Poujadist Leader Resigns from Movement; Says It Became Anti-semitic

Jean J. Kaufman, one of the leaders of the Poujadist movement, announced his resignation yesterday declaring that the movement had taken a definitely anti-Semitic turn.” He was chairman and founder of the Lower Rhine Department of the Union for the Defense of Tradesmen and Artisans, as the Poujadist movement calls itself.

In a letter to Pierre Poujade, leader of the movement which won 52 seats in the recent French general elections, M. Kaufmann accused the union of Hitler-like propaganda. He noted a recent speech by Leon Dupont, a Poujadist spokesman, as an example of the anti-Semitism of some of the movement’s leaders. M. Kaufmann also accused Poujade himself of lying when he said that he had received the “benediction.” of French Chief Rabbi Jacob Kaplan. He added that Poujade had never written to Rabbi Kaplan, as he claimed. (Rabbi Kaplan denied last week that he had ever had contact, in person or by letter, with Poujade and added that, in any case, the question of anti-Semitism would be decided by the words and deeds of its leaders, rather than by any private understandings)

The former Poujadist leader said that he had attended a meeting of the movement in Paris on January 16, where he found an atmosphere of “hatred” provocation and racial prejudice.” He said he viewed this atmosphere as presaging “pogroms and lynchings. He alluded to Dupont’s speech at that meeting, when the latter spoke of “financial trusts, without nationality” and attacked aliens, mixing in Jewish names.

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