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September 17, 1933
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Eminent anthropologist, author of many works including “The Mind of Primitive Man”)

The brutal anti-Semitic policy of the present German government is based on the assumption of a fundamental, biological difference between Aryan and non-Aryan. The terms are misleading, for Aryan is not the designation of a race, but of a group of languages including most of the modern European languages, Armenian, Persian, Hindostani and others. What is meant is the northwest European type; but Germans are not by any means all of that type. So it is called European type. However, there is no such thing. A blond Hanoverian differs from a Tyrolese no less than from certain types of Jews. The difference between a Frisian and a Sicilian is no less than that between him and another type of Jew.

More important is the assumption of a biologically determined cultural difference between “Aryans”, i.e., Germans of various types, and Jews. While it is true that to a limited extent mental characteristics are inherited from parents to children, this does not imply that definite cultural characteristics are inherited in large populations. The biological foundations of behavior found in the individuals composing a population are exceedingly varied, and similar lines occur in all populations as closely allied as Europeans and West Asiatics, and probably others as well. Nobody has ever demonstrated that the cultural behavior of a people is determined by their descent. On the contrary, all our evidence shows that it depends upon their cultural setting.

Observations on the adjustment of migrants to a new cultural environment prove a rapid intellectual and probably a slower emotional adjustment to the new environment.

The theory of hereditary mental and cultural traits of races as closely allied as Jews and Europeans has never been proved. Culture is an acquired, non-hereditary character.


The Nazis are applying the method of going hungry for a purpose, the method to which Hoover, during the years of the war, introduced this generation. We had wheat-less days, meat-less days, sugar-less days and so forth. The Nazi application of the method consists in this: every German family the first Sunday of every month goes on short rations for its main meal, the cost of that meal coming approximately to seventeen cents. The difference between that and the sum ordinarily spent for that repast is contributed to a fund for the hungry and the unemployed. The Nazis are frankly worried about the situation this coming winter. Now those who insist on having their full Sunday dinner are to be fined a certain sum, the sum of the fines to go into the fund for the feeding of the hungry. This decree (for the Nazis have fallen into the habit, understandably enough, of telling the German people what to do, not asking them) sets only the minimum of sacrifice which the well-fed may undergo for the hungry; you may go hungrier often, you may contribute far more than the difference between the price of a lean meal and that of a fat one, you may contribute clothing and other necessaries.

One doesn’t become popular by advising people to go hungry for a cause, no matter how worthy. We therefore submit, with due humility, the opinion that it might be a worthy thing for the Jews of the world to apply the Nazi application of the self-abnegating principle for the sake of the Jews of Germany.

For example: Last May the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee inaugurated a fund-raising drive for the relief of German Jews. Two million dollars were to be raised throughout the nation, one-half of that sum in the metropolitan district. The fund was to be raised in full within six weeks or two months. So far $1,100,000 has been collected. Dr. Jonah B. Wise has made a pre-Rosh Hashonah appeal for the remaining sum. It seems that the need of German Jewry is no less urgent than that which the Nazis are trying to assuage among their own Aryan folk. We are not asking American Jewry to go wan and haggard and hungry for German Jewry, but a depleted meal may serve the psychological function of telling us what it means to lack more than a full meal, beside helping to relieve a couple of other fellows.

The scale is the Zodiacal sign for Tishri, the first month of the year, which is ushered in by Rosh Hashonah. According to religious tradition, every man, woman and child is weighed in these scales. Whatever may be the Heavenly verdict on the enemies and the persecutors of the Jews in Germany and elsewhere, it is to be hoped that Jews will not be found wanting for the tests and struggles that may be fated for them during the coming year.

Hitler, the apostle of hate and the spearhead of a movement of hate, has achieved a conquest. He has compelled a man a thousand times his intellectual stature—Albert Einstein—to modify his pacifism.

“Oh Listen to the German Band” is the title of a popular song. Bronislaw Hubermann and Josef Hoffman join the company of Paderewski and the Busch brothers in their refusal to appear before German concert audiences. After all, there are no stringed instruments in the German band, and, besides, if the Germans want music, they can jolly well listen to their trombone players.

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