American Jewish Committee Pledges to Resist Nazi Efforts in the U.S.

The American Jewish Committee, in a Rosh Hashanah message issued here today, under the signature of Louis E. Kirstein, chairman of its Board and Morris D. Waldman, General Secretary, denounced “the innuendos and accusations made by agents of foreign powers and their conscious or unwitting tools” in America and pledged itself “to resist every effort to introduce or to foster within our national boundaries the elements which have destroyed democracy, civilization, and humane living among millions throughout the world” The message reads:

“On the occasion of the Jewish High Holy Days, we take the opportunity of addressing our fellow Jews throughout the United States. The past year has witnessed a rapid development of the world crisis. Both hemispheres have been affected by it. Nation after nation has been crushed either by armed might or by intrigue implemented by the sword. Death and disease, hunger and poverty, homelessness and oppression have been visited upon many millions of human beings. The agonies of harassed humankind have spread over every continent, crossed every sea, failed to recognize any national boundary.

“The United States has not, as indeed it could not, remain unaffected by the economic, social and political problems which a world in conflict has released. These problems confront us today as a challenge to our courage and our very faith in democratic institutions. To preserve this nation, its traditions and its free institutions, all Americans, from every walk of life and representing the many races and creeds that make up the rich pattern of America, must meet that challenge with every national resource; must contribute toward that effort by accepting their full responsibilities as citizens.

“As in other periods of our country’s history, the nation finds itself under the necessity of making momentous decisions. Spirited discussion of public questions is only normal at such a time. Today, however, a factor has been injected for which earlier American history offers no parallel – the factor of foreign-inspired propaganda seeking to create disunity as a means of weakening the nation as a whole in its hour of stress, exploiting honest differences of opinion as to the course the nation should chart. All Americans have, by observing its use abroad, become familiar with this technique of confusing issues and of stirring up discord through setting group against group, class against class, race against race. Not least, Americans have learned to see through the Nazi trick of fomenting anti-Jewish feeling. We have indeed come to recognize as a pattern of conquest the spread of such disrupting ideas – ideas completely foreign to our American belief in individualism and freedom. We know that this pattern for conquest deliberately makes use of methods of smearing and blackmailing in an effort to silence the views of Americans on important issues of the day.

“We now see the concerted effort of foreign powers to import these techniques into the United States. Moreover, we find that, unwittingly or deliberately, a small minority of Americans has seemingly embraced these very methods and doctrines which the Unites States as a nation has repeatedly and emphatically rejected.

“We denounce the innuendos and accusations made by the agents of these foreign powers and their conscious or unwitting tools. Save for a common religion, we reflect a cross section of the American population. We come from all walks of life, we represent all shades of opinion. As part of the great American people, we can say nothing less; we need say nothing more. Together with all good citizens, we will resist with all our energy the encroachment of such un-American practices. And we share with our fellow Americans the sense of satisfaction that those who copy the Nazi strategy of anti-Semitism and disruptiveness are being overwhelmingly repudiated by the vast majority of American men and women from coast to coast.

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