Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Now-editorial Notes

July 18, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Nazi police prohibited the use of Hebrew in the eulogies on Bialik at the memorial meeting in Berlin. When one of the speakers announced that he would address the audience in the language of the great Hebrew poet, a police officer warned him that the meeting would be dispersed if any other language than German were used by the speakers. So the Bialik memorial addresses were delivered in German.

The Nazis are losing their heads. That is quite obvious. They now see terrors threatening them from all sides. They apparently feared that in mourning the national Hebrew poet, Bialik, references might be made to his poetic denunciation of pogroms and pogromists.

The Nazi police preferred to have the great Hebrew poet eulogized in “Aryan” German rather than to take a chance on anything that might be said in the language of the Bible. For the Bible is taboo with the Nazis, chiefly for the reason that it contains the commandment: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.”


Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University and Nobel Peace Prize winner, upon returning from Europe, issued a statement analyzing the European situation and the Nazi regime.

“The vast membership of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches,” he said, in part, “will certainly not permit themselves to be permanently suppressed or oppressed by any government. The intellectual leaders who are the successors of those who made Germany great and who gave it the commanding position which it so long occupied, cannot and will not be permanently persecuted or oppressed. To shoot one of their number is merely to multiply that number many fold.

“What may probably be looked for is the early collapse of Hitlerism, to be followed perhaps by some form of dictatorship or Fascist organization which, in turn, will pave the way for something more permanent and more consistent with the history of the German people…

“Conditions in Germany are similar to those that would exist in the United States should the Ku Klux Klan, let us say, be in control of the Federal Government. For the time being, the Bosch in Germany has conquered the German, but in the long run the German will win the fight.”

Dr. Butler’s remarks regarding the early collapse of Hitlerism are logical, even though somewhat belated. His statement that the Catholic and Lutheran Churches in Germany will not permit themselves to be permanently suppressed or oppressed, and that the intellectuals cannot and will not be permanently persecuted, is quite correct.

It is very strange, however, that in enumerating the victims of Hitlerite persecution and oppression, Dr. Butler fails to mention the Jews of Germany, the most persecuted and oppressed. They have been hounded and tortured and massacred by the Nazis on the ground that they are not “Aryan.” They seem to be paying the penalty not so much for their Judaism but for the fact that Christianity sprang from Judaism, and Hitlerism is systematically mocking and crushing every noble ideal identified either with Judaism or Christianity. Hitler is the modern Genghis Khan, only more mrutal, more monstrous, more savage. He is challenging all the attainments of civilization and of organized order and peace in every land.

The menace of Hitlerism lies not so much in his bloody deeds as in the theories by which he defends his bloody deeds. His speech before the “Reichstag,” justifying his butcheries on the ground that he was saving Germany by becoming its Supreme Judge and executioner, was even a greater menace to the entire civilized world than his blood bath.

Dr. Butler says that conditions in Germany are similar to those that would exist in the United States should the Ku Klux Klan be in control of the Federal Government. The people of the United States would not remain servile and passive if the Ku Klux Klan were to seize control of the Federal Government. It is unthinkable that such an organization could retain control even for a few days. The German people have been delirious from the opium of Hitlerism too long. There are unmistakable signs that they are beginning to awaken. The growing unrest among the anti-Nazi students is symptomatic. The moral, economic and financial bankruptcy of Germany under Hitler’s leadership can no longer be concealed in Germany. Famine will drive Hitler from power.

But it is not enough to wait for the awakening of the German people. The entire civilized world should continue to isolate Hitlerite Germany in order that the German people may be saved before it is too late, and particularly in order that civilization itself may be saved from the Genghis Khan-Hitler dynamite.

Recommended from JTA