Anti-defamation League Replies to Lindbergh’s Anti-jewish Charges

A statement “to the American people” in which Lindbergh’s charges against American Jewry are repudiated one by one as “unfounded in fact” was issued here today by the Anti-Defamation League, under the signature of Sigmoid Livingston, its chairman.

Pointing out that “no recognized national Jewish organization, either lay or religious, has declared in favor of American entry into the war,” Mr. Livingston, in his statement said:

“The defamatory charges made by Mr. Lindbergh against American Jewry are unfounded in fact and are un-American. In justice, we deem it necessary to make this statement to the American people. Americans of Jewish faith, like all other citizens, react each according to his own light and conviction to the present foreign relations policy of our government. No recognized national Jewish organization, either lay or religious, has declared in favor of American entry into the war. Every citizen, of whatever racial or religious group, should be guided by consideration of what is best for the nation as a whole. Consequently, any assertion which attempts to give the impression of a group conviction on the part of American Jewry is a figment of the imagination of irresponsible propagandists.

“The charge made that the Jews own or influence the press is without foundation. Arthur T. Robb, editor of “Editor and Publisher,” an authoritative journal of American newspapermen, pointed out that of the 1,700 owner-publishers in this country, only 15 or less than 1%, are Jewish, and of the newspapers only three or four are of any prominence. It is a scurrilous indictment of newspapers and their owners to even intimate that on a great public question of this kind they could be influenced.

“The charge concerning the control of radio is likewise unfounded. Lindbergh has never lacked time nor facilities over the radio. In fact, newspapers and radio have given far more space and time to him than to any other individual in similar capacity in relation to this national issue. His repeated appearance on networks is in itself sufficient refutation of his unwarranted allegation.

“Concerning Mr. Lindbergh’s attack upon the Jews in relation to the activities of the movie industry, it is generally known that Jews and non-Jews alike in this industry have depicted in films the horrors of the European situation. These pictures largely reproduced stories from books which had been best sellers, and from the serials published in the outstanding national magazines. The Jews are neither responsible for nor can they claim credit for what may be done in this or in any other particular industry.

“Mr. Lindbergh’s charges parallel those made by Hitler and his Nazi regime to incite hatred of the Jews. This method was used by the Nazis as the spearhead for their attacks upon the erstwhile government of Germany. It is true that the Jews suffered severely from the persecution of Hitler and the Nazis. It is conspicuous, however, that Mr. Lindbergh failed to mention that Catholics, Lutherans, and other Protestant groups – every one who has placed conscience above the dictates of Hitler, and every one who respects the rule of law and order as distinguished from the rule of force and terror – has suffered persecution in Germany. It is also conspicuous that Mr. Lindbergh forgot or deemed it inimitable to his apparently mischievous purpose to mention as haters of Hitler, American Czechs, Poles, Danes, Norwegians, Belgians, Dutch, Greeks and others who have observed with distress the destruction, spoliation and subjugation of their homeland now under Nazi occupation, control and oppression.

“This is a time of great national emergency when national solidarity is of unprecedented importance. No loyal citizen will use his influence or power to incite religious or racial hatreds which are so foreign to the basic traditions of America. The loyalty of the Jews to America and its traditions dates back to the Revolutionary period and is a recognized fact throughout American history. It cannot be challenged by reckless, irresponsible or propagandist statements. Whatever be the future course of America in this world conflict, the Jew will be found loyal to the best interests of America and American democracy.”

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