The Union for Combating Anti-Semitism, a non-Jewish organization, has during the past year been carrying on an extensive activity aiming to show up the falsity of the allegations made by the anti-Semites-not in order to shield the Jews, but in the interests of truth and justice, the Secretary of the Union, First Lieutenant Dr. Horlacher, reported to the annual meeting of the Union, which has just been held at Dortmund, under the chairmanship of its President, Dr. Georg Gothein, former member of the Federal Government. There was a big attendance of delegates from Dortmund, Berlin, Suttgart, Hanover, Muenster, Kiel, Frankfort, and other places.
The Union will continue as in the past twenty years of its existence, Dr. Gothein said, to maintain strict political and religious neutrality and from this broad platform to fight against the shameful and uncivilized manifestation of anti-Semitism.
A big public demonstration was also held in Dortmund in connection with the Conference. Pastor Tribukait, the chairman of the Dortmund branch of the Union, said that the day had gone when anti-Semitism could rob their Jewish fellow-citizens of their equal citizenship rights. There was no longer any danger of that. But it was necessary to fight against anti-Semitism because it was unfair, un-Christian and uncivilized to go about calumniating the Jewish population. It was degrading for a country passing through a period of tribulation for no fault of its own to go about looking for a whipping-boy.
Dr. Gothein, in tracing the history of anti-Semitism and the motives which had led to the foundation of the Union by Rudolf von Gneist, Heinrich Rickert, Theodor Mommsen. Franz von Liszt, Theodor Barth, Gustav Freytag, Hermann Sudermann, and others, said that when the original anti-Semitic movement organized by Stoecker had already ebbed, Germany’s defeat in the war had brought a new wave of anti-Semitism. Those very people who had by their exaggerated annexation demands prevented the conclusion of an earlier and more satisfactory peace were now trying to make the Jew the scapegoat for their own mistakes. They had forgotten what the Jewish Germans had contributed to the development of German culture. They had forgotten that 12,000 German Jews had laid down their lives on the battlefield for Germany. The kindred of these Jewish heroes of the war were now being villified, and some people were even demanding that they should be deprived of their Germanism. Such people had apparently forgotten how much the German nation itself has had to suffer from hatred and prejudice. (Continued on Page 4)
It was no way out for a country which had been humiliated to let itself sink to the depths of barbarism of the Middle Ages or of old Russia. They had to try to rise again by united effort, to raise themselves to a higher cultural level. The Jews, Dr. Gothein said, are Germans, for to be a German does not mean to belong to a certain race or religion. They are Germans who speak German as their mother tongue, who have their being in German culture, and are ready to give their lives and their treasures for the welfare of the German Fatherland.
Dr. Carl Maria Kautmann. Professor of Catholic Theology at Frankfort, speaking on Catholicism and Judaism, said that the Catholic Church was based on Judaism. Judaism was the foundation of their Christianity. Jesus and his disciples were Jews. Many of the Church institutions and ceremonies had been taken over from the synagogue. It was not only in this matter of religion that Catholics and Jews were at one but also because they both had to fight against a common enemy, the anti-Christian and anti-Jewish Nationalist movement. The German Catholics, he declared, are appreciative of the services of their Jewish fellow-citizens, and stand shoulder to shoulder with them in defence of their equality of rights.
Dr. Baumgarten, of Kiel University, said that anti-Semitism was a form of chauvinism. They had to get rid of this racial superstition and racial terrorism. The inhuman and unjust outlook of the anti-Semite was a sign of crass ignorance and was un-German. To save Germany they must cut out ruthlessly this alien and savage appearance in German life. It was true that Talmudic Judaism was largely alien to Germans, who in contradiction to its over-emphasis on observance placed all stress on grace. But the founder of the Christian religion was a Jew, brought up on the Old Covenant, and what they had to do was to practice love and respect, and to elevate the Jewish, the Christian and the German mode of life.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.