Millions of Jews throughout the world made Thursday, set aside by the Nazi regime in Germany as the day for “purification” of the German spirit by the burning of books by Jewish and pacifist writers, the occasion for a striking demonstration against the persecution and degradation of the Jews of Germany.
Over two hundred and fifty thousand Jews and non-Jews in New York City, in the greatest Jewish demonstration the city had ever witnessed, joined in a six-hour protest which included a parade from Madison Square to Battery Park and a huge meeting there at which a score of speakers denounced the Hitler program and expressed the reaction of the civilized world to the policies of intolerance in effect in Germany. Approximately seventy-five thousand were in the long line of march, which took almost four hours to pass the steps of City Hall, where Mayor John P. O’Brien and other city officials reviewed the parade. Starting at four o’clock in the afternoon, it was not until ten o’clock in the evening that the last of the speakers concluded his address and brought the demonstration to a close.
GENERAL O’RYAN LEADS PARADE
General John F. O’Ryan, who acted as grand marshal of the parade; Bainbridge Colby, Secretary of State in the Wilson Cabinet; former Representative F. H. La Guardia; Rev. Dr. John Haynes Holmes; Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, honorary president of the American Jewish Congress, which arranged the protest; Bernard S. Deutsch, president of the Congress, and other Jewish leaders addressed the Battery Park meeting.
General O’Ryan said the world was “amazed” at the Hitler anti-Semitic policies and denounced them as being un-Christian. He called upon Christians everywhere to protest against the acts of the present German Government.
Mr. Colby described Hitler’s acts as “abhorrent” to Americans and uttered the warning that Germany was “galloping to the brink of destruction,” which, he said, was “not far off.”
Mr. La Guardia pointed to Hitler as a threat to world peace, and Dr. Holmes described the anti-Hitler protest as “the outspoken opinion of mankind.”
The parade itself, with its thousands of flags and banners, anti-Hitler posters, uniforms and brass bands was a colorful affair. Uniformed war veterans, school organizations, labor groups numbering thousands, scores of rabbis in their long black robes and thousands of school children chanting the Hatikvah and the Star Spangled Banner, trudged uncomplainingly down the long, tiring route to Battery Park. At least two hundred thousand spectators, freed from their tasks by the early closing of Jewish shops and offices lined the streets, watching the marchers, applauding freely and lustily cheering the leaders of the march.