Louis Marshall, Leader of American Jewry, Dies in Zurich; World Jewry Mourns
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Louis Marshall, Leader of American Jewry, Dies in Zurich; World Jewry Mourns

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Louis Marshall, beloved leader of American Jewry, died here today at 3 P. M. Zurich time (9 A. M. New York time).

The end came following an illness of several weeks; during which he was operated on twice for an affection of the pancreas. Two blood transfusions were resorted to in an effort to conquer spreading gangrene. He was taken ill several days after the conclusion of the conference which constituted the Jewish Agency for Palestine, for the purpose of which he proceeded to Europe notwithstanding his 73 years and reluctance for ocean travel.

James Marshall, his eldest son, Mrs. Rosenberg, his sister, Dr. Judah Leib Magnes, Chancellor of the Hebrew University and a brother-in-law of Mr. Marshall, and Dr. Hyman G. Enelow, Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El, of which the late Mr. Marshall was president, were at his bedside when the end came.

Dr. Magnes stated to the correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that arrangements are being completed for bringing the body back to the United States for burial. The family of Mr. Marshall residing in New York was informed of his death by transatlantic telephone from Zurich.

The news of Mr. Marshall’s death rapidly became known throughout New York City, causing grief and consternation in Jewish as well as non-Jewish quarters. The Associated Press, through the service of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, transmitted the news from coast to coast, and statements of grief poured in from all parts of the country. Notable tributes to the late Jewish leader and outstanding American were paid by President Herbert Hoover, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, Felix M. Warburg, Julius Rosenwald and other leaders in statements made to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

Dr. Cyrus Adler has called an extraordinary meeting of the American Jewish Committee, of which Mr. Marshall was president, for today.

The following are among the tributes received:


“I am deeply grieved to learn that my friend, Louis Marshall, has passed away. His eminent services in law, government, conciliation and philanthropy will remain of enduring value to his country. His Jewish brethren will long gratefully remember his successful labors in promoting mutual respect and good will amongst the races. But above all he will linger in memory as a loveable man and a loyal friend.”


“Louis Marshall was and has been for a number of years one of the most successful and active lawyers of New York and has been a great many times before the bar of our Court. He has had a special interest in cases affecting constitutional rights and has made a reputation for his skill in that branch of the law.

“He has been one of those conducting most important cases before our court and has earned a position among the leaders of the bar. By reason of his great labors and his success he will be missed at the bar as one of its most prominent members.”


“The news of Louis Marshall’s death filled those of us who have had the privilege of being his close associates with the deepest sorrow and the feeling of a personal loss which cannot well be expressed in words.

“He and I both came to New York about thirty-five years ago and ever since that time I have had the privilege of enjoying, first, his acquaintance, then his cooperation, then his counsel and then his friendship which never more than on this last trip to Zurich ripened into the most devoted intimacy.

“I shall always remember, among the many wonderful experiences which we have had together in carrying on the relief work in so many countries, the ovation which was brought to him at the conclusion of the Zurich conference when he had gained the love and confidence of people from all over the world to such an extent that the Constitution which he had worked out with so much devotion was accepted by them by acclamation upon his statement that it was well considered and covered the points to satisfaction, and its approval was given by the assembly by a rising unanimous vote. His gratified smile in acknowledging this ovation was the only decoration which he would have accepted from his people. No more beautiful culmination of his wonderful life could those who loved him have wished. His place cannot be filled by one man nor by (Continued on Page 2)

“A beautiful life has come to its end; some wonderful friendships have been torn but he has erected a monument in the hearts of his countrymen that will endure for a long time and his memory will forever be an inspiration to his devoted friends.”


“Louis Marshall is dead. As a result this nation is poorer today than yesterday. One of her very great men has gone. One of her splendid dependable assets, one of her strengths, her resourceful minds has passed to the beyond and the whole great public, his associates and his intimate friends who admired him so much and loved him are all griefstricken.

“When a great creative mind can never think again, when a powerful, courageous, wise, inspiring mind passes from this earth, whose judgment we so highly prized, when such a man leaves us forever, we are poorer, terribly poorer.

“This man with vast experience, with contempt for pettiness, with knowledge deep and clear, whose brain was quick, whose decisions and acts were almost instantaneous, who honored his lofty position and who used it to help always and never to hurt others, has run his course in one brief lifetime with application, energy, imagination and ambition. He has devoted himself unsparingly for the benefit of the oppressed of every race, of every land. His love for his native land was a passion with him. He was always ready to serve his country in war or in peace.

“He was to me a wise counsellor and guide. I am heartbroken.”


“I have just learned, with the deepest sorrow, of the death of Louis Marshall. The community and his many thousands of friends have suffered an irreparable loss in his passing.

“Few men have served so well, or so long as he, or have had so many professional and sociological interests. He was an outstanding lawyer; a great leader in communal and philanthropic activities, an indefatigable and constant fighter for the political and religious rights of all peoples, and to each activity he brought an understanding and a sympathy that I have rarely seen equaled.

“I have worked with him in communal and philanthropic activities for thirty years, and my close association developed on my part an affection, a respect and an admiration I have felt for few other men. His whole life was based on ardent devotion and loyalty to his country and to his religious faith. No personal sacrifice or effort was too great for him, when the interests of either were at stake.

“His death is a great loss to us all and he will be deeply missed in the many activities with which he was so devotedly associated. Thousands of people all over the world will mourn him in death as they loved him in life.”


“Louis Marshall was one of the great lawyers of our day, but he was more than that. He was a champion of the Jewish race so indominitable and brilliant that I do not know where or when his successor will be found. His loss is irretrievable.”


“It is difficult for me, to adjust myself to the terrible news which reached me only a short while ago, that Louis Marshall is no more. While I had been kept in constant touch with the situation, I simply would not permit the thought to enter my mind that even physical dissolution could come so suddenly to this matchless and deathless figure in everything that pertained to life, to action, to everything which pulsated with hope and never-ending good deeds. I have known and been inspired by him for the better part of my life, but nevr throughout that period, to the very last minute of our leavetaking in Zurich on August 16th-even when I read the discouraging bulletin of his physicians this morning-could I reconcile that marvellously fruitful life with eternal stillness.

“But the blow has fallen, a heavy, a crushing blow, and world Jewry, never so much in need of his great soul, his tremendous courage and the leadership of his wonderful mind and heart, is desolated and prostrated at the irreparable loss it has sustained.

“To dwell upon his achievements, to mention his services to Jewry and to mankind in general, are beyond the powers of my pen; but it can truthfully be said that they constitute the history of his people for the past half century.

“In every effort for the disinherited, for the downtrodden, for the persecuted, Jew or non-Jew, here, in this country and elsewhere; whether in behalf of afflicted Jewry in Eastern Europe or for the persecuted in other lands, for whom he waged a magnificent battle against closing of the doors of the United States to their entry; whether in behalf of various Indian tribes in this country to whom he felt an injustice had been done, or in behalf of Catholic Christians to whose defense he came against the intolerant and bigoted attacks and benighted groups here; whether in behalf of all racial and religious minorities for whom he waged the successful battle which resulted in the incorporation in Versailles Treaty of the clause guaranteeing their rights in all countries, or in the greatest constructive and life-saving program of all times, initiated and carried through by American Jewry in behalf of the destitute Jews, victims of the World War-these and many others which require no mention at this time invariably commanded his superb leadership and superlative talents and abilities.

“The shepherd of his flock has been gathered unto his fathers. Stilled is his voice leading his people to shelter and safety, but we, his friends, his devoted and loyal followers in every station of life, in the midst of our deep heartache and almost inconsolable grief, we are grateful for the heritage he has left us-the great and glorious heritage-the privilege to carry on where he has left off. The councils of pity and compassion in which he stood so preeminent, the peoples of the lands of Eastern Europe from which I have only just returned and where his name was spoken in almost worshipful tones and loving reverence by the thousands with whom I spoke,-reformed Jew or orthodox Jew, capitalist or Socialist, Zionist or non-Zionist, rich or poor, all these which through his last and final efforts became united in the new hope for a harmonious Jewry which would strive for a finer, a better and ideal Eretz Israel-to them Louis Marshall has bequeathed his great soul, his wonderful heart, his matchless ideals of service and his indomitable courage, to hearten and to strengthen them in the work which lies before them and to which he gladly and beyond a doubt gave his life.

“I too have this wonderful and priceless legacy. But nevertheless I have never before felt so woefully bereaved and impoverished.”


“I had been hoping that a miracle would happen and that Louis Marshall would be spared to us for years to come.

“This is no time to speak of the greatness of the man. Only history itself will be able to present the (Continued on Page 3)

“For nearly thirteen years I have worked closely with him in many of the activities to which he gave his great genius. During this period my relations with him changed from that of a purely social contact to one almost resembling the attitude of a dutiful son to a loving father.

“A request from Mr. Marshall to me was a command; his judgment was my judgment; his work, my work. My love, respect, and admiration grew with the years and his loss to me is a very personal one.

“His death was as he himself might have wished it-in the fullness of his vigor, in the midst of the greatest of all the great accomplishments that stood to his credit, at a time when he gave of himself with greater abundance than at any time in his history.

“Louis Marshall, starting life at the foothills, had reached the mountain tops-the highest peaks-and throughout the entire course of his life had scattered the seeds of understanding and sympathy, so that a great harvest has been reaped during the period of his life, and he has so cultivated the soil that this harvest will increase as time goes on. All who have come in contact with him have been enriched and we can repay him only by carrying on in greater measure all of the works of his mind and of his heart.

“I, as one of his disciples, pledge myself without stint to those causes in which his life was bound up.”


Upon the news of the death in Zurich of Uouis Marshall, outstanding Jewish leader, a special meeting was called of the Zionist Organization of America Administrative Committee by Dr. David J. Kaliski, Chairman, which adopted a resolution expressing grief at the passing of Mr. Marshall. The resolution which was adopted, reads as follows:

“The passing of Louis Marshall has bereaved world Israel of one of its immortal sons, and the United States of one of its most distinguished citizens. The news of his death in Zurich is too sudden to permit an evaluation of his lasting achievements in every humanitarian field. The grief of Jewry is too intense, the sense of loss too profound to do more at the moment than acknowledge his greatness as a man, his sterling character an as American and his nobility as a Jew.

“There is no cause in Jewish life which was worthy which did not have Louis Marshall as its champion. There was no occasion when injustice was shown the Jew that Louis Marshall did not raise his powerful voice demanding equity. Louis Marshall made Jewish history, making possible its hours of triumph and softening the sorrow of its days of disaster.

“To the Zionists of America and throughout the world the name of Louis Marshall had come to have momentous significance. His great zeal in securing the interest of all sections of the Jewish people in the rebuilding of Palestine was finally rewarded in Zurich, when the pact of the Jewish Agency, uniting Zionists and non-Zionists, was passed. ‘I have finally attained my ideal,’ was the manner in which Louis Marshall characterized that epochal event. Like Moses of old, however, this beloved leader was destined not to see the great progress which his efforts for Palestine will have made possible.

“Louis Marshall stood above all groups in Jewry. His was the voice that held the ear of all. His death leaves vacant a gigantic gap in the leadership of world Jewry. None can fill it. But his spirit will remain an everlasting inspiration, guiding all Jews toward the realization of that great dream of the rebuilding of Zion with which Louis Marshall passed away.”


“Louis Marshall is dead. To me this is shocking news. A prince in the House of Israel has fallen and throughout the world multitudes are bowed in grief and sorrow for a great man. A leader in rational, liberal religious thought, social justice, civil rights, and a brilliant, courageous advocate of minorities, has passed away. He was not only a great Jew but a great American and his example will ever be an inspiration to mankind. His death creates a void in many places, here and abroad, that will be most difficult to fill. I have a keen sense of personal loss for he was to me a guide, philosopher, and friend in many matters and I held him in the greatest admiration and respect.”


“Mr. Marshall was one of the great lawyers of the country. He was also one of America’s and the world’s great Jews. A prodigious worker, his zeal and his amity equalled his intelligence and his ability a combination rarely to be found and when found naturally productive of fine results. His was a life devoted to his family, his profession, his country and his own people. And in each field his was an example most worthy to be followed. I mourn the loss of a very old and dear personal friend.”


“Although we have been expecting the blow for the past week we still hoped against hope. Now that it has fallen we are prostrated with grief.

“Louis and I have been bosom friends since boyhood-for over fifty-two years; partners for thirty-six years. We attended law school together. I brought him to New York from Syracuse and he lived with me until his marriage into my family.

“He was one of the finest, most truly religious and most upstanding men I have ever known. There was not a coarse fibre in his being. His love and devotion for the people of our race was beyond compare. For decades he has given more than generously of his time and means to their cause the world over. No misfortune that befell them in any corner of the earth was too far away to be reached by his outstretched arms. The full extent of his sacrifices will never be known. He was modest beyond description.

“The country has lost one of its most patriotic citizens and greatest constitutional lawyers; the Jews of the world have suffered the irreparable loss of their greatest champion Words cannot begin to visualize that loss. A great soul has departed.”


“I am indescribably grieved over the loss of this noble man.”


“It is very sad news to learn of the death of Louis Marshall, in Zurich.”


“I am deeply grieved over the passing of my dear old friend, Louis Marshall. He was a great international figure, a loyal patriot, a devoted Jew and ever stood forth as a champion of liberty and equal rights for all men. Our country needed his sterling Americanism. Jewry needed his clear thinking, indomitable courage. It will be long before his place can be filled.”


“A search of my innermost thoughts leaves me unable to find words that can adequately express what I feel in the passing of Louis Marshall. To have been privileged to know him closely and to have an intimate knowledge of his leadership and service to the community and his martyrdom in the cause of Jewish rights are all privileges that must continue to be an inspiration to those who have to continue to ‘Carry On’ and bear the torch that he so finely and courageously carried!”

Hon. Abram I. Elkus, former U. S. Ambassador to Turkey “All Jewry suffers in the irreparable loss of Louis Marshall. He was eager and active not only in defending the rights of his fellow men when they were oppressed but he promoted the advancement of his fellow men on all occasions. He was an eloquent lawyer and the bar loses a great ad (Continued on Page 4)


“Louis Marshall was the recognized leader of the Jewish people here and abroad. With powerless energy, with unyielding tenacity, with dauntless courage and with a tender Jewish heart he fought their battles, he alleviated their sufferings.

“His last great service was to bring together Zionists and non-Zionists to carry on the work of building up in Palestine a community of Jews animated by the spirit and ideals of our fathers.

“His loss is irreparable. Men can take his place, but those who have worked with him in the past must carry on his work in his spirit. His monument must be the successful completion of the work he has begun. All Jews must rally to the banner of Jewish idealism. In these days of sadness at the death of our great leader and the strife and disaster in the ancient land of Israel, we must resolve to maintain our Jewish faith and ideal and to build up in Palestine a center of Jewish culture and tradition which will inspire the world.”


“I am deeply grieved at the death of Mr. Marshall. The entire Jewish world will suffer from this loss. Mr. Marshall was one of our greatest citizens.”


“I last saw Mr. Marshall in his cabin on the ‘Majestic’ for half an hour before he sailed for Zurich, with his daughter and her husband, Dr. Billikopf present.

“His robust appearance, his vigorous comments on a number of subjects, his evident happiness at the prospect of successfully concluding the long and arduous work in connection with the Agency reflected such radiant health and youthfulness that it is very difficult to realize that he is gone. Only a few months ago he told me that he had been physically examined and found to be in excellent health.

“This is not the time to dilate upon Mr. Marshall’s unique and outstanding achievements and his tremendous services to the Jewish people (as well as to non-Jews) in so many different directions. These will be portrayed in biographies sure to be written in many languages. We have lost not merely the acknowledged leader of the present Jewish generation but a personality of equal immortality with the epochal figures of Jewish history. This is the severest blow Jewry has suffered for many years. And in these troublous days we will especially miss his masterly leadership.

“We, of the American Jewish Committee, to whose work Mr. Marshall devoted such a great part of his life, are overwhelmed and saddened beyond expression.”


“Louis Marshall will be remembered by the American people for his three outstanding qualities, namely, that of a philanthropist, a jurist and an American statesman of the highest type. The American Jews revered him because, as President of the American Jewish Committee he was ever on the alert to protect the rights of Jews, wherever these rights were violated, and because he was the inspiration that brought about the Joint Distribution Committee, which collected and disbursed over $60,000,000 among the war-ridden and distressed Jews of Eastern Europe.

“The Zionists will cherish his memory because he was the cornerstone of the structure of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, which brought together all elements of Jewry in an effort to rebuild Palestine. His death is most untimely, and will be keenly felt because the Jewish Agency, upon the establishment of which he labored so hard and so arduously, is just beginning to function.”


“It is only three weeks since Louis Marshall strode across the platform of the Town Hall in Zurich and affixed his signature to the Constitution of the enlarged Jewish Agency in Palestine? What a crowning moment it was to his life of noble effort for unity among Jews! Now he is gone and our grief at the loss of our unreplaceable leader stuns and prostrates us. What of that mountain of unfinished battles for good causes on his desk?

“Louis Marshall-beloved friend, inspiring leader, fearless warrior, So long as we or our children’s children live, your name will be a beacon calling on the best that is in us, a challenge, an inspiration, a prayer.”


“Louis Marshall was the unflinching champion of his people. We admired him for his fearlessness.


“Despite his 73 years, Louis Marshall’s death was untimely. He was stricken down at a moment when he was most needed in his people’s cause. The grave crisis in Palestine calls for precisely those qualities of mind and heart for which he was distinguished. Yet our grief at the overwhelming loss we have sustained is tempered by the realization of the fact that Mr. Marshall has lived to bring about this crowning achievement of his life-the union of all Jewish forces the world over, for the upbuilding of the Jewish National Home. His name will forever be associated with the historic Conference of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, at Zurich, over which he presided and to which his will and wisdom gave the breath of life, before he himself yielded to inexorable Death.”


“Those of us who must carry on will miss our Grand Marshal-his death comes at a time when we needed him most. His life is an inspiration. Thank God he was spared long enough to unite the Jews of the world under the banner of the Jewish Agency.”


“Having been closely associated with Mr. Marshall for over twenty years in practically all of his Jewish activities and known how profound was ever his love for and loyalty to the Jewish people, how great his sympathy and understanding, how unbounded his courage and energy and how splendid his ability to lead and guide, I regard his passing as the greatest individual loss the Jews of the world and certainly those of America, have suffered in many generations.

“Having held him in great esteem and cherished for him an affection not unmixed with veneration, his death has affected me as poignantly as would the passing of a beloved lifetime friend.

“I am unable to express my sorrow and grief.”


“I am inexpressibly saddened by the news of the death of Louis Marshall. Since our law school days at Columbia, fifty years ago, I have enjoyed his friendship.

“His universal love of our co-religionists, his great capacity for service, his brilliance in expounding the law, brought his career to an end as undoubtedly the world’s greatest Jew.

“I am bewildered to know where (Continued on Page 8)


World Jewry and America have suffered irreparable loss in the untimely death of the greatest Jewish leader of his time, Louis Marshall. He was my warm friend and his advice was invaluable to me. Time and again I sought his aid in immigration and other matters. He unhesitatingly gave of his time and money in all humane causes. Mr. Marshall’s constructive accomplishments have been shining lights in Jewish history.

“The Independent Order B’rith Abraham, of which I am the Grand Master, expresses deep sorrow and extends to his family sincere condolences.”


“The passing of Louis Marshall removed from American Jewry its recognized outstanding leader. His last journey to Switzerland to organize the Jewish Agency was the crowning achievement of his life, which made him beloved throughout the Jewish world, and his untimely death will be deeply mourned wherever Jews lived.

“His Jewishness transcended the limitations of labeled Judaism. He was neither a Reform Jew, nor a Conservative Jew, nor an Orthodox Jew. He was a Jew whose personality and outlook combined the best of all these viewpoints of Jewish life and thought. Nothing Jewish was alien to him. The sorrows of the Jewish people were his sorrows; their sufferings, his sufferings; their cause, his cause. Wherever Jewish rights were infringed, wherever human rights were violated, Louis Marshall was always ready to defend and protect the weak and the oppressed. His tireless work, his legal genius, and his passion for justice were at all times given by him energetically and most generously.”

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