The American Society of Jewish War Veterans today issued a statement charging the Steuben Society with a “defense of Hitler terrorism.” The statement, in the form of a telegram from J. George Fredman, commander-in-chief of the veterans, was addressed to John Tjarks, secretary of the National Council of the Steuben Society.
Warning was issued yesterday by the Steuben Society that a boycott of Germany would be a “double-edged weapon”, and participants in the protest against treatment of Jews in Germany were characterized by the Society as not being “loyal in their adherence to American principles.” The German-American organization also declared that the anti-Nazi agitation would bring about anti-Semitism in other countries.
“The article in this morning’s New York Times headed ‘Nazi Foes Warned by Steuben Group’ should read ‘Nazi Foes Threatened by Steuben Group’, the War Veterans’ telegram reads. “Your shameful defense of Hitler terrorism against a half million defenceless souls places you squarely before the court of public opinion. You can hardly expect our enlightened citizenry to accept your viewpoint without challenging your veiled threat of reprisal here in America. Nor does any right-thinking American citizen question Jewish loyalty just because our hearts go out to our stricken brethren in the worst calamity in the records of ruthless brutality inflicted upon an inoffensive minority people. Unwittingly you include in your question of ‘loyal adherence to American principle’ the Hon. John P. O’Brien, mayor of New York, former Governor Alfred Smith of New York, your own countryman, Senator Robert F. Wagner, the Rev. John Haynes Holmes of the Community Church of New York, Bishop Francis McConnell, Henry Horner, Governor of Illinois, William Greene, president of the American Federation of Labor, and millions of patriotic non-Jews whose sympathetic cooperation has been freely offered to the Jewish people in their endeavors to help afflicted German Jewry.
“We do not believe that your Society expresses the sentiments of the millions of loyal American citizens of German ancestry, many of whom have voiced strong disapproval of the persecutions practiced by the Hitler regime.”