NEW YORK (Aug. 7)
“The free world neither understands nor approves Vichy’s treatment of an unhappy people,” declares the New York Herald Tribune today in an editorial discussing the recent intensification of anti-Jewish activity in France.
It points out that “the Vichy regime is anti-Semitic. It bans Jews from many private occupations and all public ones and has passed legislation providing for confiscation of their property. It has not yet, however, gone in for the more brutal forms of anti-Semitism as practiced by the Germans.”
Discussing recent reports concerning Papal intervention with Marshal Petain concerning the persecution of Jews, and the aged Marshal’s subsequent intercession with the Germans, the paper writes: “Apart from confirming the Vatican’s outspoken hostility to anti-Semitism, the story about Petain’s attempt to temper the harshness of the Nazis toward the Jews may have been released to American correspondents in an effort to clear the old marshal’s skirts from the odium of measures which will show Vichy in a very unpleasant light to the civilized world. The truth or falsity of this hypothesis must rest on future developments; if arrests and deportations of Jews on a wide scale are confirmed in Vichy, that puppet government will have lost more of its rapidly dwindling stock of respect. If there is no confirmation, however, Vichy’s moral position can hardly be said to have improved.”