The fact that the titles of the moving picture, “The King of Kings”, a Cecil de Mille production portraying the crucifixion story, now being exhibited in various parts of the United States, are being translated into 27 languages prior to the picture’s exhibition in Eastern and Central Europe has called forth the protest of Rabbi Herman Lissauer of Temple Emannel, Los Angeles. Writing in the “California Jewish Voice,” Rabbi Lissaner states:
“Unfortunately just at the time when the K. K. K. is on the wane and Henry Ford has withdrawn the lies spewed forth for years by the Dear-born Independent,” another dark cloud has appeared on the horizon. The motion picture ‘King of Kings’ is becoming a dangerous successor in the line of anti-Jewish influence. No passy-footing by the anti-defamation league of the B’nai Brith can hide the fact that this picture misrepresents the Jew as surely as the ‘Dearborn Independent’ has done it. It will raise a storm of angry passion in the hearts of religions bigots. It bears within itself a menace especially to the Jews of Eastern and Central Europe where it may easily stir the ignorant to religious frenzy and bloodshed.
Today we read an announcement that the titles of the ‘King of Kings’ are being translated into 27 languages preliminary to showing the picture in Poland Rumania, Hungary, Russia and every other country in the world. We prophecy that woe will come to the Jew of it. Perhaps in seven years from today, Mr. De Mille, Rudolph and Joseph Schildkraut & Co. may see the injustice of the thing they have done and they too like Henry Ford will say ‘we are sorry’. But repentance is neither antidote nor cure for the moral poison which is being injected deep into the spiritual constitution of mankind.”