Pharmacy in Nazi Germany 1933

American Druggist Nazi Jewish pharmacist The Place of the Jewish Druggist in (Nazi) Germany 1934

This is an article from the 1933 edition of the American Druggist.  It shows the mindset of American pharmacists relative to their German Jewish colleagues during the beginning of Nazi Germany.

The assumption was that since the Jewish pharmacists were educated and skilled they would be sparred by the Germans. 

The title of this article was: "The Place of the Jewish Druggist in Germany"  It was published in the January 1934 edition of the American Druggist pages 34-37, 73.

This is very sad to read!

-Bill Soderlund

Dr. med. F. Neumark Achtung Jude! sign 1933 in Nazi Germany

Nazi Germany in 1933: Disgraceful Treatment of Jewish Druggists

The following article was printed in the January 1934 edition of American Druggist, "The Pharmaceutical Business Magazine" The original writer(s) name(s) were not published in the report due to the hostility that may have befallen them.

Dr. Martin Rosenberg Achtuch Jude! 1933 Nazi Germany

It is very difficult to imagine the seeming innocent naiveté of the pharmacists and their families that stayed in Germany during the Hitler debacle hoping things would get better. These Jewish druggists owned their own pharmacies and paid for them by the sweat of their brow in service of their community and country.

"The Place of the Jewish Druggist in Germany"

Apotheke sign showing unicorn in 1934 Germany

1934 Germany Jewish Pharmacists Plight

The corporation of German apothecaries and druggists, duly protected by law and special practices, constitutes just about the sole "guild entity" in the Germany of today that has weathered the storm of the National Socialist revolution without much perceptible change.

Whereas Jews have seen themselves obliged to surrender their acquired positions and possessions in other fields of endeavor, "non-Aryan"—or Jewish-owners of "apothekes" or drug stores so far have been permitted to continue business as heretofore. Jewish owners of several of Berlin's most prominent apothecary shops in various districts have told the necessarily anonymous authors of this survey that they scarcely notice the effect of the alleged boycott propaganda instituted by the Nazis.

During the first days of the Nazi revolution, after Hitler's assumption of power on January 30th last (1933) the very radical Nazi elements were determined or turning the drug profession absolutely inside out. That came from within the trade itself as well as from outside. Some of these proponents were animated by sheer Nazi idealism. Others, jealous of their Jewish competitors, wanted to hasten the bringing about of an "equalization" or '"coordination"—gleichschaltung in German—which they thought was the very thing that Hitler and his lieutenants wanted.

To be sure, there are several cases of Jewish apothecaries who, anticipating the discrimination likely be exercised against them, have sold out their busnesses and emigrated to neighboring countries supposed to be more friendly to their race and religion. But in view of the fact that most Berlin "apotheks” are operated under entirely neutral names or titles, those Jewish proprietors who have run the risk of remaining have had very little about which to complain.

Hitler in 1933 Germany beginning his evil programs

In the organizations of the "apothekes," those who must have government certificates in order to fill medical prescriptions, and in the organization of the druggists licensed to sell ordinary healing medical wares or proprietary medicines, the Nazi members demanded the resignation of the existing controlling boards and the substitution of a 100 per cent control over the organizations on behalf of the Brown Shirts.

Elisabeth Apotheke in 1933 Nazi Germany

All apothecaries and druggists were strongly urged to join the then newly founded "Fighting League of the Professional Middle Classes"; and under the more or less veiled threats of the Nazi propagandists that in the future nobody would be allowed to run a prescription-filling or ordinary drug-retailing shop without being a simon-pure member of the aforesaid "Fighting League," thousands of thoroughly cowed drug men quickly joined.

This organization, being a true child of the Nazi doctrine, refused to accept "non-Aryans" (meaning Jews) as members. For a time, the blatant propaganda it put forth created a feeling among Jewish drug store owners that assumed in many cases the proportions of a panic. Several months of terrible anxiety therefore followed for the Jewish apothekes and druggists within the Reich—months which might mean either a new lease of life or the absolute ruin of old, established Jewish-owned firms which had been in business for many years and were highly esteemed by their "Aryan" or non-Jewish competitors and customers.

Engel Apotheke in 1933 Nazi Germany

It must be borne in mind that there are a great num¬ber of old, privileged "apothekes" in Germany, which have for centuries been in the hands of old Jewish families. In the course of the heated debates that en¬sued during the critical time that followed the application of the Nazi Aryan doctrine to all professions, the most radical of the radical Nazis could not foresee granting exemption even to those old families who, during their long stay in Germany, had become so far emancipated from their original racial and religious bonds that they could hardly be termed "Jews," or aliens, in the sense of being members of a foreign race, any longer. The only exception to this Nazi iron¬clad rule was to be made in favor of Jewish "front-fighters"—those who could prove by their army service records that they had actually been in the zone of combat and at least have heard the bullets and the shrapnel splinters whistle about them—and even then the preference was to be given to those who had wound-stripes, army citations, and decorations such as the Iron Cross.

Generic Apotheke sign in 1933 Nazi Germany

However, the first wave of fury of the ultra-radical Jew-baiters died down. Thereafter, the more conservative wing of the Nazi party let it be known that it would be satisfied if the now famous "Aryan paragraph" in the government program, drafted for the ''cleansing" of the civil service particularly of all Jewish elements, would be applied for apothekes and druggists.

(This paragraph, as is doubtless already known, establishes the percentage of Jews to be allowed employment, so that members of the race will be admitted to public functions, or the doctorate in law, medicine, and so forth, only in proportion to the percentage of Jews in the population of the entire Reich— this being only slightly over one per cent.)

However, in a series of congresses and conventions summoned by the apothekes' and druggists' organizations, the conservative element among them succeeded in preventing the installation of Nazi "commissars" or overseers, the result of which would have been to make the entire profession "gleichgeschaltet" or coordinated under the government scheme of things, with hardly, any opportunity of redress of grievances thereafter.

Gradually but somwhat later, even the most rabidly anti-Hebraic members of the Nazi party grew sick and tired of the super-radicalism displayed by men who for the most part had joined the Brown Shirt ranks at the eleventh hour.
Thus the "Fighting League" was proclaimed by the party itself to be a purely private organization. Such a proclamation made an end of all "gleichschaltung" attempts, and resulted, at least temporarily, in saving Jewish apothekes and druggists from being deprived of their sources of income.

At a somewhat later period, "organization for Handwerk and Gewerbe" was founded by the Nazi party, with provision for separate departments for the members of the apotheke and druggists' trade. Candidates for membership in the body were obliged to give their word of honor (Ehrenwort) that they were, as best they knew, of pure Aryan descent, and that they did not know of any Jews among their ancestors, at least for three or four centuries.

BUT hopes that the new organization—as entertained by the more radical Jew-baiters—would pursue the work that the old "Fighting League" had signally failed to do; have not as yet materialized. The organization, once settled down, has proved to have no real political ambitions, and has not tried to gain any influence either insofar as the training of young apothecaries or druggists is concerned, or in the admission of new apothecaries out of the medical or higher technical schools.

Among the 100 per cent Nazi apothekes and druggists there now exists, after all, a deep and brooding dissatisfaction over the indubitable fact that no real, stringent steps have thus far been taken against the Israelites in the corporation. They base their grievances on the statistics tending to show that about 20 per cent of the apothekes in Germany are in the hands of Jews, and that in Berlin, the capital itself, as many as 50 per cent are Jewish-owned.

To make it even stronger, all the old "privileged" apothekes in Berlin, which were founded well before 1894, are with very few exceptions owned by Jews. Many of them have been in the hands of Jewish families for generations.

As to the number of Jewish "druggeries," it is estimated at much less. Exact figures not being available, either from government or Jewish sources, it can safely be put at about between 5 and 10 per cent of the total. While Jewish physicians who were not "front fighters" are no longer permitted to attend members of the various insurance companies' sick leagues, and thus have found their practice almost destroyed because almost everybody in Germany is either insured or has the cost of his medical treatment defrayed by some one or another of the state's welfare organizations, nevertheless Jewish apothekes are still permitted to cater to insurance companies and their clients.

Despite the wholesale and nation-wide propaganda against the Jews, which reached its climax after the Jewish boycott against Hitlerite Germany began to make itself felt in ever-falling export figures, the average German, taking him by and large, is not pronouncedly anti-Semitic. However, even members of the National Socialist party—the only one enjoying legal existence in Germany—and especially members of the Nazi storm troops—commonly known as the Brown Shirts— from time to time are being told by their leaders that "a real German does not buy from Jews." But since apothekes and druggeries in Germany have always been run under "neutral" names, such as "Swan Apotheke" or "Goethe Drogherei," and do not display the names of their real proprietors, people do not often know whether they are frequenting a Jewish shop or not. So it often happens that "Stormers" in uniform repair themselves to Jewish-owned apothekes to buy their medicine— or have their wounds dressed.

The situation is a bit different in the smaller towns, out in the provinces, where everybody knows everybody else and spreads "spite and evil," like Bernard Shaw's grand old mother in "O'Flaherty, V-C.," about the local parish. When waves (indignation over the Jewish boycott propaganda and the "atrocity stories" spread abroad about Nazi persecutions of Jews swelled nigh, it often happened that Jewish families in provincial towns were boycotted socially because of retaliation for the anti-German attitude of Jews all over the world.

WHILE anybody in German, even the inexperienced, may buy and operate a drug store, Jews are not excluded by law from such purchases of profit-returning properties. However, apothecaries-proprietors of "apothekes," where prescriptions are necessary, have the State's approval, which they can obtain only after going through ten years of professional training, including two years' study in a duly government recognized university.

Since the quota for Jewish students has been established under the now famous "Aryan paragraph," the number of Jew apothecaries in future is bound decrease perceptibly in the for coming ten years. Moreover, people animated by ultra-zealeous motives may gradually seek to out the Jewish element from profession by the fact that licenses for new "apothekes" in certain districts are being issued by respective district governors. Since the great majority of these full-fledged Nazis, it is quite within the realm of probability that "Aryan" applicants for new licenses will have "a bit of a bulge.” However, it must be said that such order has yet been promulgated by the Hitler government.
As has been mentioned bet there are a number of so-called "privileged" apothecary shops which were founded prior to 1894. These cannot under any circumstances be sold as ordinary apothekes. In case of the owner's demise, the license remains valid only his widow, who may hire an approved apothecary to act as agent and continue the business. If she declines that privilage and decides not to employ an apothecary, the license is annulled and bids are open for newcomers.

TUTITHERTO Jewish druggists and apothecaries have, as can be seen, not fared so badly under the present regime in Germany. They would, however, like some line of guidance for the future, some assurance of being allowed to engage business unmolested before engaging in further enterprises, above all before attempting to train their sons in the profession that they have made their lifework.

Another handicap likely to lie in the path of Jewish apothekes in the future looms up in the promise that the big department stores will be done away with in their present form and transformed into something resembling "bazars" wherein producers may rent space from the owners of the buildings and may sell their products on their own behalf. One Jewish druggist when discussing the situation with American Druggist correspondents pointed out that most German "apothekes” and drug stores, and especially the enterprising Jewish element among them, manufacture perfumes, of rather cheaper quality, bathing salts, hair-growing lotions, etc., for which the department stores are the best customers at present.

Many Jewish apothekes who make their own preparations as a side line are afraid that after the reorganization of department stores the public will not buy from them on such a scale as has hitherto been prevalent, when they learn that manufacturers of many of the toiletries they sell are Aryan.

Whether this will be the case or not only time will tell.