Every time Adolf Hitler opens his mouth to justify his persecution of the Jews he involuntarily bestows upon them the highest praise. That which he regards as their greatest fault is considered by civilized people as their greatest quality as a constructive and moral force for good. Hitler has blamed the Jews for the Bible and the Hebraic moral code. He has blamed them for Moses and David, and also for Karl Marx. He has denounced the “Jewish intellectualism” of Heine and Boerne and Mendelssohn and Ehrlich and Einstein, who have enriched German culture and given it a high place among the intellectual contributions to mankind.
When Professor Albert Einstein’s fiftieth birthday was celebrated in New York, at a great gathering in the Metropolitan Opera House, the German Ambassador, Count von Prittwitz, representing the German people in this country before the rise of Hitlerism, came to pay his tribute to the great German. And this is what the German Ambassador said:
“I came to New York to bring you the greetings of the German people. It is not for me to emphasize the merits of one of my own countrymen. I want to thank you very heartily for this celebration, especially for the words spoken and the tribute paid to Albert Einstein by the Member of the Cabinet, Mr. Wilbur, and all the other speakers.
“Many relations have been established across the ocean. I may mention in this connection diplomatic treaties and business contracts. They are valuable and welcome. Nothing, I think, is, however, of more value for furthering that mental understanding, that atmosphere of mutual confidence and trust which is essential for the establishment of international relations on a secure and durable basis than a gathering like this.
“Science knows no boundaries. Its aim is to help mankind to advance and to further civilization and culture. The spirit which moves the scientist must be reciprocated by those who profit by his invention or his works. If common opinion is important in national affairs, it surely is just as important in international relations. Through this meeting you have contributed to the formation of a common cause. Let us take this as a good omen for the relations between the German and the American people.”
That was the official expression of the German Ambassador only a few years ago, before the Nazi adventurers seized the power in Germany, persecuting and driving out those who “help mankind to advance and to further civilization and culture” and who have created the “atmosphere of mutual confidence and trust which is essential for the establishment of international relations on a secure and durable basis.”
The Hitlerites have been trying to justify their acts of violence and barbarism by insisting that they and the Germans alone belong to a pure and superior race, that there is no room in Germany for the intellectualism of the “non-Aryans.” The absurdity of the Nazi boasts of racial superiority has been exposed by authoritative anthropologists in various lands. One of the latest and most effective statements on this subject appears in a leading article in Nature, the important English weekly devoted to science, edited by Sir Richard Gregory, F.R.S.
The following characteristic passage, appearing in this unimpeachable scientific publication, reads:
“It was disastrous for Germany that the first step she elected to take in national regeneration through racial integration should have assumed a form which alienated liberal opinion throughout the whole world, at a time when the racial theory upon which it was based was neither well nor widely known. The crude statement of Nazi argument for discrimination against the Jews on the ground of racial inferiority appeared absurd and almost carried its refutation with it. Apart from the impossibility of analyzing the culture of modern Germany in terms of the racial elements of her populationâ€”a task from which even the most rash of racial psychologists might well shrinkâ€”it was shown time and again that the unquestioned eminence of Germany in the arts and sciences was due in no inconsiderable measure to her nationals of Jewish extraction and descent. It is difficult for an onlooker to appreciate the attitude of mind which can so far run counter to the logic of facts as to impute racial inferiority to the Jew. It has all the appearance of the crudest race prejudice. Germany, however, with a thoroughness that is characteristic, especially in its lack of humor, justifies her action with an appeal to first principles. The Jewish type and mentality, with its proclivity to socialism and internationalism, it is argued, is incompatible with the German type. But this German type is an ideal type, evolved, like the camel in Heine’s story, from the Teutonic inner consciousness and projected into the past, as so often happens with an ideal. It is, in fact, the familiar illusion of the Golden Age; and race prejudice has been transformed into an inevitable measure of purification in the endeavor to recreate a hypothetical ancient German character and culture … But whatever their cultural status a strict anthropometric measure applied to the modern population of Germany would find true Nordics in all their racial purity in an embarrassingly small minority.”
Having exhausted all the pretexts for persecuting the Jews of Germany, Hitler now comes forward with a brand-new accusation. He denounces the idea of women’s rights in politics as “a product of decadent Jewish intellectualism,”
“While man makes his supreme sacrifice on the field of battle,” exclaimed the Nazi leader at Nuremberg, “woman fights her supreme battle for her nation when she gives life to a child. The conception of so-called woman’s equality is a product of decadent Jewish intellectualism.”
And he added:
“We want to be a peace-loving people, but at the same time courageous. We want an obedient people, and you must learn to practice obedience …”
In his effort to condemn the Jews, Hitler paid them one of the highest compliments. At the same time he offended the far vaster number of other liberals everywhere who have worked for the realization of the idea of equal rights for women. He has also earned the contempt of the civilized world’s womanhood.