Anti-Semitism and Nationalism, an outgrowth of the dissatisfaction and hatred emanating from the post-war economic depression, must be reckoned with as a growing factor in German political and social life, declared Ernst Wallach, vice-president of the Central Association of German-Hebrew Citizens, an organization of 60,000 members, in an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency yesterday. Mr. Wallach, who is also a member of the board of the College for the Science of Judaism in Berlin, is now in this country.
Pointing out that the recent successes of the Right political parties, of which the National Socialist Labor Party is the most important, can no longer be overlooked, especially since their program includes militant anti-Semitism, Mr. Wallach, in speaking of the extent and political strength of the National Socialists, declared that “the uncrowned king of that party. Adolph Hitler, can point with pride to its unusual growth. In 1920 his party had only one local group with 64 members, while in 1928 it had 1,200 local groups with more than 100,000 members. In the Reichstag elections his party polled nearly 800,000 votes, but that this number is no real indication of its strength is evident from the fact that in the Prussian municipal elections alone it received more than 500,000 votes. This huge increase in vote is accompanied by an increase in propaganda.”
Asked about the intensity of this propaganda, Mr. Wallach said that “in 1928 there had been about 20,000 meetings addressed by 300 speakers. In October of this year more than 2,000 meetings were held. Jews are barred from these meetings, in which a military atmosphere prevails. The party has an important organ in the Munich “Voclkische Beobachter.” which is read all over Germany. In addition the National Socialists have five other daily papers seven weeklies, one illustrated paper, seven other periodicals (Continued on Page 4)
and they publish over 400,000 books and pamphlets.”
From some of Mr. Wallach’s statements it appears that even foreign polices in Germany are influenced by the Hitlerites, who while they are not alone in opposing the Young Plan, “do play the leading role in this propaganda. In addition to this influence on external affairs, the National Socialist movement, while not directly responsible for, has at least created, the atmosphere of Jew-hatred which has had a good deal to do with the vandalism in connection with the desecration of 76 Jewish cemeteries in Germany.”
In explanation of why the “Voelkische” ideas have found such wide acceptance among the German people. Mr. Wallach says “the main thing to blame is the bad economic condition. The post-war depression, together with the almost unbearable tax burden, have hit certain sections of the middle class unusually hard. On this soil of dissatisfaction, hatred and envy grow easily and will seek any sort of outlet. For many this outlet is radicalism and anti-Semitism.”
Mr. Wallach’s organization has made intensive efforts to apprehend the culprits guilty of cemetery violation and was instrumental in getting evidence to re### slander against the Jewish reli### by the editor of one of the ###rite organs, a slander which led ### famous “Talmud trial.”
###oncluded his interview with a ### of remarks explaining how the ###ral Association of German-He### Citizens is combatting the Hitlerites. “We have local groups in more than 3,500 places in Germany. In the last election we fought both anti-Semitism and radicalism by means of pamphlets, placards and election sheets, but in normal times, too, we conduct a propaganda of enlightenment among various groups. One hundred thousand copies of our ‘Central Verein Zeitung’ were distributed throughout Germany. We not only make efforts to repulse anti-Jewish attacks, but we devote ourselves to the dissemination of a propaganda of enlightenment in order to rid the German body politic of the poison of Jew-hatred. As a result of our work we are in perhaps a better position than one would imagine to stem the tide of Jew-hatred. Our sincerest wish is to disseminate among the masses of Germans ideas of people and state, or religion and fatherland, as they were taught by the greatest liberal and humanitarian personalities of all nations of all times. And because of this it is all the more to be regretted that our financial resources are so limited. Since anti-Semitism everywhere receives its spiritual armor from Germany, it is the duty of world Jewry to help us in our fight against anti-Semitism, for in the last analysis we are fighting for the honor of Judaism.”