Now-editorial Notes

The open letter addressed to patriotic German Americans by Samuel Untermyer, president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League To Champion Human Rights, is a dignified and impressive appeal to their Americanism and a fair warning not to permit themselves to be misled and misrepresented by Nazi agents and propagandists in various disguises.

The letter points out that the anti-German boycott in this country is not directed against German Americans and that the Hitler regime blindly refuses to realize that if there were not far more powerful factors engaged in this boycott than the Jews alone it would hardly have been as effective as it is.

The League of Friends of New Germany is the direct descendent of the American branch of the German National Socialist (Nazi) Workers’ Party. Several years ago Heinz Spanknoebel, Fritz Gissibl and other Germans began the regimentation of German voters in this country into Hitler’s Nazi party. A number of the party members in this country wore the storm troopers’ uniforms. No effort was made by them to conceal their purpose or their allegiance to Germany and to Hitler. After Hitler came into power they formed an association with Colonel Edwin Emerson’s Friends of Germany, which lasted but a short time. About a year ago Hitler ordered the disbandment of the American branch of his party. Spanknoebel returned to Germany, after having enrolled the National Socialist members in the League of Friends of New Germany. Upon his return from Germany, Spanknoebel held here a national conclave of the leaders of the Friends of New Germany and presented his credentials from Berlin authorizing his leadership of the organization.

When Spanknoebel was exposed and indicted, he fled this country and is now a fugitive from American justice. He was succeeded by Fritz Gissibl, who resigned as the head of the Friends of New Germany about two months ago, announcing that he was returning home to help rebuild the Third Reich. Gissibl left Reinhold Walter, a naturalized American citizen, in charge of the Friends of New Germany. Walter is aided by a group of other German leaders who had but recently applied for American citizenship. Gisibl is still in this country, unofficially fostering the development of the DAWA, the anti-Jewish boycott device sponsored by the Friends of New Germany and a “captured” group, the United German Societies.

The German Americans are being misrepresented and misled by a clique of German agents propagandists and organizers under orders from Berlin. The “Mass Demonstration” at Madison Square Garden, scheduled to be held on May 17, is engineered by the German Nazis and is camouflaged as a meeting of German Americans.

Will the German Americans be guided by the noble spirit of Carl Schurz or by the machinations of such Nazi German agents as Heinz Spanknoebel and Fritz Gissibl and their disciples?

NO ROOM FOR PROFITEERS

Mrs. Samuel W. Halprin, president of the Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, in the course of an address on her recent impressions of Palestine, pointed out the danger of the tendency toward speculation among some of the newcomers in Palestine.

“In previous years groups came with the sole idea of building a new Jewish life in a Jewish homeland,” she said. “They came welded together by a single aim of bringing the Jewish people back to the soil, to create a normal, healthy, productive people. Too many of those now entering Palestine have the individualist viewpoint….Every Jew must come as a builder for his people, to rebuild the whole of the national life for Jewry….One of the chief evils of individualism is speculation, and concentration of the population in the cities fosters this tendency.”

Eight years ago, after my first visit to Palestine, I saw the beginning of such unfortunate tendencies, and I called attention to the fact that the Jews cannot afford to have profiteers in the land of their Prophets.

Crippled by the abnormalities of life in other lands, where Jew-hatred has developed into a cruel sport, or into a policy of vengeance which makes the Jews the scapegoats or the lightning-rods; robbed of their consciousness and self-respect as Jews, a few of the newcomers have brought along to Palestine the unsound ways and methods which the Galuth had forced upon them. Fortunately, their number is comparatively small. But small as it is, it is too large for Palestine.

Palestine is small, but it is full of great opportunities for honest toil and for honorable enterprise.

Palestine, where the Jews of old lived the Bible, where they established for mankind the foundations of justice, of morality, of humanitarian ethics, has served as the reservoir that gave the Jewish people strength, vitality, endurance and hope to withstand persecutions and martyrdom throughout the ages.

And most of the Jews who are now returning to the ancient homeland are bringing with them new energy, new idealism, new experiences which they have acquired throughout the world, where they have learned from sufferings and persecution how to love and value freedom, independence and peace, where they mastered the art of adapting themselves, of surmounting difficulties, of making themselves useful. There is room for a large Jewish immigration but there is no room for speculators and profiteers in Palestine. If this menace is growing there, drastic measures should be adopted by the Jewish leadership in Palestine to check it without delay.

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