NEW YORK (Oct. 30)
A call for a "conscious, intense and desperate battle," shoulder to shoulder with the democratic powers, to save the Jews from being made a pariah race, which would mean their moral destruction, was sounded today by dr. nahum Goldman, chairman of the world Jewish congress administrative committee, before the 1938 session of the American Jewish Congress.
"The decisive duty of Jewish politics is to return the spirit of battle to the despairing Jewish people," Dr. Goldmann told-550 delegates from 30 states gathered at the Hotel Biltmore in the second day’s deliberations of a three-day session, which had last night adopted a declaration pledging never to sign a "Munich pact" with jewry’s oppressors.
"The watchword of Jewish politics and Jewish activity must be his self-defense – self-defense with any and all methods," said the Jewish diplomat who had come from geneva for the session. "physically attacked, we must protect ourselves physically. economically discriminated against, we must defend ourselves economically. politically persecuted, we must fight back politically. the world must no longer be allowed to believe that Jews are unattached and that the 16,000,000 Jews in the world are a factor one can play with at WILL."
Dr. Goldmann’s address this afternoon climaxed the deliberations so far. Prior to the opening yesterday, a second congress house for refugees was dedicated, with proof. Albert Einstein and Acting Mayor Newbold Morris making pleas for refugees. Last night, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, president, and Louis Lipsky, vice-president of the congress, made keynote speeches calling for a fight for Jewish rights, which was crystallized it the declaration adopted at the close of the session bidding the Jews not to despair and prophesying that a day of freedom and fraternity would come.
Urging Jewry not to despair, the declaration asserted that faith in survival was the keystone of Jewish defense. it stressed Jewish equality of rights and promised an unrelenting fight against enforced emigration. pledging to concentrate "the greater part of our strength and resources" on the pales tine Jewish homeland, the statement greeted the Palestine Jewish community. It also urged greater participation by Jewish youth of America in Jewish life.
Today, after seminar groups had discussed various phases of the Jewish problem, the afternoon session heard dr. Goldman and Baruch Zuckerman, a member of the world Jewish Congress administrative committee, and also considered reports -on problems of Jewish unity, economic questions, educational work, organization, boycott, refugee aid and the youth division submitted by the leaders of these activities. mr. Zuckerman spoke on Poland, stressing the importance of strengthening Jewish unity.
Tonight a crowded Carnegie Hall was the scene of a public rally on Palestine. Senator Robert Wagner, the principal speaker, called upon Great Britain to fulfill her pledges to the Jewish people as "the acid test of international honor," expressing belief that the british people would not permit a repudiation of Britain’s obligations. he also summoned Christianity to a fight against anti-Semitism. Dr. Goldmann asserted that no decision reached by Britain regarding pales tine could be carried out without the consent of the Jews. He also said that the time for an understanding on the part of the Arabs and readiness to come to an agreement "may be much nearer than most of us imagine." a resolution was adopted appealing to the british government to maintain the mandate and urging u.s. intercession.
in his lengthy speech at this afternoon’s session, dr. Goldman reviewed the world forces that had resulted in what he called "the totalitarian Jewish question," which, he said, was aggravated by the closing of territories to migration. after outlining attempts at alleviating the Jewish problem, he stressed that methods of former days no longer sufficed, The Jews, he asserted, "are left with only one alternative – to take up the fight and. carry it through."
"It is now five minutes to twelve," Dr. Goldmann said. "If the situation continues, all of the 16,000,000 Jews will not be murdered and destroyed, but we shall lose the equal rights without which we cannot exist in the twentieth century, and be relegated to the position of a pariah race. ghetto Jews could live as pariahs because they were so internally strong that they did not consider themselves pariahs but the chosen people. after a century of emancipation Jews can no longer stand a pariah existence – they will go under morally.
"Therefore our major slogan must be: conscious, intense and desperate battle. I know we shall not conquer easily, neither alone nor in comradeship with the progressive powers of the world. the world is entering on hard times, worse even than the past years have been, but the measuring of the battle does not lie exclusively in the certainty or the speed of triumph – battle itself is a principle of salvation. as long as a man fights he does not go under…a nation may be persecuted, hounded, mistreated for centuries, as our own history shows. as1 long as it has faith in itself and does not give up the battle, it sustains’ itself morally and physically."
Among the others who delivered addresses or reports were Carl Sherman, Rabbi J. X. Cohen, Prof. Horace M. Kallen, M. Maldwin Fertig, Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, Mrs. Stephen S. Wise, George M. Burgh and Mrs. E.K. Morrow, who presented at tonight’s rally a message from her husband, president of Kansas Wesleyan University. messages were received from Governor Frank Murphy of Michigan, the executive committee of the World Jewish Congress, Hadassah, the Zionist Organization of America and the Krakow Jewish Community.