Berlin (Feb. 12)
(By Our Berlin Correspondent)
The Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith in its work of combating anti-Semitism no longer engages in making complaints and interventions to the authorities, Dr. Alfred Wiener, the syndicus of the Central Union, stated in the course of his report to the Biennial Conference of the Union.
The policy of the Central Union now was to observe events calmly and on this basis to conduct a campaign of enlightening the German people as to the true character of the Jews. The time for complaints was over. What they had to do now was to make use of the opportunities for the free exchange of opinion. This made their work more difficult and more complicated, but it was also securing more satisfying results.
The Central Union, Dr. Wiener said, carried on its work of enlightenment among the masses of the German people in three ways: through the spoken word, through the printed word and through the achievements of the Jewish Germans. As an example of the way in which they penetrated with their message to the German masses, he quoted the case of one worker in the Central Union, Herr Norbert Einstein, who had addressed no less than 200 meetings destroying the legend of Jewish capitalism. There were many Jewish and non-Jewish friends of the Central Union, including prominent men in German public life who were working for the cause of the Jewish Germans. The Central Union was issuing pamphlets and other publications explaining the truth about the Jews to the non-Jewish readers. The special monthly issue of the “C.V.-Zeitung,” which was published for Christian readers, had a circulation of 55,000 copies. In the last two years the Philo publishing house had issued twenty-eight new works which were being sold by more than 700 booksellers. They were also using the radio and the film to promote their work. The basis of their work was Germanism and Judaism.
State Secretary Dr. Julius Hirsch who followed with an address on the economic problems of German Jewry, said that there was a feeling of pessimism among the Jews of Germany now in regard to their economic future. It was especially noticeable among the youth and it was producing an unhealthy attitude. It was true that there was an economic boycott of Jews in Germany, it was ture that Jews had difficulty in obtaining employment, and there were other things which naturally caused anxiety. Nevertheless, they were safe in assuming that Germany in its work of reconstruction could not dispense with any help and that the energies of the Jews would be put to proper use. Palestine was too small a country to be able to solve the economic Jewish question. He urged them to fight against the slogan taken over from the anti-Semites that trading and acting as middlemen in the distribution of goods, was parasitical and non-productive. In America they held that service was the most important function. What the Jews achieved in commerce was not in the Jewish interest but in the interest of Germany. The Jews formed less than one per cent, of the total population of Germany and the fall in their birthrate was higher than among the non-Jews, (12 percent as against 8 percent.) Almost a third of all the German Jews, as many as 173,000, lived in Berlin. About two-thirds of German Jewry live in the cities. Only a third lived in the smaller towns and on the land. They were for the most part engaged in commerce and banking.
We German Jews, Professor Hirsch concluded, are a part of German economic life in which the tendency of development is proceeding on the same lines as in the great western countries and in America. The position of the German Jews, he said, is difficult but full of hope. German production is showing an upward tendency, and the new economic methods were bound to open up a new sphere of activity for what were the especial abilities of the Jew. He deprecated the tendency among some Jews to deny that Jewish influence was important. It would be much more useful, he thought, to show that Jewish influence is of benefit to mankind and is indispensable.