A demand that the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai Brith unite in public action to bring about the removal of Boris Brasol as advisor to the American Government on the ground that he is a notorious anti-Semite and his retention is an insult to the Jewish people, is published in the editorial columns of the current issue of “Opinion.”
Mr. Brasol is chief witness of the United States Government in the suit of the Russian Volunteer Fleet Corporation, to recover $1,500,000 compensation for two vessels taken over by the Emergency Fleet Corporation during the war.
Charles Recht, attorney for the Russian Volunteer Fleet during the trial, has brought witnesses to attest to the notoriety of Brasol as an anti-Semite.
The hearings in the case, which were resumed this week, have now been suspended until February 23rd. Commissioner Cohn, a Jew, who sat in the case, was replaced, at his own request, and his place taken by Judge William R. Green.
Judge Green declared that neither Brasol’s alleged anti-Semitism nor his anti-Bolshevism impeached his creditability as a witness in this particular case.
The attorney for the Russian Volunteer Fleet Corporation brought as witnesses, who testified to Brasol’s unsavory reputation, Royal J. Davis, editorial writer of the New York “Evening Post”, Sidney Howard, playwright, and Dr. Abraham Coralnick, one of the editors of the “Day.”
Mr. Davis, Mr. Howard and Dr. Coralnick testified that in the course of their newspaper work, they became well acquainted with Brasol’s “bad” reputation, and his anti-Semitism, and that his reputation for veracity was bad.
Mr. Howard stated that he had become acquainted with Brasol’s reputation while employed on the Hearst papers ten years ago. Dr. Coralnick recalled Brasol’s unsavory part during the famous Beilis trial.
The government brought as its witnesses for Brasol, William E. Sims and S. Lawrence Miller, lawyers, and a Methodist Episcopal minister, George Albert Simons.
The minister, Simons, had testified before the Overman Committee investigating radicalism and sedition in 1919. The testimony of Simons drew a letter of protest from the late Louis Marshall and Judge Aaron Levy because of his anti-Semitic allegations.
“On first blush one might be tempted to believe that the office of the Attorney General had been guilty merely of a regrettable error, that the damning indictment made by Mr. Recht was the first inkling that the Government could have had of the character and record of Boris Brasol,” declares “Opinion.” “Alas, no such charitable view of the matter may be taken. For it appears that not only has Brasol been in the employ of the Department of Justice for a number of years, but Mr. Recht had long since intimated the facts, which he has now made public, to the representatives of the Attorney General and had even gone so far as to threaten to bring them into open court should Brasol be permitted to take the stand as a witness for the Government. Moreover, the Attorney General must have been aware of the activities past and present of Brasol, for his association with the infamous Beilis ritual murder case and his boast that ‘my books are equal to pogroms’ had been recorded as long ago as ten years in leading American periodicals. These facts lead inevitably to the conclusion that the office of the Attorney General has knowingly and wilfully insulted the entire American people by engaging in its employ an avowed fomenter of racial hatreds and a selfstyled enemy and detractor of more than four million American Jews.
” ‘Opinion’ holds that long ere this the American Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee, and the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai Brith should have taken united and public action on this matter. To delay an hour after the revelations made by Mr. Recht is to seem to countenance the present intolerable situation. The organizations above named, will have been derelict in their duty and unworthy of their professions to represent American Jewry, if they do not bring to bear upon the Attorney General of the United States such justified public criticism and pressure that the Brasol incident will not be repeated.”