NEW YORK (Aug. 31)
The publishers of “The Wartime Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh” indicated today that the public criticism voiced by some Jewish leaders over part of the contents of the yet unpublished book might serve to stimulate sales. Mrs. Hilda Lindley, director of public relations for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich told the JTA that the firm knew that the Lindbergh Journals would be controversial when it decided to publish them. She would not comment on Jewish reaction but said that generally in the publishing world, the more a book is talked about the greater the interest which is reflected in advance sales. The Lindbergh book will be published here Sept. 30. Portions quoted from it in the New York Times yesterday aroused sharply critical responses from officials of such organizations as the American Jewish Congress, the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League and the Central Conference of American Rabbis. Dr. John Slawson, former executive director of the American Jewish Committee, said “It is inconceivable to me how any person, be he the greatest of aviators, can be responsible for such senseless and preposterous utterances and still consider himself a member of the civilized family of man.”
Dr. Slawson and the other Jewish spokesmen referred to Col. Lindbergh’s assertion that, in the perspective of the past 30 years, the United States lost World War II and never should have gotten into it. The famed flyer contended, in his Journals, that “Much of our Western culture was destroyed” through the loss in the war of the genetic heredity formed “through eons of many million lives.” Will Maslow, executive director of the AJCongress characterized that opinion as “charitable gibberish” that “makes no scientific sense whatsoever.” But “it does make clear that Mr. Lindbergh still believes in the Nazi philosophy of racial superiority.” Mr. Maslow said. Seymour Graubard, national chairman of the ADL, said it was “frightening” that after a quarter of a century Lindbergh still “accepts some of the most heinous of Nazi racial theories, else how could he prattle about our having lost our genetic heredity.” Col. Lindbergh, the “Lone Eagle,” whose solo flight from New York to Paris in 1927 made him an international hero, was strongly isolationist during the years immediately prior to World War II. After visiting Nazi Germany and inspecting Goering’s Luftwaffe, he went on public speaking tours urging the U.S. to stay aloof from the war at a time when Hitler’s forces had over-run France and were threatening to invade Britain.
In his Journals, Lindbergh maintained that the Roosevelt Administration, pro-British elements and American Jews forced the U.S. into World War II. In a speech he made in Des Moines, Iowa on Sept. 11, 1941, at an “America First” rally, Lindbergh said. “It is not difficult to understand why Jewish people desire the overthrow of Nazi Germany. The persecution they suffered in Germany would be sufficient to make bitter enemies of any race. No person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the persecution the Jewish race suffered in Germany. But no person of honesty and vision can look on their pro-war policy here today without seeing the dangers involved in such a policy both for us and for them.” Dr. Stawson observed in a statement issued yesterday that if the U.S. had not entered World War II, the Nazis would have gotten control of the atomic bomb and “there would have been no Western civilization to worry about.” Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn, president of the CCAR, the Reform rabbinical organization, asserted that American Jews “need not apologize to be among the first to call the world’s attention to the inescapable moral issue which compelled our nation to join forces against Hitler.”