Wise Insists on Boycott at Geneva
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Wise Insists on Boycott at Geneva

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“To die at the hands of the Nazis is cruel, but to survive by Nazi grace were ten thousand times worse. We will survive Nazism unless we commit the inexpiable sin of bartering with it in order to save some of the victims,” Dr. Wise said.

Pointing out that the boycott was the single non-violent weapon capable of being used by the Jews in self-defense, Dr. Wise declared: “The boycott could not have been averted by anyone, any more than it could have been halted by super-cautious Jewish bodies in London and New York.

“The boycott is the result of the rightful instincts of the Jewish masses, intensified in America by Samuel Untermyer, the American Federation of Labor, the American Jewish Congress and numerous Catholic and Protestant groups.


“We solemnly protest against Palestine breaking the boycott. At the last Zionist Congress in Prague, under the joint influence of German Zionists and certain Palestinian leaders, we made the woeful blunder of withholding our condemnation of the Palestine-German transfer agreement, which is a breach of the boycott. This breach is being continued and even widened with every excuse being given.

“The conference must clearly state that while Palestine enjoys primacy this primacy ceases when it comes into conflict with a higher moral law. Had we been prepared to gain Palestine under lower terms it might have been encompassed sooner and easier.

“We were given warning that support for Palestine would be alienated for the World Jewish Congress if the conference adopts a resolution against the Palestine German transfer agreement.

“I do not fear this threat,” Dr. Wise concluded. “The Jewish people are prepared to accept the guidance of Eretz Israel, but not commands or threats, when they conflict with the interests of all Israel.”

Creation of an international boycott center with sections devoted to fighting Nazi propaganda was recommended by the French and Polish delegations to the conference.

A stormy discussion developed in the closed session of the boycott committee on the Palestine German transfer agreement, with opinion seemingly divided on the issue, some supporting the agreement, others condemning it.

A resolution will be formulated calling for the coordination of boycott activities and containing a clause against the purchase of German goods by Palestine, it was learned.

Tomorrow’s session of the conference will be devoted to committee meetings.


The fate of the Jews in the Saar Valley after the January, 1935, plebiscite, in connection with the forthcoming session of the League of Nations, and the question of extending the world-wide boycott against Germany were discussed today at a closed session of a special committee appointed by the World Jewish Conference, which opened its sessions here yesterday. The committee also discussed the Jewish position in Austria, Poland, Rumania, Mexico and the Soviet Union, and the necessary action to take in each case.

The inhabitants of the Saar are to vote in the plebiscite whether to return to Germany, become a part of the French Republic or to continue under the rule of the League commission now governing the territory. Fear has been expressed that the Jewish population of the region will suffer the same disabilities now in force in Germany. At the forthcoming meeting the League of Nations will be asked to secure guarantees that Jews of the Saar will not be persecuted if the Nazi government assumes hegomony over the region.


The open session of the World Jewish Conference listened to a lengthy report by Dr. Jacob Lestchinsky, well-known Jewish economist and journalist, who was exiled by the Hitler regime. Dr. Lestchinsky painted a gloomy picture of the Jewish economic and political situation in Germany and other European countries, based on his extensive survey in recent months.

More than 60,000 Jews left Germany in 1933 and another 10,000 departed in the first six months of 1934, Dr. Lestchinsky said.

“The position of the Jews remaining there is becoming desperate, since there is no hope of finding refuge abroad,” Dr. Lestchinsky declared. He described conditions in other countries as worse than desperate, owing to the depressed economic condition of the lands which have absorbed the larger portion of the German Jewish refugees. In Poland, Rumania, Lithuania and Latvia, Jews were refused employment in state undertakings.

“Jewish youth has no prospects in any of the Central European countries,” Dr. Lestchinsky said. “The pauperism of the Jewish masses is alarming. Emigration is impossible except to Palestine and migration offers no chance of salvation.”

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