Menu JTA Search

Feuchtwanger Says Hitlerism Has Accomplished Some Good in That It Consolidated Jewry

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Hitlerism has brought not only hardship for the Jews of Germany but has also accomplished some good in that it has strengthened the consolidation of German Jewry. This statement was made by Lion Feuchtwanger, noted German Jewish author, in an interview with a representative of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, upon his arrival on Thursday aboard the Europa on his first visit to the United States.

Before the rise of the Hitler movement, consciousness of their Jewish origin and affiliation was but very slightly developed among many German Jews.

“Never before has German Jewry been so united and so well organized as it is today,” declared the distinguished author. “For that we may thank the Hitlerite movement. The Hitlerite movement has, however, wrought considerable damage to the Jewish position in Germany and produced much suffering in particular for the Jews residing in the small provincial towns. In those places where the Jewish population is small, life was unbearable, and whoever is able to, escapes to the larger cities.

“The most distressing aspect of the Hitlerite movement is that it has infiltrated the youth with anti-Semitism, with the result that Jewish school children suffer at the hands of their colleagues,” he pointed.

Asked his view on the significance to the Jews of the resignation of the von Papen cabinet, Dr. Feuchtwanger said that the von Papen government is worse for the Jews than a Hitler re-

gime. The Hitlerites are at least outspoken in their disaffection for the Jews, while the von Papen government quietly puts into operation a discrimination of its own. Jews are systematically weeded out of the theatrical, motion picture and radio professions, all of which they have built up, thanks to the von Papen government.

He believes, however, that the crest of the Hitlerite wave of ascendancy has been broken and that the movement is now in a state of recession. Hitler, he holds, did not properly utilize the opportunities offered him at the peak of his movement.

Dr. Feuchtwanger revealed that the Hitlerites sought to stop the sale of his book “Success” wherein they are attacked, and even threatened to kill him.

He denied that he has any intention of following in the footsteps of a number of his colleagues who have renounced German citizenship because of the anti-Semitic movement. Dr. Feuchtwanger states that he is too strongly aligned with German culture to take such a step.

Asked whether he was a Zionist, Dr. Feuchtwanger replied that he is a “cultural Zionist” and that he would like to see established in Palestine a cultural Jewish center. “I hold that the Hebrew University in Jerusalem marks an excellent beginning toward that end.”

He revealed that he is planning a trip to Palestine and that he will deliver a series of lectures at the Hebrew University. This project, he said, he discussed with Dr. Chaim Weizmann in London recently.

“I want to make it clear, however, that I am not a Nationalist and that I am opposed to any aspect of chauvinistic nationalism, even when it is Jewish. My attitude toward Nationalism and Zionism approximates that of Professor Einstein,” he stated. “I am an internationalist in the broad meaning of the world. I am greatly interested in Jewish life because I am deeply conscious of it,” Dr. Feuchtwanger said.

He will stay in this country for several months and will make a lecture tour of the land. A number of Jewish subjects will be included in his lecture series.

NEXT STORY