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American Jewry Pays Last Tribute to Louis Marshall Today

September 24, 1929
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The last rites for Louis Marshall, who died September 11 in Zurich, will take place this morning at 10 o’clock, at Temple Emanu-El, Fifth Avenue at 65th Street, of which he was the President.

The utmost simplicity will mark the services. There will be no addresses, no eulogies, it was announced. Following the religious service, the funeral cortege will proceed to Salem Fields Cemetery, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, where interment will take place.

Yesterday, the body of America’s great Jewish leader arrived from Europe aboard the “Leviathan,” accompanied by James Marshall, a son, and Mrs. Abram Rosenberg, a sister.

City and State officials, together with a delegation of twenty-five American Jewish leaders, met the “Leviathan.” Included in the delegation were Mayor James J. Walker, former Governor Alfred E. Smith, Commissioner Whalen, Felix M. Warburg, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Adolph S. Ochs, David Bressler, Morris Waldman, Irwin Untermeyer, Rabbi Samuel Schulman.

The delegation stood with bowed heads as the body, in its simple flag-draped coffin, was carried down the gang plank by ten patrolmen, members of the Shomrim Society of the Police Department. A crowd of several hundred men and women stood in solemn tribute as the casket was carried to the hearse. An escort of fifteen motorcycle police accompanied the body to the Temple.

Outside Temple Emanu-El, where the body was brought, several thousand people stood for hours in the hope of being afforded an opportunity to pay their last respects to the man whose sphere of activity touched every phase of Jewish life. Only those who had cards were admitted.

Throughout the day the body in its sealed casket, wrapped in the American flag, guarded by a Legion of Honor, lay in state while a stream of thousands, members of officialdom, Jews and non-Jews, representatives of Jewish organization, men and women of the humblest ranks, passed in solemn, mournful tribute.

The men who had served with Mr. Marshall in his numerous activities will today serve as his escort to his last resting place as honorary pallbearers. The list includes: Samuel

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Untermyer, Felix M. Warburg, Sol M. Stroock, Hon. Samson Lachman, Adolph S. Ochs, Hon. Simon W. Rosendale, Julius Rosenwald, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Hon. Irving Lehman, Hon. Benj. M. Cardoza, Hon. Julian W. Mack, Paul Baerwald, Hon. Herbert H. Lehman, Nathan Straus, Daniel Guggenheim, David M. Bressler, David A. Brown, Benj. Altheimer, Henry M. Toch, Carl Rosenberger, Wm. I. Spiegelberg, Henry J. Bernheim, Davis Brown, Philip J. Goodhart, Sidney H. Herman, Benj. Mordecai, Samuel M. Newburger, Edward Schafer, Roger W. Straus, Ludwig Vogelstein, Arthur Zinn, Abraham Goldsmith, Wm. D. Guthrie, Hon. Alfred E. Smith, Chancellor Charles W. Flint, William Nelson Cromwell, Hon. Charles E. Hughes, Hon. Wm. S. Andrews, Hon. Frank H. Hiscock, Hon. Nathan L. Miller, Hon. Victor J. Dowling, Charles C. Wellingham, Hon. Otto A. Rosalsky, Rabbi M. S. Margulies, John Collier, James Weldon Johnson, Hon. James J. Walker, Louis Bamberger.

The Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee, of which Mr. Marshall had been president since 1912, held an extraordinary meeting to record its great grief at his passing. The sentiments of the Committee were embodied in the following resolution adopted:


“The Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee records, with profound sorrow and a sense of irreparable loss, the death on Wednesday, September 11, 1929, at Zurich, Switzerland, of its President, Louis Marshall. He had a great career at the Bar. He was one of the foremost constitutional lawyers of his time. On difficult and intricate questions involving interpretation of the Constitution of the United States and of various of the States his advice was frequently sought by legislators and jurists. He argued hundreds of leading cases, many of them bearing upon the constitutionality of important laws, such as those concerning legislative price-fixing, bonuses for war veterans, inheritance and special franchise taxes, compensation for injuries in industry, regulation of private banks, alien immigration, the ownership of land by Japanese, the segregation of negroes, the naturalization of Asiatics, the abolition of private and parochial schools. A number of these involving great time, labor and expenditure of money on his part, he took up as a matter of justice and without remuneration from his clients.

“He sat in three consecutive Constitution of the State of New York, being elected a delegate in 1890, 1894 and in 1913. He was named by Governor Charles E. Hughes in 1908 Chairman of the State Immigration Commission, whose findings resulted in substantial protection against the exploitation of immigrants. For over twenty years he was Chairman of the Committee on Amendments of the Law, of the New York City Bar Association.


“When the difficulties between labor and capital became acute, he was requested by both sides to adjust them He was the mediator in the cloak-makers’ strike in New York in 19IC and prepared a protocol which was the basis of many subsequent strike settlements. He was a member of the arbitration committee which settled the New York clothing workers’ strike in 1919, Chairman of the Committee to fix the price of bread, and rendered other like public services.

“He was ardently devoted to Judaism, of a deeply religious nature, and held an earnest belief, which he constantly translated into action, that Jewish education in all its aspects, from the elementary religious and Hebrew school to the higher institutions of learning, was essential in the life of the Jewish people. He supported all movements for religious education, and was especially devoted to the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in New York, of whose Board of Directors he was Chairman, and to Temple Emanu-El, of which he was President As he thought that the religious education of Jewish girls had been neglected, the especially interested himself in this, and upon the death of his beloved wife he established a fund in her memory to be used for the religious education of Jewish girls. He attributed great importance to all efforts for the upbuilding of the character of Jewish youth and generously gave of himself and his means to institutions engaged in this work, notably the Jewish Welfare Board, which he helped to create.

“His private life and tastes cannot here be recorded in detail. He lived simply, devoted to his family. He had a rigorous sense of duty to every obligation he assumed. He had great intellectual power, which exhibited itself not only in his professional life and in his public work, but in his wide reading which, with his power of absorption and retentive memory, formed the background of much of his thinking. He was a lover of all nature, but particularly devoted to trees, and greatly aided all movements for the preservation of the Adirondack forests. He was a generous and discriminating patron of the best of America’s landscape artists.


“Such an active life and broad culture might well have filled the career of one man, but his colleagues on this Committee know that for nearly a quarter of a century he was devoted to its work, and for the best part of the last two decades its unquestioned leader. Louis Marshall, imbued with the ideals of American liberty and the rights of man, constantly pleaded and labored for these wherever he saw in-

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justice or persecution. As a loyal son of the Jewish people he realized that they were especially subject to disabilities, and devoted himself to defending them from any infractions of their civil and religious rights and to averting acts which might lead to such infraction and to this the best part of his thinking, his ability and his boundless energy was consecrated. He was one of the founders of this Committee in 1906 and from that moment until the end he was always at its service. Louis Marshall could follow as well as lead. In the early years of the Committee he was the constant advisor and aide to its then President, Mayer Sulzberger. His first important service on this Committee was in connection with the passport question, involving the discrimination principally directed against American citizens of the Jewish faith, but also against others, whereby the Russian Government refused to grant visas to such persons to visit Russia. He began these protests first to the Secretary of State in 1908, and when it appeared, in the course of some years, that by diplomatic action and protest nothing could be accomplished, he joined earnestly in the effort looking to the denunciation of the Treaty of 1832 with Russia under which the Czarist regime had claimed the right to make such discrimination. He was influential in creating a public opinion to this end by his powerful address delivered before a meeting of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and upon other platforms.


“In 1911, this Committee having reached the conclusion that the only way in which the last vestige of discrimination exercised against American citizens of the Jewish faith could be removed was by the abrogation of the Treaty, requested the introduction in Congress of a joint resolution providing for its denunciation. His presentation as representative of this Committee before the House and Senate Committees, in which he displayed rare mastery of the history of American treaties and the practices of international law, astonishing to his hearers, powerfully aided in securing the abrogation of that treaty.

“In the following year, at the annual meeting on November 10, 1912, he accepted the Presidency of the American Jewish Committee, at the retirement of Judge Sulzberger, who had then reached his seventieth year. Thereafter, he was ever watchful of the interests which had been committed to its care. At the close of the Balkan Wars, in 1913, he took steps to endeavor to safeguard the position of the Jews who had been transferred from the Ottoman Empire to other Balkan countries and particularly to Roumania. By pen and by word, to the Presidents of the United States, to the Committees of Congress and to the public at large, he strove for a liberal and humane immigration and naturalization policy, and, while this may have been conditioned somewhat by sympathy with his coreligionists, it was largely determined by his belief in the right of men to move whithersoever they would, a policy solemnly adopted by the Congress of the United States at the close of the Civil War.


“It was to him, as President of this Committee, that the first request for relief at the outbreak of the World War came, this request being in behalf of the Jews in Palestine, and his action upon that occasion in conjunction with Jacob H. Schiff resulted in the formation of the American Jewish Relief Committee, of which he became President, and with other cooperating Committees, of the Joint Distribution Committee, of which he was an indefatigable member.


“As early as 1915, in looking to the conclusion of the War and in the hope that through it the position of the Jews of Eastern Europe might be improved, he agreed to a formula to be presented to a future Peace Conference, “full rights for the Jews in all lands, and the abrogation of all laws discriminating against them.’

“In the early spring of 1919, he proceeded to Paris for the purpose of securing in the Treaties to be entered into clauses to protect the rights of the minorities. Sea travel was to him a great hardship. The residence abroad for nearly five months was a real sacrifice, but he was busy from early morning, often through the night, in shaping action which resulted in the inclusion of clauses in the treaties with Germany, Poland, Czecho-Slovakia, Roumania, Jugo-Slavia, Austria, Greece and Bulgaria, and in the requirement to place in their own constitutions clauses for the protection of the rights of all persons ‘who differ from the majority of the population in race, language, or religion.’ It was for this broad idea that he labored and this he accomplished. He did not simply seek to protect the Jews, but all men who might as a minority suffer deprivation of their rights because of the arbitrary acts of the majority. His labors have already benefited the Jewish people; but Protestants in Catholic countries, Catholics in Protestant countries, German speaking people in a Slavic country or Russians in Roumania have equally profited. He asked nothing for the Jews which he did not seek for every other minority. It was a great conception on behalf of the rights of man, and to it he applied all of the knowledge, intelligence, ability and energy which he possessed. And in after years, he followed up this great act by carefully watching the carrying out of these provisions through the Section on Minority of the Council of the League of Nations and made frequent suggestions to eminent men of the League for strengthening and improving this beneficent act in behalf of the rights of man.

“On innumerable occasions and in ways which could not be recorded in this minute, he championed greater and lesser causes in which the Jews suffered the deprivation of their rights. He labored indefatigably on behalf of the Jews of Roumania, and of Poland, and was equally emphatic in taking up any cause, whether in behalf of college students who were discriminated against, or refugees in ports of Europe, or a single case of an immigrant who was excluded or an alien who was threatened with denial of naturalization.


“His last great contribution to the Jewish cause was in connection with Palestine. Always cherishing a deep sentiment for the Holy Land he had not, until the time of the Balfour Declaration in 1917, been convinced that the movement for the resettlement of Palestine held within itself the promise of any great practical result. When, however. Great Britain pledged itself to facilitate the establishment of a National Home for the Jewish people, he thought that the undertaking came within the realm of practicability and he advised the American Jewish Committee to give it cordial recognition. Thereafter, in cooperation, with the World Zionist Organization, he took careful and methodical steps, first through the appointment of a Commission with which he ardently labored, and later through the negotiations for the establishment of a body which, joined with the Zionist Organization, would be representative of the Jewish communities of the entire world, and unite in the upbuilding of Palestine both as a safe and pleasant country in which to dwell and as a center of Jewish cultural and religious renaissance. The last public act of his great life was to append his name to the constitution of the enlarged Jewish Agency, which to him meant not only the prospect of the rehabilitation of Palestine, but a united effort of the Jews of the world in the carrying on of all worthy Jewish projects. He was happy in this accomplishment and in the midst of our sorrow we have a feeling of gratitude and exaltation that he was permitted to see that day.

“The members of this Committee are deeply sensible of the privilege which they had in being associated with Louis Marshall. Except in the case of a sudden emergency, he always submitted his views to his colleagues; he was a man of strong opinions but he accepted the advice and opinions of others. He encouraged the fullest freedom of opinion and speech among his associates, and, during the many years that he presided over this Committee he was never known to invoke parliamentary law or to close off discussion until each one had had the opportunity to express himself. But

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