Now-editorial Notes

According to a report from Mexico, published in the Jewish. Daily Bulletin, the Mexican newspaper La Prensa attacked Jascha Heifetz editorially for refusing to permit his concert to be broadcast over the radio. La Prensa, which was recently described by the Mexican anti-Semitic Fascists as a “Judaizing” journal, ridiculed Heifetz’s explanation that his contract with his managers forbids the broadcasting of his concerts. The “pro-Jewish” La Prensa writes:

HEIFETZ AND SHYLOCK

“We believe that the Hebrew’s need for favorable publicity to counteract the unfavorable publicity received since the crucifixion of the supreme chief of Christianity was amplified by a traditional adherence to pecuniary contracts. Shylock demanding his pound of flesh is no less than Heifetz refusing to scrape gut in front of a Mexican microphone.”

Only a journal published and edited by ignorant bigots can stoop to such venomous stupidity. If this is characteristic of what Mexican pro-Jewish newspapers write, we may easily imagine what the Nazified Fascists there say about the Jews. La Prensa, however, seems such an enthusiastic admirer of Heifetz’s art that, according to its own peculiar reasoning, it would be willing to forgive the crucifixion if only Jascha Heifetz were to permit his concert to be broadcast. Jascha’s violation of his contract with his managers would give the Hebrews the “favorable publicity” needed “to counteract the unfavorable publicity received since the crucifixion of the supreme chief of Christianity.” Jascha’s refusal to appear before a Mexican microphone is likened to “Shylock demanding his pound of flesh.” The “pro-Jewish” Mexican organ goes back to the Roman crucifixion and to Shakespeare’s misconstrued Shylock in order to attack the Jews.

Anti-Semites have always resorted to reviving long-exploded myths and old legends. But this is the first time, as far as I know, that the crucifixion and the Shylock fable have been used in connection with a Jewish violinist.

Mexico needs a great deal of “favorable publicity” in the eyes of the world. Newspapers like La Prensa, descending to such vile and stupid tactics, are surely not representative of the liberty-loving Mexican people. They are furnishing plenty of “unfavorable publicity” for Mexico.

A NORDIC VIEW

Some time ago the Nazi press published a letter from Knut Hamsun, the famous Norwegian novelist and Noble Prize winner, according to which Mr. Hamsun had endorsed the anti-Jewish policy of the Hitler regime, justifying the persecution of the Jews on the ground that they belonged to an “inferior race.” Hamsun has never been known as an outspoken friend of the Jews, and yet it seemed incredible that he would identify himself with the absurd and spurious race theory of the Nazis.

Now we learn that Knut Hamsun did write a letter to a young German Jew whom he had helped to release from a concentration camp, but that instead of referring to the Jewish people as an inferior race, he extolled their superiority. The Nazi press falsified Hamsun’s letter.

He wrote to the young Jew, in part, as follows:

“As a Jew you belong to a race that is dominant in every cultural domain in every land. In science, art, literature, commerce, industry—in all these the Jews hold a high rank. This is denied by no one, as far as I know….

“It is a misfortune that the Jews have no great land of their own. Palestine cannot hold them all, and in all the five parts of the world it seems impossible for them to find a territory which would be large enough for them….

“The Jews who are powerful in politics and finance should not rest until a new great Jewish land is found.”

To the Nazis this letter is sufficient proof of Hamsun’s approval of their racial discrimination against the Jews. They could not, however, admit to their own people that Hamsun emphasized the superiority of the Jewish race, so they distorted it to suit their own purposes.

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