Roosevelt Ridicules Anti-semitic Isolationists; Wallace, Lehman Denounce Them
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Roosevelt Ridicules Anti-semitic Isolationists; Wallace, Lehman Denounce Them

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Lindbergh’s and Senator Nye’s insinuations that the Jews are conducting war propaganda in America received an indirect, sarcastic reply yesterday from President Roosevelt at a press conference at which he indicated that his personal attitude is one of good-humored derion.

By way of comment, the President read a telegram received by a Senator whose name, he emphasized, he was not at liberty to disclose. The telegram said: “Have just been reading a book called the Holy Bible. Has a large circulation in this country. Written entirely by foreign born, mostly Jews. First part full of warmongering propaganda. Second part condemned isolationism with a story about a Good Samaritan which is dangerous. Should be added to your list and suppressed.”

Without mentioning Lindbergh’s name, Vice President Henry A. Wallace, Governor Lehman, and a number of Protestant and Catholic leaders united last night in denouncing anti-Jewish and anti-religious propaganda of all kinds as a grave threat to American democracy. They spoke at the Fordham University centenary dinner given in the hotel Waldorf-Astoria, here, as part of the three-day celebration of the 100th anniversary of the largest Catholic university in the United States.


As President Roosevelt’s representative, Vice President Wallace told the 2,300 eminent guests at the dinner that “no true Christian can speak bitterly against the Jew, the Negro or the yellow man.” The faith of Americans, he said is “totally different from believing in the inherent superiority of one race over all other races.”

Governor Lehman condemned “the sinister forces” who are sowing the seeds of discord between those of different faiths. Division between our people,” the Governor said, “must not be allowed to exist if democracy is to be preserved. Hate begets hate. Intolerance begets intolerance. Oppression of the individual or of groups inevitably leads to the oppression of other individuals and groups. Wherever racial or religious division has raised its ugly head, the death knell of human liberties has been sounded. An attack on one religion weakens all religious faiths, since the basis of all true religion is identical – charity, justice and tolerance.”


The New York Herald-Tribune, in a forceful editorial today says that though many isolationists do not approve of anti-Semitism, “the evidence that their leaders are deliberately taking up this despicable, disruptive and profoundly inhuman and un-American weapon to bolster a lost cause is too strong to be disregarded.” Referring to Lindbergh’s speech and to Senator Nye’s anti-Jewish insinuations, the editorial comments:

“Anti-Semitism was the most contemptible, as it was also the most dangerous, of all the weapons in the armory with which Hitler subverted Germany and set out to enslave the world. And from time immemorial the meanest, the most contemptible, as well as the safest and easiest, excuse of those who have spread this poison – whether Nazis, or their sympathizers or their counterparts in other times and places – has been the pretense that the poisoner was really only a great-hearted friend of the Jews, trying to save them from the prejudices which their ‘unwisdom’ or their ‘excesses’ would otherwise arouse. One encountered it, ad nauseam, in the early days of the Hitler movement in Germany; one has met it over and over again elsewhere. Its viciousness is apparent; it is an obvious and despicable device for spreading the bigotry it pretends to combat. Yet this is the precise defense which Senator Nye has raised against the plain inference that the isolationists’ precious ‘investigation’ into the motion-picture industry is primarily an attempt to light the fires of Nazi anti-Semitism in aid of a cause already desperate. Senator Nye, America First and the other isolationist leaders alone know their own inner motives. Others, endeavoring to assess them, can only look at the evidence. They can only infer that the increasing persistence with which the anti-Semitic poison has appeared in isolationist pronouncements is not an accident. It was hardly an accidental choice of names when Senator Wheeler, in an isolationist speech as long ago as last February, was denouncing ‘political control by a financial oligarchy, whether it be the Thyssens and Krupps in Germany, the Rothschilds in England and France, the Sassoons in India and China, or the Morgans, the Warburgs, the Kuhn-Loebs and other international bankers in the United States.”


Dorothy Thompson in her syndicated column, today, repudiates Lindbergh’s and Senator Nye’s anti-Jewish assertions by proving that in the ranks of the leading interventionists in this country Jews constitute an insignificant proportion. Also that the moving picture industry is actually controlled by non-Jewish banks. Miss Thompson gives a list of leading American newspapers and magazines disproving Lindbergh’s allegation about “Jewish influence” in the press. “In fact, if every American Jew died tomorrow it would make not the slightest difference in the policy of the movies, the radio, the government, and the press – unless, of course, Mr. Lindbergh and his followers could fill whatever positions were left vacant from the lists of the America First Committee,” Miss Thompson writes.

Hugh S. Johnson, Wold-Telegram columnist, in a statement today declared that he is “opposing many of Lindbergh’s views and specifically any attempt to link American Jewry with warmongering.”

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