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Now-editorial Notes

While Hitler is raving in his desperate attempt to justify his blood bath, without producing any evidence excepting his admission that he feared a mutiny and his own arrest, his comrades in arms and crime are continuing to circulate the ritual murder accusations against the Jews, thus inciting anti-Jewish massacres. Julius Streicher, Hitler’s intimate friend and Governor of Franconia, is heading this most outrageous campaign and is devoting his organ, Der Stuermer to the dissemination of the most dastardly falsehoods about the Jewish people.

The recent death of Mendel Beilis, who had been accused by the Tsarist government of having killed a Christian boy for ritual purposes and who was vindicated by the jury, reminds us that when the whole civilized world was shocked by the Tsarist government’s efforts to fabricate evidence in substantiation of the long-exploded ritual murder myth, the German people, through hundreds of their most enlightened and representative authors and scholars, joined the world protest against the staging of the ritual murder trial by the Tsar’s government.

Twenty-two years ago, on March 19, 1912, the Germans signed a remarkable document in which they said, in part, as follows:

“This unscrupulous fiction, spread among the people, has from the Middle Ages until recent times led to terrible consequences. It has incited the ignorant masses to outrage and massacre, and has driven misguided crowds to pollute themselves with the innocent blood of their Jewish fellow-men. And yet not a shadow of proof has ever been adduced to justify this crazy belief. The most esteemed Christian authorities on Jewish literature have proved incontrovertibly that the Jews have never been exhorted by their religion to murder their fellow-men.

“We deem it the duty of everyone to whose heart the moral progress of mankind is dear to raise his voice against such deplorable absurdities. We thus join in the protest of the most esteemed Russian scholars, authors and artists, believing that such a protest should not be limited by frontiers, but should concern the heart of the whole civilized world.”

Among the hundreds of distinguished Germans who signed that memorable document were the Christian professors of various universities and theological institutions, such as Friedrich Delitzsch, Friedrich Curtius, Richard Dehmel, Professor Ehrwald, Paul Elnzbacher and Rudolf Eucken. Gerhart Hauptmann, Herbert Eulenberg, Hermann Sudermann, Ludwig Thoma and other famous authors were included in the list. Hundreds of eminent clergymen added their names to the protest.

The French protest on that occasion, headed by Anatole France, read:

“The undersigned, friends of Russia and strangers to Judaism, denounce to public opinion the absurd accusation of ritual murder brought against the Jew Beilis, of Kiev.

“They affirm as follows:

“1. That, so far from requiring blood for its rites, the religion of Israel prohibits its use both for ceremonial purposes and for food, and that this absolute prohibition is rigorously respected by all the Jewish sects.

“2. That in all ages and in all countries religious minorities have been victims of this same calumny—the early Christians under the Roman Emperors, as well as quite recently the missionaries in China.

“They express the hope that such accusations may no longer find credence in any civilized country.”

The British protest signed by the foremost leaders of thought in England, read, in part, as follows:

The question is one of humanity, civilization and truth. The ‘Blood Accusation’ is a relic of the days of Witchcraft and Blood Magic, a cruel and utterly baseless libel on Judaism, an insult to Western culture and a dishonor to the Churches in whose name it has been falsely formulated by ignorant fanatics. Religious minorities other than the Jews, such as the Early Christians, the Quakers, and Christian missionaries in China, have been victimized by it. It has been denounced by the best men of all ages and creeds. The Popes, the Founders of the Reformation, the Khalif of Islam, statesmen of every country, together with all the great seats of learning in Europe, have publicly repudiated it.

“It is the more necessary that these testimonies should be renewed because, among the ignorant and inflammable populace of Eastern Europe, the Blood Accusation has often given rise to terrible outbreaks of mob violence against the Jews, and there is grave reason to fear that its present resustitation may endanger many innocent lives in the crowded Jewries of the Russian Empire.”

The American protest took the form of an appeal to the Tsar for the withdrawal of the ritual murder charge against Beilis. It read thus:

“We are convinced that the blood accusation against the Jews, which has been made sporadically, is as unfounded as was the same accusation which, as history shows, was frequently directed against the early Christians. It has been subjected to the most careful investigation for centuries, and no evidence warranting the slightest credence has ever been discovered, and it has been rejected as unworthy of serious consideration both by Church and State. Bulls were issued by four Popes—Innocent IV, Paul III, Gregory X and Clement XIV—which formally declared this superstition to be a baseless and wicked invention.

“Many sovereigns have in the past forbidden the attribution of religious significance to such accusations, among them the German Emperors Frederick II (1236), Rudolf of Hapsburg (1275), Frederick III (1470) and Charles V (1544); the Bohemian King Ottocar II (1254); the Poish Kings, Boleslaw V (1264), Casimir III (1334), Casimir IV (1453) and Stephen Bathori (1576).”

The American protest bore the signatures of the foremost religious leaders, among whom were Bishop Greer, Bishop Manning, Dr. Charles S. MacFarland, Frank Mason North, Cardinal Farley, Howard Melish, John Haynes Holmes, Shailer Matthews, then president of the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America.

That was twenty-two years ago. The Beilis affair was staged by the Russian government, and was regarded by that government as an internal affair, even though its intention was to discredit all Jewry. Nevertheless, statesmen, clergymen, scholars and authors of all civilized lands protested vigorously against the ritual murder accusation.

Germany under the Kaiser protested, branding the blood accusation as an “unscrupulous fiction” and declaring that they, the Germans, deemed it the duty of everyone to whose heart the moral progress of mankind was dear to raise his voice against such deplorable absurdities. They added that such a protest should not be limited by frontiers but should concern the heart of the whole civilized world.

And now Nazi Germany, under the reign of terror of Bloody Hitler, boasting of “Aryan” superiority while at the same time demonstrating to the world the degeneracy and depravity of Hitler’s Nazi comrades in crime, encourages the spread of the ritual murder myth and the incitement of pogroms.

The Hitler regime has done all it possibly could to eliminate Germany from the family of civilized nations. The revival of the blood accusation against the Jews by members of the Bloody Hitler regime is another indelible stain upon the history of the German people.

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