Preliminary Conference to World Congress Convenes at Geneva; Wise Keynotes
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Preliminary Conference to World Congress Convenes at Geneva; Wise Keynotes

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Hitler came to power. Secondly, he is sobered by responsibilities only in making peace speeches, the sincerity of which the nations will know how to appraise. Thirdly, the situation of the Jews is far graver and more terrible than had even been dreamed possible for the Jews whose fathers had lived in Germany a thousand years and more.

“What means the expulsion of thirty from German citizenship, which recently occurred, in comparison with 600,000 Jews summarily flung out from the era of light, liberty, equality before law, in the life of the Third Reich?

“Our warnings last year were ignored. Every Hitler threat was explained away. We remained for the most part unprepared, defenseless and divided. Even on this day only a slight degree of unity in Jewish life has been achieved, for the Jews of the world are still divided between those prepared to see the Hitler persecution and terrorism as a passing phenomenon, and those of us who recognize that Hitler intends to initiate a world war against the Jewish people.


“Hitler has revised his attitude towards demands regarding the Versailles treaty, towards the Polish Corridor and towards other demands he originally put forward. Only in one respect the Hitler regime remained consistent, namely in delivering German Jews as prey to be hunted and wronged in the Reich. The situation in Germany became a world Jewish problem.

“Last year in Geneva, we still discussed the question whether the world congress should be held. This question no longer exists. The only question now is whether the congress should be held in the winter of 1933 or the spring or summer of 1934. Nor is there any question of place, because Geneva inevitably is the place. It became the tribunal for hearing the world’s causes and it is Geneva upon which the heart and hope of the Jewish people is fixed as upon a new Jerusalem.”


Referring to the world conference which the Board of Deputies of British Jews proposes to convoke in connection with the German situation, Rabbi Wise said that constituent bodies of the world congress had been invited to send delegates to London.

“This question will have to be considered at the present session,” he declared. “The Jewish congress invites Jews to gather for considering and taking advice upon all Jewish actions, while the London conference invites representatives of world Jewry to deal with one problem only. The Jewish congress will be an assembly, not of a handful of Jewish notables, but of a group of democratically chosen representatives of Jewish life in all lands.”

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