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Mayor Denounces Hitler; Crowd Hears La Guardia Call Nazis War-mongers

January 31, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia, yesterday avowed his antipathy toward the Hitler regime in Germany which he denounced in no uncertain terms as a “corruptive force leading to another World war.”

Speaking at the fourteenth annual convention of the Federation of Jewish Women’s Organizations, attended by about 2,500 who crowded the ballroom of the Hotel Astor for an all-day session, the Mayor launched his tirade following a turbulent debate by participating delegates who went on record as supporting the boycott of German-made goods and as being opposed to Nazi propaganda. The address was broadcast over WOR.

The Mayor introduced himself as “the vice-chairman of the Boycott Association Against Hitler” and without mincing words, assailed Hitlerism for “bringing about conditions comparable with those which prevailed before 1914.”


{SPAN}{/SPAN}{SPAN}{/SPAN}”Some of us know what war means”, he said, “and thank God today it is no longer unmanly to take a stand against war.”

From the audience, obviously enthusiastic about the Mayor who received two rising votes of confidence, came prolonged applause.


“To be against Hitler is to be for the German people,” said Mr. LaGuardia. “To be against Hitler is to be for the peace of the world. To be against Hitler is not to permit conditions which civilization won’t countenance.

“I say that I believed in fighting Hitler before my election. I say it now.”

Shaking his head in earnestness, Mr. LaGuardia recalled the security which prevailed in 1914 and spoke of the sudden disruption which ended in the war that encompassed nearly every nation.

He paid tribute to his hearers and asked their participation in civic and world affairs which he said is indispensable “if we are to prevent disaster for humanity.”

Speaking of his municipal pro- gram which he compared with “simple housekeeping”, Mayor LaGuar-tiia spent a large part of his address in violent condemnation of the “system of graft” which “has eaten its way into the city.” He lauded the “superhuman patience” of Commissioner of Hospitals Gold-water and pledged himself to a “purging of city hospitals of politics.”

The speaker made no bones over the situation which he said “brought disgrace” upon “almost every department of the city”, and with his arms dramatically outstretched, he jpleaded that the Federation “take as active a part in the affairs of your neighbors as you do in the affairs of the world.”

He was cheered repeatedly, when, with conviction, he praised the part women are taking in the “complex problems of our age.”

The luncheon meeting was addressed by Mrs- David E. Gold-farb, Federation president; Associate Judge Irving Lehman of the Court of Appeals; Richard Wash-tmrn Child, former ambassador to Italy; Harry Hershfield, Milton J. Cross, radio announcer; Magistrate Anna Moscowitz Kross; Robert Nathan, novelist; Mrs. William Dick Sporborg, feminist leader; Mrs. William Brown Meloney, editor of the Herald Tribune Sunday magazine.


Mrs. Godlfarb spoke of the work of the Federation as “having a high moral purpose, braced in unity without uniformity, and unity with differences.” Her words had the effect of soothing the ruffled feelings of many among the membership who were apparently considerably upset by the debate earlrer in the day when there was a split on the wording of the boycott resolution.

She said that it is the job of every Jewish woman “to make a contribution to the betterment of mankind, social justice, peace and brotherhood.” The Federation, which has a membership of 220 units ‘ and- represents an aggregate of about 100,000 women members, Mrs- Goldfarb said, has “the fate of man in its hands.” Judge Lehman paid a tribute to President Roosevelt, calling him “a great leader who is building a new society on the structure of an insecure foundation of an old order.”


“The Jews were the first to accept the principle of justice and brotherly lev*,”, said Judge Lehman, “and wlrca the Jews abandon such principles, we shall disappear from the earth.”

He praised the women who, he said, are working “not because they were born as Jews but because they accept the Jewish ideals and ate living up to them.”

Describing herself as “just one oi the workers in the Federation”, Magistrate Anna Moscowilz Kross said that “it is thrilling to stand here as a Jewess and see you women, 2,000 strong, doing your share for the preservation of the peace of the world.”

She called it the duty of woman to stand shoulder to shoulder and take their part in the “community welfare work.” Mrs. Sporber roundly scored the “inflated nationalism” which has -brought the world on the “brink of another war.” She qnoted the words of Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, saying that “it is. up to the people themselves, to fight for and win a cause.”


Mrs. Sporborg. “Eyety.woinan mustbe honest with the situation confronting her, with the fact that in the final analysis it is up to the woman to save civilization.”

With emphasis the speaker, who was referred to once as “the world’s champion boycotter”, made an issue of the fact that war is threatening civilization and that the Jewish people, “butt of much of the soreness which accompanies every new sickness in civilization” are charged with the duty of dispersing the war “fever.”

Mayor LaGuardia, seated beside Mrs. Sporborg, looked up impressed with the eloquence of the speaker whose words he took as text for the earlier part of his speech.

The substance of the day’s developments were the passage of three resolutions backing the Senator Tydings bill in the upper house asking for a protest against the Nazi policy of racial repression in Germany, supporting the boycott and denouncing Nazi propaganda in the United States.

The officers of the Federation were much distressed when a telegram was received from Bernard S. Deutsch, Aldermanic president and president of the American Jewish Congress, in which he refused to attend the luncheon on the ground that the Federation had failed to stand uo behind the bovcott.

Mrs. Deutsch hastened to a telephone booth and tried to placate her husband, explaining that the action of the executive committee of the Federation at a January 17 meeting refusing to take a definite stand on the boycott, was rescinded at yesterday’s session.

The,Bulletin was unable to learn (what ensued. It was intimated by good authority- that Mr. Deutsch would apologize.

Nine resolutions which were slated for passage yesterday morning but which had to be shelved for a special conference to be called before the next meeting of the Federation on February 21, are as follows:

(1) Reduction of such naturalization- fee for all those who meet the requirements for application foi citizenship to the United States.

(2) Support of the Child Labor Amendment and support of the Wald Child.Labor Bill introduced in the New York State Legislature.

(3) Commendation of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, for its efforts to secure from the Palestine government a liberal immigration policy for all classes of refugees seeking entrance into Palestine.

(4) Endorsement of a municipal housing program.

(5) Expression of gratitude to High Commissioner James G. McDonald, of the German Refugees’ Body, for his work in attempting to find a haven for the Reich exiles.

(6) Commendation of the UnitedStates Employment Service and the New York State Employment Service for its successful efforts to opcreate an essential government serice on an entirely impartial and non-political basis.

(7) Favoring the adoption of a State-wide compulsory unemployment reserve by the New York State Legislature.

(8) Support of legislation making women eligible for jury service ia tlie State of New York.

(9) Enforcement of a minimum wage law.

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