Contends He Would Have Been Treated Like Zeppelin Stowaway Were He Not a Jew
The suspicion that anti-Jewish bias was back of the campaign of criticism waged in the French and in some New York newspapers against Arthur Schreiber, “Yellow Bird” stowaway, in the multitude of critical remarks contained in news stories, editorials and letters to the editor, was voiced in an editorial in the New York “Day,” Yiddish daily, in its issue of June 22.
Under the headline, “Jews Must Not Dare,” the editorial admits that Schreiber’s stowing away on the “Yellow Bird,” thus creating a possible danger for the plane and its crew, including himself, was a wrong caused by thoughtlessness, but asserts that there can be no denial made of his courage. Insofar as the criticism directed against Schreiber dwelt on his thoughtlessness, it was justified. The paper objects, however, to the attempts made to ascribe to Schreiber every possible fault and moral inferiority.
The paper refers in particular to the criticism of the New York “Evening World,” which declared the Schreiber incident to be a “national humiliation.” “One must indeed feel here a national issue. Had Schreiber not the misfortune of being a Jew, he would have had the same fortune as was that of his Gentile colleague, the Zeppelin stowaway; all honor and all appreciation would have been given him. No one would have been ashamed of him. There would be no hurling him about and there would be no hasty packing him up and transporting him home.
“This happened, however. One must unwillingly recall the great campaign which was developed in the French pilot circles around Charles A. Levine. He was not a blind passenger. He spent large sums to span the Atlantic by air. He succeeded. However, our Coolidge threw the first stone at him. That stone developed in France into many stones which were all flying at the head of the Jew, Levine. Even the ability to dare was denied him. Even his courage to risk-a great American virtue!-was denied. Objections were found in this connection against Levine’s manners, against his awkward attitude and behavior, against his noise, etc. It may all have been true. However, does anyone believe, in truth, that the entire race of pilots, to the last one, consists of pure English dandies, of people with an aristocratic upbringing, whose attitude and behavior and modesty can never shock anyone? There is hardly such a belief and rightly so. Nonetheless, we have failed to hear a single bad word concerning any flyer and his behavior. Levine, the Jew, was picked out and an atmosphere of hatred was created about him.
“Now,” the paper continues, “history is being repeated with Schreiber. Unwillingly, one must conceive a thought that the noble ace of flyers and their backers, among whom there are not lacking Jews, seek to have the air cleared of Jews. Contrary to all American traditions and ambitions, the Jews should be prohibitd from daring in the air. If this is not possible of being accomplished by law, it is being sought through vilification, through intrigue, through untruths and through bringin in the Jewish motif, the Jewish national psychology, etc.
“Does anyone believe that these efforts will succeed?” the paper asks, and answers: “We do not believe that, because we know that in all fields of human progress, the Jew met with obstacles placed in his way. They have, however, overcome the difficulties and they occupy places in the first ranks of progress because they have dared and succeeded. This daring is a part of our national psychology. This psychology was victorious in all other fields and it will be successful in the final end in the air as well, notwithstanding all obstacles and intrigues which seek to bring about a condition in which ‘Jews should not dare.’ They will not frighten us,” the paper concludes.
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.