The former Premier of Greece, Eleutherios Venizelos, is reported to have joined the anti-Semitic ranks. According to reports from Salonica he is heading an anti-Jewish ticket in the forthcoming election and is said to have declared:
“I do not wish Jews to vote for me. I desire only Greek votes.” Venizelos was considered one of the shrewdest politicians at the Peace Conference, at the close of the World War, and at the San Remo Conference. He exerted considerable influence on the representatives of the great Powers, not because of his sense of fairness and justice, but rather because of his skill as a manipulator and a past master in Balkanite intrigues. For some time after the Peace Conference, Venizelos played the role of a liberal and progressive. He was idolized by the people of Greece for several years, and he practically dominated the political situation until General Tsaldaris defeated him. After the anti-Jewish outrages in Salonica, Venizelos gave public assurances that he would not tolerate the recurrence of anti-Jewish outbreaks in Greece. His assurances, however, were but empty phrases.
The victory of General Tsaldaris, especially in Salonica, #furiated Venizelos and he is now seeking to have his vengeance against the Jews in that region. It so happens that General Tsaldaris, the militarist, has been working for peace and better understanding among the Balkan states, and has displayed a spirit of fairness toward the Jewish minority in Greece.
What a sad spectacle the Greek statesman, Venizelos, the former liberal, is now making of himself! Anti-Semitism and reaction usually go hand in hand. His latest device to save his political position by joining the anti-Semites will hardly prove successful. Venizelos will go down in disgraceful defeat.
ENFORCED GHETTO SCHOOLS
The Schuschnigg regime in Austria is rapidly going from bad to worse. Despite its promises to accord equal rights to Austrian citizens, regardless of race or creed, the Schuschnigg government is following in the footsteps of the German Nazis. Jewish physicians have been dismissed from municipal hospitals for no other reason than that they are Jews. Jewish lawyers are being discriminated against on the ground that they are “non-Aryans.” Jewish children have been segregated in separate schools. The Austrian government is trying to create new ghettos in Austria, in violation of its minority treaty obligations.
The Jews of Austria have wisely and justly protested against the outrages that are being perpetrated upon them. Austria after the war has been described as an abnormal organism consisting of a huge head and a tiny body, Vienna being referred to as the head. The Dollfuss and the Schuschnigg governments have demonstrated their smallheadedness and shortsightedness in their policies at home as well as in their international relations. Austria cannot regain the world’s sympathy, upon which her very existence depends, by outwardly combating Nazi domination while internally emulating the Nazi evils and crimes.
The suggestion made by certain Jews in this country that the Jews of Austria should have rejoiced at the decree compelling Jewish children to attend separate schools is too absurd to be considered seriously. The Jews of Austria, like the Jews of other lands, want equal rights with the rest of the population. They want no “Jim Crow” cars. They do not want to be forced into new ghettos. They do not want to be classed as second-rate citizens. Only as full-fledged citizens, enjoying equal rights and fulfilling equal obligations with the rest of the population, can the Jews live their life also according to the best Jewish traditions and the finest Jewish ideals. The enforced ghetto does not make for a healthier Jewishness. The rebirth of Jewry in Palestine as a nation of freemen, rebuilding the ancient homeland upon ideals of social justice and peace, should serve to raise the status of the Jewish people in the diaspora so that they may attain equal rights wherever such rights are denied them.
If Poland closes Jewish schools and withdraws her subsidy given to such schools under the minority treaties, and if Austria, in violation of her pledges, forces Jewish children to go to special separate schools, which are not Jewish in any sense, but are symbols of degradation and shame, the Jews of the worlds should protest against this spread of Nazi influence in countries adjoining Germany.