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Famous Oriental scholar, professor at the College de France, president of the Alliance Israelite Universelle

Since the first months of the Hitlerist regime a large number of German scholars, both Jewish and Christian, have sought refuge in France or solicited the help of their French colleagues to enable them to earn their daily bread. Numerous projects to this end were immediately devised. Thereupon I called together all those of my colleagues who had signed a protest against the Nazi menace with a view to examining these projects. This meeting was held under the Presidency of M. Honnorat, former Minister of Public Instruction, and President of the Cite University, at which an executive committee, composed of the following members, was drawn up.

M. Honnorat, President of the Cite University; Landry, for Minister of Marine and Labor, professor of the Ecole des Hautes Etudes; Bedier, of the Academic Francaise, professor and director of the College of France; Andre Mayer, of the Academy of Medicine, Professor and Assistant Director of the College of France; Langevin, Professor of the College of France, Director of the School of Physics and Chemistry; Perrin, Nobel Prize winner, professor of Science, member of the Institute; Capitant, Member of the Institute, Professor of Law; Dr. Achard, Life secretary of the Academy of Medicine; Coville, Member of the Institute, former director of the Enseignement superieur; M. Rivet, professor of the Natural History Museum, Director of the Trocadero Museum; Bougie, Professor of Literature, assistant director of the Ecole Normal Superieure, and Paul Boyer, Director of the School of Oriental Languages, and myself.

After a detailed discussion this committee came to the conclusion that it would be desirable to utilize, in order to meet the demands made on them by the German scholars, an official organization entitled the National Scientific Fund, which is charged by the State with administering funds to those research workers who are prevented by lack of funds from pursuing their researches, and in this way enable them to continue with their work. The committee of the National Scientific Fund is divided into ten classes, mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, natural sciences, philosophy, history, archaeology, philology, law and sociology. It was decided that the appeals from the German scholars should be divided among the various sections and carefully examined by the appropriate one.

There still remained the question of funds. It was impossible to demand help from the State for foreigners, particularly for former enemies, when so many French scholars were appealing for help. The Alliance Israelite Universelle decided to devote a sum of 250,000 francs to this particular work, besides the million which it had put at the disposal of the various organizations that were assisting refugees. Baron Edmond de Rothschild was approached by M. Painleve and M. Honnorat and gave 250,000 francs, and various other donations made up the balance. Particularly to be noted is the gift of 40,000 francs from the Committee for the Protection of Persecuted Jewish Intellectuals, an organization of Catholic origin and inspiration. On the eve of the holidays it was impossible to address usefully an appeal to the cultivated public. Appeals for help addressed abroad met with no response. Within these limits, with a fund of half a million, it was nevertheless possible to come to the aid of about forty scholars chosen among the most deserving and to give them the laboratory or library work which is indispensible to their living.

The distress of these men who are still adding to the lustre and reputation of German science is difficult to imagine. Many have had to flee in haste to escape from the Hitlerite bands, have had to leave their books, their instruments, and all that remained of their meager resources, and set out, humiliated and broken hearted, on their way of exile. The majority speak French fluently, and hope, for that reason, to remain in France where they have received such a chivalrous welcome. But France, which has already received more than fifty thousand refugees, is at the limit of her resources. Will not the “people of the Book” respond to the challenge of Hitler and save in the persons of these men the human intelligence, menaced by mad fanaticism?


The rescript issued by Dr. Kurt Schmitt, Germany’s Minister of Economics, discountenancing discrimination between Aryan and non-Aryan firms may be interpreted in one or more of several ways.

We may believe simply that Dr. Schmitt means exactly what he says, that the continuance of the boycott against Jewish business “would injuriously react upon the employment situation… and indirectly through the effects being spread in widening radius to other concerns crediting them with supplies, thus hitting both the owners and the employees.” Dr. Schmitt is Minister of Economics first and, only secondarily, a Nazi; he has issued such statements before, but they have been futile against the Jew-baiting ardor of simple-minded Nazis who will have none of your Economics when racial purity is at stake. He has acted in the interests of German economy but to what avail?

Or his rescript may be interpreted as a gentle closing of the barn door after the horse has been stolen, which is what calling off a boycott after its worst effects have been consummated would amount to. Thousands of Jewish employees already have been dismissed, hundreds of Jewish enterprises ruined.

Or it may be seen in the light of a propaganda means whereby to divide and rule, to divide the Jews outside of Germany on the issue of boycotting Germany in self-defense, and to continue to rule the Jews within Germany according to the sweet will of the Nazis without suffering the consequent economic effects of a fall in foreign trade occasioned by the world-wide Jewish boycott.

Perhaps the real truth is somewhere in between. Dr. Schmitt may mean what he says, but the Nazi government of Germany does not. It will take more than one mild announcement, no matter how thoroughly broadcast, to wipe out the effects of the Nazi persecution and injustice. What Dr. Schmitt says between the lines is that Germany is in economic trouble and is trying to get out of it. There is no change of heart among the Nazis on the side of tolerance and no one should mistake the real situation which this rescript betrays.


In Dresden, Germany, Count Felix Von Luckner, the so-called “sea devil”, informs an audience that he will make use of his American contacts to spread the gospel of Hitler. An entertainer, a doer rather than a sayer, the “sea devil”, so-called, will now turn his mind to the business of enlightenment. Ever since he began spreading the gospel of Von Luckner, Von Luckner has been acting a part which is quite natural to him, that of the good-natured fellow with a thick German accent who didn’t know very much, but was a likeable chap with likeable traits and an adventurous past. We very much fear that in spite of his German accent, Von Luckner has become considerably Americanized. He has been rather working the publicity racket to the detriment of his own originally fine reputation. He has boosted a motor oil over the radio, in one-minute accented speeches, and he has guided boy scouts on a schooner cruise, and he has appeared on platforms on a number of other stunting expeditions. If he feels at home on the lecture platform while praising Hitler he will simply have discovered his true bottom, which is lower than that he occupied when he was cruising about in a German submarine looking for Allied vessels to {SPAN}###{/SPAN}.

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