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German Jewry in Dark on Rome Developments

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German Jewry was still in the dark today about developments in the Italian Jewish problem. Apparently determined to avoid the impression that it knows too much, the German press has been parsimonious with news from Rome and more cautious with comment, at least until two days ago.

Every newspaper published Pope Pius’ speech on the first page, while Premier Mussolini’s reply to his attacks on the new Italian race policy was uniformly and prominently presented under the headline, “Mussolini’s Answer to the Pope.”

Chancellor Hitler’s Voelkischer Beobachter declares in an editorial that it is natural for the Vatican to oppose the race doctrine inasmuch as it is primarily an achievement of national socialism. It dismisses insinuations that anti-Semitism in Italy is not an indigenous product, declaring: “We do not want to dwell on the clumsy trick of attempting to arouse Italian Fascists against the race doctrine on the ground that Italy does not have to render a ‘shameful imitation of Germany.’ Mussolini has given so clear and energetic an answer as the old gentleman could not have dreamed possible.”

Propaganda Minister Goebbels’ Der Angriff refers to the Pope’s speech as “gross political sabotage.” Other newspapers comment in similar vein, emphasizing the importance of Mussolini’s statement and chiding the Pope for interference in political affairs, and also quoting extracts from Italian newspapers which are outspokenly anti-Vatican.

The ousting of Dr. J. David Kleinlerer, Rome correspondent of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, was given two lines in the Berlin papers. Similar treatment was accorded the expulsion of Dr. Paul Cremona, a Catholic and correspondent of the Christian Science Monitor.

German Jewry is following the news from Rome with painful intensity. Although the Evian achievements are for the present more promissory than actual, they gave the German Jews their first excuse in a long time to feel other than utter despair. Now, from an unexpected quarter, comes fresh evidence of bitter, dangerous enmity in high places, which, though not a spontaneous manifestation of a whole people, does not help German Jews, who are in a position to know that it is not what the man in the street feels that counts.

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