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Louis Marshall Warns Against Exaggeration in Ford Recantation

July 13, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Criticism of certain Jewish individuals who rushed into print in the metropolitan press, commenting on the Ford apology and praising him, was expressed by Louis Marshall, president of the American Jewish Committee, according to interviews with him published in the “Jewish Morning Journal” and in the “Jewish Daily Forward.”

“I cannot understand why some of our brethren go from one extreme to the other. Only last week Henry Ford was regarded by them as a Hamen and now they are almost willing to declare him a Mordecai,” Mr. Marshall is quoted as saying.

Asked for his opinion as to the attempts at interpreting the motives of Henry Ford in making his public apology, Mr. Marshall refused to subscribe to any of the speculations put forward. “I am not a bit interested in what Mr. Ford’s motives were. I view the facts only and the results as we have them before us. Whatever Mr. Ford’s motives were or could have been, business, politics, sincere recantation or whatnot, he publicly recanted and that’s all. Ford has done much damage to Jewry, particularly to the Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. His recantation will in a measure right the wrong and we can be satisfied with that.”

The president of the American Jewish Committee, the interviewers report, warned against exaggerated expressions of felicity.

A similar view is taken by editorial writers in the Yiddish press. “The Day,” in an editorial entitled: “Wanted–A Little Tact,” lakes to task certain Jewish leaders of Far Rockaway who invited Henry Ford to attend a banquet to be given in honor of Charles A. Levine and the East Side Chamber of Commerce, which announced it intends to arrange a “harmony meeting” at which Louis Marshall, Nathan Straus and Henry Ford are to be invited to speak. “There is a limit to every manifestation of joy and simple tact demands that the feelings over Ford’s recantation should not assume the form of an hysteric outbreak,” the paper writes.

The “Jewish Daily News.” Orthodox organ, treats the subject similarly. The paper terms the invitations referred to as tactless and states: “Whatever their intention was, it is clear that they should not have done this. Ford said whatever he had to say and it is not proper that anyone should commit follies in connection with Ford’s last step. Not everybody is obligated to deal with this subject. The entire matter ought to be let alone. There is no more Ford question, so far as public opinion is concerned. The Ford case is ended,” the paper writes.

A group of relatives of Charles A. Levine, who expect to join him in Paris before the take-off of his prospective return flight across the Atlantic, sailed last night on the George Washington. They are Isaac Levine, his father: Mrs. Pauline Nova, his mother-in-law, and his two children, Phillip and Eloyse.

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