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Representative of German Jews Asks U.S. Ambassador to Eliminate Term ‘hebrew’

May 8, 1927
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency)

Representations to Jacob Gould Schurman, United States Ambassador to Germany, requesting a change in the United States immigration ordinance which requires German Jews to describe themselves as Hebrews on the entry blanks, were made by the Central Verein Deutschen Buerger des Juedischen Glaubens and the Norddeutscher Lloyd.

Dr. Wiener, representing the Central Verein and Herr Meiden, of the steamship line, were received by the Ambassador. In an interview which lasted an hour, they asked that German Jews be permitted to declare themselves Germans, instead of Hebrews, on the immigration entry blanks.

The question whether German Jews are to be described in the United States immigration records as Hebrews or Germans came up last February. The Norddeutscher Lloyd which was attacked by the “C. V. Zeitung,” the organ of the Central Verein, for an alleged confidential circular to its agents giving instructions that Jews must be described as Hebrews, issued a statement to the Berlin office of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency at that time. In the statement, the steamship company declared:

“It is obvious that we, as a steamship company, cannot make any distinction with regard to the creeds of our passengers. The questionnaire corresponds in every detail to the provisions of the United States immigration authorities. The circular referred to was not of a confidential nature but merely an instruction on the basis of the provisions given to the steamship companies by the United States immigration authorities.”

The Norddentscher Lloyd further stated that at the suggestion of Herr Galatzer, the representative of the Central Verein, it had gotten in touch with its agency in New York, instructing it to attempt to secure an interpretation of the United States immigration provisions in the sense suggested by the Central Verein; that is, that German Jews who wish to be described as Germans and not as Hebrew should be permitted to do so.

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