Dr. S. Parkes Cadman, Chairman of the Committee on Good Will Between Jews and Christians of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America, severely condemns the Nazi anti-Semitic movement as a danger to German unity and a flagrant injustice to the Jews in a lengthy article which appeared in the Sunday issue of the “Herald-Tribune.”
Dr. Cadman traces the history of anti-Semitism in Germany and the reasons which gave rise to the present anti-Jewish campaign of the Nazis.
The Nazi leaders, he writes point to the Jews. “Strike the Jews!” they cry, as if, then, “all the German troubles will be at an end.
“It is this political warp of intolerance and hate that anti-Semitism in Germany is being woven. Jews are to blame, the Nazis say, for all the weaknesses in Germany’s character, for all the shame of her history.
“It all seems preposterous, but in the tense desperation of today high-strung nerves and pitched emotions make for hysterical sentimentalism.
“This horrible stereotype of the Jew is driven home by an attempt to detach all pleasant, appreciative associations with him. For example, the astounding claim is put forth that Jesus of Nazareth was not a Jew at all, but rather was born of a Persian woman and of a German father who had wandered down into Palestine. And then in caricature, song and speech the most hideous distortions of Jews are broadcast. A placard caricature I have in mind depicts the murder for ritual purposes of a Christian child by rabbis (to stamp out that lie I may say there is no blood sacrifice of any kind in the Jewish synagogue).
“Although the National Socialist political party has adopted anti-Semitism as ‘the sentimental fundament of the movement,’ to quote Gottfried Feder, it by no means created anti-Semitism in Germany,” he continues. “Religious, political and social agitation against the Jews played a conspicuous part in the political struggles of the concluding quarter of the nineteenth century. The extreme section of the anti-Semites declared that it was a racial struggle.
“General prosperity no doubt would abate the fury.
“A careful scrutiny of the program, pamphlets, books, newspapers, weeklies, posters, speeches and lyrics composed, devised, published or uttered by the Nazis shows the anti-Semitism of the present to be in its essentials the same as that of the last century. The religious element, however, is almost no issue. Wilhelm Stapel, an editor of the not insignificant bi-monthly ‘Deutsches
Volkstum’â€”’German Peopledom’â€”says that anti-Semitism for religious reasons is dead. Nevertheless, in general it is apparent that the anti-Semitism of the National Socialists comprehends all walks of life. The anti-Semite of today has the support of a strong party, a party that has definitely adopted anti-Semitismâ€”not the older anti-Semitism which was not a state anti-Semitism, but a private one. Anti-Semitism would be a policy of state should the Nazis gain power. Hitler goes so extremely far as to say that anti-Semitism will be the bedrock of his political economy when and if he comes into power.
“Thus the current anti-Semitism of the Nazis threatens to outrun all earlier manifestations. The level of taste has sunk far below any human dignity. It betrays a wholly infantile insight into the solution of Germany’s complicated problems. Anti-Semitism and its expression in a program of rigorous proscription of Jewish activities may seem a simple solution. Indeed it is all too simple.
“Moreover, the ideal working of such a program would lead to a sterility of culture as unwelcome as it is now unanticipated by the contemporary agitators. The solution of cultural divergencies is not through elimination, but rather through a painstaking integration of variety. This requires patience; but above all, it requires imagination.
“The ‘solution’ of the Nazis can hardly be said to manifest either. Anti-Semitism in Germany will die when the citizens of that splendid nation awaken to the new democracy. Civilization has passed the day of homogeneous tribal states. Thoughtful leaders of mankind now prize diversity of cultural groups in the interaction between which every group is stimulated to new growth, to the honor and glory of the nation. The present movement, as all anti-Semitic agitation in the past, can hardly be judged by intelligent and sympathetic critics as other than a shame and a disgrace to Germany, a blot on German culture, a danger to German unity and a flagrant injustice to the Jews themselves,” Dr. Cadman concludes.