Not to despair but to close ranks and establish a united Jewish front against the growing anti-Semitic danger is the keynote of statements made by Professor Albert Einstein and other prominent Jewish leaders of Germany who were queried today by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency regarding the tremendous victory of the Hitlerites in Sunday’s Reichstag elections.
“There is no reason for despair,” declared Professor Einstein, “for the Hitler vote is only a symptom, not necessarily of anti-Jewish hatred but of momentary resentment caused by economic misery and unemployment within the ranks of misguided German youth. I hope that the momentary fever and wave will rapidly fall. During the more dangerous Dreyfus period, the entire French nation also was to be found in the anti-Semitic camp. I hope that as soon as the situation improves the German people will also find their road to clarity.”
Dr. George Kareski, president of the Berlin Jewish community, said, “Nothing will deter us from positive Jewish work. We are not terrified by Hitler’s obtaining eight times as many votes as he received in 1928. Now, more than ever, we must proudly and publicly confess our adherence to the Jewish people.” The president of the Association of Prussian Jewish Communities, M. Wolff, declared, “We must now put an end to all of our internal disputes.”
Dr. Alfred Klee, vice-president of the Association, stated that Cuzist methods are impossible in Germany, “nevertheless the Jews must organize anew for their defence. Let us work and not despair.” The president of the Association of Liberal Jews, M. Stern, declared that the Jewish problem is a side issue among Hitler’s voters, “nevertheless Hitler will attempt to injure the legal position of the Jews, therefore the reply of the Jews must be an intensifying of Jewish sentiment by arming ourselves spiritually against external hardships by supplementing the slogan ‘right or wrong, my country’ by ‘right or wrong, my Judaism.'”
Dr. Bernard Kahn, European director of the Joint Distribution Committee’s work, stated that the election results symbolize the “tragic position of the Jews in the provinces who have been boycotted socially and professionally. I fear that the position of the Jews will be aggravated but the lasting political suppression of the Jews in Germany is impossible. It is now necessary to carry out well-planned social and economic work to strengthen the economic position of the Jews.”
The director of the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, Ludwig Hollander, declared that anti-Semitism had had no decisive influence in the election, but he feared that the non-anti-Semitic supporters of Hitler would gradually adopt anti-Semitic ideas which “would create a tremendous danger, even the danger of civil war. Our aim must be to mobilize the Jewish forces as well as the non-Jews, and to conduct an educational campaign to enlighten people as to the danger of National Socialism.”
Ernst Wallach, vice-president of the Central Association of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, said that the Hitlerites’ triumph represents the answer of 3,500,000 unemployed and another 3,000,000 starving people who “believe that a radical upheaval would save the future. These masses will soon learn that National Socialism is not the best road. Momentarily, however, the victory of the National Socialists, presents an extraordinary danger as regards the boycott of the Jews and personal persecution. Germany Jewry, nevertheless, must not despair, but must, on the basis of the patriotic idea, intensify its fight for honor and equal rights.”
Dr. Herman Badt, ministerial director in the Prussian government declared “Gamzu Letovah (perhaps all is for the best), perhaps German Jewry will now recognize that the problem of the Jews in Germany is only part of the Jewish world problem and will recognize the need for unified action.”
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.