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The Reader’s Forum

September 25, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The editors reserve the right to excerpt all letters exceeding 500 words in length. All letters must bear the name and address of the writer, although not necessarily for publication

To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

The clarion call to action sounded in the first installment of “Jewry Must About Face” should stir the slow beating pulses of our people sicklied over, as ever, with the pale cast of thought.

The alternative presented to us in this world crisis is courageous, manly resistance to, or submissive suffering of oppression. You state this in fine words fitly spoken: “Shall we in the traditional method of Jewry face unprincipled savagery by pathetic pleas? Those who know the value of courage, manhood, and dignity will answer no.”

Have these words of the Negro minstrel, Claude McKay, any meaning in our situation:


“If we must die—let it not be like hogs

Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot, While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs, Making their mock at our accursed lot.

If we must die—oh, let us nobly die, So that our precious blood may not be shed

In vain; then even the monsters we defy Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

Oh, kinsmen! We must meet the common foe. Though far outnumbered, let us still be brave, And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!

What though before us lies the open grave?

Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack, Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!”

—Oswald Schlockow. Brooklyn, N. Y., Sept. 22, 1934.


To the Editor, Jewish Daily Bulletin:

For your personal and the readers’ comfort let me assure you that though I have reference to the review of my book, “Races, Nations and Jews,” which appeared in the Bulletin on Sunday, September 23, 1934, I have no intention of writing a review of a review.

Quite to the contrary, being an author of lawful age, sound in mind, etc., etc., I do not expect reviewers to read books or to dig in beyond the customary “giving the once over.” True, there are artists in this grim profession of book dissection who grasp at the vitals of a subject with an uncanny sense of perspective, and there are “Schlemiels” who never learn when to duck.

However, having promised not to review the reviewer, I merely wish to take exception to what was apparently intended to be geistreich, but shows little of the geist though much of the Reich.

I refer to his remark: “But this, perhaps, is only because unfavorable circumstances have conspired to keep in check any tendencies toward blond beastliness. Given the appropriate environment, Jews might display unsuspected talents for brutality. Rumors of Jewish Fascists would indicate that there are hopes.”

Following as it does the quote from my book: ” ‘Jews can never abandon the God of mercy for the gods of thunder and lightning. No Jew can become identified with the blood-thirsty and power-drunk Blond Bestie,’ ” the reader might have gained the impression that it represents part of the author’s argumentation.

To allay any misapprehension, I wish to emphasize that there is nothing of the kind anywhere in the book, and that the reviewer has the sole copyright to the above ‘wisecrack.’

—Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum. New York, Sept. 23, 1934.

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