Menu JTA Search

Trials Besetting Exiled Youth Related by Einstein at Dinner

At a dinner Monday night at the Waldorf-Astoria, the sum of $8,000 was handed over to Prof. Albert Einstein to be spent by a committee of which he is a member for the relief of children of German-Jewish refugees.

Prof. Einstein, guest of honor at the dinner, which was attended by 350 noted guests and presided over by former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr., made the following address:

“A sinister fate broods over the Jews of Europe—over the Jews of Central Europe, specifically, over the Jews of Germany and Poland. The only encouraging factor—the one bright light in this gloomy situation is that the Jews of America —notwithstanding the fact that they have enjoyed many happy years in their country—have retained a realization of the fundamental unity of the Jewish people —in their hearts.

TELLS STORY OF YOUTH

“The difficulties that beset German-Jewish youth in its mere struggle for existence is illustrated by the information I received in a personal letter. A young Jew was working, with several others, as an unpaid apprentice to a Jewish farmer in Czechoslovakia. He was determined to learn the details of farming in the hope of running a farm in Palestine some day.

“Although farming does not promise the prospect of great material gain to a young man who is too poor to buy his own land, it does, however, offer him a welcome entree to many foreign countries. Czechoslovakia, by the way, is one of the few countries, east of the Rhine, firmly upholding the principles of tolerance.

FORCED TO FIRE JEWS

“One day the townspeople sent a deputation to the Jewish farmer, demanding the dismissal of the young Jews. The reason given was that these boys were depriving the local youth of the opportunity of wage-earning—trivial as it might be. The farmer had to obey and let the Jewish boys off. There was nothing else he could do, as the villagers stressed the pressure of necessity.

“The boy, of course, may seek another apprenticeship elsewhere, but always with the apprehension that a similar situation might arise. This incident shows how very necessary it is that opportunities for such apprenticeships be established in countries neigh boring on Germany, for such zealous and courageous youth, since the industrial persecution of Germany is directed particularly against the young Jew.

VOICES ADMIRATION

“My admiration for these young people is very great, particularly when I look back on my own youth and consider that I was able to pursue those studies to which I was best adapted, untroubled by any worries or external difficulties.

“I would like to express my appreciation to those who through the most unselfish efforts have worked toward the success of this enterprise. And especially would I extend to Mr. Morgenthau my sincere gratitude for his active cooperation, by word and deed, in connection with a similar undertaking last year.”

Others who addressed the gathering included Fannie Hurst, Supreme Court Justice Ferdinand Pecora, former Supreme Court Justice Joseph M. Proskauer, Harry Hershfield, Eddie Dowling and Alfred J. McCosker, president of the Bamberger Broadcasting Service.

NEXT STORY