How a Jewish-owned yeast company attempted to evade the boycott of German goods by buying under a false name was revealed in Brooklyn Supreme Court Friday in the long-delayed opening of the $450,000 damage suit of the Certified Yeast Company against the Jewish Bakers’ Voice, the Bakers’ and Consumers’ Yeast Company, and the Ideal Yeast Company for a total of $450,000.
It was explained yesterday in behalf of the plaintiff, that the statement given to the Voice was made in June, 1933, after the Certified had stopped buying German yeast.
Called to the witness stand by Joseph Conroy, their counsel, Abraham Schwartz and Morris Greenberg, owners of the Certified company, admitted that they had made a statement to the Jewish Bakers’ Voice announcing that they had discontinued buying German yeast. Under cross-examination by Samuel Gottlieb, attorney for the Voice, they admitted, however, continued buying such goods under a different name.
The case arose from the attempts of the three defendants to discourage sales of Certified yeast because it allegedly bought its goods in Germany in spite of a boycott against Germany announced by the yeast and baking industries soon after the accession of Hitler.
The Certified company claimed in its complaint filed last June that intimidation and coercion had been used to prevent customers of the Certified from using the company’s yeast and that there was a conspiracy among the three defendants to ruin the plaintiff’s business.
JUDGE BECOMES IRATE
Schwartz, who is president of the Certified Yeast Company, appeared flustered under the questioning of Gottlieb. His repeated evasions of questions stirred Justice Edward Byrne to anger.
Schwartz admitted that last April his company sent a notice to the Jewish papers announcing that “we have ceased buying yeast from abominable Hitler Germany” and that the company thereafter continued buying German goods.
Greenberg, secretary of the company, admitted that he had announced to the Jewish Bakers’ Voice, after the paper’s editorial attack on the Certified, that the company had ceased purchasing in Germany, and that three days after the Voice printed the announcement the Certified received a cargo of yeast aboard the Hamburg from Germany.
Last January the Certified Yeast Company brought the Jewish Bakers’ Voice before the Jewish Court of Conciliation for arbitration. David Sarnoff, Bernard S. Deutsch and Rabbi Israel Goldstein, the arbiters, decided in favor of the Certified, stating that they saw no grounds for boycotting the Certified.