Between the Lines

When the League of Nations assembles tomorrow to discuss the problem of the Saar and at the same time to secure equal rights for the national minorities of that region, it would be well to draw the attention of the assembly also to the situation of the national minorities in Danzig.

Danzig is a Free City. Like the Saar it is administered by a special high commissioner appointed by the League of Nations. As in the Saar region, the Nazis there are spreading anti-Semitic propaganda and terror.

The communal elections held yesterday in Danzig, which were the first since the Nazis took over the administration of the city, have given a clear cut victory to the Hitlerites. About eighty per cent, of the votes in these elections were cast for the Nazi ticket.

THE “FREE CITY

A Free City is no longer free when a party which advocates racial hatred becomes its administrator. A Free City is no longer free when a part of the population there—in this case the Jewish population—is compelled to seek protection.

It was on the day of the communal elections in Danzig that a delegation representing the Jewish community appeared before Dr. Greiser, vice-president of the Nazi-controlled Danzig Senate and asked him that special laws be enacted for the protection of Danzig Jews. Dr. Geiser’s attention was called to the wave of anti-Semitic propaganda in the Nazi press of Danzig and to the fact that the Nazis are forcing the dismissal of Jewish employes of Danzig firms.

The reply of the vice-president to the court delegation was an emphatic “No.” Dr. Greiser flatly refused to discuss any special protective legislation for Jews. He acknowledged the fact that the Jews in Danzig are facing difficult anti-Semitic days and will perhaps face even harder days, but he declared himself helpless to modify the situation.

WHERE IS THE LEAGUE?

In a “Free City” which is ruled by Nazis and where the Nazi influence grows stronger from day to day, a vice-president of the local parliament may really be helpless to give any assistance to the Jews. But what about the High Commissioner of the League of Nations in Danzig? What about Mr. Lester? Is he, too, helpless to do something for the protection of the Jews in Danzig ?

The position of the Jews in Danzig must be very desperate, if it has come to the point where a Jewish delegation appeals for special laws for protection. The refusal even to consider the issuance of such laws makes the situation still more hopeless for the Danzig Jews. The results of yesterday’s communal elections, giving eighty per cent. of the votes to the Nazis, show that the several thousand Jewish families in Danzig are exposed to no less danger than are the 5,000 Jews in the Saar.

The League of Nations should certainly not be interested in seeing the Nazis rule Danzig. A Danzig ruled by the Nazis is a danger for the entire Danzig corridor; is a danger to world peace. That is why the League should consider the Nazi problem in Danzig just as it is considering now the Nazi problem in the ###.

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