Editorial Note: Under the heading “May Day in New York”, Colonel Edwin Emerson, writing in the Nazi propaganda organ here, the Deutscher Beobachter, describes the New York May Day parade in the following terms: “Early in the day the Jewish Communists and Socialists came straggling from the ghettos of New York’s East Side. They tramped in separate hordes, thousandsâ€”small, swarthy men with thick lips and kinkly hair. As they tramped they shouted in English: “Down with Hitler!”, “Down with Hindenburg!”, “Down with Germany!”, “Down with the Constitution! We want a revolution!” or guttural words to the same purport in Yiddish, Polish, Roumanian and Russian.”
17 Battery Place, New York, N. Y.
May 22, 1933.
The Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin, New York, N. Y.
My attention has been drawn to the article “Intense Anti-Semitic Campaign”, published in your issue of May 21st, in which it was stated that the organization “Friends of Germany, headed by Colonel Edwin Emerson”, was making anti-Semitic attacks. In that same paragraph I am described as one “who actively aided the German cause during the war and remained in Germany after the United States entered the conflict”. I am further described as admitting authorship of articles in which Jews were described as “small, swarthy men with thick lips and kinky hair”.
For your better information, let me point out that the organization “Friends of Germany”, which is headed by me, has made no anti-Semitic attacks whatever. I think you are confusing it with another organization, newly formed from members of the Hitler party here, which calls itself “American Friends of the New German Government”, and which actually has taken part, so I am informed, in anti-Semitic agitation.
While it is a fact that I served as an American war correspondent at various German fronts during the World War, I did not actively aid the German cause, unless truthful dispatches describing German military operations and events in the theater of war are to be regarded as aiding the German cause. When the United States entered the conflict, I was not in Germany, but in Syria, which was then still under Turkish rule. As an American of military age, I was detained in Turkey as a prisoner of war and was presently extradited under guard into Germany, where I was interned against my will until the Armistice.
The writer of the paragraph in question was mistaken in stating that I had admitted authorship of articles written against the Jews. Recently I wrote one article about the Communists’ celebration on May Day, in which I described the gathering of red radicals on Union Square as “small, swarthy men with thick lips and kinky hair”.
On my behalf, let me state I am not an anti-Semite, and never have been. On the contrary, I deplore persecution. Personally, I value among my friends many Jews.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) Edwin Emerson.
May 24, 1933.
New York, N. Y.
To the Editor of the
Jewish Daily Bulletin.
In the interests of fair play and accuracy I am impelled to reply to an article in last Sunday’s edition of your esteemed journal, in which Colonel Edwin Emerson was assailed as the leader of a local Nazi group.
As a neutral observer I chanced to meet Mrs. Emerson in the German press office, which she operates with her husband across the hall from the German consulate; and from her I gained the impression that we news readers have not been permitted to learn the complete facts surrounding Jewish persecution in Germany. There, apparently, is another side to the question, and this has been shunned by what Mrs. Emerson terms “the Jewish controlled New York press”. I doubt whether you will be interested in publicly considering the “other side”.
Mrs. Emerson gave me samples of periodicals and pamphlets, which tend to justify the anti-Semitic activity of the current Berlin administration. In this country, which professedly maintains an unparallelled freedom of press and speech, I am surprised to find that we have not been permitted to see more of the anti-Jewish argument, which is so reasonably set forth in the thousands of papers coming direct from the site of alleged atrocities and which are now being distributed through the Emerson offices.
Mrs. Emerson has given me reasonsâ€”substantial causesâ€”for the reprimand recently given Jews in Germany. Jews are essentially the Communist Party which has repeatedly threatened to destroy the governmental organization and inflict sabotage on German properties. Mrs. Emerson implies that this punishment is a party as well as racial prejudice. In all sincerity I cannot blame any nation from ousting ruffians such as those described by one so well acquainted with affairs in the country under discussion.
Mrs. Emerson repeats the frequently heard charges against Jewish soldiers’ methods of bargaining during the war and otherwise being rather poor soldiers.
As far the “culture”, which Jewish artists and scientists are said to have contributed to Germany, Mrs. Emerson saysâ€”and I quite agree with herâ€”that it has been the other way around. Germany has placed marvelous facilities at the disposal of Jews who have drained from them everything worth while. The fact that in the United States practically all highly successful Jews are of German descent testifies to Germany’s contribution to that race. Even the great Einstein was given every available facility for scientific wartime discoveries; and he was kept safely behind the front, while other scientistsâ€”every bit as worthyâ€”were forced to undertake their precarious duties under fire. We have had adequate illustrations of Ein###stein’s gratitude to the government for their favors.
I do not believe you will have th### temerity to print this letter. Never theless, I feel that I cannot rest until I have done my part to place th### true facts of a very one-sided cas### (according to the American press) before the people.
UNMASK THE PROPAGANDISTS!
To the Editor of the
Jewish Daily Bulletin:
I have just read the enlightening article concerning the Nazi propaganda in this country contained in the May 21st edition of the Bulletin. On behalf of myself and the countless other Americans to whom the Nazi persecutions and methods are so abhorrent, may I express my sincere gratification and thanks for your timely exposÃ© of a serious and hitherto unrevealed menace.
It is bad enough that conditions on the Continent have reached a damnable and outrageous state as a result of vicious and irreligious li###### the library, wrote to Bernard s### Deutsch, president of the American Jewish Congress, who asked to have ### the use of the library as a center for### propaganda distribution investigated.
Mr. Anderson said that most of the activities had taken place in the 58th Street, Yorkville and 96th Street branches.
“The whole matter was referred to our special investigator (who is really a high-class library detective) and he has gathered quite a bundle of these propaganda leaflets and brought them to the main Library, where they will be kept as evidence of dirty work,” Mr. Anderson wrote. “I have just spoken, however, to the Chief of our Circulation Department, and he tells me that the distribution of this stuff has practically ceased, although we, of course, never know when it may break out again.
“You may rest assured that we are doing everything we can to prevent### the distribution of such stuff; and if we can catch anybody distributing it### we shall take him before a magistrate for appropriate action.
“You are quite right in your as###sumption that this Library is unalterably opposed to the use of any part of the library system for propaganda of any kind; and we are constantly on the watch for surreptitious attempts at it.
“From what I have written above you will see that examinations have already been made in branches and this propaganda literature confiscated. We shall continue to look for i### and confiscate it, and we hope w### may have the luck to catch one of the distributors.”
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.