New York (Nov. 11)
A call to the American people to help the government in the work of combating anti-Jewish activities in the United States was voiced here today by U.S. Attorney General Francis Biddle addressing a dinner of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
It is profoundly shocking, Mr. Biddle said, that anti-Semitism should have developed among school children, who, left to themselves, could hardly have turned against other children merely because they were Jewish. “The desecration of Jewish cemeteries is hideously like what we have seen in those countries which have been conquered by the Germans,” he stated. “As Americans we must not tolerate this outbreak of the Axis pattern in our own country. It must be met, as it occurs, by firm law enforcement, at the same time that efforts are directed towards the eradication of its underlying causes.”
The Attorney General emphasized that “the approach of all of us to the troublesome problems of minorities cannot any longer be local or provincial, or in terms even of the difficulties facing any particular group, or involving the traditions or the tenets of any single race or any one religion. For the war has shown that at least certain of the more acute minority problems are national in their scope, and, what is even more important, national in their effect on our American integrity. Not any longer, then, can the difficulties of any particular minority be the sole concern of that minority.”
Axis propaganda in this country, which took the form of vicious anti-Semitic teachings, has been checked, but the fruit of this propaganda is still with us, Mr. Biddle pointed out. Under different labels of patriotism or Americanism certain groups still advocate hatred and violence directed against one minority group or another, he said.
The Attorney General spoke against the suggestion that the administration should establish a council to deal with minority problems. “I suggest that what is greatly needed is a broader and more intelligent use of the moral and educational influence of the community,” he stated.