Geneva (Oct. 3)
The incompatibility of the minority agreements with the treatment of the Jews in Germany was stressed at today’s meeting of the sixth commission of the League of Nations, when a debate developed on the treatment of the Jews by the Nazi regime. Friedrich von Keller, German representative, claimed that there was no connection between the German Jewish problem and the minorities question, since the former problem, he stated, was a question of race, not of minorities.
The German Jews, von Keller declared, are neither linguistically nor nationally a minority and have never expressed the wish to be treated as such. The Jewish religion has not been forbidden in Germany, because the Jewish question concerns problems of political, social and population import, which became acute after the post war influx of East European Jews.
The German-Jewish problem necessarily requires special treatment, von Keller admitted, but he declared that he was not opposed to a general minority protection agreement for Jews, if the other great powers were agreeable.
Henri Berenger, French delegate, thereupon asked von Keller how the Germans could find their treatment of the Jews compatible with the principle of minority agreements.
From this viewpoint, the French statesman declared, the Bernheim petition deserved special attention because:
1. The Bernheim petition did not refer to an incorrect interpretation of the law of minority agreements, but a law which stands in glaring contradiction- to minority agreements.
2. The Bernheim petition dealt only with the Upper Silesian question which concerned only a section of Germany, while the League of Nations Council recognized that the German constitution must serve as a general basis for minority agreements, and infringements of the constitution therefore, are automatically infringements upon the minority agreements.
The Council, Senator Berenger said, could decide only the question of Upper Silesia, but the decision of the Assembly was based on an existing and more far reaching resolution.
R. J. Sandler of Sweden spoke favoring the generalization of minority protection, pointing to the position of the Jews in Germany. Minority protection, he declared, should involve such minorities, everywhere, who do not possess a state, such as the Jews and Armenians. He suggested that the Council this year reaffirm the existing resolution of minority protection, giving also power for intervention where no specific minority agreements exist.
Count Raczinski of Poland proposed a resolution calling upon the Council to appoint a committee to study the question of existing unprotected minorities whose treatment is contrary to international law.
The references made by Senator Berenger and Dr. Sandler to the Jewish question were applauded by delegates to the sixth commission.
Salvador De Madriaga, Spanish representative and chairman of the sixth commission, yesterday addressing the Assembly of the League of Nations, said that Karl the Fifth, of Germany, who was Karl the First, of Spain, planned a great peace organization, just as Artistide Briand, famous French advocate of peace, did, but the Emperor Karl failed because he built his organization only on the basis of the Christian world, and did not take into account the two great religious faiths, Islam and Judaism.
“Now,” said Senor Madriaga, “when the Jewish question is on the agenda of the League of Nations, it is my duty on behalf of Spain, to declare our recognition of this noble race, the Jews, who gave to the Spanish people, great men of science, medicine and politics.”