Jewish Ex-soldiers Form Federation in Germany; Aims to Preserve Rights
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Jewish Ex-soldiers Form Federation in Germany; Aims to Preserve Rights

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The part which the Jews who as front-fighters during the War are exempt from the anti-Jewish discrimination in Germany are playing in the general struggle of German Jewry to retain their status of equality, was explained to a gathering of press representatives here by the leaders of the Federation of Jewish Ex-Soldiers.

Dr. Ernst Rosenthal, who is in charge of the War-Disabled Welfare Department, told the press men that the negotiations with the qualified authorities in this field of work justified the expectation that the treatment of the Jewish war wounded will not in future be in any way different from that of the non-Jewish war-wounded.

The work of dealing with the Jewish war-wounded has, in agreement with the National Socialist War-wounded Federation, been placed in the hands of the Federation of Jewish Ex-Soldiers, he said.

Walter Beck, who is in charge of the Sports and Athletic Section, said that the participation of Jewish athletes for years past in the general clubs had contributed to a better understanding of the Jew, and the Jews therefore found a larger measure of understanding in athletic circles than elsewhere.

The Federation of Jewish Ex-Soldiers organized its own sports clubs not to foster segregation from non-Jews, he went on, but to provide a foothold for those Jews who were shut out from the general clubs on account of the new regulations. At the same time the effect of the old common activities of Jews and non-Jews in the same clubs was still evident today in the fact that they knew of many Christian sport clubs that would be willing to play matches against Jewish teams, if the opportunity were given them.

The sports section of the Federation of Jewish Ex-Soldiers now numbers, after six or seven months, seventy clubs with over 6,000 active members.

“We are not thinking of fighting the Zionist sports clubs,” he continued. “For that reason we are refusing to admit Zionist clubs so that there should not be the slightest ground for suspicion that we are trying to put obstacles in the way of the development of the Maccabee movement.

“The excellent relations which exist between us and the Maccabees,” he said, “are demonstrated by the fact that both our Federations worked in conjunction in the negotiations which have resulted in our official recognition by the Reich Sports leadership.

“It is regrettable,” he said, “that we have not yet found any Maocenas for the new Jewish sport clubs, to anything like the same extent that they existed in the general clubs in the past. We must still do a great deal of work to bring this need home to the Jews concerned.”

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