Geneva (Sep. 28)
In a so-called frank discussion of the German-Jewish question, Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda and public enlightenment, this afternoon defended the Nazi program against the Jews as the “most humane and most loyal method” of dealing with the situation.
Dr. Goebbels’s statement was made in the course of a reception to representatives here of the world’s press. The Jewish newspaper correspondents in Geneva were also invited.
Goebbels, here to aid the German delegation to the League of Nations Fourteenth Assembly soft pedal the Jewish issue and aid in creating a sentiment more favorable to German rearmament aims, thus far has not met with conspicuous success.
GERMAN EFFORTS UNSUCCESSFUL
The German delegation has been endeavoring for the past three days to use pressure on the Dutch delegation to forestall the raising in the League Assembly of the refugee question, but these efforts today appeared to have been futile and the Dutch delegation will probably bring up the matter tomorrow.
The delegation is expected to suggest that the League Council study the problem raised by the presence in neighboring countries of German refugees and take necessary measures for a practical solution.
Holland will be supported in this move by a majority of the delegations, particularly those from the states neighboring Germany which have shared the brunt of the refugee problem.
Sean Lester, rapporteur on the Upper Silesian question, has received the German government’s report on the steps taken in the plebiscite area to safeguard Jewish rights in accordance with the League decision in the Bernheim case, it was learned today. Mr. Lester also received, through the German government, the petition of the Jewish community of Upper Silesia protesting continued deprivation of the rights of the Jewish minority.
The German government report enumerates measures taken only in the past few days to ensure an end of discriminations against Upper Silesian Jews. The rapporteur intends to bring up the report before the League Council although the German delegation demands that the report be kept secret and not be discussed in open session.
The German report, it is reliably learned, paints the Jewish position in Upper Silesia in roseate hues although the effect of the picture is somewhat diminished by the Jewish petition enumerating acts of discrimination throughout the plebiscite area.
JEWISH MEMORANDUM CIRCULATED
Reasons for urging the League of Nations to intervene in the Jewish situation in Germany are expounded in a memorandum prepared by the British Board of Jewish Deputies and circulated among delegates to the League sessions here today.
The memorandum rejects the German contention that the Jewish question is purely an internal matter on the following grounds:
First: that revocation of naturalization of Jews and deprivation of equality status of German Jews is bound to arouse international concern.
Second: States having financial relations with Germany cannot view with indifference the German government’s deliberate destruction of important economic values dependent on the enterprise and skill of German Jews.
Third: the civilized world cannot remain unconcerned with the German violation of the fundamental principles underlying the public law of civilized nations.
Fourth: the paralyzing sense of physical insecurity caused by the need on one hand to submit to a government depriving the Jews of their means of livelihood and on the other hand, to be exposed to arbitrary arrests and imprisonment without legal process or means of redress, is an issue that goes to the foundations of public law and European peace.
Fifth: the international issue raised by large numbers of refugees is constituting a serious problem for neighboring countries and is aggravated by the difficulties in exporting funds and the release of property of persons forced to leave Germany.
The memorandum concludes with a request for the appointment of a League commissioner or commission to direct the work of settlement of the refugees. Thus the League of Nations would contribute, by international cooperation, to solve a grave human problem, the memorandum declares, in the same way the League functioned in the work done for the repatriated Greeks and the Armenians.
‘A FRANK WORD ON THE SUBJECT’
“One of the reproaches levied against the Nazis”, Goebbels told the newspapermen, all of whom were present this afternoon at the reception by personal invitation, “is connected with treatment of the Jews which is said to be contrary to the laws of humanity.
“Let us say a frank word on the subject, considering the fact that the public opinion of the world is deeply moved by the Jewish question. I frankly admit that in the course of the national revolution, incidents caused by uncontrollable elements occasionally occurred, but this is not decisive. The fact that we opposed Jewish predominance was generally known before the Nazi assumption of power.”
Elaborating on the question of Jewish influence on the intellectual German life as a whole, Goebbels asserted that “the action taken against the Jews to remedy the situation was spontaneous and unavoidable.
“Settling the Jewish problem legally,” he continued, “the government adopted the most humane and most loyal method. We do not understand while protests are raised against Germany’s defensive action by other countries, at the same time they demonstrate their unwillingness to absorb Jewish emigrants from Germany.
CLAIMS NO REVENGE SOUGHT
“Nothing is further from the intention of Nazism than to exercise cheap revenge. If we abstained from such action, it was to a real, practical solution to the Jewish question. The intolerable atrocity legends have been spread abroad by Jewish emigrants. It would be not only to the advantage of Germany but of benefit to the entire world if the criticism of events could be limited to the actual state of facts and any antipathy resulting from a different philosophy of life could be excluded.
“We have no reason to be afraid of the truth,” he asserted, “but we wish an honest effort for truth, not to be poisoned by grotesque allegations.”
Replying to questions put to him by the press, the Nazi press chief denied that Germany persecutes Professor Albert Einstein, adding, “we