Congress Committee Hears Appeals to Bar Anti-semitic Literature from Mails

Congress must prevent agencies of the government from being used to “aid the Nazi-Fascist campaign to stir up racial and religious hatred,” Judge Nathan D. Perlman, vice president of the American Jewish Congress, said today before a House subcommittee of the Committee on Post Offices and Post Roads.

“Nazi propaganda agencies have understood that one of the most effective techniques of modern advertising is direct mail,” Judge Perlman said. “They have, therefore, relied on it extensively to distribute their vicious propaganda against racial and religious groups in this country. It is ironical that a government engaged in deadly combat should lend its enemies the use of facilities for its own destruction. By denying the use of the mails to false and defamatory propaganda which libels racial and religious groups, the Nazis and those deluded Americans who follow the Nazi propaganda line will lose a potent weapon in their struggle against democracy.”

Rep. Walter A. Lynch, N.Y. Dem., who introduced one of the bills being considered, told the subcommittee that Post Office Department criticisms were “stock objections.” “I see no abridgement of free speech whatever,” he added. “No one has the right to make false and defamatory statements about another.”

Rep. Chet Holifield, Calif. Dem.; Michael Quill, president of the Transport Workers Union; Dr. Leon M. Birkhead of the Friends of Democracy; Rabbi Leon Stitskin of Warren, Ohio; Rabbi Jonah Caplan of Astoria, L. I.; Max Perlow of the Jewish Peoples Committee; and Milton M. Kemnitz of the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties were among the witnesses in favor of the bills. Citizens of Detroit, Hartford and other communities in which there have been anti-Semitic or anti-Negro disturbances described the incidents and testified that much of the intolerance was caused by literature distributed through the mails.

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