Boston (Aug. 20)
The Boston Globe publishes a leading editorial today in which it condemns the anti-Semitic events current throughout the world and where it queries the League of Nations why they are being permitted “to assume the proportions of a rabid and widespread outrage.”
The editorial refers to the manifesto appealing to the conscience of the Christian would, issued by the world Jewish conference which concluded its sessions in Geneva last Tuesday evening.
The editorial, signed by Uncle Dudley, lists Greece, Roumania, Poland and Germany as the lands where the outrages against the Jews have reached their height. It declares:
The manifesto issued at Geneva by the international Jewish Conference, protesting the treatment accorded members of that race in many European nations, is at once a vigorous indictment, grounded in facts which are indisputable, and an appeal to the several Governments cited and to the League of Nations to execute their solemn pledges and statutory laws.
There is ample cause for the indignation of these representatives of the Jewish race. This is not the first time protests of a like nature have been lodged. It represents the climax of a steady stream of thoroughly documented complaints, flowing in upon the officials who direct policy at Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Athens, Bucharest, Budapest and Vienna during the past half dozen years. Thus, to consider the protests filed at Geneva alone, no less than 525 petitions for redress of grievances were brought there by minorities in European States between 1920 and 1930, a very large proportion of which were concerned with complaints against brutal anti-Semitic activities. Some idea of the steady increase of this wretched phase of affairs in Europe can be gleaned from noticing that, between June 1, 1930, and June 1, 1931, a torrent of 204 complaints poured into the headquarters of the League. These, again, showed a rapidly mounting proportion of petitions relating to treatment of the Jews.
The problem of minorities in the European scene is vast and complicated, as all are aware who take the trouble to examine it. It is true, furthermore, that the difficulties confronting the Jewish people in the various nations of Europe constitute but one part of that larger confusion. But this is far from the whole story. For, with respect to practically all other minorities problems, elements of nationalism, politics and past cultural history enter the picture. In the case of the Jews, these are absent in any comparable sense. The incredibly brutal attacks to which these latter are increasingly being subjected in Eastern Europe, from the Baltic to the Aegean, spring from race hatred, religious intolerance and a brash national egotism. The Jews are struggling not only against injustices leveled at them by the dominant nationalities in various countries in that area; they are equally under attack from other concomitant minorities.
During the past two years, particularly during the past dozen months, this sort of thing has developed to the proportions of an international scandal. Since the first of the present year, Jewish settlements in Greek cities have been mobbed and demolished, with considerable injury to the victims. No adequate redress has been offered and no proper penalties inflicted by the Greek Government upon the thugs and ruffians responsible.
Bad as is the plight of the Jews in parts of Greece, it is infinitely worse in Roumania. In that country scarce a month passes without anti-Semitic demonstrations, savage street attacks, murders, beatings, and the destruction of Jewish-owned property. And whereas in Greece the Government indulges in the pretense of action, in Roumania the rulers pay almost no attention to such lawlessness.
In both Roumania and Hungary not only does this baiting of a helpless minority proceed unchecked. It is condoned by the courts. Jewish students, seeking education at the universities, are mauled and pummeled in periodic attacks from hostile student societies, whose actions bring but scant reproof from the authorities. Severe penalties are inflicted upon Jewish students arrested in the act of defending themselves; their opponents are benefited by every leniency and legalistic ovation within muster of prejudice.
Poland, which has been notorious for its ruthless manhandling of all minorities since it emerged as a post-war State, is at present passing through another flurry of anti-Semitic barbarity. The pains taken by Warsaw to conceal the evidence are frustrated by a steady stream of detailed reports now making its way into Western Europe.
Germany, since Hitler’s advent to prominence, has been hag-ridden by a similar fanaticism. The well-known theories of the Nazi leader regarding the Jews in Germany, his proclaimed purpose of outlawing them from citizenship, confiscating their properties, and denying them the rights claimed by other Germans, need no repetition. Of more moment are the consequences being produced by such preachments of hate. During the past three months the Jews in the Reich have been subjected to indignities, to assaults, and to such damage to their homes and business as to have caused the “New Statesman” in London to lift powerful voice demanding redressive action.
Every nation involved in this disgraceful business is committed by solemn treaties against it. A host of minorities pacts forbid it. The League at Geneva is pledged to prevent it. Why, then, is it being permitted to assume proportions of a rabid and widespread outrage?