Eduard Benes, the Czechoslovak Minister of Foreign Affairs, is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of his birthday today. He will be honored on this occasion not only in Czechoslovakia but wherever his work for democracy and for peace is known and appreciated. He is one of the few constructive statesmen in Europe who is both a realist and an idealist. His influence in European affairs is far more felt than that of most representatives of the greater European powers because of his dynamic personality, his earnestness, his vision, his idealism, his knowledge and his courage. He is a disciple of President Masaryk, one of the few truly great statesmen in the world today.
Dr. Benes plays a conspicuous role in the League of Nations, and even his enemies admit his courage and his genius. He is the father of the Little Entente, which has been gaining considerable strength in chaotic Europe. Benes, like Masaryk, realized long ago that the salvation of Czechoslovakia lay first in work and then in the good will and friendship of its neighbors. Czechoslovakia was surrounded by enemy states that had suffered economically and territorially because of the creation of this new state. It was surrounded by peoples that hated and envied the new state which worked so industriously and which has made better progress than any of the new states and many of the older states in Europe.
Benes is opposed to the idea of the restoration of the Hapsburg dynasty, and to the spread of Nazism beyond the borders of Germany. These would constitute the gravest menaces to Czechoslovakia.
The Czechoslovakia of Masaryk and Benes is a tower of democratic strength in dictatorship-ridden Europe.
President Masaryk in Washington and Eduard Benes in Paris really created the new state of Czechoslovakia during the World War and at the peace conference. Their eloquent pleas and forceful arguments won the Allied statesmen to their cause and particularly the deep sympathies of President Wilson and Colonel Edward M. House.
It is therefore no wonder that Czechoslovakia has suffered less than other European states from the internal friction of the minorities constituting the population. There minorities have been dealt with intelligently and justly. Every attempt to transplant Nazi anti-Semitism in that country has been checked promptly and effectively.
Dr. Benes has on various occasions displayed his deep concern for the sufferings of the Jewish people because of persecutions on religious or racial grounds in other lands. He has also expressed his admiration for the ideal of Zionism and for the achievements of the Jewish people engaged in the rehabilitation of Palestine.
EMBARRASSING TO HITLER
It is announced that Jacob Suritz, the former Soviet Ambassador to Turkey, has been appointed Soviet Ambassador to Germany. It is also reported that Jacob Suritz is a Jew by birth. In Turkey Ambassador Suritz was one of the most influential members of the diplomatic corps. He established close and friendly relations between Soviet Russia and the Turkey of Mustafa Kemal Pasha.
It will be interesting to watch how this Russian Jew, representing the Soviet government, will be treated by the Nazi government, which is carrying on a bloodless pogrom policy against the Jews in Germany. Naturally, as ambassador he will receive all the courtesies and honors due his rank, but it will doubtless be painful to the Nazis to extend these honors to a Jew.
LEWISOHN AT EIGHTY-FIVE
Adolph Lewisohn is eighty-five years old today. He came to this country from Hamburg, Germany, at the age of eighteen. His philanthropic interests have been extensive and manifold. He helped to establish the Hebrew Technical School for Girls, donated the School of Mines to Columbia University, the Lewisohn Pathological and Laboratory Building to Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Lewisohn Stadium to the city of New York. He has been president of Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Orphan Asylum for many years. He has been a powerful factor in the fight against child labor, and has constantly advocated prison reform. He has contributed generously in his support of the Stadium concerts and the course of chamber music at Hunter College. In 1926 he was chairman of the music festival presented in aid of the Yeshiva College.
Mr. Lewisohn is still actively interested in the institution with which his name and benefactions are identified. His many friends are paying him well-deserved tributes on the occasion of his eighty-fifth birthday.