The French army is ready to act if the Nazis attempt a “putsch” in the Saar district, Marshal Henri Petain, French Minister of War, declared.
In the fight now going on between France and Germany in connection with the forthcoming January plebiscite which is to decide whether or not the Saar district should become a part of Germany, the Jews are siding fully with France.
THE 5,000 JEWS
There are about five thousand Jewish families in the Saar district. Their fate depends very much upon the results of the forthcoming plebiscite. Should the Saar district become a part of Germany, these Jews would be exposed to the same mistreatment as the Jews of Germany.
It is therefore natural that Jewish leaders should aid France in the Saar issue, especially since the French government recently, in a memorandum to the League of Nations, obligated itself to give full protection to the national minorities in the Saar region, should this region be administered by France.
THE BIG ISSUE
This pledge given by the French government guaranteeing equal rights for national minorities in the Saar, may serve as one of the main issues for preventing Germany from obtaining control of the Saar. The German government may be asked by the League of Nation to give a similar pledge before the plebiscite takes place. The League of Nations may request a guarantee from Germany that the Jews and other national minorities of the Saar be given equal treatment in case the January plebiscite results in turning over the Saar to Germany.
Should Germany refuse to give such a pledge the League may decide that Germany is not fit to administer the Saar territory even if the plebiscite should yield a majority of votes for Germany. The fact that Germany does not wish to commit itself to an agreement guaranteeing that no discrimination will take place in the Saar district against the Jews may serve as one of the basic reasons for having the Saar remain under the administration of the League of Nations.
The question of how to obtain a pledge from Germany with regard to the treatment of the national minorities in the Saar is now in the hands of the special Saar Commission appointed by the League of Nations and headed by the Italian delegate, Count Aloisi. This question will come up in full at the next session of the League of Nations, which will take place before the plebiscite is held.
In the meantime, precautions are being taken to prevent a Nazi “putsch” in the Saar. The members of the League of Nations, including England, France and Italy, are well aware that such a “putsch” is possible. The projected marching of a French army into the Saar region is a measure which may cause Hitler to think twice before he organizes a “putsch” in the Saarland.