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On the Alert

April 8, 1934
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The progress of the boycott in the last two months has been truly remarkable. After months of agitation practically all the leading department stores of New York have announced that they have stopped buying German merchandise altogether. From a political point of view it would of course have been much more effective if these great mercantile establishments had joined the boycott movement months ago instead of dodging for so long behind specious reasoning and sophistry which deceived no one. “Consumers’ resistance” was the reason given for the final capitulation, not outrage against the Nazi bestialities. The clue to this rather obvious and transparent mystery of prolonged non-cooperation was of course the well known “cherchez Pargent.” Only a few stores had the high sense of human responsibility and the courage to announce a boycott against German products as soon as the atrocities of the Hitler regime became public. It is highly significant that among these organizations, the non-Jewish stores took the lead….Let this revealing fact never be forgotten by us….It is an index–humiliating and inglorious–to those spiritual short-coming which disadvantage us in the eyes of the world.

The Boycott is succeeding! It remains now to prosecute it with the utmost vigor until its objectives are fully attained.

Negotiations are now under way between the German government and our own for a new commercial treaty. The American Ambassador to Germany is now in Washington for that purpose. A subtle propaganda has been set in motion to persuade the American people that the Nazi government has already relented on its anti-Jewish policy and that it has made important concessions to the outraged public opinion of the world. While it is conceded that “evidence of moderation will be hard to discover,” it is only because the leaders are still under pressure from the rank and file. The leaders, presumably, have already seen the light….The advice is therefore deftly insinuated that it is advisable to ease up on criticism of the Nazi regime in the hope that still further concessions may be forthcoming.

This is propaganda of the most dangerous sort! The Nazi government has not retreated one step from its avowed exterminationist policy as regards the Jews. The anti-Jewish laws which it enacted are still on the statute books. Aryanism,–that is Anti-Semitism,–is still part of the basic law of the country. By its terms, Jews, are kept out of all public offices and public employment. The Nazis are continuing their vicious attacks and boycott of the Jews regardless of the pious wishes expressed from time to time by one or another of the leaders in Berlin. We read that: “In larger Jewish centers in the provinces, such as Nuremberg, Frankfort, Breslau and Hamburg, the agitation against them (Jews in mercantile establishments) is continuous and violent.” (New York Times, March 27).

The fields of commerce, trade and industry have presumably been exempted from the operation of the “Aryan paragraph”–but “violations by local Nazi chiefs of government guarantees given to the Jews are still frequent and sometimes drastic” (N. Y. Times, April 1). The campaign against the Jewish employer who under the new feudal dispensation is to become the “leader” of his German workers has become virulent. Officially the Nazi party boycott against all Jews is still preached and practiced. “The agricultural press warns against employing Jewish youth on farms and the city press warns against accepting Jewish apprentices in handicrafts and commerce. A larger part of the press carries one slogan in many variations: “Whoever buys from Jews is a traitor to his country.” (ibid).

Regardless of any commercial arrangement which may be entered into between our government and Germany, the issues which inspired the anti-Nazi boycott must be solved on their own merits. Commercial hopes and fears cannot be permitted to override basic human issues! Human rights cannot be so lightly bartered away!

A similar trade agreement was recently entered into between the Nazi government and Poland and was interpreted by some in Poland as automatically nullifying the boycott. The Polish-Jewish economic organizations, however, were quick to proclaim: “There is no reason for changing the previous policy of unconditional economic defense against Germany. There can be no retreat from this historic struggle forced on us by the Nazis.”

We, too, will not be deluded or satisfied with a few scraps of concession thrown to us in the hope of silencing us. There can be and there will be no let-up in the world-wide boycott against Nazi Germany until its medieval and brutal laws discriminating against citizens on account of their race are repealed and until the acts of oppression, terrorism and medievalism completely cease.

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