To the strains of a German band, the Hamburg – American liner Stuttgart docked yesterday with Dr. Albert Degener, secretary of the German-American Board of Trade on board, returning from Berlin.
Dr. Degener, ignoring the music, announced simultaneously that there is no, absolutely no, anti-Jewish discrimination in Germany and also that “the German-Jewish situation is moderating.”
In his two months’ stay in the Reich, Dr. Degener declared, he had visited Jewish shops in Berlin and had made purchases from Jews. He had been unable to detect any sign of ostracism of Jews from the business life of Germany. In his own words, he “had found nothing.”
Referring to a report in his hand, Dr. Degener, who as secretary of German-American Commerce, Inc., had received it in his official capacity from a Hamburg exporting firm, asserted that Germany bought twenty-two percent of the entire Palestine orange exports last year.
BAD BUSINESS, THE BOYCOTT
“This boycott business,” he said, “is foolish. Jews and Germans ought to get together. Business relations would be improved.”
Dr. Degener referred several times to his Jewish friends in Germany and pointed out a Jew who only several weeks ago acted for the German Foreign Office in reparations negotiations with England. He was unable to remember his name. When asked if the reporter might look at the report of the orange importations from Palestine to Germany, Dr. Degener said that the report was confidential.
Also returning on the Stuttgart, from a three weeks’ stay in Germany, Ellery Sedgwick Jr., son of the editor of The Atlantic Monthly, declared that while in Munich just prior to the attempted Putsch in Vienna, he had noticed great camps, containing thousands of uniformed and armed Nazis waiting the signal to cross the border into Austria. Traveling about with the American consul in Munich, Sedgwick estimated that there must have been about 40,000 men prepared to invade Austria, within the scope of his sight-seeing.
“German youth,” he said, “is filled with the most intense kind of nationalism. They are all ready to die for their country. Especially the young men in the universities. They would go to war for the Fatherland at the drop of a hat. Among the middle-aged there is less enthusiasm. They have seen war. They are afraid of Hitlerism. Nevertheless, the country was simply teeming with uniforms.”
BAPTIST DELEGATES RETURN
Other passengers included forty Baptist ministers returning from the congress of the Baptist World Alliance held in Berlin. Members of the ministerial group reported that the resolutions passed by the congress against racial animosity, interference with religious freedom and against war were voted on favorably by German delegates, or at worst, were not publicly objected to on the floor of the convention by them.
The Rev. Carl A. Daniel of Detroit declared, however, that German youth is being removed from the control of church organizations and enrolled in Nazi activities. A lapse into paganism is consequently feared by religious leaders.