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Labor’s Stake in the Struggle


IT IS gratifying to note the very positive leadership which Mr. William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor, has been giving to the anti-Nazi boycott movement in the United States. The testimonial dinner which was given to him by the Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League last Wednesday evening, in which so many prominent citizens participated, was a just and fitting recognitionof his coursighted labor statesmanship. Mr. Green was among the first in this country to realize that Nazi-ism is as fatal to the interests of labor as to those of the Jewish group in Germany. The same bloody hand which laid waste the Jewish community also destroyed all the agencies and institutions of mutual help and protection which organized labor had established in Germany over a period of many years, outlawed its unions, scattered its forces, imprisoned its leaders, confiscated its founds and reduced the working men to a condition of feudal vassalage.

This, of course, was one of the prime objectives of the Nazi movement. That is why it was so heavlly financed by the big industrialists, bankers and manufacturers of Germany. The bogey of Communism which the skillful Nazi agitaors raised was a ruse and a comouflage. The German Republic was never sriously threatened by Communism. It was the rising power of organized labor and the clear trend towards socialization of industry which the clear trend towards socialization of industry which the hard-pressed and frightened magates of germany were passionately eager to check and which they succeeded in checking. At least for the time being….For no such victory can long endure at this late day. Those purplind industrial rulers of Germany the only free instituions whereby have progress of the people could have been assured through peaceful ways of evolution have laid up for themselves a bloody day of reckoning.

It is a commonplace of Jewish history that the reactionary forces of a country which are aligned against the Jew are also aligned against the working classes. The fortunes of our people throughout the world have linked up always with the progress of freedom and political and economic liberalism. Wherever these ideals flourished, the position of our people was satisfactory. Wherever they were suppressed, its position became insecure and frequently desperate. Similary the fortunes of labor are linked up with the progress of these great social ideals. Those who attack them attack also the security and rights of labor. It is therefore no accident of history that Naziism, which is the implacable foe of the Jewish people is also the implacable foe of organized labor.

It is well to remember that the whole of modern anti-Semitism is to be traced back to Bismarck’s Germany. It was after Bismarck turned reactionary and broke with the liberals, that the signal was given for a concerted attack upon the Jews in Germany as a means of undermining and discrediting liberalism and socialism. It was modern anti-Semitism spread to Austria-Hungary, France and Tzarist Russia. There is not an argument which the Nazis used in their fourteen years of vicious anti-Jewish propaganda after the World War that was not first propounde by the henchmen of German political and economic reaction fifty years ago. The present Nazi leaders borrowed their entire ideology from the writers, journalists, politicians and theologians who did the dirty work for Bismarck half a century ago-Durering, Marr, Rohling, Stoecker, etc. That the Jews are an inferior race, that they are spiritually uncreative, that they aspire to undermine the Christian social order and to master the world, that they are the leader simultaneously in predatory capitaism and in revolutionary socialism, that the Aryan German Fatherland is in danger of being Judaized and the pure blood of the Teuton of being corrupted through mixed marriages with Jew-all these doctrines were made current in Germany when economic reaction was joined to chauvinistic nationalism following the Franco-Prussian War. It was Trcitschke, more than fifty years ago, who first proclaimed that “The Jews are our misfortune”-a slogan since become the theme song of the Brown Shirts and blazoned forth on so many of their pamphlest and newspapers.

Even the definitive program of the Nazis for exterminating the Jews from the life of the country was formulated in scientific detail at that time-the removal of all Jews from public office and from the educational system of Germany, their exclusion from the press and from all economic activity and their disenfranchisement. In the same way the international aspect of Nazi anti-Semitism was anticipated by the German reactionaries fifty years ago when they convoked the first international congress against Jews at Dresde.

Every reactionary mmovement has used the Jew as the pivot in the fulcrum for dislodging liber and progressive – eas and institutions. The enemies of the Third Republic in France stigamtized it as Jewish. Tzarist Russia pogromized the Jew because he was responsible for the revolutionary movements which were undermining the regime. Hitler attempts to deodiate democracy by declaring that it is fundamentally Jewish and not Germanic…

It is therefore most logical that in the counter-attack upon Fascism and Hitlerism, organized labor should form one unified fornt with the hosts of Israel against the common foe. For every anti-Semite is, under the skin, an enemy of freedom and of the working class.

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