Berlin (Sep. 10)
Instead of weeping we must build, Rabbi Dr. Felix Goldmann writes in the “C. V. Zeitung”, the official organ of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, urging German Jewry to start a vigorous campaign against the economic distress of German Jewry. As a first step towards constructive work, Dr. Goldmann suggests the establishment of an institute in German Jewry which would work in conjunction with the Central Welfare Office of German Jews, to enquire into the possibilities of providing economic openings for German Jews. The institute would follow the line of development of economic life in general, he says, and would be able to warn Jews against entering certain branches of economic life because its research work would have shown that there was no field there for Jewish employment, or it would be able to direct attention to new economic openings, thus filling gaps in economic life.
The great danger is, he says, that we may succumb to the spirit of fatalism that is beginning to sweep over German Jewry. Economic development is moving towards collectivisation and Jews have been accustomed in the past to individual enterprise. Side by side with the trend towards collectivisation, there is the growing social and political antisemitism, which is narrowing down the scope of employment of Jews. The pessimists, seeing this, bewail the end of the Jews, and the only consolation which the optimists can offer is to say that Jews have succeeded in the past in getting out of worse plights. It would be wiser to set about looking for gaps in the existing economic system into which Jews could still find entrance. There certainly still are such gaps. There are branches of economic life which have been organised on individualist lines, and which put up a strong resistance to collectivisation, and there are new occupations coming into existence, which will take a long time before they are pulled into the vortex of collectivisation, and it is in filling these gaps that the Jews will find their main field of economic activity.
In the same connection, Dr. Albert Hirschberg, the Acting Syndikus of the Central Union of German Citizens of Jewish Faith, has just been urging that it is essential to effect a shifting of the occupational composition of German Jewry by providing other openings for those large numbers of Jews who were previously members of the middle-classes and of the liberal professions, and who have been pushed out of their positions, and must be proletarianised. Such work is particularly important, he says, among the Jewish youth, who can find no openings in the traditional Jewish occupations, and are doing nothing at all.