Judge Rules to Bar Ford’s Anti-semitic Campaign from Trial
Menu JTA Search

Judge Rules to Bar Ford’s Anti-semitic Campaign from Trial

Download PDF for this date

(Jewish Daily Bulletin)

Testimony concerning Henry Ford’s attitude toward the Jews and particularly his charge of the existence of an international Jewish conspiracy was excluded from the Sapiro-Ford trial when Judge Fred M. Raymond ruled late yesterday that W. J. Cameron, editor of the ‘Dearborn Independent,’ should not answer this question:

“What are the facts as to whether your original plans were for a series of articles against the Jews and not against Aaron Sapiro?”

The judge listened to four hours of argument on the subject, and though his precise remark upon it was only “objection sustained,” he said after court had adjourned:

“It would be too broad to say that the ruling bars all testimony concerning small groups or combinations of Jews, but it does mean that the idea of race in general would be barred. Further it means that in this trial Ford’s ideas of Jews as a whole and his attitude toward them as a people will be barred.”

Though this was the beginning of the second week of the trial, not until yesterday was the racial issue in its baordest sense brought purposely to the front and disposed of.

Senator James A. Reed, whose activities in the discussion consisted only of two sarcastic asides and one objection, has maintained as chief counsel for Mr. Ford that the racial issue should be kept outside the court room.

Much of the argument went beyond the wider racial issue into the pertinency of evidence about the specific “band of Jews” with which the articles charged Mr. Sapiro was allied. That was the “small groups or combinations” to which Judge Raymond referred in his statement. He allowed the argument to take that direction expressly to formulate a ruling for the future. The ruling may be ready today. It will be more vital than that of yesterday, for William H. Gallagher, chief counsel for Mr. Sapiro, has fought to incorporate the alleged “Jewish ring” in the evidence with Sapiro.

Through the reading of letters read in court yesterday the name of the author of the articles, Harry H. Dunn, a former newspaper man, was brought into the record for the first time. Dunn wrote the series of twenty stories, attacking Sapiro as the agent of a “band of Jews” pictured as “on the back of the American farmer,” under the pen name of Robert Morgan.

Correspondence between Dunn and H. W. Roland, one of the editors of “The Independent”, was read. In letters to the Ford periodical Dunn said that the job of fastening “something” on Mr. Sapiro for his work in the case of the California cooperatives was proving the “hardest story I ever handled.” He advised the editors that, while he was convinced that Sapiro had “skinned the farmers out of thousands,” he had discovered that it was not the “Jews” alone who were gathering in the “graft.” There were some gentiles, according to Mr. Dunn, who were proving pretty active along that line.

Another thing that made the assignment difficult, he advised the “Dearborn Independent” editorial staff, was the satisfaction of the farmers with the Sapiro-organized cooperatives. Despite all the “skinning” and “grafting,” the farmers were making more money than they had ever made and were reluctant to provide any anti-Sapiro ammunition.

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