A thundering broadside at Secretary of State Cordell Hull “the pitiful weak-kneed Secretary of State” who permitted the Nazis to violate American neutrality and against Judge John F. Hylan running for Governor with Nazi backing was delivered last night by Samuel Untermyer, president of the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League, at a dinner at the Aldine Club in honor of Ezekiel Rabinowitz, retiring secretary of the organization. More than 700 attended.
After paying tribute to Mr. Rabinowitz who, he declared, had labored for two years in the battle against Nazi bigotry “with slim means at his command, and for the early months of his activities without pay, toiled by day and by night with an untiring industry and enthusiasm beyond description,” Mr. Untermyer then launched into his attack on local Nazis and their friends.
“The honor and dignity of our country are involved in this boycott movement,” he declared. “Among other things it is our answer to the vile, lying, seditious propaganda that the German government is spreading broadcast throughout the country, sowing the poisonous seeds of race-hatred in every nook and corner of the land. If you have not read the startling disclosures of the McCormack Congressional Committee that is now investigating this subject, I advise you to do so.
“The evidence shows a worse condition than the traitorous conspiracies of that same government on account of which a number of the members of the German Embassy were expelled from this country prior to the sinking of the ‘Lusitania’ and shortly before we severed diplomatic relations with Germany.
“The proof is overwhelming and unanswerable. Only a pitiful, week-kneed Secretary of State would have tolerated such violations of our neutrality and such a conspiracy against our peace, order and security and the rights of our citizens. Not even a word of protest has been uttered.”
Turning to the local political scene, he declared:
“One of the most despicable incidents of many years in our public life is furnished by the candidacy for governor of a man who is apparently seeking to attract support by aligning himself with and bidding for the support of a group (most of whom are not themselves citizens) that is seeking votes on the platform of race and religious hatred. He cannot hope for other support.
“Having been repeatedly resisted by the major political parties as a candidate, he must know that he has much chance of election as a ‘snowflake has in hell.’ His candidacy is doubtless based on the fact that all three candidates of the major parties happen to be Jews and to capitalize that coincidence.
“Apart from the fact that he is ludicrously unfitted to fill that exalted post, I do not for a moment believe that any self-respecting voter, be he German-American, Irish, or what-not, will so desecrate the franchise as to encourage its use to assist this small un-American group of bigots in their futile effort to make a demonstration of political strength.
“It is simply inconceivable that a man who has been so honored by his fellow-citizens should become a tool in such an ignominious cause. He is doomed to be the ridiculous flop that he deserves to be, for our citizens of German birth and ancestry are amongst the most loyal outstanding people, and will not lend themselves to this disgusting scheme of this group of the Friends of New Germany, who are thus seeking in this prostitution of the ballot to out-Hitler Hitler in this country.
“The whole sickening performance is nauseating beyond words.”
Other speakers who paid tribute to Mr. Rabinowitz’s work as secretary included former Ambassador James W. Gerard, George Gordon Battle, Herman Bernstein, M. Maldwin Fertig and Dr. Henry Moskowitz.
In responding to the speeches, Mr. Rabinowitz praised the work of Mr. Untermyer, Mr. Gerard and Mayor LaGuardia for their support of the boycott movement.
“I deeply appreciate the nice things said about me but I realize that it is the fight against the great menace, against brutality, intolerance, denial of liberties, cruel persecutions, anti-Semitic excesses, the menace not only of Hitler, but, even so, of Hitlerism that brought us here together tonight,” Mr. Rabinowitz said.