then America entered the war on the other side. Game over. Right-wing Germans just kept repeating the “stab in the back” rumor endlessly and never backed off of it.

    Kinda reminds me of “stop the steal”.

  5. Calber4

    In a similar vein, the US government surveyed Japanese Americans in the run up to WW2, fearing they may pose a security risk, only to find that they were in fact more loyal to the US than other groups.

    Despite this FDR signed off on Japanese internment when the war broke out.

  6. lemystereduchipot

    Wasn’t Hitler’s commanding officer in World War I, who recommended Hitler for some medals, Jewish?

  7. KitteNlx

    You’ll never convince me that 90+% of the German people weren’t complicit in WW2.

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