The present American Jewish situation calls for action rather than appraisal; for work rather than words. Christians and Jews who face facts know that ever since the advent of Hitler wicked groups of German paid propagandists have been making vast efforts to spread in this country the Nazi poison of race and religious hatred â€” a poison (so history proves) in due time as dangerous to the poisoners as to the victims.
That such efforts are diametrically opposed to the basic principles of American life and liberty we all realize. Though we are aware also that only a small percentage of the twenty million German-Americans in this country are engaged in these vicious anti-American efforts, we must not blind ourselves to the purposes and possibilities of such activities.
As for us Jews in Americaâ€”as indeed for all lovers of freedom and fair playâ€”the time requires on the one hand the avoidance of hysteria or inertia, on the other calm judgment and alertness. We must continue in untiring efforts, in unison with many other groups of decent people of all faiths, to combat un-American doctrines.
Almost one hundred and fifty years have passed since the framers of the Constitution of the United States promulgated the American Bill of Rights. In these hours when tyranny and dictatorship enslave many of the peoples of Europe, it is especially important for all Americansâ€”Jews and Gentiles alikeâ€”to remember that in the constitutional guaranty forbidding any law “respecting the establishment of religion or to prohibit the free exercise thereof” lies one of the chief reasons for the growth of the United States into a great nation of free men and women. Let us not overlook the fate which has befallen the Jews of Germany and which now threatens also to overwhelm German Protestants and Catholics. Surely the lessons of all history teach us to beware of tyrants. Let us then keep before us as a living guide for our conduct the great American principle that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.