our youth. What we are experiencing is not new in the history of Judaism. Only the Jews have changed. Formerly, they were so genuine that they could not be shaken by outside danger. The nineteenth century has destroyed these forces. But Zionism, by introducing Palestine is creating a new backbone for the Jewish people.”
Commenting upon this speech in the “C-V Zeitung”, organ of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, Dr. Eva Reichmann-Jungmann expresses the view that the impartial reader of the speech cannot but gain the impression of an unusually close harmony between the Zionist task in Germany as developed by Dr. Blumenfeld and the ideals of the Central Verein.
Nevertheless, there are, as before, deep differences, she says. First the question whether emancipation will lead to permanent solution of the Jewish question. In spite of all disappointments, emancipation is a decisive step towards the solution; certainly, it is not the solution itself, as some may have believed in earlier times, but it is an essential premise on the way to the solution.
“Solution of the Jewish question does not mean: the living-together of Jews and non-Jews without friction, at the expense of the Jewish future, but: establishment of dignified conditions for the existence of a vital Jewish community in the German Homeland and in unseparable connection with it. The concept of dignity does not preclude a certain degree of tension between the Jewish and the non-Jewish parts of the population. Also the creative power of the German people can be traced in part to the variety of tensions between the various German stocks.
“Not the Zionists but the Jewish Nationalists deserve the reproach of having misinterpreted the development during the new century and of having misunderstood this time, which was only a phase of the development. For, the Zionist idea of the impossibility of solving the Jewish question outside of Palestine is valid only in the world of thoughts and the external appearances of the narrow present. But neither is the judgment of the present on the possibilities of a symbiosis of Jews and non-Jews as unequivocally negative as Blumenfeld believes, nor is it at all possible to draw unfallible conclusions for the solution of secular problems from conditions of the present time of crisis and chaos.
“It is true, the regrettable events of recent times may blind very many persons even of great insight; Blumenfeld says that for practical political purposes, the question of our spiritual adaptation to our environment has become unimportant. He is right in the sense that the degree of this adaptation belongs to the realm of the psychologist.
“Practical basis of our German Jewish being is emancipation, Negation of dispersion means sacrifice our being, affirmation of our dispersion means preservation. Basis, it is true, does not mean security. But, security is necessary today more than ever; security against every attempt to infringe upon the equality of our civil status, security through untiring efforts to preserve the dangerously threatened substance of our Judaism. But this security must not be based on the idea that our German Jewish being is an evil which must be endured because Palestine is not able, at the present time, to absorb us all,” Dr. Reichmann-Jungmann concludes.