Characterizing Hitler as the “most consummate liar in the history of the world” and the persecution of the German Jews as a “blow at the heart of all humanity,” Samuel Untermyer, principal speaker at the boycott conference sponsored by the Women’s Division of the American League for the Defense of Jewish Rights, sharply attacked the present German government and its supporters in the United States, and urged the use of the boycott as the only effective weapon with which to fight the plague of Hitlerism.
Over 1,200 women, representing some 300 women’s organizations, were present at the mass conference held at the Hotel Astor, Tuesday afternoon, and joined the nationwide boycott against Germany after calling upon all the Jewish women in the United States to boycott all German goods and services without exception, until Hitler falls and his barbaric policy of persecution ends, and pledged the support of all those present in the prosecution of a relentless boycott on all German goods. “Buy American,” was adopted as a slogan.
Among the other speakers who addressed the conference were James W. Gerard, former Ambassador to Germany; Fiorello H. LaGuardia, former Representative; Michael Williams, editor of the Commonweal; Dr. A. Coralnik, president of the league; E. Rabinowitz, secretary, and Mrs. Mark Harris, chairman of the Women’s Division, who presided.
A cablegram from Lord Melchett, president of the Anglo-Jewish boycott committee, was read, welcoming the cooperation of American Jews in the boycott movement and emphasizing the need for making the boycott world-wide.
ONE WAY TO ACT
“There is only one way of coping with the barbaric warfare upon a crushed and prostrate people by a cowardly foe who violates all the ‘rules of the game’ and vents its bigotry, cruelty and hatred on peaceful, law-abiding, unarmed men and on defenseless women and children,” Mr. Untermyer said.
“If our people were armed as Hitler is, they would defend themselves. Since they are not, we must use the next best weapon at hand. And the economic boycott is a weapon that strikes Hitlerism at its weakest pointâ€”the pocketbook.”
A RETURN TO DARK AGES
Former Ambassador Gerard declared that Germany had always been the homeland of anti-Semitism. “Even when I was there as the American representative, prejudice against the Jews was rife. This prejudice was and is the result of envy. The Jews are envied because of their thrift, intelligence and success. The persecution of the Jews is a return to the dark ages.
“Eventually monarchy will be restored in Germany and this ridiculous, cruel persecution will cease. There is justice, sometimes slow, but always prevailing at last.”
Mr. Williams, who is a member of the American Committee for the Protection of Religious Rights and Minorities and who recently returned from Germany, derided Hitler’s claim of having a united Germany behind him and quoted a Prussian industrialist as saying “the persecution of the Jews is not only, a crime, it is a colossal blunder. Millions of humane and sane Germans are opposed to Hitler and will eventually overthrow him,” said Mr. Williams.
NOT ONLY JEWS ATTACKED
“Hitlerism is the most poisonous philosophy in the world today. The Hitler government not only persecutes but they are ironclad liars of the most colossal sort. Evidence exists that some 3,000 Jews were bloodily wounded in attacks by the Nazis and that 300 of the victims died as a result of these attacks.
“It is not only the Jews who are being attacked, the Catholics and Protestants are also in danger. Already the onslaught on the Catholics is beginning and within a very short time it will be the turn of the Protestants.
“Disregard the urgings of the prudent; stand up and fight for the rights of the German Jews. You have the warm approval of all the Christians.”