Menu JTA Search

A Communication to the Editor

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Dear Sir:

I read an article in some Jewish magazine in which Senator La Follette is credited with stating that be was fighting for the Jews, particularly against the Ku Klux Klan.

In my judgment, Senator La Follette is a man who will do anything to get votes. He will be an anti-Semite among anti-Semites if that will help him to get votes, and he will appear to be the friend of the Jews if he thinks that will help him to get their votes.

“When a man runs for public office, the Jewish people must take a strong stand to let everybody know if he is a friend of the Jews or not; and if the Jewish people will show their resentment (at election time) against anyone who has done them an injustice by openly coming out and fighting them, that will make a good many anti-Semites more careful in their actions, particularly if they intend to run for public office. But if an anti-Semite tries to manipulate things like Senator LaFollette does – that is, being an enemy of the Jews when it is beneficial to him and then trying to appear friendly to them around election time, and is able to “get away with it”, others will try to adopt his methods.

His introduction into the Senate of the famous anti-Semite Hungarian Petition (With his name as its sponsor) has not only hurt the Jews in this country, but has also injured Jews all over the world.

I am quoting below an abstract from a letter I wrote to Senator La Follette’s son under date of June 25th. The letter was addressed to Mr. Robert M. LaFollette. It as follows:

On May 2nd you wrote me a letter in reply to my request to send me a copy of Senate Document No. 346 (The Hungarian Petition) which of course, you did not send me. Instead you sent me an excerpt from the Congressional Records containing the remarks made by your father. Senator La Follette, at the time of the presentation of the document in question.

“I wish to say that the ## looks very innocent but I managed to se## a copy of the Hungarian Petition through some other source, and after reading it. I am sorry to say that your father did a great injustice to all the Jews by introducing that petition which is anti-Semitic propaganda “rehashed” from the famous anti-Semitic articles of Henry Ford. Anyone can see at a glance that the pamphlet is anti-Semitic propaganda, and it would be almost impossible to make the Jews of this country believe that your father did not know anything about the anti-Semitic character of the above petition when he introduced it.

“You say that you have since stopped sending out copies of the petition. Of course, it is hard for me to tell how many hundred or thousand copies hate already been sent out; but the fact of having that petition introduced into the Senate and copies of it printed with your father’s name used in connection with same has helped to spread the “poison” of anti-Semitism a good deal further than it would have spread if your father’s name had not been used.

Very truly yours,

Jacob Epstein.

NEXT STORY