Menu JTA Search

R. D. Blumenfeld, His Strength and Charm

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

Formerly foreign editor of London Daily Express, now associated with Daily Herald

Time was when the magic initials R. D. B. served but as a meagre disguise for the most brilliant journalist in London’s street of ink, Fleet Street, and one of the most fascinating personalities in English life.

Everybody who is anybody in political, social, or journalistic life in England knew. and knows R. D. Blumenfeld. He in turn was the well-beloved and esteemed friend and intimate of all who mattered.

His closest associates know him as “Blum.” It is not without significance and entirely characteristic of the man that no less exalted a personage than the Prince of Wales knows and addresses him by this affectionate abbreviation.

His claim to fame until recently rested mainly upon his skill as a journalist and upon his smooth, often rapier-like pen, allied to the uncanny charm of his personality. Although his rapier pen made him enemies, his personality gained for him an untold number of friends.

HE HAS COME BACK

For thirty years he was editor of the London Daily Express, which he ruled with an iron hand, but no member of his staff was more be loved than R. D. B. Under his direction the Express became the most feared of London’s popular newspapers. When he attacked he attacked with determination, and when he advocated, he advocated with unfailing courage and sympathy.

It is doubtful whether Blumenfeld has passed the threshold of many churches but he has been an even greater stranger to synagogues—until now. But R. D. B. has come back. The savage persecution of the Jews in Nazi Germany has completed the circle for Blumenfeld, has brought him back to Israel.

He has made public “confession” of his adherence to the faith of his ancestors and stands today in the forefront of Jewish ranks fighting for justice for the Jewish victims of Nazi savagery.

Those genial smiling eyes of R. D. B. now flash in indignation and resentment against the recurrent and daily onslaughts on the lives, liberty and livelihoods of his German Jewish brethren. The R. D. B. who, such a short time ago, had been a stranger to Jewry, speaks now of “our” Jewish sufferers in Germany from public platforms, and with a pen dipped anew in sources of strength, he denounces with Jewish vehemence the horrors of Nazi tyrranny and proclaims his new-born faith in the people of his origin.

In the inner circles of government and in political parties in England he makes full use of his great influence and authority to advance the cause of afflicted Jewry at this most tragic moment in Jewish history. What he has to say, in whatever circles he says them, is attended to with great respect.

HITLER’S SERVICE

Hitler has done much to reunite the Jewish people, to bring back to the fold of Israel many wanderers who have strayed from the path of Jewry; he has done a great deed for Jewry in cementing the ties that bind R. D. B. to his ancestral faith.

Even as, up to now, R. D. B. has played a great role in non-Jewish life in England, so now, in the sunset of his days, he will play a great role in Jewish affairs. He is filled today with a new-found pride and affection for his people. The Jews of England, and the world, will welcome him back to their ranks and they will find that like other great men in the tradition of Israel he will be ready and capable of taking his place among them.

NEXT STORY