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Hebrew Writers in Berlin Protest Against Hebraists’ Attack on Reuben Brainin

September 13, 1926
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(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

A protest against an attack made on Reuben Brainin, American Hebrew writer, for his cabled opinions on the Jewish colonization work in Soviet Russia was expressed here by a group of Hebrew writers.

The attack was made several weeks ago in the New York Hebrew weekly, “Ha’Doar,” in connection with Mr. Brainin’s statements in Russia and in his cables to a New York paper on the Russian colonization work. The group of Hebrew writers met under the chairmanship of the Hebrew poet, Saui Tschernichowski, at a banquet given in Mr. Brainin’s honor before his departure for the United States.

The attack of the New York weekly was considered by the speakers to be of a personal nature. Menachem Rybalow the editor of the “Ha’Doar” was blamed for the attack. The group issued the following statement:

“We protest indignantly against the shameful attack of Mr. Rybalow on our beloved Brainin. We are convinced that Jewish public opinion recognizes the services of Mr. Brainin for Hebrew literature and for the Jewish renaissance. We repudiate with contempt the shameful attack.” The statement was signed by Saul Tschernichowski, Professor Markon, Benzion Katz, Drs. Ravidowitz, Zagorodski, S. H. Horod### zki, Joseph Lion, and Messrs. Klin### Vislavski, Waldmann and Professor Schneurson.

The article in the “Ha’Doar,” written by M. Shoshani, expressed astonishment that Brainin was admitted into Russia at a time when Hebrew literature is prohibited there and all Hebrew writers were exiled. The Yevseks, the Jewish Communists, are not given to penitence, the writer states.

“If Brainin knows what brotherly loyalty means, why did he hasten to Russia which has exiled all Hebrew writers and has wrathfully destroyed Hebrew literature? If Hebrew culture and literature are so dear to Mr. Brainin why did we not hear his protest, either on the spot or from there, against the suppression of Jewish education and the prohibition on the Hebrew book? By a fatal coincidence, the Hebrew writers of Palestine now protest against the fact that Hebrew books sent to Russia were returned,” the writer states.

“If Brainin is an honest Zionist, why did he not send one single cable from Palestine, which has inspired him? Why does he send cable after cable from Russia concerning the wonders of cololinzation? Is Russia really more important than Palestine?

“However, this was not sufficient. Brainin preaches morals, he does not cable information, but impressions he does not throw light on the situation, but sermonizes, asking why the colonization is not supported and formulating almost an accusation of national treason.

“The vice-president of the Zionist Organization of America and the editor of the Hebrew monthly failed and failed badly. He proceeds to Palestine and is inspired, as is reported. There he undertakes a propaganda tour for the Jewish National Fund for Europe and America, but in the middle of his tour he abandons his work, just as he has abandoned his work of the Hebrew monthly, “Ha’toren,” and proceeds to Russia, conducting from there a propaganda for Crimean colonization. People are surprised. Brainin, the Zionist and Hebrew writer, helps the Yevseks in their fight against our cause. Is there a greater betrayal than this? It is light-mindedness which borders on an unpardonable crime. We, however, are not surprised. The surprise is for the naive, the victory for the Yevseks and the shame for Brainin.”

Mr. Rybalow, editor of the “Ha’Doar,” when interviewed by the representative of the “Jewish Daily Bulletin” stated that he assumes full responsibility for the contents of the article published in his weekly. He added that the action of Mr. Brainin caused surprise and astonishment not only to the Hebraists in the United States, but also in the Hebrew press in Palestine and other European countries.

Samuel Straus of Cincinnati, Ohio., died in Charlevoix, Mich., at the age of 74. He had been President of the Jewish Hospital here since 1917.

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