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Fiftieth Anniversary of Johann Jacoby is Commemorated in Germany

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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

The fiftieth anniversary of the death of Johann Jacoby, the famous German statesman and fighter for democracy, was celebrated all over the country yesterday. The whole of the Democratic Press published articles and editorials dealing with Jacoby’s life and work.

The “Vorwaerts” writes: “November 2, 1848, was a momentous day in the life of Germany when Johann Jacoby stood at the head of a delegation before the Palace of Sans-Souci and said to King Frederick Wilhelm IV: “That is the misfortune of kings: they do not wish to hear the truth.”

The “Vossische Zeitung” writes: “Charges of treason and lese-majeste were brought against Jacoby but he stood firmly by his ideas. As a member of the German and Prussian National Assemblies, he always stood for Democracy. The German Republic has good cause to remember this man who championed always the cause of true democracy and liberty.”

Jacob was born at Koenigsberg in 1805. He was a physician and played a great part in the combatting of the cholera epidemic in Poland. When the disease which was almost unknown in Europe broke out in Warsaw, he hastened to the cholera hospital there and fought to stem its progress. On his return he was invited to lay the results of his researches before the Koenigsberg Medical Society, the outcome being improved Government regulations for the prevention and treatment of the disease.

Jacoby was one of the first fighters for Jewish emancipation in Germany, demanding that the Jews should be invested with equality as a matter of right instead of having privileges doled out to them as favors.

In the agitation of 1848 he was recognized as one of the chief leaders of the Democratic movement. In 1863 he delivered a speech to the electors of Berlin denouncing militarism and the Junkers, for which he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. In later years he stood alone in Parliament in violent opposition to Bismarck, the Austrian war, the reorganization of the army and the North German Bund. His opposition to the annexation of Alsace-Lorraine led to his arrest in 1870 and he was imprisoned for five weeks.

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