British Jews Mobilize Efforts to Combat Anti-shechita Movement
Menu JTA Search

British Jews Mobilize Efforts to Combat Anti-shechita Movement

Download PDF for this date

Mobilizing all possible efforts to combat the movement currently developing in England to enact anti-shechita legislation, the Board of Deputies of British Jews today issued a pamphlet reviewing similar movements in other countries.

“The chemistry of anti-shechita legislation,” the pamphlet points out, “is a compound of ignorance of psychological phenomena, intolerance of minority rights, exploited sentimentalities, and anti-Semitism” The author of the pamphlet is Elsley Zeitlyn, chairman of the shechita committee of the Board of Deputies.

Agitation for anti-shechita legislation in modern times, according to the pamphlet, first arose in Saxony, Germany. It was prohibited there by ministerial decree in 1892, but the prohibition was repealed in 1910, when the medical faculty of Dresden University declared shechita was not inhumane. In September, 1930, the veterinary department of the Health Council of the German Reich declared the Jewish method of slaughter “carefully carried out as it is, cannot be described as cruelty to animals and this view remains unaltered.” Mr. Zeitlyn notes that ‘it was left to Hitler to illumine the denunciation of the Hebrew prophet that ‘They who kiss calves, sacrifice men.’ During the Nazi regime, shechita was prohibited throughout Germany.”

In Norway, the pamphlet points out, the anti-shechita movement was fostered by the Nazis and promoted by a traitor with pro-Nazi leanings, Jens Hunseid. In Switzerland, agitation arose about 1890 and in 1893 a plebiscite prohibited shechita by a vote of 178,844 to 115,931. The total poll was only 47 percent of the population and the majority for prohibition was found in cantons inhabited by German Protestants.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund