United British Relief Effort Launched; All Groups Join to Aid German Jews

Five hundred representatives of various Jewish organizations participated in the opening of the United British Campaign raising funds in behalf of the German Jews. Anthony Rothschild presided at the meeting and the speakers included Dr. Chaim Weizmann, former president of the World Zionist Organization; Chief Rabbi Dr. Joseph Hertz, Claude Montefiore and Simon Marks, Zionist leader.

The conference marked a historic occasion in the life of British Jewry, uniting on the same platform, for the first time, non-Zionists and leaders of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, all in agreement on the importance of constructive work in Palestine as part of the program of relief for German Jews, although even at this meeting, a difference in view as to the part which Palestine can play in the situation, was noted in the various speeches

Mr. Marks declared he hoped to announce before the end of the week that the first list of contributions would amount to a hundred thousand pounds, and that in all, the British appeal would raise a half million pounds and the united appeal for Palestine would reach five million pounds, which would go a long way in solving the problem of relief for German Jews.

Mr. Rothschild, outlining the intentions of the relief committee, declared places would have to be found in various places in the world for the German Jewish refugees. While German Jewish organizations within Germany can take care of needs there, he pointed out, the bulk of the expenditures must be, not for relief within the country, but for assisting the refugees out of Germany and their settlement in various countries and to take advantage of every opportunity offered by the Mandatory Power for the settlement of refugees in Palestine.

PESSIMISTIC NOTE

Dr. Weizmann, as well as Mr. Montefiore, struck a pessimistic note, both emphasizing that the present German Jewish situation must be accepted as a reality, Dr. Weizmann adding that there is a potential danger that “every refugee from Germany settling in neighboring countries will be a carrier of anti-Semitic germs.” He stressed the already visible growth of anti-Semitic tendencies in countries to which the refugees have escaped and announced his conclusion that Palestine was the only safe and lasting refuge. He warned, however, that German Jews must be prepared to go through the same hard school as other settlers who have gone to Palestine.

Drawing an analogy between the anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia and Nazi Germany Dr. Weizmann declared that the former had been prompted by a small autocratic group while, in Germany, twenty million had voted for Hitler and as yet, no liberal German voice has been raised in favor of the Jews.

“Germany teaches us there is something anomalous in our position,” he said. “The German Jewish problem cannot be approached from the philanthropic angle of a decade ago when American Jews spent eighty million dollars for Eastern European relief, but this is no solution, for should the political wheel turn, similar relief would be required again.”

TRAGEDY OF ASSIMILANTS

Dr. Weizmann dealt at length with the tragedy of the German Jewish assimilants who do not consider themselves Jews but are being told by the Germans they are “foreigners.”

“It needs love and forebearance to understand the soul of such men,” he said. “Another feature of the tragedy is the German relapse after 150 years of emancipation. For this emancipation the Jews of Germany fought, giving for Germany all that they had, and more. Then a peculiar political constellation appears in the skies and all this is wiped out at one stroke.”

Mr. Montefiore paid tribute to German thoroughness. “We often admired German thoroughness,” he commented. “Now we have the misfortune to see the quality of this thoroughness turned to an evil and cruel end, plunging into misfortune and poverty six hundred thousand Jews.

“While part of the fund will be required to feed the hungry Jews in Germany,” he said, “considerable sums will be expended also in Palestine. I should regard it as a crime to prevent a penny being spent in Palestine, just as I should regard it as a crime to spend a penny in Palestine which should be spent elsewhere.

“Only the German Jews must be thought of who have been wounded in their honor, their affection and their loyalty,” he declared. “No man with Jewish feeling can close his ears to the cry of our brethren. We must accomplish something to alleviate this ocean of misery.”

Dr. Hertz stressed the importance of supporting the religious institutions for Jewish education in Germany. All speakers pointed out that contributors are able to earmark their donations for whatever purposes they desire, whether for philanthropic purposes in Germany or for constructive work in Palestine.

URGEE B’NAI BRITH SUPPORT OF J.D.C.APPEAL

Members of the B’nai Brith, one of the world’s largest Jewish fraternal organizations, are urged to support the German Relief Drive of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee in a communication from Dr. I. M. Rubinow, secretary of the order, to the membership in this country. The Joint Distribution Committee is seeking a two million dollar fund in this country for the relief of German Jewish victims of the Nazi regime. Rabbi Jonah B. Wise is chairman of the drive.

One million dollars of the fund will be sought in New York City where Dudley D. Sicher, former president of the New York Federation for Support of Jewish Philanthropic Societies, heads the local appeal.

RABBIS AID HIAS RELIEF FUND

The Hias Emergency Fund for the relief of Jewish refugees from Germany, has been endorsed by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, the Federation of Hebrew Orthodox Rabbis of America, and the Assembly of Hebrew Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada.

The three Rabbinical organizations have issued an appeal to congregations throughout the country to make appeals in their respective synagogues on Shevuoth, May 31 and June 1.

The Hias Emergency Fund was created by the Hebrew Sheltering and Immigrant Aid Society in response to appeals from abroad to render immediate assistance to the Jews who have escaped from Germany to neighboring countries.

HEBREW TECHNICAL INSTITUTE

The Hebrew Technical Institute will hold its forty-fourth commencement exercises tonight in the large hall of Cooper Union, at Astor Place.

NEXT STORY