Prague (Aug. 24)
An appeal to save the Jews of Germany was sent out from the tribune of the Eighteenth Zionist World Congress here today as Dr. Arthur Ruppin, agricultural and colonization expert, reporting on the economic status of Germany’s Jews, pleaded with the United States to relax its immigration laws to permit the entrance of German Jewish refugees and with the League of Nations to place at least 50,000 German Jews in different countries outside of Palestine.
A belief that the Roosevelt administration will actually improve the economic situation was also expressed by Dr. Ruppin in the course of his speech to the congress during which he discussed the possibilities of America’s absorbing a hundred thousand German Jews over a period of several years within the existing immigration quotas.
Dr. Ruppin established that the American immigration quotas are not fully utilized, in any event, and that the admission of German Jews would form a great asset for America because of their intellectual force.
Dr. Nahum Sokolow, president of the World Zionist Organization. delivering his twice-delayed report on the status of the Jews throughout the world, called on Jews everywhere for "energetic, emphatic protest" against the anti-Semitism unleashed in Germany and pointed out that "the fate of the German Jews shows us clearly the necessity for the creation of a Jewish national home."
COHEN THE NEGOTIATOR
Dr. Sokolow also criticized Soviet Russia for its "senseless expulsion of the Hebrew language from Jewish education" and for its program of "de-judaizing the Jew."
Sam Cohen, of Tel Aviv, a General Zionist and the husband of Anita Muller-Cohen, was revealed today as the person who had negotiated and signed the agreement of the export from Germany of Jewish capital to the extent of three million marks, to be transported to Palestine in the form of German merchandise.
Mr. Cohen told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the negotiations leading to the agreement were conducted over a period of two months and were officially concluded with the Reich ministry of Economics. He confirmed the details of the agreement as made public yesterday in Jewish Telegraphic Agency dispatches.
Today was German day at the congress, with Dr. Sokolow’s speech, in particular, creating a tremendous impression Cheers sounded through the hall of the city council, where the sessions are being held as Dr. Sokolow declared that "the Jews will never forget and never forgive Germany’s insult to the Jews and that Jews will respect ancient Spain more than present Germany because it is better to have a complete exodus of Jews than to be degraded in the manner Germany has done. There is now no capitulation, no surrender, no yielding words," he declared in bringing his oration to a close.
CHALLENGES THE SOVIETS
Referring to the suppression of Zionist activities in Russia, Dr. Sokolow challenged the Soviet Government to permit freedom of the press and assembly to prove that "the pillars of Zionism in Jewish conviction stand firm in Russia despite all persecution."
Both speeches were delivered before a crowded Congress hall.
Dr. Ruppin, who has just returned from Germany where he made a close study of the situation for the Zionist organization, declared that there is no other salvation for the Jews of Germany than intensified emigration.
He disclosed that 8,000 Jewish doctors, 4,000 lawyers, 2,000 dentists and thousands of other German Jews are absolutely without means of livelihood in Germany and are living on their savings which will be completely exhausted within a few months when the "real tragedy" of Germany Jewry will begin.
"It is not an exaggeration," he declared, "that if the present German regime will last, then one-half of the German Jews will remain without means of existence, while the other half will carry on the meager existence of beggars. He pointed out that it is impossible for them to work on the land as artisans.
"While conducting relief work along the lines of saving the German Jews through emigration," Dr. Ruppin continued, "world Jewry must also voice the sharpest protest against the German Government for driving the Jews into such a desperate position. The annihilation of the Jews is not only an integral part of the government program but has actually become a religion.
"The situation of German-Jewish youth is most catastrophic. At least a quarter of a million must be taken out of Germany within the next five to ten years, not including converts or the victims of mixed marriages." These he estimates as numbering more than 200,000.
Dr. Ruppin further disclosed that the United States Government is inclined to help the German Jews through partial relaxation of the immigration laws.
Referring to the settlement in Palestine of German Jews, Dr. Ruppin declared that the congress committee of which he is chairman, has mapped out a plan for the immediate settlement of a thousand such families at a cost of between 400-600 pounds per family.
In his speech on the German situation, Dr. Sokolow warned the congress against the fallacy of believing the matter to be one of concern for German Jewry alone.
"The entire Jewish people are attacked when the Jewish race is spoken of as inferior," he warned. "It is impossible for us to let anti-Semitism display its fury without our energetic, emphatic protest. It would be fatal to allow anti-Semites to believe that non-equality would be accepted by world Jewries placidly and that emancipation is dead.
THE FALSE CONCEPT
"If emancipation is not to be turned into a football, we must stand like steel against the violation of rights for which our ancestors suffered for generations.
"What we are now experiencing is the false exploitation of the word ‘nation’. The old, customary apologies must now be thrown upon the scrap heap," he declared.
"It is useless to keep on recalling the names of scholars, philosophers and artists whom we have given to any particular country," Dr. Sokolow told his audience. "It is useless to continue to bring evidence that we are German citizens of Jewish faith, that we are patriots. We do not need to bring proof of our right to existence. We carry our justification for existence in ourselves."
An impassioned repudiation of the forged "Protocols of the Elders of Zion", which purport to be a transcript of proceedings at the first Zionist Congress, was made by Dr. Sokolow. Declaring that the Zionist movement had always ignored these and other forgeries, he stated they had to be formally denied when the "protocols" are "utilized today officially on various occasions in Germany."
"Therefore we must declare them our religious freedom, our Zionist ideals.
"We are not a nation of materialist small-traders, we are the ‘people of the book.’ We demand what is our due as an old cultural nation—autonomy and freedom for the Jewish spirit, as it has revealed itself in thousands of years of struggle and striving.
"There is still one point of contact between us and the Soviet Government—the attempts of that Government to establish Jewish agricultural colonies. It has been said that Zionism looked askance upon these attempts. That is nonsense. On the contrary, we wish this enterprise the greatest success. The lesson it will teach us is that return to the soil alone is a dead and unfertile appeal, needing the infusion of an historic life as a goal."
He paid tribute to Poland which, by permitting the influx of Jews from other countries, "became a mass reservoir for the Jewish world."