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Hitler Agenatat Harvard Termed Disgrace by Samuel Untermyer

June 28, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

spectacle” of the visit of Hanfstaengl to Harvard which he labeled “a disgrace to the University and an insult to everyone of thousands of its distinguished Jewish and other graduates,” Mr. Untermyer devoted himself to “the correction of certain willful misrepresentations that have been spread broadcast as to the purpose, character and extent of the boycott, to its dispassionate justification as a purely defensive weapon, and to a recital of its progress and impending ultimate success and what it is expected to accomplish in a constructive way.”


Mr. Untermyer stated that the boycott is proving an effective, peaceful weapon with which to combat the threatening worldwide catastrophe of Hitlerism. “The world must and will,” he said, “turn its back upon the government that has seized control of a country, which has cut it loose from all the safeguards that advancing civilization has thrown around the civil and religious liberties and the domestic safety of its people, and has literally thrown them to the wolves.

“If there is any other weapon with which to combat this curse inflicted upon humanity, it would be interesting to know what it is. Common justice and a constructive spirit alike demand that when criticizing a given course of action, some alternative be offered. I have heard none suggested.”


The speaker then launched an attack against “the well meaning but timid, and if I may so, cowardly, do-nothing leadership of a small section of our own people who have shown themselves to be devoid of all vision, initiative and resourcefulness. The crisis is so acute that we owe it to this great cause to speak out, even at the cost of offending a handful of self appointed leaders who lack the courage to lead. The strides we are making in the accomplishment of our purpose have been made, and will continue to be made, not with their aid but in spite of them.

“It is fortunate for the cause of humanity that the great rank and file of the Jewish people and others all the world over have refused to be influenced by them and have disregarded their shortsighted counsel of despair.”


After stating that the boycott is a “purely defensive counter-boycott as against the boycott of terror instituted by the Hitler regime,” Mr. Untermyer asked “by what authority do these officials hold back their open and active support of the boycott, when they must at last realize, however blind they may be, that it is the one and only remedy, that the instinct of their brethren has been true and that 99 per cent of those whom they pretend to represent — but grossly misrepresent — favor the boycott, and when they themselves — every mother’s son of them — are practicing it.”


Claiming credit for the boycott as an agency in the creation of the present German crisis, Mr. Untermyer predicted the fall of the present Nazi regime. He said:

“Thundering fists on desks and fantastic predictions for foreign propaganda consumption of what is going to happen in Germany for 1,000 years to come are not going to change the inevitable laws of justice and retribution. Germany is not any longer going to be deprived of the freedom and democratic government she once enjoyed or be enslaved under the iron heel of despotism to 1,000 years or 1,000 days. Hitler is not the first Nero who blindly ‘fiddled while Rome was burning.’ Nor is he the “first humpty dumpty who had a great fall.”

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