Dr. Adler, 75, Warns Jews Against Inferiority Complex; Honored by Nation
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Dr. Adler, 75, Warns Jews Against Inferiority Complex; Honored by Nation

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Honored throughout the United States and other countries on his 75th birthday, Dr. Cyrus Adler, “the grand old man of American Jewry,” today cautioned the Jews against permitting the stream of hatred directed against them to give them an inferiority complex.

A testimonial volume containing tributes to Dr. Adler by hundreds of outstanding figures here and abroad, including President Roosevelt, Cabinet officers and spokesmen for Jewish and non-Jewish organizations, was presented to him at his summer home here this afternoon by Harry Schneiderman, assistant secretary of the American Jewish committee, at an informal ceremony, which Dr. Adler preferred to a public manifestation.

Mr. Schneiderman conveyed felicitations from the American Jewish Committee, the Jewish Theological Seminary and Dropsie College, of all of which Dr. Adler has been president for years. Mr. Schneiderman has been associated with Dr. Adler for 30 years and succeeded him as editor of the American Jewish Yearbook 20 years ago.

In a statement, Dr. Adler cautioned Jews against “suffering themselves to acquire an inferiority complex by the constant impact of the stream of hatred and propaganda directed against them.”

“We cannot muster armies, we cannot build navies and we cannot compete with the air fleets of the world,” he said, “but by the study of our Bible, our history and our literature we can build a citadel in our own hearts which none can conquer.”

Dr. Adler expressed “an abiding faith that mankind will rid itself of the aberrations now afflicting a part of the earth.” He declared: “Neither Alexander nor Caesar nor Napoleon lasted, and their puny imitators of modern times will not last either.”

As part of the celebration of Dr. Adler’s birthday, a radio program was broadcast over a national hook-up on Tuesday evening, with prominent speakers participating from Washington, Philadelphia and New York.

The testimonial volume was sponsored by a national testimonial committee, headed by Lewis S. Strauss, which included representatives of scores of Jewish and non-Jewish organizations and leaders in many walks of life.


President Roosevelt writes: “Yours has been a rich and full career of varied activity and great usefulness. As President of the American Jewish Committee, of the Jewish Theological Seminary, and of Dropsie College, you have touched life at many angles; whether in spiritual, civic or cultural activities, your labors have ever been directed to the happiness of others and the well-being of the community. I trust you may long be spared in health and strength to continue your devoted labors in behalf of the interests which have enlisted your support and allegiance through so many years.”

Secretary of State Cordell Hull pays tribute to Dr. Adler’s “long and useful life.” Secretary of Interior Harold L. Ickes characterizes his “life as a monument to the better understanding between man and man. He has sought with all the powers of a brilliant mind and an unfailing spirit to remove the sources of friction between Christian and Jew. . . He is a beacon of light summoning all who would follow. . . he is a great Jew no less. . . than a great American.”

Secretary of Navy Claude S. Swanson stresses Dr. Adler’s “brilliant scholarship, religious and humanitarian endeavors.” Postmaster General James A Farley extols “Half a century of public labors in fields calculated to further civic, religious, social and cultural advancement. . . contributions, a source of pride to fellow citizens throughout the land.”

Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins praises his “high and unselfish public service.” Secretary of Treasury Henry Morgenthau Jr., calls him “scholar, leader and humanitarian.” Other members of the Cabinet contributing laudatory messages are Acting Secretary of War Louis Johnson and Under-secretary of Agriculture M.L. Wilson.

Governor Lehman of New York says: “Dr. Adler has given of himself without reserve to the cause of our ancient faith, to the defense of civil and religious liberties, the promotion of sympathetic understanding between peoples of different races and creeds. I look upon him as a bulwark of strength.” Governor Henry Horner of Illinois declares that Dr. Adler “through his qualities of intelligence, unselfishness, industry and courage, has done more than his share in making our country a more attractive land in which to live.” Mayor LaGuardia congratulates Dr. Adler “upon continued interest and indefatigable endeavors in the defense of civil and religious rights and the promotion of other humanitarian causes.”

There were also cabled and wired messages of greeting from Dr. Chaim Weizmanni, president of the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Palestine; Chief Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz of Great Britain, the Alliance Israelite Universelle, Judge Julian W. Mack and the Rev. Harry Emerson Fosdick.

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