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Chaitkin Bids Jews Be Proud of Their Part in Nazi Boycott

September 6, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Rather than minimize his part in the anti-Nazi boycott, the Jew should “glory in it, take pride in the record which we are preparing for posterity,” declared Jacob Chaitkin, counsel to the boycott committee of the American-Jewish Congress, in a radio address over Station WFAB last night.

“You have heard it said by prominent Jews that the boycott is not at all a Jewish affair,” he said, “that it is supported by many other groups as well, notably union labor, liberals, Catholics, Protestants, etc. One of the leaders of the boycott movement in this country even went so far as to send a cablegram to the Jewish conference in Geneva in which he stressed what he called the non-sectarian character of the boycott movement and attempted to minimize the Jewish contribution.


“Now I think there is an apologetic note in these statements by Jewish leaders which is decidedly objectionable to any self-respecting Jew. True, we may be glad to see that the outside world reacts to the Nazis in a manner similar to our own . . . but is that any reason for us to disown the boycott as a measure of purely Jewish self-defense and as an expression of purely Jewish self-respect?

“We do not have to apologize for our solemn pledge to boycott the goods and services of Nazi Germany. We do not have to hide ourselves behind non-sectarian or other neutral protective colors. Nor do we have to seek allies for any aggressive campaigns. Our stand is clear and unequivocal. To us as Jews, Nazi goods, Nazi services are untouchable. They are unclean things from which we recoil as instinctively as we do from the worship of idols, from murder or incest.

“Our stand is dictated to us by the remorseless logic of events. The Nazis have hit on the destruction of the Jewish people in Germany as the means of climbing to power. They have made the physical and economic destruction of German Jews the fundamental plank of their party platform and have practically enacted this point of their program into law.


“The reaction of the Jewish people the world over has been remarkable. With dignity and courage, with a spontaneity that is nothing short of miraculous, they have decided to refrain from buying and selling goods made in Germany, traveling on German steamers or visiting German health resorts. While we may be divided as to the methods of making the boycott effective and while some Jews have been opposed to an organized boycott as distinguished from a spontaneous one, all Jews have been unanimous in this fundamental attitude—no German goods until Hitler and Hitlerism are a thing of the past.

“Why hide behind non-sectarian labels? Why invoke the grievances of the Catholics, the Laborites and the Socialists? We as Jews, and only as Jews, have good and sufficient reason to boycott Nazi Germany, and no tribunal of world public opinion can fail to uphold us.


“Rather than minimize the Jewish contribution to the boycott, I say we can glory in it, we can take pride in the record which we are preparing for posterity, we can be confident of the verdict of history.”

Mr. Chaitkin delivered a scathing attack on those “who put their personal pro### above their Jewishness and are still buying and selling German goods today.” He alluded to the son of a prominent rabbi who is selling millions of dollars worth of German goods yearly.

Social ostracism must be used against Jews who sell German merchandise, Chaitkin urged. “Let us pledge ourselves to avoid all social intercourse with those who love money more than they hate Hitler,” he declared.”

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