Waldman, Back from Europe, Finds Anti-semitism Result of Economic Depression and Vent for European U
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Waldman, Back from Europe, Finds Anti-semitism Result of Economic Depression and Vent for European U

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The unhappiness of the peoples of Europe is finding vent in anti-Semitism, and the Jew has again become the scapegoat of the world, declared Morris D. Waldman, secretary of the American Jewish Committee, who returned Monday on the Minnewaska from a four months’ study of economic and political conditions in Europe, with particular attention to the problems of the Jews there. Mr. Waldman, who, off and on, has spent a considerable time abroad since the War, largely in connection with relief work, declared that he found conditions in general less favorable than during the post-war period.

In an interview with the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Mr. Waldman declared, “Ignoring the fact that the great mass of Jews is living in the most abject poverty and misery in these countries, self-seeking politicians there are exploiting the bigotry and prejudices of the age for their own ambitions. Even in Germany, or shall I say in view of the recent occurrences, especially in Germany, the Jews, constituting only one half of one per cent of the population, have made such notable contributions far in excess of their proportion in the population to the development of German civilization in every direction, science, art, literature and government as well as finance, commerce and industry, are condemned by their enemies as dangerous aliens. Even Christianity is repudiated by these bigots because it is of Jewish origin.


“Anti-Semitism is the chief plank in the platform of the Fascist Party which has made such great gains in the recent elections, It is very improbable, however, that the German people as a whole will allow the country to be overwhelmed by the present wave of super-nationalism which has been made possible only by the general economic depression. With the return of economic prosperity class antagonisms and group hatreds are sure to diminish, including this medieval recrudescence of Jew-baiting.”


“Though in a physical sense much of what has been destroyed during the War has been rebuilt, Europe cannot yet be said to have recovered from its effects. The drastic changes in the map of Europe have resulted in economic devastation of these countries. The defeated countries are profoundly dissastisfied with the penalties imposed upon them by the Peace Treaties. The effects of all this shake up upon the Jews are direct and obvious. In Roumania anti-Semitism has assumed a violent form. The government is working it like a machine. In Poland, on the other hand, it is largely a situation of moral and economic distress. The burdensome taxation placed upon the Jew, the insidious repression he suffers bind him with hopelessness. However, there are no violent manifestations of the sort endured by Roumanian Jewry.”

The lot of the Jew is not very different from that of other minority groups, according to Mr. Waldman. He summed up this phase of the situation as follows:


“The rights of persons belonging to minority groups are being violated everywhere, sometimes flagrantly, more often insidiously, in spite of treaty obligations, constitutional guarantees and the guarantee of the League of Nations, which in this direction has proven effective in only a very limited degree. The transfer of millions of human beings to new states in which they constitute minorities has produced a profound unhappiness, a restlessness and a discontent, which in spite of peace pacts and the covenant of the League of Nations retard the assurance of peace in the world, and in addition to this, we find the so-called democratic governments being unduly influenced by voluntary reactionary bodies, such as the Heimwehr in Austria, the anti-Semitic organizations in Roumania, and the Hitlerites in Germany.”

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