Discussing the treatment of the Jews by the Hitler government and the necessity for activity on the part of the League of Nations, Norman Bentwich states that “international peace, and through it the basis of the League itself, would be endangered if the League were to remain passive in face of a flagrant violation of the principles of religious and racial equality by one of its Members”, in a pamphlet, “The League of Nations and Racial Persecution in Germany,” which has just been published. Mr. Bentwich recommends that further action by the League be taken and that “while the rights of equal citizenship are not placed expressly under the guarantee of the League in the same manner as the rights of minorities… they are a matter of international concern.”
Viewing the persecution of the Jews in Germany from a more general point of view, he states that “it is a matter affecting international peace inasmuch as the treatment of racial and religious minorities has been universally recognized to have a close bearing upon peace between nations.
“For the sake of humanity and for the sake of world peace the League of Nations should consider the treatment of a people which, although not technically a minority, is oppressed because of its racial distinctiveness, and which, having no separate State, must rely on international action to vindicate on its behalf the rights of humanity.”
Before the establishment of the League, Mr. Bentwich points out, the practice of armed international intervention and diplomatic representation made to a foreign State on the grounds of humanity were common.
In 1867 the British Minister in Roumania was instructed “not to relax your exertions to induce the Government to protect the Jews from persecution.” In 1872 there was a joint remonstrance to the Roumanian Government signed by the representatives of Great Britain, several of the European powers and the United States.