Roosevelt to Get Rally’s Resolution Asking Action on Nazi Oppression
Menu JTA Search

Roosevelt to Get Rally’s Resolution Asking Action on Nazi Oppression

Download PDF for this date

The American Jewish Congress and Jewish Labor Committee planned today to send a delegation to Washington in the near future to present to the Government a resolution adopted at last night’s mass meeting of 20,000 persons in the Madison Square Garden appealing to President Roosevelt to express to the German Government "America’s abhorrence and condemnation" of oppression in Poland.

The resolution was adopted after the capacity audience–it was announced that 8,000 had been turned away–had heard Herbert Hoover, Alfred M. Landon, Mayor LaGuardia, William Green, Dr. Stephen S. Wise and others denounce anti-Jewish "bestialities" in Poland.

An impressive part of the program was the chanting of "El Mole Rachamim" by a chorus of the Jewish Cantors-Ministers Association. Thousands in the audience, on the platform and even in the press section shed tears during the memorial prayer for the victims of the occupation of Poland.

Hoover, who arrived unexpectedly, coming by airplane from Chicago, read a message which he had sent previously (JTA NEWS DEC. 14), in which he denounced "the bestialities visited upon the people of the Jewish faith."

Mayor LaGuardia, who had come in by plane with Hoover, denounced "those who are responsible for the outrages and the cruelties which are being inflicted upon hundreds of thousands of innocent people," and the "new cruelty of exploited, occupied lands that were taken contrary to all rules of civilization." He declared "there is being crystallized throughout the country today, throughout the world, a public opinion that will be visited upon the culprits not only in their day but for centuries to come."

Landon, speaking by radio from Topeka, said that "this evening you are expressing the conscience of America, a conscience that refuses to be silent in the midst of persecution." He declared: "The time will come when the plain, average people of Germany will want to return to the amenities of international life. Decent treatment of all minority civilian groups will have a profound effect on our future respect for and appreciation of the German people."

Dr. Wise, who presided, declared: "American Jews are strongest in opposing every manner of political aggression and every form of religious and racial oppression because American Jews are free and do not know oppression in the land of freedom and equality. We would be unworthy of being American if we did not challenge a nation, however mighty, to cease warring upon a necessarily defenseless minority in a land by it overrun, trampled upon, conquered."

The resolution appealed to "the President and the people of the United States to convey to the German Government America’s abhorrence and condemnation of this oppression and to utilize every avenue of help for the succor of the Jews of Nazi Poland."

It particularly urged President Roosevelt, "who has led the world in condemnation of aggression and brutality, to raise his voice and exercise his great power once again in behalf of the relentlessly oppressed Jewish people of Poland, upon whom is practiced a cruelty devised by a perverted human ingenuity which violates every impulse of humanity and justice."

The resolution cited Nazi terrorism in Poland, segregation of Jews in ghettos, starvation, "degradation" of women, enforcement of yellow badges, the Lublin "reservation." The Jews of Poland, it said, "are the double victims of war and anti-Semitism," and added that "the future of the Jewish people is bound up with the fate of civilization itself."

Supporting the "moral embargo" on Soviet Russia for the invasion of Finland and relief measures for Finland, the statement urged "the President and the people of the United States to extend their interest in oppressed peoples to include the Jewish people in occupied Nazi Poland."

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