NEW YORK (Sep. 30)
Anti-Semitic groups have failed thus far in the 1956 Presidential campaign to make the propaganda impact that they scored in 1952, it was reported here today by Henry Edward Schultz, national chairman of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith. Emphasizing that his statement was based on studies made by 27 regional offices of his organization, Mr. Schultz said:
“In 1952, America’s well-known hate peddlers circulated a mass of printed material slandering many of the leading candidates. Such items were printed in the hundreds of thousands, widely circulated all over the country, and distributed among delegates to both the Republican and Democratic national conventions, to newspaper, radio and TV stations, and public officials on all levels.
“Nothing like this has been seen in 1956 with the campaign now in full swing. The professional hate pamphleteers are still circulating in large numbers their regularly issued publications, but no special pamphlets have been issued on any scale to smear the individual candidates.”
At the same time, Mr. Schultz pointed out that the election campaign has been marred by rumors of bigotry leveled at Vice President Richard Nixon. “There is nothing in the record of Mr. Nixon to indicate in any way that he is anti-Semitic,” the ADL chairman stated. “We believe these rumors to be a recurrence of false charges made during the 1952 campaign and are as untrue today as they were then. Indeed, we believe the American people fortunate in that all four major candidates–Dwight D. Eisenhower, Adlai E. Stevenson, Mr. Nixon and Estes Kefauver–are completely free of religious bias.”
Declaring the ADL is “an educational organization devoted to intergroup understanding and completely non-political,” Mr. Schultz said the agency “regretted the need to speak out at this time lest our statement be construed as favoring one candidate against another. It is not an indorsement of Mr. Nixon. Our responsibility over 44 years of public service has been to expose bigotry and its fomenters but at the same time to denounce charges of bigotry that are false.”
Mr. Schultz emphasized that his statement was decided on by the ADL national executive committee, comprised of both Democrats and Republicans, after it studied reports from its 27 regional offices about the rumors. The reports were called for because of the many inquiries received by the ADL from all over the country concerning Mr. Nixon.