Jewish population of Germany. Although through the various ‘Aryan’ decrees the German government has deprived Jews, as a group, of elementary human rights, yet the government has done nothing to define the status of the Jewish citizens. Recently reports have appeared in the press to the effect that comprehensive regulations on this subject are being considered, and that Jewish leaders had been requested by the government to submit their proposals. This, it is stated, they have declined to do, on the ground that as self-respecting citizens of Germany, they cannot submit to being governed by any laws other than those affecting the German citizenry as a whole. Throughout, the claim of the German government has been that the treatment of any part of the population is its own internal affair.
“This claim has misled many organizations and individuals all over the world into acceptance of that dogma, which they have prefaced to their protest against the barbaric treatment of the Jews.
“This attitude certainly does not represent the sentiment of civilized governments and of civilized peoples, among whom the voice of conscience cannot be stilled and speaks no matter where injustice may be done. When a government brings a section of the people to a condition of despair, and this despair becomes so great that many must flee from the country in which they and their ancestors have lived for centuries, they become an object of international concern, not only because they are refugees to other countries, but because of the basic causes which lead them to become refugees,” Dr. Adler reported.
He cited international action taken with regard to the situation of the German Jews and historical precedents for international concern.
“Certainly as Jews”, he declared, “we cannot regard the attitude of Germany to its Jewish citizens an internal affair. It we permit acceptance of the doctrine that the Jew as such is not fit to be a part of the German State, it may be taken as an admission that he is not fit to be a part of any state. This we must profoundly resent, and combat with all our moral strength.
“We believe that the events in Germany are a challenge to modern civilization and we trust to the civilized forces of the world to rally to the defence of a people who have existed for three thousand years, from whom the world has received great spiritual benefits and who are neither capable nor desirous of protecting themselves by brute force.
“It is imperative that we continue to resist the threatening danger with firmness and dignity, and by a continuous appeal to the conscience of mankind, plead for justice and equality for the Jews in Germany and elsewhere.
“To this purpose the American Jewish Committee solemnly re-dedicates itself. Conscious of its great responsibility, the Committee calls upon the Jews of America for moral support and for adequate material support, without which its tasks cannot be effectively performed.”
The report also contained a summary of the Committee’s attitude and an explanation of the many steps it had taken in regard to the critical situation in Germany.
As to the boycott on German goods, Dr. Adler’s report expressed the view that “Naziism is not only a Jewish problem, but also a world menace. In this view it is supported by unmistakable evidence from within the German borders; the suppression of all freedom of speech, press and assembly; the destruction of the rights won by labor unions and women; the utilization of the church for the aims of the state, and the militaristic aims of the Nazi leaders. While the American Jewish Committee sympathizes with the desire, and recognizes the right of individuals to refrain from buying goods made in Germany, it reaffirms its definite decision not to endorse or participate in a boycott organized by Jews in America.”
The sessions also dealt with the situation in Poland, Roumania, Austria, and Mexico.
Enlightened public opinion, in this country and abroad, was called upon to combat the Nazi menace to civilization.
The report of the executive committee and the proposals for continued efforts for public enlightenment were approved by the delegates. Among those who presented reports were: Sol M. Stroock, Joseph M. Proskauer, Lewis L. Strauss, I. M. Ittelson, James N. Rosenberg, Leo Wolfson, Albert Berney of Baltimore; P. Irving Grinberg of White Plains and J. K. Weitzenkorn of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
Dr. Adler was once more re-elected president of the American Jewish Committee; Abraham Elkus, honorary vice-president; Judge Irving Lehman and Louis Kirstein, vice-presidents; S. D. Leidesdorf, treasurer; Morris D. Waldman, secre-