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British Nazis Warn Jewish Leaders Will Be Taken As ‘hostages’

January 5, 1960
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A self-styled spokesman for the “British Nazi Movement” telephoned the office of Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie here today and warned that leading British Jews would be taken as “hostages” against any action by the Adenauer Government in West Germany to punish “German nationalists.”

A similar call, received by a press association, identified Sidney Silverman, a Labor M. P., Ian Mikardo, a former member of Parliament, and Dr. Barnett Stross, an M. P., as the first three “hostages.”

The Jewish Chronicle was warned by telephone that the next move would be “a bomb at your doorstep.”

Scotland Yard got its first lead to the vandals who have been defacing Jewish-owned and occupied buildings in the British capital last night when a Jewish Telegraphic Agency editor recorded a telephoned threat from a man describing himself as a spokesman for the “British Nazi Movement.”

The JTA editor who took the call last night, switched on the recording apparatus as soon as the caller identified himself. Later, Criminal Investigation Department officers listened to the recording and took possession of the tape.

The anonymous; called, described by the JTA editor as “well-spoken,” warned that “if, on Jewish pressure, German nationalists are persecuted by the German authorities for their attitude toward the Jews, the British Nazi movement will conduct a campaign against Jewish property all over Britain.”


R.N. Carvalho, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, warned today that the wave of anti-Semitic activity in London and other parts of the world “reveals the pernicious fascination which Nazism continues to have.” He praised the West German Government for “speedy and energetic action” but criticized it for continuing to employ well-known former Nazis in high office in the government and the Judiciary and in allowing them to play an important part in the education of young Germans.

The government’s “unwillingness to act in these spheres,” he said, “has done great harm. Nor have the Germans as a whole been led to a full realization of the enormities they had committed against Jews and others.”

Speaking in a building which earlier in the day had been a target of anti-Semitic violence. Chief Rabbi Brodie gravely told an audience last night that “tonight I speak with a certain amount of bitterness because on the walls outside this building there have been evidences of a resurgence of that bestial movement hat was responsible for the destruction of so many towns and villages in Eastern Europe.”

The gathering, which met to celebrate the centenary of Sholem Aleichem, noted Yiddish writer, took place in a hall in Woburn House where curtains were drawn to mask a broken window. Anti-Jewish slogans were smeared on the walls outside. Among other buildings in Britain daubed with the swastika last night was a Catholic church in Dartford, Kent.

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