Statements by Leaders of American Jewry on Assassination of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff
Menu JTA Search

Statements by Leaders of American Jewry on Assassination of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff

Download PDF for this date

Representative leaders of New York Jewry united yesterday in expressing their grief and shock at the assassination of Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, brilliant young Zionist leader, in Tel-Aviv Friday night. In statements to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Dr. Arlosoroff’s death was described as a tragic loss to the entire movement for the reconstruction of Palestine as a Jewish national home. The statements follow:

Felix M. Warburg: “His work has been extraordinary in many ways. This fact, and his knowledge of the wishes of the people has guided him at all times with every class that he had to deal with. We admired him very much and Mrs. Warburg only told me upon her return from Palestine how highly everybody spoke of him. He leaves a void that cannot easily be filled.”

Dr. Cyrus Adler: “His death is a very great loss. He was a fine man. He did splendid work. He has earned the respect of all his associates. I am very much grieved and deeply shocked.”

Dr. Stephen S. Wise: “One is too shocked to be able to rise to coherent speech in the light of this tragedy.

“It is a tragedy. A man in the midst of great service is suddenly cut off. Arlosoroff has left his imprint upon Zionist endeavor and therefore upon Jewish history. It will be most difficult to replace a man of his great gifts and powers.”

Morris Rothenberg: “The news of the tragic death of Dr. Arlosoroff has shocked me beyond the expression of words. The dispatch received gives no inkling as to who committed this dastardly act. It may have been an Arab or possibly a political enemy. If the latter, it would be a singular occurrence in the life of the new Jewish settlement which has been surprisingly free of Jewish crime or violence. Whoever it was, every agency, governmental and Jewish, must be bent towards hunting him down and swift justice must be meted out.

“Dr. Arlosoroff was one of the most brilliant men in the Zionist movement. At the age of 35 he had already attained a position of eminence. He conducted the political affairs of the Jewish Agency in Jerusalem with firmness and with great ability. While uncompromising in his representation of Jewish interests with the government, he won for himself the friendship and admiration of the new High Commissioner. Unquestionably he was in a large measure responsible for the favorable attitude which the new High Commissioner showed toward Jewish development in Palestine.

“Dr. Arlosoroff had a brilliant political future before him and his death is an irreparable loss to the Zionist movement.”

Louis Lipsky: “The death of Dr. Arlosoroff will be a shock to the entire Zionist world, and a complete loss to Palestine, which can not be replaced. Dr. Arlosoroff was one of the ablest advocates of the Labor party. He was among the ablest as orator, parlementarian, and diplomat, and although a young man, he was one of the most colorful persons in Zionist conventions for many years past. He was equally fluent in Hebrew, English and German, a loyal partisan of the policy of Dr. Weizmann. He nevertheless went into the new Zionist Executive election at the last Basle Congress, which saw the retirement of Dr. Weizmann as president, and at once distinguished himself in his vigorous advocacy in the interest of the Jewish National Home for Palestine. He pursued the same policy with the strength and audacity of youth and won the approbation of all Zionist parties and of the mandatory government as well. A great career was before him. His premature death by violence will make all Zionists realize that the recent intrusion of factional violence in Zionist affairs must be checked without delay by determined steps to be taken by all parties to drive that spirit of destruction out of Zionist life.”

Robert Szold: “I am shocked beyond measure and grieved that such a promising young man should have been cut off from life. At this juncture, when we need all forces, my grief is not only a personal one but also for the Zionist movement.”

Abraham Goldberg: “We all unite in shedding a tear at this bereavement. Even his opponents thought a great deal of Dr. Arlosoroff and the Congresses will lose a great deal with his decease. He always took part in the general debate and any time that he appeared on the stage in the general debates it was like a gala performance. Everyone, even the opponents, ran in to hear and enjoy his flow of language and his wisdom. As far as debating was concerned, he surpassed even the greatest orators.

“In the last two years he developed such facility as a statesman that even his opponents had to admit that a great power was growing, and his loss is therefore all the greater. We always knew him as a speaker, worker and theorist, but never as a statesman. But in the last two years even his opponents admitted that he was growing into a statesman. In our poverty of statesmen the loss of a man who held great promise politically is a great grief to the movement.”

Dr. Nathan Ratnoff: “I feel that the cause of Zionism has suffered a great loss in the untimely death of such a brilliant person as Dr. Arlosoroff. I heard him deliver his report last year at the Jewish Agency. I was impressed with his ability and brilliancy.

“My sorrow is so great that the shock makes it impossible for me to say very much. The loss is an irreparable one.”

Morris D. Waldman: “I am shocked beyond words to learn of the assassination of Chaim Arlosoroff at the very moment I finished reading a special report in the Jewish Daily Bulletin of his plans for settlement of Jewish youth of Germany in Palestine.

“His death, occurring in such a dastardly way, is a terrible blow to the Jewish Agency. The act must have been that of madmen, because it is hardly conceivable that one so big and broad, so fair and tolerant, could have generated any flagrant enmities. Dr. Arlosoroff possessed the qualities of genuine statesmanship reinforced by a sterling character. Primarily an advocate of labor, he had the respect and confidence of all elements, including the Palestine government and the Arab population.

“Countless Jews throughout the world will mourn his passing.”

Abraham Cahan: “I knew and admired Dr. Arlosoroff highly and always spoke very highly of him indeed. I met him when he visited the United States and thought the world and all of him. It broke my heart to hear of this outrageous incident. I deeply mourn his death at the hand of an assassin.”

Dr. S. Margoshes: “Jewish public opinion throughout the world will demand from the Mandatory Power that a thorough investigation be made with the end that the assassin or assassins be found.

“It is unthinkable that a Jewish representative of the rank of Dr. Arlosoroff should be murdered in the streets of Tel Aviv without the government expending every ounce of its energy to find and punish the criminal.

“I refuse to believe that the hand that dispatched the bullet belonged to a Jew.

“It would be nothing short of a calamity if the very useful life of Dr. Arlosoroff should have been snuffed out by the high winds of such fratricidal fight now prevailing in Palestine.”

Jacob Fishman: “The dastardly assassination of the brilliant young Zionist leader Dr. Arlosoroff dulls one’s senses and baffles understanding for a moment.

“It seems that Arlosoroff was a victim of political murder engineered by dark forces whose jealousy over the recent progress of the Jewish Homeland in which Arlosoroff played such a leading role, turned into fanatical assassins. The bullets that struck down this brilliant scholar and leader were probably aimed at the heart of the Jewish Homeland.

“The Jews will accept this challenge of their enemies as they have accepted former bloody challenges. It will only steel us more in our determination to complete our work of a redeemed Palestine. The hallowed memory of such a martyr remains forever in the annals of nationally conscious people.

“Arlosoroff’s achievements in the brief years during which he gave himself completely and self-effacingly to the Jewish National cause will be to his own lasting monument from which the future generations will draw inspiration.

Jacob De Haas: “The death of Dr. Arlosoroff is an unbearable shock and I deeply deplore it. Dr. Arlosoroff was the political representative of the Labor Party in Palestine. I have no understanding of the cause of this crime because I know of no group in Palestine with which he was at war. For instance, he was recently negotiating with the Arabs in a general way and it is well known that he had the good will of the large proportion of the Jewish population. This is a real blow to the Labor group in Palestine, and I imagine it will have a very serious effect on the general makeup of the Executive at the next Congress. Dr. Arlosoroff was an exceedingly brilliant and resourceful fellow and probably intellectually, the best debater of the Left wing within the Zionist group. I can only say again, I deeply deplore this shocking news.”

Elias Ginsburg: “I wish to express my deep sorrow at this tragic and painful occurrence. I condemn any act of violence of this nature, especially in Palestine at these trying times.”

League For Labor Palestine: “The leadership of the National Labor Committee and of the League for Labor Palestine received the news of the brutal murder of our leader, Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff, with deep distress.

“This horrible deed will be condemned and deplored by the Jewish workers and by the entire Jewish public opinion.

“No matter how great the immense loss, the Jewish laborers in Palestine and all those connected with them will not lose their courage and will with increased efforts continue their historic struggle for the renaissance of the people and the upbuilding of the land. The murderer’s hand and those who are behind them will not achieve their goal.”

(Signed) Abe Shiplakoff,

National Chairman;

M. Finestone,

Vice Chairman;

Joseph Schlossberg,

Chairman of the Administrative Committee;

A. Hamlin,

National Secretary.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund