The Shooting on the Moehlstrasse:
Is It Nazi Anti-Semitism All Over Again?
In August the world press excitedly reported that the Moehlstrasse in Munich had been the scene of the “worst anti-Semitic outbursts since Hitler.” Most dispatches gave the impression that a Munich newspaper had published an anti-Semitic item, and that Jewish DP’s who assembled to protest against it were run down and shot at by the Munich police. Here was the avenue leading to a new Auschwitz! This was alarming news indeed. As it happened, I was close at hand before, during, and after the events on the Moehlstrasse. What actually occurred was rather different from and considerably more complicated than what the correspondents reported.
To get at the real story, we must go back a bit. In the essentially rural city of Munich, the Moehlstrasse was once a pleasant little street of semi-suburban, well-to-do villas. Only four blocks long and bordering on the Isar river, it recalled in its character and appearance the streets in New York City’s Washington Heights and Inwood sections, where college professors, doctors, and manufacturers reside, overlooking the Hudson and seemingly far away from Manhattan. Its new career began after the surrender, when the international relief organizations for DP’s of Jewish and other origins were billeted in requisitioned houses of the Moehlstrasse and its neighborhood. In their thousands, people from the European East and Southeast, swept to Germany by the tides of war, came to these offices in search of immediate help and a more promising future.
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