Jewish Press Unanimous in Condemning Max D. Steuer’s Assertion

The Yiddish press is unanimous in its criticism of the accusation and later modification of his charge by Max D. Steuer with regard to Jewish relief funds sent to Europe prior to 1925.

The “Jewish Morning Journal” writing editorially terms Mr. Steuer’s assertions “A good lawyer’s bad case,” declaring: “The ever dissatisfied and always revolting Deputy Isaac Gruenbaum of Warsaw has had a talk with our well known Max D. Steuer in Zurich. Gruenbaum pumped into Steuer the old and 100 times repeated assertion concerning the losses suffered by American relief work through the changing rates of exchange of the Polish currency.

“At home Mr. Steuer is too busy with his professional and other duties to be informed concerning everything which was done and which is being done in the large and wideflung relief work. However, in the mild climate of Switzerland where a rest could be easily taken from the ‘fight for minority rights’ on a battlefield where the enemy was absent, the old story was told the American jurist as something new. The American jurist coming home gave out the story as good currency. It is therefore natural that Mr. Steuer should have to apologize for the bad case which Gruenbaum gave him,” the paper writes.

“The Day” in an editorial entitled “Irresponsibility” refers to its previous editorial where Mr. Steuer’s statement was termed “dangerous sensationalism.” “Mr. Marshall is absolutely right in his attitude,” the paper writes. “Mr. Steuer makes himself only ridiculous and to a high degree irresponsible when he attempts to place anybody under suspicion for that unfortunate time. On the other hand, Mr. Steuer proves that he knows very little concerning Jewish affairs and Jewish relief work in particular. Being anxious to get out of the great mistake he made, he tells a story that certain Polish Jewish representatives in Zurich have talked with him concerning a plan to colonize Polish needy Jews on the land. That plan may perhaps be all right and we have nothing in principle against it, but it has no connection with the question.

“What remains to be hoped is that Mr. Steuer’s irresponsibility will not cause any harm to Jewish relief work in any form.”

The “Jewish Daily News” similarly treats Mr. Steuer’s charge as an “irresponsible sensation.” Mr. Steuer, the paper says, “is a great criminal lawyer. He is learned and knows how to differentiate between facts and talk. He knows the principle of evidence. He knows that evidence from third hand cannot be accepted and even at first hand an able lawyer must look for the motive of the witness. Now, Mr. Steuer the lawyer did not take all this into consideration. He had heard something and made a sensation of it. He forgot that Gruenbaum was here not long ago and had he really had a case he could have made it public when he was here.

“Mr. Naumberg is a man who often writes short stories which may be good and which are sometimes not so good, but his authority as a social worker and champion of truth is not yet established. Mr. Steuer should have been the last man to take hotel lobby and cafe talk and offer it as facts.

“However, there was, as Shakespeare said, a method in his madness. There was a reason for Mr. Steuer to make this sensation. Steuer was a delegate to the conference on Jewish Rights held in Zurich. All the great Jewish organizations, rightly or wrongly, refused to participate in it. The conference was greatly excited over this and it was necessary to hit back.

“Mr. Steuer,” the paper goes on, “has simply excluded himself from the role of a Jewish communal leader. Such accusations are not made by a man of responsibility without the slightest evidence but only on the basis of what he heard from Gruenbaura and Naumberg. The Jewish public will know in what light to take such wild assertions.”

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