Menu JTA Search

Dr. Finkelstein Says He Never Intended to Cast Slur on German Jews in America

Dr. Louis Finkelstein, president of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, today issued a statement declaring that a phrase in a letter he sent to the New York Times to which German Jews in American took objection "has been widely misinterpreted, and is being quoted out of its context so as to make it appear that I cast some slur on the loyalty of many thousands of devoted Americans of German background."

"Of course nothing that I said in my letter was intended to carry this impression," Dr. Finkelstein says. "No one appreciates better than I the extent to which America is indebted to the men and women who have come to our shores because they could not tolerate spiritual and other conditions in the German Reich under Hitler. How can one think otherwise than with admiration and respect of a group which includes such eminent figures as Albert Einstein and Thomas Mann, not to speak of the many thousands less well known but no less stalwart in their faith in democracy.

"I did remark that people living in Germany, whether Jewish or Christian, could not under Hitler have known the facts concerning Nazi aggression. That was true, for the press was controlled in a manner hitherto unknown. But the very fact that they had tasted persecution and tyranny, made the men and women who came to America from Germany perhaps more sensitive than even our own people to the blessings of liberty. America has had no more devoted sons than these adopted children, many of whom have given their lives for her."

NEXT STORY