Essentially the question as to whether or not we shall proclaim a public boycott against German goods is an academic one, for actually the boycott is already on, and it is public. All America knows about it. The New York Times speaks of it in only faintly concealed language. And in his article in the issue of Sunday, May 7, Edwin L. James tells how effective the Jewish boycott is. He credits chiefly to the Jewish boycott the fall of six to eight per cent in exports which is recorded against the Reich for the month of April. Germany knows about it, and all the adverse effects that an international boycott of German goods could possibly have on the situation of the Jew in Germany have already been realized. Here also is the crux of the debate.
It is my belief that we cannot possibly hurt the Jews of Germany, no matter what we do or say here. We can no longer do them any harm because the very worst that can happen to the Jews of Germany was already definitely planned against them and being perpetrated upon them long before any Jew in America or England uttered a word of protest.
The crushing of the Jew is of the essence of Hitler’s policy and not merely incidental to it. Availing himself to the full of the ancient and ever provocative Jew-myth, he has manoeuvered the Jews of Germany into the position of the enemies of the Reich, and gallantly he marshalls his brave German forces against the enemy Jew. He cannot now permit a single “traitor Jew” to be occupying a position or to be making a livelihood while a loyal Nazi remains unemployed.
HITLER UNDERSTANDS FORCE
To modify our words and our acts here in the hope that Hitler may soften and turn to the ways of brotherhood is sheer nonsense. But while Hitler cannot be persuaded, he can be coerced. He understands force. It was the combined force of the opinion of an unanimously outraged world that compelled him to abandon that official governmentally organized boycott which began Saturday, April 1. It was the strength of the churches of Germany which compelled him to give up the mad project of the Nazification of the Church, and the foolishness of substituting Teutonic mythology for the Old Testament. The foreign trade of Germany is another point in the Hitler armor which is particularly vulnerable.
Germany needs foreign trade in order to maintain her delicately balanced financial system. It is a vital necessity with her. If the New York Times’ estimate is correct and the unorganized silent boycott carried on by Jews and by the friends of justice has already caused a reduction of six to eight per cent in German exports, then it means that we have within our grasp the only argument which Hitler understands. It is only a question now of making it more effective than it is at present.
As long as there is a boycott going on, it may as well be intelligent. Jews and the friends of freedom and justice may as well know where to look for German goods in order that they may effectively avoid and discourage the purchase of German goods, and that would be the difference between the publicly organized boycott and the unorganized boycott now going on. There would be a bureau of information at work which could double and treble the effectiveness of the boycott already going on.
PUBLIC OPINION WITH JEWS
A boycott is a dangerous thing to organize in the midst of a hostile public opinion, but public opinion is now with the Jew. The German people are as isolated as they were in 1914. It is well-known that they deserve this isolation more now than they did in 1914. In 1914 the German government was merely monarchial, now it is insane. The world will co-operate with us in this economic sanction against Hitler’s insanely intelligent program for the destruction of the Jewish people.
What other way have we of dealing with Hitler? Shall we depend solely upon resolutions and protests? I said a while ago that the world protest against Hitler’s governmentally organized boycott upon the Jewish citizens of Germany forced him to abandon it. But the force that stayed Hitler’s hand was not words, not speeches, nor editorials, nor resolutions, but the flood of cancellations of orders for German goods that coincided with those speeches and resolutions. Shall we plan to transport the German Jews to Palestine? Aside from the physical limitations of Palestine, there is the fact that the Jews cannot get out of Germany.
If any of them are permitted to leave, it will only be after they have been stripped bare of all their possessions. It is the principle of all countries governed by terror, whether it is Italy, Russia, or Germany, not to permit the victims of the terror to leave the country. There remains only the hope that as the Nazi government watches Germany’s export figures declining, it will modify its policies and save its face the best way it can.
PRECEDENT OF GANDHI
The boycott has been called an immoral weapon because it strikes at the innocent as well as at the guilty, and yet Gandhi’s boycott of British goods have never been condemned as immoral. British spinners and weavers have been thrown out of employment, women and children have been starving because of it, yet so far from being condemned as immoral, Gandhi has been hailed as a Saint. He has been mentioned in the same breath with Jesus and Buddha and Jeremiah. This is because he conducted this boycott not for his own or for India’s aggrandizement, but as a weapon by which to secure freedom and dignity for the people of India.
So when the Jewish people organizes itself to apply whatever economic sanstions it has the power to apply against Germany, the world may well look upon that boycott as it looks upon Gandhi’s “Non-Cooperation” and call it the use of “Spiritual Power” to obtain a people’s freedom.