Writer Sees Today’s Troubles Constituting Blot on Civilization
Menu JTA Search

Writer Sees Today’s Troubles Constituting Blot on Civilization

Download PDF for this date

Notice Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America certifies that Fairmont Sweet Butter, in tubs or in prints, is Kosher. Fairmont Creamery Co.

The problems besetting the Jews today were never more acute, writes Israel Cohen in a seventeen-page article, entitled “The Jewish Tragedy,” which appears in the Quarterly Review.

So important is the article considered to be that the press committee of the Jewish Board of Deputies has decided to reprint it as a pamphlet for wide distribution.

Mr. Cohen draws a vivid and distressing picture of the disasters which have overtaken the Jewish people in what some still call “this age of enlightment.”

A great portion of the article is devoted to tracking down Nazi propaganda in foreign countries, and exhibiting its sinister influence. According to Mr. Cohen, the amount that the German government is believed to spend on this nefarious work is at least 30,000,000 gold marks a year.


“A survey of the position of the Jewish people at the present day,” Mr. Cohen writes, “provides a distressing commentary upon the state of modern civilization, for it reveals to what an extent the forces of reaction and race-hatred are making inroads into countries where toleration and liberalism were hitherto unchallenged.

“At no previous period in the history of its tribulations was the Jewish people exposed to such concerted and venomous attacks over so widespread an area as at present. The plague of anti-Semitism has spread from its medieval breeding centers to all quarters of the globe, threatening not only the peace and security of the Jews, but also the welfare of the nations in whose midst they dwell.

“‘The source from which all this evil flows is Nazi Germany, which is not content to oppress and degrade the Jews within her borders, but seeks to scourge them even in the remotest parts of the world.”


After describing the main features of the persecution of the Jews in Germany and referring to the plight of the refugees in different countries, Mr. Cohen observes that “nothing so vividly illustrates the truth that in a great catastrophe the Jews must learn to help themselves as the problem presented by German Jewry.'”

“After all the speeches on behalf of the Jews delivered by the representatives of the various powers at the League had proved of no avail, all that the League could do was to appoint a high commissioner to look after the refugees, the cost of whose activity must be provided by private organizations, three-fourths of the amount being supplied by Jewish organizations.

“It is difficult to believe,” he continues, “that all the Germans within Germany itself are in sympathy with the medieval policy of racial discrimination enforced by their government, and it is even more difficult to understand how Germans living away from their fatherland, and remote from the tyranny and the mass suggestion produced by the hysterical tirades of Hitler and Goebbels, can be in favor of such a policy. There is no other explanation for the universality of this Jew-baiting but the systematic and lavishly financed foreign propaganda conducted by the Nazi government.” Mr. Cohen quotes from an article in the Voelkischer Beobachter, which boasts of the work done by the Nazi foreign propaganda headquarters in Hamburg, through local Nazi branches all over the world, “for the prestige and glory of present-day Germany,” and remarks that “never in the history of the world did a state attempt to acquire prestige and glory by the universal dissemination of lies and slander, the propagation of race hatred, the practice of vandalism and desecration and the incitement to violence.”


“The Jewish people,” he concludes, “have inevitably been shaken not only in its confidence in modern civilization, but in its feeling of security in many lands. The fight for existence that has been forced upon it is in ironic contrast to the lurid picture of an all-conquering Judea aiming at world dominion, with which the Nazi demagogues seek to make the flesh of their deluded listeners creep. So limited, indeed, are its powers, that it is even unable to overcome the opposition of the Palestine government to an adequate immigration into the Jewish National Home. The Balfour Declaration was based not only upon the need of the Jewish people for a land in which to develop their spiritual culture, but also upon the desire to help in the solution of the physical problem presented by millions of Jews suffering in lands of intolerance.

“Never was that problem more acute than now, for in addition to the race-hatred that torments them they are afflicted by grave economic distress throughout Central and Eastern Europe, and the outlets for emigration are few in number and restricted. The opening wide of the gates of Palestine in the spirit implied by the Balfour Declaration and in the sense understood when that historic pronouncement was first made known, would appreciably relieve the situation and raise the hopes of hundreds of thousands. But the final passing of the Jewish tragedy in its present phase must await the day when the Nazi madness is spent.”

Notice Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America certifies that Fairmont Sweet Butter, in tubs or in prints, is Kosher. Fairmont Creamery Co.Notice Ask your rabbi whether all butter is not Kosher when it is made according to the U. S. Government Standards. Fairmont Creamery Co.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund