The United Campaign of the Joint Distribution Committee and the American Palestine Campaign for the relief of German Jews was officially launched at a reception in honor of High Commissioner James G. McDonald. Mr. Felix M. Warburg, the foremost American Jewish philanthropist, will be the national chairman of the United Campaign, and distinguished representatives of both organizations have been chosen to cooperate with him in the task of raising $3,000,000.
High Commissioner McDonald declared that “a response from the Jews of America, worthy of their best traditions, will enormously facilitate the carrying out of the task assigned to my colleagues and to me, and will demonstrate to the whole world that the Jews once more are glad of the opportunity to share in the great world-wide undertaking of mercy and justice.” He also pointed out that “the Jews within Germany are in desperate need of help to maintain, even on a lowered standard, their cultural, religious and philanthropic institutions.”
Judge Julian W. Mack, who presided at the meeting, emphasized very effectively that American Jewry is called upon not to make sacrifices but rather to avail itself of the great opportunity to come to the rescue of our distressed people abroad, in this grave crisis.
American Jewry cannot fail to make the right and prompt response to the appeal. It has rarely failed on previous occasions to demonstrate its generosity and fulfil its obligations to the less fortunate portions of our people in other lands. The response this time should be more generous than ever before. The need is most urgent. The victims of the “silent” pogroms are suffering in silence in Germany. They dare not speak. The refugees scattered in various lands are in despair, awaiting help and hope from American Jewry. Palestine has saved thousands of these refugees and can save thousands more, if the required funds are raised promptly. The success of the United Campaign appeal will also be a striking answer to Hitlerism. The pogroms of the Black Hundreds and the Tsars and the Arab riots and massacres in Palestine stirred us to the depths of our hearts. But even those manifestations of brutality were not as far-reaching as are the Nazi persecutions of the Jews and the Hitlerist menace to Jewry. Hitlerism aims at the systematic extermination of the Jews of Germany. It also aims at discrediting the Jewish people everywhere by sinister propaganda. No falsehoods have been overlooked by the Nazi agitators in their onslaught on the Jews. All the outworn, exploded myths about Jewish attempts at world domination have been called to life again by the unscrupulous “Aryan” and “Nordic” charlatans posing as the “saviors” of Germany.
One of the answers to Hitler that must be made unmistakably effective is prompt and complete relief for the victims of the Nazis. The Jews of other lands are doing their share. The Jews of England in particular are doing their share of relief work nobly. Other governments have displayed their sympathy with the German refugees in an exemplary manner. France, England and Czechoslovakia have demonstrated their hospitality to the unfortunate victims of political and racial persecution.
The Jews of American, in addition to all that is being done to combat the menace of Hitlerism, must do far more than any other portion of the Jewish people to aid the refugees and the distressed Jews in Germany. Thus far few of the refugees have been able to find shelter in the United States. The very least that American Jewry can do is to enable them to find new homes and new opportunites for work in other lands. Notwithstanding the economic depression, American Jewry is still the most prosperous branch of the Jewish people. American Jewry has always risen to emergencies. The present emergency will, we are sure, find the Jews of American equal to the responsibility and opportunity that is theirs. They dare not fail. They will not fail.