Graceful, charming, twenty-four years old, daughter of the New York head of the famous French banking firm Lazare Freres, andâ€” as a consequence of very real, very valuable service â€” national chairman of the Junior Division of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.
As such it was, of course, incumbent upon Pauline Baerwald to help in the relief work for the unhappy German Jews who are the victims of oppression and tyranny. A tyranny that is not satisfied merely to strike down and condemn to economic destruction mature men and women, but that also pitilessly takes away from the very children in school, from the boys and girls of adolescent age that sense of happy security which is the birthright of every child. Miss Baerwald, hearing, the heartbreaking stories of such persecution, went to Germany to see with her own eyes how the Jewish youth in Germany reacted to such inhuman treatment; how the young men and women, not permitted to continue their studies or to practice their professions, adjusted themselves to their new circumstances.
SPIRIT OF YOUTH
She had just returned from this trip, glowing with enthusiasm, proud and happy to see the undaunted, the truly gallant spirit of German Jewish youth. Miss Baerwald tells that wherever she went she encountered an astounding calmness and serenity in these young displaced people. High school and college boys and girls, forced to learn some handicraft or farmwork, forced to abandon every hope of an academic career, showed neither bitterness nor despair. They accepted the new work and the new way of life not with resignation but with a gay courage that betokens a splendid force of character, a racial virility able to overcome any persecution. Nobody complained; nobody indulged in self-pity. The German government could refuse to these young people political and academic freedom, but it could not rob them of the highest freedom of all, the freedom of the soul. With a fine dignity the young Jewish men and women give themselves wholeheartedly to their new occupations, ennobling the humblest task they undertake with the attitude in which it is performed.
YOUTH ROLL CALL
Miss Baerwald feels very justly that such gallant spirit deserves every help and encouragement and she is, therefore, organizing a Youth Roll Call to give American young men and women an opportunity to help materially the displaced school and college youth of Germany. For the work for these brave children must go on. Although there are already 9,000 of them in actual training, there are 60,000 more who ought to be taken care of, and funds are needed for this great work. The response of American youth has been most gratifying. In every community there are groups who give their mite to help the German children, and when Miss Baerwald will begin to talk personally to various audiences and tell in her inimitable way the touching story of persecuted, flayed, and yet undaunted youth, the answering spark will light up the dark horizon of German Jewish youth. For this is Miss Baerwald’s special gift: to kindle enthusiasm. An enthusiasm she feels deeply herself and which she communicates in such a measure to her hearers that to help her in her fine work is no longer considered merely a duty but a coveted and cherished privilege.