The report published in today’s Jewish Daily Bulletin about the tremendous success of the Keren Hayesod banquet held in Johannesburg, South Africa, recalls once more the extraordinary generosity of that Jewish community and its constant devotion to the highest Jewish ideals. Even though South Africa has also been affected by the universal depression, and the Jewish community there is not as prosperous as it used to be, the sum of thirty-two thousand pounds was raised at this banquet. Nahum Sokolow, the president of the world Zionist organization, who came to South Africa by airplane from Palestine for this occasion, was accorded a most enthusiastic ovation. General Jan Smuts, Minister of Justice, was the principal speaker at the banquet.
“When the Balfour Declaration was enacted,” General Smuts said, “we acted in an idealistic spirit. There is little idealism left today. Nobody foresaw seventeen years ago that Europe would now be in a position of almost dissolution, while Palestine is immensely prosperous… Palestine today is the only bright spot in the world.”
General Smuts was one of a small group of far-sighted statesmen who were instrumental in bringing about the Balfour Declaration. Since then he has manifested on all occasions his genuine concern for the rehabilitation of Palestine in the spirit of that Declaration. His own interpretation of that declaration is very much like that of Lord Balfour. He visualizes the idealism that has made the rebuilding of Palestine as the Jewish National Homeland such a remarkable practical success.
The Jewish community of Johannesburg has set an inspiring example of generosity and sacrifice to the Jewish communities of other lands. The Jewish leadership of South African Jewry has again demonstrated its ability to do its full share for the most constructive work in Jewish life today.
Colonel von Papen, whose anti-American activities in this country during the early part of the World War are still remembered, in a speech before the People’s League of Germandom, declares that the German people must extend their view beyond the borders of the Reich and demand for all Germans everywhere the right of existence and freedom of development for their culture. He added that this freedom would not divide but rather unite nations and would do away with the disastrous discord that endangers Europe’s position in the world.
Von Papen pleads for an extension of the German view, which is at present the Hitlerite view. He demands for Germans everywhere the right of existence and freedom of development for their culture. He demands this for Germans abroad, while his government denies this very right to a portion of the Germans at home on racial or religious grounds.
The only “culture” that the Nazis are trying to develop in other lands is the “culture” of hate and bigotry. The only “view” that the Nazis are endeavoring to impose in foreign lands is the view of Hitlerism as opposed to peace, international goodwill and interracial co-operation.
Colonel von Papen, with his notorious record, pleading for the freedom of development for Nazi culture, only accentuates the hypocrisy and arrogance behind the Hitlerite regime.