To the Editor of the Jewish Daily Bulletin:
The sugar-sprinkled “red herring” Philip Slomowitz plumped in front of me in his letter in your issue of the 19th, captioned “More Than One Way of Killing a Cat”, cannot divert me from the main issue: are the Jews to learn from experience and not catastrophe to defend themselves against their enemies.
I appreciate fully the respect Mr. Slomowitz accords my views, but my appreciation would have been greater had he left my views on other matters out of the current discussion and instead, hewed strictly to the line. Had he done so, he would have realized that the three items enumerated in his letter, 1â€”a fanatical evangelist advocating the hanging of “a few” Jews; 2â€”a priest accusing the Jews of fomenting communism in Hungary and Russia; and 3â€”a group of anti-Semites accusing the Jews of responsibility for “the communistic dictatorship in the United States”, are hardly to be dealt with effectively by the exercise of a sense of humor. With his home city a veritable mare’s nest of incitement against the Jews, his complacency matches that of the wise men of Chelem, who always retained their sense of balance in the face of perilâ€”and always paid the price.
There have been cases where people have ignored the premonitory rumblings of the volcano on whose sides they dwelt. “Bread for the living, shrouds for the dead”â€”have been the aftermath of their retention of a sense of balance. A slight fissure in the snow-cap, and the slipping of a few pebbles down a mountain slope have precipitated catastrophic avalanches.
We cannot afford to take chances, Human psychology being what it is we must take our enemies seriously, no matter how ludicrous, how utterly false their rantings, Indeed, the more ludicrous, the more mendacious their accusations, the more dangerous they may prove in the long run. Hitler was a tap-room oracle, not so long ago, with only a few waitresses, beer-boozers and crack-brains for his audience. And nowâ€”in this year Nineteen Hundred and Thirty-three of the Allegedly Civilized Era, 97% of the whole German people voted “Yah” for the rhodomontade they had apparently laughed into oblivion.
There are, to be sure, more ways than one to kill a cat. I am for using every one of them. But the cat must be killed. Mr. Slomovitz knows, I am certain, that to the Jews, “Kenn a Katz Oich Kalye Machen”, means, roughly translated: “Even a Cat Can Do Grievous, Irreparable Harm.”
Mr. Slomovitz may, if he wishes, join Mickey Mouse in chanting: “Who’s Afraid of the Big, Bad Wolf!” But if the rest of us do, we may lose even more than our senses of balance and humor.
Mr. Slomovitz has, on many occasions, rendered signal Jewish service. The best service he can render the Jews now is to join those who are determined to smite the enemies of Israel hip and thigh.
A. H. Fromenson.
FORGET “GERMAN-JEWISH” SOCIETIES
November 22, 1933.
To the Editor of the Jewish Daily Bulletin,
It is with utter disgust that I read day after day, and day after day about the so-called “German-Jewish” groups as an integral part of the Federation of German Societies.
This very division has been the thorn in our sides and has divided us into a hundred and one different groups and made a united stand impossible. Of what value is it to us Jews to emphasize the lands where we may have been born. It is about time that we learnt that this very thing has brought us untold unhappiness and sorrow. I would say to the German Societies that if they want a celebration let them have it. The Jewish groups don’t have to worry whether they should participate or not. I don’t see how any Jewish Group could even care to be affiliated with the German societies under any condition even though they may modify their program to suit some Jews.
Rabbi Abraham E. Halpern, 5348 Cabanne Ave., St. Louis, Mo.
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.