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Hitler May Hurt Germany More Than Jews Says Wise

February 14, 1933
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Dr. Stephen S. Wise, in a Lincoln Day address delivered yesterday at the Free Synagogue, discussed Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor and its meaning to the German republic and to the Jews.

Hitlerism, according to Dr. Wise, means more hurt to the German republic and the German name than it does even to the Jews whose rights may be imperilled.

“Insofar as Hitlerism includes a definitely formulated and activated anti-Jewish policy, we are deeply concerned, and we believe that Americans, irrespective of faith and racial origin will come to share our concern touching the danger to the German republic of forswearing its enlightened and basic policy of equal and inviolate rights for all its citizens,” Rabbi Wise declared.

“Nor will Americans of faith and race other than our own view with tolerance or equanimity the threatened invasion of Jewish rights and the continuance of assaults upon Jewish life and property by the followers of Hitler. Jews are not strangers nor aliens in Germany. They have lived in Germany for a thousand years; they have been among Germany’s builders and creators. Some of Israel’s greatest sons have been among the noblest figures in the intellectual and spiritual life of Germany. Jews, wherever they may dwell, whether in Germany or in America, can hardly be expected to learn with unconcern that the fundamental rights of Jews are endangered, Jews whose residence in Germany goes back a thousand years and more, by the leader of a political party whose German citizenship dates back one year.

“It were well for Germany, with its great and classic tradition of learning and freedom, to bethink itself before it embarks upon an adventure which will mean that its decisions touching its inner affairs shall be spoken by the sword.”

Rabbi Julian L. Greifer, executive director of the Jewish Community Center of Binghamton, N. Y., has been appointed on the executive committee of the city emergency relief committee.

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