GERMANS 13:1-7

My dear Jewish brothers and sisters,

Let every person be subject to Hitler and the governing Nazi authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and the Nazi authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Whoever resists Nazi authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For the Nazi rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the Nazi authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive the Nazi’s approval, for Hitler is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the Gestapo does not wield the sword in vain. Hitler is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore, one must be subject to Hitler, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience. For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the Nazis are God’s servants, busy with this very thing. Pay to all what is due to them—taxes to whom taxes are do, revenue to whom revenue is due. Respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.

Sincerely, Rabbi Benjamin Roth                              Sachsenhousen, Germany January 15, 1938


This letter was sent by Rabbi Roth to the members of his synagogue in Stuttgart from a Nazi “labor” camp shortly after he was arrested as an enemy of the state for his rather open condemnation of Hitler and the Nazis. The letter was, of course, first opened and read by the prison’s Gestapo censors. It was allowed to be mailed thanks only to the Nazi/Hitler-flattering content.

It was seen immediately by all but one of the members of the Rabbi’s synagogue for the irony that it was meant to be. It inspired many members to do exactly the opposite of what the Rabbi seemed to be directing them to do, knowing that is what he really wanted of them. Resistance to taxes was higher among members of his synagogue than anywhere in Germany, and many went to their deaths for resisting Hitler’s taxes. The one member who took his letter at face value was Ike Z., a rather dull honeydipper. When the letter was read to him he took it to heart and immediately joined the Nazi Party. However, when it was discovered that he was a Jew he was immediately shot dead by the Gestapo.