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Mccarthy Charged in Senate with Causing “foreboding” Among Jews

June 2, 1954
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy was charged today on the floor of the Senate with causing “foreboding” among Jews. The charge was voiced by Sen. Ralph E. Flanders, Vermont Republican, who devoted a portion of a speech in the Senate to assailing McCarthy’s tactics.

Describing these tactics at great length, Sen. Flanders stated that besides other activities, Sen. McCarthy “spreads division and confusion wherever he goes. Note, for instance, the foreboding he inspires in our fellow citizens of Jewish blood and faith. Among them this is well nigh universal in spite of the fact that his two closest associates are Hebrews.”

In seeking the origin of what he described as “foreboding” on the part of American Jews, Sent Flanders said: “I have been led to remember the part which the Senator played in the investigation of the Malmedy massacre and the strange tenderness which he displayed for the Nazi ruffians involved. Perhaps this would not have been enough to perpetuate foreboding, but his anti-Communism so completely parallels that of Adolf Hitler as to strike fear into the heart of any defenseless minority.”

Sen. Flanders said Americans should always remember “that Communism and Nazism and other dictatorships resemble each other far more closely than any of them resembles the free world into which we were born and in which we hope our children and grandchildren will live.”

It is “not the Jews alone” who have “reason to be troubled,” he said. He pointed out that Sen. McCarthy was responsible for selecting J. B. Matthews as staff director although Mr. Matthews “charged the Protestant ministry with being in effect the center of Communist influence in this country.” Sen. Flanders also pointed to the concern he said was felt by many Catholics and cited the criticism levelled against Sen. McCarthy by Bishop Sheil of Chicago. He asserted that Sen. McCarthy is trying “to inflame religious and racial bigotry.”


Upon learning of Sen. Flanders’ speech, Sen. McCarthy temporarily interrupted the televised McCarthy-Stevens hearings to make an answer. He attacked Sen. Flanders’ speech and mentioned that Roy Cohn, the McCarthy committee chief counsel, is Jewish. He called the Flanders’ statements “vicious and dishonest.”

Sen. McCarthy urged that Sen. Flanders be requested to appear before the committee headed by Sen, Karl Mundt and he required to testify under oath. At first, McCarthy demanded that Sen. Flanders be subpoenaed but he changed his mind and had this striken from the record, replacing it with a demand that the Vermont Senator be “requested” to appear to face Sen. McCarthy and Mr. Cohn.

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