Berlin (Oct. 13)
Field-Marshal von Pindenburg, the President of the German Republic, has sent a personal letter to-day to Dr. Karl Joseph Melchior, congratulating him on his 60th. birthday, which occurred to-day, and expressing his appreciation of Dr. Melchior’s great services to the German State. The letter is accompanied by a signed portrait of President Hindenburg.
Dr. Karl Joseph Melchior, whose family, which is related to the Warburgs, came from Denmark, was born in Hamburg. He entered the Hamburg banking firm of Max Warburg in 1902, and became a partner in 1917.
During the Great War he was sent to Roumania as German delegate to conclude grain and financial agreements. He was also the financial Rapporteur of the German delegations in Petersburg and Kiev. In 1918 and 1919 he was Chairman of the Finance Committee of the German Armistice Commission. In 1919, he was one of the six German delegates at the peace negotiations in Versailles. In 1920 he was the German expert at the Spa and Brussels conferences between Germany and the Entente countries, and in 1922 he participated in the Genoa Conference. In 1926 he was appointed the German member of the Permanent Finance Commission of the League of Nations, and recently he was Chairman of the Commission. In 1929 he was the chief German representative at the Reparations Conference in Paris. When the International Settlements Bank in Basle was established, he became the German Representative on the Board of Directors, and he is a Vice-President of the Bank.
Dr. Melchior has several times been offered membership of the German Federal Cabinet, but he has always refused to join the Government.
Last year, when Dr. Melchior found that his work on the Board of Directors of the International Settlements Bank in Basle would not allow him sufficient time to continue to act also on the Finance Commission of the League of Nations, and decided to resign, the members of the Commission adopted a unanimous resolution urging him to reconsider his decision, and describing him as “one of the most competent members of the Commission”. The British, French, Italian and Polish members of the Commission all pleaded with Dr. Melchior that he should continue to act on the Commission.
Like his friend, relative and partner, Herr Max Warburg, Dr. Melchior has been constantly subjected to attacks by the German antisemites, because he is a Jew. Several times, in 1923, 1924, 1925 and 1926, he figured in libel actions taken against ex-Deputy Fritsch, the octagenarian publisher of the antisemitic “Hammer”, for publishing allegations that Herr Max Warburg and he had during and after the war been acting in league with Herr Max Warburg’s brothers, Mr. Felix M. Warburg, and Mr. Paul M. Warburg, citizens of the United States, to betray Germany to the Allies. Herr Max Warburg and Dr. Melchior as the financial experts on the German side at the Peace Conference at Versailles, ex-Deputy Fritsch said, had sold Germany to the Allies. They were acting there as the representatives of international Jewry, according to its secret plans, to bring about universal disruption and to build up on the ruins the Jewish State and Jewish world domination.
Dr. Melchior and Herr Max Warburg emphatically denied the charges when they appeared in court, and Herr Max Warburg declared that during the war he had not seen his brothers who were in America. He had been called in as a financial expert to advise the German representatives at the Peace Conference, and he had done his duty in that respect as a loyal German. The Jews of Germany, he said, had time and again proved their loyalty to the Fatherland, and many of them had shown themselves capable and loyal advisors on State policy.
Ex-Deputy Fritsch was repeatedly found guilty of libel and was sentenced to imprisonment, but managed by constant appeals against the sentence to drag the matter.