Chicago (Jul. 29)
More than 100,000 spectators crowded Soldier Field here tonight as 5,000 actors, dancers and musicians took part in the presentation of the mammoth “Epic of a Nation” spectacle in connection with the celebration of Jewish day at the World’s Fair.
Congressman Samuel Dickstein of New York, guest of honor for the day, exhorted American Jews to guard against “the forces of Hitlerism” in the United States in the principal address.
Max Baer and Barney Ross, pugilistic champions, led a large group of boys through special boxing drills, and Grisha Goluboff, eleven-year-old “boy wonder” violinist, thrilled the crowd with his playing on a $100,000 instrument loaned by Henry Ford for the occasion.
Dickstein, a member of the Congressional committee investigating Nazi activities in this country, assailed Hitlerism as “a movement which does not content itself with attacking one nation or confining itself to one country.”
All Americans, whether native-born or naturalized, he declared, want “the liberty established by the founders of our constitution” to remain inviolate and unimpaired.
The year 1933, he asserted, marked the beginning of an era for the Jewish race in that the Nazi anti-Semitic campaign was launched then.
Dickstein pointed out that Hitler’s preachments that Jews caused Germany’s downfall ignored the facts that Jewish statesmen kept the Reich alive after the Armistice, that Jews the world over helped to bring about recovery after the war and that Jews lent the weight of their sense of justice and fairness to a proper appraisal of Germany’s difficulties by the allied nations.
As a preliminary to the “Epic of a Nation” 1,000 children staged athletic and gymnastic exhibitions. I. B. Ury, general chairman of Jewish Day, was praised for the excellence of the spectacle, which was characterized as a huge success. A similar spectacle, entitled “The Romance of a People,” was put on at the fair a year ago.
His listeners, who expected him to comment on disclosures made before the congressional investigating committee, were disappointed because Dickstein avoided anything but casual reference to the works of the Congressional Committee.
“The committee,” he explained, has not yet completed its work and I for one do not wish to detail its findings until the committee as a whole has had a chance to digest the testimony and to pronounce its verdict. The committee is a fact finding body and therefore, as a juror, I wish to refrain from expressing my opinion until the testimony is all in. This must be left to the future and to the formal report which the committee will publish at the end of its course of inquiry.”
He assured his audience that the work of the Committee is being done in a spirit of absolute fairness and in accordance with sound principles of American justice.
“Nobody is discriminated against in any way, nor is anybody’s position prejudiced whether he is in accord with the views of the majority of the committee or is opposed to them,” he declared.