inauguration of a campaign of Jewish persecution unparalleled in modern history.”
The resolution decried the arrest of German labor leaders including Leipart, Grassman, Husemann, Jochade and others. It expressed indignation at the treatment given to German labor groups, and asserted that there was no excuse for such treatment.
“The utter destruction of the independent trade union movement of Germany by those now in control of the German government has been equalled only by the ruthless persecution of Germany’s Jewish population. Persecution of this kind arouses intense feeling among the membership of organized labor. Our great movement rests upon the broad principle of racial tolerance and of no discrimination because of creed or nationality. We abhor racial persecution and we protest vigorously against the persecution of the Jewish people of Germany.”
The concluding paragraphs of the resolution voiced confidence of the federation in German labor and pledged “whatever assistance lies within our power.”
Mr. Green in an address at the opening of the convention, described the policies of the Hitler government as “medieval, revolting and sickening.” Addressing the convention today, he asked for a “ringing protest” against the German Government.
Previous to the adoption of the boycott resolution. Mr. Green addressed the convention and asserted with conviction that the persecution of Jews is being carried on against the will of the German people.
Declaring that the situation in Germany is “extraordinary”, and therefore requires “extraordinary treatment”, Mr. Green cited instances of cruelty practiced on Jews and members of the German trade unions by the Nazis.
“We have no objection to a form of government any nation may seek to establish,” he said. “That is the business of the people themselves. But when those who are bound to us by bonds of fraternity are persecuted or thrown into prison, when labor organizations are destroyed, I cannot conceive of an American labor movement remaining silent.”
The speaker pleaded for widespread support of the boycott, adding, “If we declare the people of America refuse to buy your goods and ride on your ships, we strike at the heart of this terror.”
Mr. Green said that Americans should cooperate with the boycott movement regardless of religion or creed.
“It must not be whether you are Gentile or Jew,” he said, “but as a human being that you lend your support to the boycott.
“And do we sit still when the Jewish race in Germany is being persecuted because they are Jewish? That to me is indefensible. Some of the most brilliant men the world has ever produced, men of genius, men of brilliant minds, have been persecuted and driven out of Germany merely because they belong to a particular race.
“If there is one organization in the world or in America that stands for the protection of men, regardless of race, creed or nationality, it is the American Federation of Labor.
“I could not, as a responsible leader here, allow this case to come up without registering not only my judgment, but attempting to convey to you my feelings.”
Matthew Woll, urging the adoption of the resolution, warned the convention that “in our own country there are forces organized to carry on a persecution of Jews and other nationalities.”