Menu JTA Search

Letters to the Editor

Download PDF for this date

December 13, 1933

To the Editor of

The Jewish Daily Bulletin:

An editorial in your Bulletin, December 10th, deals with the “German Day” affair at Madison Square Garden. It severely criticizes the attendance of Dr. Schlesinger and myself at that meeting. Apparently the writer of the editorial was not sufficiently informed about the matter.

As you know, the United German Societies originally planned the celebration of the German Day on October 29th. At that time the “Friends of the New Germany” made an attempt and succeeded in gaining control over the organization and the plans for German Day. The prompt and drastic intervention of Dr. Schlesinger and myself brought to the attention of the public the true state of affairs, that the Nazis were here in control under the leadership of Heinz Spanknoebel, the recognized representative of the National Socialist Party of Germany, who was to be the principal speaker.

Further developments in this situation eventually led to the official cancellation of the Celebration by the Mayor. Thereupon, the Steuben Society took the initiative and prepared for a new German Day celebration on December 6th at Madison Square Garden.

Again the Nazis dictated terms to this organization, but were sharply rejected. As a result, the Friends of the New Germany withdrew their support. The Steuben Society invited all German-American organizations, regardless of their political views as to the New Germany, and stated that upon the basis of its own constitution no racial or religious discrimination would be made. Furthermore, it was assured that this celebration would carry a true American character, and nothing would happen which could in any way hurt the feelings of any group.

The list of speakers contained the name of a personal representative of President Roosevelt, also two other Government officials, so that the German Ambassador, Dr. Hans Luther, could no longer be considered the principal speaker of the evening.

To me, as President of organized German-American Jews, it appeared compulsory to be present to observe the proceedings, especially in view of the fact that not only Jewish members of the Steuben Society, but many other German American Jews, would be present.

As far as Dr. Schlesinger is concerned, he is not a representative of German-American Jews, but the President or Vice-President of many non-political German societies, and on the basis of his position there was no reason for him to absent himself.

We bitterly resent the unpleasant twist and unfair attack given in the editorial as for the reasons for our visit. Our sincerity and ideals are not questioned by those who know us. Our battle is not directed against German Americans as such but against organized Nazi movements in America. Whatever we have to say, is said before the public, and, when it had to be, before the Mayor of the City of New York. After what has occurred, it shows utter lack of knowledge and understanding to accuse us of trying to get into the good graces of Hitler sympathisers. It is below our dignity to be disturbers or noise-makers at any meeting, and how the writer of your article can regret the fact that we did not make any disturbances, is beyond our understanding.

The Nazis have tried to lower us in the eyes of the public by accusing us falsely of being disturber ### are sorry that your editorial ### would put us in this class.

What actually happened w### Four of us sat together qui### our seats, carefully observi### proceedings. Suddenly an ### asked us to rise, and looked ### our seats; for what, we don’t know. About seven minutes ###riot squad of policemen ad### upon us, much to our surpri### conducted us in not too ge### manner, in the presence of a###mately 20,000 people, out o### meeting hall.

It is disgrace enough that ### thing should have happened, w### your editorial taking the stand ###Very truly yours, ###Robert Rosenba###

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund