AT the risk of incurring extreme unpopularity, we venturew to express again our opinion that too much emphasis is being placed on German-Jewish relief and not enough on fight Hitlerism.
We challenge the assertion which zealous and professional relief campaigners have made that German Jewry has been impoverished to a point where it is unable to take care of those who have been made dependent upon it by the Nazi regime. We editorial view of the London Jewish Chronicle that “we have not yet seen the convincing evidence-though it may be availabe-that their efforts at self-help within the Reich have reached the exhaustion point.” Before another campaign is launched, these evidences, if they exist, should be made available. The Jews of America are entitled be treated to something better than high-strung emotional relief salesmanship.
From all reports, there is still left in Germany a substantial number of wealthy and well-to-do Jewish merchants and bankers able, if willing, at the cost of some sacrifice to be sure, to maintain their existing communal institutions and to finace the work of . occupationhally those who must find new means of livelihood. the Jewish business and banking groups in Germany have been disadvantaged far less than the Jews in the liberal professions and in the civil service, and the recent order issued by the Minsitry of the Interior promises them even greater relief. The Jewish poor seem to have access to the relief fujnds of the country. It is a debatable point whether the Jews of the world should be called upon to assist in building up a system of Jewish elementary schools in Germany, whether they are in a position to commit themselves to the very large permanent expenditures which this would involve nad whether most of the Jews of Gemany really want it. Furthermore there are other large Jewish communities in europe whose economic plight is as serious, if not more serious, than that of the German-Jewish community. These seem to have been lost sight of almost entirely, in our excusive absorption in the German-Jewish situation.
Again, it must be borne in mind that monies which Jews send into Germany are indirectly strengthening the Nazi regime. We are boycotting Nazi Germany in order to undermine it economically; but at the same time we are pumping a stream of gold into its drained arteries and are replenishing them. We are defeating ourselves. the greatest kindness which we can show our people in Germany is not to provide them with financial relief which at best cannot be long continued, and which perforece is giving aid and comfort to their implacable enemies, but to exert every ounce of out national resources, joined to that of other foes of Hitlerism thoughout the world, to destroy the regime which has degraded and declassed them and which, if it remains in power long, will make their economic life miserable beyond words. The German Jews may not see this quite clearly now. There are many things which they did not see clearly in the past. . .
We do not wish to appear to be unyielding doctrinaires on this subject. If it is established that there actually is need for some material relief which hte Jews of Germany cannot themselvesa provide, that need should be included as an item in the general program of international Jewish relief work. No more and no less.
A stronger case can be made out for the need of relief of German-Jewish refugees. They are an additioal burden upon the Jewish communities to which they have come. Should they turn into public charges in those countries where they have found asylum they may become sources of anti-Semiti irritatio. Nevertheless even the frefugee problem should not be permitted to over-shadow the real problem confronting world Jewry today. One of the truly great Jews of America whose fame is international recently wrote to us: “The huge sum of money being raised solely for the purpose of assisting refugees, actual and potential, as Jewes G. Mcdonald’s call for 25 million dollars, is purely humanitarian. It does not touch the issue. It does not cope with Hitler or Naziism. The money paid for refugees is in its effect a great relief to Hitler himself. If the people he has brutally reated, enconmically strnagulated, and exiled, voluntgarily or invluntarily, are taken care of by the other Jews of the world, his quasi-conscience is not troubled and he will have accomplished his purpose. It also has two other bad effects: It shows other countries how they can cut down unempoyment through anti-Semitism without doing any grave harms, becaue the Jews of the world will finance these emigrants. It also involves the effect of these tens of thousands of increasing refugees on public sentiment in liberal countries in which they seek asylum. Of course, I do not, as a human being, object to the work of relief, but I Iinsist that it does absolutely nothing to solves this vital problem. It really intensifieds it. For if Hitler succeeds, anti-semitism will spread and the palliantive may thus ultimately aggravate the diseaces.”
World Jewry must coolly and properly appraise the whole situation. It must think in terms of a comprehensive national strategy The changing world order has involved all the Jews of the world not merely the Jews of Germany in a desperate stuggle to maintain their political and economic positions. The spread of Fascism and the definite frend toward national concentration everywhere are the most serious threat to our security since the beginning of the era of our emancipation. Fasicsm is a deliberate and conscious effort to restore mankind to that system of ideas and social organiations which prevailed in the days before the French Revolution. It it triumphs in the world, it will also restore our people to the status which it occupied in the Middle Ages. It was the doctrines of the French Revolution-Liberty, Equality, Fraternity-which opened for us the doors of opportunity in Europe and which made the Nineteenth Century for the Jews of Western Europe the Golden Age of their history. Fascism will again shut these doors against us. It has already shut them in Germany Lacking the economic idealism of Communism, Fascism must find some other social ideal as its basis. It can find it only in an intensified nationalism or racialism always spell strong anti-Semitism. The Italian Jews escaped Fascist disfavor only because its numbers were negligible and because the Italian dictator happened to be an “enlightened” despot, one who had not entirely foregotten his earlier cosmopolitan background. Elsewhere and throughout the world-in Austria, Rumania, Poland even in France, England and the United states-Fascist movements are distinctly and avowedly anti-Semitic.
It is against this common dealy foe already attacking our political positions in many parts of the world, that we must concentrate our forces. Charity and relief work in on way meet the situation. They are actually becoming with us an imoding virtue . . .
Jews should be pouring millions into a common war chest to fight Hitlersm at home and abroad. A permanent trimph of Hitlerism in Germany will mean the spread of his doctrines to Austria, Rumania, Poland, and from there, the waves will sweep on teh on. This contingency should not be regarded as impossible or as the fantastic vagaries of an alarmist. The fantatic are the common places in our history. Twenty five years ago, Dr. Arthur Ruppin, a nationalist and a Zionist, wrote in his book, “Jews of Today:” “It is unthkable that either in Europe or America anti-Semitism could ever bring about legal disablities for Jews. Any such legislation would be a direct break with the political tradition of the neneteenth Century, and no State could well take such a step. Jews as a races are beyond the reach of legislation” . . . Today. Dr. Ruppin is heading a mvement to settle in Palestine thousands of exiled Jews from Germany who could not possibly be reached by anti-Jewish legislation . . .
Our national energies in these critical days should be concentrated upon political rather than upon philanthropic action. Our resources should be employed in fighting organized anti-Semitism at home and abroad and in the upbuilding of the Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The upbuilding of Palestine is a political act of primary urgency and importance not only because tens of thousands of Jews have been made homeless and are being threatened with homelessness by the reptilent plague of Hitlerism and not only because of other highly important nationla considerations, but also because the Jews of the world will be able to fight better everywhere in defense of their rights if the knowledge will be theirs that an ultimate place of refuge is at hand for those of their numbers who will be defeated in the stuggle. There will be far more courage and deliberateness and far less panic and desperation in the struggle . . .