Paris (Mar. 27)
Antisemitism is a barometer indicating the state of civilisation of a people, but a falling barometer, going the wrong way, M. Paul Painleve, former Prime Minister of France, writes in an article “Antisemitism and Democracy” appearing in “L’Opinion Juive”. The growth of antisemitism among a civilised people or a people claiming to be civilised, is a retrogression towards barbarism.
Antisemitism, held in check by the rise of democracy in the last century, has now burst out anew, M. Painleve says, and in the hands of malicious agitators it is a powerful instrument of propaganda, inciting the masses to pillage and savagery. In countries where for the past twenty-five years the word pogrom could only rouse disgust, people now acclaim programmes calling for massacres and wholesale expulsions of Jews.
It is one of the glories of the French Revolution that 140 years ago it gave equal rights to all men. The Jews of France have proved themselves worthy of the confidence reposed in them. They are Frenchmen, like all others, as devoted as the French people of ancient origin to the fatherland which they have adopted, and contributing all their ability and their devotion towards the development of our nation.
Down with antisemitism! is a cardinal principle of democracy, in the interests of its own preservation, and the maintenance of law and order.