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Roosevelt Says Anti-semites Play Hitler’s Game, Serve Purposes of Nazis

Anti-Semitism was branded as Hitler propaganda by President Roosevelt in a message read today to the National Conference to Combat Anti-Semitism, which has been called by the American Jewish Congress, In his message, which was addressed to Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, the President stated that “whoever condones or participates in anti-Semitism plays Hitler’s game.”

At the opening on session of the conference, which will conclude tomorrow, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia declared that there was no organized anti-Semitism in New York City and criticized certain newspapers which he charged were sensationalizing the situation. He defended his failure to remove Patrolmen, John Drew, who has been accused of participation in anti-Jewish organizations, and asserted that there was no anti-Semitism in the New York police department. The mayor’s refusal to act in the Drew case was criticized by Rabbi Wise.

The text of the President’s letter reads:

“The attempt by Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party to rule Germany, to rule Europe and then to rule the Western World, was based on two brutal device: organized terror and organized anti-Semitism. Terror put Hitler in power and kept him there. Anti-Semitism was the terror’s counterpart in propaganda. In the name of the self-styled Master race, Hitler robbed, first his own people, then the peoples of Europe, and tomorrow, by his own boast, would have robbed the world. In the past months we have defeated Hitler’s plan for world conquest. We have recovered some of his stolen gains and in the months to come, we shall recover more, and we shall meet and defeat Hitler on his own ground.

“Some of the sources of anti-Semitism in this country were created to serve Hitler’s purpose. Let every American look to his own mind and actions so that while we defeat Hitler’s armies we also defeat his poisonous propaganda. Whoever condones or participates in anti-Semitism plays Hitler’s game. There is no place in the lives or thoughts of true Americans for anti-Semitism.”

Associate Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy echoed the President’s charge about instigation of anti-Semitism in the United States in communications in connection with the National Conference, Justice Murphy asserted that great sums and extensive efforts had been expended by Nazi representatives in this country, acting directly or indirectly, to spread religious intolerance here.

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