The American Jewish Congress: a history, 1914-1950

The American Jewish Congress: a history, 1914-1950

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78-12,337 FROMMER, Morris, 1945THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS: 1914-1950. (VOLUMES I AND I I )

A HISTORY

The Ohio State University, Ph.D., 1978 History, United States

University Microfilms international, AnnArbor, Michigan48 ioe

©

Copyright by Morris Fromner 1978

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS: A HISTORY, 19 14- 1950 Volume I

DISSERTATION

Present ed i n P a r t i a l

F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements f o r

the Degree Doct or o f Phi l osophy in t he Graduate School

o f The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y

By Mo r r i s Frommer,

*

*

*

*

B.A.,

M.A.

*

The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y 1978

Reading Committee: Dr.

Marvi n Z a h n i s e r

Dr.

Robert Chazan

Dr.

Marc Raphael

Approved By '7

Adv i ser Depar tment o f Hi s t o r y /

Once a g a i n ,

to

11

Bar b ar a

VITA

Oct ober 1 1 , 1 945 ................... Born, 1967

...............................................

.................................

1967-1968

Nev/ Yor k,

New York

B . A . , The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , Columbus, Ohio Graduate Teachi ng A s s i s t a n t , Department o f H i s t o r y , The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , Columbus, Ohio

1969 ...............................................

M . A . , The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , Columbus, Ohio

1970-1973

Graduate Teachi ng A s s o c i a t e , Depar tment o f H i s t o r y , The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , Columbus, Ohio

.................................

FIELDS OF STUDY Major F i e l d :

American H i s t o r y

S t ud i e s i n American D i p l o m a t i c H i s t o r y . Marvi n R. Z a h n i s e r

Professor

St ud i e s in European H i s t o r y . and Mi chael Curran

P r o f e s s o r s Andreas Dorpalen

Studies

History.

in American P o l i t i c a l

111

Dr.

K. Aus t i n

Kerr

TABLE OF CONTENTS

VITA .

Page iii

......................

INTRODUCTI ON........................................................

1

Chapt er I.

II.

III.

IV.

V.

THE FORMATION OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH C O N G R E S S ..............................................

51

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AT THE PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE............................

113

JEWISH GOALS IN AMERICAN CONTEXT: THE MOVEMENT TOWARD A PERMANENT CONGRESS . . .

169

AIDING OPPRESSED JEWRY IN ROÜMANIA AND POLAND, 1919 TO 1 933

204

AIDING OPPRESSED JEWRY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 19 19- 1933 . . . . . . . . ...................

256

1 V

INTRODUCTION

Internal

conflicts

have been pr e s e nt in the Ameri ­

can Jewish community ever si nce t h i s community became h e t e r og e ne ou s - - f r o m t he moment i t

came to i n c l u d e Jews who

d i f f e r e d from each o t h e r in n a t i o n a l status,

so c i a l

religious

orientation,

Spai n,

philosophy,

and

Jews to set f o o t on American s o i l

arrived

They were Sephardim, some of whom emi gr at ed from

Portugal,

of South Ameri ca. ers,

political

economic

practice.

The f i r s t in 1654.

origin,

peddlers,

and H o l l a n d ,

The Sephardim were most l y p e t t y t r a d ­

and small

shopkeepers.^

dim f o l l o w e d the f r o n t i e r , who obt ai ned t h e i r p e l t s trinkets,

and ot her s who came by way

Some of t he Sephar­

some even becoming f u r - t r a d e r s

from I ndi ans in exchange f o r

guns, and l i q u o r .

2

A few Jews became weal t hy

1 Jacob R. Marcus, E a r l y American Jewry: The Jews o f Pennsyl vani a and the South, 1 6 5 5 - 1 7 9 0 , volume 2, ( P h i l a ­ d e l p h i a , 1 9 5 3 ) , p. 400; Rufus L e a r s i , The Jews in Ame r i ca: A H i s t o r y , ( C l e v e l a n d , 1 9 5 4 ) , pp. 34 - 3 5 . p

L e a r s i , The Jews in Ameri ca,

p.

35.

2 merchants in m e r c a n t i 11s t i c a l l y minded c o l o n i a l

Ameri ca.

The Franks f a m i l y and Aaron Lopez o f Rhode I s l a n d were we a l t h y merchants who became o f f i c i a l f o r the B r i t i s h t e r co r p s,

Crown.

commercial

o f any m i l i t a r y enterprise

Bef or e t he advent o f a qu a r t e r ma s ­ purveyors "were v i t a l

undertaking.

i n which many Jews,

particularly .

.

The Sephardim were c h i e f l y In c o l o n i a l

Ameri ca,

i mp o r t a n t p o s i t i o n

to the success

Army supply was a form of

achi eved wea l t h and i n f l u e n c e .

ism.

pur veyor s and agents

."

in Europe,

3

orthodox in t h e i r Juda­

the synagogue occupi ed a most

in the Jewish community.

Unlike

Europe, t he Jewish community in America was not a c h a r t e r e d corporation. legally relation

It

possessed no s p e c i f i c

r eco gni z ed by the S t a t e ; to i t s

and i t

component membership.

rights;

it

had no power in Whereas a Jewish

community in a European town coul d c o n t r o l

the r i g h t of

s e t t l e m e n t and the r i g h t t o e s t a b l i s h a bu s i n e s s , collect

taxes,

and even had i t s

laws were a u t h o r i t a t i v e ,

was not

could

own laws where r a b b i n i c

no such " k ahal " or "gemeinde"

3j acob R. Marcus, E a r l y American Jewry: The Jews of New England and Canada, 1 5 4 9 - 1 7 9 4 , v. 1, ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 65. The Frankses were al so engaged in the "t ea t r a d e , " shipped lumber to the West I n d i e s , d e a l t in b i l l s o f exchange, and o u t f i t t e d ships f o r p r i v a t e e r i n g .

3 (community) e x i s t e d i n Ameri ca,

The Jew belonged to the

Jewish community "because he wanted to be l on g. Though t h e r e were few formal

edifices

Ark ( u s u a l l y a r e n t e d room s u f f i c e d ) , created several The ce me t e r y , institution

institutions

housed the Holy

t he Jewish community

t h a t served i t s

or House o f L i f e ,

.

constituency.

was u s u a l l y t he f i r s t

c r e a t e d by t he Jewish community i n a town;

sometimes i t

would be al most a c e n t u r y b e f o r e t he synagogue

would be e r e c t e d . gogue.

that

.

P h i l a n t h r o p y was an a d j u n c t of the syna­

Alms were pai d out of t he c o n g r e g a t i o n a l

treasury

and t he amounts expended sometimes reached al most 25 per cent of t h e Jewish community' s budget .

5

The p r e s i d e n t of

t he synagogue would di spense funds to "messengers" from Palestine,

hel p poor i t i n e r a n t s

adequate p r o v i s i o n

through town,

f o r t he l o c a l

poor ,

sick,

and make and aged,®

Anot her a d j u n c t o f the synagogue was the r e l i g i o u s s c hool .

The New York and Newpor t,

communities had b u i l d i n g s

f o r s c hoo l s.

c o n s i s t e d o f Hebrew and r e l i g i o u s

pp.

4j acob R. Marcus, 432-434. ®I b i d . , pp. ®Ibid.

Rfiode I s l a n d Jewish The c u r r i c u l u m

training

i n the a l l - d a y

E a r l y American J e w r y , volume 2

482-484.

s c hoo l s ;

after

1755,

R' s" were o f f e r e d . instruction.

Yet,

Spanish and the t r a d i t i o n a l

"three

By 1762, Engl i sh was t h e language of d e s p i t e t he c r i t i c a l

need f o r r e l i g i o u s

training

and Jewish e d u c a t i o n ,

t he Jewish community in

colonial

America did not do much about i t .

One h i s t o r i a n

o f the American Jewish community surmises t h a t t he " syna­ gogue di d not see i t t he c h i l d r e n ;

rather,

as one of i t s

f u n c t i o n s t o educate

the t ask was t he r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of

the p a r e n t . " ^ A f t e r 1725 most Jews coming t o t he c o l o n i e s were from C e n t r a l

or East er n Europe; t hese were t he Ashkenazim.

Though t he e n t i r e Jewish p o p u l a t i o n i n t he t h i r t e e n ni es

di d not exceed a few hundred,

colo­

the Ashkenazim and

Sephardim q u a r r e l e d amongst t hemsel v es .

The Ashkenazim

were f o r c ed to pray w i t h the Sephardim.

Fami l y d i s p u t e s ,

busi ness j e a l o u s i e s ,

and p r i v a t e

the synagogue d i s s e n s i o n . a part

O

Religious

in t he cl ashes o f c o l o n i a l

kenazim i n P h i l a d e l p h i a

pp.

' i P i d . , pp. 37-38.

pp.

®Jacob R. Marcus, 71-73.

feuds were behind much of "differences"

pl ayed

days; one y e a r t he Ash­

held s e p a r a t e High Holy Day

462-464; L e a r s i,

The Jews in A me r i c a ,

E a r l y American J e w r y , volume 2,

services.

g

religionist

The Sephardim r e t o r t e d in England:

in a l e t t e r

to a co­

"The new Jews ar e a pl a gu e .

.

.

.

Pray pr e v e n t what i s i n y o ur power to h i n d e r any more of t h a t s o r t to come. Savannah,

.

.

.

One m i n i s t e r who v i s i t e d

Georgia wr ot e :

Some Jews i n Savannah complained to me the o t h e r day t h a t the Spanish and Portuguese Jews p e r s ecu t e the German Jews i n a way no C h r i s t i a n would per secut e another C h r i s t i a n . . . . They want to b u i l d a syna­ gogue, but t he Spanish and German Jews c a n ' t come to terms. . . . The Spanish and Portuguese are not s t r i c t i n s o f a r as e a t i n g i s concerned. . . . They e a t , f o r i n s t a n c e , the beef t h a t comes from t he warehouse. . . . The German Jews, on t h e o t h e r hand, would r a t h e r s t a r v e than e a t meat t hey di d not s l a u g h t e r themse l ve s . ^ ^ A new wave o f German-Jewish e m i g r a t i o n to t he Uni t ed States

began a f t e r

Napol eoni c Wars, ously. tried

the Congress o f Vi enna.

t he Jews o f Ger many- Aust r i a l i v e d

Joseph t he Second, to a l l e v i a t e

On Oct ober 21,

P r i o r t o the precari­

successor of Mari a Ther esa,

the c o n d i t i o n o f the Jews in t he Empire.

1781,

he decreed t h a t Jews no l o nge r were

r e q u i r e d to wear a d i s t i n c t i v e

si gn or dress in a p a r t i c u ­

l a r manner; t hey were accorded per mi ssi on to e n r o l l

in

Si b i d . ^ QI b i d . IT Abraham J . Karp, e d . . The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The C o l o n i a l E x p e r i e n c e , volume 1, (Waltham, 1 9 6 9 ) , pp. x x - x x i .

public

schools and u n i v e r s i t i e s .

to l e a s e l and f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l not employ G e n t i l e l a b o r ) , trades,

arts,

Too,

t hey were now abl e

purposes

(though they could

and engage i n t he mechanical

and commerce.

On December 10,

1781,

ished the i n i q u i t o u s

poll-tax

l e v i e d a g a i n s t Jews.

i ssued on January 2,

1782,

he d e c l a r e d t h a t a l l

subjects--without d istin ctio n

he a b o l ­ He

t he T o i e r a n z - P a t e n t , in which as to

creed or n a t i o n a l i t y - - c o u l d share in t he w e l f a r e and f r e e ­ dom of t he c o un t r y . the armed f o r c e s ,

Jews were gi ven t he r i g h t to serve in

and a l l

economic p r o h i b i t i o n s were a b r o ­

gat ed, ^ 2 Less than a decade a f t e r

t he pr omul gat i on o f the

T o i e r a n z - P a t e n t , Joseph the Second di ed and Fr anci s the F i r s t ascended the t h r o n e . being a t t a c k e d by France.

In 1792, when A u s t r i a was F r an ci s abrogat ed a l l

the laws

about t he Jews, and new h u m i l i a t i o n s were heaped upon them. Though many were i nt ended as p e t t y annoynances, speci al

t ax on wi ne,

candl es,

and meat,

o t he r s r e s t r i c t e d

the r i g h t s o f the Jews as to pl ace o f r e s i d e n c e , and i n t e r f e r e n c e muni t y.

in t he i n t e r n a l

affairs

such as the

ma r r i a g e ,

o f the Jewish com­

Jews could not have music on Chanukah, or dance on

l^Max L . Ma r g o l i f and Al exander Marx, A H i s t o r y o f the Jewish Peopl e, ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 2 7 ) , pp. 54 6- 5 48.

Purim;

t hey had to t a ke an ex ami na t i on on r e l i g i o n ,

ex ami na t i on based on Herz Homberg's Bene Zi on

the

(1810).

13

Jews were r e q u i r e d to serve in t he armed f o r c e s though they could not become

o f f i c e r s .

Nap ol eo n' s d e f e a t brought about t he ne gat i on of e l e ­ mentary human r i g h t s which he had i n t r o d u c e d i n t he con­ quered

l

a

n

d

s

.

In June,

1815, a r e s o l u t i o n was proposed

to t he Congress o f Vienna which r ead: The Congress o f the A l l i e s w i l l co n s i d e r how the c i v i l improvement o f those p r o f e s s i n g t he Jewish f a i t h in Germany i s t o be e f f e c t e d in t he most harmonious man­ n e r , and how in p a r t i c u l a r t h e enjoyment o f c i v i l r i g h t s , and p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n c i v i l d u t i e s , may be secured to them. The r i g h t s a l r e a d y conceded them in the s e v e r a l f e d e r a t e d s t a t e s w i l l be c o n t i n u e d . The r e s o l u t i o n

sounded pr omi si ng.

But a d e l e g a t e from

Bremen proposed t he a l t e r a t i o n o f the word " i n " t he l a s t

s e nt e nc e .

i mp o r t a n c e ,

for all

The change i n language was o f c r u c i a l ameliorations

R e v o l u t i o n , were rendered "rights

to " b y , "

and p r i v i l e g e s "

null

i n t r o d u c e d a f t e r the

and v o i d .

had been

Since those

gr ant ed by t he f e d e r a t e d

1 3 l b i d . , pp. 6 2 4 - 6 2 5 .

14ibid. ^5por a more d e t a i l e d d i s c u s s i o n , Three.

see Chapter

in

States,

it

was t h e i r

mentary r i g h t s ,

r i g h t t o t a k e them away.^®

Denied e l e ­

and faced w i t h t he pr ospect o f no r e l i e f

from M e t t e r n i c h and o t h e r i n f l u e n t i a l Holy A l l i a n c e n a t i o n s ,

politicians

o f t he

many German Jews e mi g r a t e d to t he

Uni t ed S t a t e s . I n 1820, native-born,

t he Jewish community i n Ameri ca was l a r g e l y

small

much a s s i m i l a t e d

i n number, E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g ,

i n t o the American mai nst r eam.

di c community i n America o f t e n

The Sephar-

l ooked upon t he " i n e l e g a n t

newcomers w i t h condescensi on or i r r i t a t i o n . " i g nor e the newcomers

and very

Unable to

( t h e i r consci ences and C h r i s t i a n

nei ghbors p r o h i b i t e d them from doing s o ) ,

t he small

Jewish

community came to t h e i r a i d . ^ ^ In t he decade b e f or e t h e C i v i l

War,

t he l a r g e number

of i mmi grants coming to the Uni t e d St a t e s as a r e s u l t of the f a i l u r e

o f t h e R e v o l u t i o n s of 1848 posed g r e a t problems

f o r t he small

e s t a b l i s h e d Jewish community.

The synagogue,

which had f o r m a l l y been the c e n t e r o f p h i l a n t h r o p i c ties,

coul d not cope w i t h the l a r g e

The l o c a l

o f i mmi g r a n t s .

Hebrew Benevol ent S o c i e t y performed a v a r i e t y

^^ Ma r g ol i s and Marx, p.

influx

Rufus L e a r s i ,

nf

A H i s t o r y o f t he Jewish Peopl e,

633. 17

activi­

The Jews in Ameri ca,

p.

66.

9 charitable

functions;

in t he l a r g e r c e n t e r s o f Jewish l i f e ,

numerous i ndependent c h a r i t a b l e s o c i e t i e s devot ed to a s p e c i a l t he d i s t r i b u t i o n

field,

o f f ood,

a r o s e , each

such as the car e o f orphans,

fuel

and c l o t h i n g

to the poor,

and f i n d i n g employment f o r the newly a r r i v e d Free loan s o c i e t i e s

i mmi gr ant s.

were e s t a b l i s h e d to hel p t he needy

toward s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y

by advancing i n t e r e s t - f r e e

l o ans .

German-Jewish i mmi grant s were pr ovi ded w i t h t he n e c e s s i t i e s for free

religious burial

observance o f such f e s t i v a l s

societies

saw to i t

that

as Passover;

i n d i g e n t newcomers

were not deni ed a pl a c e in t he House o f L i f e insufficient earlier se l v e s

f unds.

1O

Those who emi gr at ed from Germany

hel ped the newly a r r i v e d to t he Uni t ed S t a t e s .

cultural offered

because of

groups such as t h a t

i mmi grants accustom them­

German l i t e r a r y , found in Al ba ny,

Moreover,

or d e r s had been e s t a b l i s h e d , Covenant

(B'nai

Brith)

by 1860,

^^I bi d .

fraternal

among them the Sons of the

which had a l r e a d y more than f i f t y

Or der o f Sons o f Abraham,

TSi b i d . , pp.

amongst those

national

lodges s c a t t e r e d t hr oughout t he c o u n t r y ,

75-76,

the

and Free Sons of

and

New York

the newcomers a chance f o r f e l l o w s h i p

who spoke German.

musical,

I ndependent

Israel.^®

10 The German Jews who emi gr at ed to the Uni t ed S t a t e s kept t h e i r n a t i v e speech f o r a c o n s i d e r a b l e p e r i o d . the Sephardi m,

t hey f o l l o w e d t he Ashkenazic r i t u a l ,

though many o f them j o i n e d Sephardi c synagogues, m a j o r i t y o r g a n i z e d c ongr egat i ons of t h e i r own. 1842,

Unlike and

a goodly Thus,

in

t he German-Jewish community in New York C i t y e s t a b ­

lished three congregations. to C i n c i n n a t i gation,

i n t he 1 8 4 0 ' s e s t a b l i s h e d t h e i r own congr e­

Sons o f Jeshurum.

i n Chi cago,

The Jews who came from Germany

Louisville,

The same p a t t e r n

and D e t r o i t . M o t

German Jews p r e f e r the Ashkenazi c r i t u a l , found t he e x i s t i n g

r epeat ed i t s e l f onl y di d the

many of them

synagogues p r a c t i c i n g Or thodoxy.

Many

o f t he new c o n g r e g a t i o n s p r e f e r r e d Reform Judaism. Reform Judaism was s t a r t e d in Amsterdam l a t e eighteenth century; i n Germany.

however, t he c e n t e r o f Reform was found

Advocates o f Reform Judaism b e l i e v e d t h a t the

d o c t r i n e s and p r a c t i c e s

of t r a d i t i o n a l

Judaism were no

l o n g e r germane to an e v e r - c h a n g i n g w o r l d . powerful

in the

political

and s o c i a l

struggle fo r emancipation,

pp.

74- 75

f or c es a s s o c i a t e d wi t h the

Reform Judaism because a t t r a c ­

t i v e t o many Jews in c e n t r a l

ZOlbid.,

Coupled w i t h

Europe.

If

Jews were to be

11

equal

citizens,

then i t was i m p e r a t i v e t h a t t h e i r r e l i g i o n

not t h w a r t or r e t a r d the emanci pat i on pr ocess.

I ndee d,

Reform r e j e c t e d or r e i n t e r p r e t e d the d o c t r i n e s which r e f l e c t e d the p a r t i c u l a r i s t c h a r a c t e r o f the a n c i e n t f a i t h and prayed f o r the n a t i o n a l peopl e.

Traditional

restoration

o f the Jewish

Judaism emphasized the " s e l e c t i v e n e s s "

o f the Jewish p e o p l e , Jews as punishment f o r

and looked upon t he d i s p e r s i o n o f the its

sins.

To t he Reform el ement

t h i s was i n c o m p a t i b l e wi t h t he g r a n t i n g o f c i v i l cal

rights.

Reform Jews;

and p o l i t i ­

D i v i n e s e l e c t i o n was not r e p u d i a t e d by the t he d i s p e r s i o n was viewed by Reform Jews as

that condition

by which Jews coul d show non-Jews " t he Uni t y

o f God and His law o f r i gh t e o us n e s s and p u r i t y . "

Reform

Jews advocated the d o c t r i n e o f t he "Mi ssi on o f I s r a e l . " The personal

pI

Messiah was r e p l a c e d wi t h the coming of the

Messi a ni c Age i n which t he d i v i n e law o f j u s t i c e would be honored u n i v e r s a l l y .

Too,

to Reform; t hey b e l i e v e d i t the Mi ssi on o f I s r a e l .

national

r e s t o r a t i o n was anathema

to be d i r e c t l y

The r e s t o r a t i o n meant t h a t Jews

were onl y temporary r e s i d e n t s o f a c o u n t r y ; case,

c o n t r a d i c t o r y to

t he Reform quest i oned whether i t

if

such was the

was f i t t i n g

^^I b i d . , pp. 11 3 - 1 1 4 ; W. Gunther P l a u t , Reform Judai sm, (New Yor k, 1 9 6 5 ) , pp. 8 - 9 .

and

The Growth of

12 pr oper f o r t hese temporary r e s i d e n t s to ask or demand equal rights.

I n d e e d , as t he C h a r l e s t o n ,

community l e a d e r s d e c l a r e d : t h i s c i t y our J e r u sal em, By the m i d - 1 8 4 0 ' s ,

South C a r o l i n a Jewish

"Thi s co un t r y i s our P a l e s t i n e ,

t h i s House o f God our Temple. t h e r e were some f o r t y o r ga ni z e d

Jewish c o n g r e g a t i o n s i n t he Uni t ed S t a t e s . life

th at prevailed

habitual

i n almost a l l

o f them was c h a o t i c .

"The

indecorum o f t he synagogue was u s u a l l y in e v i ­

d e n c e . "^3

Very few Jews in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s b e n e f i t t e d

from a Jewish e d u c a t i o n .

There were onl y si x r e l i g i o u s

schools t o teach Jewish c h i l d r e n . gener al

The r e l i g i o u s

"The school

was in a d e p l o r a b l e c o n d i t i o n .

system i n

Religious

t i o n was i mpar t ed one hour a week by t he l a d i e s . Attempts with h o s t i l i t y ,

.

.

."24

to remedy these d e p l o r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s met jealousy,

and a

desire

on t h e p a r t of many

Jewish c o n g r e g a t i o n s t o remain autonomous. I saac L e e s e r ,

instruc­

In 1841,

Rabbi

a German immi grant who became the Orthodox

l e a d e r o f t he P h i l a d e l p h i a Jewish community and who had

77

Rufus L e a r s i ,

The Jews in A m e r i c a , pp.

23james G. H e l l e r , I saac M. Wise: Th ought s, (New Yor k, 1 9 6 5 ) , p. 103.

lipson,

114-116.

His L i f e ,

Z^i saac M. Wise, Remi ni scences, e d . , (New Yor k, 1 9 7 3 ) , p. 85.

Work and

by David P h i l -

13 p u b l i s h e d a Hebrew s p e l l i n g - b o o k and c a t e c h i s m,

proposed a

pl an f o r u n i f y i n g t he synagogues i n t he Uni t e d S t a t e s . believed th a t

the r e l i g i o u s

He

c o n d i t i o n o f t he Jews in

America was i n an abomi nabl e s t a t e . But what have we done, o r what do we do towards produc­ i ng a r e l i g i o u s r e n o v a t i o n in our members, o f which we a l l st and in so much need? . . . [ W] h a t e x e r t i o n s do we make now, to p e r f e c t o u r s e l v e s as a people in the observance o f t hose d u t i e s which our r e l i g i o n demands o f us? He warned t h a t a cancer was per meat i ng t he Jews o f Ameri ca, and t h a t i f religion schools? He c i t e d

no c o r r e c t i v e a c t i o n was t a k e n ,

and way o f l i f e

would d i s a p p e a r .

Where are our t eacher s?

Judaism as a "Where ar e our

Where a r e our c o l l e g e s ? "

t he need f o r c o l l e c t i v e a c t i o n :

But i f we combine our e f f o r t s , c a l l each o t h e r to coun­ c i l . . . the work w i l l go b r a v e l y on. . . . Above a l l t h i n g s , union is r e q u i s i t e ; a union of h e a r t , a union of a c t i o n . . . . 25 Leeser e n v i s i o n e d t he union o f a l l ites

under a "Common E c c l e s i a s t i c a l

C o u n c i l , " which would

have the power to s u p e r v i s e t h e s p i r i t u a l v a r i o us c o n g r e g a t i o n s ,

American I s r a e l ­

affairs

t he power to e s t a b l i s h

o f the

sc h o o l s ,

t he power to convene p e r i o d i c assembl i es o f de pu t i es

pp.

25i h e O c c i d e n t , 7 / 1 6 / 1 8 4 3 , 361-364.

pp.

293-296;

and

of a l l

11/1843,

14 American c o n g r e g a t i o n s . ^ ^ never adopt ed.

Leeser's

however, was

The Sephardim were most appr ehensi ve about

th e ir minority position proposed C o u n c i l .

v i s a v i s t he Ashkenazim in the

The e l d e r s o f the l e a d i n g Sephar di c

synagogue,

Shearith

invitation

to p a r t i c i p a t e ,

followed s u i t .

plan,

Israel,

t h e r e fo re declined Leeser's and o t h e r Sephar di c co ng r eg at i ons

The l e a d i n g Reform c o n g r e g a t i o n ,

declined to p a r t i c i p a t e

in Leeser' s council

Emanu-El,

because Leeser

wished to f o l l o w t he Sephar di c p a t t e r n o f the r e l i g i o u s liturgy

i n s t e a d o f t h e Ashkenaz i c. Leeser t r i e d

i n 1849 w i t h Rabbi t h a t t he c r e a t i o n

agai n i n 1845 and 1849.

He was a l l i e d

I saac Mayer Wise o f Albany who b e l i e v e d o f such an " E c c l e s i a s t i c a l

a i d hi s a t t e m p t to u n i t e

Counci l " would

Reform Jews in t he U n i t e d S t a t e s .

Wise announced t h a t a meet i ng would be hel d in June, to c o n s i d e r L e e s e r ' s

proposal.

At t he same time t he d e l e ­

gates would a l s o c o n s i d e r Wi se' s

proposal

haq A me r i c a , a r e v i s e d p r a y e r book t h a t number o f changes in r i t u a l

and s e r v i c e .

the c r e a t i o n o f a union o f co ng r e g a t i ons by chosen d e l e g a t e s whi ch,

it

^ ^ The O c c i d e n t , 7 / 1 8 4 5 , 227.

1849

f o r a uni f orm Mi n-

introduced a gr eat Wise e n v i s i o n e d to be r e p r e s e n t e d

was hoped, would e r a d i c a t e the

pp.

169-176; 8/1845,

pp.

217-

15 spr e adi ng di sease amongst t he Jews o f Ameri ca: the want o f ' p r a y e r c o n c e r t , ' t e acher s in Jewish school s who l acked pr oper q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , t he dear t h o f 'good' sc h o o l s , no knowledge among Jews o f t h e i r own h i s t o r y or o f the e s s e n t i a l s o f t h e i r r e l i g i o n ; no a u t h o r i t y in Jewish l i f e to which to r e f e r q u e s t i o n s ; no i n s t i t u t i o n s or means to i n s t r u c t poor c h i l d r e n ; the absence o f pr oper devot i on in homes and syna­ g o g u e s . 27 Wise and Leeser agreed t h a t the l a t t e r would advo­ c a t e t h e p r o j e c t in P h i l a d e l p h i a and i n the West and South; Wise was to "make propaganda f o r East ,

it"

i n New York and the

Wise went to New York C i t y and c o n f e r r e d wi t h Rabbi

Max L i l i e n t h a l Lilienthal

and Leo Merzbacher o f Temple Emanu-El.

f a v or e d the p r o p o s a l ; Merzbacher opposed i t

on

account " o f the unpreparedness o f t he orthodox congr egat i on f o r such a movement."

Wise met wi t h f a i l u r e

in New York.

The Boards o f the v a r i o u s c ongr egat i ons r ef used to p a r t i c i ­ pate.

Sai d one:

As f a r as New Yor k, progress w i l l have to emanate from t he S o c i e t y of t he Fr i ends o f L i g h t (a Reform gr o u p ) . No o t h e r movement i s a d v i s a b l e a t p r e s e n t . Whi l e Wise f r e t t e d

i n New Yor k,

he r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r

Leeser s t a t i n g t h a t t he congr egat i ons waiting

in P h i l a d e l p h i a were

f o r t h e i r New York b r et hr en to t ake the f i r s t

27j he Oc c i d e n t ,

3/1849,

p. 581

from

step,

16 and t h a t w i t h o u t the co op e r a t i o n of New Yor k, Philadelphia uni on.

the

c o n g r e t a t i o n s would not move f o r such a

The pl an ended t h us.

28

Wise and Leeser went t h e i r s e p a r a t e ways; Wise s t i l l sought to u n i t e a l l to hi s o r i g i n a l

o f American Jewry, w h i l e Leeser clung

i dea o f an " E c c l e s i a s t i c a l

any hope of u n i t y was i l l u s o r y .

Factional

Council."

But

leaders feared

t h a t u n i t y would cost them t h e i r p r e - e mi n e n t p o s i t i o n s among t h e i r

f o l l o w e r s ; moreover,

Europe d i v e r t e d a t t e n t i o n

t h e r e v o l u t i o n s of 1848 in

from pr oposal s f o r l o c a l

Many American Jews thought t h a t the r e v o l u t i o n s , cessful,

suc­

would gi ve the Jews o f Europe the r i g h t s and p r i v i ­

leges o f f u l l

citizenship.

But the r e v o l u t i o n s f a i l e d ,

and once t he trauma

induced by the f a i l u r e o f the r e v o l u t i o n s interest

if

unity.

had subsi ded,

in some form o f union r e a wa ke ned . 29

in t he e a r l y

months o f 1855 Wise began to advocate a conf er ence o f r a b ­ bi s and concerned laymen.

The a l l e g e d purpose o f the con­

f e r e nce was to c o o r d i n a t e t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a Jewish

28wi se,

Remi ni scenc e s , pp. 8 5 - 8 6 ,

90-91.

29The O c c i a e n t , 1 2 / 1 8 4 8 , pp. 4 3 1 - 4 3 5 ; 5 / 1 8 4 9 , pp. 61 72; Max May, I saac M. Wise: Founder o f American Judai sm, (New Yor k, 1 9 1 6 ) , p. 136.

orphan asylum and a c o l l e g e .

oA

He al so wished the c o n f e r ­

ence to di scuss the de spe r a t e need f o r t e x t b o o k s , other educational

materials.With

he p u bl i s he d e d i t o r i a l s editor,

and f o r

increasing i n t e n s i t y ,

in The I s r a e l i t e , o f which he was

ur gi ng the Jews of America to u n i t e

union o f a c t i o n s and s e n t i m e n t s . "

"to cement a

In a n o t h e r a r t i c l e

he

ma i nt a i n e d t h a t : Well aware o f t he p r i n c i p l e of progress being v i t a l to Judai sm, and o f danger o f l e a v i n g t h i s p r i n c i p l e a t the d i s p o s i t i o n o f ever y i n d i v i d u a l , acknowledged [ s i c ] the r e l i g i o u s powers and r i g h t s o f a synod to make, amend and r epeal l aws, customs, ceremonies and usages, and in accordance w i t h the s p i r i t o f the Mosaic d i s p e n s a t i o n . . * 2^® must have a conf e r e nce to o r g a n i z e a synod.

The synod was to meet a t l e a s t once every t h r e e year s and its

officers

and st a n d i n g committees would have the power

to c a r r y out i t s

decisions.

The c a l l

f o r the conf e r e nce

appeared in The I s r a e l i t e o f August 17,

18 55. ^^

Bur i ed

30An orphan asylum had a l r e a d y been founded in New Or l e a n s ; t he Jews o f P h i l a d e l p h i a had secured a c h a r t e r for ac o l l e g e a t an e a r l i e r d a t e , and a Jewish group in New York was i n v e s t i g a t i n g the idea f o r one. 31 The I s r a e l i t e , 1 / 2 6 / 1 8 5 5 ,

p.

229.

32The

I s r a e l i t e , 2 / 9 / 1 8 5 5 , p.

244;

3/2/1855,

33jhe

Isra e lite ,

276;

8/17/1855,

3 / 9 / 1 8 5 5 , p.

p. p.

268. 44.

18 deep in t he c a l l

was Wi s e ' s pl an f o r a u n i f o r m Mlnhag

Amerl c a . ^4 De l e gat es to the c o n f e r e n c e convened In Cl evel and In October,

1855.

A f t e r much d e b a t e ,

upon by Leeser and Wise.

a p l a t f o r m was agreed

The p l a t f o r m c a l l e d

for

the c r e ­

a t i o n of a synod which was to be gui ded by the f o l l o w i n g p r i n c 1 pi es : (1)

The B i b l e as d e l i v e r e d to us by our f a t h e r s and as now I n our possessi on I s o f I mmedi ate divine o r i ­ gi n and t he st and ar d o f our r e l i g i o n .

( 2 ) The Talmud c o n t a i n s t he t r a d i t i o n a l , l e g a l , and l o g i c a l e x p o s i t i o n o f t he B i b l i c a l laws which must be expounded and p r a c t i c e d a c c o r d i n g to t h e com­ ments o f t h e Talmud. (3)

The r e s o l u t i o n s of the Synod In accor dance wi t h the above p r i n c i p l e s a r e l e g a l l y v a l i d .

(4)

S t a t u t e s and or di nances c o n t r a r y l an d are I n v a l i d . 35

to the laws of the

The p l a t f o r m as pr e s e nt e d to t he d e l e g a t e s was a compro­ mi se. states.

To be s u r e , Is

t he document,

as a b i o g r a p h e r o f Wise

" r a t h e r dubious and u n c l e a r . W a s

and phrase o f the B i b l e l i t e r a l l y

b1 d. ,

Wi se,

Remin1s c e n c e s , pp.

35i h e I s r a e l i t e , 1 1 / 9 / 1 8 5 5 , c e n c e s , pp. 3 1 3 - 3 1 4 . ^^Heller,

Inspired?

I s a a c M. Wi se,

p.

p.

Were the

307-308.

148;

293.

ev e r y word

Wise,

Remi nl s-

19 d e c i s i o n s as s e t f o r t h Jews?

in t he Talmud bi ndi n g upon a l l

Mor eover , was the Shulchan Aruch to be t he d e f i n i ­

t i v e a u t h o r i t y on t h e Talmud? final

arbiter?

In essence,

f o r on the one hand i t authority;

Or was Maimonides to be the

t he p l a t f o r m i s c o n t r a d i c t o r y ,

says t h a t the Talmud i s t he bi ndi ng

on t h e o t h e r hand, were the Jews o f America to

d i s r e g a r d Mai moni des, codes i n t e r p r e t i n g

t he Shulchan A r u c h , or one of the

the Talmud?

Leeser and Wise agreed to such a p l a t f o r m because t hey i n t e r p r e t e d

the p l a t f o r m as t hey saw f i t .

That l i t t l e

e l s e was accompl i shed a t t he C l e v e l a nd Conf er ence mat t e r e d

ve r y l i t t l e

t o the d e l e g a t e s ;

t he Synod would deci de

qu e s t i on s o f i mport ance a t a l a t e r Soon a f t e r attacks

d a t e .

37

t he d e l e g a t e s depar t ed from C l e v e l a n d ,

upon t he proceedi ngs appeared in t he Jewish pr ess.

Leeser accused t he "Reformers" o f p e r p e t r a t i n g a f r a u d , bei ng w i l l i n g

t o si gn t h e i r names to a se t o f p r i n c i p l e s

in which they n e i t h e r b e l i e v e d nor were w i l l i n g upon.

Mor eover ,

A me r i c a , f o r

of

to ac t

Leeser adamant l y opposed Wi se' s Minhag

he t hought t h a t Wise would omi t any r e f e r e n c e

to t he or t hodox d o c t r i n e s o f a personal

37wi se,

Remi ni s c enc es, p.

315.

Messi ah,

the

20 restoration,

or o f s a c r i f i c i a l

wo r sh i p.

Leaser was not t he onl y one to a t t a c k the pr oceed­ ings.

Rabbis David Einhorn o f B a l t i mo r e and Samuel

o f New York a t t a c k e d the p l a t f o r m .

Adl e r

They b e l i e v e d t h a t Juda­

ism r e s t e d upon a pur e l y r a t i o n a l , " n a t u r a l " basi s w i t h o u t some d o c t r i n e of r e v e l a t i o n ;

t h a t Judaism c o n s i s t e d of the

"axioms

the B i b l e was s y m b o l i c a l ; and

that

o f t he human mind";

"Reform was the e s s e n t i a l

dary."

3q

matter,

Judaism i s secon-

P r o t e s t s a g a i n s t t he Cl evel and Conference came

from B a l t i m o r e ,

New Yor k, and C h a r l e s t o n .

The proposed

synod was s t i l l b o r n . All

at t empt s to u n i f y the Jewish community f o r i t s

own sake bogged down i mmedi at el y and c o mp l e t e l y in f a c ­ tionalism. partial

unity,

was p a s t . crisis.

Crisis

situations

u s u a l l y c r e a t e d a t empor ar y,

though even t h a t d i s s o l v e d once t he c r i s i s

The Damascus A f f a i r o f 1840 was the f i r s t It

i n v o l v e d the impri sonment and t o r t u r e

such

in Syr i a

38f h e I s r a e l i t e , 9 / 4 / 1 8 5 7 , p. 69. Leeser cl ashed wi t h Wise over the l e t t e r ' s proposal f o r a Min ha g America some seven y e ar s e a r l i e r . See The O c c i d e n t , J u l y , 1855, pp. 1 5 8 f f . ^ ^ H e l l e r , I saac M. Wi se, pp. 2 9 4 - 2 9 5 ; Ma r g o l i s and Marx, A H i s t o r y of t he Jewish P e o p l e , p. 677; Wise, Rémi­ n i s c e n c e s , pp. 3 1 9 - 3 2 0 .

21 o f a group o f Jews on an a n c i e n t c a n a r d - - r i t u a l Samuel

and though he was a member of t h a t

Joseph was unable to hold t he p r o t e s t meet­

ing a t hi s own synagogue.

Joseph was f i n a l l y

the meeting a t an ot h er templ e where t h i r t e e n

a b l e to hold representa­

from as many synagogues act ed as v i c e - p r e s i d e n t s

the meet i ng.

They r e s o l v e d to p e t i t i o n

Van Buren to d i r e c t Pasha . . .

hi s Consul

.

.

of

President Martin

in Egypt to "i nduce the

to m a n i f e s t more l i b e r a l

Jewish s u b j e c t s .

t r e a t m e n t toward hi s

S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e John Forsyt h

informed t he p e t i t i o n e r s

t h a t t he P r e s i d e n t had a l r e a d y

directed

him to i n s t r u c t t he Consul

Glidden,

to "employ,

good o f f i c e s

a

but t he Board o f Tr us t ee s of S h e a r i t h

di s a p p r o v e d ,

congregation,

tives

^0

I . Joseph o f New York formed a committee to c a l l

p r o t e s t meet i ng, Israel

m urder.

a t A l e x a n d r i a , John

shoul d t he occasi on a r i s e ,

all

those

and e f f o r t s which ar e compat i bl e wi t h d i s c r e ­

t i o n and your o f f i c i a l

character,

to the end t h a t j u s t i c e

" R i t u a l murder" i s a l l e g e d l y t he Jewish p r a c t i c e o f using the bl ood o f a non-Jew in the perf ormance o f a r e l i g i o u s ceremony. Joseph E z e k i a l , " P e r s e c u t i o n o f t h e Jews i n 1 8 4 0 , " i n Abraham Kar p , The J e w i s h E x p e r i e n c e i n A m e r i c a : The E a r l y R e p u b l i c , vol ume 2, pp. 2 6 6 - 6 7 .

22

and humanity may be extended t o t hese pe r s ecut ed p e o p l e . .

.

."42

Mass meetings were al so hel d in P h i l a d e l p h i a ,

Cincinnati

and

R i c h m o n d . 43

These p r o t e s t s ,

o f Jewish communities abroad,

and t he c r u c i a l

o f Moses M o n t e f i o r e and Adolphe Cremi eux, British soned

and French Jewry,

J e w s .

44

been a t t a i n e d ,

added to those

l e a d e r s of

succeeded in f r e e i n g

But as soon as t h i s t he i n i t i a t i v e

interventions

t he i m p r i ­

immediate o b j e c t i v e had

toward u n i t y d i s s i p a t e d ,

and

the v a r i o u s p r o t e s t groups di d not go on to o t h e r communal enterprises

but d i s s o l v e d i n s t e a d .

In 1857, American Jews f o r t he f i r s t to use p o l i t i c a l

t i me at t empt e d

pr es sur e t o f o r c e an end to an abuse.

c e r t a i n cantons o f S w i t z e r l a n d ,

Jews,

In

i n c l u d i n g American

Jews passi ng t hrough S w i t z e r l a n d ,

were denied freedom of

d o m i c i l e and wo r s h i p.

then in f o r c e between the

The t r e a t y

Uni t ed S t a t e s and S w i t z e r l a n d d i s r e g a r d e d these act s of discrimination.

Though American Jews p r o t e s t e d r a t i f i c a t i o n

4 2 i b i d . , pp. 2 5 8 - 2 6 9 . See a l s o , Joseph Jacobs, "The Damascus A f f a i r o f 1840 and the Jews o f Ame r i c a , " in Karp, The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The E a r l y R e p u b l i c , volume 2, p. 274. 4 ^ I b i d . , pp. 4 4 i b i d . , p.

274-276. 276.

23

of th a t t r e a t y ,

their

efforts

were to no a v a i l .

45

What

aroused t he anger o f t h e Jews o f America was t h e seemi ngl y bl ase a t t i t u d e

of the United States

Government toward

Swiss d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t American Jews,

An American

Jew had i nf or med t h e Ameri can Ambassador to S w i t z e r l a n d , Theodore Fay,

t h a t he was asked to l e a v e the co u n t r y

because he was a Jewish mer cha nt .

Fay p r o t e s t e d to t h e

Swiss Feder al

Counci l

would l e t

Council;

t he Feder al

deci ded t h a t they

the Amer i can- Jewi sh merchant s t a y ,

never o f f i c i a l l y

but he was

gi ven t h e r i g h t of d o m i c i l e .

All

of t h i s

occur r ed b e f o r e t he Amer i can- Swi ss T r e a t y was r a t i f i e d all

and

o f t hese happenings were known to t he S t a t e D e p a r t ­

me n t . ^6 After r a t i f i c a t i o n

o f t he T r e a t y i n

a p p l i e d to t he Feder al

Counci l

sion f o r t he mer cha nt ,

a Mr.

Federal

Council

Uni t ed S t a t e s

o f Neufchatel

Gootman,

Fay

f o r permis­

to s t a y .

a l l o w e d Gootman to s t a y ,

rig h t of domicile.

1855,

Aga i n,

the

but deni ed him the

News o f t h e Gootman case reached the

in mid-1857,

I saac Mayer Wise began to

^^Sol S t r o o c k , " S w i t z e r l a n d and t he American Jews, " in Karp, The Jewish E x pe r i e nc e i n A me r i c a ; The Emerging Com­ muai t y , volume 3, pp. 8 9 - 9 0 . 46lbid.,

p.

95.

24 a g i t a t e a g a i n s t t he T r e a t y in The I s r a e l i t e . Agitate! C al l meet i ngs! Engage t he press i n your favor!!!! I s r a e l i t e s , freemen and c i t i z e n s ! Let not t he d i s g r a c e o f the t r e a t y . . . remain upon t he h i s ­ t o r y o f our c o u n t r y . Do not stand t he i n s u l t heaped upon t he Jewish c i t i z e n s by u n p r i n c i p l e d d i p l o m a t i s t s .

Mass meet i ngs o r ga ni z e d by groups o f Jews in B a l t i m o r e , Chi cago,

and Cl ev el a nd were h e l d ,

t r e a t y and t he d i s c r i m i n a t i o n .

demanding an end to the

But l e a de r s of t he Jewish

community i n New York r e s e nt e d Wise f o r t a k i n g t he tive

in r egar d t o t he Swiss t r e a t y ,

in itia­

and t he meeting sche­

dul ed f o r New York was so p o o r l y at t ended as to be a failure.

On August 16,

1857,

Rabbi

David Einhor;n was n o t i ­

fied that

a meet i ng had been held i n B a l t i mo r e a t which

a committee was ap po i nt e d t o communicate wi t h s i m i l a r groups p r o t e s t i n g t he t r e a t y

in o t h e r c i t i e s .

more committee recommended t h a t B a l t i m o r e on October 26,

1857,

a convent i on be hel d in and t h a t ,

would proceed to Washington to l a y t h e i r President

Buchanan.

i ssue o f October 9,

they

g r i e v a n c e bef or e printed

in i t s

t h a t t he convent i on was to be

hel d in B a l t i m o r e on Oct ober 28, resultant

en masse,

However, The I s r a e l i t e 1857,

The B a l t i ­

1857.

The conf usi on and

poor a t t e n d a n c e a t the meeting held on October 26,

47quoted in

I b i d . , p.

96.

25 prompted t h e d e l e g a t e s to send onl y a memorial j e c t to t he P r e s i d e n t . vention,

on the sub­

A few days a f t e r t he a b o r t i v e

an anonymous c a l l

con­

appeared i n t he B a l t i mo r e Sun

f o r a meet i ng in the Eden S t r e e t Synagogue, and i t was t h i s meeting t h a t Wise a t t e n d e d .

Thi s group proceeded to Wash­

i ngt on and r e c e i v e d an audi ence wi t h the P r e s i d e n t ; President existing

t o l d the d e l e g a t e s t h a t he would r e c t i f y

the the

situation.^^

Most New York Jews were out r aged by Wi se' s a c t i o n ; he had not i n v i t e d them to p a r t i c i p a t e Convent i on,

in the Ba l t i mo r e

t hey consi der ed him u n q u a l i f i e d to r e p r e s e n t

them in such m a t t e r s ,

and they would have p r e f e r r e d to plead

t h e i r case be f or e the pr oper a u t h o r i t i e s w i t h o u t demonst rat i ons and " i r r e s p o n s i b l e " Therefore,

pu bl i c

newspaper e d i t o r i a l s .

a group o f New York Jews formed a committee to

make r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s to the S t a t e Department to modi fy the existing

treaty.

They sent a small

d e l e g a t i o n to Washing­

t o n , where S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s that

they were t r y i n g t o r e c t i f y

little

t o l d the d e l eg at e s

the s i t u a t i o n and could do

more. In f a c t ,

the S t a t e Department was i n a quandary.

S w i t z e r l a n d was a l o o s e l y governed c o n f e d e r a t i o n

48l b i d . , pp. 1 03-1 04.

in which

26 each canton was i ndependent in domestic a f f a i r s in the f o r m u l a t i o n o f f o r e i g n p o l i c y .

and even

Mor eover , w i t h i n

each canton e v er y commune "enj oyed s i m i l a r l i b e r t i e s . " T r e a t i e s e n t e r e d i n t o by t he Swiss government were o f t e n i gnor ed by i n d i v i d u a l

cantons and communes, and the federal

government coul d do l i t t l e ,

if

anything,

to coerce them

i n t o adher ence. The d i s c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t t he Jews was f i n a l l y ended by t he e f f o r t s

o f Ambassador Fay and l i b e r a l

among t he Swiss t hemsel ves.

elements

Fay di d not demand t h a t

the

Swiss government f o r c e cantons and communes to guar ant ee Jews freedom o f d o m i c i l e and worshi p;

rather,

he se t about

to convi nce t he people o f S w i t z e r l a n d t h a t de n i a l freedoms was m o r a l l y wrong. t he s o c i a l

and p o l i t i c a l

He made a thorough st udy of

c o n d i t i o n s among t he Jews i n S w i t z ­

e r l a n d and in ne i ghbor i ng c o u n t r i e s , findings

in a b r i e f e n t i t l e d ,

he c i r c u l a t e d tics,

and then publ i s he d h' s

"The I s r a e l i t e

among t he cant ons.

and p r e c e d e n t s ,

statis­

he r e f u t e d t he arguments of those who and i t

b e f or e a number of cantons removed a l l In 1864 t he Swiss Federal

o f S t a t e W i l l i a m E.

Not e , " which

Through l o g i c ,

condoned d i s c r i m i n a t o r y p r a c t i c e s ,

Jews.

of such

was not long

restrictions

Counci l

against

i nf or med S e c r e t a r y

Seward t h a t i t was ready to modi fy i t s

27 t r e a t y wi t h t he Uni t ed S t a t e s and would g r a n t equal and p r o t e c t i o n tiations

to a l l

followed,

rights

c i t i z e n s o f the Uni t e d S t a t e s .

but i t was not u n t i l

1874, when the new

Swiss c o n s t i t u t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d r e l i g i o u s t he t r e a t m e n t o f a l i e n s

a federal

Nego­

l i b e r t y and made

matter,

t h a t the d i s c r i m i ­

n a t i o n e n d e d . 49 In 1858,

o u t r a g e over the Mor t ar a case s t i m u l a t e d

American Jews t o a n o t h e r a t t e m p t a t u n i f i e d a c t i o n . clergymen in I t a l y ish c h i l d ,

had kidnapped and s e c r e t l y b a p t i z e d a Jew­

Edgar Mo r t a r a o f Bologna.

Del e gat es from t we l v e

New York c o ng r e g a t i ons met on November 8 ,

1858, and deci ded

to form a group to p r o t e s t t he ki dna ppi ng. calling o f the and i t s

itself

Catholic

The group,

R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t he Uni t ed Congregati ons

Israelites

o f t he C i t y of New York, was l o o s e l y k n i t ,

f u n c t i o n was to plan and execute p r o t e s t meet i ngs .

Two weeks l a t e r ,

a mass meet i ng r esol ve d t h a t the P r e s i d e n t

of the Uni t ed S t a t e s

be urged to i n t e r v e n e on b e h a l f of the

Mor t ar a c h i l d by sendi ng an o f f i c i a l A delegation

protest

to the Pope.

from t he Uni t ed Congregati ons met wi t h S e c r e ­

t a r y o f S t a t e Louis Cass and P r e s i d e n t Buchanan,

but the

49cyrus A d l e r and A. M. M a r g o l i t h , With Firmness in the R i g h t , American D i p l o m a t i c Act i on A f f e c t i n g Jews, 18401945, (New Yor k, 1 9 4 6 ) , pp. 2 9 9 f f .

28 P r e s i d e n t d e c l i n e d t o i n t e r v e n e on t he grounds t h a t i t i s t h e s e t t l e d p o l i c y of t he U n i t e d <^ates to a b s t a i n from a l l i n t e r f e r e n c e . . . as t hey [ s i c ] expect o t h e r n a t i o n s to a b s t a i n from a l l i n t e r f e r e n c e i n the a f f a i r s o f our c o u n t r y . ^ O The Mo r t a r a Case br ought i n t o national

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s :

Israelite

Universelle

shortly th e r e a fte r ; t he Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

in 1860;

in A u s t r i a ,

being the f i r s t

in Fr a n c e ,

the A l l i a n c e

t he Angl o- J ewi s h A s s o c i a t i o n t he Judi sches A l l i a n z .

In

t he Mo r t a r a Case and the r e s u l t a n t p r o ­

te s t action

l e d to t he f o r m a t i o n o f the Board of Del egat es

of American

Israelites.

Thi s was t he successor o f the l o c a l

Uni t ed Congr egat i ons o f New York t h a t had l e d t he Mor t ar a p r o t e s t and t h e f i r s t Jewish community.

national

o r g a n i z a t i o n of the Ameri can-

51

The l e a d e r s

of a l l

t hese newly c r e a t e d n a t i o n a l

o r g a n i z a t i o n s were f o r the most p a r t

"^bbio,

and heads o f Jewish p h i l a n t h r o p i e s .

The t r a d i t i o n

Hof j ude

( t h e court J e w ) - - shtadlan

transplanted

(in

to t he Uni t ed S t a t e s .

business

,

o f the

Y i d d i s h ) - - h a d been

One o f the r e s u l t s

of

the p e r s e c u t i o n o f Jews in lands t h a t deni ed them el e me nt a r y

SOpuoted in I b i d . ,

p.

xxvii.

^^See A l l a n T a r s h i s h , "The Board of Del egat es of American I s r a e l i t e s , " in Kar p, The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The Emerging Communi t y , volume 3, pp. 1 2 3 f f .

29 r i g h t s was t he r i s e o f a succession o f i n d i v i d u a l "stood out as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s sover ei gns or a u t h o r i t i e s favor i t

between t h e i r

of a c o u n t r y ,

Jews who

peopl e and the

by whose grace and

al o ne was p o s s i b l e f o r the Jews to l i v e . " ^ ^

Jews

from Germany comprised the m a j o r i t y o f the Amer i can- Jewi sh community si n c e 1840,

and i t

was i n f l u e n t i a l

German Jews

such as Simon Wol f who c o n s t i t u t e d themsel ves t he spokesmen and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

o f the Amer i can- Jewi sh community when­

ever occasi on r e q u i r e d . power and a u t h o r i t y q u i t e wel l

I ndee d,

this

de f a c t o d e l e g a t i o n of

to " l e a d e r s o f t h e community" worked

in the U n i t e d S t a t e s because t he Jewish po. j ul a-

t i o n was q u i t e small

and,

many s t r o n g l y u n i f y i n g

despite in t e r n a l

beliefs

conflict,

and a t t i t u d e s .

f r e q u e n t arguments amongst Jews over t a c t i c s ,

shared

There were but few over

goals. The German-Jewish spokesmen f u n c t i o n e d as communal leaders

to the gener al

satisfaction

o f t he Ameri can- Jewi sh

Stephen S. Wise, C h a l l e n g i n g Year s: The A u t o b i o g r a ­ phy of Stephen Wi se, (New Yor k, 1 9 4 9 ) , pp. 2 9 2 - 2 0 3 . Jn the German s t a t e s o f the sevent eent h and e i g h t e e n t h c e n t u r i e s a number o f Jews a t t a i n e d the p r i v i l e g e d s t a t u s and t i t l e of H o f j u d e , Court Jew. Some o f t hese Jews, who amassed g r e a t f o r t u n e s as ba nk e r s , business agents and purveyors to the Ki ng, i n t e r c e d e d wi t h the Crown to o b t a i n r i g h t s and p r i v i ­ l eges f o r t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s . See Bernard M a r t i n , A H i s ­ t o r y o f Judai sm, (New York, 1 9 7 4 ) , p. 93.

30 community u n t i l

t he e q u i l i b r i u m o f t h a t community was d i s ­

t ur bed by the t h i r d and l a r g e s t Jewish m i g r a t i o n to the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

In t he year s 1880 to 1914,

a p p r o x i ma t e l y

1 , 8 9 5 , 0 0 0 Jewish immigrants came to the Uni t e d S t a t e s from Russi a, A u s t r i a - H u n g a r y , i mmi g r a t i o n in t h a t

and Roumania.

The t o t a l

per i od was 2 , 4 9 7 , 0 0 0 .

7 1 . 6 per cent were from Russi a,

Of t h i s

Jewish number

17 . 9 per cent from A u s t r i a -

Hungary, 4 . 3 per c e nt from Roumania, and 4 . 3 per cent from Western 1880,

Europe.

^3

A g r e a t s h i f t had oc c ur r e d;

p r i o r to

the Jewish i mmigrants came mostly from Western Europe,

w i t h a few from North A f r i c a

and t he Mi ddl e East ;

t he new

i mmigrants came from lands ea st o f the Bug and D n e i s t e r Ri v e r s . The new i mmi grants di d not a s s i m i l a t e e a s i l y i n t o the gener al

population;

life-style stated: cally

many i nt ended to c ont i nue t h e i r old

unaltered

in t he new l a n d.

"For though I was i n Ameri ca,

As one i mmigrant I

had l i v e d

in p r a c t i

t he same envi ronment which we brought from home.

But on the whole we were s t i l l

States,

^^Samuel I . (New York,

in our v i l l a g e

.

.

in Russia.

Joseph, Jewish I mmi gr a t i on to the Uni t ed 1 9 1 4 ) , p. 93.

S^Quoted in Joseph Rappaport, "Jewish Immigrants and World War I : A Study o f American Yi ddi sh Press R e a c t i o n s , " (Unpublished Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 5 1 ) , p. 44.

.

31 The newly a r r i v e d Jews from Russia and East er n Europe f aced ci r cumst ances and problems c o mp l e t e l y d i f f e r ­ ent from those t h a t had c o n f r o n t e d t h e i r German-Jewish pr edece ss or s.

In c o n t r a s t

to t he German Jews, t hey were

u n f a m i l i a r w i t h Western s o c i e t y and t h e r e f o r e easily

be a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o t h e i r new sur r oundi ngs

t hey wished to be, which t hey di d n o t ) . between East er n Europe and i n d u s t r i a l compared to the d i f f e r e n c e s Europe and p r e - i n d u s t r i a l

(even i f

The d i f f e r e n c e s

America were huge

between p r e - i n d u s t r i a l

Western

Ameri ca.

The new i mmi grant ' ' a r r i v a l minimal

could not

de st r oy ed t he a l r e a d y

cohesi veness o f t he Ameri can- Jewi sh community.

Many n a t i v e and n a t u r a l i z e d American Jews l ooked wi t h apprehensi on and d i s d a i n on t h e i r fearing

i mmi grant c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s ,

t h a t t hese l ess advanced i mmi grants would j e o p a r ­

d i z e t h e i r own p o s i t i o n

in American s o c i e t y .

With but very

few e x c e p t i o n s - - n o t a b l y Simon Wolf and Benjamin F r a n k l i n P e i x o t t o - - t h e American Jewish community i n t he pe r i o d 1870 to 1890 at t empt ed to deny t he immi grants admi ssi on to the Uni t ed S t a t e s or " g r u d g i n g l y r e c e i v e d " Del egat es of American I s r a e l i t e s

felt

them.

The Board of

t h a t the American

Jewish community was i n c a p a b l e o f c a r i n g f o r the mass of

32

i m m i g r a n t s . 55

The Uni t ed Hebrew C h a r i t i e s ,

f o r t he purpose o f p r o v i d i n g r e l i e f

c r e a t e d in 1874

to needy Jews,

returned

to Europe many Jews who were not a b l e to make a l i v i n g . Moreover, t h e f i n a n c i a l

pani c o f t he 1 8 7 0 ' s added to t he

f e a r s o f the e s t a b l i s h e d American Jewish community. I saacs of the Uni t ed Hebrew C h a r i t i e s

Mayer

stated:

The d i s p a t c h o f poor emi gr ant s to America has long con­ s t i t u t e d a burden and u n j u s t t a x upon our l a r g e c i t i e s . . . . Complaints c o n t i n u e t h a t i t i s h a b i t u a l wi t h b e nev ol e nt o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n c e r t a i n c i t i e s i n Europe to d i s pa t c h u t t e r l y h e l p l e s s Jewish f a m i l i e s to A me r i c a - onl y t o become a burden upon our c h a r i t i e s . 56 The f l o o d o f emi gr ant s from Russia caused much d i s ­ sensi on between American and European r e l i e f

societies.

There were wide d i f f e r e n c e s o f o p i n i o n as to t h e pr oper allocation

of funds and as t o the methods o f r e c e i v i n g

and

c a r i n g f o r t he i mmigrants between t he Hebrew Emi grant Aid S o c i e t y and such o r g a n i z a t i o n s as the London Committee,

t he A l l i a n c e

the German C e n t r a l

55bouis p . 1 564.

Israelite

Mansion House

U n i v e r s e l l e o f Fr ance,

Committee and the Vienna Committee of

Finkelstein,

ed..

The Jews,

(New Yor k,

1956),

55quoted in Est her L= P o n i t z , "The P o l a r i t y of Ameri ­ can Jewish A t t i t u d e s toward I mmi g r a t i o n ( 1 8 7 0 - 1 8 9 0 ) , " in Karp, The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The Era of Immi­ g r a t i o n , volume 4, pp. 4 0 - 4 1 .

33 t he

A

l

l

l

a

n

c

e

.

5

7

The American Jewish community wanted

t h e i r European c o u n t e r p a r t s t o t a ke car e as to which emi ­ gr an t s were to go t o America and to pr ov i de enough f i n a n ­ cial

assistance f o r t h e i r settle ment.

bach o f t he H . E . A . S .

told

Thus,

Edward L a u t e r -

a meet i ng o f r e l i e f o r g a n i z a t i o n s

in Vi enna: We would r e c e i v e no more emi gr an t s except i n a few e x c e p t i o n a l i n s t a n c e s , c o n f i n e d to those now a t Brody, who coul d not be r e p a t r i a t e d and who could not be d i s ­ posed o f i n some European or non-American community, and these should be s e n t , wi t h such sums and upon such c o n d i t i o n s onl y as should be ex act ed by the HEAS, and o n l y a f t e r t he expr ess consent o f t h a t S o c i e t y had been o b t a i n e d .58 Antagonism toward t he newly a r r i v e d was r e l i e v e d

i mmi grant Jews

somewhat by t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f the Baron

de Hi r sch

Fund in 1889.

American Jews could no l o n g e r c a t e ­

gorically

state

financial

burden which l a r g e - s c a l e

t h a t t hey al o ne were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the i mmi g r a t i o n imposed.

Yet,

they di d not wish to see many more i mmi grants come to the United S t a t e s .

Oscar S t r a u s ,

later

Commerce under Theodore R o o s e v e l t , him t h a t

to become S e c r e t a r y of wr ot e to Hi r sch warni ng

the fund was not in any way to f o s t e r or encourage

5 7 i b i d . , pp.

42-43.

5^Quoted in G i l b e r t Osof sky, "The HEAS o f t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , 1 8 8 1 - 1 8 8 3 , " in Karp, The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The Era o f I m m i g r a t i o n , volume 4, p. 83.

34 f u r t h e r e m i g r a t i o n from Europe. the f u n d ,

If

such was t he i n t e n t of

then he wanted no p a r t o f i t . ^ 9

Though many German Jews would have p r e f e r r e d the new i mmi grant s to s t a y i n Europe, sion,

self-interest,

p r e s c r i b e d a i d once t hey had

if

not compas­

arrived.GO

Unp r o t e c t e d and u n d i r e c t e d , many immi grants w i l l n a t u ­ r a l l y f a l l i n t o bad a s s o c i a t i o n s and d i s g r a c e . . . the Jewish communi t y. 61 Augustus A. Society,

Levey,

S e c r e t a r y o f t he Hebrew Emi grant Aid

observed t h a t t h e Russian Jews'

way o f l i f e

in

t h e i r ol d homeland has stamped upon them t he i n e f f a c e a b l e mark o f perma­ nent pauperi sm. Only d i s g r a c e and a l o we r i n g of o p i ni o n in which American I s r a e l i t e s ar e hel d . . . can r e s u l t from t he cont i nue d r e s i d e n c e among us o f the wretches. To avoi d d i s g r a c e and shame,

Levey urged t h a t the i mmi grants

be hel ped. G2

G^sheldon M. N e u r i n g e r , "American Jewry and Uni t ed S t a t e s I mmi g r a t i o n P o l i c y , 1 8 8 1 - 1 9 5 3 , " ( Unpubl i shed Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n . U n i v e r s i t y o f Wi sconsi n, 1 9 6 9 ) , p. 17. ^^Jacob Neusner, "The Impact o f I mmi g r a t i o n and P h i l a n t h r o p y upon t he Boston Jewish Community, 1 8 8 1 - 1 9 1 4 , " in Karp, The Jewish Exper i ence in Ameri ca: The Er a of Immi­ g r a t i o n , volume 4, pp. 8 7 - 9 1 .

States

G1Quoted i n N e u r i n g e r , "American Jewry and Uni t ed I mmi gr a t i on P o l i c y , " pp. 9 - 1 0 . 62 Quoted i n

I b i d . , p.

15.

35 If

a v o i d i n g di s gr a c e was the pr i mar y end, one of the

most e f f i c i e n t means appeared to be r a p i d A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n o f t he immigrants through e d u c a t i o n . the Edu cat i ona l

Alliance,

Institutions

such as

l o c a t e d on the l ower East Side of

New Yor k, were founded by German Jews.

T h e i r o b j e c t i v e was

to er ase ever y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f the East ern European Jew t h a t marked him as an a l i e n . cation A ll ia n c e cational,

social

Its

scope was d e f i n e d by Edu­

l e a de r s as being " o f an A m e r i c a n i z i n g , and humanizing c h a r a c t e r . "

I ndeed,

edu­

the

founders o f these schools were t r y i n g to mold t he East Euro­ pean Jews in the image o f the American Jew of German de s c e nt , little

totally

d i s r e g a r d i n g the f a c t t h a t the two had

i n common except t h e i r r e l i g i o n ,

religious

p r a c t i c e s o f the East ern European Jews were looked

upon by many German Jews wi t h scorn. Jews were de r i d e d f o r t h e i r general Yi ddi sh speech, their

it

The East European " med i e v a l i s m, "

t h e i r o u t l a n d i s h appearance,

u n f a m i l i a r mode o f r e l i g i o u s

wrote t h a t

and t h a t even the

their

as wel l

expression.

as f o r

One observer

would have been b e t t e r to "send Ameri can-

Jewi sh m i s s i o n a r i e s to Russia to c i v i l i z e

them t h e r e r a t h e r

than g i v e them an o p p o r t u n i t y to r u s s i a n i z e us, . .

G3quoted in I b i d . , p. 7, For a study of the Educa­ t i o n a l A l l i a n c e , see S. P. Rudens, "A H a l f - C e n t u r y of Com­ munity S e r v i c e ; The St or y of t he New York Educat i onal A l l i a n c e , " American Jewish Yearbook, ( 1 9 4 4 - 1 9 4 5 ) , pp. 7 3 - 8 6 .

36 The "Uptown Jews," as th , âu.

an- Jewi sh

r e s e n t f u l l y c a l l e d t h e i r Germanic b r e t h r e n , them,

immigrants

t r i e d t o guide

to t each them American customs and manners, so t h a t

t hey would not embarrass the Jewish community as a whol e. A d u l t Jewish immi grants l e a r n e d

"t he p r i v i l e g e s

and d u t i e s

o f American c i t i z e n s h i p " ; youngst er s were i n s t r u c t e d in such c l a s s e s as c i v i c s , vocational Alliance,

education

American h i s t o r y ,

c o u r s e s .

64

English,

Moreover,

and

the Educat i onal

in c o n j u n c t i o n wi t h o t h e r p u b l i c a g e nc i e s ,

co-sponsored p h y s i c a l spearean p l a y s ,

fitness

programs,

concerts,

Shake­

and l e c t u r e s .

The speaki ng o f Yi dd i s h i n s i d e the w a l l s o f t he E du c a t i ona l ance' s

A l l i a n c e b u i l d i n g was f o r b i d d e n ;

the A l l i ­

P e o p l e ' s Synagogue conducted r e l i g i o u s

Hebrew or G e r m a n . A n y t h i n g

services

t h a t smacked o f a l i e n

in

ideol­

ogy or p r a c t i c e was anathema t o t he German-Jewish Amer i cans.GG

G4Moses R i s c h i n , The Promised C i t y : 1 8 7 0 - 1 9 1 4 , (Cambri dge, 1 9 6 2 ) , pp. 1 0 1 - 1 0 3 ,

New Y o r k ' s Jews,

G^i b i d . See a l s o , " I n t e r v i e w wi t h Yonathan Shapi r o, " Tape #525, ( T r a n s c r i p t , pp. 3 - 4 ) , i n possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. I n t e r v i e w wi t h Yonathan S h a p i r o , " ( T r a n s c r i p t , pp. 3 - 4 ) .

Tape 525,

37 With t h e i n f l u x o f tremendous numbers o f Jews, Oscar S t r a u s , who was c l o s e l y connected wi t h t he Educa­ tional

A l l i a n c e and who was appoi nt ed by P r e s i d e n t Grover

Cl e v e l a nd as m i n i s t e r p l e n i p o t e n t i a r y to T u r k e y , t h a t the newly a r r i v e d of labor a g i t a t o r s

social

i mmigrants were " s w e l l i n g the ranks

and .

by c o n t i n u a l l y j o i n i n g

complained

.

. b r i n g mi ser y upon themsel ves

strikes.

.

.

Indeed,

the

a n t i p a t h y between t he German and East er n European

Jew al s o had economic r o o t s .

Until

about 1855,

c l o t h i n g was produced on t he premises where i t by women worki ng in t he "back" of t he shops.

ready-made was s o l d ,

These shops

were most l y owned and oper at ed by German-Jewish Ameri cans, and t hey c a t e r e d to the l ower c l a s s e s . du c t i on of the heavy s t e e l al l owed s e v e r a l

cutting

A f t e r the i n t r o ­

k n i f e i n 1876,

garments to be cut a t one t i m e ,

r e p l a c e d women garment wor ker s;

men

a t the same t i m e ,

ments in t h e sewing machine rendered i t

which

i mpr ove­

more e f f i c i e n t

for

the merchant to buy hi s st ock from a f a c t o r y than to p r o ­ duce i t

" i n t he back. "

i nc r e a s e d r a p i d l y , this

demand.

Demand f o r ready-made goods

and t he r a i l r o a d s

f o s t e r e d and i ncreased

A tremendous expansion in the c l o t h i n g

i n d u s t r y took p l a c e ,

and the newly a r r i v e d

i mmi grant Jews,

38 many o f whom were u n s k i l l e d pitifully tive

l a b o r e r s and who worked f o r

low wages, were absorbed i n t o t h i s

h i g h l y compet i ­

industry.G7 The German-Jewish shopkeeper a s p i r e d t o become t he

German-Jewish f a c t o r y owner. terribly

l ow,

very bad.

and c o n d i t i o n s

Wages f o r t he immi grant s were i n t he c l o t h i n g

The b u i l d i n g s were most l y f i l t h y ,

f a c t o r i e s were and t he most

e l e me n t a r y h e a l t h and s a f e t y p r e c a u t i o n s were r a r e l y In t h e i r b i t t e r n e s s , agitation.

Joel

taken.

a few i mmi grant Jews t u r n e d to l a b o r

Entin,

a Jewish newspaper e d i t o r ,

vented

the anger o f t he i mmi grant Jewish worker a g a i n s t hi s German-Jewish boss: The r i c h Jews in t h e i r magnani mi t y have taken us i n t o t h e i r c l o a k shops and f a c t o r i e s . We have then become by t h e i r gr ace a peopl e o f t a i l o r s and t a i l o r i n g has become our n a t i o n a l i n d u s t r y . Of wages our r i c h e r b r o t h e r s pai d t h e l owest and t he s a n i t a r y arrangements in the workshops were f a r from s a t i s f a c t o r y . An a t t i ­ tude o f r i d i c u l e a g a i n s t t he peopl e were [ s i c ] adopted. Our l anguage and even our r e l i g i o n being made fun of [sic]. . . . C h a r i t y was gi ven but the s p i r i t of t he people was t r odden upon and i n s u l t e d . . . .

- ^ E r i c E. H i r s c h l e r , e d . , Jews from Germany in the Uni t ed S t a t e s , (New Yor k, 1 9 5 5 ) , pp. 7 4 - 7 5 . See a l s o , Louis L e v i n e , The Women's Garment Wor ker s, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 4 ) , passim; Cha r l e s E. Z a r e t z , The Amalgamated C l o t h i n g Workers o f Amer i ca, (New Y or k, 1 9 3 4 ) , passi m. GGjoel E n t i n , "The Doom of T h e i r R e i g n , " pp. 1 - 2 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

39 I mmi grant i n t e l l e c t u a l s Morris

H illquit

such as Abraham Cahan and

began to c h a l l e n g e t he l e a d e r s h i p of the

German Jews i n communal

affairs;

t hey q u e s t i o n e d the r e l i e f

measures being t aken t o ai d newly a r r i v e d

i mmi grant s and

c h a s t ’ zed the "uptown Jews" f o r t h e i r p a t r o n i z i n g a t t i ­ tude.

"The t i me has come," s t a t e d Bernard R i c h a r d s ,

f o r a l l s e l f - r e s p e c t i n g Jews to c a l l a h a l t t o the e f f o r t s o f men w i t h i n our own ranks to t r a d u c e the name o f our p e o p l e , and t o reduce our d i g n i t y and i mpo r t a nc e . The t i me has come when we must t e l l the men o f t he U . A . H . C . [ Uni on o f American Hebrew Congre­ g a t i o n s ] , o f t he B ' n a i B r i t h and o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s endeavor i ng to a b o l i s h t he Jewish r a c e , t h a t t h e i r e f f o r t s to e s t a b l i s h in o f f i c i a l q u a r t e r s t h e i r own d e f i n i t i o n o f t he Jew, i s obnoxious and o f f e n s i v e to us. . . . The w r i t e r added t h a t

if

t he b a s t i o ns o f Reform Judaism

and t he c e n t e r s o f German-Jewish power di d not r e l a x t h e i r pressure,

an open q u a r r e l

would ensue.

them e a t t h e i r own w o r d s - - l o n g ,

"[We w i l l ]

l a b o r i o u s Germanized

E n g l i s h words t h a t a r e sure t o choke them. The worseni ng c o n f l i c t to renewed e f f o r t s represent a l l thus,

hopefully,

.

.

."^9

between t he two groups l ed

to e s t a b l i s h an o r g a n i z a t i o n

factions within

make

t h a t would

the Jewish community and

i n t r o d u c e elements of harmony.

At a

^^Bernard G. R i c h a r d s , "Jewish Leaders and the Jews, " The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 / 2 1 / 1 0 .

40 co nv e nt i on hel d i n P h i l a d e l p h i a delegates cities

in February,

r e p r e s e n t i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

1891,

Jewish

i n ni n e t e e n

at t empt e d to gai n what t hey consi der ed t h e i r pr oper

shar e i n communal

leadership.

such n o t a b l e s as Simon Wol f ,

Among t he d e l e g a t e s were Dr.

Solomon S o l i s - C o h e n ,

David B l a u s t e i n o f t he E du cat i ona l

Alliance.

and

They e s t a b ­

l i s h e d t he Jewish A l l i a n c e o f Ameri ca, which was to be a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n whose purpose was to " u n i t e Israelites

in a common bond .

.

. [to]

more e f f e c t i v e l y

[cope] w i t h t he grave problem pr es ent ed by e n f o r c e d e mi g r a ­ tion.

.

.

."70

The Jewish A l l i a n c e , t h a t caused i t s

however, was beset by obstacles

qui ck demise.

East er n European Jews r i d i ­

cul ed t he new o r g a n i z a t i o n as but an o t h e r a t t e m p t to gui de and c o n t r o l attend

them.

Those German Jews who had consented to

the convent i on were not w i l l i n g

shar e power and i n f l u e n c e w i t h i n hand,

to gi ve up or even

t he community.

On the one

t he German Jews sympathized w i t h t he East Europeans'

y e a r n i n g f o r a modicum o f s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n ,

and wi t h

D r a f t o f Chapter One o f the H i s t o r y o f the American Jewish Congr ess, " in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

41 t h e i r c o n t e n t i o n t h a t t hey themselves coul d best j udge what ai d t hey needed; on t he o t h e r hand, a l l e v i a t i n g

the

i mmi g r a nt s '

and

problems r e q u i r e d a g r e a t deal

of money,

t he German Jews i n s i s t e d t h a t t h e y , who pai d the p i p e r , should al s o c a l l

t he t une.

Eventually,

t he Jewish A l l i ­

ance o f America had to merge w i t h t he Baron de Hi r sch Fund because t h e A l l i a n c e could not f i n d t he money to f i n a n c e its

projects. Between 1903 and 1908,

Jews l e f t

Russi a,

Uni t e d S t a t e s .

a p p r o x i ma t e l y h a l f a m i l l i o n

and 90 per cent o f these came to t he

Increasing anti-Semitism,

ev er - mor e f r e q u e n t and v i o l e n t pogroms, t he Jews'

expressed in

onl y r e i n f o r c e d

d e s i r e to l eave a count ry o f l i t t l e

opportunity.

News o f t he g o v e r n m e n t - i n s p i r e d pogroms,

al ong wi t h the s w e l l i n g t i d e o f i m m i g r a t i o n , can Jews.

economic

shocked Ameri ­

The l e a d e r s o f the e x i s t i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

in the Uni t ed S t a t e s Jewish r e l i e f

r e a l i z e d t h a t they and the p r i v a t e

agenci es were unable to cope w i t h e i t h e r

the

p r o t e c t i o n o f Jews abroad or t he needs o f t he community at home.

nated,"

71 Bernard G. Ri c h a r d s , "Where Congress Idea O r i g i Congress Weekl y, ( A p r i l 9, 1 9 4 3 ) , pp. 1 1 - 1 2 .

42

Rabbi

David P h i l i p s o n ,

a Cincinnati

Rabbi ,

proposed

a pl an f o r an a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n and p r e ­ sented i t

i n t he form of a r e s o l u t i o n

to t he convent i on of

the Union of American Hebrew Congr egat i ons 1903. their

He and hi s co- s p on s or .

Rabbi

i n Januar y,

Joseph S t o l z ,

based

pl an f o r an American Jewish Congress, which was al so

t o be the f i r s t

st ep in t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a World Jew­

i sh Congress, on t he v a l i d assumption t h a t c o n d i t i o n s ar e such in the wor l d t h a t u n i t e d e f f o r t s on t he p a r t of the Jews a l l over the wor l d i s [ s i c ] becoming more and more ur gent to meet such problems as t he Russian Jew­ i sh q u e s t i o n , t he Roumanian Jewish q u e s t i o n , the G a l i c i a n Jewish q u e s t i o n , t he e v i l s o f ov er - cr owdi ng i n our c i t i e s , t he i m mi g r a t i o n q u e s t i o n . . . .^2 The next st ep was f o r t he U . A . H . C .

to i n i t i a t e

preliminary

conf er ences to ar r ange the f i r s t meet i ng o f the American Jewish Congress, of t he U. A. H. C. Personal unity.

but not hi ng happened.

Thf: E x e c u t i v e Board

f a i l e d t o t a k e a c t i o n on t h e r e s o l u t i o n .

prejudices

and group r i v a l r i e s

agai n prevent ed

Simon Wolf o f the Board o f D e l e gat es on C i v i l

R i g h t s , which worked c l o s e l y wi t h t he U . A . H . C . , r e pr e s e nt e d Jewish i n t e r e s t s government,

had o f t e n

to t he h i g h e s t c o u n c i l s of

and he looked on t he proposed Congress as a

^^I b i d . ,

p.

12 ,

43

potential Bes i des ,

usur per o f hi s p o s i t i o n and p r e r o g a t i v e s . t h e mutual

r esent ment o f the Reform and Or t hodox,

German and East er n European, was s t i l l tic

strong;

even A t l a n ­

seaboard and Mi ddl e Western Jews r egar ded each o t h e r

with a c e rt a in

unfriendliness.

73

The idea o f an American Jewish Congress thus f o u n ­ dered but t he pogroms c o n t i n u e d , bitterly 1905,

and American Jewry was

d i v i d e d over what to do about them.

In December,

a group o f pr omi nent New York Jews met to di scuss the

p l i g h t o f t h e Jews in Russia and Roumania and what American Jewry coul d do t o hel p them.

The idea o f a permanent Jew­

i sh o r g a n i z a t i o n whose s o l e purpose would be to ai d the oppressed Jews o f Russia and East er n Europe was c o n s i d e r e d . Louis M a r s h a l l ,

a brilliant

constitutional

l awyer and a

l e a d i n g s h t a d l a n , remarked t h a t a permanent Jewish commit­ t ee o r g a n i z e d f o r o t h e r than c h a r i t a b l e frowned upon by most of t he group. t he group c a l l e d i t s e l f , d i d not i n i t i a t e

such an o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

p.

12.

t h e Wanderers, if

as they

Jews whom t hey con­

t e nde nci es would s u r e l y do

" I n o r d e r to avoi d m i s c h i e f i t

73lbid.,

Yet,

were ve r y much a f r a i d t h a t

s i d e r e d to have " o b j e c t i o n a b l e " so.

purposes was

was d e s i r a b l e t h a t

44 v)e t a k e t h e i n i t i a t i v e . American Jews o f German a n c e s t r y were t e r r i b l y ful

o f what mi ght happen t o t h e i r

society

if

position

fear­

in American

t he i mmi gr a nt g h e t t o Jews from East er n Europe

and Russi a moved t o t a k e a c t i o n ;

any o r g a n i z a t i o n t hey

e s t a b l i s h e d mi ght espouse s o c i a l i s t i c

theories.

As one o f

them s t a t e d : The need of a b e t t e r f e e l i n g between the n a t i v e and f o r e i g n el ement s o f Ameri can Jewry i s r e c o g n i z e d , and I d e p l o r e t he l i c e n s e o f speech t h a t has grown among us. The s u ggest i on t h a t mere numbers can g i v e r i s e to s t a t e s m a n l i k e a d v i c e i n m a t t e r s a f f e c t i n g the Jewish pe opl e i s u n t h i n k a b l e . . . . [ The] a r r o g a n t assump­ t i o n o f t he s o - c a l l e d East S i d e r s t h a t mere numbers g i v e wisdom ought to be t r e a t e d as n i l . There i s more t o American Jewry than i s comprised i n t he g h e t t o s . 75 On Febr uar y 2,

1906 a conf e r e nce was held a t the

U n i t e d Hebrew C h a r i t i e s

Building

c r e a t i o n o f a permanent n a t i o n a l

in New York to di scuss the organization.

debat e ov e r the form such an o r g a n i z a t i o n

A f t e r much

should t a k e ,

a

subcommi ttee was a p p o i n t e d t o form "an American Jewish C o n f e r e n c e , whose purpose s h a l l

be to promote the cause o f

Judaism and to a i d i n s e c u r i n g t h e c i v i l

^^Naomi U. Jewish Commi ttee, ^ ^ Quot e d i n

and r e l i g i o u s

Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t : The American 1 9 0 6 - 1 9 6 6 , ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 7 2 ) , pp. 8- 9 , Ib id .,

p.

15.

45 rights

o f t he Jews i n a l l

denied or endangered. m i t t e e voted t o c a l l

.

c o u n t r i e s where such r i g h t s are

.

The m a j o r i t y of the subcom­

f o r a conf e r e nce o f 150 d e l e g a t e s who

were to be e l e c t e d by members o f Jewish c o n g r e g a t i o n s , this

but

scheme was too de mocr at i c f o r c o n s e r v a t i v e elements

of the subcommi t t ee, who succeeded in p r e v e n t i n g i t s

imple­

mentation.^^ F u r t h e r meet i ngs l ed to some ar gument s. 1906, Abraham Schomer, "International

a New York l a w y e r ,

Jewish P a r l i a m e n t . "

On May 19,

c a l l e d f o r an

His l e s s

c o l l e a g u e s consi der ed him a w i l d - e y e d r a d i c a l

imaginative who di d not

underst and t he u l t i m a t e consequences o f hi s own h y p e r b o l e , and t he i dea came to naught .

Instead,

proposed an American Jewish Commi ttee.

t he subcommittee Even t h i s

proposal

^ ^ " D r a f t of Chapter One o f the H i s t o r y of t he Ame r i ­ can Jewish Congr ess, " in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a ­ t i o n Bureau. 77

Each d e l e g a t e was to r e p r e s e n t 1 0 , 0 0 0 Jews, which thus presupposed t he Jewish p o p u l a t i o n in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s to be 1 , 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 . One h a l f o f t h i s t o t a l was c o n c e n t r a t e d in t he g r e a t e r New York m e t r o p o l i t a n a r e a ; hence, 75 d e l e ­ gates should have r e p r e s e n t e d t he Jews o f New York. Yet New York C i t y and i t s env i r on s were gi ven on l y s i x t y d e l e ­ gates. For a thorough c r i t i q u e o f t h i s p l a n , see The Jew­ i sh Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 1 / 1 1 / 1 5 , pp. 1, 8.

46 met w i t h o p p o s i t i o n .

Simon Wolf and hi s adher ent s

o b j e c t e d t o o r g a n i z i n g American Jews "as Jews," except on r e l i g i o u s or p h i l a n t h r o p i c m a t t e r s .

Once agai n they may

have been m o t i v a t e d as much by s e l f - i n t e r e s t as by genuine b e l i e f in a s s i m i l a t i o n . t i o n was a p o t e n t i a l

Any new n a t i o n a l

rival

o f the B' nai

Jewish o r g a n i z a ­

B r i t h and the

Union of American Hebrew Congr egat i ons f o r funds and i n f l u ence.78

D e s p i t e t he o p p o s i t i o n o f Wol f and the most ar de nt assimilationists, fifty

t he conf er ence de si gnat ed a committee of

" f o r t h e purpose of c o o p e r a t i n g w i t h the va r i o us

national

Jewish bodies in t h i s co un t r y and abroad on

questions o f national i sh p e o p l e . " first

7Q

and i n t e r n a t i o n a l

moment to t he Jew-

The American Jewish Committee held i t s

meeting on November 11,

1906.

The f ounders o f the American Jewish Committee intended i t

to be a " s k e l e t a l

expanded i n times o f c r i s i s .

o r g a n i z a t i o n " t h a t could be P o l i c i e s and s t r a t e g i e s were

t o be decided on by an e x e c u t i v e commi t t ee,

but in r e a l i t y

^ ^ " D r a f t o f Chapter One o f the H i s t o r y of t he Ameri' can Jewish Congress, " in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a ­ t i o n Bureau. ^^Ibid.

47 the e x e c u t i v e committee e x i s t e d f o r t he most p a r t on pa pe r , and the most i n f l u e n t i a l Schiff,

Louis M a r s h a l l ,

decisions.

s h t a d l a n i m on t h e Commi t t ee- - Jacob and Cyrus A d i e r - - a c t u a l l y made the

The American Jewish Committee e p i t o mi z e d the

Hof j ude t r a d i t i o n ;

Louis M a r s h a l l ,

i t s moving f o r c e ,

avow­

ed l y p r e f e r r e d t o work t hrough " d i s c r e e t pr essur e and back­ s t a i r s d i p l o ma c y . " effects tion.

Thi s ph i l os ophy had f a r - r e a c h i n g

on the s t r u c t u r e and o p e r a t i o n s o f the o r g a n i z a ­ Ma r s hal l

and hi s s uppor t er s were opposed to an y t h i n g

beyond t h e a l l e v i a t i o n traditional

methods.

o f c r i s e s by what t h ey consi der ed "Bureaucracy was as repugnant

[to

o n

them]

as d i r e c t democracy.

because i t

strife

.

."

Bureaucracy was odious

i mp l i e d permanent i n s t i t u t i o n s ,

institutions tallize

.

and permanent

mi ght by t h e i r very e x i s t e n c e arouse and c r y s ­

the enmi t y of non-Jews, p a r t i c u l a r l y or u n r e s t .

pr ov i de r a d i c a l

i n ti mes o f

Democracy, the s h t a d l a n i m f e a r e d ,

would

Jews who advocated un-Ameri can p h i l o s o p h i e s

wi t h a forum and a l i c e n s e to speak, on a l l

American Jews.

It

tional

methods than to r i s k

thus b r i n g i n g d i s c r e d i t

was f a r b e t t e r discredit

to s t i c k to t r a d i ­

and a l i e n a t i o n .

Even

a f t e r the American Jewish Committee l ed t he successf ul

^^Naomi

Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , pp.

19-20,

25.

48 campaign to ab r o gat e t he Russi an- Amer i can T r e a t y o f 1832, campaign i n which the Committee g r u d g i n g l y used p u b l i c

a

pro­

t e s t and demonst r a t i ons r a t h e r than d i s c r e e t p r e s s u r e , Ma r s hal l

and o t h e r l e a d e r s o f t he Committee c o nt i nue d to

practice

s i l e n t di pl omacy.

Thus,

O*1

al t hough t h e American Jewish Committee did

r e l i e v e c r i s e s and r epel

a t t a c k s on Jewish r i g h t s ,

so employing approved German-Jewish methods. t e r i o n o f s t r a t e g y was to avoi d o f f e n d i n g

it

did

The main c r i ­

non-Jews.

The

East S i d e r s were not n e a r l y so concerned w i t h non-Jewi sh opinion,

and t he Bingham i n c i d e n t o f 1908,

i n which t he

P o l i c e Commissioner o f New York C i t y cl ai med t h a t more than 50 per c e nt o f the cr i me t h e r e was p e r p e t r a t e d by Jews,

l ed them t o form a new o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

Kehillah

t he New York

(Union).^^

A f t e r much p u b l i c p r o t e s t and c r i t i c a l Commissioner Bingham r e t r a c t e d hi s s t a t e m e n t . Siders,

editorials. To East

the s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the i n c i d e n t was p l a i n .

Magnes, A s s i s t a n t Rabbi

81 I b i d . ,

pp.

Judah

a t Temple Enianu-El , was qui ck to

78-80.

8^For a compl ete h i s t o r y o f the New York K e h i l l a h , see A r t h u r A. Goren, New York Jews and t he Quest f o r Commu­ nity: The K e h i l l a h Expe r i me nt , 1 9 0 8 - 1 9 2 2 , (New Y or k, 1 9 7 0 ) , passim.

49 p o i n t out t h a t t he Bingham i n c i d e n t was onl y a h a r b i n g e r o f future attacks

and t h a t

the Jews o f New York would have to

p r o t e c t t hemsel ves a g a i n s t such d e f a ma t i o n s .

Said Magnes:

They need a permanent and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t may speak i n t h e i r b e h a l f , t h a t may d e f i n e t h e i r r i g h t s and l i b e r t i e s , and t h a t may al so cope w i t h the problems o f c r i m i n a l i t y j u s t as Jewish c h a r i t a b l e o r g a n i z a t i o n s ar e^ go pi ng w i t h the problems o f d e s t i t u ­ t i o n and d i s e a s e . The K e h i l l a h merged w i t h the American Jewish Commit­ t e e soon a f t e r

its

formation,

questions of n a t i o n a l

or i n t e r n a t i o n a l

by the Committee w h i l e lems and got i t s

under an agreement whereby

t he K e h i l l a h d e a l t w i t h

funds from t h e Committee.

s t a n t i v e accompl i shments were f e w, very u s e f u l

scope were handled

purpose.

local

pr o b ­

Though i t s

t he K e h i l l a h

sub­

served a

The K e h i l l a h was t he o r g a n i z a t i o n o f

the Russian and Ea s t e r n European Jews who were begi nni ng to a c q u i r e e d u c a t i o n ,

culture,

and economic s t a t u r e .

the K e h i l l a h meet i ngs t hey coul d r e f i n e t h e i r rhetorical, invaluable

and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l in

the f i g h t

skills

political,

which were to prove

f o r an American Jewish Congress.

American Jewry was d i v i d e d over t a c t i c s , egy.

Differences

At

in s o c i a l ,

economic,

not s t r a t ­

religious,

and

^^"The Making o f t he K e h i l l a h , " p. 4, in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves of t h e Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

50 political nity

phi l os ophy p r o h i b i t e d t h e Amer i can- Jewi sh commu­

from e s t a b l i s h i n g some o r g a n i z a t i o n

for all

Jews in t i mes o f c r i s i s .

t h a t would speak

World War I was to be the

c a t a l y s t f o r the Ameri can- Jewi sh community to e s t a b l i s h such an o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

and to de t er mi ne which f a c t i o n w i t h i n

t he group would have t he pr eponder ant v o i c e in the o r g a n i ­ zation.

CHAPTER I

THE FORMATION OF THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS

World War I g a l v a n i z e d American Jewish e f f o r t s toward u n i t y .

The out br ea k o f the war di d not r e c o n c i l e

the p h i l o s o p h i c a l

differences , tactical

c l a ss antagoni sms, muni t y;

it

or personal

rivalries

d i s a g r e e me n t s , in the Jewish com­

did not even paper over them.

But i t

did p r o ­

vi de the twi n spurs of f e a r and h o p e - - f e a r f o r the pr es ent f a t e o f t he Jews in the war zones, hope t h a t the d e b i l i ­ tating

and u n s e t t l i n g e f f e c t s o f the war would in the end

loosen the r e s t r i c t i o n s ticularly

of anti-S emitic

governments

R u s s i a ' s ) on t h e i r Jewish p o p u l a t i o n s .

began to r e a l i z e

t h a t onl y a t r u e n a t i o n a l

(par­

Many Jews

organization

coul d hope to r a i s e s u f f i c i e n t funds f o r war r e l i e f or exert p o litic a l

pr essur e s u f f i c i e n t to secure equal

f o r Jews l i v i n g

under a n t i - S e m i t i c

governments.

d e s p i t e c o n t i n u i n g d i s s e n s i o n , mutual jealousy,

national

suspicion,

o r g a n i z a t i o n and n a t i o n a l

51

rights

Th e r e f o r e , and

u n i t y were

52 more and more c l e a r l y pe r c ei v ed and u r g e n t l y f e l t

to be

c o r r e c t goal s f o r American Jewry. The e f f e c t o f World War I on the Jews o f Europe, particularly the s t a r t ,

those i n East er n Europe, was d e v a s t a t i n g .

most knowl edgeabl e obser vers p r e d i c t e d t h a t the

c o n f l i c t would be over by Chr i st ma s, lization

At

and t h a t

total

mobi­

o f the economic r esour ces of t he combatants would

prove unnecessar y. the A l l i a n c e

European Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

Israelite

n i t y of London,

such as

U n i v e r s e l l e , the Angl o- Jewi sh Commu­

the A l l i a n c e

Israelite

Jewish C o l o n i z a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n ,

za Mi e n , and the

whose f u n c t i o n was to

t r a n s p l a n t Jews from East ern Europe to North and South America and to pr e p a r e them f o r a g r i c u l t u r a l careers,

likewise fa ile d

and i n d u s t r i a l

to f o r e s e e t he prol onged and

d e v a s t a t i n g na t u r e o f the c o n f l i c t and c o nse quent l y di d not pr ep ar e f o r the f i n a n c i a l o f a i d to r e f u g e e s , supplies.

burden t h a t b e f e l l

food f o r de va s t a t e d a r e a s ,

Jews i n t he n e u t r a l

a b l e to l end some a s s i s t a n c e , negligible

but t h e i r

r esour ces were Less than f our

the out br eak o f h o s t i l i t i e s ,

table organizations

and medical

Scandanavian c o u n t r i e s were

in comparison to the need.

months a f t e r

them i n terms

Jewish c h a r i ­

a p p l i e d to Jacob H. S c h i f f ,

a New York

f i n a n c i e r and one of the l e a d e r s o f the American Jewish

53 Commi ttee,

f o r cash l oans to c a r r y on t h e i r work.

l ook toward America

.

.

"We

. f o r our c h i e f s u p p o r t , " wr ot e

one Scandanavian Jewish l e a d e r . ^ American Jews were shocked by the ou t br e a k o f war. Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s i n the Uni t ed S t a t e s d i v e r t e d money to European r e l i e f and began to o r g a n i z e fund d r i v e s additional

succor to t h e i r

European b r e t h r e n .

can Jews were not s a t i s f i e d ,

for

Many Ameri ­

however, w i t h t r a d i t i o n a l

methods o f a i d i n g the u n f o r t u n a t e ,

and began to q u e s t i o n

whether mere r e l i e f was a v a l i d f i n a l war made r e l i e f work i n c r e a s i n g l y

goal.

imperative,

Clearly,

the

they f e l t ,

but the massive scope o f the r e l i e f e f f o r t must not be al l owed to b l i n d peopl e to t he f a c t t h a t r e l i e f was not enough.

S t a t e d Bernard G, Ri char ds:

But what about the r i g h t to l i v e ? What about the r i g h t s o f our Jewish b r e t h r e n to l i v e as human bei ngs; to r e t u r n to t h e i r homes . . . on equal terms w i t h the peopl e among whom they d w e l l . . . . Sha l l the Jewish blood have been shed i n v a i n , and s h a l l Jewish br av er y and s u f f e r i n g and sorrow go f o r naught? Shal l not our peopl e r e c e i v e i n recompense f o r t h e i r i r r e p a r a b l e l osses of l i v e s and p r o p e r t y a t l e a s t the c i v i c r i g h t s which long ago should have been t h e i r s ? Should t hey not be al l owed to l i v e l i k e men in the lands f o r which t hey di ed l i k e heroes? I t i s f o r us to answer.

I f h e American I s r a e l i t e , 1 1 / 1 2 / 1 4 , p. 7; Simonson to American Jewish Congress, 1 1 / 1 4 / 1 6 , Leon Mot z ki n f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. ^The J e w i s h D a i l y News, 1 / 2 0 / 1 5 .

54 I ndee d,

American Jews were no l o n g e r pr epar ed to count en­

ance t h e co nt i nua nc e o f European Jews i n t h e i r status;

the Jews of America

t he economi c,

political,

pr e- war

were det er mi ned to e l i m i n a t e

religious

and s o c i a l

restrictions

pl aced on European Jewry. On August 3 0 , of h o s t i l i t i e s , called Zionist

1914,

f o u r weeks a f t e r t he out br eak

t he American F e d e r a t i o n o f Z i o n i s t s was

i n t o c o n f e r e n c e by Dr, Organization

Shmarya Levi n o f the World

E x e c u t i v e Committee to deci de upon

ways t o a i d t he Jews in t he war zones. Provisional

Committee f o r General

At t he me e t i ng,

Zionist A ffairs

a

was

e s t a b l i s h e d to c a r r y on t he work of the World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n wh i c h,

because o f t he c o n f l i c t ,

function.

Brandeis,

Louis 0.

was unable to

by t h i s t i me famous as the

" p e o p l e ' s l a w y e r , " was e l e c t e d Chairman o f t he newly formed Commi ttee. Baruch Zuckerman,

Bernard G.

Richards,

Nahum S y r k i n ,

d e l e g a t e s to t he c o n f e r e n c e ,

and

pr esent ed a

^American Zi onism was b a s i c a l l y an "East Side" movement. I t s l e a d e r s . Rabbi Stephen Wise, Judah Magnes, Louis L i p s k y , and Har r y Fr i ed en wal d were ver y young, and though t hey t r i e d to i n t e r e s t American Jewry in Zi oni s m, t he movement remained a " s e c t . " See W a l t e r Laqueur , A H i s ­ t o r y o f Z i o n i s m , (New Yor k, 1 9 7 2 ) , pp. 1 5 8 - 1 6 0 ; I s i d o r e Meyer, e d . . E a r l y H i s t o r y o f Zi oni sm in A m e r i c a , (New York, 1 9 5 8 ) , pp. 3 9 - 1 0 8 ; Louis L i p s k y , T h i r t y Years of American Zi oni s m, (New Yor k, 1 9 7 7 ) , volume 1, pp. 2 8 - 3 4 .

55

resolution

empowering the chairman to use hi s good o f f i c e s

to b r i n g about a convent i on o f Amer i can- Jewi sh o r g a n i z a ­ tions.

The purpose o f the convent i on was t w o - f o l d :

create a r e l i e f

to

fund f o r Jews i n the war zones and to

assess t he s i t u a t i o n and aims o f worl d Jewry under the conditions

likely

to o b t a i n a t t he w a r ' s end.^

Brandeis, a f t e r Zuckerman r e s o l u t i o n ,

the passage o f t he R i c h a r d s - S y r k i n c ont a ct e d Louis Ma r s h a l l

American Jewish Committee and asked him i f

of the

t he Committee

would c o o p e r a t e i n t he c a l l i n g o f t he c o n v e n t i o n .

Marshal l

accept ed B r a n d e i s ' s o f f e r and ap po i nt e d a %roup from the American Jewish Committee to work wi t h Brandei s endeavor.^

Lewis E. M i l l e r ,

e d i t o r o f t he V a r h e i t , s t a t e d

t h a t such a conve nt i on would be hel d to pare worl d o p i n i o n

.

,

in t h i s

" o r g a n i z e and p r e ­

. f o r t he worl d pr obl em, which is

known as t he Jewish problem.

.

.

.

^Bernard G. R i c h a r d s , "Exponent o f the Congress, " Congress W e e k l y , 3 / 1 7 / 4 4 , pp. 2 7 - 2 8 ; Jewish Congress Orga­ n i z a t i o n Commi ttee; To the Jews of Ameri ca: The Jewish Congress versus t he American Jewish Commi ttee, A Complete St at ement w i t h t he Correspondence between Louis D. Brandeis and Cyrus A d l e r , (New York, 1 9 1 5 ) , p. 6.

pp.

^ I b i d . , p. 7; The Jewish Advocate 1, 8; 1 0 / 9 / 1 4 , p. 8.

^Quoted in Rappapor t , War One," pp. 2 1 3 - 2 1 4 .

(Boston),

9/4/14,

"Jewish I mmi grants and World

56

On October 25 , f o r t y national

1914,

d e l e g a t e s from more than

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s met in New York C i t y

to j o i n

f o r c e s in p r o v i d i n g r e l i e f

zones.

Judah Magnes procl ai med t h i s conf er ence an oppor ­

tunity

to the Jews i n the war

to u n i t e t he Jewish pe o p l e ,

but the d e l e g a t e s were

i mme di a t el y caught up in a long debate over who (or what groups) was t o c o n t r o l

the Na t i o n a l

Cyrus Ad l e r urged t h a t the r e l i e f a committee o f f i f t e e n the c o n v e n t i o n , argued t h a t i f

R e l i e f Committee.

program be e n t r u s t e d to

to be appoi nt ed by t he chairman of

Louis M a r s h a l l ,

but Magnes di sagr eed and

any committee was to be formed i t must be

d e m o c r a t i c a l l y s e l e c t e d and br oadl y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , prising at least f i f t y

delegates.

I ndeed,

com­

t he c o n f l i c t

between t he Hof j uden and "democrats" was here e x p l i c i t ! Jacob S c h i f f t r i e d to r e c o n c i l e t he opposing vi ews. He and Rabbi

Samuel

Schulman proposed t h a t t h e Chairman

a p p o i n t a committee of f i v e to s e l e c t an e x e c u t i v e commit­ t e e of t w e n t y - f i v e , committee o f 100.

which would in t u r n s e l e c t a general Schiff's

proposal

in t he hands of t he H o f j u d e n . Rabbi

would have kept power

But Magnes and his a l l i e s .

Stephen S. Wise, Jacob DeHaas, and Har ry C u t l e r ,

Pr o v i d e nc e , leader,

Rhode I s l a n d ma n u f a c t u r e r ,

soldier,

t ur ned down the compromise as wel l

a

and c i v i c

in f a v o r o f a

57 r e s o l u t i o n o f f e r e d by Ri char d G o t t h e i l ,

P r o f e s s o r of Semi-

t i c s a t Columbia U n i v e r s i t y and P r e s i d e n t o f the Fe der a­ t i o n o f American Z i o n i s t s . much debat e p r e v a i l e d ,

Thi s r e s o l u t i o n , which a f t e r

r e q u i r e d each o f t he n a t i o n a l

z a t i o n s a t t e n d i n g t he convent i on t o e l e c t t o a gener al tive

committee t h a t

representatives

in t u r n would e l e c t an execu­

commi t t ee, which would oversee t he r e l i e f campaign

and d i s t r i b u t i o n o f t he f u n d s . ^ tory for strength.

It

the " democr at i c" f a c t i o n ,

was a s i g n i f i c a n t v i c ­ and i t

t a u g h t them t h e i r

Though t hey acceeded to t he wish o f the Marshal 1 -

A d l e r group t h a t t he e x e c u t i v e committee be l i m i t e d r a i s i n g and d i s b u r s i n g r e l i e f money, their

organi­

political

t hey soon began to use

strength to e f f e c t t h e i r

Jewish community.

to

views w i t h i n

the

O

But not a l l

Jews were s a t i s f i e d w i t h t he r e s u l t s

the above c o n v e n t i o n .

On November 22,

1914,

7f h e American I s r a e l i t e , 1 0 / 2 9 / 1 4 , Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 0 / 3 0 / 1 4 , pp. 1, 8.

p.

Dr.

of

Joseph

4; The Jewish

^Some obser ver s a t t r i b u t e d t he s t r u g g l e in Jewish l i f e t o t he A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n pr ocess. "The schism in Jew­ i sh l i f e i s mer el y a p a r t o f t he ol d s t r u g g l e between the few powerful vest ed i n t e r e s t s seeki ng to r e t a i n t h e i r . . . p r i v i l e g e s , and the many, h i t h e r t o supi ne masses, now as a r e s u l t o f their* A m e r i c a n i z a t i o n , r e c o g n i z i n g t h e i r n a t u r a l r i g h t s and seeki ng to make t h e i r voi ces heard in t he d e t e r ­ mi n a t i o n o f t h e i r own w e l f a r e , . . The American I s r a e l ­ i t e , 1 1 / 2 / 1 6 , p. 4.

58 Kri msky, a Brookl yn p h y s i c i a n ,

c a l l e d a c o n f e r e n c e to d i s ­

cuss t he means o f s e c ur i n g f u l l f o r Jews o f a l l

nations a f t e r

e s t a b l i s h e d an o r g a n i z a t i o n tion

Committee.

civil

the war.

and p o l i t i c a l

rights

Th i s conf e r e nce

known as t h e Jewish Emancipa­

Krimsky at t e mpt e d to channel

the movement

i n f a v o r o f Jewish e n f r a n c h i s e m e n t . Krimsky and hi s c o l l e a g u e s were a i d e d by se v e r a l Russian and East er n European Jews who had f l e d lands.

Chaim Z h i t l o w s k y , who made his f i r s t

Uni t ed S t a t e s ist

their

visit

home­

to the

in 1904 to r a i s e money f o r t h e Russian S o c i a l ­

Revolutionary Par ty,

to the Uni t ed S t a t e s a g a i n s t t h e Tu r k s ,

to hel p form a Jewish Legion to f i g h t

joined

t i o n which t hey c a l l e d f o r Jewish r i g h t s .

and Pinchas Rut henbur g, who came

i n t he a g i t a t i o n

f o r an o r g a n i z a ­

an American Jewish Congress to work

They were not the o n l y r e c e n t a r r i v a l s

among the e a r l y advocat es o f a Jewish Congress;

recent

i mmi grants possessi ng al most ev er y c o n c e i v a b l e r a d i c a l phi l os ophy were r e p r e s e n t e d among the pr oponent s of the Congress. The e a r l y Jewish Congress movement had a d i s t i n c t l y anti-Russian f l a v o r lieved

to i t .

Most o f i t s

early

supporters

be­

t h a t R u s s i a ' s d e f e a t would lead t o t he h o p e d - f o r l i b ­

e r a t i o n o f Pol and;

t hey were t h e r e f o r e a c t i v e l y

pro- German.

59 Many Jewi sh l e a d e r s ,

l i k e Abraham Gol dber g, e d i t o r o f Dos

Y i d d i s h e F o l k , t houg ht t h a t t h e d e f e a t o f Russia would lead d i r e c t l y Ru s si a.

t o t h e e manci pat i on o f a l l

Jews i n G r e a t e r

Many Congress s u pp or t e r s al s o wished Germany to

conquer Rournania.

They n a i v e l y b e l i e v e d t h a t the Germans

would t r e a t t he Jews no worse than t hey t r e a t e d the r e s t of t he popul ace.

The Jewi sh Comment o f B a l t i m o r e e d i t o r i a l -

i zed, I t st ands to reason t h a t w i t h the conquest of Rournania a b r i g h t e r f u t u r e opens f o r t he Roumanian Jews. While Germany i s supreme i n t h a t c o u n t r y , we can r e s t assured t h a t j u s t as i n t he case o f Poland, the Jews w i l l not s u f f e r more than the r e s t . With t he concl usi on of peace Germany is pl edged t o secure humanity r i g h t s [ s i c ] f o r t he Jews i n Roumania as in the o t h e r Balkan states.9 Opponents o f t h e Congress movement were qui ck to p o i n t out t he a n t i - R u s s i a n and,

by e x t e n s i o n ,

s e n t i me n t s o f t he more outspoken C o n g r e s s i s t s . shall

anti-Allied Louis Mar­

of t he Ameri can Jewish Committee b e l i e v e d t h a t t he

German government paid numerous agents pr ov a c a t e u r s United States to arouse,

in the

"among t he Russian Jews e s p e c i a l l y , "

a f e e l i n g o f antagoni sm toward Russia and i t s

allies.

He

g Quoted i n Rappapor t , "Jewish I mmi grants and World War One," pp. 2 2 1 - 2 2 2 . See a l s o Bernard G. R i c h a r d s , " P r e ­ p a r i n g f o r a Peace C o n f e r e n c e , " The New P a l e s t i n e , 3 / 1 9 / 4 3 ,

p. 10.

60 b e l i e v e d t h a t t he Germans were i n f l u e n c i n g the Yi ddi sh press i n America to f a v o r Germany.

He wr ot e t h a t the

American Jewish Committee had so f a r pr event ed the Jews of t he Uni t ed S t a t e s from t a k i n g in " t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e capa­ city"

any p o s i t i o n t h a t mi ght have been deemed i n i m i c a l

t he A l l i e d cause and t h a t t he r e a l

to

aim o f t he advocates of

a Jewish Congress was to have t he Jews o f America endorse t he purposes o f t he C e n t r a l

Powers.

But t he proponents o f a Jewish Congress were s k i l l e d advocates o f t h e i r cause.

Most o f them came from Russia

or East er n Europe; many had been p r o f e s s i o n a l aries

revolution­

t h e r e and had long e x p e r i e n c e in c o n v e r t i n g l a r g e

numbers o f people to t h e i r p o i n t o f vi e w. the more r a d i c a l

Z i o n i s t groups,

A l l i e d wi t h

p a r t i c u l a r l y the Poale

Z i o n , these Congress advocat es s e t to work on Jewish

opi ni on. Through e d i t o r i a l s posters,

lectures,

t he "Co ngr e s s i s t s "

i n the Yi dd i s h pr e s s ,

d i s c u s s i o n groups,

handbills,

and s t r e e t meet i ngs ,

bombarded t he Jewish community wi t h

Ma r s hal l to Readi ng, 9 / 2 2 / 1 5 , in Charl es Re z n i k o f f , e d . , Louis M a r s h a l l : Champion of L i b e r t y , Sel e ct e d Papers and Addr esses, 2 volumes, ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 5 7 ) , volume 2, p. 511.

61

p u b l i c i t y f o r t he C o n g r e s s . P i n c h a s mized t he C o n g r e s s i s t s .

Ruthenburg e p i t o ­

He had come to the Uni t ed S t a t e s

to r a i s e a Jewish Legion a g a i n s t the Tu r k s ,

but he st ayed

on to pu bl i s h a v o c i f e r o u s l y m i l i t a n t Y i dd i s h weekly c a l l e d the Jewish Congress, whose purpose was t o whip-up pr o Congress sent i ment on t he Lower East S i d e .

Other Yi dd i s h

newspapers took the t h e m e - - The Jewish D a i l y News in Janu­ ary,

1915,

after. Ma r s hal l

the Uarhei t , t he Jewish L e a d e r , and the Day soon

So per suasi ve and p e r v a s i v e were t hey t h a t Louis felt

h e l p l e s s to c o u n t e r a c t what he consi der ed

the i n f i n i t e m i s c h i e f t hey caused: There is no way to guide them or advi s e them, or to i n s t i l l i n t o them a sane vi ew on any s u b j e c t . They do not h e s i t a t e to pass judgment on the most d e l i c a t e quest i ons o f diplomacy w i t h o u t a moment's t h oug ht , . . . Where calmness and s e l f - c o n t r o l ar e r e q u i r e d , t hey f r o t h a t t he mouth. Where s e c r e t co u n c i l s are i n d i s p e n s a b l e , t hey demand mass- ni eet i ngs, Jewish Con­ gr es ses , and loud v o c i f e r a t i o n . Men who should know b e t t e r are c a r r i e d away by t h i s i n s a n i t y . . . . ^ 2

TBernard G, R i c h a r d s , " P r e pa r i n g f o r a Peace Con­ f e r e n c e , " The New P a l e s t i n e , 3 / 1 9 / 4 3 , p. 10. For a c t i v i ­ t i e s o u t s i d e of the New York a r e a , see I s a ac M. F i n e , The Making o f an American Jewish Community; The H i s t o r y of B a l t i mo r e Jewry from 1773 to 1 9 2 0 , ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 7 1 ) , pp. 2 1 1 - 2 1 2 ; Max Vorspan and Lloyd P. G a r t n e r , H i s t o r y of t he Jews o f Los A n g e l e s , ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 7 0 ) , p. 185; Louis J. Swichkow, and Ll oyd P. G a r t n e r , The H i s t o r y of the Jews o f Mi l wauk ee, ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 6 3 ) , pp. 2 7 2 - 2 7 3 . l ^ Ma r s h a l l to S. S c he ch t er , Loui s Marshal 1, volume 2, p. 506.

2/19/15,

in R e z n i i o f f ,

62 By March,

1915,

t he Congr ess i st s f e l t

sure enough

o f p u b l i c opi ni on t o proceed from p u b l i c i t y t o o r g a n i z a ­ tion,

and on March 21, a f t e r

sions, formed.

se v e r a l

preliminary discus­

t he Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee was Most of i t s members were American Jews of East er n

European or Russian a n c e s t r y , most were al s o from o r g a n i z a t i o n s w i t h he adquar t er s Gedal i a B u b l i c k ,

in New York.

11

Its

Chairman,

l i k e most o f t he o t h e r members of the

O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi ttee,

hel d a r a t h e r r e s t r i c t e d

t he pr op er scope o f Congress a c t i v i t i e s :

view of

the Congress was

to send r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s to t he f u t u r e peace conf er ence to pl ead f o r P a l e s t i n e as a Jewish homeland and f o r ment of the Jewish c o n d i t i o n s

i n East er n Europe.

i mpr ove­ Some

Congr ess i st s wished the American Jewish Congress to e v o l v e , a f t e r t he war, it

i n t o a World Jewish Congress; ot her s f e l t

should disband once having secured Jewish i n t e r e s t s

the peace c o n f e r e n c e .

They di d not concei ve o f the Con­

gress as a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n Jewish communi t y on a l l

1T

at

to speak f o r the American'

questions.

Bernard G. R i c h a r d s , "American Jewish Congress," p. 1, in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

63 One o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

however, viewed t he American Jew­

i sh Congress as a means to gai n mass suppor t and become t he dominant Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n F e d e r a t i o n o f American Z i o n i s t s existence since i t s and al most no money. F.A.Z.,

formation

in t he U n i t e d S t a t e s .

The

had been s t r u g g l i n g f o r

its

i n 1898.

Louis B r a n d e i s ,

It

had few members

p r e s i d e n t of the

saw t h e need t o espouse some p o p u l a r cause t h a t

would a t t r a c t

new members.

tailor-made for

this

The Congress movement was

purpose.

The proposed Congress embodied Z i o n i s t and p u r p o s e s - - i t s de mocr at i c

(in

tinian

and i t s

American Jew­

acknowledged goal s were a P a l e s ­

homeland and t he a m e l i o r a t i o n o f Jewish l i f e

East er n Europe. ceeded to t i e that

s t r u c t u r e and o p e r a t i o n were to be

c o n t r a s t t o t he a r i s t o c r a t i c

ish Commi t t ee ) ,

principles

in

The F e d e r a t i o n of American Z i o n i s t s

itself

pro­

so c l o s e l y to t he Congress movement

in 1916 The Maccabean, t he F e d e r a t i o n ' s o f f i c i a l

publication,

editorialized

"Zi oni sm in t h i s

that,

great c r i s i s

w i t h o u t t h e Congress,

was doomed to co nt i nue i t s

e x i s t e n c e as a m i n o r i t y p a r t y i n a n a t i o n a l i t y which had

Yonathan S h a p i r o , The Leader shi p o f t he American Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n , 1 8 9 7 - 1 9 3 0 , ( Ur bana, 1 9 7 1 ) , p. 80; Mel vi n I . U r o f s k y , American Zi onism from Her z l to the H a l o c o u s t , (Garden C i t y , 1 9 7 5 ) , p. 166.

64 not t he s t r e n g t h to a t t e m p t to o r g a n i z e i t s e l f . The t e c hn i qu e worked. about 7 , 0 0 0 members.

In 1914,

By t y i n g

.

.

t he F e d e r a t i o n

had

i t s e l f so c l o s e l y to the

Congress movement, t h e F e d e r a t i o n was a b l e al most to triple

i t s membership.

Brandei s was a b l e to ca pt u r e the

" h e a r t s and minds" o f t he r e c e n t l y a r r i v e d

immigrants from

E ast er n Europe and Russia through t h e t wi n spurs o f "demo­ cr acy" and t h e d e s i r e to a i d t h e i r b r e t h r e n z ones.

in t he war

16 Having gai ned t he a c t i v e - - i n

of Z i o n i s t s national

fact,

zealous--support

and those Jews who b e l i e v e d i n the d o c t r i n e o f

rights,

the Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n

Commit- •

t ee c o n c e n t r a t e d on se c ur i n g the endorsements of the l a r g e Jewish f r a t e r n a l 1915,

organizations.^^

By t he end of May,

t he F e d e r a t i o n of Russian P o l i s h Jews and t he I n d e ­

pendent Order B r i t h Shalom, which t o g e t h e r had a member­ shi p o f 5 0 , 0 0 0 , 1915,

endorsed t he Congress movement.

I n June,

t h e I ndependent Order B r i t h Abraham, one of the

largest

of t he Jewish f r a t e r n a l

^ ^The Maccabean, ( J u l y ,

or der s i n t he Uni t ed

1916),

p.

162.

^^ S ha p i r o, The Leader shi p o f the American Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n , pp. 8 6 - 8 7 . ^^See Chapter Two.

65 States,

endorsed t he i dea o f an American Jewish Congress.

So di d t h e F e d e r a t i o n o f Bukovi ni an Jews and many o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s and f r a t e r n a l Provisional conve nt i on

Committee f o r General

18

1915 the

Z io n is t A f f a i r s at i t s

Moses J.

Gries,

Conference o f American Rabbi s,

cause f o r

On May 9,

in Boston endorsed t he f o r m a t i o n of the Amer i ­

can Jewish Congress. Central

orders.

this

intensifying

P r e s i d e n t of the a p t l y summed up the

and a c c e l e r a t i n g movement f o r

a Jewish Congress: The c r i s i s condemns ' d i v i s i o n o f c o un s e l ' and demands unity of action. Let the m u l t i t u d e o f committees and l e a d e r s s u r r e n d e r t h e i r c l a i ms to p r i o r i t y and p r e c e ­ dence. They must u n i t e to c r e a t e 'one c o mmi t t e e , ' which s h a l l be ' per manent ' - - a n d t h o r o u g h l y r e p r e s e n t a ­ t i v e and dul y a u t h o r i z e d , w i t h the r i g h t and power to speak and a c t on b e h a l f o f a l l the Jews o f Ameri ca. , 19 Wi th t he needed endorsements s a f e l y

in hand,

the

Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee a t once t ur ned i t s efforts

to

keepi ng the idea o f a Jewish Congress c o n t i n u a l l y

Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi ttee, To the Jews o f A me r i c a , p. 10. See a l s o . The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 6 / 1 1 / 1 5 , p. 1; 8 / 6 / 1 5 , p. 1; 9 / 7 / 1 5 , p. 1. The Independent Order o f the Free Sons of I s r a e l o f Boston, The Union of Orthodox Congr egati ons and the A s s o c i a t i o n of Orthodox Rabbi s, over s i x t y Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s in B a l t i ­ more, Jewish groups in Nebraska, t he Y . M. H. A. of New Engl and, and a group of Jewish lawyers i n Chicago endorsed the movement. ^^Quot e d i n The J e w i s h A d v o c a t e p.

2.

(Boston),

7/23/15,

66

be f or e the p u b l i c . 27,

1915,

it

To t h i s

end, a t i t s meeting o f J u l y

e s t a b l i s h e d a Congress Bureau and P u b l i c i t y

Committee whose f u n c t i o n i t

was to p u b l i c i z e and d r a m a t i z e

the p l i g h t of the Jews in t he war the J . C . O . C .

zones.

^0

The s t a f f of

prepared f o r t h i s purpose a Black Book

d e s c r i b i n g the s u f f e r i n g and p e r s e c u t i o n o f Jews in war t or n Europe,

h e l p i n g t h e r e b y to i n f l u e n c e American p u b l i c

op i ni o n in f a v o r o f d i s c u s s i n g equal a t the f u t u r e peace c o nf e r e nc e .

rights for a ll

Jews

PI

The Congr essi st s were aware t h a t t h e i r opponents criticized

the movement as un-Ameri can; Jacob S c h i f f

opposed the Congress on the grounds t h a t i t would c r e a t e f o r Jews the problem o f dual

political

allegiance.

would lead Jews to consi der themsel ves a n a t i o n than a r e l i g i o u s denomi nat i on) remained American c i t i z e n s .

It

(rather

a t the same time t h a t t hey

But the Congr ess i st s d i s ­

missed S c h i f f ' s

argument as a non-sequ i t u r .

East ern Council

of Reform Rabbi s,

in June,

Bef ore the 1915,

Brandei s de c l a r e d t h a t he saw no i n c ompa t a b i 1 i t y

Louis between

Jewish and American n a t i o n a l i s m :

8/5/15,

^QI b i d . , p. 8. 21

7/30/15,

p.

1; The American I s r a e l i t e ,

The Amer i can I s r a e l i t e ,

8/19/15,

p.

7.

67 M u l t i p l e l o y a l t i e s a r e o b j e c t i o n a b l e onl y i f t hey are inconsistent. A man i s a b e t t e r c i t i z e n o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s f o r al so being a l o y a l c i t i z e n o f hi s s t a t e . . . and c i t y . . . . Every American Jew who ai ds in advanci ng Jewish s e t t l e m e n t i n P a l e s t i n e , though he f e e l s t h a t n e i t h e r he nor hi s descendants w i l l ever liv e there, w ill . . . be a b e t t e r man and a b e t t e r American f o r doing so. . . . 22 The Con gr e s s i s t s al so count er ed t h e i r opponents by d e p i c t i n g the Congress as a c r e a t i o n o f the Jewish masses and an i n s t r u m e n t o f democracy,

i n sharp c o n t r a s t to the

o l i g a r c h y o f r i c h and i n f l u e n t i a l

Jews who opposed i t .

But the Jewish peopl e cannot st and by and si mpl y look on wi t h f o l d e d arms. . . . We must t ake o t h e r a c t i o n a f t e r careful d e libe ra tion . . . . But we can do t h i s o n l y i f the Jews o f America w i l l t h a t t hese c o n d i t i o n s s h a l l end; and under t ake to express t h a t w i l l through action. . . . I f we acqui esce i n d e c i s i o n s made f o r us not by us i t can onl y be because we ar e p r a c t i c a l l y i n d i f f e r e n t . . . . 23 A letter

to the American I s r a e l i t e

American Jewish Congress cal

warned t h a t w i t h o u t an

" t he ol d- Eur opean ways o f p o l i t i ­

pr es sur e on b e h a l f o f Jews by Jews w i l l

continue.

. . .

The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 6 / 1 8 / 1 5 , pp. 1, 2, 8. See al so Rappapor t , "Jewish Immigrants and World War One," p. 225 ; Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Amer i ca, Brandei s on Z i o n i s m , (New Yor k, 1 9 4 2 ) , p. 28. Z^Louis D. B r a n d e i s , "Jewish U n i t y and the Con­ g r e s s , " speech d e l i v e r e d by Brandei s 9 / 1 7 / 1 5 , in posses­ sion o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. Z^The A me r i c a n

Isra elite ,

4/1/15,

p.

4.

.,24

68 Con gr e s s i s t s a l s o sought and r e c e i v e d c o n f i r m a t i o n and r eassur ance from pr omi nent non-Jews t h a t f a r from being un- Amer i can,

their

cause,

was i n t he h i g h e s t t r a d i t i o n

o f American de mo c r a t i c t houg ht and a c t i o n .

Even Senat or

Henry Cabot Lodge o f Massachuset t s expr essed hi s support in 1915.

Lodge s t a t e d i n a l e t t e r

to t he Warhei t :

Everyone who b e l i e v e s in freedom and democracy must e a r n e s t l y hope t h a t when t h i s g r e a t war comes t o an end and terms o f peace a r e agreed upon p r o v i s i o n w i l l be made which w i l l secur e to Jews ever ywher e t he f r e e ­ dom to which we i n t he Uni t ed S t a t e s b e l i e v e a l l men ar e e n t i t l e d . Theodore Roo sev el t too expr essed t he hope t h a t t he Jews of Europe would be g r a n t e d t h e i r r i g h t s . 26 E x e c u t i v e Counci l declared i t s

And in 1916 the

o f t he American F e d e r a t i o n of Labor

suppor t f o r t he Congress movement.27

Having won t he endorsement o f numerous o r g a n i z a ­ t i o n s and beaten back t he charge t h a t t h e i r

cause was

un- Amer i can,

the C o n g r e s s i s t s could f i n a l l y

t u r n to the

work o f o r g a n i z i n g t he masses o f i n d i v i d u a l

Jews i n t o a

c o he r e n t movement.

Louis L i p s k y ,

t i o n o f American Z i o n i s t s ,

cont i nue d to e x h o r t a l l

ZSquoted i n Rappapor t , War One," p. 217. 2 6 i b i d . , pp. 2 7ibid.

a l e a d e r o f the Feder a­

217-218.

"Jewish I mmi grant s and World

69 Zionists

t o work f o r t he Congress.

ar r a n g e l o c a l

conf er ences and mass meet i ngs in which to

seek r e s o l u t i o n s Mass r a l l i e s

He importuned them to

calling

f o r a " d emocr at i c" Congress.

were hel d a l l

over t he U n i t e d S t a t e s ;

p r o-

Congress s e n t i m e n t was around i n such pl aces as C h a t t a nooga, Tennesse.

2Q

So i n t e n s e was L i p s k y ' s Cyrus A d l e r complained b i t t e r l y was d e l i b e r a t e l y

propaganda a s s a u l t t h a t to Br andei s t h a t Li psky

sabot agi ng the n e g o t i a t i o n s

then t a k i n g

p l a c e between t he American Jewish Committee and the Br andei s group concer ni ng the Congress. believe,"

"I

do not

charged A d l e r ,

t h a t , pending n e g o t i a t i o n s , upon which we e n t e r e d in a l l l o y a l t y and wi t h t he f u l l e s t d e s i r e to br i n g about c o o p e r a t i o n , you have sa nct i on ed a p o l i c y on b e h a l f of an o r g a n i z a t i o n so c l o s e l y connected wi t h the P r o v i ­ s i o n a l E x e c u t i v e Committee f o r General Z i o n i s t A f f a i r s as i s t he F e d e r a t i o n o f American Z i o n i s t s , to b r i n g about a s e r i e s o f a g i t a t i o n s t h r o u g h o u t t he count r y ai mi ng to i n f l u e n c e these n e g o t i a t i o n s . . . . 29

28

Ri char ds to B r a n d e i s , 1 2 / 3 / 1 5 , Louis Brandeis f o l d e r , Ber nard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi­ n a r y ; The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 2 / 1 5 , p. 2; 8 / 2 6 / 1 5 , p. 4. ^ ^ L e t t e r o f A d l e r to B r a n d e i s , 7 / 2 8 / 1 5 , p r i n t e d in The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 1 2 / 1 5 , p. 1. The American Jew­ i sh Committee proposed a conf er ence o f 150 d e l e g a t e s ; the o r g a n i z a t i o n s to be r e pr e s e nt e d were to be chosen by the Commi ttee. A d l e r in a l e t t e r to Brandei s o u t l i n e d the t h r e e g u i d i n g p r i n c i p l e s on which the o r g a n i z a t i o n s were invited: ( 1 ) the "number o f members in each o r g a n i z a t i o n ;

70 It

was a pl ea to c a l l

Br andei s

i gnor ed i t .

i ng A d l e r ' s

o f f Lipsky's a l l - o u t He r e p l i e d

campaign,

but

t h a t Li psky was f o l l o w ­

own example and admonished A d l e r to r e c a l l

t h a t one day p r i o r to the scheduled adopt i on of a pl an of cooperation, Ameri ca tions)

A d l e r had committed t he Uni t ed Synagogue of

( t h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f Cons e r v a t i v e Jewish congrega­ to suppor t t he American Jewish Commi ttee' s p r o ­

posal . O p p o s i t i o n to t he f o r m a t i o n o f an American Jewish Congress came p r i m a r i l y from German-Jewish Ameri cans, and f o r t he f o l l o w i n g assimilated;

r easons.

The German Jews wished to be

they regarded Judaism as a r e l i g i o n o n l y ,

themsel ves as Americans o f t he Jewish f a i t h . historian

states

that

therefore,

one

the German Jewish c o ngr egat i ons were

" i n tone and form modeled upon l i b e r a l For them,

I ndee d,

and

P r o t e s t a n t i s m , "3^

i t was a c o n t r a d i t i o n

to p a r t i c i p a t e

( 2 ) t he d i v e r s i f i e d i n t e r e s t s o f t he Jews of Ameri ca; (3) the ge o g r a p h i c a l d i s t r i b u t i o n o f t he Jewish p o p u l a t i o n in Amer i ca. . A d l e r to B r a n d e i s , 8 / 3 / 1 5 , quoted in The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 1 2 / 1 5 , p. 1. ^^Brandei s t o A d l e r , 8 / 1 0 / 1 5 , 521, Ameri can Jewish A r c h i v e s . 31

Max H e l l e r Mss,

Box

A r t h u r Goren, New York Jews and t he Quest f o r Com­ m u n i t y , The K e h i l l a h E x p e r i e n c e , 1 9 0 8 - 1 9 2 2 , (New Yor k, 1 9 7 0 ) , p. 14.

71 in e x c l u s i v e l y Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s o t h e r than c h a r i t a b l e or r e l i g i o u s ones.

Moreover,

t hey d i f f e r e d

Europeans in l anguage, c u l t u r e , wel l

as in being r i c h e r ,

more Ame r i c a n i z e d ,

from t he East

and r e l i g i o u s

practice,

b e t t e r s e c u l a r l y educat ed,

and they took these d i f f e r e n c e s

c a t o r s o f t h e i r own s u p e r i o r i t y .

Hence,

as

and as i n d i ­

t hey a r r o g a t e d to

themselves t he r o l e o f sht adl ani m f o r t he newcomers, and when t h e i r

r o l e was chal l e nge d by t he East S i d e r s ,

became angry a t t h e i r

" l e s s ex per i e nce d"

Stephen Wise summed up the a t t i t u d e

they

brethren.

Rabbi

of t he East S i d e r s :

The r e a l d i f f i c u l t y l i e s in t he ci r cumst ances t h a t t he German Jewish m i l l i o n a i r e s in t h i s c o u n t r y , l ed by S c h i f f , p e r s i s t in t r e a t i n g t he Jewish masses as i f t hey were f o r e v e r to be in a s t a t e o f t u t e l a g e and i n c a p a bl e o f having an y t h i ng t o say w i t h r e s p e c t to the management, o f t h e i r own a f f a i r s . I t i s a very se r i ous quest i on and must be f ought o u t . 32 O r g a n i z a t i o n s t h a t drew most o f t h e i r members or funds from t he German-Jewish community d e c l i n e d to j o i n Congress movement. tions,

The Union o f American Hebrew Congrega­

wi t h he adquar t er s

in C i n c i n n a t i ,

over whel mi ngl y not to p a r t i c i p a t e B ' n ai

B r i t h deemed i t

Ohi o, decided

in t he Congress;

the

a n t a g o n i s t i c to t he p r i n c i p l e s

Order and " s u b v e r s i v e of i t s mi ssi on" to e n t e r

People,

the

of the

i n t o any

^^C. H. Voss, Stephen S. Wise: S er van t of the ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 6 9 ) , pp. 7 0 - 7 1 , 72.

72 a l l i a n c e with other i n s t i t u t i o n s and l a c k i n g

.

.

limited

in t h e i r

"scope

. universality."^^

A c t i v e o p p o s i t i o n t o the Congress movement was l ed by the American Jewish Committee and based s q u a r e l y on assi mi 1a t i o n i s t assumpt i ons.

Jacob S c h i f f

argued t h a t such

an i n s t i t u t i o n would brand Jews i n t he Uni t e d S t a t e s as a nation w it hin a natio n.

"The h o l di n g of a Jewish Congress, "

he d e c l a r e d , means not hi ng l ess than a d e c i s i o n . . . t h a t we are Jews f i r s t , and Americans second. I f we ar e not Jews f i r s t , i f we a r e Americans o f t he Jewish f a i t h , or Jew­ i sh peopl e o n l y , we have a b s o l u t e l y no r i g h t to hold such a Congress. The Congress means t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a new government, a government f o r t he Jews by which the Jews a r e to be bound. Thi s i s something new in Jewry si nce t he d i s s o l u t i o n o f t he Jewish n a t i o n two thousand ye ar s ago. . . . We w i l l become a people by ourselves. We w i l l become a compact mass o f Jewish Ameri cans, and not o f American 34 J

e

w

s

.

Another spokesman f o r t he American Jewish Committee voi ced t he a s s i m i 1a t i o n i s t s ' o t h e r bete n o i r e : gress were h e l d ,

its

that

if

onl y accompl ishment would be to anger

non-Jews and fan t h e fl ames of a n t i - S e m i t i s m . President of the P hi la del phi a Association t i o n o f Jewish I mmi g r a nt s ,

93.

Naomi

Louis Levy,

f o r the P r o t e c ­

put the case e x p l i c i t l y :

33i h e American I s r a e l i t e , 1 / 2 0 / 1 6 , OA Quoted i n

the Con­

p.

as a

1.

Cohen, Not Free t o D e s i s t , pp.

92-

73

forum f o r c o n t e n t i o u s d i s c u s s i o n s and b i t t e r against foreign not d i s t o r t e d ,

speeches

governments both sure to be exagger at e d i f t he Congress would be g r i s t f o r the m i l l s

of

anti-Semi t e s . F u r t h e r mo r e , belief

their

i n g r a i n e d s h t a d l a n - i sm, t h e i r

t h a t t hey onl y coul d speak f o r

Ameri ca, made t h e a n t i - C o n g r e s s i s t s lic

d i s c u s s i o n o f the r i g h t s

counter-productive.

all

truly

t he Jews of a f r a i d t h a t pub­

o f wor l d Jewry could onl y be

For those r e a s o n s ,

Louis Mar shal l

de pl or e d t he convening of a Jewish Congress. We s h a l l c e r t a i n l y not c o n s i d e r t h e c a l l i n g of a Con­ g r e s s , o r o f any meet i ng which w i l l r e s u l t in i n d i s ­ c r e e t p u b l i c speeches and i n f l a m m a t o r y r h e t o r i c . . . . I f e a r t h a t , what ever we do, t he f i r e b r a n d s and t he p r o f e s s i o n a l a g i t a t o r s w i l l not be c o n t e n t wi t h our action [ i t a l i c s mine]. They l i v e on n o t o r i e t y , and i f t hey can make a speech i n which t h e y can denounce everybody and e v e r y t h i n g t hey w i l l be p e r f e c t l y happy, even though the d e s t r u c t i o n o f our European b r e t h r e n might i mme di a t e l y f o l l o w . . . . 36 Others c oncur r ed: There can be no doubt t h a t w i l d s t a t e me nt s would be made on t he f l o o r o f such a co n v e n t i o n which would

oc

The American I s r a e l i t e , 9 / 9 / 1 5 , p. 4. Levy was a Z i o n i s t , but he opposed the c a l l i n g o f t he Congress on t he grounds t h a t Zi oni sm coul d onl y come a t a l a t e r date and t h a t the f i r s t p r i o r i t y o f t he Jews o f America was to a i d t h e i r s u f f e r i n g b r e t h r e n i n t he war zones. ^^ Ma r s hal l to A. Marshal 1 , volume 2, pp.

Kraus, 6 / 1 2 / 1 5 , 509-51 0.

in R e z n i k o f f ,

Louis

74 on l y c o m p l i c a t e a ve r y d e l i c a t e s i t u a t i o n . The a l l i m p o r t a n t need now i s . . . calm j u d i c i o u s prudence. Mere p r o t e s t , no m a t t e r how j u s t i f i e d or how impas­ s i o n e d , w i l l not a v a i l . . . . St a t e s ma n s h i p , were c a p a b l e ,

o f which t he sh t a d l a n i m b e l i e v e d o n l y t hey was r e q u i r e d .

P r o t e s t s . . . may e x c i t e t he m u l t i t u d e . . . but t h e r e i t w i l l end. . . . To have t h a t i n d i g n a t i o n r e i t e r a t e d on t h e f l o o r o f what i s c a l l e d a Congress would be me r el y c u m u l a t i v e . But the e v i l s f o r our b r e t h r e n abroad might be onl y i ncr e as ed t h e r e b y and no permanent good f o r them accompli s h e d . 37 Indeed,

i n such d e l i c a t e m a t t e r s ,

t he s h t a d l a n i m b e l i e v e d

t h a t the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g should be l e f t what was best f o r the Jews of Finally,

Am erica.

t he a n t i - Congress i s t s

t o them;

they knew

^8 a s s e r t e d t h a t t he

Congress was bound to be an e x e r c i s e in f u t i l i t y ,

because

the

o r g a n i z a t i o n s would not s u b o r d i n a t e t h e i r autonomy

to

it.

As e v i d e n c e ,

of

t hey c i t e d

a Congress had c r e a t e d . least controversial

Even i t s most h u ma n i t a r i a n and

purpose,

had aroused d i s s e n s i o n .

the d i s c o r d t h a t t he idea

a i d i n g Jews in t he war zones,

They compared t he d i f f e r e n c e s

37The American I s r a e l i t e , 5 / 6 / 1 5 , p. 4. Cyrus A d l e r s t a t e d : "The i n f l a me d c o n d i t i o n o f p u b l i c o p i n i o n in Europe and Amer i ca, the l a r g e number o f Jews in t he b e l l i g e r e n t lands . . . make t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f i n t e m p e r a t e and even i l l - c o n s i d e r e d speech so g r e a t , t h a t we f e e l t h a t we in t h i s co u n t r y have no r i g h t to r i s k i n j u r y to our b r e t h r e n abroad in t hese t i m e s . " The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 1 2 / 1 5 , p. 1 38Mel vi n U r o f s k y , American Zi oni sm from Her zl t he H o l o c a u s t , (Garden C i t y , 1 9 7 5 ) , pp. 1 6 1 - 1 6 4 .

to

75 between German-Jews and East er n European and Russian Jews to t h e deep d i v i s i o n s C a t h o l i c s and f e l t

s e p a r a t i n g P r o t e s t a n t s and Roman

them t o be e q u a l l y u n b r i d g e a b l e .

Each and everyone i s w i l l i n g to l e a d , none i s w i l l i n g to f o l l o w . . . . P u b l i c i t y onl y serves to c a l l a t t e n ­ t i o n and the f u t i l i t y of a l l e f f o r t s to e f f e c t a change. . . . 39 And i f

t he Jews themselves would not be bound by the r e s o ­

l u t i o n s o f a Jewish Congress, were European governments likely

to agree or even l i s t e n

to i t s

demands?

The i r r e -

s i s t a b l e c o n c l u s i o n was t h a t onl y men o f the s t a t u r e of Jacob S c h i f f ,

Loui s M a r s h a l l ,

pean c o u n t e r p a r t s

or t h e i r

influential

Euro­

could make t h e i r voi ces heard in the

c o u n c i l s o f d i p l o m a c y . 40 These ar gument s, d e s p i t e c o n s i d e r a b l e m e r i t and cogency, were g r a d u a l l y overborne by the s k i l l f u l cacy o f Congress s u p p o r t e r s . in anti-Congress

The f i r s t

advo­

sign o f weakness

ranks appeared when the New York K e h i l l a h ,

an appendage o f the American Jewish Commi ttee,

urged the

Committee to r equest a conf er ence o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s all

Jewish n a t i o n a l

o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f the count r y

a u n i t e d American Jewr y. "

^ ^ The Amer i c a n

4 0 l b i d . , 8/17/16,

[ t o f orm]

The K e h i l l a h p u bl i s hed an

I s r a e l i t e , 3/11/15, p.

4.

p.

4,

"of

76 "Appeal tial

for Unity,"

c o n t a i n i n g v a l i d c r i t i c i s m and i mpa r ­

r e p r o o f o f Congr ess i st s and a n t i - C o n g r e s s i s t s a l i k e .

Mass meetings coul d not r e s o l v e the c r i s i s Jewish community brought on by t he war , a small

but n e i t h e r should

group o f men, however i n f l u e n t i a l ,

grave issues behind cl osed door s. t h a t no new n a t i o n a l

i n the f o r e i g n

deci de such

The K e h i l 1 ah proposed

o r g a n i z a t i o n be f ormed, mer el y a

union o f e x i s t i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

t h e r e by a v o i d i n g f r i c t i o n

and savi ng pr eci ous t i me. ^^ The Congress qu e s t i on dominated the K e h i l l a h meeting o f A p r i l

25,

1915, .with Ma r s hal l

f a v o r o f convening t he Congress. Marshall,

cisely

The Congress, warned

could onl y breed i n f i n i t e

Jews to be mi sco ns t r u ed ,

de ba t i ng those in

ridiculed,

"mischief,"

causi ng

and r e v i l e d

by p r e ­

those G e n t i l e s whose compassion and under st andi ng

they most n e e d e d . I n

pl ace o f a Congress,

the American Jewish Committee would c a l l of n a t i o n a l

Mar shal l

sai d

f o r a conf er ence

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s t o exchange views about

Goren, New York Jews and the Quest f o r Community: The K e h i l l a h Exper i ment , 1 9 0 8 - 1 9 2 2 , p. 222; The American I s r a e l i t e , 3 / 4 / 1 5 , p. 1. 42

The Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi ttee, To the Jews o f A me r i ca, p. 8.

77

what should be done. alternative

But d e s p i t e M a r s h a l l ' s wa r n i n g s ,

pr oposals,

and

Congr essi st s pr es ent ed the K e h i l l a h

conve nt i on w i t h a r e s o l u t i o n c a l l i n g

on t he American Jew­

ish Committee t o summon a Jewish Congress to " c o n s i d e r the Jewish qu e s t i on and to devi se ways and means how to pl ace the same on t he agenda o f the peace c o n f e r e n c e . T h e K e h i l l a h ap po i nt e d a committee o f f i f t e e n of r ep re se nt ati on

f o r the Jewish Congress.

f l a r e d a f r e s h on t he i ssue t i l l

to devi se a plan Angry debat e

Magnes suggested t h a t the

conve nt i on ad j o u r n f o r a month to a l l o w o p i n i o n to c r y s ­ tallize

f o r or a g a i n s t the

r

e

The i mport ance o f t h i s be over emphasi zed, constitution

s

o

l

u

t

i

o

n

.

^

4

K e h i l l a h convent i on cannot

f o r the K e h i 11 ah cont r avened i t s

own

to di scuss the c a l l i n g o f a Jewish Congress.

Though the American Jewish Committee succeeded in i t s delaying a c t i o n , opponents a l i k e

it

was becoming appar ent to members and

that its

arguments and s t r a t e g y were

mer el y postponi ng t he i n e v i t a b l e . As the American Jewish Committee r e t i r e d late

new s t r a t e g y ,

Ib id ., World War One," pp. 2, 5.

p. p.

to formu­

the Congr essi st s redoubl ed t h e i r

225; Rappaport, "Jewish I mmi grants and 215; The American I s r a e l i t e , 4 / 2 9 / 1 5 ,

78 efforts, bills,

f l o o d i n g t h e community w i t h more pa mp hl e t s ,

and p o s t e r s .

Wi se,

Lipsky,

DeHaas, and a host of

ot h e r s made speeches, wr ot e a r t i c l e s

f o r the Y i d d i s h ,

A n g l o - J e w i s h , and American press to suppor t t h e i r They a t t a c k e d M a r s h a l l ' s national

organizations;

organization ing,

elect

its

ma t t e r s

participants

t hey suggested i n s t e a d t h a t each own r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

" r e c o g n i z e d as a u t h o r i t a ­

own o r g a n i z a t i o n s and,

realized

t h a t no o r g a n i z a t i o n would

t h e power to d i s m a n t l e

by p r a c t i c a l l y

t o any e x e c u t i v e c o u n c i l .

. .

surrendering ti46

thereby d i s c r e d i t i n g

suppor t f o r t he Congress.

discernable

in the r e s o l u t i o n

itself Thi s

their

and i n c r e a s i n g pub­

tactic

is c l e a r l y

proposed a t t h e New York

45 Ma r s h a l l t o Magnes, 5 / 2 1 / 1 5 , Marshal 1 , volume 2, pp. 5 0 7 - 5 0 9 .

46lbid.

its

They

i n t e n d e d t he American Jewish Committee to r e j e c t

lic

their

t h a t t he American Jewish Committee

"would not commit H a r a - k i r i

proposal,

o f the

i n the c o n f e r e n c e , " would be a p p o i n t e d . 45

representatives

in itiative

t o such a meet­

connected w i t h the war by a l l

The C o n g r e s s i s t s f u l l y give t h e i r

cause.

proposed co nf e r e nc e o f Jewish

and an E x e c u t i v e C o u n c i l ,

t i v e on a l l

hand­

in R e z n i k o f f ,

Louis

79 K a h i n a h meet i ng o f May 23,

1915,

ur gi ng t he American Jew­

i sh Committee to " c o n s i d e r t he a d v i s a b i l i t y o f c a l l i n g

a

conf e r e nce o f t h e c h a r a c t e r f a v o r e d by t h i s

in

convent i on

l i e u of t he conf er ence which t he American Jewish Committee has h e r e t o f o r e p l a n n e d . "47

The r e s o l u t i o n

American Jewish Committee di d not f e e l Nevertheless,

its

leaders

passed,

itself

but the

bound by i t .

saw t h a t Jewish p u b l i c

opi ni on was i n c r e a s i n g l y t u r n i n g a g a i n s t them.

Congr essi st s

were managing to persuade t he Jewish p u b l i c t h a t the American Jewish Commi t t ee' s o p p o s i t i o n was a r b i t r a r y , unfair,

and unr easonabl e and, moreover,

Jews in t he war zones. representatives

harmful

to the

Throughout t he summer o f 1915,

of the Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commit­

t e e and t he American Jewish Committee met to di scuss com­ promise and c o o p e r a t i o n . s u b s t a n t i v e conc e s s i ons , proceeded to c a l l organizations

its

But n e i t h e r s i de would make so t he American Jewish Committee

proposed c o n f e r e n c e ,

and those

t h a t depended on t h e Committee f o r f i n a n c i a l

47The Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee, To the Jews o f A me r i c a , p. 9. Hourwich s t a t e d t h a t the use o f the word " c onf er enc e" was a concessi on to those who were opposed to t he use o f t he word " c o n g r e s s . " See, "The American Jew­ i sh Congress, " pp. 2 - 3 , in possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es of the Jewish I n f o r m a ­ t i o n Bureau.

80 suppor t accepted i t s

invitation.

An unnamed Congr essi st

noted : I f you examine the l i s t o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s t h a t the American Jewish Committee has i n v i t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n i t s conf er ence you w i l l see t h a t i t has i n v i t e d a l i s t o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s t h a t have no r e a l c o n s t i t u e n c i e s and which by a system o f i n t e r l o c k i n g d i r e c t o r a t e s are p r a c t i c a l l y under the c o n t r o l o f the C o m m i t t e e . 48 A c r i d mutual

recriminations

followed,

accusi ng t he o t h e r o f bad f a i t h

each o r g a n i z a t i o n

and o f j e o p a r d i z i n g

the

w e l f a r e o f f o r e i g n Je ws. 49 At t h i s j u n c t u r e , Order B' nai pute.

Brith,

t he P r e s i d e n t of the Independent

Adolph Kraus,

He sent l e t t e r s

o u t l i n e d hi s p r o p o s a l .

tried

to medi ate the d i s ­

to t h e wa r r i n g f a c t i o n s If

in which he

t he p r e s i d e n t s o f a l l

national

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s were to meet and agree upon some plan of a c t i o n , factorily.

then t he d i s p u t e could be s e t t l e d q u i t e s a t i s ­ To be f a i r to both s i d e s ,

he suggested t h a t

each f a c t i o n be gi ven the r i g h t to i n v i t e o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s . 59

The B ' n a i

48The Jewish Advocate

an equal

B r i t h pl an f a i l e d

(Boston), 8 / 2 7 / 1 5 ,

number

as a l l

p.

1.

49por an a n a l y s i s o f these 1etters--commonly r e f er r ed to as the A d i e r - B r a n d e i s co r r e s p o n d e n c e - - s e e Solomon S o l i s Cohen, The Jewish Exponent ( P h i l a d e l p h i a ) , 9 / 1 0 / 1 5 , p. 1. SOKraus to American Jewish Committee, 8 / 1 0 / 1 5 , Kraus to Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi ttee, 8 / 1 0 / 1 5 , David P h i l i p s o n Mss, Box 1321, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

81

ot her s had f a i l e d .

The American Jewish Committee was

amenable t o the pl an onl y i f

t he " Z i o n i s t s "

( Co ngr e s s i s t s )

a g r e ed, w h i l e Brandei s s t a t e d t h a t Congr essi st s would come to such a meeting on l y i f

the American Jewish Committee

agreed to t he s t i p u l a t i o n

that

no one a t t e n d i n g i s to b i n d , in advance, the o r g a n i z a ­ t i o n which he r e p r e s e n t s to any s p e c i f i c p o l i c y which may be s u b m i t t e d , or appear t o be t he p r e v a i l i n g o pi ni on a t the c o n f e r e n c e . . . .51 Not hi ng came o f the n e g o t i a t i o n s . ^2 The f a i l u r e

o f Kraus' s medi a t i o n e f f o r t was a s e r i ­

ous setback f o r t h e American Jewish Committee. o p i n i o n was t u r n i n g

in creas ingly against i t ,

Jewish

and pr es sur e

to postpone i t s

proposed c o n f e r e n c e , which was scheduled

f o r October 24,

1915, was mounti ng.

Organizations

such as

the F e d e r a t i o n o f Roumanian Jews and the Jewish N a t i o n a l Workers A l l i a n c e October meet i ng.

demanded t h a t t he Committee postpone the Bernard M.

Lodge Number One of the B' nai

Kaplan o f D i s t r i c t Grand Brith

r e v e a l e d to Bernard G.

51 I b i d . , A d l e r to Kraus, 8 / 2 9 / 1 5 , 9 / 3 / 1 5 ; Kraus to A d l e r , 8 / 3 1 / 1 5 ; Brandei s to Kraus, 8 / 2 5 / 1 5 . See al s o Bran­ dei s to Kraus in The American I s r a e l i t e , 9 / 2 3 / 1 5 , p. 8. 52

A l v i n Roth, "Background and O r i g i n s of the Ameri ­ can Jewish Congr ess, " ( Ra b bi n i c T h e s i s , Hebrew Union C o l ­ l e g e , 1 9 5 3 ) , pp. 1 93-1 96; Me l vi n U r o f s k y , American Z i o n i s m , pp. 1 6 9 - 1 7 0 .

82 Richards t h a t hi s c o n s t i t u e n t s were not a t a l l

in f a v o r of

the me e t i ng,

and t h a t he was more i n c l i n e d to " a c q u a i n t "

[associate?]

t he B ' n a i

B r i t h wi t h t he Congress

m o v e m e n t . ^3

Forced wh ol l y on the d e f e n s i v e by t he C o n g r e s s i s t s , American Jewish Committee postponed i t s retired (1)

to co n s i d e r t h r e e a l t e r n a t i v e

and thus " r e l i n q u i s h ( 3)

to bar gai n

( 2)

conf e r e nce and

courses o f a c t i o n :

to r e p u d i a t e p u b l i c l y the Congress,

S u l z b e r g e r suggest ed;

the

as Judge Mayer

to gi ve i n to t he Congr ess i st s

the l e a d e r s h i p i t

has assumed";

f u r t h e r wi t h the o p p o s i t i o n l e a d e r s ,

and

in exchange f o r "moderate concessions"

retain

ing i n f l u e n c e "

as an i mp o r t a n t

on r a d i c a l

Jews as we l l

voi ce a t the f u t u r e peace c o n f e r e n c e . the t h i r d cour se.

At i t s

annual

a "restrain­

The Committee chose

meet i ng in November, 1915,

a r e s o l u t i o n was passed c a l l i n g f o r a conf e r e nce of national

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

to c o n s i d e r t he r i g h t s of

Jews in the war zones and Roumania, and f o r t he e s t a b l i s h ­ ment of a "Congress on a democr at i c basi s a f t e r the t e r m i nation of h o s t i l i t i e s .

#4,

.

."

54

Even t h i s

resolution

^^Richards to L i p s k y , 7 / 2 2 / 1 5 , Louis Li psky f o l d e r Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. S^Naomi

97.

.

Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t ,

pp.

92-93,

96-

83 passed onl y a f t e r much d e b a t e .

The m a j o r i t y r e p o r t ,

which t he r e s o l u t i o n was based,

recommended t h a t

upon

the Com­

m i t t e e agree to t he c a l l i n g o f a conf er ence o f d e l e g a t e s of national delegates,

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s , to di scuss t he r i g h t s

limited

i n number to 150

o f Jews abroad.

This

conf e r e nce would a l s o e l e c t an e x e c u t i v e committee of f i f t e e n w i t h power to a c t f o r

it

until

t he end o f the war ,

a t which t i me

an American Jewish Congress would be

vened.

Magnes, always more l i b e r a l than

ity

Judah

o f t he Commi ttee,

con­

t he m a j o r ­

p r e s e n t e d a m i n o r i t y r e p o r t recom­

mending t h a t t he c o n f e r e n c e shoul d i t s e l f deci de when the Congress would convene,

but he wi t hdr ew hi s recommendation

on r e a l i z i n g

suppor t i t

how l i t t l e

had.^S

$o i n g r a i n e d

was American Jewish Committee o p p o s i t i o n to the i dea o f a Congress t h a t

even the r e s o l u t i o n

based on t he m a j o r i t y

r e p o r t passed

on l y a f t e r much d e b a t e .

The Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee met on November 26, tee's

1915,

proposal

would be f a t a l zation

to c o n s i d e r t he American Jewish Commit­

and agreed unanimously t h a t to accept i t to i t s

cause.

S till,

the Congress O r g a n i ­

Committee c o n t i n u e d to n e g o t i a t e wi t h the American .

The A me r i c a n

I s r a e l i t e , 11/18/15,

p.

3

84 Jewish Committee and i t s

ally,

t he N a t i o n a l

Workmen's Com­

m i t t e e f o r Jewish R i g h t s , even w h i l e pr oceedi ng w i t h i t s pl ans f o r a p r e l i m i n a r y conf e r e nce to pl an an agenda and meeting pl ace f o r the American Jewish Congress. n e g o t i a t i o n s cont i nue d f r u i t l e s s , gressists

But as

s e n t i me n t among the Con­

t ur ned s h a r p l y a g a i n s t per suadi ng t h e i r oppo­

nents and in f a v o r o f pr oceedi ng w i t h o u t them. opi ned t h a t an end to n e g o t i a t i o n s

They

and an open r u p t u r e

coul d onl y s t r e n g t h e n t he Congress movement and weaken i t s opponents.

Therefore,

t h e Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n

Committee o f Chicago passed a r e s o l u t i o n ership ately

ur gi ng t he l e a d ­

in New York to h a l t n e g o t i a t i o n s and c a l l the p r e l i m i n a r y c o n f e r e n c e .

widely c i r c u l a t e d paper s.

immedi­

Thi s r e s o l u t i o n was

in Y i dd i s h and E n g l i s h - l a n g u a g e news­

The s e c r e t a r y o f t he Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n

Commi ttee,

Bernard C.

Richards,

d e c l a r e d t h a t Jews would

suppor t the Congress Committee r a t h e r than the American Jewish Committee and i t s rupture;

allies

i n t he ev ent of an open

the Congr essi st s would s u s t a i n onl y n e g l i g i b l e

loss o f f i n a n c i a l bi g c i t i e s ,

and moral

support,

w h i l e t he N a t i o n a l

particularly

in the

Workmen's Committee would

s u r e l y be d i v i d e d over t he i ss ue and consequent l y di mi ni sh in i mpo r t a nce .

Ri chards f u r t h e r a s s e r t e d t h a t to y i e l d

85 to t he American Jewish Commi ttee' s demand t h a t the Con­ gress not be convened t i l l

the wa r ' s end, would be to

abandon " t h e basi c democr at i c p r i n c i p l e and c r e a t e de­ moralization

here as we l l

ized c i t i e s . " now,

Moreover,

"we s h a l l

as in a m a j o r i t y o f our or gan­ if

the Congress Committee y i e l d e d

in the l i g h t of our p r e s e n t e x per i e nce

have to reckon w i t h f u r t h e r underhanded combi nat i ons in [ t h a t ]

effort

.

. .

to t h w a r t the o b j e c t s o f the Congress.

II56 The P r e l i m i n a r y Conf er ence,

to deci de when, where,

and what issues were to be discussed a t the American Jew­ i sh Congress, met in P h i l a d e l p h i a on March 16, Stephen S.

Wise had s e l f l e s s l y

1916.

Rabbi

d e c l i n e d the p r o f f e r e d

chai r manshi p on t he grounds t h a t he was too p a r t i s a n a figure--too

c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d w i t h Zi oni s m,

and t he g h e t t o Jews o f New Y o r k - - t o

liberalism,

be w i d e l y a c c e p t a b l e .

He recommended Judge Hugo Pam o f Chicago,

and al t hough

Li psky and Richards t hought Pam i n s u f f i c i e n t l y

forceful,

they accept ed him f o r Wi se' s sake. ^?

56Ri chards to Fr i edenwal d 4 / 5 / 1 6 , Harry Fri edenwal d f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Si mi­ na r y . H. Voss, Stephen S. Wise: Ser vant of the P e o p l e , p. 60; Wise to K ai l en 3 / 1 6 / 1 6 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

86 The main s u b j e c t a t the P r e l i m i n a r y Conference was Jewish r i g h t s .

Almost a l l

Congress should s t r i v e religious

the d e l e g a t e s agreed t h a t the

for f u l l

civil,

freedom f o r Jews ever ywher e.

ment arose over the i ssue o f n a t i o n a l Jews to have t h e i r own r e l i g i o u s own l anguage,

and c u l t u r a l

and

But sharp d i s a g r e e ­ rights--the

sc h o o l s ,

to observe r e l i g i o u s

t h e i r own s o c i a l tions

political,

rights

of

to speak t h e i r

holidays,

institutions.

to ma i n t a i n The Resol u­

Committee had so worded t he r e s o l u t i o n on n a t i o n a l

r i g h t s t h a t many t hought they would have to be accorded to the Jews in the Uni t ed S t a t e s and o t h e r west er n democra­ cies.

Though some d e l e g a t e s were in f a v o r o f t h i s

preation,

t he r e s t di d not f e e l

bold enough to

d

e

m

intera

n

d

i t . 58

Wise at t empt e d to compromise the di sagr eement w i t h an amendment s t a t i n g

"That t he Congress co n s i d e r t he qu est i on

o f se c u r i n g f o r the Jews n a t i o n a l

rights

which such r i g h t s ar e or ought to be

i n such lands in

recognized.

"59

But

The r e s o l u t i o n read: "That the Congress co ns i de r the qu est i on of se c ur i n g to t he Jews f r e e and equal r i g h t s , c i v i l , p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , and n a t i o n a l , i n a l l such lands where these r i g h t s ar e deni ed to them. . . ." See American Jewish Congress, P r e l i m i n a r y Conference of the American Jewish Congress: Report o f Pr oceedi ngs; March 2 6 - 2 7 , 1916, (New Yor k, 1 9 1 6 ) , pp. 2 0 - 2 1 . ^^Ibid.

87 this

compromise was unaccept abl e f o r i t s

S yr ki n c a l l e d

it

tim idity.

an a f f r o n t to the m i l l i o n s

East er n Europe who had f ought f o r n a t i o n a l

Nahum

o f Jews in rights.

There­

upon Wise s u b s t i t u t e d a more emphatic amendment s t a t i n g t h a t the American Jewish Jongress would go to the peace conf er ence to secure f o r the Jews n a t i o n a l such lands in which n a t i o n a l

rights

in " a l l

r i g h t s were or are or ought

to be r e c o g n i z e d . In a d d i t i o n to f o r m u l a t i n g a p o s i t i o n on n a t i o n a l rights,

the P r e l i m i n a r y Conference de si g nat ed a Committee

on Plan and Scope, whose dual

function

s t u d i e s o f c o n d i t i o n s of Jewish l i f e tion,

and t he f e a s i b i l i t y

suggest the personnel

it

was to pl an

in Europe,

i mmi gr a­

of a permanent Congress- - a n d

to

to c a r r y out these s t u d i e s .

The P r e l i m i n a r y Conference was wel l s u r p r i s i n g l y c o n s e r v a t i v e i n both i t s

attended,

and

di scussi ons and i t s

GOl b i d . , p. 22. The f i n a l r e s o l u t i o n as pr esent ed by the committee and adopted by the Conference read: "( A) That the Congress co n s i d e r the q u e s t i o n o f secur i ng to Jews f r e e and equal r i g h t s , c i v i l , p o l i t i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , in a l l such lands where these r i g h t s were denied to them; (B) That the Congress c o n s i d e r the q u e s t i o n of se c ur i n g to the Jews n a t i o n a l r i g h t s i n a l l such lands in which n a t i o n a l r i g h t s were or ar e or ought to be r e c o g n i z e d . "

V.

1,

^^ I b i d . , pp. 2 2 - 2 6 ; The Jewish Congress B u l l e t i n , #1, ( June, 1 9 1 6 ) , pp. 1 - 2 .

88 resolutions.

The w i l d - e y e d r a d i c a l s

and Z i o n i s t z e a l o t s

who, Ma r s h a l l

had p r e d i c t e d , would b r i n g d i s a s t e r upon

Jews e v e r y wh e r e , were conspicuous o n l y by t h e i r or t h e i r

rigorous s e l f - r e s t r a i n t .

ence d i s a p p o i n t e d i t s champions as w e l l .

Cassandr as,

But though the Con f e r ­ it

dissatisfied

The bandwagon e f f e c t

p r e d i c t e d by Bernard Ri char ds

a bsence - -

failed

its

so c o n f i d e n t l y

to m a t e r i a l i z e ;

nents remained numerous and adamant.

"I

oppo­

b e l i e v e you are

m i s t a k e n , " wr o t e S c h i f f to a C o n g r e s s i s t ,

" i f you t h i n k

t h a t t he Jews of the U n i t e d S t a t e s were crowned w i t h Uni t y a t t he r e c e n t conf e r e nce

.

.

.;

far

from t h i s ,

i n c o n s i d e r a b l e per c ent age o f our peopl e wer e, r

as s ur e d ,

represented.

.

.

on l y an

as I am

p

."

The P r e l i m i n a r y Conf er ence even r a i s e d di ssensi ons among a r d e n t C o n g r e s s i s t s .

The Chicago Jewish Congress

O r g a n i z i n g Commi ttee, which had been so eager f o r a p r e ­ l i m i n a r y c o n f e r e n c e , was u n e n t h u s i a s t i c

about t he idea of

a permanent Congress.

The Chicagoans f e l t

Hugo Pam i n t h e C h a i r ,

t he P r e l i m i n a r y

that,

despite

Conference was

G Z g c h i f f to Sadowsky, 4 / 2 0 / 1 6 , Jacob S c h i f f f o l d e r # 3 , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi­ nary.

89 c o n t r o l l e d by New Y o r k e r s , ever yone

e

l

s

e

.

to t he g r e a t d e t r i m e n t of

63

The Orthodox Jews among the Con gr e s s i s t s were f u r i ­ ous a t being

(they f e l t )

u n d e r - r e p r e s e n t e d on i mp o r t a n t

committees and commissions.

They warned Brandei s t h a t i f

the i mbal ance were not r e c t i f i e d ,

Orthodox Jewry would

f o r e s a k e t he Congress movement.64 Si nce "goi ng i t f i e d success,

al one"

had f a l l e n

short of un quali­

l e a d e r s o f t he Congress movement were s t i l l

under pr es sur e from t h e i r c o n s t i t u e n t s sus w i t h t h e i r opponent s.

to reach a consen­

Again o v e r t u r e s went out to the

American Jewish Committee and t he N a t i o n a l m i t t e e on Jewish R i g h t s ,

folder, nar y.

Workmen's Com­

but b e f o r e n e g o t i a t i o n s

could

Ri chards to B r a n d e i s , 4 / 3 0 / 1 5 , Louis D. Brandeis Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi­

^ ^ B e r l i n to B r a n d e i s , 4 / 2 7 / 1 6 , Brandei s to B e r l i n 5 / 1 / 1 6 , Louis D. Brandei s f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. D i s c o n t e n t and d i sap pr ova l were not c o n f i n e d to t hose elements o f t he movement who f e l t slighted. Horace Kai l en, one o f t he g u i d i n g l i g h t s o f t he Congress movement, b e l i e v e d t h a t Congress a c t i v i t y was very d i s a p p o i n t i n g ; i n de e d, he argued t h a t unless f r e s h p o i n t s o f i n t e r e s t s and d i s c u s s i o n were brought f o r ­ ward, t he movement would l ose i t s v i t a l i t y . I f t h i s were to c o n t i n u e , t he Congress, i f c a l l e d , would r e p r e s e n t a c l i q u e i n s t e a d o f a l l American Jewry. Kai l en to Wise, 5 / 1 8 / 1 6 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947, American Jewish Archives.

90

resume,

t he l e a d e r s o f t he American Jewish Committee

announced a conf er ence o f n a t i o n a l scheduled f o r J u l y ,

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

1916, to di scuss " s u i t a b l e measures"

to a i d t he Jews in the war z o n e s . T h e zation

Committee advi sed a l l

refrain

from p a r t i c i p a t i n g .

tions,

Congress Or g a n i ­

constituent organizations Despi t e these mutual

ne gotiations continued,

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s met on May 3 1 ,

provoca­

and pr o- and a n t i - C o n g r e s s 1916.

Whi l e each si de ada­

mant l y r e f u s e d to make even t he s m a l l e s t concessi on, si des a r d e n t l y d e s i r e d a compromise.

r epe at e d d e f i ­

t h a t he would not admi t the q u e s t i o n whether u n i t y

coul d be o b t a i n e d , " wrote Br a nd e i s , how i t

both

"I ndeed Lehman [ r e p ­

r e s e n t i n g t he American Jewish Committee] nitely

to

"but mer el y c onsi der

could be o b t a i n e d . "^6 The American Jewish Commi ttee' s conf er ence to d i s ­

cuss " s u i t a b l e

[aid]

wi t h Louis Mar shal l

measures" convened on J ul y 16, p r e s i d i n g and,

1916

as a concession to the

Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee,

d e c l a r e d in f a v o r

"Minutes o f A d d i t i o n a l Meeti ng o f the American Jewish Commi ttee, 5 / 1 4 / 1 6 , " David P h i l i p s o n Mss, Box 1321, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; see a l s o . The Ameri can I s r a e l i t e , 5 / 1 3 / 1 6 , p. 7.

#2,

^^Brandeis to L i p s k y , 5 / 3 1 / 1 6 , Louis Li psky f o l d e r Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

91 o f a Congress "to b e - h e l d f o r t he sol e purpose o f s e cur i ng full

rights

rights

f o r the Jews o f a l l

[italics

lands,

i n c l u d i n g group

mine] wherever such r i g h t s

and d e s i r e d by t he Jews t he ms e l v e s . then c o n s t i t u t e d i t s e l f

"

ar e r ecogni z ed

The conf er ence

t he Conference o f N a t i o n a l

Jewish

O r g a n i z a t i o n s and d e l e g a t e d an e x e c u t i v e committee to p r e ­ pare f o r such a c o n g r e s s . ^8 N e g o t i a t i o n s cont i nue d between the Jewish Congress Organization National

Committee and t he newly formed Conference of

Jewish O r g a n i z a t i o n s .

agreed t h a t

The two o r g a n i z a t i o n s

t hey be amalgamated under the name o f the Jew­

ish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee, Conference o f N a t i o n a l

and t h a t the former

Jewish Or g a n i z a t i o n s

be a l l o t t e d

some s i x t y seat s on t he s o o n - t o - b e - f o r me d A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee o f the new o r g a n i z a t i o n .

Moreover,

f o r c e s conceded two p o i n t s :

some d e l e g a t e s

first,

the Brandeis

American Jewish Congress coul d be e l e c t e d by d i r e c t rage;

second:

to the suff­

r e s o l u t i o n s which tended to commit the

^^"The American Jewish Congress, " in possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves of t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. 68:

bid

92 Congress to the endorsement o f any gener al phi l osophy o f Jewish l i f e

t h e o r y or

were p r o h i b i t e d

Many C on gr ess i st s s t r e n u o u s l y o b j e c t e d to t h i s compromise, stated,

particularly

t o M a r s h a l l ' s w o r d i n g , whi ch,

was "mer el y f o r t he purpose of c l e a r n e s s

avoi d m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g . " ^ ^ Zi oni sm o r n a t i o n a l

Ma r s hal l

he

and to

di d not once mention

r i g h t s ; y e t he s t a t e d t he purpose of

the Congress was to be e x c l u s i v e l y f o r . . . d e f i n i n g the methods whereby in c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h the Jews o f t he w o r l d , f u l l r i g h t s f o r t he Jews o f a l l l a n d s , and a l l laws d i s c r i m i n a t ­ ing a g a i n s t them may be a b r o g a t e d , [ s i c ] I t being understood t h a t t he phrase ' f u l l r i g h t s ' i s deemed to i n c l u d e : ( 1 ) C i v i l , r e l i g i o u s , and p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s , and i n a d d i t i o n t h e r e t o , ( 2 ) Wherever t he v a r i o u s peoples o f any l and ar e or may be r e c o g n i z e d as hav­ ing s e p a r a t e group r i g h t s , [ n a t i o n a l r i g h t s ] , the con­ f e r r i n g upon t he Jews o f t he land a f f e c t e d , o f such r i g h t s , i f d e s i r e d by them, and ( 3) The se c ur i n g and p r o t e c t i o n o f Jewish r i g h t s i n P a l e s t i n e . 71 The Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n shall's

Committee accept ed Mar­

r ewor di ng of t he document wi t h t he f o l l o w i n g

GSpichards to Br a n d e i s , 7 / 1 9 / 1 6 , Loui s B. Brandeis f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi­ nary. See a l s o . The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 7 / 2 0 / 1 6 , p. 8; The American I s r a e l i t e , 7 / 2 0 / 1 6 , p. 4; Ma r s hal l to S u l z b e r g e r , 8 / 1 / 1 6 , i n R e z n i k o f f , Louis Marshal 1, volume 2, pp. 5 1 8 - 5 1 9 .

Rights,

70quoted in Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y 1 8 9 8 - 1 9 1 8 , (New Yor k, 1 9 3 1 ) , pp. 1 8 4 - 1 8 5 . 71 I b i d ,

93 reservations:

that

the Congress have t he sol e power to

de t er mi ne which Jews o f t h e wor l d r e q u i r e d such r i g h t s , limitations

on t h e scope o f t he Congress, and t he e l e c ­

t i o n o f d e l e g a t e s by n a t i o n a l

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee f e l t authority

that i t

The

l acked the

to d e c i d e on t he compromise agreement , which

should be s u b mi t t e d to a ref erendum vot e of a l l gates to t he P r e l i m i n a r y

the d e l e ­

Conf er ence.

At a meet i ng o f t h e B a l t i m o r e Jewish

Congress Com­

mittee,

t h e f a t e o f t he compromise was very

doubt.

Some argued t h a t t he compromise should be accept ed

so t h a t f u r t h e r u n i t y coul d be a c h i e v e d ,

much in

and t h a t the

presence o f t he Ameri can Jewish Committee would add p r e s ­ tige

to t he Congress.

doubt t h a t

But a l a r g e m a j o r i t y

di d not

the proposed compromise would be s u i c i d a l - -

l i k e openi ng t he c i t a d e l

t o det er mi ned enemies in the

n a i v e hope t h a t bei ng i n s i d e would a u t o m a t i c a l l y c o n v e r t them i n t o a l l i e s .

The proposal

that constituent organiza­

t i o n s e l e c t some o f t he Congress d e l e g a t e s

they i n t e r ­

p r e t e d as s a bot age ;

and S c h i f f to

an a t t e m p t by Ma r s h a l l

send to t he Congress t he ver y peopl e t hey could count on to s u b v e r t i t

and t u r n i t

i n t o a r ubber - st amp f o r

94 t h e ms e l v e s .

72

The proposal

to convene the Congress a f t e r

the w a r ' s end they a t t a c k e d on t he ground t h a t

such an

o r g a n i z a t i o n would be powerless a t t he peace t a b l e .

Vio­

l e n t and ad hominem d e n u n c i a t i o n s o f t he American Jewish Committee and o f Ma r s h a l l t he day,

and hi s a l l i e s

were t he o r d e r of

a f t e r which t he B a l t i m o r e Jewish Congress Commit­

t ee vot ed ov e r wh e l mi n g l y t o i n s t r u c t

its

delegates

to the

P r e l i m i n a r y Conf er ence to vote "Nay" on the compromise r ef er endum. The r e a c t i o n o f t he B a l t i m o r e Jewish Congress Com­ mittee,

though more h o s t i l e than most, was,

st r aw i n t he wi nd. nary C on f er en ce, They r e j e c t e d

Of the 367 d e l e g a t e s

wel l

a

to the P r e l i m i ­

243 voted on the compromise r ef er endum.

the proposed program o f the Congress and the

system o f e l e c t i n g d e l e g a t e s respectively.

in p a r t ,

by el even and s i x t e e n v o t e s ,

They approved the date of t he Congress as

as the composi t i on o f t he E x e c u t i v e Committee o f 140. ^^

^^The B a l t i m o r e Jewish Comment, 8 / 2 5 / 1 6 . 73%he votes were Yes No Majority ( 1 ) Program 116 127 11 (2) E le c tio n 113 129 16 ( 3 ) Date 153 87 66 (4) Committee o f 140 126 114 12 "Mi nut es o f M e e t i n g , " 9 / 1 1 / 1 6 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , W i l l i a m E d l i n Mss, VIVO. See a l s o . C i r c u l a r

95 With the d e f e a t o f pa r t s o f the r ef er endum, tiations

once again resumed.

The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

nego­

Committee

of t he Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee i n s t r u c t e d its

n e g o t i a t o r s to i nf or m the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the Con­

ference of National

Jewish O r g a n i z a t i o n s

t h a t t he Con f e r ­

ence would have to accept C o n g r e s s i s t s ' d e f i n i t i o n of "national

rights,"

300 d e l e g a t e s ,

one-fifth

ish o r g a n i z a t i o n s ; sent n a t i o n a l

and t h a t i f

if

the Congress were to have

could be e l e c t e d by n a t i o n a l

400, o n e - f o u r t h of them could r e p r e -

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

p o r t e r s and the Na t i o n a l these s t i p u l a t i o n s ,

74

Marshall's

sup­

Workmen's Committee agreed to

though Mar shal l

the p r o v i s i o n concerni ng n a t i o n a l the word "peopl es" f o r

Jew­

was abl e to so f t e n

rights

"nationalities."^^

by s u b s t i t u t i n g The consensus

L e t t e r #4--New S e r i e s , "Report o f the Referendum Submitted August 27, 1916 to the Del egat es to t he P r e l i m i n a r y Con­ f e r e n c e hel d a t P h i l a d e l p h i a on March 2 6 - 2 7 , 1916; " The American I s r a e l i t e 9 / 2 1 / 1 6 , p. 4. ^^Richards to DeHaas, 9 / 2 4 / 1 6 , Jacob DeHaas f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. ^^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 186188. The r e s o l u t i o n on n a t i o n a l r i g h t s as adopted s t a t e d : "Whenever the va r i ous peoples o f any land a r e , or may be, r ecogni z ed as having r i g h t s as such, t he c o n f e r r i n g upon the Jewish people o f t he lands a f f e c t e d o f l i k e r i g h t s , i f de s i r e d by them, as det er mi ned and a s c e r t a i n e d by the Con­ gress." See a l s o . The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 0 / 5 / 1 6 , p. 1; The American I s r a e l i t e , 1 0 / 1 2 / 1 6 , p. 2, 4.

96 among Congr ess i st s was t h a t u n i t y had thus been e f f e c t e d , though, as Wise s t a t e d , .

7 fi

.

"we gai ned l i t t l e

and l o s t much.

Horace K a l l e n was even l ess p l e a s e d :

I f i n d t h a t the r e s p o n s i b l e peopl e [ Br a nd e i s and o t h e r s ] have sol d our b i r t h r i g h t f o r a mess o f p o t t a ge - - t h a t r e a l l y they have not shown evi dence o f being f i t f o r democracy. However, the mi l k is s p i l t and the cow i s d r y . What we s h a l l need to do is to f i n d a f r e s h cow and very much b e t t e r dai rymen. . . . 77 Over the o b j e c t i o n s of Wise and K a l l e n ,

t he d e l e g a t e s to

the P r e l i m i n a r y Conference accept ed the new compromise agreement by t he a s t o n i s h i n g vot e o f 217 t o 4. The Congress l e a d e r s h i p r eve r s ed i t s because o f sheer w e a r i n e s s .

position

Brandei s who had r e c e n t l y

been appoi nt e d t o the Uni t e d S t a t e s Supreme C o u r t , was facing a d i f f i c u l t

c o n f i r m a t i o n hear i ng i n t he Senate t h a t

would s u r e l y d i s t r a c t him from f u t u r e n e g o t i a t i o n s . over,

Brandei s and Ma r s hal l

alleviating

realized

t he p l i g h t o f t h e i r

that

More­

the issues of

b r e t h r e n i n the war zones

and the e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f a Jewish " N a t i o n a l

7^Wi se to K a l l e n , 1 0 / 2 3 / 1 6 , Box 947, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

Home" would be

Stephen S. Wi se Mss,

7 7 i b i d . , K a l l e n to Wise, 1 0 / 3 1 / 1 6 . See a l s o , " I n t e r ­ view w i t h Yonathan S hap i r o, ' ' Tape #525, ( T r a n s c r i p t , pp. 1 7 - 1 8 ) , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

97 l o s t i n a sea o f acrimony and b i t t e r n e s s . b e t t e r t o end the i n t e r m i n a b l e

It

was f a r

b i c k e r i n g and g e t on w i t h

the busi ness a t hand.^G Amalgamation o f t he two o r g a n i z a t i o n s was the ne xt o r d e r o f busi ness .

The 150 d e l e g a t e s o f t he new E x e c u t i v e

Committee met i n New York on December 25,

1916,

to pr epar e

the ground f o r t he Congress, and the C o n g r e s s - a n t i Congress q u a r r e l

was i n s t a n t l y

and b i t t e r l y

resumed over

the choi ce o f a t empor ar y chairman f o r the Congress. Con gr e s s i s t s nominated Adolph Kraus; wanted Louis M a r s h a l l . de f e a t e d Ma r s hal l Ma r s hal l

The

t h e i r opponents

A f t e r much d e b a t e ,

by a vot e o f 49 to 45.

Kraus n a r r o w l y Though both

and Kraus l a t e r d e c l i n e d the nomi nat i on o f p e r ­

manent chairman f o r u n i t y ' s

sa ke,

t he i mport ance o f the

t empor ar y chai r manshi p must not be u n d e r e s t i m a t e d .

The

t empor ar y chairman had the power to a p p o i n t members to the E x e c u t i v e Committee to r e p l a c e those who coul d not con­ tinue.

Moreover,

t he chairman coul d a p p o i n t peopl e to the

E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee' s st a n d i n g sub- commi t t ees which

^^Marshal l to B r a n d e i s , 6 / 2 4 / 1 6 , in R a z n i k o f f , Louis M a r s h a l l , volume 2, pp. 5 1 7 - 5 1 8 ; K a l l e n to Wise, 1 0 / 3 1 / 1 6 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947, American Jewish Archi v e s .

98 de ci ded upon no mi nat i ons f o r permanent o f f i c e ,

choi ce of

ti me and pl a c e f o r t he Congress, methods o f e l e c t i o n t he Congress,

and t he p o s s i b i l i t y of p r o v i d i n g

to

relief

funds f o r economic r e c o n s t r u c t i o n to t he Jews in the war zones.

Kraus s e i z e d t h i s o p p o r t u n i t y

to a p p o i n t men of

t he C o n g r e s s i s t - Z i o n i s t per suasi on to t hese commi t t ees. The Ma r s h a l l

faction

di d not c o n t e s t t he e l e c t i o n

o f Nathan S t r a us as permanent chai r man, co n s i d e r e d S t r a u s a mere f i g u r e h e a d , be an e f f e c t i v e nomi nat i on thinking

administrator.

lost

too ol d and s i c k to

He pl aced

hi s own name in

f o r chairman o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee,

that authority

and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y would be cen­

t e r e d mos t l y i n t h a t o f f i c e , restrain

because Ma r s h a l l

t he more a r d e n t

and t h a t ,

and vocal

once in i t ,

Congressists.

t he e l e c t i o n t o Ha r r y C u t l e r of Rhode I s l a n d ,

he could But he a Con-

gressist. One o f t h e s u b j e c t s

h e a t e d l y debat ed a t the Decem­

ber 25 meet i ng was t h a t o f p r o v i d i n g

"constructive

relief"

a t t he end o f t h e war t o the Jews in East er n Europe.

Prior

79$chulman to P h i l i p s o n 1 2 / 2 8 / 1 6 , David P h i l i p s o n Mss, Box 1321, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; The New York T i mes, 1 2 / 2 6 / 1 6 , p. 6; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 2 / 2 8 / 1 6 , p. 8. G^The New Yor k T i m e s ,

12/26/16,

p.

6.

99 to t h i s

time,

the American Jewish R e l i e f Committee and

o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s had d i s t r i b u t e d afflicted

some $ 6 , 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 to war-

Jews, and t hey hoped to r a i s e and di s b u r s e some

$ 1 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 more.

Marshall,

the l e a d e r o f t he American

Jewish R e l i e f Commi ttee, was un d e r s t a n d a b l y r e l u c t a n t to see the Congress t ake over i t s

f u n c t i o n and t h e r e f o r e

con­

tended t h a t t he Congress should work through e x i s t i n g r e l i e f organizations.

Al though hi s mot i ve a p p a r e n t l y was

t o pr essur e an o r g a n i z a t i o n

in which he was paramount, hi s

argument was t h a t f o r t he Congress to move i n t o work would i mpl y d i sap pr ova l done by e x i s t i n g a g e nc i es .

relief

o f t h e work a l r e a d y being He a l s o reminded the d e l e g a t e s

t h a t s i nce t he Congress was not to be a permanent i n s t i t u ­ tion,

it

could not c r e a t e a permanent r e l i e f agency.

the m a j o r i t y

But

r e j e c t e d hi s arguments as t hey had r e j e c t e d

his l e a d e r s h i p .

As one d e l e g a t e

t o l d Ma r s hal l

bluntly,

his

s i de no l o n g e r had the vot es : The presumpti on is t h a t [ t h e Z i o n i s t s ] w i l l have the m a j o r i t y [ a t the Congress and] they may c a l l i n t o e x i s t e n c e a pi ece o f machinery which w i l l seek to l e g i s l a t e out of e x i s t e n c e t he pr e s e n t t h r e e [ r e l i e f ] commi t t ees. . .

Ib id ., Po 1 .

see a l s o .

The Amer i can

I s r a e l i t e , 1/4/17,

100

The d i r e c t i o n and t e n o r o f t h e p r e l i m i n a r y meetings l e d some o r g a n i z a t i o n s and i n d i v i d u a l s

to d i s s o c i a t e them­

se l v e s from the movement.

Jewish s o c i a l i s t s

in p a r t i c u l a r , nationalism,

The r a d i c a l

whose p o l i t i c a l

phi l osophy r e j e c t e d

had a l i g n e d themselves more o f t e n

wi t h M a r s h a l l .

The Na t i o n a l

than not

Workmen's Committee f o r Jew­

i sh Ri ght s and the Jewish S o c i a l i s t

F e d e r a t i o n o f America

wi t hdr ew from t h e Congress o s t e n s i b l y because the Russian R e v o l u t i o n o f March, 1917 had removed a l l

anti-Jewish

laws i n t h a t l and and, wi t h them, t he Congress' s r ai son d' e tre .

Op

But Stephen Wise c o n j e c t u r e d t h a t

r a d i c a l s wi t hdr ew because they had f a i l e d Congress "and make i t ism.

.

.

to s e i z e the

an i n s t r u m e n t of economic r a d i c a l ­

. "83

Other o r g a n i z a t i o n s because o f i t s r easons.

in f a c t the

r ef used to j o i n

pro-Zionist platform,

Joseph G e d a l e c i a ,

the Congress

and some clai med both

P r e s i d e n t o f t he F e d e r a t i o n o f

82

Na t i o n a l Workmen's Committee on Jewish Rights to S t r a u s , 6 / 8 / 1 7 , Isaac Hourwich Mss, F i l e #54, YIVO. See a l s o . The American I s r a e l i t e , 3 / 2 2 / 1 7 , p. 4: " I f the r e v o ­ l u t i o n a r y change in Russia remains permanent the . . . Congress might as wel l adj ourn be f or e i t meets. There w i l l h a r d l y be enough l e f t f o r i t to do to j u s t i f y i t s c r e a t i o n , much l ess i t s e x i s t e n c e . " 83f h e New York T i m e s , 6 / 9 / 1 7 ,

p.

7.

101

Oriental

Jews,

r e f u s e d to commit hi s o r g a n i z a t i o n to t he

Congress because, on t he one hand,

the problem o f the Rus­

si a n Jews had supposedly been sol ved by t he March Revol u­ t i o n and, on t he o t h e r hand, t he goals o f Zi onism could more s a f e l y

be served by n e g o t i a t i o n s

between the Uni t ed

S t a t e s and Turkey than by the a c t i o n s o f a Jewish Cong r e s s . 84^ Des pi t e such r e j e c t i o n s and d e f e c t i o n s , the e l e c t i o n

of d e l e g a t e s

pl anni ng f o r

to the Congress went f o r wa r d .

The E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee' s Sub-Committee on E l e c t i o n s finally

allotted

national

a total

o f 100 d e l e g a t e s

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s ,

to be chosen by

defining a national

Jewish

o r g a n i z a t i o n as one having branches i n two or more s t a t e s and meet i ng a t r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s ; existence p r i o r

to January 1,

onl y o r g a n i z a t i o n s

1916 q u a l i f i e d

Institutions

engaged p r i m a r i l y

not e n t i t l e d

to e l e c t delegates

in

fo r seats.

in p h i l a n t h r o p i c work were to t he Congress.

8 4 yhe American I s r a e l i t e , 7 / 1 9 / 1 7 ,

p.

5.

85 yhe American I s r a e l i t e , 3 / 8 / 1 7 , p. 1. Six seats went to each o f t he f o l l o w i n g : The American Jewish Commit­ t e e , The F e d e r a t i o n o f American Z i o n i s t s , the Independent Order o f B r i t h Abraham; t h r e e seats went to each o f the following: A r b e i t e r Ri ng, Hebrew I mmi grant Aid S o c i e t y , Independent Order B;nai B r i t h , I ndependent Order of B r i t h Shalom, Mi z r a c h i o f Ameri ca, Order o f B r i t h Abraham, Order Sons o f Z i o n , the Union o f American Hebrew Congr egat i ons,

102

Del egat es not chosen by n a t i o n a l

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s were

e l e c t e d by nomi nat i ng convent i ons held t hr oughout the country.

Women were al l owed to be c a n d i d a t e s as wel l

to vot e f o r them.

Voter r e g i s t r a t i o n

were common i n the

larger c it ie s .

Pittsburgh, of t he e l e c t o r a l

and e duca t i on d r i v e s

Pennsyl vani a serves as a good example

pr ocess.

The c i t y was d i v i d e d i n t o

v o t i n g zones, o f which s i x were in the suburbs. seventh zone was the c i t y p r o p e r ,

v o t e r had to vote i n hi s own zone. was used to r e g i s t e r

tags,

po llin g place,

and

index had to prove

The

ballots.

Every

A card i ndex system

the member o f e v er y known Jewish

in P i t t s b u r g h ;

identification

seven

where a p p r o x i ma t e l y

75 per cent o f t he v o t e r s would c a s t t h e i r

organization

as

t he cards were to serve as

to be worn by each v o t e r ,

a t the

any v o t e r not i n c l u d e d in t he card hi s i d e n t i t y

a t the p o l l i n g

purpose o f the system was to p r e v e n t d u p l i c a t e

place.

The

v o t i n g . ^6

and the Uni t ed Hebrew Tr ades; two seat s went to each o f the f o l l o w i n g ; the A s s o c i a t i o n o f Orthodox Rabbi s, the I ndependent Western S t a r Or d e r , Poale Z i o n , and the P r o­ g r e s s i v e Order o f t he West. A host of o t h e r Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s each r e c e i v e d one s e a t . ^^Avner to t he E x e c u t i v e Committee of t he American Jewish Congress, 5 / 2 8 / 1 7 , Maur i ce Avner f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary.

103 The Z i o n i s t s paign f o r t h e i r advertising

mounted a massive A m e r i c a n - s t y l e cam­

candidates,

i n c l u d i n g heavy newspaper

( i n American as we l l

language Jewish ne ws p a pe r s ) ,

as Y i d d i s h and E n g l i s h -

election

rallies

a t which o7

n o n - Z i o n i s t c a n d i d a t e s were vehementl y d e n o u n c e d , ' and a full

complement o f p o l i t i c a l

a circular,

"dirty

tricks."

They i ssued

f o r exampl e, under the name " N a t i o n a l

gress League, " that certain

that d e lib e ra te ly

Con­

conveyed the i mpr essi on

c a n d i d a t e s had been endorsed by the Jewish

Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n

Commi t t ee' s E x e c u t i v e Committee.

And t hey c a s t i g a t e d a l l

"Amer i ca ni zed c a n d i d a t e s "

as

"assi mi 1a t o r s and c l a s s champions [champions o f t he upper classes].".

Compl ai nt s poured i n t o t he Congress o f f i c e s

i n New Yor k,

accusi ng Z i o n i s t

ai des o f r e l e n t l e s s political

ca ndi da t e s and campaign

Machiavellianism,

of " d i s g r a c e f u l

campaigning [whose r e s u l t would be] to s i d e t r a c k

c o mp l e t e l y t he American Jewish Congress p l a t f o r m . "88 The e l e c t i o n f o r t he Z i o n i s t s and d i s t r u s t .

he l d on June 10,

but l e f t

was a v i c t o r y

a great residue of b it te rn e ss

Over 3 3 0 , 0 0 0 b a l l o t s were c a s t ,

8 ^ I b i d . , Char l es Levi Nathan St r aus f o l d e r #1.

88ibid.

1917,

to S t r a u s ,

but i t

5/28/17,

is

telegram,

104

difficult

to guess how many Jews a c t u a l l y v o t e d ,

the Z i o n i s t s tion

because

were charged w i t h i nnumer abl e cases o f e l e c ­

frauds.

Jacob Grossberg o f Chi cago, f o r exampl e,

c i t e d m u l t i p l e occur r ences i n Chicago al one o f pre- marked ballots,

ballot-box s tu ffin g ,

ing p l a c e s ,

non-re gis tere d voters

ousl y d i s a p p e a r i n g , election

lack of supervision at p o l l ­

district.

voting,

ballots

mysteri­

and persons v o t i n g i n more than one

oq

Even Bernard Richards c a s t i g a t e d

Louis Li psky and hi s c o l l e a g u e s on the General

Board of

E l e c t i o n s o f t he Jewish Congress f o r " uphol di ng the s p o i l s system i n t r o d u c e d by t he t e r r o r i s t i c

el ement .

.

.

Though some b a l l o t s were c h a l l e n g e d ,

the General

E l e c t i o n s of the Jewish Congress did very l i t t l e

Board of to i n v e s ­

t i gate. A f t e r the e l e c t i o n , tion

Committee had to deci de when t he Congress

convene. 1917

The dat e was o r i g i n a l l y

the High Holy Days,

B^The American

Organiza­ should

s e t f o r September 2,

and then changed to November I B , 1917,

i n t e r f e r e wi t h

p.

the Jewish Congress

so

as not to

but Uni t ed S t a t e s e n t r y

I s r a e l i t e , 10/11/17,

p.

1;

10/18/17,

1.

^^Richards to L i p s k y , 6 / 2 1 / 1 7 , Louis Li psky f o l d e r # 2 , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. See a l s o , Richards to DeHaas, 7 / 2 7 / 1 7 , Jacob DeHaas f o l d e r #1 .

105 i n t o the war on A p r i l caused a new r i f t

6,

1917,

upset t h i s

d e c i s i o n and

in the Congress movement.

In de f er ence

to P r e s i d e n t Wi l s o n ' s r e q u e s t . Wise and t he o t h e r l e a d e r s o f the Congress movement urged t h a t the Congress be p o s t ­ poned. ards,

He had consul t ed w i t h L i p s k y , Wise s a i d ,

and a l l

felt

DeHaas, and Ri ch­

t h a t t he "urgency of the

p u b l i c busi ness" n e c e s s i t a t e d postponement o f t he Con­ gr e s s .

Har ry C u t l e r and Louis K i r s t e i n ,

c l a i m i n g to

speak f o r Congr essi st s who were al s o p u b l i c s e r v a n t s , Judge Mack and F e l i x postponement. ment;

(1)

situation,

Frankfurter,

l i k e w i s e advocated

C u t l e r advanced t h r e e reasons f o r postpone­

t h a t in view of t he d e l i c a t e it

like

international

would be wise to c o n s u l t w i t h Wilson agai n

as to when t he Congress coul d be h e l d ; the Congress di d meet in November,

it

(2)

t h a t even i f

coul d do l i t t l e

more than t a l k and then r e f e r e v e r y t h i n g back to the Exec ut i ve Committee; mi ght help n e u t r a l i z e

(3)

the "ver y u n f o r t u n a t e impressi on"

made by Jewish p a c i f i s t s violently

t h a t postponi ng t he Congress

i n t he Congress movement who

opposed Ameri ca' s e n t r y i n t o t he war 91

91 Wise to Br a n d e i s , 9 / 8 / 1 7 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r #5, Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. Jacob L e i s e r wrote Ri char ds: " I t does not appear l i k e l y

106 But Horace K a l l e n was u n a l t e r a b l y opposed to p o s t ­ ponement.

He t o l d

the p a c i f i s t s ment; a l l

Wise t h a t he doubted t he s t r e n g t h of

and r a d i c a l

zealots

t h a t was needed,

i n the Congress move­

he suggest ed,

to keep them in

check was a vi gor ous p r e s i d i u m, whose r u l e s posed so as to shut o f f u n p a t r i o t i c

could be com­

fulminations.

b e l i e v e d t h a t a n o t h e r del ay would be d i s a s t r o u s Congress and would onl y hel p those who had a l l opposed t h e movement, and warned Wise t h a t

He

for

the

along

to postpone

t he Congress f u r t h e r would onl y gi v e the r a d i c a l s

the

excuse t hey needed to hold a rump Congress t h a t the moder­ a t e s could not c o n t r o l and the Jewish cause.

Q?

to p r e v e n t damage to the Congress Local

Congress committees and

t h a t an American Jewish Congress w i l l be convened. Should one be c a l l e d i t would be t he h e i g h t o f i n d i s c r e t i o n and even run t he r i s k o f i n c u r r i n g the charge o f d i s l o y a l t y on the p a r t o f the Jews toward Ameri ca. I t i s no time f o r us Jews to cl amor f o r our r i g h t s a p a r t from the r i g h t we have o f m a n i f e s t i n g our de v ot i on to the n a t i o n under whose p r o t e c t i o n we l i v e . I t r u s t none of the z e a l o t s w i l l so f o r g e t t h e i r l o y a l t y to America as to suggest a convening o f a Jewish Congress when our c h i e f business now as a n a t i o n is to j o i n our a l l i e s and crush Germany. . . ." L e i s e r to Richards' , 4 / 4 / 1 7 , in possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , Hew York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. See a l s o . Wise to K a l l e n , 9 / 2 4 / 1 7 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 94 7, American Jewish Archi v e s . S^Kal l en to Wise, 9 / 2 7 / 1 7 , 1 0 / 1 0 / 1 7 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

107 o t h e r Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

p r o t e s t e d the postponement;

the P i t t s b u r g h ,

and Boston Congress Committees

as wel l

Baltimore,

as al most a l l

o f t he Poal e Zi on chapt er s

i n the

Uni t e d S t a t e s . ^3 At a meet i ng o f t he Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi t t ee' s A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Commi ttee,

a majority

postponement but l ac ke d t he t w o - t h i r d s pass t he r e s o l u t i o n .

It

favored

vot e necessary to

was deci ded to r e f e r the whole

m a t t e r to t h e E x e c u t i v e Committee which met on Oct ober 14, 1917.

At t h a t me e t i n g ,

Nathan St r aus advocated post pone­

ment because t he Uni t e d S t a t e s was a t war and suggested t h a t American Jews d e f e r t h e i r interest. Schulman,

In these o p i n i o n s , and Louis Ma r s h a l l

demands to t he common Henry Morgent hau,

c o nc u r r e d .

S y r k i n opposed postponement , ar g u i n g t h a t the necessar y p r e p a r a t i o n s A f t e r debate,

Samuel

Magnes and i t would del ay

f o r t he peace c o n f e r e n c e .

t he E x e c u t i v e Committee voted 72 to 31 in

f a v o r o f postponement;

t he Congress would convene a f t e r

the war e n d e d . 94

S^Execut i ve Committee Me e t i n g , Mi n u t e s , 1 0 / 1 4 / 1 7 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , W i l l i a m E dl i n Mss, YIVO. bi d c , See a l s o , The New Yor k T i m e s , 1 0 / 1 5 / 1 7 , Po 13; The Amer i ca n I s r a e l i t e , 1 0 / 1 8 / 1 7 , p. 2; The J e w i s h A d v o c a t e , ( B o s t o n ) , 1 0 / 1 8 / 1 7 , p. 8.

108 To m a i n t a i n p u b l i c i n t e r e s t and a v oi d a d i s a s t r o u s l oss o f membership d u r i n g the postponement, many l o c a l gress Committees o r g a n i z e d w e l f a r e , c h a r i t y campaigns. activities

relief,

f o r p r o v i d i n g an i n t e r i m sense o f purpose and

postponement .

ful

inevitably

but many Co n g r e s s i s t s f e a r e d t h a t even these would

not gu ar ant ee t he Congr ess' s s u r v i v a l

ties

and l o c a l

Bernard G. Ri chards welcomed these

accompl i shment , w i t h o u t which o r g a n i z a t i o n s die,

arose,

Inevitably,

over a r e a l l y

long

some o p p o s i t i o n to new a c t i v i ­

most l y on t h e grounds t h a t t hey were a was t e­

and i n e f f i c i e n t d u p l i c a t i o n o f t he work o f m u l t i p l e

philanthropic organizations

already in e x i st e nc e .

The Congress s u r v i v e d i t s y e a r o f i n a c t i v i t y . soon as t he war was o v e r ,

1918.

on December

Z i o n i s t Con gr e s s i s t s a d j u r e d t he d e l e g a t e s

adopt a s t r i c t l y "must overshadow, It

As

the Exe c ut i v e Committee sum­

moned t he Congress to convene i n P h i l a d e l p h i a 15,

Con­

must s t r i v e

Zionist

platform,

to

ur gi ng t h a t Zi onism

and r u l e supr emel y,

the agenda.

f o r havi ng P a l e s t i n e gr a n t e d to us.

.

.

.

It

^^Ri char ds to Avner , 1 / 1 8 / 1 8 , Maur i ce Avner f o l d e r ; Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

109 must c o n c e n t r a t e a l l .

.

."96

its

f o r c es on t h i s one p o i n t .

Leon Sanders echoed t h i s

s e n t i me n t :

"We want

to r a l l y

t h e whole o f American Jewry to the cause o f Z i o n -

ism.

.

.

.

„97

Despite Z i o n i s t finally

i mp o r t u n i n g , when the Congress

met in P h i l a d e l p h i a

the d e l e g a t e s were not ada­

mant in t h e i r commitment to a Jewish s t a t e . even the paramount t o p i c o f d i s c u s s i o n .

I t was not

To be s u r e ,

the

American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s to the Peace C o n f e r ­ ence were to " s u b o r d i n a t e t h e i r e f f o r t s " World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n ; a c t as l i a i s o n o f f i c e r

moreover.

Rabbi Wise was to

between the American Peace Commis­

si on and t he World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n . tion its

to those of the

But the r e s o l u ­

t h a t t he Congress adopted on P a l e s t i n e was modest in demands and mi l d in i t s

t o ne .

It

asked the Peace Con­

f e r e n c e to r e c o g n i z e the a s p i r a t i o n s and h i s t o r i c cl ai ms of the Jewish peopl e in r egard to P a l e s t i n e , and d e c l a r e t h a t i n accordance w i t h the B r i t i s h Government's d e c l a r a t i o n o f November 2, 1917 [ t h e B a l f o u r D e c l a r a ­ t i o n ] . . . t h e r e s h a l l be e s t a b l i s h e d such p o l i t i ­ c a l , a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and economic c o n d i t i o n s i n P a l e s ­ t i n e as w i l l assure under the t r u s t e e s h i p of Gr eat

9 ^ I h e J e w i s h Advoca t e 9 ^ I h e Amer i c a n

(Boston), 5 /1 7 / 1 7 ,

Isra elite,

12/5/18,

p.

4.

p.

5.

no B r i t a i n , a c t i n g on b e h a l f o f such League o f Nat i ons as may be formed, the development o f P a l e s t i n e i n t o a Jewish Commonwealth, i t being c l e a r l y underst ood t h a t not hi ng s h a l l be done which s h a l l p r e j u d i c e the c i v i l and r e l i g i o u s r i g h t s of e x i s t i n g non-Jewish communi­ t i e s i n P a l e s t i n e or t he r i g h t s and p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s enjoyed by Jews in any o t h e r c o u n t r y . 98 J u l i u s Mack, who r epl a ce d Nathan St r aus as permanent chairman o f t he Congress,

di smi ssed i ndependent st at ehood

as an " i m p r a c t i c a b l e and i mpossi bl e dream." Philipson,

Even David

an a r d e n t a n t i - J e w i s h s t a t e spokesman,

agreed

wi t h Mack's e v a l u a t i o n o f t he s i t u a t i o n . The more immediate problem,

and t he major t o p i c of

di scussi on a t the Congress, was to r e b u i l d i sh communities o f East ern Europe, economically, human r i g h t s .

to r e h a b i l i t a t e

and to secure f o r t h e i r A "Bill

the r u i n e d Jew­

inhabitants

of Rights," w r i tt e n

pr esent ed to t he de l e g a t e s f o r t h e i r

them el e me nt a r y

by M a r s h a l l , was

consideration.

S ^ N e a r p r i n t f i l e . Mi s cel l ane ous S e c t i o n , American Jewish Congress, American Jewish A r c h i v e s . The d e l e g a t e s were: Wise, Mack, M a r s h a l l , DeHaas, Harry C u t l e r , Rabbi B. L. L e v i n t h a l , Nahum S y r k i n , Joseph Barondess, and Mo r r i s Winchevsky. The d e l e g a t i o n r e pr e s e nt e d a f a i r l y ac c ur a t e c r o s s - s e c t i o n o f t he f a c t i o n s and groups composing the Con­ gr ess. nQ

N e a r p r i n t f i l e . Mi s cel l ane ous S e c t i o n , Jewish Congress, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

American

Ill The Congress adopted the " B i l l cial

policy,

po r a t ed i n t o nations at

hoping t h a t i t s

o f Ri gh t s "

as o f f i ­

p r o v i s i o n s would be i n c o r ­

the laws o f e x i s t i n g and a b o u t - t o - b e - c r e a t e d

the P a r i s Peace Conf er ence.

The Jewish Congress

peace d e l e g a t i o n was to ask the p l e n i p o t e n t i a r i e s i n c l u d e t hese laws:

(1)

t he r i g h t o f r e f u ge e s to r e t u r n

and to become c i t i z e n s of t h e i r t hey p r e f e r r e d , to be c r e a t e d ; citizens

.

respective

to become c i t i z e n s ( 2)

e q u a l i t y of a l l

. . shall

ous and n a t i o n a l

enj oy equal

rights,

en f or ce d which s h a l l

homelands o r ,

or r e l i g i o n , the l a ws " ;

citizens,

civil,

i.e.,

political,

and no law s h a l l

a b r i d g e t he p r i v i l e g e s

t he guar ant y to n a t i o n a l

and r e l i g i o u s

management o f t h e i r own communal dom to use t h e i r own l anguage;

po r t ed t h i s sim ilarities

Bill

of Rights,

between i t

nationality protection of (4)

groups o f autonomous and the f r e e ­

the p r o h i b i t i o n of any

d i s c r i m i n a t o r y law a g a i n s t any r e l i g i o u s g r e a t an a n t a g o n i s t of M a r s h a l l ' s

disability,

representation;

institutions

(5)

relig i­

or i mmuni t i es

what soever on account o f r a c e ,

t he guar ant y o f m i n o r i t y

" Al l

be enact ed or

or deny to any person the equal

(3)

if

o f one o f the new s t a t e s

o f or impose upon any person any d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , or r e s t r i c t i o n

to

belief.

Even so

as I sa ac Hourwich sup­

and commented f a v o r a b l y on the

and the views o f the g r e a t

112

Russi an- Jewi sh h i s t o r i a n ,

Simon Dubnow, who s t a t e d :

Jewry in Russia must be r e c o g n i z e d as a n a t i o n , . . . the Jews i n Russia wanted no t e r r i t o r i a l autonomy but onl y ' p e r s o n a l ' o r communal autonomy, and . . . the r i g h t to t he use o f [ t h e i r ] mother tongue. . . , 1 0 0 The f i r s t fearful cal

meet i ng o f t he Congress r e f u t e d a l l

(or hopeful)

p r ed ic ti on s of i t s

pr oposal s were b o t t l e d

detractors.

Radi­

up i n the R e s o l u t i o n s Committee

or voted down on t he f l o o r .

Though tempers f l a r e d ,

debate never degener at ed i n t o a sh ou t i ng match; rhetoric

the

the

f l amboyant

and f r e n z i e d acrimony were mi ssi ng from the

d e b a t e s . 101

gut t he r e a l

test of its

s t r e n g t h would come

onl y when t he ni ne commissioners from the American Jewish Congress went to P a r i s

to p r e s e n t t h e i r case b e f o r e t he

Peace Conf er ence.

lOOf h e New York T i me s . 1 2 / 1 7 / 1 8 ,

p.

11.

101 See David P h i l i p s o n ' s a r t i c l e s i n The American I s r a e l i t e , 1 2 / 1 9 / 1 8 , p. 4; 1 2 / 2 6 / 1 8 , p. 4. Radi cal pr opos­ al s such as t h a t o f a " T e n t a t i v e C o n s t i t u t i o n o f American J e wr y , " w r i t t e n by Abraham Schomer, were never p r e s e n t e d to the d e l e g a t e s f o r t h e i r c o n s i d e r a t i o n . Schomer e n v i s i o n e d an American Jewish Congress which would have s o l e power to r e p r e s e n t and a c t f o r American Jewry i n a l l m a t t e r s p e r t a i n ­ ing to wor l d Jewr y. E x e c u t i v e power was to be vested i n a P r e s i d e n t o f American Jewry who would be e l e c t e d by t he Jewish Congress f o r a two y e a r t e r m. The P r e s i d e n t , w i t h the advi c e and consent o f t he Jewish Congress, could a p p o i n t a Cabi net c o n s i s t i n g o f f o u r o f f i c e r s : S e c r e t a r y o f Jewish R i g h t s , S e c r e t a r y o f Jewish R e l i e f , S e c r e t a r y o f Jewish S t a ­ t i s t i c s , and S e c r e t a r y o f Jewish C u l t u r e . Schomer Reports and Memos f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, 1915- 1973 f o l d e r , YIVO.

CHAPTER I I

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AT THE PARIS PEACE CONFERENCE

The i ssues which caused t he most d i v i s i o n w i t h i n American Jewry and de l ay ed t he f o r m a t i o n o f the American Jewish Congress were those o f n a t i o n a l i s m and " n a t i o n a l rights."

More than t he o t h e r problems c o n f r o n t i n g the

American Jewish Congr ess' s peace d e l e g a t i o n to P a r i s , n a t i o n a l i s m and " n a t i o n a l rable

rights"

al most caused an i r r e p a ­

schism among t he v a r i o u s Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s .

The

very magnitude o f t he i ssues permeated al most ever y phase o f both the f o r m a t i o n o f t he Congress and i t s

ensui ng

activities. When the Jewish Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee and t he Conference o f N a t i o n a l July,

1916,

t hey t r i e d

Jewish O r g a n i z a t i o n s met in

to reach some compromise s o l u t i o n

the c r e a t i o n o f an American Jewish Congress. Conference of N a t i o n a l

Jewish O r g a n i z a t i o n s

113

to

Those in the demanded " group

114 rights"

f o r t he Jews i n those c o u n t r i e s where such r i g h t s

were r e c o g n i z e d ,

if

those Jews wished them.

f e r r e d t h e phrase "group r i g h t s "

to " n a t i o n a l

m a i n t a i n e d t h a t t h e r e was a " t h e o r e t i c a l " ference.

Many who p r e ­ rights"

[practical?]

To t h e non-Jew, t hey ar gued, n a t i o n a l

dif­

rights

meant t h a t t he Jews consi der ed themselves a n a t i o n a l i t y not s o l e l y a r e l i g i o u s

and

sect.^

When the d e l e g a t e s * t o the Jewish Congress met in Philadelphia

i n December,

1918,

t he n a t i o n a l

rights

i ssue

caused much di s s e ns i o n and b i t t e r n e s s .

The debat e was j u x ­

taposed to the r e s o l u t i o n on Roumanie.

Opponents of

national right

rights

argued t h a t the Jews o f Roumanie had no

to demand any s p e c i a l

privileges

f o r themselves as

Jews; onl y those r i g h t s which were accorded ever y o t h e r person i n Roumanie could be cl ai med by t he Jews.

Propo­

nents,

rights

on the o t h e r hand,

contended t h a t n a t i o n a l

were necessary f o r Roumanian Jews because the term denoted and connoted a c cept ance , U ni t ed S t a t e s , of t h i s

land,

East-Side

i.e.,

"when peopl e come to the

t hey become, by v i r t u e o f being i n h a b i t a n t s Ameri cans. "

leader,

Joseph Barondess,

a popul ar

s t a t e d t h a t t he onl y term upon which

^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 182.

180-

115

Roumania would g r a n t equal

rights

to t he Jews was t h a t the

Jews would have to be a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o t h a t s o c i e t y . t h i s would never happen, he c o n j e c t u r e d , have to be gi ven n a t i o n a l

Since

the Jews would

r i g h t s as p r o t e c t i o n

unwarranted demands o f the n a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n .

from the As Charl es

Cowen argued: I f i t i s a choi ce between s u r r e n d e r i n g our Jewish s p i ­ r i t u a l n a t i o n a l i t y and the acceptance o f c i v i l and o t h e r r i g h t s , and i f our s p i r i t u a l r i g h t s and s p i r t u a l n a t i o n a l i t y i s to be l o s t , I would r a t h e r go f o r t h agai n w i t h the wa n de r e r ' s s t a f f and a w a i t the m i r a c l e o f the coming o f the Messi ah, but s u r r e n d e r - - n e v e r ! ^ The r e s o l u t i o n on Roumania i n cl ud ed the demand f o r n a t i o n a l ri ghts. The d i s p u t e about n a t i o n a l be viewed as an i s o l a t e d

rights

in Roumania cannot

i n c i d e n t but r a t h e r as a c o n t i n u ­

a t i o n o f an a g e - o l d problem t h a t a f f e c t e d Jews in many countries. reqio,

P r i o r to the French Rev ol ut i on the i d e a l - - Cujus

ej us r e l i g i o - - was w i d e l y h e l d ;

the upheaval

which

unleashed the f o r c e o f n a t i o n a l i s m al s o f r e e d men from the di ctum t h a t a l l

must b e l i e v e a l i k e .

became a m a t t e r f o r

the i n d i v i d u a l

Religion consci ence.

increasingly Too,

the

French Rev ol ut i on sparked the idea t h a t peoples could u n i t e

2

American Jewish Congress, Report of the Proceedings of the American Jewish Congress, ( P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1 9 1 8 ) , pp. 44-48.

116 their

ki n dr ed el ements i n t o a n a t i o n a l

Germans,

Italians,

sought t h e i r

Belgians,

national

Serbs,

freedom.

whol e.

Thus,

Pol es,

Greeks, and Bui gars

The n a t i o n a l i s t

revolutions

o f t he n i n e t e e n t h c e nt u r y sought to emphasize t he p r i n c i p l e of Cujus r e g i o ,

ej us n a t i o - - t h a t a l l

be " n a t i o n a l i z e d . ”

The Poles in Germany were to be Ger ­

mani zed, d i v e r g e n t t r i b e s become R u s s i f i e d , The f i r s t

peopl e in a s t a t e must

i.e .,

and groups i n Russia were to

to become Gr eat Russi an.

O

emanci pat i on o f the Jews dates back to the

French R e v o l u t i o n and t he Napol eoni c Wars.

At t h a t t i m e ,

t he l i n e was not as y e t drawn between a " p o l i t i c a l which u n i t e d d i f f e r e n t "cultural unit,

nation,"

peoples under one government,

t h e concepts o f the " s t a t e "

cle arly defined. citizenship

rights

and a

under which peopl e remained a se par at e

having no government or t e r r i t o r y

be s u r e ,

nation,"

of t h e i r

own.

To

and " n a t i o n " were not

At the t i me when t he Jews r e c e i v e d t h e i r in France and e l s e wh e r e ,

t he g r a n t i n g of

these r i g h t s came wi t h t h e unde r st andi ng t h a t

they were

being gi ven to those French and German people who were not

" O r i g i n s o f t he Rights o f N a t i o n a l M i n o r i t i e s and N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " n . p . n . d . , J u l i a n Mack f o l d e r #3, Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. See a l s o , Hans Kohn, The Idea o f N a t i o n a l i s m , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 0 ) , pp. 187ff.

117 C a t h o l i c or P r o t e s t a n t , Assembly o f 1791 ferred

but Jewi sh.

The French N a t i o n a l

i ssued an Emanci pat i on Decree which con­

upon Jews c i t i z e n s h i p

relinquished th e ir

rights

p r ov i de d t h a t

r i g h t to i n n e r - a u t o n o m y .

t he Jews

When Napoleon

convoked an Assembly o f Jewish Not abl e s and a Ra b bi n i c a l Counci l role

o r S a n h e d r i n , he o u t l i n e d

hi s conce pt i on o f what

t he Jews were to pl ay i n French s o c i e t y ;

t h a t Jews were to be d i s t i n g u i s h e d zens o n l y by t h e i r

religious

he reasoned

from t h e i r f e l l o w c i t i ­

beliefs.

Napoleon a l s o super ­

imposed t he a u t h o r i t y of the s t a t e on Jewish a f f a i r s . sistories

Con­

c r e a t e d by Napoleon i n each depar t ment were to

over see t he gener al

d i r e c t i o n o f Jewish a f f a i r s ;

each mem­

ber o f a c o n s i s t o r y was p e r s o n a l l y a p p o i n t e d by Napol eon. ^ Thus, Napoleon decreed a new s t a t u s now e n j o y f u l l sp r e a d ,

civil

t he r i g h t s

brethren

and p o l i t i c a l

f o r Jews. rights.

Jews could

As the Empire

o f French Jews were extended to t h e i r

i n subj ugat ed l a n d s .

During the European r e a c t i o n communities in Germany and A u s t r i a human r i g h t s

(1815-1848)

the Jewish

f ought f o r el e me nt a r y

under t he sl ogan " C i t i z e n

Ri ght s f o r Jewish

Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 2 4 - 2 5 ; Robert Chazan and Marc L. Raphael , Modern Jewish H i s t o r y ; A Source R e a d e r , (New Yor k, 1 9 7 4 ) , pp. 1 4 - 3 1 .

118 Germans."

They contended t h a t t hey were as l o y a l

to the

F a t h e r l a n d as any o t h e r German and t h a t the on l y d i f f e r e n c e between t he Jew and t he non-Jew was t h a t t he f or mer prayed in a synagogue i n s t e a d o f a chur ch.

The R e v o l u t i o n s of

1848 di d not s u b s t a n t i a l l y change the p o s i t i o n i n Western Europe. would en j oy equal

It

o f the Jews

was g e n e r a l l y accepted t h a t the Jew

p r o t e c t i o n under t he law as long as he

r e l i n q u i s h e d t he n o t i o n t h a t he was o f a s e p a r a t e n a t i o n . The g r e a t l e a d e r o f t he German Jews, Ga b r i e l

Rieser,

d e c l a r e d b e f o r e t he F r a n k f u r t Assembly " t h a t

it

to c o n s i d e r t he Jews as a s e p a r a t e n a t i o n , o t h e r F a t h e r l a n d except Germany.

.

.

."

as any o t h e r c i t i z e n ;

and b e h a v i o r ar e o f t e n s e p a r a t e .

Western European Jewry noted: ruling n a tio nality ruling

asserted th at

to t he s t a t e as t he non-Jews.

t hey enj oyed t he same r i g h t s legality

have no

5

Jews o f Western Europe c o n t i n u a l l y t hey were as l o y a l

[we]

i s absurd

Legally, yet,

One c r i t i c

of

"They wore the mask of the

as o f ol d in S p a i n - - t h e mask o f the

religion."^

^ " D r a f t o f Chapt er on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " i n posses­ si on o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. ^St ep he n S. Wise qu o t e d

in

Ibtd.

119 The g r e a t m a j o r i t y o f Jews, whose r u l e r s

however,

long r e s i s t e d n a t i o n a l

lived

aspirations.

burg and Romanov d y n a s t i e s enacted l e g i s l a t i o n d e p r i v e d the Jews of basi c human r i g h t s . the scapegoats f o r t he f a i l u r e s Assimilation

In t h i s

attractive

c o n t e x t many t h o u g h t f u l

accommodation wi t h the s t a t e .

which

Jews were made

in these l ands was

to the governments.

Jews searched f o r some That Jews could not i d e n t i f y

wi t h the s t a t e was s e l f - e v i d e n t ,

f o r the s t a t e

them t h i s

privilege.

To pr es er ve t h e i r

Diaspora,

Jews could not r e l y on r a c e ,

common economic or p o l i t i c a l

The Haps-

of t hese c o r r u p t r egi mes.

o f the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n s

t h e r e f o r e not p o l i t i c a l l y

in lands

interests.

g r e a t Russi an- Jewi sh h i s t o r i a n ,

deni ed to

identity territory,

i n the or even

Simon Dubnow, the

e l u c i d a t e d a t h e o r y of Jew­

i sh n a t i o n a l i s m which transcended these f i n i t e

constructs.

Dubnow a s s e r t e d t h a t t he cont i nued e x i s t e n c e of the Jewish n a t i o n depended on how wel l spiritual mon to a l l

tradition--a

it

could ma i n t a i n i t s

universal

religion,

Jews (Hebrew or Y i d d i s h ) ,

g l e to pr e s e r v e t h a t t r a d i t i o n .

great

a l anguage com­

and the common s t r u g ­

He reasoned t h a t the loss

o f t he Jewish homeland f o r c e d Jewry to seek an a l t e r n a t i v e to t e r r i t o r i a l

nationalism;

l oss wi t h an i n t a n g i b l e

Jewry r epl a c e d t h a t c o ncr et e

"national

will"

or "Law,"

i.e..

120

t he c u l t u r a l

m i l i e u o f Judaism.

s u p e r f l u o u s to t he s u r v i v a l

Thus,

territory

o f the Jewish n a t i o n ,

became and,

though Jewry was s c a t t e r e d t hr oughout the w o r l d ,

it

retained its

cultural

identity.

national

i d e n t i t y by p r e s e r v i n g i t s

Dubnow s c o f f e d a t t he idea o f a s s i m i l a t i o n i s m ;

he d e r i s i v e l y c a l l e d i t

"National

Moronism."

He c h a s t i z e d

the a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t s

because t hey r e j e c t e d the idea o f

Jewish n a t i o n a l i t y .

He m a i n t a i n e d t h a t si nce some coun­

tries

in Western Europe and t he Uni t ed St at es accepted

Jews as c o - e q u a l s ,

Jews should be looked upon as but one

more n a t i o n a l i t y amongst t he o t h e r s .

If

ties

so t oo, must the

enj oyed c u l t u r a l

Jews have the r i g h t o f l anguage,

autonomy,

to communal

and e d u c a t i o n .

not mean a " S t a t e w i t h i n other n a t i o n a l i t i e s ,

then,

other n a t i o n a l i ­

self-government,

freedom

To Dubnow, a n a t i o n a l i t y

t he S t a t e "

but,

did

t o g e t h e r wi t h

comprised t he S t a t e . ^

^Koppel S. Pi nson, e d . . N a t i o n a l i t i e s and H i s t o r y : Essays on Old and New Judaism by Simon Dubnow, ( P h i l a d e l ­ p h i a , 1 9 5 8 ) , pp. 4 0 - 4 1 , 7 6 - 9 9 , 1 0 0 - 1 1 5 , 13 1 - 1 4 2 . Dubnow al s o took to task the Orthodox and Reform elements of Judaism. He argued t h a t t hey m i s t a k e n l y pe r c e i v e d the r e v e l a t i o n a r y process which Judaism had undergone. Too, he c r i t i c i z e d t he Z i o n i s t movement because i t r e l i e d so h e a v i l y on t e r r i t o r y . Since P a l e s t i n e coul d never accommo­ date the m i l l i o n s o f Jews who might wish to e mi gr a t e t h e r e , the Z i o n i s t s were r e l e g a t i n g those unable to s e t t l e in the Jewish homeland to " s p i r i t u a l - c u l t u r a l s t e r i l i t y . "

121 In A u s t r i a - H u n g a r y , which c o nt a i ne d a p o l y g l o t of nationalities, di scussed. Springer,

t he i dea of n a t i o n a l

Dr.

Karl

r i g h t s was w i d e l y

Renner, under t he pseudonym o f Rudol f

i n hi s book. The S t r u g g l e o f t he A u s t r i a n

Nat i ons f o r the S t a t e , reasoned t h a t s i nce t he v a r i o us nationalities logical

compr i si ng t he Empire di d not conform to any

geographi c d i s t r i b u t i o n ,

nationality

as a t e r r i t o r i a l

argued t h a t n a t i o n a l i t y attribute.

was sensel ess to view

attribute.

Rather,

Renner

should be consi der ed as a personal

His pl an of s e l f - g o v e r n m e n t , w h i l e based on

t he use o f t he Crown Lands, individuals fraction

it

pr ovi ded f o r t he union of

of a p a r t ic u l a r n a t i o n a l i t y ,

of th at n a t i o n a l it y

lived

r e s t were s c a t t e r e d as m i n o r i t i e s . to have a n a t i o n a l

and the

Each n a t i o n a l i t y was

emigration,

education,

litera­

The power o f t he s t a t e would be c i r cu m­

vented by a l l o w i n g the n a t i o n a l own peopl e.

in a d i s t r i c t

onl y a

D i e t which would oversee such i n t e r ­

est s as wo r s h i p , j u s t i c e , t u r e and a r t .

even i f

In sum,

D i e t the r i g h t

to tax i t s

Renner envi s i one d each D i e t as a

r e s p o n s i b l e m i n i s t r y and the s t a t e would be no more than a federal

union o f n a t i o n a l i t i e s .

He, u n l i k e Dubnow,

122

countenanced t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f an i mperium i n i m p e r i o . As the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y drew to a c l o s e , f o r c e o f n a t i o n a l i s m grew even s t r o n g e r .

the

The Hapsburg and

Romanov d y n a s t i e s were too weak and c o r r u p t to c o n t r o l alienated

8

t he

p o p u l a t i o n s which r e j e c t e d t he a u t h o r i t y of the

monarchy and the S t a t e . replaced t h e o r e t i c a l

Political

discussion;

and m i l i t a r y

thus,

action

a long succession

o f b r u s h - f i r e wars e n g u l f e d t he Bal kan P e ni ns u l a and fanned t h e f i r e s cultural

of discontent."

Cont i nued p o l i t i c a l

r e p r e s s i o n l e d to more h o s t i l i t y .

and

No l onger

would t he m i n o r i t i e s

o f t he two empires r epr es s t h e i r

d e s i r e f o r freedom.

A new w a t c h w o r d - - " n a t i o n a l

self-

d e t e r m i n a t i o n " - - d o m i n a t e d the s t r u g g l e . Though many Jews in t he Di aspor a were w i t h o u t t e r ­ ritorial

ties,

t hey al s o

looked f o r wa r d to t he day when

t hey coul d cl a i m P a l e s t i n e as t h e i r own. the f ound er o f p o l i t i c a l

Z i o n i s m,

Theodore H e r z l ,

convened a congress a t

Basle i n 1897 to di scuss how t he o b j e c t i v e o f P a l e s t i n e as a Jewish n a t i o n a l

home coul d be met.

The World Z i o n i s t

" O r i g i n s of the Ri ght s o f N a t i o n a l M i n o r i t i e s and N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " n . p . , n . d . , J u l i a n Mack f o l d e r #3, Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary; Rudol f S p r i n g e r ( Kar l R e n n e r ) , The S t r u g g l e o f t he A u s t r i a n Nat i ons f o r t he S t a t e . ( L e i p s i g , 1 9 0 2 ) , pa ssi m.

1 23 O r g a n i z a t i o n was c r e a t e d to a d m i n i s t e r t he d a i l y a c t i v i t i e s o f the Z i o n i s t s ganda, sure,

and to serve as a c l e a r i n g h o u s e f o r pr opa­

political

act i sni ,

the Z i o n i s t s

in P a l e s t i n e and,

it

different

in Western Europe and the

population,

rights."

1916,

Jewish r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

they had f u l f i l l e d

their civic

hel d in Lausanne

demanded t h a t ,

obligations

they should en j oy e q u a l i t y o f r i g h t s .

si nce

to the S t a t e ,

To p r o t e c t them­

they asked t h a t t hey be gi ven g u a r a n t i e s a g a i n s t

any s t a t e

i n f r i n g e m e n t s on t h e i r

or customs. lived

be assi m­

t hey began to demand

At the Conference o f N a t i o n a l i t i e s

selves,

from t h a t faced

Since these Jews di d not wish to

i n t o t h e gener al

in J u l y ,

current

in lands o f oppr essi on c o n f r o n t e d

by t h e i r more f o r t u n a t e b r e t h r e n

"national

Jews could l i v e

di d not meet the Jews'

a s i t u a t i o n which was r a d i c a l l y

ilated

To be

though Zi oni sm served as a d i v e r s i o n f o r

Jews d w e l l i n g

Uni t ed S t a t e s .

s u pp or t .

never cl ai med t h a t a l l

many a l i e n a t e d Jews, probl ems.

and f i n a n c i a l

To t h i s

end,

use o f l anguage,

t hey argued t h a t ,

in compact masses, e . g . ,

Rus si a,

Roumanie, t hey should enj oy t he r i g h t

culture,

wherever Jews

Pol and,

Galicia,

to ma i n t a i n

or

t h e i r own

124

school s and c u l t u r a l

institutions.^

suppor t ed the n a t i o n a l Organization

rights

Zionists

issue.

The World Z i o n i s t

i ssued i n s t r u c t i o n s to i t s

to c o o r d i n a t e t he a c t i v i t i e s

of a l l

actively

Copenhagen o f f i c e

the Jewish n a t i o n a l

bodies then formi ng f o r the peace conf er ence in P a r i s . Copenhagen o f f i c e

The

s y nt h e s i z e d the demands o f the var i ous

Jewish groups in East er n Europe and on Oct ober 28,

1918,

i ssued what became known as the "Copenhagen M a n i f e s t o . " Fo r ma l l y e n t i t l e d

"The Demands o f t he Jewish P eopl e, "

the M a n i f e s t o urged a n a t i o n a l Jews; e l s e w h e r e , rights,

home in P a l e s t i n e f o r the

Jews were to be gr ant ed f u l l

including national

should be ad mi t t e d as f u l l y "League o f Free N a t i o n s . "

rights.

Moreover,

equality the Jews

a c c r e d i t e d members o f the Z i o n i s t s were ex hor t e d to adopt

these demands as t h e i r own and to work f o r t h e i r in the peace t r e a t y . accept ed the po i nt s

in

The v a r i o us Jewish n a t i o n a l in the M a n i f e s t o ;

inclusion co u n c i l s

thus Jews from

Bernard G. Ri char ds, "A Congress f o r Jewish R i g h t s , " pp. 6 - 7 , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Archi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

125 East er n Europe were r e l a t i v e l y When the P a r i s

u n i t e d in t h e i r

program.^®

Peace Conference convened, Jewish

o r g a n i z a t i o n s from many c o u n t r i e s

sent d e l e g a t i o n s .

The

American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t i o n c o n s i s t e d of people r e p r e s e n t i n g t he va r i o u s Congress.

f a c t i o n s which c o n s t i t u t e d the

Wise was or der ed to London where he worked w i t h

the World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n as l i a i s o n t he American Peace d e l e g a t i o n .

between i t

and

Jacob DeHaas, w h i l e a

T^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 272273. Among advocates f o r the American Jewish Congress the f o l l o w i n g measures were recommended f o r p r e s e n t a t i o n to the Peace Conf er ence; ( 1 ) The r i g h t s o f freedom o f m i g r a t i o n , which i n c l ud e d t he removal o f a l l r e s t r i c t i o n s of r e s i d e n c e ; ( 2 ) The r i g h t to a c q u i r e and own p r o p e r t y ; ( 3 ) The r i g h t to pursue a l l t r a d e s and t he r e c e p t i o n o f Jewish tradesmen i n t o the s p e c i a l t r a d e s o c i e t i e s ; ( 4 ) The removal o f a l l s p e c i a l forms of taxes l e v i e d onl y on Jews; ( 5) The g r a n t i n g of s u f f r a g e on a l l r e p r e s e n t a t i v e bodi e s; ( 6 ) The admi ssi on of Jews i n t o the c i v i l s e r v i c e s and t he o f f i c e r corps in the armed f o r c e s ; ( 7 ) The freedom o f worship i n accordance wi t h t he s t a t e r e g u l a t i o n s a p p l y i n g to a l l o t h e r de nomi nat i ons; ( 8 ) The s o c i a l and m a t e r i a l e q u i l i z a t i o n o f a l l Jewish s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r s , r e l i g i o u s t e a c h e r s , and m i n i s t e r s , wi t h the s p i r i t u a l and r e l i g i o u s f u n c t i o n a r i e s o f o t h e r denomi­ n a t i o n s ; ( 9 ) The a b o l i t i o n of t he s p e c i a l oath f o r Jews which was s t i l l r e q u i r e d in some s t a t e s ; ( 1 0 ) The a b o l i t i o n o f the r equi r e me nt o f a l l p r o f e s s i o n a l s o f f a i t h from a l l l i s t s o f r ank, personal r e g i s t r i e s , j u d i c i a l v e r d i c t s , and p u b l i c documents. Bernard G. R i c h a r d s , "A Congress f o r Jewish R i g h t s , " pp. 6, 7, 10, in possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

125 member o f t he Congress' s peace d e l e g a t i o n ,

al so r e p r e ­

sented t he Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Ameri ca.

Louis M a r s h a l l ,

the acknowledged l e a d e r o f t h e Jewish Congress d e l e g a t i o n , publicly

stated th at

hi s s o l e purpose in going was to p r e ­

sent to t he Peace Conference t he cause of East er n European Jewry.

Ma r s ha l l

al so went to Pa r i s to pr ev ent t he Z i o n i s t s

from making P a l e s t i n e t he main i ssue r a t h e r than t he essen,tial

" q ue s t i o n o f Jewish r i g h t s

in East er n Europe.

.

.

French Jewry al s o sent a d e l e g a t i o n to t he Peace Con­ ference.

The A l l i a n c e

Israelite

Fr ench- Jewi sh o r g a n i z a t i o n , o f Eugene See, Bigart,

Chairman,

Secretary.

U n i v e r s e l l e , the l a r g e s t

sent a d e l e g a t i o n c o n s i s t i n g

Solomon Rei nach,

The A11i ance was wel l

and Jacques ac qua i nt ed w i t h

French o f f i c i a l d o m and had worked c l o s e l y wi t h the French government when i t threatened.

Yet,

b e l i e v e d French Jewr y ' s i n t e r e s t s the Jews r e p r e s e n t e d in t he A l l i a n c e ,

and

IT Ma r s ha l l to M. S u l z b e r g e r , 1 2 / 2 1 / 1 8 , in Charl es R e z n i k o f f , Louis Marshal 1 , volume 2, p. 538. One ob ser ve r noted t h a t as i de from M a r s h a l l , Wise, DeHaas, and R i c h a r d s , the American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t i o n to the Peace Con­ f e r e n c e c o n s i s t e d o f a " f l a g r a n t ignoramous, a mountebank, a harmless dreamer and a gentleman who r e g r e t s t h a t he has but two arms wi t h which to shake hands and agree wi t h everybody who ma n i f e s t s the s l i g h t e s t i n t e n t i o n o f d i s a g r e e ­ ing or o f e x pr ess i ng an o p i n i o n of hi s own." H e r t z to R i c h a r d s , 1 / 2 1 / 1 9 , Emmanuel H e r t z f o l d e r , Bernard G. R i c h ­ ards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

127 particularly

t he l e a d e r s o f t he o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

firmly

b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e word "Jew" presumed no t hi ng more than a religious

significance;

t hey were d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed

to East European J e w r y ' s conce pt i on o f Judaism both as a religion

and n a t i o n ,

"national

rights"

be dangerous

al so j e o p a r d i z e t h e i r ever,

and f e a r e d t h a t not onl y would

position

to t h e i r b r e t h r e n but would in French s o c i e t y .

t h e A11 i ance di d not r e p r e s e n t a l l

French Jews o f East European o r i g i n delegation this

t o t he c o n f e r e n c e .

17

How­

o f French Jewry.

sent t h e i r own peace

The H a f k i n e Committee,

d e l e g a t i o n came to be known,

as

d i d not agree wi t h the

assi r ni 1a t i o n i s t d o c t r i n e o f t he A11 i a n c e , but a t the same ti me di d not concur i n the demands o f those East ern Eur o­ pean Jews who f a v o r e d a f u l l British

rights.

Jewry a t t he Peace Conf er ence was r e p r e ­

sented by t he J o i n t For ei gn Board o f Deput i es o f B r i t i s h Association.

measure o f n a t i o n a l

Commi ttee,

a c t i n g f o r the

Jews and t he Angl o- Jewi sh

The d e p u t a t i o n from B r i t i s h

Jewry c o n s i s t e d

o f t he p r e s i d e n t s o f t he c o o p e r a t i n g o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

12

Oscar Janowsky,

Jews and M i n o r i t y

R i g h t s , pp.

Sir

268-

269, 1 3 " D r a f t o f Chapter on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " pp. 9 - 1 1 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v e s o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

128 S t u a r t Samuel

and Claude 6. M o n t e f i a r e and o t h e r l e a d i n g

British

Jews.

They were not as h o s t i l e

rights"

i ssue as t h e i r

to t he " n a t i o n a l

French c o u n t e r p a r t s .

randum to S i r A r t h u r B a l f o u r , endorsed t he s e c u r i n g o f c i v i l

I n a memo­

t he J o i n t For e i gn Committee and p o l i t i c a l

Jews where such r i g h t s were deni ed them.

rights

for

Moreover,

the

B r i t i s h Jews e n u n c i a t e d a pl an whereby Jews in East er n Europe would be guar ant eed the r i g h t s own s c h o o l s , ture.

l an gu a ge ,

to c o n t r o l

their

and o t h e r el ements o f t h e i r c u l ­

The memorandum s p e c i f i e d the r e q u i r e me n t f o r m i n o r i ­

ties : A l l r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l m i n o r i t i e s i n _________ (name o f c o u n t r y ) s h a l l be secur ed, on a f o o t i n g o f e q u a l ­ i t y , in autonomous management o f t h e i r r e l i g i o u s , edu­ c a t i o n a l , c h a r i t a b l e , and o t h e r c u l t u r a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , pr ov i de d always t h a t the ( l anguage o f the c o u n t r y ) s h a l l be made an o b l i g a t o r y s u b j e c t o f i n s t r u c t i o n in t h e i r school s . 14 Anot her group a t t he Peace Conference was the Agudath

I s r a e l , t he o r g a n i z a t i o n

r e p r e s e n t i n g Orthodox Jews

in East er n Europe, which s t r e s s e d s p e c i a l religious

observances of the Jews.

Jewish i n t e l l e c t u a l s the Union Popul are

rights

for

A group o f Russi an-

who c a l l e d t h e i r

dissident c ir c le

urged the acceptance o f m i n o r i t y

l ^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 271 .

268-

129 r i g h t s w i t h o u t c l a i mi n g the Jews to be a n a t i o n . small

group of Russian emi gr es,

Another

the League f o r Defense of

Oppressed Jews, was r e p r e s e n t e d a t P a r i s as was a sepa­ ratist

group from Roumania which handed to t he Peace Con­

f e r e n c e i t s own memorandum on s p e c i a l

group

r i g h t s . ^

5

Though the American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t i o n was sent t o Par i s i n t he name o f American Jewry,

dissident

American Jewish groups al so sent r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s Peace Conference.

to the

The American Jewish Committee,

though

t e c h n i c a l l y a member o f the American Jewish Congress, r equest ed Cyrus Adl e r to r e p r e s e n t i t gress d e l e g a t i o n ,

except M a r s h a l l ,

a c o n t r i b u t i o n o f t he o r i g i n a l 1916,

at Par is.

The Con­

viewed hi s presence as

under st andi ng of Oct ober 2,

between the American Jewish Committee and the Jew­

i sh Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Committee. however,

t h a t the o r i g i n a l

Ma r s ha l l

agreement s t i p u l a t e d

stated, t h a t an

E x e c u t i v e Committee was to be e l e c t e d by t he Congress and t h a t dur i ng i t s

e x i s t e n c e t he E x e c u t i v e Coinmi t t e e would be

r egar ded as having precedence over those o f any o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n which was a p a r t i c i p a n t

in the Congress.

1 5 " D r a f t of Chapter on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " pp. 9-11 in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Archi ves of t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

130 When t he Congress met in P h i l a d e l p h i a , E x e c u t i v e Committee was e l e c t e d and, to M a r s h a l l ,

this

therefore,

no such accordi ng

" e l i m i n a t e d the i dea o f p r i o r i t y

v i o u s l y agreed upon and l e f t free

however,

pre­

t he American Jewish Committee

to send a d e l e g a t i o n t o the Peace Conf er ence.

.

.

A d l e r served on one o f the v o l u n t a r y groups which t r i e d medi at e the c o n f l i c t

to

between t he East er n European and

Western European Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s over t he i ssue of national

rights.

Anot her d i s s i d e n t Ameri can- Jewi sh group which came to t he Peace Conference were t he a n t i - Z i o n i s t s . haphazardly o r ga ni ze d,

the a n t i - Z i o n i s t s

the c r e a t i o n o f a Jewish p o l i t i c a l Cincinnati,

B e r k o wi t z o f C i n c i n n a t i , lyn,

New Yor k,

Rabbi

Henry

I saac Landman of Brook­

took the i n i t i a t i v e

in o r g a n i z i n g the a n t i -

in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s .

took t h e p o s i t i o n t h a t declared f o r P a le s tin e ,

#3,

Max Seni or of

and Rabbi

Z i o n i s t el ements

mandate,

wished to pr event

state.

Mor r i s Jast r ow o f B a l t i m o r e ,

Though

The a n t i - Z i o n i s t s

i f the American Jewish Congress had to be a d m i n i s t e r e d as a B r i t i s h

open to Jewish i m m i g r a t i o n ,

and " e n j o y i n g the

^^Richards to Mack, 5 / 2 4 / 3 7 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

131

bl e s s i ngs o f c i v i l ,

religious

r ega r d to race or creed . endorsed i t .

.

They d i s a g r e e d ,

and economic r i g h t s w i t h o u t t hey would have h e a r t i l y however, w i t h the

Zionists'

d e t e r m i n a t i o n to make P a l e s t i n e a Jewish p o l i t i c a l and co n s e q u e n t l y ,

began to p e t i t i o n

state,

the S t a t e Department

to hear t h e i r case. ^^ Their p e t i t i o n

r e s t e d on the argument t h a t Jews

should not be r ecogni zed as a n a t i o n a l torial

u n i t to whom t e r r i ­

s o v e r e i g n t y in P a l e s t i n e would be committed.

supported t h e i r t h e s i s

by s t a t i n g t h a t most of oppressed

Jewry could not hope to emi gr at e to t h a t l a n d , t a k e n l y cl ai med t h a t t he Z i o n i s t s home f o r a l 1 Jews. si nce a l l

18

They

and mi s­

viewed P a l e s t i n e as a

They m a i n t a i n e d ,

moreover,

that

Jews could not p o s s i b l y emi gr a t e to P a l e s t i n e ,

those r emai ni ng in t he Di aspora would f ace a more p r e c a r i ­ ous p o s i t i o n tions

if

they were c l a s s i f i e d

as a p o l i t i c a l

u n i t wi t h a dual

by t he n a t i v e popul a­ allegiance.

I ndeed,

P a l e s t i n e was not onl y t he homeland o f Jews, but al so of the n a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n s .

To u n i t e church and s t a t e

^^Rabbi M. J. M e r r i t t to P h i l i p s o n , 2 / 2 / 1 9 , Ber kowi t z Mss, Box 1893, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

in any

Henry

^^I b i d . , " A n t i - Z i o n i s t St at ement to the Pa r i s C o n f e r e n c e ."

Peace

1 32 f or m,

as under the o l d Jewish h i e r a r c h y ,

"would be a l eap

backward of two thousand y e a r s . M o r r i s c i n c t l y s t a t e d the a n t i - Z i o n i s t

Jast r ow suc­

position:

The Pa r i s Peace Conference would be gl ad to have such a s t at e me nt b e f o r e i t i n o r de r to j u s t i f y i t s a c t i o n i n not g r a n t i n g the d e s i r e s o f t h e a r d e n t Z i o n i s t s . . . . The Jewish qu est i on must be sol ved in t he coun­ t r i e s where i t a r os e , and t h a t e v e n t u a l l y the onl y s o l u t i o n is to g r a n t i n g to Jews e x a c t l y the same c i v i c r i g h t s as the o t h e r i n h a b i t a n t s and to make them a p a r t o f the n a t i o n a l l i f e . 20 The a n t i - Z i o n i s t s (R. bill

C alif.),

chose Congressman J u l i u s

who had managed a m i l i t a r y a p p r o p r i a t i o n s

through t he House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

Wi l so n,

Kahn

to c a r r y t h e i r p e t i t i o n

and the c h i e f e x e c u t i v e .

fo r President

to t he S t a t e Department

Kahn cl ai med to be an a r de nt

anti-Zionist. I do not b e l i e v e in Zi oni s m. I t h i n k i t would be harmful r a t h e r than b e n e f i c i a l i f a Jewish s t a t e were to be o r g a n i z e d . . . .21 However,

such had not always been t he case wi t h Kahn f o r

he had p r e v i o u s l y championed t he Z i o n i s t cause and had once i n s i s t e d t h a t a p r o - Z i o n i s t speech be i n s e r t e d

^^I b i d . ^^I b i d . ,

Jast r ow to Mo r g e ns t e r n,

2^I b i d . ,

Kahn to B e r k o w i t z ,

1/21/19.

1/11/19.

i n the

1 33 Congr essi onal

Record so t h a t

those "who had an oppor ­

t u n i t y o f s t u d y i n g t he q u e s t i o n as he s t u d i e d i t

mi ght

get the b e n e f i t o f hi s r e s e a r c h and c o m p l i c a t i o n s [ s i c ] . "22 Kahn pr es ent ed t he s t a t e me n t to Wilson and t he P r e s i d e n t assured him t h a t he would read i t . Though Wilson t r i e d anti-Zionists,

to assuage Kahn and t he o t h e r

t h e r e was never any doubt as to what p o s i ­

t i o n he would t a k e a t t he Peace Conf er ence.

He p u b l i c l y

committed h i m s e l f to t he Z i o n i s t cause when he wr ot e Rabbi Stephen Wise t h a t

he

welcomed an o p p o r t u n i t y to express t he s a t i s f a c t i o n I have f e l t in t he pr ogress o f t h e Z i o n i s t movement in t he Uni t e d S t a t e s and i n the A l l i e d c o u n t r i e s si nce the d e c l a r a t i o n by Mr. B a l f o u r . . . o f Gr eat B r i t a i n ' s approval o f t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t in P a l e s t i n e o f a n a t i o n a l home f o r t he Jewish p e o p l e . . . .23 Even t he a r d e n t a n t i - Z i o n i s t s

came to t he c oncl usi on t h a t

their

gesture.

Leo M.

petition

was a q u i x o t i c

F r a n k l i n t o Rabbi

"To me," wrote

Berkowitz,

i t would seem r a t h e r f o o l i s h a t t h i s ti me f o r t w e n t y f i v e men--no m a t t e r how pr omi nent t h e i r p o s i t i o n s - to go b e f o r e t he P r e s i d e n t p l e a d i n g our cause as a g a i n s t an equal number of e q u a l l y pr omi nent i n d i v i d u a l s

Z^The Jewish Advocate 4 / 1 0 / 1 9 , p. 8. on

(Boston),

3/27/19,

p.

6;

A l b e r t F r i e d , e d . , A Day of D e d i c a t i o n : The Essen­ t i a l W r i t i n g s and Speeches of Woodrow W i l s o n , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 5 ) , pp. 3 3 3 - 3 3 4 .

134 backed by t h e i r personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s to t he P r e s i ­ dent and w i t h a p e t i t i o n si gned by more than o n e - h a l f m i l l i o n names. . . . I r egar d as f u t i l e any e f f o r t s to change t he s i t u a t i o n w i t h o u t a g r e a t o r g a n i z a t i o n behind us. . . .^4 De s pi t e the e f f o r t s and Oscar S t r a u s ,

o f such men as Kahn,

Henry Morgent hau,

Stephen Wise was a b l e to r e p o r t t h a t the

P r e s i d e n t "seems to have no doubt t h a t P a l e s t i n e ou r s .

. . .

House w i l l

I may say t h a t the P r e s i d e n t and Colonel f i g h t f o r e v e r y t h i n g we want .

The i r r e c o n c i l a b l e a n t i - Z i o n i s t s anything t h a t

.

.

. "^5

were opposed to

suggested t h a t t he Jews were a nyt hi ng more

than a r e l i g i o u s

sect.

However,

t he American Jewish Con­

gress r e s o l u t i o n on P a l e s t i n e di d not ask f o r political

i s to be

state;

i n de e d,

t he Z i o n i s t movement,

as F e l i x Warburg,

stated,

the Z i o n i s t s

a Jewish

no f r i e n d of were aski ng

f o r not hi ng more than t h a t the Jews should have t he same

^^Leo M. F r a n k l i n t o B e r k o w i t z , 2 / 2 5 / 1 9 , ko wi t z Mss, Box 1893, American Jewish A r c h i v e s . 25

Henry Ber ­

"Summary o f Di spat ches from the Peace C o n f e r e n c e , " Abraham Schomer Reports and Memos f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 1 5 - 1 9 2 3 , YIVO; C. H. Voss, Stephen S. Wi s e : Ser vant o f the P e o p l e , pp. 8 6 - 8 7 . See al s o The American I s r a e l i t e , 3 / 6 / 1 9 , p. 7; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 5 / 1 3 / 2 0 , p. 4; Ray Stannard Baker , Woodrow Wilson and World S e t t l e m e n t , volume 2, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 2 ) , pp. 2 0 5 f f ; Char l es Seymour, The I n t i m a t e Papers of Colonel House, volume 4, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 8 ) , pp. 157, 199.

135 rights

in P a l e s t i n e as they have in the Uni t e d S t a t e s . 26

Chaim Weizmann, P r e s i d e n t o f the Engl i sh Z i o n i s t tion,

pu blic ly stated that

Feder a­

i t would be u n f a i r to ask the

Peace Conference t o hel p in e s t a b l i s h i n g an autonomous Jewish s t a t e

in P a l e s t i n e ,

and even i f

t he Z i o n i s t s

r e c e i v e d e v e r y t h i n g t hey demanded, t he World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n was too small

f o r such an immense t a sk as

t he enl ar ge me nt o f the Jewish p o p u l a t i o n Weizmann and Rabbi

in P a l e s t i n e .

Wise cl ai med t h a t onl y when t he Jews

were a m a j o r i t y o f the p o p u l a t i o n could P a l e s t i n e t he "Jewish N a t i o n a l

Home."27

To be s u r e ,

this

f u r t h e r postponed the day when Jews could c a l l t h e i r own f o r , increasing,

so,

become

pr ov i so Palestine

w h i l e t he Jewish p o p u l a t i o n would be too,

would the p o p u l a t i o n s of the o t h e r

minorities.

Weizmann t o l d S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e Robert

Lansi ng t h a t

he hoped P a l e s t i n e would u l t i m a t e l y

Jewish as England was E ng l i s h b u t ,

he q u i c k l y added,

Warburg to S e n i o r , 1 / 1 7 / 1 9 , Box 1893, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

"t he

Henry Ber kowi t z Mss,

27j h e American I s r a e l i t e , 1 / 2 / 1 9 , p . 4.

become as

p.

4;

1/16/19,

136 q u est i on

[is]

whether i t

was

not whether Zi oni sm [ i s ] p o s s i b l e .

difficult,

but

"28

Whi l e the P a l e s t i n e i ss ue was i m p o r t a n t to the American Jewish Congress' s peace d e l e g a t i o n ,

it

supersede the i ssue o f p r o t e c t i n g the r i g h t s

o f t he Jewish

minorities

in East er n Europe.

not w i t h o u t pr ec ede nt in i t s

The Peace Conference was quest to p r o t e c t t he r i g h t s

of a m i n o r i t y from a t y r a n n i c a l was f i r s t

di d not

majority.

When Greece

a d mi t t e d i n t o t he f a m i l y of n a t i o n s

in 1832,

the

Conference o f London p r e s c r i b e d the form o f her go ver n­ ment; mor eover , when t h a t count r y gai ned s o v e r e i g n t y over the I o n i a n

Islands

in 1864,

t he European powers

2 B " D r a f t o f Chapter on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " pp. 1 7 - 1 8 , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , The Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. Weizmann al s o met P r e s i d e n t Wilson and presumabl y t o l d him what he was going to t e l l Lansi ng. See. "Meet i ng o f American Jewish Congress R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s w i t h P r e s i d e n t W i l s o n , " J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #2, Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. Lansi ng had some r e s e r v a ­ t i o n s about t he Z i o n i s t p l a t f o r m . He ma i n t a i n e d t h a t " s e l f d e t e r m i n a t i o n " and the Z i o n i s t cause were c o n t r a d i c t o r y terms, and t h a t the c r e a t i o n o f a Jewish n a t i o n a l home might l e a d to r e b e l l i o n by the n a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n s . How­ e v e r , he was o v e r r u l e d by the P r e s i d e n t and Col onel House. See Robert Lansi ng, The Peace N e g o t i a t i o n s , A Personal N a r r a t i v e , (New York, 1 9 2 1 ) , pp. 96-1 05, 1 96, James T. S h o t w e l l , a member o f t he American Peace Commission, cl ai med t h a t t h e r e was l i t t l e f o r t he Peace Conference to do but r e g i s t e r t he de cr ee. See, James T. S h o t w e l l , At t he P a r i s Peace C o n f e r e n c e , (New York , 1 937 ) , pp. 1 67-1 70.

137 guar ant eed t he I s l a n d s '

inhabitants

In 1878,

the Congress o f B e r l i n

religious

freedom and p o l i t i c a l

laws o f B u l g a r i a ,

Montenegro,

freedom o f wor shi p.

i n c l u d e d p r o v i s i o n s on equality

Serbia,

in t he or ga ni c

and Roumania.

The

t r e a t y o f peace between Turkey and Greece i n November, 1913,

al s o c o n t a i n e d r e l i g i o u s

populations.

to m i n o r i t y

When Roumania si gned t he a b o r t i v e T r e a t y of

Buchar est wi t h the Cent r al tral

guaranties

Powers i n May,

1918,

the Cen­

Powers e s t a b l i s h e d " e q u a l " freedom o f r e l i g i o n

in

Roumania and extended to the Jews Roumanian c i t i z e n s h i p . Yet in a l l

o f t hese i n s t a n c e s ,

t he guar ant ees extended to

the m i n o r i t y p o p u l a t i o n s were not e n f or c e d by the Euro­ pean powers.

In e f f e c t ,

d e cl a ra ti o n of i n t e n t ;

all

t h a t was guar ant eed was a

f o r over f o r t y ye ar s

Roumania d i s ­

r egar ded the p r o v i s i o n s o f t he Congress o f B e r l i n e d i c t and d e f i n e d " c i t i z e n s h i p "

i n such a way t h a t the Jews

were excl uded from e n j o y i n g equal

protection

under the

l a w . 29

29nanl ey 0. Hudson, "The P r o t e c t i o n o f M i n o r i t i e s , " in Edward M. House and Charl es Seymour, What R e a l l y Hap­ pened a t P a r i s , (New York, 1 9 2 1 ) , pp. 2 0 9 - 2 1 0 . Articles T h i r t e e n and Fourteen read: "A rtic le Thirteen: The High C o n t r a c t i n g P a r t i e s r e c ­ ogni ze the independence o f Roumania, s u b j e c t to the c o n d i t i o n s s e t f o r t h in t he following two arti cles:

138 Roumania f o r m u l a t e d

its

constitution

evade t he p r o v i s i o n s o f t he t r e a t y . Constitution,

adopted i n 1880,

could become n a t u r a l i z e d

Article

so as to Seven o f the

s t i p u l a t e d t h a t anyone

under t he f o l l o w i n g c o n d i t i o n s :

(1)

By ad dr e s s i ng to the Government an a p p l i c a t i o n f o r n a t u r a l i z a t i o n , in which must be d e c l a r e d t he c a p i t a l he possesses, hi s p r o f e s s i o n , and hi s wish to e s t a b l i s h hi s d o m i c i l e in Roumania; ( 2 ) By r e s i d i n g i n t h i s c o u n t r y f o r ten ye ar s a f t e r having made t h i s a p p l i c a t i o n , and by pr ov i ng by hi s ac t s t h a t he i s us e f u l to the c o u n t r y . . ( 3 ) N a t u r a l i z a t i o n can o n l y be gr ant ed by a law and i ndividually; ( 4 ) A s p e c i a l law w i l l de t e r mi ne t he manner in which f o r e i g n e r s can e s t a b l i s h t h e i r d o m i c i l e in Rou­ manian t e r r i t o r y . . . . 30

A r t i c l e Fo ur t ee n: I n Roumania t he d i f f e r e n c e o f r e l i ­ gi ous creed and c o n f e s s i o n s s h a l l not be a l l e g e d a g a i n s t any person as a ground f o r e x c l u s i o n or i n c a ­ p a c i t y in ma t t e r s r e l a t i n g to t he enj oyment of c i v i l and p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s , admi ssi on to p u b l i c employments, f u n c t i o n s and honors, or the e x e r c i s e o f t he v a r i o u s p r o f e s s i o n s and i n d u s t r i e s in any l o c a l i t y wh at so ev er . "The freedom and outward e x e r c i s e o f a l l forms o f wor­ s hi p s h a l l be assur ed to a l l persons bel ongi ng to the Roumanian S t a t e , as we l l as to f o r e i g n e r s , and no h i n ­ drance s h a l l be o f f e r e d e i t h e r to t he h i e r a r c h i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t he d i f f e r e n t communions, or to t hese r e l a t i v e s wi t h t h e i r s p i r i t u a l c h i e f . "The s u b j e c t s and c i t i z e n s o f a l l the Powers, t r a d e r s or ot her s s h a l l be t r e a t e d in Roumania, w i t h o u t d i s ­ t i n c t i o n o f c r e e d , on a f o o t i n g of p e r f e c t e q u a l i t y . "

30%bid.

139 Roumania di d not enact t he n a t u r a l i z a t i o n

lav/ which she

had promised the s i g n a t o r y powers to do.

Thus, Jews,

before,

were t o t a l l y

political

excl uded from e n j o y i n g c i v i l

as

and

rights.

In t he ar eas o f l a r g e Jewish p o p u l a t i o n s - - R o u m a n i a , Rus si a, ance,

and G a l i c i a - - t h e Jews s u f f e r e d

economic b o y c o t t ,

and i n e q u a l i t y

religious

intoler­

b e f o r e t he law.

In

Roumania, a p p r o x i m a t e l y 30 0, 0 00 Jews l i v e d a m i s e r a b l e existence.

Since 1878 t h a t count r y had enact ed 220 s t a ­

t u t e s o p e r a t i n g e x c l u s i v e l y a g a i n s t t he Jews.

If

Roumania

were to be gi ven Bessar abi a and T r a n s y l v a n i a some 50 0 , 0 0 0 more Jews would be depr i ved o f t h e i r c i t i z e n s h i p

rights

which t hey had enj oyed w h i l e under the p r o t e c t i o n of o t h e r governments.

They could not own land and were p r o h i b i t e d

from pursui ng a g r i c u l t u r a l by t he p o l i c e ,

employment.

They were hounded

per secut ed by the Black Hundreds,

and

special

t axes were imposed upon them.

"Statutes,

nances,

edicts,

dir ec ted against

and j u d i c i a l

them ran i n t o the thousands. Government r esci nded a l l

decisions .

.

."

31

discriminatory

ordi­

The P r o v i s i o n a l legislation

American Jewish Congress, Memorial P r e s i d e n t Woodrow W i l s o n , (New Yor k, 1 9 1 9 ) ,

Presented to passi m.

140 d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the Jews and gr ant ed them f u l l however,

equality;

the Bo l s hev i k R e v o l u t i o n i n t e r v e n e d and the ensu­

ing chaos l e f t

the decree o f emanci pat i on in a s t a t e of

fl ux. Since Poland had not e x i s t e d f o r more than a cen­ tury,

it

was d i f f i c u l t

unofficial

and

a t t i t u d e s o f t he Poles toward the Jews.

new Pol a nd, trian

to det er mi ne the o f f i c i a l

The

to be r e s u r r e c t e d from the ashes o f the Aus­

and Russian Empi res, was to i n c l u d e what was f o r ­

merl y Russian Pol and, Prussia. larly,

Galicia,

and p a r t s of S i l e s i a

Those Jews r e s i d i n g in Russian Pol and,

and

particu­

s u f f e r e d a t the hands o f t h e i r Russian oppr essor s.

Since t h e "new" Poland would c o n t a i n some t h r e e m i l l i o n Jews,

it

was necessary t h a t t he Peace Conference guar an­

t ee those peopl e t h e i r

rights.

From past h i s t o r y , peace d e l e g a t i o n tarily

grant

did not t h i n k

the Jews equal

Committee s t i l l

equal

force.

rights;

P ol i s h l e a d e r s would v o l u n ­

rights.

The P o l i s h Na t i o n a l

r egarded the proposed C o n s t i t u t i o n

ing from the a b o r t i v e in f u l l

the American Jewish Congress

r e v o l u t i o n o f 1362- 1863 as being

That C o n s t i t u t i o n however,

result­

it

supposedly gr an t ed Jews

did so onl y on t h r e e c o n d i t i o n s :

141 In c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r t h e i r admission t o the enjoyment o f equal r i g h t s the Jews s h a l l renounce the use o f a language o f t h e i r own in speech as we l l as i n w r i t ­ i n g . . . . A f t e r the pr omul gat i on of t h i s a c t , no l e g a l a c t , no w i l l , no c o n t r a c t , no g u a r a n t y , no o b l i ­ g a t i o n o f any s o r t , no accounts or b i l l s , no commercial correspondence s h a l l be w r i t t e n or si gned i n Hebrew or Yiddish. A l l such documents s h a l l in t h a t case be i n v a l i d . 32 Roman Dmowski, P r e s i d e n t o f t he P o l i s h N a t i o n a l admi t t ed to Louis Ma r s hal l

Committee,

t h a t i t was hi s d e s i r e to see

the Jews l e a ve Poland and t h a t he f u l l y

suppor t ed the

economic bo y c o t t d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the Jews s i n c e 1912. editorial

i n a P o l i s h newspaper owned by Dmowski

An

stated:

The weal o f t he count r y demands above a l l to be r e l i e v e d o f the awful burden o f the Jewish mass of two m i l l i o n s , whi ch, owing to i t s e x c e s s i v e concen­ t r a t i o n and shop- keepi ng mode o f l i f e , i s r e g u l a r l y poi soni ng i t s e l f and the P o l i s h mi l i e u . 33 Though the P o l i s h N a t i o n a l

Committee d e c l a r e d t h a t t he

proposed C o n s t i t u t i o n o f the new Poland would guar ant ee equality

be f or e the law f o r a l l

not c l e a r l y

Polish c i t i z e n s ,

d e f i n e the term " c i t i z e n " ;

thus,

it

di d

they pr ovi ded

themsel ves w i t h t he same l o ophol e which enabl ed t he Rou­ manians to d e f a u l t on t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n s . 34

32ibid 33quoted in I b i d .

34ibid.

142 Owing to s e r i o us d i f f e r e n c e s

i n p o i n t s o f v i e w,

the

v a r i o u s Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s a t P a r i s were unable to ac hi eve t h a t u n i t y o f a c t i o n which was so d e s p e r a t e l y needed. first

The

a t t e mp t a t u n i t y was made when onl y a few o f the

d e l e g a t i o n s were p r e s e n t .

Lucien Wol f urged Eugene See

to meet Nahum Sokolow o f the World Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n ar r ang e some t ype o f o r g a n i z a t i o n . 18,

1919,

to

The two met on January

and they agreed to c r e a t e a " Ce nt r a l

Delegation Secre ta ries with c e rt a in

Bureau of

executive fu nc ti on s,

and a D e l i b e r a t i v e Committee of R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s " o f the various de le g at io ns . Ce n t r a l

A d e c i s i o n about the form which the

Bureau was to t ake was postponed u n t i l

o f the o t h e r d e l e g a t i o n s . ^ ^ ish d e l e g a t i o n s

The B r i t i s h

and French Jew­

had a l r e a d y submi t t ed memoranda to t h e i r

r e s p e c t i v e governments, and W o l f , if

the a r r i v a l

particularly,

urged t h a t

the Jewish case was to be heard and act ed upon by the

Peace Conf er ence, be s u b m i t t e d .

a j o i n t memorandum would soon have to

I t was not u n t i l

Febr uar y 18,

most o f the d e p u t a t i o n s assembled in P a r i s the East European Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s

1919 t h a t and even then

r ef used to commit

35oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 2 8 4 - 2 8 7 ; N a t i o n a l E x e c u t i v e Committee Me e r i ng, 6 / 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #3, Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

143 themsel ves to the C e n t r a l

Bureau u n t i l

o r g a n i z a t i o n was agreed upon. coul d not agree to t h i s

t he form o f the

Wol f and t he A l l i a n c e

stipulation.

Jews then c ount er ed w i t h a proposal

The East European which would have c r e ­

at ed a u n i t e d commi ttee w i t h a s e c r e t a r i a t o f about f i v e men.

The A l l i a n c e

feared th at

it

East er n Europe.

rejected

this

plan a l s o ,

because i t

mi ght be ou t v o t e d by the d e l e g a t i o n s Thus,

negotiations

broke o f f

from

until

the OC

e n t i r e American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t i o n

arrived.

J u l i a n Mack and Ri char ds a r r i v e d on March 16, and i mme di a t e l y s e t out to achi e ve u n i t y . alienated

Mack q u i c k l y

h i m s e l f from t he Western European Jewish d e l e g a ­

t i o n s when he c a l l e d

their

filing

s e p a r a t e p e t i t i o n s wi t h

the Peace Conference a "breach o f f a i t h . " thus a l i g n e d

t hemsel ves w i t h

The Americans

the East er n Europeans,

t he B r i t i s h were f u r t h e r a l i e n a t e d by Mack' s The two American Jewish d e l e g a t e s

o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s .

^^Oscar Janowsky, 286-287. Cohen,

to

a Committee

With the ai d o f some East er n Euro­

they achi eved

^^Naomi

and

" t r u c u 1e n c e ."

then t r i e d

o r g a n i z e t he E ast er n European deputati ons i n t o

pean Jews,

1919

some semblance o f u n i t y and

Jews and M i n o r i t y

Not Free t o D e s i s t ,

R i g h t s , pp. pp.

115-118.

144 began the p r e p a r a t o r y work o f d r a f t i n g a p e t i t i o n Peace Conf er ence.

38

When Ma r s hal l

arrived

to the

in Paris

he was

very much put out to f i n d t h a t t he Committee was a l r e a d y functioning.

He t hought t h a t by o r g a n i z i n g t he Commi ttee,

the A l l i a n c e and t he J o i n t Forei gn Committee would not consent to any u n i t y pl an and he c h a s t i z e d Mack and Richards f o r t h e i r a c t i o n s . t h e i r work.

Mar shal l

then t r i e d

to undo

He convi nced Mack t h a t onl y those Jewish

d e l e g a t i o n s from t he g r e a t powers would have any i n f l u ­ ence over the outcome o f t he d e l i b e r a t i o n s

and t h a t

was n a i v e to t h i n k t h a t the Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s East er n Europe coul d persuade t he Fr ench, Italian, gates,

arguments;

finally,

from

British,

and American peace commi ssi oners.

moreover, were t i r e d

it

Many d e l e ­

o f t he c o n s t a n t b i c k e r i n g and

t he American and East er n European

Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s appoi nt ed a committee to seek a com­ promise wi t h t he A l l i a n c e . 39 The Committee met w i t h A l l i a n c e ; Cyrus A d l e r , Commi ttee,

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the

r e p r e s e n t i n g the American Jewish

al so a t t e n d e d .

Ma r s hal l

insisted

t h a t the

^ ^ N . a . , n . d . , Leon H o t z k i n f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. pp.

39oscar Janowsky, 291-296.

Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp

145 substance o f n a t i o n a l

r i g h t s was more i mpo r t a nt than the

name gi ven i t .

Though the A11i ance di d not whol l y concur

with M a r s h a l l ' s

analysis,

they were s t i l l

opposed to the term " n a t i o n a l . " " q ue s t i o n o f n a t i o n a l national

rights

sovereignty.

unalterably

See e x p l a i n e d t h a t the

presumed t he r i g h t of

As a basi s o f n a t i o n a l

rights,

no

n a t i o n e x i s t e d or coul d be conceived to e x i s t except the Palestinian state.

.

.

."

The business of the Peace Con­

ference,

he a s s e r t e d , was to c r e a t e a sover ei gn s t a t e f o r

distinct

nationalities,

persuade each o t h e r , a n o t h e r conf er ence

not f o r t he

J e w s . 40

Unable to

t he opposing groups decided to hold

in the hope t h a t c o o l e r heads would

p r e v a i 1. Another meeting took pl ace on A p r i l

5,

1919.

Sokolow and Claude M o n t e f i o r e o u t l i n e d a proposal t hey b e l i e v e d , national

Nahum

whi ch,

would ci r cumvent the t roubl esome issue of

rights.

Sokolow s t a t e d t h a t t he d i s s o l u t i o n of

the Russian and Aus t r o - Hun ga r i a n empires had f o r c ed the Jews l i v i n g t h e r e to pr oc l a i m themselves a n a t i o n a l i t y . He reasoned t h a t t he Jews should not have to choose sides

4 0 " D r a f t o f Ch a p t e r on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " i n p o s s e s ­ s i o n o f Mr s. Rut h R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t h e J ewi s h I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

146 to p r o c l a i m to what s t a t e ance;

if

they would gi v e t h e i r a l l e g i ­

t hey were f o r c e d to do so,

pawns in a f i g h t

they would become

between the w a r r i n g p o p u l a t i o n s .

He went

on to say t h a t si n c e t he Jews a l r e a d y possessed f u n c t i o n ­ ing e d u c a t i o n a l ,

social,

would be f o o l i s h

f o r them to gi ve these up and d e s t r o y

t h e i r communal

life--the

As Janowsky s t a t e s : educational

called

it

very essence o f t h e i r e x i s t e n c e .

and l i n g u i s t i c

autonomy, p r o p o r t i o n a l

repre­

basi s and an untrammeled communal

Sokolow conceded t h a t hi s demands need not be

"national

secured.

institutions,

"Sokolow wanted f o r the East er n Jews

s e n t a t i o n on a n a t i o n a l l i f e . "41

and r e l i g i o u s

"42

rights"

so long "as t he t h i n g was

M o n t e f i o r e took the p o s i t i o n

t h a t s i n ce the

J o i n t For ei gn Committee had a l r e a d y accept ed r e l i g i o u s and c u l t u r a l

rights,

it

would not oppose the E a s t e r n e r s '

a t t e mp t to o r g a n i z e on a n a t i o n a l f a r as to say t h a t on s e c ur i n g s p e c i a l were w i l l i n g

if

basis.

t he Jews o f East er n Europe i n s i s t e d

cultural

autonomy and t h a t ,

to assume the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

41 Oscar Janowsky, 299-300. 42 Quot ed i n

Ad l e r went so

Ibid.

Jews and M i n o r i t y

if

they

f o r such t h i n g s .

R i g h t s , pp.

147 he was w i l l i n g

to hel p them.^^

to adj our n u n t i l final

The conf e r e nce deci ded

the n e x t day when i t was expect ed t h a t a

compromise would be reached. On A p r i l

position;

6,

1919,

Sokolow c o mp l e t e l y r e v e r s e d hi s

he d e c l a r e d t h a t t he word " n a t i o n a l "

under no ci r cumst ances and Sunday e v e n i n g ,

be e l i m i n a t e d .

could

Between Sat ur day

t he uncompromising East er n European

Jewish n a t i o n a l i s t s - - p a r t i c u l a r l y , Ussi schki n and Thon- made a st r ong appeal

to him.

Thon f u r t h e r a l i e n a t e d

the

West er ner s when he shouted t h a t t he "Jews ar e a n a t i o n , not a r e l i g i o u s

s e c t and we wish the worl d to know i t . "

H e r b e r t Bent wi ch,

r e p r e s e n t i n g t he B' n a i

B r i t h Lodge of

London, excl ai med Only we are a f r a i d o f t he term n a t i o n . Non-Jews are accustomed to i t . They w i l l not be s u r p r i s e d i f we ask t he r i g h t s o f an 'Am s e g u l l a h , ' a p e c u l i a r n a t i o n . The cl ai ms o f r e p r e s e n t a t i o n in government and p a r ­ l i a m e n t i s s t r a n g e to We s t e r n e r s , w i t h one hundred ye ar s o f emanci pat i on behind them; i n one hundred year s the East may no l o n g e r need i t e i t h e r . . . . Do not put them in g r e a t e r danger by w h i t t l i n g down t h e i r c l a i m s . . . .^4

Richards to Wise, 4 / 1 2 / 1 9 , C o r r e s p o n d e n c e - - A me r i • can Jewish Congress f o l d e r #1 , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. 4 4 " D r a f t o f C h a p t e r on N a t i o n a l R i g h t s , " i n posses Si on o f Mr s. Rut h R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t he J ewi s h I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

148

Dr.

Leon Rei c h,

Counci l

representative

o f t he Jewish N a t i o n a l

o f Lemburg, a s s e r t e d t h a t t he Jews coul d not con­

s i d e r a n y t h i n g but n a t i o n a l in t h e i r d e s i r e

rights;

he went on to say t h a t

to be co n s i d e r e d a n a t i o n a l i t y

and remain

n e u t r a l , they had s u f f e r e d a pogrom a t the hands of the w a r r i n g Poles and U k r a i n i a n s . ac cept ance o f n a t i o n a l and expose a l l

rights

Anyt hi ng l e s s

than the

"would condemn .

.

. Jews

Jews o f t he East to t he danger o f being

used as p o l i t i c a l

instruments,

political

slaves,

f o r the

sake of t he o t h e r s . "45 The E a s t e r n e r s ' to the o t h e r s gations.

demands came as a compl ete s u r p r i s e

and produced shock waves amongst the d e l e ­

To sa l va ge wh at ev er chance o f u n i t y

remai ned,

Committee o f Seven was a p p o i n t e d by both si des some compromise. ations; ye t,

to reach

Not hi ng came o f the Commi t t ee' s d e l i b e r ­

t he Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s was abl e

to concl ude a modus v i v e n d i Joint

a

For ei gn

with

the A l l i a n c e

Committee whereby d i f f e r i n g

not to do a n y t h i n g a n t a g o n i s t i c

and the

groups agreed

to each o t h e r s '

p roposals.

45i b i d .

4 5 xhe Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 7 / 2 9 / 2 0 , p. 6; N a t i o n a l E x e c u t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r # 3 , Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i ­ cal Semi nary.

45

149 On A p r i l

2,

1919 t he d e l e g a t i o n from the American

Jewish Congress was r e c e i v e d by S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e La ns i ng,

General

Tasker H.

Bliss,

American Peace Commission.

Robert

and Henry Whi te of the

The American Commission to

N e g o t i a t e Peace f a v o r e d t he d i s s o l u t i o n o f t he A u s t r o Hungari an Empire and t he c r e a t i o n o f i ndependent s t a t e s which would be a b l e to w i t h s t a n d f u t u r e German aggr essi ons as wel l

as to p r e v e n t t h e cancer o f Bolshevism from moving

west ward.

Yet,

as Lansi ng had e a r l i e r warned,

t he d i s ­

i n t e g r a t i o n o f t he newly c r e a t e d s t a t e s was a d i s t i n c t possibility

because o f economic i n s t a b i l i t y ,

and p o l i t i c a l

turmoil.

mendations o f J a n u a r y , American s p e c i a l i s t s

In i t s 19 19,

t he " I n q u i r y , "

cl ai ms o f the newly

The recommendations were based upon however,

the

r e c o gni z e d t he f a c t t h a t a l a r g e number o f m i n o r i ­

t i e s would be under t h e p r o t e c t i o n past p r a c t i c e s

tion 220.

a group o f

on European and Near East er n a f f a i r s ,

the p r i n c i p l e o f " s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n ; " Inquiry

unrest,

O u t l i n e o f T e n t a t i v e Recom­

s t r o n g l y suppor t ed t he t e r r i t o r i a l c r e a t e d s t a t e s . 47

social

o f governments whose

included d i s c r i m i n a t i o n ,

economic b o y c o t t .

47Lawrence G e l f a n d , The I n q u i r y : American P r e p a r a ­ f o r Peace, 1 9 1 7 - 1 9 1 9 , (New Haven, 1 9 6 3 ) , pp. 2 0 6 - 2 0 7 ,

1 50 and s o c i a l

ostracism.

4ft

Mack and Ma r s hal l delegation.

spoke f o r the Jewish Congress

They r evi ewed t he cont ent s o f t he " B i l l

of

Ri ght s" which they had given P r e s i d e n t Wilson i n Mar ch, 1919.

The American Peace Commissioners were wary of the

p o s s i b l e worki ngs o f " s pe c i a l

rights

f o r m i n o r i t y gr oups, "

and i n q u i r e d whet her t he demands o f the American Jewish Congress would not rouse resentment and anger among the native

population.

such g u a r a n t e e s ,

Mack st r essed the p o i n t t h a t w i t h o u t

the Jews i n Roumanie and Poland would

c o n t i n u e to be second- cl ass c i t i z e n s ; numerous examples of mixed p o pu l a t i o ns o f East er n Europe where speci al

moreover,

in va r i o u s pa r t s

religious

and c u l t u r a l

r i g h t s were p r e v i o u s l y gi ven c o n s i d e r a t i o n . still

a bit

skeptical.

he c i t e d

Lansing was

He thought t h a t the Jews in

Poland and Roumania would come p e r i l o u s l y c l ose to d e c l a r ­ ing themselves a n a t i o n a l would f u r t h e r a l i e n a t e tions.^^

political

party,

and t h a t they

themselves from the n a t i v e po pu l a­

Mack assured the S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e t h a t no

4 8 i b i d . , p.

220.

4 ^ " D r a f t o f Ch a p t e r on t he P a r i s Peace C o n f e r e n c e , " i n p o s s e s s i o n o f Mr s. Rut h Ri c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t h e J ewi sh I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

1 51

such t h i n g would occur and t h a t the Jews o f t hese coun­ tries

were aski ng onl y f o r t h a t which was enj oyed by o t h e r

m i n o r i t y groups.

Lansi ng f i n a l l y

As pr es ent ed sioners,

t he Jewish

t o Lansi ng and the

o t h e r peace commis­

Congress' s r e qu e s t

went much f u r t h e r

than Wilson had o r i g i n a l l y proposal

c o n s e n t e d . ^0

anticipated.

for protecting minorities

in the new s t a t e s p r o ­

vi ded

for

found

in the T r e a t y o f B e r l i n of 1878.

further,

Wilson's f i r s t

r e l i g i o u s freedom i n terms not u n l i k e those

however,

in t h a t

e q u a l i t y among the v a r i o us

it

His proposal

pr ovi ded f o r p o l i t i c a l

races and n a t i o n a l i t i e s

s t a t e s which might be asked to gi ve t h e i r Much o f W i l s o n ' s proposal P r o f e s s o r A r c h i b a l d C. "l oaned"

in the

gu a r a nt y .

was based on t he work of

Coo l i dge.

Cool i dge had been

to t he American Peace Commission as head of a

committee of e x p e r t s which v i s i t e d multi-national following

went

the b i - l i n g u a l

and

r egi ons of East er n Europe du r i ng the months

the c e s s a t i o n o f h o s t i l i t i e s .

Cool i dge became

Ibid. See a l s o , Ri chards to Rubinsohn, 4 / 8 / 1 9 , quoted i n "Leo Mot zki n and American Jewr y, " p. 7, in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Archi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. David Hunter M i l l e r , D r a f t i n g of t he Covenant , volume 2, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 8 ) , p. 105.

152 convi nced o f the need f o r p r o t e c t i o n o f the m i n o r i t i e s urged Wilson to meet t he problem. that

"t he r i g h t s

ties

as wel l

of n a t i o n a l i t i e s

as o f m a j o r i t i e s , "

and

He espoused the t h e s i s i n c l u d e those of m i n o r i ­

and s t a t e d t h a t t h e r e was

an ur gent need f o r t he Peace Conference to d e c l a r e j u s t what c o n s t i t u t e d religious,

the minimum o f these r i g h t s - - p o l i t i c a l ,

linguistic.

l e a g u e , were wel l

He and Manley 0.

Hudson, a c o l ­

aware o f the na i ve assumption t h a t

n a t i v e governments and peoples would g r e e t the m i n o r i t i e s wi t h open arms.

They c a ut i o ne d t h a t even the most solemn

assurances from the n a t i v e governments would not s u f f i c e . Only a s t r o n g l y worded d e c l a r a t i o n

by t he A l l i e d and

Associ at ed Powers coul d q u i e t t he " e x c i t e d masses" and contribute

to a l a s t i n g

peace.

Details

f o r enforcement

o f the guar ant ees were to be f o r m u l a t e d by the League of Nat i ons a t a l a t e r

date.

Mack and Ma r s h a l l mat el y one week a f t e r others.

52 met wi t h Colonel

House a p p r o x i ­

t h e i r meet i ng w i t h Lansi ng and the

House asked t h a t a b r i e f be w r i t t e n ,

Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s , the Jewish case.

t o g e t h e r wi t h Hudson,

Mack and Mar shal l

S^oscar Janowsky, 258-259.

and the two

used the B i l l

Jews and M i n o r i t y

prepared of

R i g h t s , pp.

153 Rights,

adopted by the American Jewish Congress in P h i l a ­

delphia, ments,

as t he basi s o f t h e i r

brief.

With some a d j u s t ­

t hey pr epar ed a document which i n c l u d e d demands

for minority representation

and autonomy.

m i n o r i t y which c o n s t i t u t e d a t l e a s t

Each n a t i o n a l

1 per cent o f the

p o p u l a t i o n was to be consi der ed an autonomous body wi t h the r i g h t tional,

to m a i n t a i n

charitable,

each n a t i o n a l resentatives

its

own n a t i o n a l ,

and s o c i a l

religious,

institutions.

m i n o r i t y would have the r i g h t to a l l

Mor eover , to e l e c t r e p ­

p u b l i c l y e l e c t e d bodies;

the v e h i c l e

f o r such e l e c t i o n s would be i ndependent e l e c t o r a l so as to ensure p r o p o r t i o n a l minorities

p u b l i c funds expended f o r .

. ."53

national

representation.

would be assured a p r o p o r t i o n a l

privileges,

Too,

the

share o f the

de s i g na t e d a

To ensure the e x e c u t i o n of t hese

any o f the s i g n a t o r y powers and "any group

t h a t may be a f f e c t e d effectuate

colleges

"such o f the f o r e g o i n g o b j e c t s .

The Jews were to be s p e c i f i c a l l y minority.

educa­

by the f a i l u r e

to observe or to

any o f the p r o v i s i o n s o f the a r t i c l e "

given t he r i g h t Nat i ons or i t s

S^Ibid.

were

to submit co mp l ai n t s to the League of d e l e g a t e d a g e nt .

154 The two men pr es ent ed t he d r a f t Hunt er M i l l e r , sion.

legal

r e p o r t to David

a d v i s o r t o the American Peace Commis­

Whi l e he agreed w i t h al most a l l

o f t he d r a f t ,

weakened t he document to a g r e a t e x t e n t . hi s r e v i s i o n

t he c a r e f u l l y

z e n s h i p , which Ma r s h a l l

He o m i t t e d

he in

phrased passage d e f i n i n g c i t i ­

and Mack b e l i e v e d was t he reason

f o r Roumania's non- compl i ance wi t h t h e T r e a t y o f B e r l i n . He al s o d e l e t e d the s t i p u l a t i o n s

r e g a r d i n g the observance

of the Sabbath and t he method o f enforcement by appeal the League. "national

He e l i m i n a t e d , mor eover ,

rights,"

"national

all

references

minorities,"

to

to

and " n a t i o n a l

i n s t i t u t i o n s ."^4 M i l l e r met w i t h Mack, M a r s h a l l , out t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s . were s e t t l e d redrafted on A p r i l

Some o f t he language problems

by t he c o nf e r e es w h i l e ot her s were

by Mack and Ma r s h a l l 22,

and Hudson to i r on

1919.

Miller

and r e s u bmi t t e d to M i l l e r

al s o c o n f e r r e d wi t h members of

t he Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s who convi nced him that

in some cases,

particularly

Poland and Roumania,

was i m p e r a t i v e t h a t t he Jews be c l a s s i f i e d m i n o r i t y and,

54lbid.

thus,

be a b l e to m a i n t a i n ,

it

as a n a t i o n a l

wi t h

support

1 55 from t he S t a t e ,

t h e i r own c u l t u r a l

institutions.

He was

al so convi nced t h a t the Jews should have m i n o r i t y r e p r e ­ sentation,

though he di sapproved o f the " e l e c t o r a l

l ege pl an" f o r m u l a t e d by Mack and M a r s h a l l . the appeal instead,

col­

He d e l e t e d

to t he League as a method of enf or cement ;

Poland "would be r e q u i r e d to r e co gni z e the pr o­

v i s i o n s as a b i l l

o f r i g h t s which coul d not be amended

except wi t h the consent o f the League of N a t i o n s . "55 M iller April

submi t t e d the r e v i s e d d r a f t 29,

stating

to Colonel

t h a t t he new s t a t e s

House on

should be compelled

t o adopt t he c l a u s e s . Others

in the American Peace Commission were not

as happy wi t h t he compromise as M i l l e r . t o l d Cyrus A d l e r in l a t e A p r i l ,

1919 t h a t t h e r e was not

the s l i g h t e s t chance t h a t a n a t i o n a l be i n s e r t e d

He r be r t Hoover

i n t o the peace t r e a t y . 55

m i n o r i t y cl ause would S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e

Lansing had mi s g i v i n g s about the Jewish pr oposal s and Wise s t a t e d t h a t Lansi ng' s

r e s i g n a t i o n was no g r e a t loss

5 5 1b i d . See a l s o . Uni t ed S t a t e s Department of S t a t e , Forei gn R e l a t i o n s o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s , Par i s Peace Conf er ence, 1 9 1 9 , volume 5, pp. 3 9 3 - 3 9 9 . 55cyrus A d l e r , I Have Considered the Days, del phi a, 1 9 4 1 ) , p. 310.

(Phi la-

156 as f a r as Jewish a f f a i r s owing to t he l a t e draft,

were concerned.

57

Mor eover ,

dat e t h a t M i l l e r submi t t ed the r e v i s e d

and wi t h t he p r e s e n t a t i o n o f c o n d i t i o n s of peace

to t he Germans s e t f o r May 7,

1919,

the Big Four decided

t h a t the Jewish q u e s t i o n should be d e a l t w i t h not i n the t r e a t y w i t h Germany, but in s e p a r a t e t r e a t i e s

between the

Gr eat Powers and t he new or en l a r ge d s t a t e s .

The t r e a t i e s

were to i n c l u d e such cl auses as t he Gr eat Powers deemed pr oper f o r t he p r o t e c t i o n state,

differing

"of t he m i n o r i t i e s w i t h i n

from the m a j o r i t y

in r a c e ,

the

l anguage,

or

r e l i g i o n ." Aside from the s k e p t i c i s m shown by some in the American Peace Commission toward the Jewish Congress p r o ­ posals,

o t h e r s were al so t r y i n g to persuade the P r e s i d e n t

not to press f o r p o l i t i c a l East er n Europe.

autonomy f o r t he Jews o f

Henry Morgenthau,

for mer ambassador to T u r k ey,

P r e s i d e n t Wi l s o n ' s

and o t h e r pr omi nent a n t i -

Z i o n i s t s were among those who cont a ct e d Wi l son.

57c. H. Voss, Stephen S. Wise: S e r v a n t o f the P e o p l e , p. 98; Bernard G. Richards I n t e r v i e w , volume 1. p. 92, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Oral H i s t o r y P r o j e c t . S^Nat i onal Exe c ut i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #3, Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary.

157

Morgenthau came to P a r i s to f i g h t platform but,

philosophically,

a g a i n s t the Z i o n i s t

the f i g h t over n a t i o n a l

r i g h t s was j u s t as i m p o r t a n t to him.

Any cl ause in the

peace t r e a t y which denoted or connoted the Jews as any­ t h i n g o t h e r than a r e l i g i o u s Morgenthau was i n s i s t e n t ever,

s e c t was anathema to him.

t h a t the Jews o f Pol and,

how­

would be a b l e to reap t he b e n e f i t s o f Po l i s h and

Roumanian c i t i z e n s h i p

if

countrymen in b e t t e r i n g

they worked w i t h for all

o f t h e i r common c i t i z e n s h i p . " ^ ^

its

"their

fellow

i n h a b i t a n t s the l and

Although he admi t t e d t h a t

t he n a t i v e p o p u l a t i o n s were g u i l t y o f excesses a g a i n s t their

Jewish c i t i z e n s ,

Zionist" tation"

he a l s o blamed t h e " N a t i o n a l i s t -

groups in those c o u n t r i e s for th e ir

separatist

f o r cont i nuous

"agi­

c a u s e . ^0

Wilson was convi nced t h a t Morgenthau was c o r r e c t but f o r t he wrong r easons. to g r a n t i n g

The P r e s i d e n t was sy mpat het i c

the Jews o f East er n Europe r a c i a l ,

and l i n g u i s t i c

rights,

but he f e a r e d t h a t

pr ocl ai med a s e p a r a t e n a t i o n a l them onl y more l i a b l e

1923),

pp.

it

they were would make

t o oppr essi on and p e r s e c u t i o n .

59Henry Morgent hau, A l l p. 351. GOlbid.,

minority,

if

religious,

383-384.

in a L i f e t i m e ,

He

(New York

158 al so wished to g r a n t Jews the r i g h t o f Sabbath obser vance. The r i g h t

o f Sabbath observance r a i s e d two q u e s t i o n s :

should a man be compel l ed to do work on the Sabbath?

( 1) (2)

should those who observed the Sabbath on Sat ur day be a l l owed to work on Sunday? issue,

f o r he r e l i e d

t o l d him t h a t

on the o p i n i o n s o f hi s ad v i s or s who

t he q u e s t i o n shoul d be deci ded by t he s t a t e

and not by an i n t e r n a t i o n a l hi s mind,

however, a f t e r

on May 26,

Wi l son e s s e n t i a l l y dodged the

1919,

conf er ence. ®^

he met wi t h Ma r s h a l l

and agreed to f i g h t

Sabbath day cl a us es

Wilson changed and A d l e r

f o r i n c l u s i o n o f the

i n t he P o l i s h t r e a t y .

However,

di d not rush t o g r a n t the Jews t he r i g h t to appeal League of Nat i ons rights.

in case o f i n f r a c t i o n

of t h e i r

he to the

treaty

He b e l i e v e d t h a t the Jews would be r ecogni z ed as

a s e p a r a t e c o r p o r a t e body i f to the League,

t hey had the r i g h t to appeal

and he t hought t h i s

inadvisable.

t he Jews of t he U n i t e d S t a t e s and Gr eat B r i t a i n t ake care o f any d i f f i c u l t i e s

Moreover, could wel l

t h a t mi ght a r i s e and appeals

® N a t i o n a l E x e c u t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #3, Ber nard G. Ri chards Mss; Mack to American Jewish Congress, 5 / 3 0 / 2 0 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #2, Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary; U n i t e d S t a t e s De p a r t me t t o f S t a t e , Forei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s o f the Uni t e d S t a t e s , P a r i s Peace Conf er ence, 1 9 1 9 , volume 5, pp. 678-681 .

1 59 to t h e i r

r e s p e c t i v e governments would b r i n g prompt

a c t i o n . ^2 Wilson di d not wish the Jews o f East er n Europe to be branded as " s e p a r a t i s t s " t hey would be.

Y e t , w i t h o u t g r a n t i n g and g u a r a nt e e i ng to

t he Jews the r i g h t s realized sion,

as Morgenthau had warned him

hel d by o t h e r m i n o r i t i e s ,

Wilson

t h a t t hey would f o r e v e r be s u b j e c t e d to oppr es­

repression,

cated t h a t

and s e con d- c l as s c i t i z e n s h i p .

t he Jews be gi ven those r i g h t s .

sai d Wi l so n,

" i s more l i k e l y

He i n d i ­

"Nothing,"

to d i s t u r b the peace of the

wor l d than t he t r e a t m e n t which might i n c e r t a i n st ances be meted out to m i n o r i t i e s . "

If

ci r cum­

the "Gr eat

Powers" were to guar ant ee t he peace of t he w o r l d , t hey had t he r i g h t

to be s a t i s f i e d

then

t h a t the pr oper and

necessary guar ant ees had been g i v e n . The new and e n l a r g e d s t a t e s were very much opposed to g r a n t i n g m i n o r i t y

rights.

were vehement in t h e i r

G^Cyrus A d l e r , 313-315.

The Poles and Roumanians

f i g h t a g a i n s t the i n c l u s i o n of

I Have Considered t he Days, pp.

Uni t e d S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s of t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , P a r i s Peace Conf er ence, 19 1 9 , volume 3, p. 406. ° ^ I b i d . , pp.

406-408.

160 these r i g h t s

in t h e i r

peace t r e a t i e s .

The P o l i s h d e l e ­

gates thought t h a t t he i n c l u s i o n of n a t i o n a l an a f f r o n t ence in i t s

to P o l i s h s o v e r e i g n t y and an undue i n t e r f e r ­ domestic a f f a i r s .

Ignacz Pader ewski ,

s e n t a t i v e o f t he P o l i s h N a t i o n a l States,

r i g h t s was

repre­

Committee in the Uni t ed

o b j e c t e d to t he t r e a t y g u a r a n t i e s on t he grounds

t h a t where Poles were a m i n o r i t y , would not enj oy the same r i g h t s

as in Germany,

t hey

as t he Jews in Poland and

t h a t to a t t e m p t to se pa r a t e the Jews from the r e s t o f the P o l i s h p o p u l a t i o n would onl y r e s u l t in i ncr e as ed t e n s i o n s . I n s t e a d o f s o l v i n g the Jewish problem, m i n o r i t y r i g h t s woul d,

he p r e d i c t e d ,

onl y e x a c e r b a t e i t .

The Roumanians t r i e d

to ci r cumvent the g u a r a n t i e s

t h a t they would be f or c ed to accept a t the peace t a b l e i s s u i n g a Decree Law in l a t e May,

1919.

by

The Prime M i n i s ­

t e r o f Roumania r i g h t e o u s l y decl ar ed t h a t the Jewish problem in Roumania no l onger e x i s t e d . di d not gi ve a l l

The new decree

Jews i n Roumania c i t i z e n s h i p .

Those

Jews who wished to become n a t u r a l i z e d would have to declare t h e i r

intention,

w i t h i n a per i od o f two to f o u r

months, and prove t h a t they had never l i v e d under the p r o t e c t i o n o f a f o r e i g n power. ties

found t h a t t he p e t i t i o n e r ' s

Moreover,

if

the a u t h o r i ­

evi dence o f c i t i z e n s h i p

161

was f a l s e or i f

"concerned c i t i z e n s "

a g a i n s t the p e t i t i o n e r ,

su bmi t t e d evi dence

t he p e t i t i o n e r would be p e n a l i z e d .

A f t e r much o p p o s i t i o n and r a n c o r ,

t h e Poles f i n a l l y

signed a peace t r e a t y a f t e r being prodded by t he French, who were a l r e a d y t r y i n g to sign a mutual wi t h Poland a g a i n s t Germany. s t ubbor n.

The Supreme Council

Roumania, w r i t t e n

by Manley 0.

c a ll e d f o r special

guaranties

def ense t r e a t y

Roumania proved to be more r e c e i v e d t he r e p o r t on Hudson,

in J u l y ,

1919.

It

to be gi ven t he Jews si nce

Roumania had such a long h i s t o r y o f non- compl i ance wi t h other international cil

obligations.

accept ed t he r e p o r t ,

Though the Supreme Coun­

the Roumanians r e j e c t e d

were not al l owed to sign the T r e a t y o f S t . still

it

Germain:

and they

r ef used to sign even a f t e r being t h r e a t e n e d t h a t

t hey would not be p e r m i t t e d to sign the T r e a t y of N e u i l l y . They f i n a l l y t he A l l i e d

signed a f t e r e x t r a c t i n g

Powers:

(1)

two concessi ons from

t h a t no mention o f the T r e a t y of

B e r l i n o f 1878 was to be i n c l ud e d in the preamble to the treaty

and;

(2)

t h a t t he "Jewish a r t i c l e s "

be e l i m i n a t e d .

D e s p i t e the o b j e c t i o n s o f t he American r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , t he Supreme Council

was in no mood to c o n t i n u e the

G^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y 3 5 6 - 3 5 7 , 3 7 3- 3 75.

R i g h t s , pp.

162 s t r u g g l e and approved the two concessi ons. Supreme Counci l rated

into

di d o r d e r t h a t a new a r t i c l e

t he T r e a t y s t a t i n g

the t e r r i t o r y

However,

that a ll

the

be i n c o r p o ­

Jews i n h a b i t i n g

o f t h a t s t a t e should be r e c o gni z e d as Rou­

manian c i t i z e n s w i t h f u l l Treaties

r i g h t s . 66

wi t h C z e c h o s l o v a k i a ,

Yugoslavia,

Bulgaria,

Hungary and Turkey c o nt a i ne d p r o t e c t i o n of m i n o r i t i e s cl auses which assured to a l l

inhabitants

full

under t he law w i t h o u t r egar d

and compl ete p r o t e c t i o n

to b i r t h ,

nationality,

r a c e , or r e l i g i o n .

T r e a t y served as a model

for

o f those s t a t e s

The P o l i s h

the ot her s and i n c l u d e d the

following provisions: (1) ( 2)

(3)

(4)

t he r e c o g n i t i o n o f t he o b l i g a t i o n s as f undamental 1 aws ; e q u a l i t y b e f o r e the law and enj oyment o f c i v i l and p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s such as admission to p u b l i c empl oyment s, f u n c t i o n s , honors, or e x e r c i s e o f p r o ­ f e s s i o n s or i n d u s t r i e s ; freedom in the use o f any language in p r i v a t e i n t e r c o u r s e , commerce, r e l i g i o n , p r e s s , p u b l i c a ­ t i o n s , and p u b l i c me e t i n g s , and r e a s ona bl e f a c i l i ­ t i e s f o r t he use o f m i n o r i t y language b e f o r e cour t s o f l aw; t he r i g h t to e s t a b l i s h , manage, and c o n t r o l a t t h e i r own expense, c h a r i t a b l e , r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s , and schools and e d u c a t i o n a l e s t a b ­ l i s h me n t s i n which they may use t h e i r own l a n ­ guage and e x e r c i s e t h e i r r e l i g i o n f r e e l y ;

66 [ j ni t ed S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s o f t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , P a r i s Peace Con f e r e n c e , 1 9 1 9 , volume 7, pp, 5 7 9 - 5 8 8 ; volume 8, pp. 1 3 3 - 1 3 7 ; Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 3 7 7 - 3 7 8 .

163 (5)

adequat e f a c i l i t i e s by t he S t a t e f o r i n s t r u c t i o n i n m i n o r i t y l anguage , i n a d d i t i o n to t he o b l i g a ­ t o r y t e a c h i n g o f t he o f f i c i a l l anguage and the a l l o c a t i o n o f p u b l i c funds f o r e d u c a t i o n a l , r e l i ­ g i o u s , and c h a r i t a b l e purposes; f u l l r i g h t s o f Sabbath obser va nc e, i n c l u d i n g the r i g h t o f r e f u s a l to a t t e n d cour t s or to perform l e g a l busi ness and t he cor r espondi ng o b l i g a t i o n s o f the S t a t e to r e f r a i n from o r d e r i n g or p e r m i t ­ t i n g l o c a l or gener al e l e c t i o n s or r e g i s t r a t i o n s f o r e l e c t o r a l or o t h e r purposes on S a t u r d a y . 67

(6)

The League o f Nat i ons was t o have j u r i s d i c t i o n over t he enf or ce me nt o f t he r i g h t s

t h a t were c o n f e r r e d

upon t he Jews and o t h e r m i n o r i t y n a t i o n a l i t i e s . widely believed

It

i n t he euphor i a sur r oundi ng t he League

t h a t no l o n g e r would s t a t e s be a b l e to f l a u n t t h e i r national appeal

obligations.

directly

in ternational signatories

was

Though t he m i n o r i t i e s

to t he League,

inter­

could not

many Jews b e l i e v e d t h a t

p u b l i c o p i n i o n and t h e f a c t

t h a t any of the

to t he t r e a t y coul d demand enf or cement would

p r e v e n t or s o l v e any p r o b l e m . ^8

6 7 u n i t e d S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s of t he U n i t e d S t a t e s , P a r i s Peace Conf er ence, 1 9 1 9 , volume 13, pp. 7 9 8 - 8 0 5 . ^ ^ N a t i o n a l E x e c u t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r # 3 , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. As to why m i n o r i t y r i g h t s were not put i n t o t he League Covenant, see Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y R i g h t s , pp. 3 2 1 - 3 2 3 . I t must be noted t h a t onl y members o f the League Council could b r i n g to the a t t e n t i o n o f t h a t body "any i n f r a c t i o n , or danger of

164 I t al one i s c a pa b l e o f a f f o r d i n g p r o t e c t i o n . I t alone can b r i n g o r d e r and s t a b i l i t y where men ar e now gnaw­ ing a t each o t h e r ' s t h r o a t s as they di d i n p r e h i s t o r i c days. Wi t hout a League o f Nat i ons t he m i n o r i t i e s of East er n Europe . . . w i l l be a t t he mercy of the t yrannous m a j o r i t y . Wi t hout i t war w i l l never cease and i n d u s t r y , commerce, and t he a r t s o f c i v i l i z a t i o n cannot f l o u r i s h , stated Marshall,

who was a t f i r s t

League' s e f f e c t i v e n e s s . ^9 Marshall, Rabbi

skeptical

about the

Wi t hout the League,

t he Jews would have gained onl y paper

c a ut i one d r ig h t s .

^0

Wise and o t h e r pr omi nent Jews campaigned a c t i v e l y

f o r American accept ance o f t he League Covenant. W i l l i a m H. T a f t ,

and o t he r s

He,

i n the League o f Nat i ons

S t a t e Conventions c r i s s - c r o s s e d t he count r y t o convi nce the populace t h a t w i t h o u t t he League,

t h e r e would be no

pe a c e . Not a l l

ob ser ve r s of t he Peace Conference b e l i e v e d

t h a t the League would be t he panacea f o r the Jews of E ast er n Europe.

Leo Wol f son,

a l e a d i n g advocat e of the

i n fra c tio n " of minority r ig h ts . The Permanent Court of I n t e r n a t i o n a l J u s t i c e was to have f i n a l a u t h o r i t y i f the League Counci l and t he a l l e g e d o f f e n d i n g s t a t e di sagr eed over i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f law. ^^Marshal l to The New York Ti mes, 1 1 / 2 5 / 1 9 , in Char l es R e z n i k o f f , Louis Marshal 1 , volume 2, p. 679. ^ ^ I b i d . , Marshall p.

677.

to Z a ng w i l l ,

10/10/19,

vol ume 2,

165 Congress and P r e s i d e n t o f the F e d e r a t i o n o f Roumanian Jews of Ameri ca,

viewed the work o f t he Peace Conference in

l e s s than gl owi ng terms.

He argued t h a t the g u a r a n t i e s

gi ven to the Jews were not hi ng more than "paper r i g h t s , and t hey ar e p r a c t i c a l l y w o r t h l e s s .

.

.

He reasoned

t h a t the r i g h t s gi ven the Jews o f East er n Europe,

even

though r ecogni zed by the va r i ous n a t i o n s as p a r t of t h e i r or ga ni c

l aws, were not hi ng more than l e g a l

terms.

They e x i s t onl y in t he v o l u n t a r y r e c o g n i t i o n o f the people t hemsel ves, and o f t h e i r governments. Rights depend on the s p i r i t in which they ar e c o n f e r r e d . Were t he emanci pat i on of t he Jews to proceed from the w i l l o f the people . . . , then Jewish emanci pat i on would be genui ne. . . .73 Grudging acceptance was t he ha l l ma r k of t he governments whose duty was to enf or ce these r i g h t s .

Laws t h a t were

l ooked upon as a " D i k t a t " were i n t e r p r e t e d least lik e ly

to b e n e f i t t he Jews.

vance o f t he s p i r i t

in a manner

To Wol f son,

the o b s e r ­

of the law was f a r more i mpo r t a nt

than a compulsory observance of t he l e t t e r

of the law.

Those na t i o n s which were to p r o t e c t Jewish r i g h t s di d not accept t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . to a l i e n a t e

Pol and,

the bulwark o f her p o s t - wa r a l l i a n c e

^^The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) ,

73ibid.

France did not wish

1/23/19,

pp.

1,

6,

166

system.

The Uni t e d S t a t e s f a i l e d

to r a t i f y

the Peace

T r e a t y and was not bound t o any pledges c o n t a i n e d t h e r e i n . The League o f Nat i ons area.

The League Counci l

tion of m in o rit ie s . ily

proved to be i n e f f e c t u a l

political

was e n t r u s t e d w i t h the p r o t e c ­

Si nce the C o u n c i l ' s

in n a t u r e ,

in t h i s

duty was p r i m a r ­

care was taken not to g i v e the

appearance o f p l a c i n g the government of a s t a t e and one of i t s m in o r it ie s opposing p a r t i e s cil

i n a p o s i t i o n analogous t o t h a t of i n a c o u r t o f l aw.

Only a League Coun­

member coul d br i n g a " m i n o r i t y qu e s t i on " to t he a t t e n ­

t i o n o f t h a t body.

Moreover,

the League o u t l i n e d d e t a i l e d

r u l e s gover ni ng t he procedure by which m i n o r i t y ma t t e r s could come to i t s If

attention.

a League Council

member brought b e f or e t h a t

body a c o mp l a i n t r e g a r d i n g m i n o r i t i e s , r e f e r r e d t o the S e c r e t a r y General formed a p r e l i m i n a r y receivable,

i t would be

o f the League who p e r ­

investigation.

In o r d e r to be

the c o mp l ai n t had to have in view the p r o t e c ­

t i o n o f the m i n o r i t i e s

in accordance wi t h the t r e a t i e s ; i t

could not be submi t t ed in t he form of a r e qu e s t f o r the severance o f p o l i t i c a l t he s t a t e o f which i t

relations

between t he m i n o r i t y and

formed a p a r t ;

it

could not be p r e ­

sented by an anonymous or " u n a u t h e n t i c a t e d "

sour ce;

it

167 could not c o n t a i n

"violent"

i n f o r m a t i o n which h i t h e r t o

l anguage,

had been unknown or not p r e ­

v i o u s l y submi t t e d to t he League. criteria,

the S e c r e t a r y General

the 750 p e t i t i o n s period,

and had to c o n t a i n

If

a petition

approved i t ;

met t hese

however,

of

r e c e i v e d by t he League i n a f i f t e e n year

t he S e c r e t a r y General

d e c l a r e d over 400 non-

recei vable. If

a petition

was d e c l a r e d to be r e c e i v a b l e ,

a

Committee o f T h r e e - - t h e a c t i n g P r e s i d e n t o f t he Counci l and two o f hi s col 1e a g u e s - - d e t e r m i n e d i f m a t t e r would be pl aced on t he Counci l culties

a n d / o r when t he

agenda.

The d i f f i ­

i n v o l v e d in even havi ng the League Counci l

case were al most i n s u r mo u n t a b l e . t i o n was g i v e n ,

Too,

hear a

unl ess s a t i s f a c ­

t he c o mp l a i n i ng m i n o r i t y was kept in

i gnor ance o f t he a c t i o n or l a c k o f a c t i o n t aken on i t s complaint.Procedural which m i n o r i t i e s

difficulties

had to cont end.

viewed the M i n o r i t y T r e a t i e s ,

^^I saaacs to ?, n . d . , American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

were not a l l

wi t h

Many i n the League

as framed by t he A l l i e d

Nathan I saacs Mss,

Box 2786,

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 2 6 / 2 9 , Ad­ m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1929 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

168 Powers, Julian

as l i t t l e

b e t t e r than t he V e r s a i l l e s

Wo Mack r e p o r t e d to the Jewish Congress' s Exe c ut i v e

Committee t h a t

the C h i e f o f t h e M i n o r i t y Ri ght s D i v i s i o n

o f t he League b e l i e v e d t h a t t he A l l i e d t he new and e n l a r g e d s t a t e s as i f nations.

In vi ew o f t h i s ,

document and to ac cep t i t history

Powers d e a l t wi t h

t hey were t he de f e a t e d

he excused some o f the excesses

a g a i n s t Jews because these s t a t e s

of its

Pi k t a t .

"were t o l d to sign the

as i t was,

not as in the l i g h t

i t mi ght be i n t e r p r e t e d . "^6

The American Jewish Congr ess' s peace d e l e g a t i o n had done i t s work w e l l .

Yet,

t he al most p r o p h e t i c words

o f Leo Wolfson best d e s c r i b e t he s i t u a t i o n American Jewry and t h e i r "We w i l l

t h a t confronted

u n f o r t u n a t e b r e t h r e n over seas:

be compel l ed to f i g h t

t h a t we get i n ever y c o u n t r y .

f o r ev er y shred of r i g h t s . . .

No g u a r a n t i e s can

make phi 1o- Se mi tes o f t he enemies o f I s r a e l .

.

.

7 6 [ x e c u t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 0 / 2 6 / 2 4 , Exe c ut i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1924 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jew­ i sh H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^^The Jewish Advocate

(Boston),

1/23/19,

p.

6.

CHAPTER I I I

JEWISH GOALS IN AMERICAN CONTEXT: THE MOVEMENT TOWARD A PERMANENT CONGRESS

The American Jewish Congress t h a t sent a d e l e g a ­ t i o n to t he P ar i s Peace Conference i nt ended to reconvene to hear the r e p o r t o f i t s

returned d e le g a ti o n ,

the Congr ess' s purposes accompl i shed, Many Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s ,

and t h e n ,

to di sband. however,

d i sag r e ed

wi t h t he i dea t h a t the Congress was onl y a t e mp o r a r y , warborn i n s t i t u t i o n ,

o f no use once peace had been accom­

plished.

t h e idea o f a permanent Jewish Congress

I ndee d,

with ex ecutive o f f i c e s

to r e p r e s e n t and a c t f o r the Jew­

i sh peopl e was broached a t the P h i l a d e l p h i a Conference i n December,

1918.^

Several

organizations

idea of a permanent Jewish Congress.

endorsed the

The Z i o n i s t

T " A b s t r a c t o f Mi nutes o f Sessions of the American Jewish Congr ess, " 1 2 / 1 6 / 1 8 , N e a r p r i n t f i l e . M i s c e l l a n e ­ ous S e c t i o n , American Jewish Congress Mss, American Jew­ ish A r c h i v e s .

169

170 O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Ameri ca,

as e a r l y as March,

1919,

passed a

resolution favoring any p r a c t i c a l movement t h a t may a r i s e subsequent to t he f i n a l adj ournment of t he . . . Congress f o r the c r e a t i o n of a permanent, a l l - i n c l u s i v e , p o p u l a r l y supported o r g a n i z a t i o n or agency, to speak and a c t f o r the common i n t e r e s t s o f the Jews o f A m e r i c a . ^ A g i t a t i o n f o r a permanent Congress was c e nt e r e d in t he l a r g e f r a t e r n a l the f r a t e r n a l

orders.

orders s t i l l

A l a r g e number o f members of had r e l a t i v e s

w a r - z o n e s , and t hey f e a r e d t h a t i f

in the f ormer

t he Jewish Congress

di sbanded,

t h e r e would be l i t t l e

ov e r s e a s .

The convent i on o f the U k r a i n i a n Jews in ses­

sion a t P h i l a d e l p h i a

hope f o r t h e i r b r e t h r e n

in 1919 adopted a r e s o l u t i o n

in

f a v o r o f e s t a b l i s h i n g the Jewish Congress as a permanent body; t he I ndependent Order B r i t h Shalom d e c l a r e d i t s i n t e n t i o n to cooper at e in t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t of the Con­ gress as a permanent i n s t i t u t i o n , Committee of P h i l a d e l p h i a .

as di d the Congress

The P h i l a d e l p h i a

Congress

Committee communicated w i t h Congress committees in o t h e r cities

to ask t h e i r c o o p e r a t i o n

2

in making the American

American Jewish Congress, Proceedings o f Adjourned Session o f American Jewish Congress i n c l u d i n g Report of Commission to Peace Conference and o f r e v i s i o n a l Or g a n i ­ z a t i o n f o r Formation of American Jewish Congress, (New York, 1 9 2 0 ) , pp. 1 3 - 1 4 .

171

Jewish Congress a permanent i n s t i t u t i o n . The Congress,

3

however, di d not reconvene even to r e ­

c e i v e t he r e p o r t from the Peace Conference f o r more than a year a f t e r

the Germans si gned t he T r e a t y o f V e r s a i l l e s .

peace conf e r e es decided t o w a i t to gi ve t h e i r all

The

report until

of the d e f e a t e d n a t i o n s had n e g o t i a t e d peace terms.

N e v e r t h e l e s s , many Congress members vehementl y p r o t e s t e d the delay.

With t he members becoming i n c r e a s i n g l y

restless,

the

E x e c u t i v e Committee o f t h e Congress announced t h a t the second sessi on would convene on May 30, fray

the costs o f the Congress,

1920.

To r a i s e funds to de­

t he E x e c u t i v e Committee c a l l e d

a meet i ng wi t h t he o b j e c t o f f ormi ng a campaign commi tt ee. The appeal

f o r funds and t h e a t t e n d a n t p u b l i c i t y

campaign by the Yi ddi sh press gave f u r t h e r

given the

st i mul us to the

i dea o f r e o r g a n i z i n g the Congress on a permanent b a s i s . ^

^Ri chards to Mack, 3 / 2 / 2 0 , 3 / 2 5 / 2 0 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #3, Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi­ n a r y , See a l s o . The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 7 / 1 5 / 2 0 , p. 7. ^Ri chards to C u t l e r , 3 / 7 / 2 0 , Har r y C u t l e r f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. The Jewish Exponent c r i t i c i z e d the r econveni ng of the Congress; "But those who . . . are i n s i s t e n t in t h e i r d e s i r e to make the Congress the a u t h o r i t a t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f American Jewry are p e r s i s t e n t in t h e i r demands, al t hough t h e r e is no need f o r a permanent Congress, and not hi ng f o r i t to do which cannot be done as we l l by o t h e r permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n s now in e x i s t e n c e . " Quoted in The American I s r a e l i t e , 5 / 6 / 2 0 , p. 1.

172 Del egat es

to t he Congress assembled i n P h i l a d e l p h i a

t o hear Louis

Marshall

r e p o r t on the a c t i v i t i e s

g r e s s ' s peace

delegation.

No sooner had t he welcoming

speeches been made, t he b e n e d i c t i o n r e c i t e d , seated,

than Baruch Zuckerman

d e l e g a t i o n to

t he P a r i s

and t he delegates

o f New York shouted t h a t the

Peace Conference " b e t r a y e d t he Jew­

i sh r ace and m i s r e p r e s e n t e d t he C o n g r e s s , b y press f o r a l l

o f t he Con­

refusing

t h a t t h e East er n European Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s

had demanded.

By a c t i o n

from t he f l o o r ,

passed by v o i c e v o t e ,

Zuckerman' s remarks were expunged from t h e r e c o r d . t he f l o o r

to

r e i g n e d and a number o f f ormer s o l d i e r s

Jewish Le gi o n, who happened to be at t he h a l l ,

Chaos on from t he

were c a l l e d to

keep o r d e r . Judge J u l i a n Mack,

P r e s i d e n t o f t he Congress,

Vice-President,

to read hi s

then

asked M a r s h a l l ,

First

report.

Bef ore Ma r s hal l

coul d st ep to t he podium. Judge Gustave H a r t ­

man, Grand Mast er o f t he I ndependent Order B r i t h Abraham, jumped to his f e e t wi t h a p o i n t o f o r d e r . a resolution

calling

permanent body, life

Hartman i n t r o d u c e d

upon t h e Congress t o c o n s t i t u t e

in view o f t he " e x i s t i n g

t hr oughout t h e w o r l d " ,

^The New Yor k T i me s ,

i.e.,

itself a

emergency in Jewish

wi t h r e s p e c t t o t he Jews

5/31/20,

p.

8.

173 in Pol a nd,

Roumanie, and the S o v i e t Uni on. ^

t he r e s o l u t i o n Mack,

Suppor t er s o f

began to demonst rat e i n t he a i s l e s .

sh ou t i ng t o be heard over t he d i n ,

Judge

r u l e d t he motion out

o f o r d e r because the agenda c a l l e d f o r the peace d e l e g a t i o n ' s r e p o r t and because t he r e s o l u t i o n ciple

violated

t he or ga ni c p r i n ­

upon which the Congress had been f ounded,

t he Congress was onl y to be t e mp or ar y. to r e s i g n

if

t he r e s o l u t i o n

passed.

namely t h a t

Mack then t h r e a t e n e d

Rabbi

Stephen Wise took

t he podium and t h r e a t e n e d to a d j ou r n the Congress i f was not r e s t o r e d .

A ga i n,

Jewish v e t e r a n s o f the P a l e s t i n e

campaign roamed t he h a l l , toward t h e i r back,

seats.

pushing s t a n d i n g d e l e g a t e s back

Sever al

d e l e g a t e s at t empt e d to f i g h t

but t hey were overpowered and c a r r i e d

t he me e t i n g . sustained,

A f t e r o r d e r was r e s t o r e d .

142 to 6 6 . ^

or de r

Ma r s h a l l

out b o d i l y from

Mack' s p o s i t i o n was

then read hi s r e p o r t ,

and

t he Congress a d j our ned si ne d i e . Though the Jewish Congress was adj our ned si ne d i e , many d e l e g a t e s wished to see t he Congress as a permanent institution.

On May 31 ,

1920,

a number o f Congress d e l e g a t e s

^The American I n s r a e l i t e , 6 / 3 / 2 0 , p. 3; American Jew­ ish Congress, Proceedi ngs o f Adjourned Session of American Jewish Congr ess, p. 11. ^ Ame r i c a n J e w i s h C o n g r e s s , P r o c e e d i n g s o f A d j o u r n e d Se s s i o n o f Amer i c a n J e wi s h C o n g r e s s , p. 11; The J ewi s h A d v o c a t e , ( B o s t o n ) , 6 / 3 0 / 2 0 , pp. 1, 8„

174

met to c o n s t i t u t e the Congress a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n . Nathan S t r a u s was e l e c t e d P r e s i d e n t of a P r o v i s i o n a l zation

Organi­

f o r the C r e a t i o n o f an American Jewish Congress;

s e v e n t y - o n e members were chosen t o ar r ange f o r the e s t a b l i s h g

ment o f t he Congress.

Thi s E x e c u t i v e Committee was empow­

er ed to add t went y members and to c r e a t e , trol

and a u t h o r i t y ,

Committee o f n i n e .

from i t s

membership,

s u b j e c t to i t s

con­

an A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

9

Though t he d e l e g a t e s to the May 31 meeting seemed the vanguard o f a powerful American Jews,

movement, t h e i r

suppor t was mi ni ma l .

l i k e t h e i r f e l 1o w - c i t i z e n s , were s u f f e r i n g

from a p o s t - w a r " s p i r i t u a l

sl ump. "

The enthusiasm t h a t had sus­

t a i n e d t h e Congress movement dur i ng the war subsi ded. t ed by t he war e f f o r t , Jewry f a i l e d

t he c a l l

forget

f o r democracy w i t h i n American

to arouse t he masses as i t

American Jews, l i k e t h e i r

Exhaus­

once had.

non-Jewi sh c o u n t e r p a r t s ,

Many tried

the anguish and t or ment o f the past t h r e e y e a r s ,

to and

onl y wished to r e t u r n to what t hey pe r c e i v e d as the "peacef ul

^American Jewish Congress, Proceedi ngs o f Adjourned Session o f American Jewish Congress, p. 58. ^The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 7 / 2 2 / 2 0 , p. 5; The American I s r a e l i t e , 7 / 8 / 2 0 , p. 4. See a l s o , "The Case o f the Jewish Peopl e: Addresses D e l i v e r e d Before the American Jewish Congress by Dr. Stephen S. Wi se, " passi m, American Jewish Congress Mss, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y .

175 days" o f pr e- war Ameri ca.

A return

watchword of most Ameri cans.

The l e a d e r s o f t he new Execu­

t i v e Committee and A d m i n i s t r a t i v e a bl y dismayed a t t he u p h i l l Richards t h a t

"to normalcy" was the

Committee were c o n s i d e r ­

t a sk they f a c e d .

he was not y e t convi nced t h a t

Wise wr ot e "we have .

,

.

the elements of a Congress.

We may have a Congress i n t i me ,

but i t

He di spar aged t he groups t h a t

i s not y e t a t hand."

were suppor t i ng t he movement f o r a permanent Congress. Z i o n i s t s were members onl y in name, and the d e l e g a t e s the f r a t e r n a l

The from

or der s were

c r e a t u r e s . . . who gave a f i n e e x h i b i t i o n of what t h e i r r e a l purpose i s - - t h e purpose of magni f yi ng t hemsel ves and themselves a l o n e , c r e a t u r e s who have to r e a l d e s i r e to s e r ve^t he Jewish people but onl y to magni fy t hemsel ves.

He spoke o f t he p a u c i t y o f f i n a n c i a l and of the almost t o t a l organization.

"I

support f o r a Congress

l ack even o f l i p - s e r v i c e to such an

have come to f e e l , "

sai d Wise,

t h a t I would not want any Congress unless a t the e l e c t i o n we should have at l e a s t as many v o t e r s as we had t h r e e year s ag o. ^ l Richards f e l t organization's

#7,

l ess f o r l o r n

prospects.

than Wise about the new

He ad mi t t e d t h a t the f r a t e r n a l

TOwi se t o R i c h a r d s , 5 / 1 3 / 2 0 , St ephen S. Wi se f o l d e r Bar n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, Jewi s h T h e o l o g i c a l Se mi n a r y . Ibid.

176 or der s were p r a c t i c a l l y u s e l e s s ,

t h a t they owed t h e i r

nence in the Congress movement to t h e i r

pr omi ­

l a r g e memberships.

We always had to use these Orders as s t a l k i n g horses i n t he e a r l y st ages o f t he a c t i v i t i e s . With t h e i r l a r g e numbers, t hey ar e always ready and handy f o r d i s ­ play. I n t e l l i g e n c e and p o l i t i c a l ed uca t i o n does not r e s i d e w i t h i n them and t h e i r l e a d e r s h i p has, w i t h few e x c e p t i o n s , been n o n d e s c r i p t . . . . ^ ^ He t hought t h a t t he f r a t e r n a l s t r e n g t h and p r e s t i g e and t h a t

or ders were l o s i n g t h e i r i n the near f u t u r e o t h e r Jew­

ish groups would e c l i p s e and submerge them. b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e Congress would f i n d

Richards

advocates and s u p p o r t ­

ers among t he more " c u l t i v a t e d Jewish elements o u t s i d e of the Orders in New York and e s p e c i a l l y c o un t r y

.

. . " and t h a t new f o r c es

t he Congress banner,

tainly

to

11

optimism was perhaps commendable but c e r ­

unfounded.

The new f o r c e s in which he pl aced such

hope were n o n - e x i s t e n t . ing f o r a Congress;

#7,

in Jewry would r a l l y

though he di d not s p e c i f y who might

c o n s t i t u t e t hese new f o r c e s . Richards'

in t he i n t e r i o r of the

Wise t r a v e l l e d

he aroused l i t t l e

t he count r y campaign­

enthusiasm f o r

it,

but

T ^-Richards to Wise, 6 / 1 7 / 2 0 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

T^i b i d . See a l s o , R i c h a r d s t o Sok ol ow, 1 1 / 2 4 / 2 0 , Nahum Sokol ow f o l d e r #2, B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e wi s h T h e o l o g i c a l Se mi n a r y .

177 at least public

returned with a r e a l i s t i c

e s t i m a t e o f t he e x t e n t of

indifference.

I have been t hrough t he South and am not a l t o g e t h e r encouraged. Ther e i s a g r e a t deal o f Jewish g o o d w i l l , but an abysmal amount o f i gnor ance and l a c k o f u n d e r s t a n d ­ ing o f Jewish problems and t he p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r s o l u ­ tion. There i s an immense amount of e d u c a t i o n a l work to be done b e f o r e t he r e s t of t he c o un t r y knows what we want and ought t o do. ^^ The response i n t h e Mi ddl e West was i d e n t i c a l . Nathan Kapl an,

a Congress o r g a n i z e r

i n Chi cago,

had no suc­

cess w i t h Chicago Jews; I have been unabl e to secure any a s s i s t a n c e or c o op e r a ­ t i o n from anyone i n i n t e r e s t i n g t he Jewish p u b l i c here i n the Congress. . . . At a Z i o n i s t g a t h e r i n g . . . I . . . spoke f o r t h e Congress and to ask f o r some e x p r e s ­ sion of s e n t i me n t i n r ega r d t o i t . . . . The response was n i l . A co l d s i l e n c e p r e v a i l e d and not a s i n g l e p e r ­ son responded w i t h t he s l i g h t e s t i n t e r e s t . ^ 5 In C l e v e l a n d , much t he same s i t u a t i o n a Congress a d v o c a t e , Congress movement " i s

existed.

wr ot e Joseph Barondess t h a t

Aaron Gar be r , the Jewish

a b s o l u t e l y dead in C l e v e l a n d . "

not know what coul d r e s t o r e

it

He di d

to l i f e . ^ G

l ^ wi s e to R i c h a r d s , 2 / 1 9 / 2 0 , i n possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. l ^ Ka pl a n to R i c h a r d s , 5 / 1 3 / 2 1 , Nathan Kaplan f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary.

folder,

I G g a r b e r t o B a r o n d e s s , 7 / 2 1 / 2 4 , Joseph Bar dondess B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nar y,

178

Cincinnati

Je wr y ,

a c e n t e r o f Reform,

r e s u r r e c t i o n o f t he Congress.

The American

q u e n t l y p u b l i s h e d a guest e d i t o r i a l t i o n of t he Jewish Congress.

opposed t he Israelite

ridiculing

fre­

t he r e s u r r e c ­

The Jewish Times opi ned:

There i s n ' t t he s l i g h t e s t reason in t h i s world f o r such a Congress except t o hel p promote t he i deas o f c e r t a i n Jews whose ideas coul d very wel l be kept w i t h i n t he heads t h a t c o n t a i n t h e m . 17 The Jewish C h r o n i c l e e d i t o r i a l i z e d

that

t he Congress w i l l be in form p r a c t i c a l l y a r e p l i c a o f t he American Jewish Committee, and t h a t we s h a l l have a d u p l i c a t i o n o f e f f o r t and a consequent impai rment o f e f f i c i e n c y , ' t h e Jewi sh way o f doing t h i n g s . ' We have opposed t h i s i dea o f a Jewish Congress from i t s ver y inception. We d o n ' t need Jewish Con gr e s s e s . 18 Leo Wi se,

a leader of Cinc inna ti

a gener al

committee compr i si ng t he heads o f a l l

organizations

" t h a t amount to an y t h i ng "

American Hebrew C o n g r e g a t i o n s , American Rabbi s,

proposed a pl an f o r

(meaning the Union of

the C e n t r a l

Conference of

dent Order o f B ' n a i

Brith)

the

t he A s s o c i a t i o n of Orthodox

t h e I ndependent Order B r i t h Abraham,

would speak f o r

Jewish

the Union o f Orthodox Con gr e ga t i o ns ,

Un i t e d Synagogues o f Amer i ca, Rabbi s,

Jewry,

to e l e c t a small

and the

I ndepen­

committee t h a t

t he Jews o f America when n e c e s s a r y . T o

^^Quoted in The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 4 / 2 1 , I Bquoted in The American I s r a e l i t e , 2 / 2 3 / 2 2 ,

p. p.

be

1. 1.

I^Leo Wise to Wise, 1 2 / 1 6 / 2 0 , C o r r e s p o n d e n c e - - A me r i can Jewish Congress f o l d e r #1, Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jew­ i sh T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary.

179 sure,

Wi se' s pl an was not hi ng more than a c o n t i n u a t i o n of

pa st p r a c t i c e ;

Rabbi

Stephen Wise r e j e c t e d

the proposal

undemocr at i c and a r e v e r s i o n to t he " s h t a d l a n "

as

phi l osophy so

p r e v a l e n t among the a s s i m i l a t i o n i s t s . ^ ^ Des pi t e popul ar apathy and cont i nued a c t i v e o p p o s i ­ tion

of the a s s i m i 1 a t i o n i s t s , and d e s p i t e t he P r o v i s i o n a l

Commi t t ee' s t o t a l

lack of p o l i t i c a l

organization,

its

lead­

ers c a l l e d f o r a p r e l i m i n a r y conf er ence to plan f o r a perma­ nent American Jewish Congress; national

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

a t t he Hotel that office rs direct gat es tion.

assembled in l a t e March,

Ast or in New York.

o f the permanent Congress should be e l e c t e d by

r ecogni zed t he d i f f i c u l t i e s Richards t hought d i r e c t

in such an e l e c ­ and

r e d u c t i o ad absurdum of t he democr at i c i d e a .

He

organizations

would be changed.

70

involved

Some of the d e l e ­

s u f f r a g e an i m p r a c t i c a l

t hought the pl an to e l i m i n a t e national

1921,

A m a j o r i t y of t hese voted

s u f f r a g e of t he Jewish community.

extremist

T i me s ,

about 200 d e l e g a t e s from

special

e x t r e me l y u n f o r t u n a t e and hoped i t

p "I

I b i d , , Wise t o Leo Wise,

21 I b i d . , 3/21/21,

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n from

R i c h a r d s t o Wi se, p, 14,

12/7/20. 3/28/21;

The New Yor k

180

At a meeting of t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee,

s e ver al

o f the moderate members p o i n t e d out the d i f f i c u l t y o f hol di ng an e l e c t i o n based on u n i v e r s a l w i t h so l i t t l e

public support.

o f t he Exe c ut i v e Commi ttee,

s u f f r a g e f o r an o r g a n i z a t i o n Mo r r i s

stated th at

Rot henber g, if

Chairman

the e x t r e m i s t

d e l eg at e s to the p r e l i m i n a r y conf e r e nce had accepted a modi ­ f i e d plan by which the o f f i c e r s

o f the permanent Congress

would be e l e c t e d by d e l e g a t e s chosen a t convent i ons o f o r g a ­ nizations,

a permanent Congress would a l r e a d y have been

functioning. m i t t e e use i t s

Ri chards then suggested t h a t the E x e c u t i v e Com­ power to modi fy t he mode o f e l e c t i o n ,

thus

ensur i ng that some form o f a Congress would be e s t a b l i s h e d . ^ ^ A committee was a p po i nt e d to seek a l t e r n a t i v e to d i r e c t

suffrage.

not p r a c t i c a l vidual tions

voting,

methods

Louis Li psky s t a t e d t h a t si nce i t

to e l e c t o f f i c e r s

o f a Congress by d i r e c t

he proposed a new mode of e l e c t i o n s :

of d e l e g a t e s from Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

was indi­

conven­

in ever y c i t y

wi t h a Jewish p o p u l a t i o n o f 1 , 0 0 0 or more would nomi nate and elect

from amongst themselves d e l e g a t e s to the American Jew­

i sh Congress in accordance wi t h the plan of a l l o t m e n t used

Z ^ Ri c h a r d s t o Wi se, J e wi s h Congr ess f o l d e r #1, T h e o l o g i c a l Se mi n a r y .

1 0 / 9 / 2 1 , Corr espondence- - Amer i can Be r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J ewi s h

181

in the e l e c t i o n o f June,

1917.

Every Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n

a r i g h t to send a t l e a s t one d e l e g a t e to i t s Li psky urged t h a t now, more than e v e r ,

had

c o n v e n t i o n . 23

t he Congress was

needed to speak f o r American Jewry, and s i n c e n e i t h e r the s e nt i me n t nor enthusiasm o f t he war ye ar s now e x i s t e d , i t foolish

to t h i n k i n terms o f d i r e c t

argued t h a t si nce the P r o v i s i o n a l campaign f o r a Jewish Congress,

suffrage.

was

He f u r t h e r

Committee had no money to

t he onl y way "we can reach

the Jewish masses" was through the mo d i f i e d p r o p o s a l .

Lastly,

he c a ut i o ne d t h a t f u r t h e r de l a y in ho l di ng e l e c t i o n s would d i s s i p a t e what p u b l i c suppor t had been achi eved and j e o p a r ­ d i z e t he c r e a t i o n o f the Jewish Congress.

His m o d i f i e d plan

was a d o p t e d . 24 The Congress met in May, 1922, his

in P h i l a d e l p h i a .

In

keynote speech Rabbi Stephen S. Wise d e c l a r e d t h a t the

f u n c t i o n o f the o r g a n i z a t i o n was to speak and to a c t on b e h a l f of Jews in a l l ma t t e r s a f f e c t ­ ing the w e l f a r e o f Jews as Jews. . . . No quest i on which i s not s t r i c t l y Jewish may come be f or e t he American Jew­ ish Congress.

2 3 " Referendum on Plan o f E l e c t i o n s , " 1 1 / 7 / 2 1 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , W i l l i a m E d l i n Mss, YIVO; The I n d e x , volume 1, #1 , (March, 1 9 2 2 ) , p a s s i m. 107,

241b id. See a l s o , Bernard G. Richards T r a n s c r i p t , Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Oral H i s t o r y P r o j e c t .

p.

23"The Case o f the Jewish Peopl e: Addresses D e l i v e r e d be f or e the American Jewish Congress by Dr. Stephen S. Wi se, "

182 He s t a t e d t h a t the u n i n t e r r u p t e d v i g i l l ance o f such a Con­ gress would i pso f a c t o d i mi n i s h t he number o f occasi ons on which i t would need to a c t . ple,

The Jews of Roumania, f o r exam­

would “have been i n f a r b e t t e r ease had such an o r g a n i ­

z a t i o n e x i s t e d to r e q u i r e t h a t the T r e a t y o f B e r l i n o f 1878 be obser ved. I n de e d, American Jewish Congress advocates had always felt

t he need f o r a permanent i n s t i t u t i o n ,

compromised on t h i s

al t hough they

i ssue i n 1916 i n o r d e r to win t he sup­

p o r t o f a m a j o r i t y o f t he American Jewish Committee. We need . . . a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n in o r d e r to r e n ­ der permanent t hrough co ns t a nt v i g i l a n t work what ever equal r i g h t s t he n a t i o n s may gi ve us. . . . The need here i s the same as i n a l l p o l i t i c a l s o c i e t i e s : t h a t of making t he laws on t he books, law in a c t i o n . Asi de from co ns e r v i ng r i g h t s g r a n t e d to us we must have a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n in o r d e r t o keep up t he s t r u g g l e to remove o u t s t a n d i n g Jewish d i s a b i l i t i e s t h a t w i l l r emai n. . . .27 Proponents o f t he Congress never argued t h a t . i t s t ence would ac hi e ve m i r a c l e s . we must ac hi e ve success by .

Brandei s s t a t e d : .

mere e x i s ­ "As a people

. persistent e f f o r t .

.

.

."28

pp. 3 - 4 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and Library. 28Ri chards to Gameron, 8 / 2 9 / 2 8 , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. 27The Jewish Advocate

(Boston),

7/27/16,

p.

8.

28The J ewi s h A d v o c a t e

(Boston),

1/20/16,

p.

1.

183

And’ Rabbi Wise warned t h a t the Congress would be needed f o r a long t i me :

"Patience,

and more than p a t i e n c e . energy i n a c t i o n . " gr e s s ,

unwittingly

29

p a t i e n c e and p a t i e n c e ar e needed, P a t i e n c e in hope must be matched by

Jacob S c h i f f ,

summed up i t s

no advocat e o f t he Con­

purpose:

I t i s b e t t e r a l l around to t a ke p r e v e n t a t i v e [ s i c ] mea­ sures than t o have l a t e r on, when t he t h r e a t e n e d mi s­ c h i e f has been done, to endeavor to t a k e c u r a t i v e a c t i o n ."30 Post - war l e a d e r s o f the American Jewish Congress were al so i n v o l v e d i n o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s and ar eas o f endeavor i n which t hey were i n f l u e n c e d by peopl e whose t h e o r i e s o f s o c i e t y and p o l i t i c s - t r anscended d i f f e r e n c e s The o r i g i n a t o r s ill

o f t he i dea o f a Jewish Congress were men

a c q u a i n t e d w i t h American s o c i e t y ,

their

in r e l i g i o n .

but t hey had soon l o s t

a u t h o r i t y and l e a d e r s h i p in t he Congress movement to

individuals

b e t t e r a c qua i nt ed wi t h American s o c i e t y and

thought and a b l e t o adapt t h e i r

knowledge to Jewish l i f e .

The a g i t a t i o n

f o r a permanent Jewish Congress must be seen in

a wi der l i g h t

than h e r e t o f o r e assumed.

2 9 " The Case o f t he Jewish Peopl e: Addresses D e l i v e r e d be f or e t he American Jewish Congress by Dr. Stephen S. Wi s e , " pp. 6 - 7 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Z i o n i s t Ar c hi v es and Library. ^ ^Quot ed i n

Naomi

Cohen,

Not Fr ee t o

Desist,

p.

130.

184 The acknowledged l e a d e r o f t he American Jewish Congress was Rabbi

Stephen Samuel

1874,

Hungary,

i n Budapest ,

Wise.

He was born in

but came to the U n i t e d S t a t e s

w i t h hi s p a r e n t s when he was one y e a r o l d . f o r the r a b b i n a t e , political attention.

and, once o r d a i n e d ,

and s o c i a l

Wise r e a l i z e d

agricultural

industrial

state.

hi s sermons on

j u s t i c e q u i c k l y gai ned him n a t i o n a l t h a t American s o c i e t y was in

the process o f r a p i d and r a d i c a l rural,

He s t u d i e d

milieu

transformation

to a dynamic,

ur ban,

from a and

His response to these changes was t h a t

q1 o f a Wi l s o n i a n p r o g r e s s i v e . ^ To g e t h e r wi t h such p r o g r e s s i v e l e a d e r s and cham­ pions o f t h e poor , oppr essed, Kelley,

Lillian

Wald,

and h e l p l e s s as Fl or ence

Samuel McCune L i n d s a y ,

and Jane

Addams, Wise r e c o g n i z e d t h a t t he most commendable l e g i s ­ l a t i o n coul d not change p e o p l e ' s e x i s t e d a means to e n f o r c e i t ;

lives

unless t h e r e

laws were but a g u i d e l i n e

f o r t he management o f a complex s o c i e t y ; were the i n d i s p e n s a b l e

31c. H. Voss, P e o p l e , p. 51 . 3 3 s t e p h e n S.

m e a n s .

^2

Stephen S. Wise:

Wi s e,

institutions

Challenging

S e r v a n t of the

Y e a r s , pp.

56-57.

185 A c t i n g on these c o n v i c t i o n s . tal

Wise was i n s t r u me n ­

i n co mp el l i n g t he enact ment i n Oregon o f a c h i l d -

l a b o r law t h a t e s t a b l i s h e d a C h i l d - L a b o r Commission of which he was appoi nt e d a member.

His s e r v i c e on t h i s

commission and h i s e f f o r t s

to e s t a b l i s h a Commission on

Industrial

the Los Angeles Times b u i l d i n g

Relations a f t e r

was bombed by a l l e g e d

labor radicals

l ed him to concl ude

t h a t American s o c i e t y would have to be r e g u l a t e d to a much g r e a t e r e x t e n t than h e r e t o f o r e .

He helped persuade

P r e s i d e n t T a f t to a p p o i n t the Commission on I n d u s t r i a l Relations--the

first

f ormal

government t h a t t he f i e l d

r e c o g n i t i o n by the Federal

of industrial

t a i n e d pr e s e n t and p o t e n t i a l social ment.

concern o f govern-

He thought t he synagogue' s

t he vanguard o f t he f i g h t r e p o r t to t he C e n t r a l

fo r social

pr oper pl ace was in justice,

and his

Conference o f American Rabbi s, on

"The Synagogue and I n d u s t r i a l

Relations,"

urged the

endorsement of suc'h pr oposal s as t he minimum wage, trial

con­

dangers to t he American

f a b r i c and was a l e g i t i m a t e

OO

relations

i n s u r a n c e , workmen's compensati on,

3 3 l b i d . , pp. 5 9 - 5 0 , C. H. Voss, S e r v a n t o f the P e o p l e , p. 49.

indus­

o l d - a g e pensi ons .

Stephen S. Wi s e :

186 the p r o h i b i t i o n o f c h i l d - l a b o r , and have uni ons. port,

and the r i g h t to o r g a n i z e

When the Conference r e f u s e d i t s

he e x c o r i a t e d hi s f e l l o w d e l e g a t e s

sup­

fiercely.

Ob ser va t i on and e x p e r i e n c e l ed Wise to d i s c a r d n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y t h e o r i e s o f s o c i e t y as the embodiment o f a p p a r e n t l y d i s p a r a t e elements and i n t e r e s t s which inevitably

i n t e r a c t e d to produce s o c i a l

g r e a t e s t good f o r the g r e a t e s t number. t h a t the change in s c a l e ,

nature,

can s o c i e t y had r endered p r i v a t e i n s t r u m e n t o f s o ci a l

justice.

harmony and the Wise b e l i e v e d

and c o mp l e x i t y o f Amer i ­ c h a r i t y o b s o l e t e as an

American l i f e

much too compl i ca t ed f o r s m a l l - s c a l e ,

had become

piece-meal,

hap­

hazard at t e mpt s to remedy i n j u s t i c e or c a t a s t r o p h e . rejected

the i dea of s i n g l e c a u s a t i o n and i t s

He

corollary

concept i on o f what a s o c i e t y should do to e r a d i c a t e e v i l . He accepted t h a t the e v i l s o f s o c i e t y should not be e x o r ­ ci sed from the body p o l i t i c painful

by a q u i c k ,

l e g i s l a t i v e or moral

onl y the n a t i o n a l

and not too

o p e r a t i o n and concl uded t h a t

government had the resources to cope

wi t h an e v e r - c h a n g i n g , many c o n f l i c t i n g

neat,

heterogeneous s o c i e t y ,

factions,

in a s p e c i a l i z e d ,

^^The Amer i can I s r a e l i t e ,

7/9/14,

p.

composed of continuous.

3

187 and a d a p t i v e f a s h i o n . tions,

In o t h e r words,

but i n s t i t u t i o n s

on a n a t i o n a l

to cope w i t h modern l i f e .

not onl y i n s t i t u ­ scale,

were r e q u i r e d

C o r r u p t i o n and b u r e a u c r a t i c

e l i t i s m or i n s u l a r i t y would be pr event ed by the w a t c h f u l ­ ness o f an i nformed and v i g i l a n t c i t i z e n r y ;

"I

p r i c e o f decent

vigilence

.

. .;"

.

.

. government i s e t e r n a l

know the

he once r e m a r k e d . ^5 Wi se,

l i k e Herbert Croly,

tried

t o adapt and com­

bi ne J e f f e r s o n i a n and H a mi l t o n i a n t h e o r i e s o f s o c i e t y and government to meet the problems of hi s day.

If

J e f f e r s o n i a n democracy coul d employ the o r d e r and e f f i ­ ci ency o f H a m i l t o n i a n

Federalism,

and e x p e r i e n c e could be p r e s e r v e d . saw r e s u l t i n g was p l a n n i n g .

t he American t r a d i t i o n The method t h a t he

from a J e f f e r s o n i a n - H a m i 1t o n i a n s y n t h e s i s "The d i s e a s e ,

t he c r i m e ,

come to pass because of p l a n l e s s n e s s .

the t r a g e d y have Men are p l a n l e s s

because t hey ar e purposel ess, " h e once w r o t e . H e cated the compl ete and planned r e v i s i o n cal

o f t he t e c h n o l o g i ­

si de o f i n d u s t r y so as to a v e r t the d i s a s t e r s

unplanned and f r e e market s o c i e t y .

35$tephen S. Wise, ^ ^ I b i d . , pp.

of an

He urged t h a t t h e r e be

C h a l l e n g i n g Y e a r s , p.

115-117.

advo­

18.

188

"scientific as w e l l

e n g i n e e r i n g o f t he human i n t a k e o f i n d u s t r y

as i n t he r e g u l a t i o n o f o u t p u t .

phi l os ophy was al most i d e n t i c a l

.

.

."3?

Wi se' s

to t h a t o f t he consci ence

o f the P r o g r e s s i v e movement, W a l t e r Lippmann.

Mr.

Lipp-

mann t hought t h a t t he onl y way to av oi d t he " t h o u g h t l e s s ­ ness and d r i f t the

of .

al most l i m i t l e s s

.

. national

r esour ces o f

Only t h e n , Lippmann s t a t e d ,

would

gress en a c t "compr ehensi ve, accident, I ndee d,

maternity,

life"

was to r ecogni z e

t he f e d e r a l

g o v e r n m e n t . ^ 8

t he U n i t e d St a t e s Con­

n a t i o n - w i d e systems o f h e a l t h ,

o l d - a g e and unemployment i n s u r a n c e . "39

Lippmann e l o q u e n t l y

summed up Stephen Wise' s

observation : We can no l o n g e r t r e a t l i f e as something t h a t has t r i c k l e d down to us. We have to deal w i t h i t d e l i b ­ e r a t e l y , de v i s e i t s s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , a l t e r i t s t o o l s , f o r m u l a t e i t s method, educat e and c o n t r o l i t . . . . Civilization . . . i s j u s t t h i s c o ns t a nt e f f o r t to i n t r o d u c e pl an where t h e r e has been c l a s h , and p u r ­ pose i n t o t he j u n g l e s o f d i s o r d e r e d gr owt h. . . . You cannot throw y o u r s e l f b l i n d l y a g a i n s t the unknown f a c t s and t r u s t to l uck t h a t t he r e s u l t w i l l be s a t ­ i s f a c t o r y . . . . 40

3^I bi d . 33Edward L . and F r e d e r i c k Schapsmei er , mann, P h i l o s o p h e r - J o u r n a l i s t , ( Washi ngt on, D. p. 18.

Wa l t e r L i p p ­ C. , 1 9 6 9 ) ,

39%bid. C liffs,

4 0 w a l t e r Lippmann, 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 148.

D r i f t and Mast er y

(Englewood

189 Wise saw no c o n f l i c t between hi s r e l i a n c e on p l a n ­ ni ng and t he r e g u l a t i o n o f the p l a n n e r s . meant p u b l i c awareness and c o n t r o l ; corruption,

wa s t e ,

True democracy

political

bossi sm,

mismanagement, and i n e f f i c i e n c y were

not to be p a r t o f the American dream.

Indeed,

pl a nn i ng

ensured t he c o n t i n u a t i o n o f democracy,

as Carl

Schurz

succinctly

stated:

As t he f u n c t i o n s o f government grow i n e x t e n t , i mpor ­ t ance and c o m p l e x i t y , the n e c e s s i t y grows o f t h e i r bei ng a d m i n i s t e r e d not onl y wi t h h o n e s t y , but al so wi t h t r a i n e d a b i l i t y and knowledge; and t h a t i n the same measure as t h i s n e c e s s i t y i s d i s r e g a r d e d in a de mo c r a t i c government, the success and s t a b i l i t y of de mo c r a t i c i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l be i m p a i r e d . 41 The more de mo c r a t i c the government,

the more e f f i c i e n t

would be i n r espondi ng to the needs o f the pe op l e . Wi se,

it

To

p l a n n i n g i n v o l v e d t he s e p a r a t i o n o f means from ends;

the p l a nn e r s c o n s t r u c t e d models o f means and p r e d i c t e d the r e s u l t s ,

d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t ,

of a l t e r n a t i v e

but the peopl e r e t a i n e d democr at i c c o n t r o l

choices,

over the choi ce

of ends. Wi s e ' s concept i on o f Amer i can- Jewi sh s o c i e t y c o r ­ responded c l o s e l y

to hi s concept i on o f American s o c i e t y .

He viewed t he American Jewish Congress as the i n s t i t u t i o n

41 Quoted i n Dwight Waldo, (New Yor k, 1 9 4 8 ) , p. 29.

The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e S t a t e ,

190 which would b r i n g o r d e r out o f chaos in the Ameri canJewish community. American p o l i t i c s

The bossism so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c o f he equated wi t h the a u t o c r a t s

and o l i ­

garchs o f the American Jewish Committee; democracy i n the ranks o f American Jewry was a p r e r e q u i s i t e

f o r the e f f i ­

c i e n t h a n d l i n g o f Jewish concerns and wants. end, "

he d e c l a r e d ,

order t h e i r

"it

affairs

"I n

this

i s t he bounden duty o f Jews to

i n a t r u l y democr at i c

f a s h i o n .

"^2

The pl anner s w i t h i n t h e Congress would always be r espon­ sible

to t he Jewish body p o l i t i c .

o f p l a n n i n g was such t h a t i t

The e s s e n t i a l

na t ur e

r e l e a s e d human e n e r g i e s and

broadened the range o f human c h oi c e s ;

in t h i s way i t

i n c r e a s e d f r e e d o m - - t h e freedom o f Jews no l es s than the freedom o f o t h e r pe opl e.

Pl anni ng the needs o f American

Jewry was not the same as d i c t a t i n g above;

rather,

it

its

choices from

was a c o o p e r a t i v e e n t e r p r i s e c h a r a c t e r ­

i z ed by f r a n k and open di s c u s s i o n and t r u l y

e x p r e s s i v e of

the Jewish community' s t r u e needs and p r i o r i t i e s .

As

long as pl a n n i n g remained s u b j e c t to p u b l i c s c r u t i n y , pl anner s coul d n e i t h e r escape a c c o u n t a b i l i t y nor use their

positions

as personal

42The New Yor k Ti mes.

power bases.

5/23/22,

p.

Of those who

11.

the

191 r e j e c t e d t he Jewish Congress

because i t would serve as

forum f o r p u b l i c d i s c u s s i o n .

Wise s a i d :

a

Two groups or kinds o f Jews choose or have chosen to st ay o u t s i d e o f t he American Jewish Congress. There ar e those who deem themselves too good to be b r a c k ­ et ed wi t h any o t h e r Jew, and t h e r e are those who t h i n k o r d i n a r y Jews are not good enough and too i n f e r i o r to t ake counsel wi t h them. They f i r s t pl ace themselves beyond and o u t s i d e o f a l l 43 J

e

w

r

y

.

Perhaps t he one man who knew more than anyone about the Congress and i t s

daily a c tiv itie s

was Bernard

Gershon Ri c h a r d s ,

E x e c u t i v e S e c r e t a r y of the American

Jewish Congress.

Born in Keidan,

Lithuania,

Richards

emi gr at ed to the Uni t ed S t a t e s as a young c h i l d .

He

a t t e n d e d the p u b l i c schools o f New York and l a t e r

became

a r e p o r t e r and c o l umni s t f o r a Boston newspaper.

An

avowed Z i o n i s t , Brandeis, Congress.

he q u i c k l y a l i g n e d h i m s e l f w i t h Louis

and was one o f the most a r d e n t advocates of the Yet,

u n l i k e Brandeis,

Richards di d not view

the Jewish Congress as the v e h i c l e by which t he Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f America would become t he a l l - e n c o m p a s s i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n

in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Rather,

he

b e l i e v e d t h a t the Congress would serve as a c l e a r i n g ­ house f o r the exchange of i d e a s ;

4 3 i h e New Yor k Ti me s ,

not a Sanhédri n of the

5/22/22,

p.

17.

192 Western w o r l d , ture for

but an i n s t i t u t i o n which would be a s t r u c ­

the o r d e r l y and e f f e c t i v e

e x pr ess i on and advance­

ment of Jewish i n t e r e s t s . Richards b e l i e v e d t h a t t he many o r g a n i z a t i o n s Jewish l i f e - - e a c h

devoted t o i t s

own cont i nue d e x i s t e n c e

- - p r e v e n t e d American Jews from e f f e c t i v e l y t h e i r probl ems. self-seeking the

"public

The f r a t e r n a l

in t h e i r outlook, interest"

d e a l i n g wi t h

lodges were narrow and and t h e i r concept i on of

al most always corresponded to t h e i r

concept i on o f t h e i r own best i n t e r e s t s . o r g a n i z a t i o n j e a l o u s l y guarded i t s not w i l l i n g

in

Moreover,

each

independence and was

to s u r r e n d e r one i o t a o f i t s

autonomy.

Thus,

when Richards suggested t h a t a Jewish forum be c r e a t e d for

the di s c u s s i o n o f v i t a l

Jewish q u e s t i o n s ,

was u n i v e r s a l l y r e j e c t e d by o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

the idea

leaders.

The E x e c u t i v e S e c r e t a r y o f t he Congress reasoned t h a t in view o f t he many competing o r g a n i z a t i o n s i sh l i f e ,

t h e r e should be some c e n t r a l

in Jew­

o r g a n i z a t i o n wi t h

a u t h o r i t y to de t er mi ne t he " pr oper bal ance and p r o p o r ­ tion" tion

amongst them.

Thi s c e n t r a l

a u t h o r i t y would appor ­

tasks to each c o n s t i t u e n t group in o r d e r to avoid

c o n f l i c t and d u p l i c a t i o n o f e f f o r t - - i n increase e f f i c i e n c y .

o t h e r words,

to

Such an a u t h o r i t y would e l i m i n a t e

193 competition

f o r the c o n t r i b u t i o n s

of v o l u n t a r y o r g a n i z a t i o n s , and d i s t o r t i o n cu s s i ons .

t h a t ar e

t h e r e b y e l i m i n a t i n g hy per bo l e

from t h e i r p u b l i c pronouncements and d i s ­

Thi s i n t ur n would a l s o

Jewish l i f e ,

the l i f e b l o o d

for policies

promote democracy i n

and programs coul d now be r e a s on­

a b l y and s o b e r l y j udged by the Jewish po pul ace . tral

o rga niza tio n with a u t h o r i t y

would be,

naturally,

to accompl i sh a l l

this

the American Jewish Congress.

Ri char ds saw the dangers o f c e n t r a l i z e d sive l e a d e r s h ip ,

The cen­

and e x c l u ­

unchecked by t he peopl e f o r whose w e l f a r e

t hey supposedl y were to a d m i n i s t e r . We w i l l never have s u f f i c i e n t and more competent wor k­ ers unl ess we w i l l i n v i t e more . . . peopl e to voi c e t h e i r o p i n i o n s , to c o n s i d e r the q u e s t i o n s . . . . That i s t he c e n t r a l idea o f the American Jewish Congress, and i t i s one o f the f undamental mot i ves o f d e m o c r a c y . ^4 In a d d i t i o n , zations a l l

Ri char ds t hought t h a t e x i s t i n g Jewish o r g a n i ­ defined

what a n a c h r o n i s t i c

th e ir objectives t er ms.

i n n e g a t i v e and some­

They concei ved o f t hemsel ves as

44 " De moc r a t i c C on t r ol versus C e n t r a l i z e d Leader shi p, " in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. Ri char ds also s t a t e d : "There i s above a l l sadl y l a c k i n g a medium f o r c r y s t a l l i z i n g Jewish p u b l i c op i n i o n in such a way t h a t d e f i n i t e p o l i c i e s would be worked out f o r t he whole of Jewr y, and t he d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l , f r a t e r n a l , c e n t r a l , and o t h e r l e a d i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s would be enabl ed to have a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g . . . and to c o o r d i n a t e . . . a c t i v ­ ities." See I b i d . , Ri char ds to ?, 2 / 1 0 / 2 0 .

194 guar di ans o f Jewish r i g h t s

and def ender s o f t he s t a t u s quo,

Though he gr ant ed t h a t t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n s were not w i t h o u t foundation

in r e a l i t y ,

Ri chards f e l t

to concei ve o f the p o s s i b i l i t y American Jewry. tution life

of a "positive"

program which would i n s t i l l

ti me to convi nce t h e i r Louis B r a n d e i s ,

trying

to j u s t i f y

a not her l e a d e r

it

was

in the Congress move­

Kentucky in 1856,

to Jewish

A f t e r g r a d u a t i n g from

Brandei s amassed a personal

a corporation lawyer,

and p r o t e c t

f e l 1ow-Americans o f Jewish w o r t h . ^5

i mmi gr ant pa r e nt s from Bohemia.

f o r t u n e as

but toward the end o f t he n i n e t e e n t h

he t ur ned hi s e n e r g i e s

to the p r o g r e s s i v e move­

ment and became known as t he " p e o p l e ' s and won t he f i g h t

and s o c i a l

environments was not enough;

ment, was born i n L o u i s v i l l e ,

Har vard Law School ,

cultural,

in American Jewry a p o s i t i v e

In o t h e r words,

presence i n a l i e n

century,

program f o r

n e g a t i v e t r e n d in Jewish

and e n v i s i o n an e d u c a t i o n a l ,

their

even

He saw the Jewish Congress as the i n s t i ­

t h a t coul d r e v e r s e t h i s

self-image.

t h a t t hey f a i l e d

lawyer."

in Boston f o r cheaper gas;

He led

he d r a f t e d

the Massachuset t s law f o r combining savings and i n sur an ce banks.

His causes

45i bi d.

i n c l u d e d the successf ul

battle

in

195 Oregon and I l l i n o i s women to ten hours. state rate

to l i m i t

the work- day f o r employed

His g r e a t e s t v i c t o r y was the I n t e r ­

Commerce Commission's r e f u s a l

to s a n c t i o n f r e i g h t

i n c r e a s e s f o r western and southern r a i l r o a d s .

dei s argued t h a t the r a i l r o a d

i n d u s t r y coul d save as much

as $ 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 a day by a p p l y i n g t he p r i n c i p l e s tific

Bran-

of s c i e n ­

management to t h e i r p r o p e r t y and pe r s o n n e l . Brandei s became i n t e r e s t e d

in Zi onism p r i o r to World

War I and i n the Jewish Congress j u s t a f t e r war e r u p t e d . His i n t e n s e d e s i r e to see democracy permeate the ranks of American Jewry p a r a l l e l e d mocracy i n an i n d u s t r i a l o f Woodrow W i l s o n ' s

Stephen Wi se' s concept i on of de­ state.

Brandeis was the a r c h i t e c t

"New Freedom."

Brandeis's b l u e p ri n t

r e v o l v e d around s p e c i f i c measures to r e g u l a t e c o m p e t i t i o n . To B r a n d e i s ,

the "New Freedom" meant the r e s t o r a t i o n

of a

truly

f r e e c o m p e t i t i v e economy i n which everyone had an

equal

chance to succeed in business endeavor s,

by his a b i l i t y

and d i l i g e n c e .

l i m i t e d only

He e n v i s i o n e d the f e d e r a l

gover nment ' s r o l e as t h a t o f being t he p r o t e c t o r of b u s i ­ ness c o m p e t i t i o n ,

not the r e g u l a t o r of

m

o

n

o

p

o

l y

.

The

^Gpichard H o f s t a d t e r , The American P o l i t i c a l T r a d i ­ t i o n , (New Yor k, 1 9 4 8 ) , p. 259; Alpheus T. Mason, Brandei s and t h e Modern S t a t e , ( Washi ngton, D. C. , 1 9 3 6 ) , p. 99; Me l v i n Ur of sky and David Levy, e d s . . L e t t e r s o f Louis D. Br a n d e i s : Pr o g r e s s i v e and Z i o n i s t , ( A l b a n y , 1 9 7 3 ) , pp. 218221

.

196 American economy had become one where small d i r e c t e d the a f f a i r s

groups of men

o f g r e a t c o r p o r a t i o n s whose d e c i s i o n s ,

a c cor di ng to Woodrow Wi l so n, were " a u t o c r a t i c . " resources,

the c h o i c e s ,

The

and the o p p o r t u n i t i e s were vested

in these o l i g a r c h s . T h e

d e c i s i o n - ma k i n g process in

American business had to encompass a wi d e r spectrum of people and t hought . The i ssue o f the American Jewish Congress has been de scr i bed by h i s t o r i a n s o f Ameri can- Jewi sh a f f a i r s

as

being an e x c l u s i v e l y Jewish c o n f l i c t between competing f a c ­ t i o n s w i t h i n t he Jewish community as to which one would speak f o r American Jewry.

Though h i s t o r i a n s of American

Jewry address the quest i on o f power r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h i n the Jewish community,

they do not a d e q u a t e l y e x p l a i n why

t he i ssue o f an "American Jewish Congress" and agony w i t h i n

caused such

bitterness,

animosity,

t he American-Jewish

community.

The i ssue o f t he American Jewish Congress

reflects

events and p h i l o s o p h i e s t h a t a f f e c t e d a l l

Ameri ca,

and were in no way p e c u l i a r to Jewish l i f e

of or the

Congr ess.

47%!chard H o f s t a d t e r , The Age o f Reform, Bryan to F . D . R . , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 220.

From

197

Naomi Cohen in her book.

Not Free to D e s i s t :

American Jewish Commi ttee, 1 9 0 6 - 1 9 6 6 , s t a t e s gress f i l l e d

t h a t the Con­

"deep needs" o f the American Jewish community.

She argues t h a t Jews as i n d i v i d u a l s could i d e n t i f y c l o s e l y w i t h t he f i g h t f o r Jewish freedom"; Jewish s a c r i f i c e s ment of s o c i e t y ,

"more

t h a t si nce

were as g r e a t as t h a t o f any o t h e r seg­ the Jews had a r i g h t to demand e q u a l i t y

f o r t h e i r b r e t h r e n a t the Peace Conf er ence; "democracy"

The

became a moral

issue.

4P

Cohen,

to e x p l a i n why "democracy" became "a moral the i ssue o f "democracy" w i t h i n t r anscended m o r a l i t y ;

and t h a t however, issue."

fails I ndeed,

t he ranks of American Jewry

democracy,

as the advocat es o f the

Jewish Congress d e f i n e d t he t e r m,

was the si ne qua non of

the Jewish e x p e r i e n c e in t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y Ameri ca. Democracy w i t h i n t he ranks o f American Jewry meant t h a t t he Jews o f America had been t r u l y

abl e t o i d e n t i f y wi t h

and p r a c t i c e t he American i d e a l .

^^Naomi

Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , pp.

92-93.

^^Speech d e l i v e r e d by Bernard G. Ri chards to I n d e ­ pendent Order B r i t h Shalom, June, 1918, i n possession of Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves of the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

1 98

ment

Yonathan Shapiro^O s t a t e s

t h a t t he Congress move­

was an a t t e m p t by Z i o n i s t s

i n t he U n i t e d Stat es, to

become t he spokesman f o r American Jewry. t he Z i o n i s t s their

rise

analysis

used t he Congress i ssue as t he v e h i c l e f o r

to power.

Me l v i n Urofsky^^

agrees w i t h S h a p i r o ' s

to t h e e x t e n t t h a t t he Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f

America di d a t t e m p t to r i d e however,

He c l a i ms t h a t

he i m p l i e s

that

the Congress i ssue to power;

t he Z i o n i s t s were in a c t u a l i t y

d i g g i n g t h e i r own grave over t he Congress i s s u e .

He r e a ­

sons t h a t t he American Jewish Congress would have become t he p r e - e m i n e n t spokesman f o r American Jewry when i t r e t u r n e d from t h e P a r i s

Peace Conf er ence,

and t h a t the

Z i o n i s t s would have become an o r g a n i z a t i o n a n c i l l a r y t he Congress.

52

o f Jewish r i g h t s

had

to

The Congress would have been the guar di an in t he D i a s p o r a ,

not t h e Z . O . A . ;

the

r e s p e c t and r e v e r e n c e o f the Jewish p u b l i c f o r t he Congress after

the war would have been so g r e a t t h a t

the Z i o n i s t s

^^Yonathan S h a p i r o , Le ader shi p o f t he American Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n , 1 8 9 7 - 1 9 3 0 , (Urbana, 1 9 7 1 ) , pp. 9498, 1 1 0 - 1 1 3 . ^^Mel vi n U r o f s k y , American Zi oni sm from Her zl t h e H o l o c a u s t , (Garden C i t y , 1 9 7 5 ) , pp. I S O f f . 52lbid.,

pp.

180-181.

to

199 would have been c a s t as a o n e - i s s u e

o rg a n iz a tio n .

^3

Oscar Janowsky^^ cl ai ms t h a t t he i ssue of n a t i o n a l i s m was t he basi c q u e s t i o n upon which the p r o ­ ponents and opponents o f a congress d i v i d e d . . . . Behind a l l [ t h e ] maneuvers l u r k e d Jewish n a t i o n a l i s m or the c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n o f the Jews as a n a t i o n a l group. The r e a l i ssues were Z i o n i s m, Jewish n a t i o n a l r i g h t s and t he q u e s t i o n o f a permanent Jfewish C o n g r e s s . 55 Janowsky di smi sses t he i ssue o f "democracy"

i n American

Jewry as an o f f - s h o o t o f e x ces si v e r h e t o r i c and h y p e r b o l e . ^5 This

it

d e f i n i t e l y was n o t .

rightly

states,

Democracy,

as A r t h u r Goren

meant to those a d v o c a t i n g an American Jew­

ish Congress " t h e ma r s h a l i n g o f t h e p e o p l e ' s best t a l ­ e n t s . "^7

Indeed,

t he qu e s t i o n o f t he American Jewish Con­

gress di d i n v o l v e which group was to speak f o r American Jewry;

but an a n a l y s i s o f t he e l e c t i o n o f June,

t h a t many a n t i - Z i o n i s t s to w i t :

and a n t i - n a t i o n a l i s t s

Henry Morgent hau,

Louis M a r s h a l l ,

1917 shows

were e l e c t e d ;

Jacob S c h i f f ,

53lbid. S^Oscar Janowsky, Jews and M i n o r i t y (New Yor k, 1 9 3 3 ) , pa ssi m. S^l b i d . , p.

Rights,

1898- 1918,

172.

56lbid. C7

A r t h u r Goren, New York Jews and t h e Quest f o r Com­ muni t y , The New York K e h i l l a h , 1 9 0 8 - 1 9 2 2 , (New Yor k, 1 9 7 0 ) , pp. 2 2 1 - 2 2 2 .

200

and Cyrus A d l e r .

Proponents o f t he Congress used the

v e h i c l e o f democracy to ensure the f a c t t h a t t h e i r voi ces would be heard in t he d e c i s i o n - ma k i n g pr ocess. f o r them a c y n i c a l l y

I t was not

used sl ogan.

Brandei s in p a r t i c u l a r concei ved of Jewish a f f a i r s sub speci ae mundi; hi s t e st i mony b e f or e Congressi onal

com­

m i t t e e s on non-Jewish ma t t e r s and hi s speeches d e l i v e r e d b e f or e non-Jewish groups r e v e a l social I n de e d,

t he same p o l i t i c a l

and

phi l osophy as hi s u t t e r a n c e s on Jewish a f f a i r s . Brandei s concei ved o f Jewish a f f a i r s

to worl d a f f a i r s ,

in r e l a t i o n

and the American Jewish Congress i n p a r ­

t i c u l a r was to Brandei s an outgrowth o f p r o g r e s s i v e t hought , T e s t i f y i n g b e f o r e t he Uni t ed St a t e s Industrial Thomas J. for

Commission on

R e l a t i o n s under t he chai r manshi p o f Senat or Walsh of Montana,

industrial

Brandeis o u t l i n e d the reasons

unr e st and proposed s o l u t i o n s to a l l e v i a t e

t he s i t u a t i o n : But we have the s i t u a t i o n o f an employer so p o t e n t , so wel l o r g a n i z e d , wi t h such c o nc e nt r a t e d f o r c e s and wi t h such e x t r a o r d i n a r y powers of r e s e r v e . . . t h a t the r e l a t i v e l y l o o s e l y or ga ni z e d masses . . . ar e unable to cope wi t h the s i t u a t i o n . . . . Such c o n t e s t s . . . l ead to a b s o l u t i s m. The r e s u l t . . . may be to devel op a be nev ol e nt a b s o l u t i s m , but i t i s a b s o l u t i s m a l l the same. . . . The s o c i a l j u s t i c e f o r which we are s t r i v i n g is an i n c i d e n t o f our democracy, not the main end. I t is r a t h e r the r e s u l t o f democracy . . . but i t r e s t s upon

201

democracy, which i m p l i e s the r u l e by p e o p l e . And t h e r e f o r e the end f o r which we must s t r i v e i s the a t t a i n m e n t o f r u l e by t he p e o p l e , and t h a t i n v o l v e s i n d u s t r i a l democracy as w e l l as p o l i t i c a l democracy. That means t h a t t h e problem o f a t r a d e should be no l o n g e r the problems o f t h e employer a l o n e . The pr ob­ lems o f hi s bu si n ess , and i t i s not t he empl o y e r ' s busi ness a l o n e , a r e the problems o f a l l in i t . . . . There must be a d i v i s i o n . . . of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . The employees must have t he o p p o r t u n i t y to p a r t i c i p a t e in t h e d e c i s i o n s as to what s h a l l be t h e i r c o n d i t i o n and how the busi ness s h a l l be r un. . .. I t is in the . . . a b s o l u t i s m t h a t you w i l l f i n d t he fundamental cause o f p r e v a i l i n g u n r e s t ; no m a t t e r how i t may be improved . . . , unless we e r a d i c a t e t h a t fundamental d i f f i c u l t y , un r e s t w i l l not onl y c o n t i n u e , but . . . w i l l grow worse. . . . 58 Brandei s on i n d u s t r i a l

democracy sounds ve r y s i m i l a r

Brandei s on democracy in American Jewry.

to

When t he r e a d e r

substitutes

" t h e American Jewish Committee" f o r the word

" e mp l o y e r , "

t he above q u o t a t i o n becomes r e l e v a n t

in

e x p l a i n i n g the t r u e na t u r e o f the Jewish Congress movement as Brandei s concei ved i t . The e a r l y debate between Brandei s and Cyrus A d l e r over whether t h e r e was to be a " conf er ence" or "congress" reflects

Brandeis's

a t t i t u d e toward Jewish a f f a i r s .

ing to A d l e r i n J u l y ,

1915,

Writ­

t he f u t u r e Supreme Court

Uni t ed St at es Commission on I n d u s t r i a l R e l a t i o n s , I n d u s t r ia l Relations: Fi nal Report and T e s t i m o n y , Uni t ed S t a t e s Sena t e, 64 Congress, F i r s t Sessi on, volume 8, (Wash­ i n g t o n , D. C. , 1 9 1 6 ) , pp. 7 6 5 8 - 7 6 6 3 .

202

justice

stated that

democracy demands t h a t those r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of t he Jews o f America . . . s h a l l have some v o i c e in d e t e r ­ mi ni ng the c o n d i t i o n s under which t he conf e r e nce s h a l l convene. . . . Your Commi ttee' s c o n f e r e n c e plan i s not c o o p e r a t i v e . Cooper at i on demands t h a t those who ar e to work t o g e t h e r s h a l l a l l have t he o p p o r t u n i t y , as wel l as t he r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , o f s h a r i n g in i mp o r t a n t fundamental d e t e r m i n a t i o n s . 59 Brandei s di d not c o n s i d e r the Congress an end in i t s e l f . I t fs an i n c i d e n t o f t he o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t he Jewish pe op l e. . . . I t i s to be t he e f f e c t i v e i n s t r u m e n t of o r g a n i z e d Jewry o f Ameri ca. . . . Such being the f u n c t i o n o f t h e Congress, i t must be c l e a r t h a t t h e r e can be no s u b s t i t u t e f o r i t . 60 The Jewish Congress would be t h e v e h i c l e t h a t would deal w i t h t he problems o f Jewry as t hey a r o s e ;

its

permanence

would make p o s s i b l e c o n t i n u i t y and l o n g - r a n g e p e r s p e c t i v e , and i t s

democr at i c phi l osophy and s t r u c t u r e would make

p o s s i b l e maximum p a r t i c i p a t i o n

by t h e gener al

Jewish popu-

1a t i o n . Much o f t he phi l osophy behind t h e c r e a t i o n o f the American Jewish Congress can be t r a c e d to the American

59j ewi sh Congress O r g a n i z a t i o n Commi ttee, To the Jews o f Ameri ca: The Jewish Congress versus t he American Jewish Committee: A Complete St at ement w i t h the Correspon­ dence between Louis D. Brandeis and Cyrus A d l e r , (New York, 1 9 1 5 ) , passi m. ^ ^ L o u i s B r a n d e i s , " J e w i s h U n i t y and t h e C o n g r e s s , " 9 / 2 7 / 1 5 , i n p o s s e s s i o n o f Mr s. Rut h R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t h e J e wi s h I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

203

p r o g r e s s i v e movement. live

Jewry no l o n g e r coul d or wished to

by " b a c k s t a i r s d i p l o m a c y , "

f o r t he p o l i t i c a l

form o f

t he wo r l d in which t h e Jews l i v e d had changed from p e r ­ sonal

government by a few gentl emen power br ok er s to an

ever-expanding bureaucracy.

Accordingly,

the f u l f i l l m e n t

of Jewish a s p i r a t i o n s must come t hrough o r g a n i z a t i o n : Or g a n i z e . . . so t h a t our r esour ces may become known and be made a v a i l a b l e . . . . O r g a n i z a t i o n , thorough and c o mp l e t e , can al one devel op . . . t he necessary support. The Congress movement a r r i v e d a t a c r i t i c a l

hour

which a t l a s t f i n d s t h e peopl e r e s o l v e d to r i s e to the d i g n i t y o f s e l f - m a s t e r y and s e l f - d e t e r m i n a t i o n . The b e gi n ni n g o f t he end o f t h e ol d regime o f . . . a u t o ­ c r a t i c o f t he few over t h e a f f a i r s o f t he m u l t i t u d e s i s a t h a n d . 62

61f h e Jewish Advocate

(Boston),

6/18/15,

p.

8.

®^"The Case o f t he Jewish Peopl e: Addresses D e l i v ­ ered b e f o r e t he American Jewish Congress by Dr. Stephen S. Wi se, " p. 18 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y .

CHAPTER IV

AIDING OPPRESSED JEWRY IN ROUMANIA AND POLAND, 1919 TO 1933

The a f t e r m a t h o f World War I l e f t ern Europe and Russia i n a p i t i f u l political,

and r e l i g i o u s

Jews o f these c o u n t r i e s

t he Jews of E a s t ­

state.

Though c i v i l ,

freedoms had been gr a n t e d the by t he P a r i s Peace Conf er ence,

t h e i r economic c o n d i t i o n was e x t r e me l y g r a v e .

Leaders of

the American Jewish Congress r eco gni z ed the p l i g h t o f t hese peopl e and sought ways to hel p in the tion of t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s

in East er n Europe.

u l t i m a t e aim o f t he Congress was to e s t a b l i s h sentative relief

and adequate r e l i e f

reconstruc­

agency"

agenci es were to be merged.

The

"a r e p r e ­

i n which a l l

To be s u r e ,

other

this

r e l i e f o r g a n i z a t i o n was to be under the s u p e r v i s i o n and control

o f the American Jewish Congress.^

Li psky to The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of the American Jewish Congress, 8 / 7 / 1 9 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v e s of the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. 204

205

Louis L i p s k y ,

a l e a d e r o f t he Jewish Congress and a

power i n the Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Ameri ca, that

if

t he American Jewish J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

was gi ven a f r e e hand to s u p e r v i s e r e l i e f if

reasoned Committee

activities,

and

t he J o i n t Committee was to c a r r y on, as was expect ed,

relief find

o p e r a t i o n s in P a l e s t i n e ,

"itself

then the Congress would

f ace to f ace wi t h an i ndependent o p e r a t i n g

commi ttee in P a l e s t i n e which i n the course o f time is bound t o become . .

.

2

.

Moreover,

. antagonistic

to

che Z i o n i s t p l a n s .

si nce the J o i n t Committee was a c t u a l l y

a " h o l d i n g company" which ac t ed on b e h a l f o f t h r e e sepa• . r a t e c o l l e c t i n g agenci es and was c o n t r o l l e d by an i n t r i ­ c a t e system of i n t e r l o c k i n g would have l i t t l e , making pr ocess.

if

any,

directorates,

power to i n f l u e n c e the d e c i s i o n ­

The Jewish Congress was unable to d i s l od ge

the l e a d e r s h i p of the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n it

coul d not e f f e c t i v e l y

indeed,

t he J . D . C .

^ I bi d .

charge them wi t h

Committee because incompetence;

di d yeoman work i n a i d i n g the homeless,

e c o n o mi c a l l y r u i n e d , Ea s t e r n Europe.

the Congress

and a l i e n a t e d Jewish p o pu l a t i o ns

in

206 To co un t er the i n f l u e n c e o f the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n Commi ttee,

Leon M o t z k i n ,

in a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h

the American

Jewish Congress, o r g a n i z e d t he Wel t H e l f s Commi ttat R e l i e f Commi t t ee) .

The goal

(World

o f the Committee was to gi ve

a i d to Jews who had not been reached by o t h e r r e l i e f o rg a n iz a ti o n s , with p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n the e d u c a t i o n a l and communal

and c u l t u r a l

3

work because of i n s u f f i c i e n t

pean Jewry was made i n e a r l y

o f East Eur o­

existence a f t e r

to saf eguar d Jewish r i g h t s

The l e a d e r s o f t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

s e n t i n g East European Jewish communi t i es, cil

funds.

1920 by the Committee o f Jew­

i sh D e l e g a t i o n s , which had cont i nue d i t s the P a r i s Peace Conf er ence,

t e acher s

The Committee

Anot her a t t e mp t to a i d in t he r e h a b i l i t a t i o n

East er n Europe.

be gi ven to

needs o f s c h o l a r s ,

workers i n East er n Europe.

was hi nder ed i n i t s

to

o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s ,

in

repre­

proposed a Coun­

which among o t h e r d u t i e s ,

would

assist

in the c o o r d i n a t i o n o f t he r e l i e f work and s u bs t a n­

tially

a i d in the r e h a b i l i t a t i o n

livelihood

of Jewish sources of

dest r oyed by t he war and the r e s u l t a n t p o l i t i c a l

D r a f t o f A r t i c l e on Mot zki n and R e l i e f , " n . d . , Leon Mot zki n f o l d e r , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish Theo­ l o g i c a l Semi nary.

207

upheaval.^ sufficient

Thi s a t t e m p t al so f a i l e d

because of a l a c k o f

funds to c a r r y on the necessary work.

Whi l e t he r e h a b i l i t a t i o n

o f East European Jewry

r e c e i v e d the a t t e n t i o n o f the Jewish Congress,

the more

immedi ate problem o f the Congress was to ensure the s u r ­ vival

o f the Jews i n the f or mer war zones.

mani a, Pol and,

Jews in Rou-

and the S o v i e t Union faced a n n i h i l a t i o n

in

the i n t e r - w a r p e r i o d . Roumani e' s r e l u c t a n c e to si gn the peace covenants was s i g n a l l e d by an a n t i - S e m i t i c

press campaign,

government wished to co nt i nue i t s the Jews and o t h e r m i n o r i t i e s .

reactionary

Thus,

and the

p o l i c y toward

an e l e c t o r a l

law f o r

Bukovina was a l t e r e d so as to d i s e n f r a n c h i s e more than 4 0 , 0 0 0 Jews,

and t he Roumanian government t h r e a t e n e d the

Jews wi t h e x p u l s i o n under t he p r e t e x t t h a t t hey were foreigners.

5

In T r a n s y l v a n i a ,

a proclamation

issued by

American Jewish Congress, Proceedi ngs o f Adj ourned Session o f American Jewish Congress i n c l u d i n g Report of Commission to Peace Conference and o f P r o v i s i o n a l O r g a n i ­ z a t i o n f o r Format i on o f American Jewish Congr ess, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 0 ) , pp. 4 5 - 4 6 . ^I n a c t u a l i t y , Jews had l i v e d in Roumania ye ar s and even had s u f f r a g e r i g h t s under the ol d See American Committee on the Ri ght s of R e l i g i o u s t i e s , Roumania: Ten Years L a t e r , ( Bost on, 1 9 2 8 ) , 40-47.

f o r many, monarchy. Minori­ pp. 34,

208 t he Government promised p r o p o r t i o n a l institutional enacted,

m inorities;

despite o f f i c i a l

legislators,

representation for

however, an e l e c t o r a l

p r o t e s t s from some Roumanian

which f o r b a d e p r o p o r t i o n a l

on l y f o r m i n o r i t i e s ,

law was

representation

but a l s o f o r p o l i t i c a l

not

parties.^

The economic s i t u a t i o n o f Roumanian Jewry was "most threatening." Minister

The q u a s i - o f f i c i a l

Bratiano's

manian c i t i z e n s l a t e d Jews) . vina)

government.

not to s e l l

newspaper o f Prime

Le Vi t t o r a l , urged Rou­

a n y t h i n g to f o r e i g n e r s

Le Glas de l a Bukovine (The Knell

(trans­

o f Buko­

e x h o r t e d peasants t o form themsel ves i n t o a s o c i e t y

to open "Roumanian" shops in e v e r y v i l l a g e and to buy onl y from Roumanian c i t i z e n s . Only the Roumanians should b e n e f i t by Roumanian l a b o r ; as to the Jews, we ought to g i v e them t h a t which t hey br ought to t h i s c o u n t r y some dozens of ye ar s ago; t h a t is--n^thing. Thi s w i l l make them l e a ve Bukovi na.

Cont i nued a n t i - S e m i t i c gation

agitation

l ed to the pr omul ­

in 1923 o f an Expul si on Law, whereby the Jews of

Roumania were t o be e x p e l l e d from the c o u n t r y .

The Jewish

G p i l d e r m a n n t o M a r s h a l l . , 9 / 1 1 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r # 1 , B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. ^ ^I bi d .

209 Congress coul d do no t hi ng about t he pr omul gat i on o f the l aw;

l e a d e r s o f t h e Jewish Congress b e l i e v e d , mor eover ,

t h a t a v i a b l e Jewish community i n t h a t c o u n t r y was not a realistic social

o p t i o n i n view o f t he h i s t o r i c a l ;

a n t i p a t h y shown t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s

population. tive

political

Thus,

and

by the n a t i v e

Wise and t he Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a ­

Committee c o n c e n t r a t e d t h e i r e f f o r t s

in cooperating

w i t h t he Jewish C o l o n i z a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n to make the e x p u l ­ si on as p a i n l e s s as p o s s i b l e . leaders

Wise and Jewish Congress

l e a r n e d from Roumanian-Jewish r ef u gee s of the t e r ­

rible

situation

f a c i n g the Jewish community in t h a t coun­

try.

Negotiations

i n v o l v i n g t he Jewish Congress, the

Jewish C o l o n i z a t i o n A s s o c i a t i o n , Commi ttee, British

the J o in t D i s t r i b u t i o n

and t he J o i n t For ei gn Committee

Jewry),

ernment ensued.

and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

(representing

o f t he Roumanian Gov­

The Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

persuaded the

Roumanian Government to extend t he e x p u l s i o n d e a d l i n e ; return,

the Jewish r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

o f t he r ef ugees

by J u l y ,

in

agreed to evacuat e a l l

19 25. ^

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 4 / 2 8 / 2 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1924 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box #2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

210

In s p i t e o f t he pl edge made by the Jewish o r g a n i z a ­ tions,

t he Jews o f Roumania cont i nued to be har assed,

a t t a c k e d and beaten by o r ga ni z e d a n t i - S e m i t i c

ga ng s . .

The

Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s n o t i f i e d t he Jewish Con­ gress o f cont i nued v i o l a t i o n s by Roumania.

Physi cal

o f the m i n o r i t y r i g h t s cl auses

abuse o f Jews occur r ed i n the p r o ­

vi nces even though Roumanian Forei gn M i n i s t e r Duca assured Lucien Wol f o f t he J o i n t Forei gn Committee t h a t " p e r f e c t o r de r r e i gn s

in Roumania.

. . .

No cause f o r a n x i e t y . "

9

The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee debated i t s response.

A suggest i on made by r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the

American Committee on t he Rights o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s to ask the Uni t ed St a t e s Government to make r e p r e s e n t a ­ tions

to t he League o f Nat i ons was r e j e c t e d

Uni t ed S t a t e s was not a member o f t h a t body, pr ecedent s to t he c o n t r a r y ,

because the and d e s p i t e

i t was b e l i e v e d t h a t the S t a t e

Department would be most r e l u c t a n t to i n t e r v e n e i n a foreign country's discussion,

internal

A f t e r considerable

i t was decided t h a t Rabbi Wise would cabl e

Roumanian o f f i c i a l s r ages.

affairs.

in Washington to p r o t e s t the o u t ­

Count Bi besco,

'Ibid.

Roumanian Ambassador to the Uni t ed

211

States,

replied:

Nobody has t he w e l f a r e o f t he Jews o f Roumania more a t h e a r t than mysel f and I must draw your a t t e n t i o n t h a t many of t he r e p o r t s . . . are pure f a b r i c a t i o n . . . . These i n a c c u r a t e st at ement s h u r t t he i n t e r e s t s they mean to s e r v e . . . . ^ ^ Unable to secure any redr ess o f gr i e v a n c e s from Roumanian o f f i c i a l d o m , some o t h e r t a c t i c

t he Jewish Congress deci ded t h a t

be employed.

Dr.

Louis C o r n i s h ,

t a r y o f the American U n i t a r i a n A s s o c i a t i o n ,

Se c r e ­

suggested to

Bernard Ri chards t h a t the American Committee on the Ri ght s of R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s

send a f a c t - f i n d i n g commission to

Roumania wi t h r e f e r e n c e t o the Jewish q u e s t i o n .

Manley 0.

Hudson b e l i e v e d t h a t the Roumanians would cease t h e i r a n t i Semitic a c t i v i t i e s

if

t hey found out t h a t a f a c t - f i n d i n g

commission was even c o n t e m p l a t e d . W i s e , from a European v a c a t i o n ,

having r e t u r n e d

endorsed t he i d e a .

He l e a r n e d

from Marvi n Lowenthal , a Jewish Congress r e p r e s e n t a t i v e

in

T ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 7 / 1 7 / 2 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1924 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box #2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 0 / 2 5 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box #2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; Wise to Ri c h a r d s , n . d . , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r #7, Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary.

212

Europe, tive

t h a t the Roumanian Government was e x t r e me l y s e n s i ­

to " f o r e i g n c r i t i c i s m and t o u n f a v o r a b l e p u b l i c i t y

ab r o a d. "

Mor eover ,

Lowenthal

r e p o r t e d t h a t the Roumanian

Jews were bei ng i n d e m n i f i e d by t h e i r government f o r the d e s t r u c t i o n o f Jewish p u b l i c p r o p e r t y ; a f t e r W i l l i a m Fi l d e r ma n n ,

it

di d so onl y

l e a d e r o f Roumanian Jewry,

threat­

ened to appeal

to t he Jews o f the wor l d f o r funds to cover

t h e i r losses.

Roumania's d e c i s i o n to q u i e t l y

its

i ndemni f y

Jewish p o p u l a t i o n was based on the f a c t t h a t any

adverse p u b l i c i t y a t t h a t t i me might have j e o p a r d i z e d her chances to n e g o t i a t e a cur r ency s t a b i l i z a t i o n Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Thus,

l oan i n the

Wise and the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­

tee deci ded upon a commission to Roumania. Ameri can-Rouniani an r e l a t i o n s a t t he ti me were very strained.

Roumania had passed a mi ni ng b i l l

tained "anta gonistic provisions ob jectionable oil

interests

[ S t a nda r d Oi l

which con­ to f o r e i g n

o f New J e r s ey through i t s

whol l y owned s u b s i d i a r y Roman-Ameri cana]."

11

The American

l^Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 1 0 / 2 5 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box #2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . I g n i t e d S t a t e s Department of S t a t e , Forei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s of the Uni t ed S t a t e s : 1924, volume 2, p. 597.

213

Ambassador to Roumania o b j e c t e d to two p r o v i s i o n s o f the bill:

(1)

The b i l l

required foreign oil

companies o p e r a t ­

i ng i n Roumania in o r d e r to o b t a i n new o i l vert,

within

st ock i n t o

a period o f f i v e y e ar s,

shares,

and c o n t r o l l e d

their

to con­

capital

60 per c e n t of which had to be owned

by Roumanian s u b j e c t s ;

pr oduci ng p r o p e r t i e s pani es

all

lands,

(2)

rights

to o i l

a l r e a d y a c q u i r e d by f o r e i g n o i l

com­

had to be s u b mi t t e d t o the a p p r o p r i a t e Roumanian

authorities

for regis tratio n

and

v

a

l

i

d

a

t

i

o

n

.

14

The proposed mi ni ng law made no p r o v i s i o n s

for

the

payment o f adequate compensati on f o r the 60 per cent of st ock to be assi gned to Roumanian n a t i o n a l s clear

how t he f o r e i g n o i l

a g a i n s t the c o n f i s c a t i o n compensat i on. Evans Hughes, incident

property without j u s t Charl es

saw t he -proposed mi ni ng law as but one more

Roumania had f a i l e d ,

Company and the

case o f A l a d a r Nagy,

State,

of t h e i r

The Ameri can S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e ,

g i ve pr oper c o n s i d e r a t i o n tive

was not

companies would be guar ant eed

in Roumania's b e l l i g e r e n t a t t i t u d e

United S ta te s.

and i t

toward the

i n hi s o p i n i o n ,

to

to cl ai ms o f t he Baldwin Locomo­

International

H a r v e s t e r Company,

the

a n a t u r a l i z e d American whose p r o p e r t y

1 4 1b i d . , p. 601. pp. 6 0 2 - 6 0 4 .

See a l s o ,

Wellman to S e c r e t a r y of

214 was c o n f i s c a t e d by Roumania on t he char ge t h a t he was an enemy a l i e n ,

and t he r e f u s a l

by Roumania to honor the p r e ­

s e n t a t i o n o f bonds and notes by t he Chase N a t i o n a l and t h e E q u i t a b l e T r u s t Company o f New York. mania t r i e d

Though Rou­

to assuage t he S t a t e Department by not e n f o r c ­

ing t h e mining citizens,

Bank

l aw,

by i n d e m n i f y i n g some o f i t s

and payi ng 10 per c e n t o f i t s

win Locomotive Company, "belligerence." P e t e r Jay t h a t

it

debt to the B a l d ­

soon r e t u r n e d to i t s

In view o f t h i s ,

Jewish

p o l i c y of

Hughes cabl ed Ambassador

the cont i nue d f a i l u r e

mania t o p r o t e c t American i n t e r e s t s

on the p a r t of Rou­ would f o r c e him to

warn American businessmen t h a t c o n d i t i o n s

in t h a t count r y

were not ve r y good f o r busi ness i n v e s t m e n t , and t h a t , u n t i l conditions

i mpr oved,

t he S t a t e Depar tment would oppose

"any a t t e m p t to f l o a t a Roumanian l oan i n t h i s c o u n t r y . II1 5 Wise read o f t hese devel opment s, appr oval

to the commission scheme d e s p i t e

F i l d e r ma n n .

the a d vi c e o f

Fi l der mann was opposed to the i dea because

the Jewish v i c t i m s reluctant

and gave his

to t a l k

^^Ib i d .,

i n Roumania would have been e x t r e m e l y to any f o r e i g n e r s

Hughes t o J a y ,

for fear that

11/7/24,

pp.

there

637-642.

21 5

would be r e p r i s a l s a g a i n s t them once the commission l e f t . He al s o quest i oned the n e c e s s i t y o f such a commission, the f a c t s were a l r e a d y gat her ed and a v a i l a b l e ; t he Jewish Congress newspaper m a t e r i a l , and o f f i c i a l Too, it

statistics

for

he o f f e r e d

government r e p o r t s ,

to s u b s t a n t i a t e any a l l e g a t i o n s .

Fi l dermann s t a t e d t h a t

if

such a commission were s e n t ,

would spend too much pr eci ous t i me a t government-

sponsored r e c e p t i o n s and not enough ti me i n the f i e l d . I n s t e a d o f a commission,

Fi l dermann proposed t h a t

t he m a t e r i a l s a l r e a d y a v a i l a b l e be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o a "cold,'unemotional,

i mpr ess i ve b r i e f "

sented to the Roumanian m i n i s t e r s countries.

and t h a t

it

be p r e ­

i n the l e a d i n g Western

Fi l dermann s t a t e d t h a t t he Roumanian del egati ons

should be informed t h a t i f , was done to a l l e v i a t e

in view o f the f a c t s ,

not hi ng

the c o n d i t i o n o f Roumanian Jewry,

b r i e f would be gi ven t he wi d e s t p u b l i c i t y .

the

He b e l i e v e d

t h a t such a t h r e a t would f o r c e the home government to a m e l i o r a t e the s i t u a t i o n . not to appeal

t o t he League o f N a t i o n s ,

t he League did not a c t , anti-Semites of a l l

#6,

He c a ut i one d the Jewish Congress

its

nations

for fear that

if

i n a c t i o n would be a sign f o r to take the o f f e n s i v e .

He al so

l ^ L o w e n t h a l t o Wi se, 9 / 1 / 2 5 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J ewi s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e mi n a r y .

216 warned hi s c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s wi t h Roumania a s t r i c t l y

not to make the c o n f r o n t a t i o n

Jewish-Roumanian a f f a i r ;

he advi sed the Congress to a l l y Christian States,

rather,

i t s e l f wi t h prominent

groups i n Gr eat B r i t a i n ,

Fr ance,

and the Uni t ed

and c o n c e n t r a t e on the a n t i - C h r i s t i a n

aspect o f

Roumania's r e p r e s s i o n o f her c i t i z e n s . Wi se' s

refusal

to heed F i l d e r m a n n ' s a d vi c e not to

send a commission to Roumania was due to reasons which l i e t o t a l l y o u t s i d e o f t he s i t u a t i o n onl y met Fi l der mann t w i c e - - a t

in Roumania.

t he P a r i s

Peace Co n f e r e n c e - -

he t hought him to be a f oggy- eyed i n t e l l e c t u a l not d i s t i n g u i s h

f a n t a s y from r e a l i t y .

si ded w i t h t he a r d e n t n a t i o n a l - r i g h t s

Though he

who could

Fi l der mann had advocates a t the

Peace C on f er en ce, and al so wished the Jews to have r e p r e ­ sentation

a t the League o f N a t i o n s .

Too,

r e p o r t s t o Wise on the Roumanian s i t u a t i o n

c.

Lowent ha l ' s and F i l de r ma nn ' s

Cuza, a l e a d e r o f the Roumanian a n t i Semi t es, p u b l i s h e d a s c u r r i l o u s pamphlet a g a i n s t Judaism, compr i si ng a s e r i e s o f car t oons d e r i d i n g Jehovah, Moses, etc. Fi l der mann suggested t h a t w h i l e i t a t t a c k e d the Jews, i t was an e q u a l l y v i l e a t t a c k on t he C h r i s t i a n t r a d i t i o n ; to w i t : Cuza c a l l e d Jehovah--the f a t h e r o f J e s u s - - a whoremast er . Fi l der mann proposed t h a t copi es o f t hese cart oons be d i s t r i b u t e d to l e a d i n g churchmen i n the West and t h a t they be asked to p r o t e s t to t he head o f the Roumanian Church. Ibid.

217 suggest i ons on how to deal w i t h

i t were w r i t t e n

i n a man­

ner which i m p l i e d t h a t h i s adv i c e was not to be taken seriously.

For example,

t h e phrase "so much f o r

mann" appears in many r e p o r t s .

Whi l e Lo we n t ha l ' s

si ons o f Fi l dermann r e i n f o r c e d Wi se' s b e l i e f s , si on to o r g a n i z e a f a c t - f i n d i n g

Filder­ i mp r e s ­

t he d e c i ­

commission was based on

the pr i ma r y need o f t he Congress to r a i s e money to con­ tinue its

existence.

The s c a r c i t y o f funds h i nde r e d a l l programs and a c t i v i t i e s . ating capital

Jewish Congress

V ar i ou s schemes to r a i s e o p e r ­

were suggested by Carl

York S t a t e A t t o r n e y G e n e r a l ,

Sherman,

and George Fox,

the American Jewish Congress.

f or mer New T r e a s u r e r of

Plans to form a New York

Advi sor y Committee o f One Hundred o f t he American Jewish Congress were di scussed where Rabbi ential

Jews to c o n t r i b u t e .

Wise would urge i n f l u ­

George Fox suggested t h a t ever y

community should be r e q u i r e d to c o n t r i b u t e on a per c a p i t a b a s i s ,

and, to t h i s end,

a pl an be adopted whereby a c e r t a i n

to the Congress

he suggested t h a t

number o f men in every

community would be asked t o be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r a number of memberships to the Congress.

A field

s e c r e t a r y was h i r e d

Bar ondess t o R i c h a r d s , 7 / 5 / 2 4 , Joseph Bar ondess f o l d e r # 2 , B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e mi n a r y .

218 to r a i s e money and be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t he o r g a n i z a t i o n o f new c h a p t e r s . all

cities

He drew up a l i s t

i n t he U n i t e d S t a t e s

o f 1 , 0 0 0 o r more.

o f t e n t a t i v e quotas f o r havi ng a Jewish p o p u l a t i o n

Based on a 5 per cent c a p i t a a l l o t m e n t ,

he e s t i m a t e d t h a t al mos t $ 1 6 5 , 0 0 0 could be r a i s e d . ever,

t he Congress f e l l

p o i n t in l a t e

1925,

far

short of i t s

Wise t o l d

goal,

19

How­

and a t one

Ri chards t h a t t he Jewish Con­

gress coul d no l o n g e r f u n c t i o n and pl ans would have to be made to d i s s o l v e

t he o r g a n i z a t i o n . 20

Wi se' s d e s p a i r was

h e i g h t e n e d when he l e a r n e d o f t he Jewish Congress e l e c t i o n s o f 1926.

Only t h i r t y

communities o u t s i d e o f t he m e t r o p o l i ­

tan New York area he l d no mi nat i ng and e l e c t i o n and even in these c i t i e s , were m a n i f e s t . deficit

Deficits

was $ 1 3 , 2 5 9 ;

convent i ons

i n d i f f e r e n c e and l a c k o f i n t e r e s t c o nt i nue d to mount;

i n 1927 i t

i n 1926,

reached $ 1 9 , 6 5 6 .

t he

Though

l O M a r g o l i e s to Wise, 1 0 / 1 0 / 2 4 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r #8, Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g s , 1 2 / 3 / 2 5 , 1 2 / 1 7 / 2 5 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American • Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 3 / 3 1 / 2 6 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n­ u t e s , 1926 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s ­ t o r i c a l Society. 2n s i t y Oral

Bernard G. Ri char ds T r a n s c r i p t , History Project.

Columbia U n i v e r ­

219 t he Congress b a r e l y c o n t i n u e d to f u n c t i o n , tive

t he A d m i n i s t r a ­

Committee searched f o r ways to arouse i n t e r e s t .

^ .

orgam z a t i o n .

in t he

21

Baruch Zuckerman suggested an i n t e n s i v e e d u c a t i o n a l program t o i n c l u d e not onl y newspaper and p r i n t e d pr opa­ ganda,

but a s e r i e s o f l e c t u r e s which would keep the Jew­

ish p u b l i c

i nformed on ma t t e r s o f general

He reasoned t h a t t h i s in t he l i m e l i g h t , financial

Jewish i n t e r e s t .

method would put the Jewish Congress

and thus be o f g r e a t a i d in s e cur i ng

suppor t and p u b l i c p a r t i c i p a t i o n .

Leo Wol f son,

P r e s i d e n t . o f the Uni t ed Roumanian Jews of Ameri ca, that

if

"real

live

i ssues coul d be c r e a t e d f o r the Congress,

we would be a bl e to get t he necessary i n t e r e s t p o r t . B y

July,

declared

1928,

t he d e f i c i t

and sup­

had r eached $ 2 2 , 2 3 3 .

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g s , 6 / 3 / 2 6 , 9/1 6 / 2 6 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1926 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 2 / 3 1 / 2 7 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n­ u t e s , 1927 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s ­ t o r i c a l Society. Z^Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 3 / 2 6 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1926 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t e e M e e t i n g , 5 / 2 1 / 2 8 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s, 1928 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Society.

220

Since funds were not a v a i l a b l e to mount an e d u c a t i o n a l paign,

cam­

Wise decided t h a t t he commission to Roumanie would

arouse the passi ons of the Jewish masses, and, attract

attention

to the Congress; moreover,

would cost very l i t t l e

t he commission

in comparison to Zuckerman's plan

and p o s s i b l y achi eve t he same r e s u l t as we l l the s i t u a t i o n

he hoped,

as a m e l i o r a t e

in Roumanie.

Whi l e p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r t he f a c t - f i n d i n g commission to Roumania c o n t i n u e d . Wise cooperat ed wi t h the American Committee on the Ri ghts of R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s ing a s t a t e me n t on the s i t u a t i o n sented to Ni chol a s T i t u l e s c u ,

i n Roumania to be p r e ­

head o f t he Roumanian Debt

Commission to the Uni t ed S t a t e s . gress was undercut in i t s

in p r e p a r ­

However,

negotiations

the Jewish Con­

by one o f i t s

own

c o n s t i t u e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s - - t h e Union of Roumanian Jews of Ame r i c a - - whi c h had ar r anged f o r a p r i v a t e meeting wi t h Titulescu, present. strative

a t which onl y Roumanian-American Jews would be When Leo Wolfson t o l d t he Jewish Congress Admi ni ­

Committee o f the proposed me e t i n g .

very d i s t r a u g h t ,

Wise became

f o r a c o n s t i t u e n t body might s t e a l

the

thunder from the Jewish Congr ess . ^3

3 3 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 1 / 2 2 / 2 5 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s, 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

221

Not hi ng came o f T i t u l e s c u ' s son group.

meet i ng w i t h the W o l f ­

T i t u l e s c u co nt a ct e d r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

o f the

American Committee on the Ri ghts o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s and promised them an au di e nc e .

He di d not keep his

pr omi se. 24 Conditions

in Roumania co nt i nue d to d e t e r i o r a t e .

Wise and l e a d e r s o f the Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f America met wi t h W i l l i a m Fi l dermann i n l a t e A p r i l , was v i s i t i n g

the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Fi l dermann agai n caut i oned

Wise not t o send a commission to Roumania. t h a t Roumanian Jewry would have t o vi vendi

1926, w h i l e he

He contended

reach some modus

wi t h t he home government and t h a t f o r f o r e i g n Jews

to i n t e r f e r e

in t h e domestic a f f a i r s

o f a n ot h e r count r y

would on l y cause i nc r e a s e d r ese nt ment among the n a t i v e population.

He o u t l i n e d the course o f a c t i o n which he

hoped would "break t he back" o f the a n t i - S e m i t i c movement in Roumania.

^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 / 7 / 2 6 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1926 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . For a copy of the memorandum pr es ent ed to T i t u l e s c u , see, Ma r s ha l l to T i t u l ­ escu, 1 / 5 / 2 6 , in R e z n i k o f f , Louis M a r s h a l l , volume 2, pp. 651-655.

222

He reasoned t h a t i n the up-corning gener al i n Roumania,

schedul ed f o r November or December,

should not put up any c a n d i d a t e s o f t h e i r own, against a l l

anti-Jewis h candidates,

c ita tio n of a ll addition

parties

to v o t e s ,

campaign f u nds ,

1926, Jews

but work

thus i n v i t i n g

the s o l i ­

opposed to t he government.

t he v a r i o u s p a r t i e s

If,

in

coul d be assured of

Fi l der mann b e l i e v e d t he a n t i - S e m i t e s would

l ose the e l e c t i o n . Semi t es,

elections

To t h r o t t l e

e c o n o mi c a l l y t he a n t i -

Fi l der mann espoused a pl an t o suppor t w i t h l o a n s ,

the n o n - B r a t i a n u

( t h e Prime M i n i s t e r ' s )

gi ve t he " democr at i c"

banks,

and t h e r e b y

elements a chance t o come to power.

The annexed r e gi o ns o f Roumania p r e v i o u s l y depended on Vi enna,

Berlin,

credit.

Now,

and S t .

Pet e r s bur g banki ng houses f o r

these r egi ons were w i t h o u t c r e d i t or beholden

to t he B r a t i a n u banks, o f B r a t i a n u and hi s

and t h i s

f o l l o w e r s .

25

resulted

in t he domi nat i on

Fildermann's

di d hel p to d e f e a t some a n t i - S e m i t i c hi s fundi ng scheme was not f r u i t f u l

pr oposal s

candidates;

however,

because no f o r e i g n

Lowenthal to Wise, 9 / 1 / 2 5 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r #6, Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary; Lowenthal to Wise, 2 / 2 3 / 2 6 , Marvin Lowenthal f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , se c ­ t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; American Com­ m i t t e e on the Ri ght s o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s , Roumania: Ten Years L a t e r , pp. 1 5 - 1 7 .

223 i n v e s t o r s were w i l l i n g

to r i s k pr e c i ou s c a p i t a l

in a

co un t r y whose economy was in t u r m o i l . Duri ng t he l a t t e r grew worse f o r

the Jews o f Roumania.

Roumania v i s i t e d

the United States

Jewish Congress c a l l e d S e mi t e s .

A petition

leaders c a ll e d nothing.

h a l f of 1926,

the s i t u a t i o n onl y When Queen Mar i e of

in Oc t o b e r ,

1926, the

upon her to r e p u d i a t e the a n t i -

si gned by Wise and numerous C h r i s t i a n

on the Queen t o i n t e r v e n e ;

t he Queen di d

As she t r a v e l l e d about t he U n i t e d S t a t e s ,

new

out br ea ks o f v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t the Jews e r u p t e d . A n t i - S e m i t i c de monst r a t i ons among Roumanian s t u ­ dents were p a r t i c u l a r l y

pronounced.

murdered w h i l e a t t e n d i n g the t r i a l ber o f st ude nt s a r r e s t e d disturbances. liament,

A Jewish s t ude nt was i n C z e r n o v i t z o f a num­

f o r t a ki ng p a r t in a n t i - J e w i s h

Meyer Ebner, a deputy in t he Roumanian Par ­

br ought t he a t t e n t i o n o f t h i s

colleagues.

The a n t i - S e m i t e s

i n c i d e n t to hi s

in P a r l i a m e n t cl ai med t h a t

the Jews were pr ov ok i ng Roumanian st udent s excesses.

At t he same t i m e ,

Senat or Karl

duced t he m a t t e r in the Roumanian Sena t e. t he I n t e r i o r , the Jews.

to commit Kl uger i n t r o ­ The M i n i s t e r of

V i n c e n t Goga, blamed t he " f o r e i g n e r s , "

The o f f i c i a l

i.e.,

newspaper o f t he Union o f Roumanian

Jews was c o n f i s c a t e d and Jewish st ude nt s were a t t a c k e d by

224 r o v i n g bands o f st udent s on t he s t r e e t s o f C z e r n o v i t z and L i pov a.

On November 29,

student organizations Jassy.

1926,

5,000 delegates

representing

t h r o ugh ou t t he c o u n t r y assembled in

Jewish passengers in r a i l r o a d

cars were l i t e r a l l y

thrown out o f the windows from the moving t r a i n s students;

in Bucharest,

a number o f Jews were h o s p i t a l i z e d

a f t e r bei ng mugged and beaten by s t u d e n t s . tan o f Mol davi a

The M e t r o p o l i ­

f u r t h e r enraged t he st udent s when he i ssued

a s t a t e me n t d e c l a r i n g t h a t p r a c t i c a l l y a l l under Jewish c o n t r o l

o f Mol davi a was

and he urged the s t ude nt s to "throw

o f f t he Jewish y o k e . " adjourned,

by the

A f t e r t he s t ude nt conf e r e nce

t he s t u d e n t s ,

Kishineff^and Kalarash,

homeward bound,

rampaged through

d e s t r o y i n g t h r e e synagogues in

Kishineff. The response o f t he Roumanian Government to these i n c i d e n t s was t h r e e f o l d : that s t r i c t turbances;

first,

it

p e r i o d i c a l l y announced

or der s were i ssued to pr e v e n t any f u r t h e r d i s ­ second,

it

blamed t he Jews f o r

the o f f e n s e s .

To

Repor t o f the E x e c u t i v e Committee of t he American Jewish Congress, 2 / 2 0 - 2 7 / 2 7 , D. C. f o l d e r , pp. 1 1 - 1 2 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Committee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; Lowenthal to Wise, 1 2 / 8 / 2 6 , Marvin Lowenthal f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , s e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

225 wit:

t he M i n i s t e r of the I n t e r i o r on December 4,

blamed t he Jewish st udent s of C z e r n o v i t z , students'

and endorsed the

response which he c h a r a c t e r i z e d as "an or ga ni c

movement of the people . trenches."

.

i n the S o v i e t Uni o n. "

once the r i o t i n g o c c u r r e d , or b e l i t t l e d Parliament,

. and an occupat i on of the

The Roumanian Ambassador to Poland blamed the

Jews and " t h e i r a l l i e s

their

Thirdly,

the Roumanian a u t h o r i t i e s denied

i mpor t ance.

In a speech d e l i v e r e d to

the M i n i s t e r o f t he I n t e r i o r e x cl a i me d:

Jews ar e c o mp l a i n i ng . tears?

1926,

They t a l k o f t e a r s .

T h e i r busi nesses are doing w e l l .

"The

What are t h e i r T h e i r t e a r s are

O7

f o r t h e i r meet i ngs. the Uni t e d S t a t e s

.

. .

The Roumanian M i n i s t e r to

responded to t he r i o t s

thusly:

As you . . . see . . . the r e a l event s were not onl y g r e a t l y e x a g g e r a t e d , but p a r t l y i n v e n t e d and put in f a l s e l i g h t by agents o f propaganda, whose purpose is to r ender my count r y odious to American p u b l i c o p i n i o n . . . . I cannot understand how Jews, c l e v e r as they g e n e r a l l y a r e , do not see t h a t , and am a f r a i d t h e r e may be a s e c r e t d e s i r e to provoke more se r i ous d i s ­ t u r b a n c e s , wi t h some bad p o l i t i c a l i n t e n t a g a i n s t Rou­ m a n i a . ^8

27

Report of the E x e c u t i v e Committee o f the American Jewish Congress, 2 / 2 0 - 2 7 , D. C. f o l d e r , pp. 1 4 - 1 5 , Amer i can Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 19161949, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ?A Cretziano f o l d e r , B e r n a r d 6. nary.

t o Cadman, 1 / 3 / 2 7 , George C r e t z i a n o R i c h a r d s Mss, J e wi s h T h e o l o g i c a l Semi ­

226 Upon the r e c e i p t o f Lo wen t ha l ' s a special

conf e r e nce to deal

f e r e n c e met on December 19,

reports.

wi t h t he s i t u a t i o n . 1926,

Wise c a l l e d The con­

in New York and adopted

a r e s o l u t i o n a u t h o r i z i n g t he Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a ­ t i v e Committee to c a l l

p r o t e s t meetings t hr oughout the

Uni t ed S t a t e s .

St e u e r o f the American Jewish Con­

Max D.

gress urged t h a t the Uni t ed S t a t e s government be c o nt a c t e d to p r o t e s t t he t r e a t m e n t o f t he Jews and o t h e r m i n o r i t i e s in Roumania.

His

the Uni t ed S t a t e s attendance.

pl an was opposed by Jewish

members of

House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s who were i n

R e p r e s e n t a t i v e Adolph Sabath o f Chicago

insisted that this

course o f a c t i o n should not be f o l l o w e d

unless a b s o l u t e l y ne c e s s a r y .

"The p o l i c y of Congress, "

he

declared, is not o v e r f r i e n d l i n e s s toward i n t e r f e r e n c e wi t h con­ d i t i o n s abroad and I am a f r a i d t h a t i f we wer e, a t t h i s t i m e , to make any move i t might not meet wi t h suc­ cess. I ' d r a t h e r w a i t u n t i l t he ti me i s r i p e to make such a p r o t e s t . Sabath was al s o o p t i m i s t i c

th at conditions

would improve i n t he near f u t u r e .

in Roumania

R e p r e s e n t a t i v e Meyer

J a c o b s t e i n o f Rochest er s a i d : As Jews in t he American Congress, i t would not onl y be i mproper but harmful to our Jewish cause to make a p r o t e s t a g a i n s t the a t r o c i t i e s in Roumania. Judge J u l i a n Mack supported t he p r o t e s t a c t i o n ,

but

227 t hought i t more a d v i s a b l e i f the f o r e f r o n t .

pr omi nent C h r i s t i a n s were in

J a c o b s t e i n p r e d i c t e d t h a t no t h i n g would be

accompl i shed as t he American peopl e were " r a t h e r out of patience with m i n o r i t i e s . Steuer's

proposal

.

.

."

The Conference r e j e c t e d

but a u t h o r i z e d t he p l a n n i n g o f a p r o t e s t

meet i ng to be he l d on January 2,

on

1 92 7. ' " '

The mass p r o t e s t meet i ng was a t t e n d e d by 3 , 5 0 0 d e l e g a t e s a t t he Hotel written

by Max J.

Ast or i n New Yor k.

Kohl er o f t he B' n a i

A resolution,

B r i t h was adopted

which urged t he S t a t e Department to make r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s to Roumania on b e h a l f of a l l c o u n try .

Haven,

30

t he m i n o r i t i e s

in t h a t

Ot her meetings took pl ace in C l e v e l a n d ,

Detroit,

San F r a n c i s c o ,

Rochester,

New

and Camden, New

Jersey. A d e l e g a t i o n from t h e American Jewish Congress, by Rabbi

Wise,

January 13,

met w i t h S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e

1927,

led

Kel l ogg on

and pr es ent ed t he S e c r e t a r y w i t h

^Of h e New York T i me s , 1 2 / 2 0 / 2 6 , I s r a e l i t e , 1 2 / 3 0 / 2 6 , p. 4.

p.

10;

The American

OOThe New York T i me s , 1 / 3 / 2 7 , p. 10; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 / 6 / 2 7 , p. 5; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 / 6 / 2 7 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1927 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a ­ t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Society.

228

resolutions

from t h e January 2 mass p r o t e s t me e t i n g .

urged Kel l ogg to t a k e such a c t i o n , mat i c d i g n i t y , "

" c o m p a t i b l e wi t h d i p l o ­

to impress upon the Roumanian government

t he se r i o us nes s o f t he s i t u a t i o n .

Kel l o gg promised Wise

t h a t he would gi v e the m a t t e r s e r i o u s a t t e n t i o n , after

a careful

st udy had been made,

and t h a t

he would a c t .

agai n c o n f e r r e d w i t h S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s ar y 12,

and urged them to act w i t h a l l

later

31

Wise

on Febr u­

deliberate

The C h i e f of t he D i v i s i o n o f Near East er n A f f a i r s , l and Shaw,

Wise

speed. G. How­

r e p o r t e d t h a t Kel l ogg r e f u s e d to do any­

t h i n g about the s i t u a t i o n

because

formal r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s addressed by us to a f o r e i g n government c o nce r n i ng the i n t e r n a l a f f a i r s o f t h a t f o r e i g n government were e n t i r e l y i n a d mi s s a b l e and would d o ub t l e s s do more harm than good i n any e v e n t . The S e c r e t a r y s t r e s s e d the f a c t t h a t i n t e r n a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e i n such ma t t e r s was p e r f e c t l y c l e a r . We coul d not send a note to Roumania r e g a r d i n g the t r e a t ­ ment o f the Jews i n t h a t c o u n t r y . 32 Kel l o gg di d promise Wise t h a t he would c a l l

in the Rou­

manian M i n i s t e r and show him the Jewish Congress

The New York Ti mes, 1 / 1 4 / 2 7 , p. 8; The American I s r a e l i t e , 1/ 2 0 / 2 7 , p. 8; Report o f the E x e c u t i v e Commit­ t ee to the Ameri can Jewish Congress, 2 / 2 0 - 2 7 / 2 7 , D. C. f o l d e r , p. 13, American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, Execu­ t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Soci e t y . 32

tions

U n i t e d S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s , 1927, volume 3,

Forei gn R e l a ­ pp. 6 3 8 - 6 4 0 .

229 r e s o l u t i o n o f January 2, and e x p l a i n

its

Kel l ogg di d as he promi sed;

he "made i t

however,

c l e a r t h a t he was not making o f f i c i a l

significance.

representations

e i t h e r to t he Roumanian Government or to Mr. Cretziano

retorted

Cretziano."

33

t h a t t he American M i n i s t e r in Bucharest

could c o n t r a d i c t t he "exagger at ed s t o r i e s " being c i r c u l a t e d .

perfectly

which were

Kel l ogg then showed him the Jewish Con­

gress r e s o l u t i o n and the M i n i s t e r

left.

Rebuff ed by the S t a t e Depar t ment , Jewish Congress leaders

cont i nue d t o seek a s o l u t i o n .

Marvi n Lowenthal

r e p o r t e d t h a t Luci en Wolf o f the J o i n t Forei gn Committee was c o n t e mp l a t i n g an appeal wel l

to t he League o f Nat i ons as

as a st r ong p r o t e s t to t he Roumanian a u t h o r i t i e s .

Leon Mot zki n and Nahum Sokolow o f the Committee of Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s wrote a s e p a r a t e memorandum to the League ask­ i ng t h a t body to i n t e r v e n e w i t h t he Roumanian government on b e h a l f o f the Jewish m i n o r i t y . t h a t t he case " i s legal

s e nse . "

33l b i d .,

34

not good e n o u g h - - o f course in a p u r e l y

He al s o b e l i e v e d t h a t

p.

Wolf l a t e r wr ot e Wise

the Mot zki n memorandum

640.

3^Lowenthal to American Jewish Congress, 1 / 8 / 2 7 , 1 / 1 7 / 2 7 , Marvin Lowenthal f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congr egat i on f i l e , s e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

230 to t he League would have no e f f e c t , do g r e a t harm i f

rejected.

a bad slump.

.

. .

and,

"Our c r e d i t

[When] you appeal

moreover, would in Geneva w i l l

get

to Geneva, you burn

your boats and l eave y o u r s e l f t he chance o f a p o s s i b l e 'Pyyrhic'

v i c t o r y and not hi ng more.

. . . "

35

Wolf di d

endorse the mass p r o t e s t meetings hel d t hr oughout the Uni t ed St a t e s under t he auspi ces o f t he American Jewish Congress. Louis M a r s h a l l , Committee, gr e s s .

P r e s i d e n t o f the American Jewish

depl ored t he t a c t i c s

He b e l i e v e d t h a t

o f t he American Jewish Con­

shaki ng your f i s t

" under the nose

of your opponent , " and h o l di n g mass meetings in " d e nu nc i a ­ t i o n o f him" onl y i n j u r e d t he cause "which we ar e seeki ng to f u r t h e r . "36

He c h a s t i z e d those in t he Congress who

wished to l a y t he ma t t e r be f or e P r e s i d e n t Cool i dge or Senat or W i l l i a m Borah, tions

Committee;

he reminded them t h a t the American gover n­

ment could do l i t t l e , authorities,

chairman o f the Senate Forei gn R e l a ­

if

anything,

to pr essur e the Roumanian

si nce the Uni t ed S t a t e s chose not to be a

^^Wolf to Wise, J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #3, Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. ■^^Marshall to Ulmer, 1 / 2 9 / 2 7 , M a r s h a l l , volume 2, pp. 6 5 7 - 6 5 9 .

Bernard G.

in R e z n i k o f f ,

Louis

231

guarantor of mino rit y r i g h t s . any e x i s t i n g occurred.

treaty

Moreover,

no v i o l a t i o n s of

between the two c o u n t r i e s

had

o7

The P r e s i d e n t o f the American Jewish Committee t hought i t In r e t u r n credit

wise to ar r ange some qui d pro quo w i t h Roumania. f o r cur r ency s t a b i l i z a t i o n

in American banks, Ma r s hal l

loans and p r e f e r r e d

expect ed Roumania to

curb t he s t u d e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n s and l i b e l o u s a g a i n s t the Jews.

At a conf er ence wi t h

M i n i s t e r to the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

press a t t a c k s

the Roumanian

a t which Max S t e u e r o f the

Jewish Congress and W i l l i a m Nelson Cromwel l ,

P r e s i d e n t of

Fr i ends o f Roumania,

protested

al so a t t e n d e d ,

Ma r s ha l l

the p e r s e c u t i o n s o f hi s c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s . ano t h a t

if

Roumania was e v e r to s t a b i l i z e

had to have the necessar y c a p i t a l , would not r i s k where c i v i l

substantial

her economy,

it

and American i n v e s t o r s

amounts o f money in a count r y

d i s t u r b a n c e s were ever yday o c c u r r e n c e s .

Roumanian M i n i s t e r assured Ma r s hal l preventive

He t o l d C r e t z i ­

and the ot he r s

st eps were bei ng impl emented,

The that all

and t h a t a l l

o f f e n d e r s would be punished s e v e r e l y .

37lbid. 38Marshall to Cromwell, 3 / 1 0 / 2 7 , M a r s h a l l , vol ume 2, pp. 6 6 1 - 6 6 2 .

in

Reznikoff,

Loui

232

Steuer r e l a t e d M a r s h a ll 's Rabbi

rejected Marshall's

beliefs

to Wise.

t h e s i s and C r e t z i a n o ' s

The promi ses.

At the Jewish Congress conve nt i on

hel d i n Washi ngton,

Wise t o l d

t h a t t he l i f e

t he assembled d e l e g a t e s

o f the Jews

in Roumania had become one of "mi ser y and calumny, oppr essi on and shame. "39

The Jewish Congress,

would c o n t i n u e to p r o t e s t p u b l i c l y , awa i t e d f a c t - f i n d i n g

D. r . ,

of

he s t a t e d ,

and t h a t t he l o n g -

commission to Roumania would soon be

leaving. Fi l der mann s t i l l if

one was to be s e n t ,

opposed t he commi ssi on' s coming; he di d not t h i n k

i n c l u d e any Jews s i n c e i t

it

wise f o r i t

to

would c o n s t i t u t e an a d d i t i o n a l

embarrassment to t he home government and an embarrassment to the Roumanian Jews i f

t he r e s u l t s

di d not bear out t he a l l e g a t i o n s . ^ ^

of the i n v e s t i g a t i o n The d e p u t a t i o n con­

s i s t e d o f pr omi nent Ameri can C h r i s t i a n s - - D r . At ki nson o f t he World A l l i a n c e shi p through the Churches, t he Soci al

Act i on

for

International

Friend­

the Reverend R. A. McGowan of

Department o f t he N a t i o n a l

39j h e American

Henry A.

I s r a e l i t e , 3/3/27,

p.

Catholic

1.

^ ^ L o w e n t h a l t o W i s e , 5 / 2 4 / 2 7 , i n p o s s e s s i o n o f Mrs Ruth R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t he J e wi s h I n f o r m a t i o n B u r e a u .

233 Welfare

Conf er ence,

t he Reverend John B.

tarian

m i n i s t e r o f New York,

terian

m i n i s t e r from F u l l e r t o n ,

Jezequel , P a r i s

Dr.

Lathrop,

Graham H u n t e r , California,

a Pr esby­

and Jul es

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t he Church Peace Union.

The Commission e n t e r e d Roumania a t the i n v i t a t i o n group o f Roumanian p r e l a t e s situation.

a Uni­

of a

to i n v e s t i g a t e t he gener al

They proceeded w i t h a b s o l u t e l y no p u b l i c i t y

and compl eted t h e i r work in two months. A t k i n s o n , whose sympathy l a y w i t h Roumania, conditions ordinary

better

than he had ex pe c t e d .

st andar ds o f j u s t i c e

bad even now."

41

and f a i r

"But measured by dealing,

Though hi nder ed i n t h e i r

because t hey di d not speak the n a t i v e

found

t hey are

investigation

l anguage,

the com­

mi s s i o n e r s were s u r p r i s e d t h a t t he wor l d should have " t o l e r a t e d such c o n d i t i o n s . "

They found the Jews of Rou­

mania enough u n i t e d and a l i v e

to t he problems to handl e

them;

p e r s e c u t i o n o f t he Jews in the pr ov i nc es was worse

than i n

the maj or c i t i e s .

onl y s p o r a d i c , fall

V i o l e n c e toward t he Jews was

and t he i n v e s t i g a t o r s opi ned t h a t w i t h the

o f t h e Averescu government and t he e l i m i n a t i o n o f the

4TAtkinson to Lowenthal, 7 / 1 / 2 7 , in possession o f Mr s. Ruth R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New Yor k C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t h e J e w i s h I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

234 Cuza and Goga gr oups, attributed

i t would be s t e a d i l y

less.

They

the d e c l i n e in v i o l e n c e to t h r e e f a c t o r s :

(1)

t he s y s t e m a t i c compaign c a r r i e d on f o r sever al y e a r s a g a i n s t the Jews have so i n t i m i d a t e d them t h a t they absent themselves i n l a r g e p a r t from the u n i v e r s i t i e s and p u b l i c l i f e ;

(2)

t he v i r u l e n c e o f t he campaign has r e a c t e d u n f a v o r ­ a b l y on Roumanian p r e s t i g e abroad;

(3)

the promises o f the L i b e r a l P a r t y to c e r t a i n groups o f Jewish vo t e r s in t he summer o f 1927 have br ought some c e s s a t i o n of a n t i - J e w i s h e x c e s s e s . 42 Less than f o u r months had passed s i n c e the r e t u r n

o f the f a c t - f i n d i n g new a t t a c k s Ja s s y , tive

commission to t he Uni t ed St a t e s when

upon Jews occur r ed in Cradea,

and o t h e r c i t i e s .

Mare,

Kluj,

The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a ­

Committee deci ded to meet the new a t t a c k s

by again

4^Baldwin t o Lowent hal , 6 / 1 1 / 2 7 , Richards to Wise, 7 / 2 0 / 2 7 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. For a complete r e p o r t , c o n s u l t . The American Committee on the Rights o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s , Roumania: Ten Years L a t e r , ( Bost on, 1 9 2 8 ) , passi m; "The I n d e x , " ( Mar ch- Apr i 1 , 1 9 2 8 ) , passi m. The Roumanian embassy in t he Uni t e d S t a t e s i ssued an answer to the r e p o r t of t he American Committee on the Ri ght s o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s . I t emphasized t h a t t he d e p u t a t i o n onl y t a l k e d to r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of m i n o r i t y groups whose l and had been e x p r o p r i a t e d ; moreover, i t di d not c o n f e r w i t h o t h e r s who had i n v e s t i g a t e d c o n d i t i o n s in Roumania and found them to be s a t i s f a c t o r y , p a r t i c u l a r l y . S i r Edward Drummond o f the League o f N a t i o n s . See Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 2 / 7 / 2 7 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ m i t t e e Mi n u t e s , 1927 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jew­ ish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

235 ar ousi ng p u b l i c o p i n i o n . citizen

Moreover, s i nce now an American

had been a t t a c k e d ,

i t was b e l i e v e d t h a t t he S t a t e

Department would be more r esponsi ve to make o f f i c i a l resentations

to the Roumanian government.

rep­

Max Eckmann

suggested t h a t t he members o f t he American Committee on t he Ri ght s of R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s who had served on the f a c t - f i n d i n g commission accompany Jewish Congress l e a d e r s to the S t a t e deaf e a r s .

D e p a r t m e n t . ^3

Eckmann's suggest i ons f e l l

on

The Jewish Congress decided t h a t more v i s i t s

to t he S t a t e Department would accompl ish n o t h i n g ;

rather,

the Jewish Congress must s t r e s s mass p r o t e s t r a l l i e s as t h a t hel d a t Town H a l l

to condemn t he Roumanians.

S i mu l t a n e o u s l y w i t h t he r a l l y

a t Town H a l l ,

a protest

meet i ng was t a k i n g pl ace a t Cooper Union H a l l , Louis Mar shal l

such

a t which

urged mode r a t i on.

To a very g r e a t e x t e n t , a l l we can do is to i n d i c a t e to the worl d . . . where the e n l i g h t e n e d o p i n i o n of the American peopl e s t ands. . . . We must never f a i l to be on t he a l e r t , but a t the same t i me we must be moderate i n our speech. . . . The most courageous man i s not t he one who f i g h t s . He i s t he one who faces the f a c t s and meets them i n t e l l i g e n t l y . 44

43Admin i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 2 / 1 3 / 2 7 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1927 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 44jhe Israel

ite ,

New

York

12/22/27,

Times, p.

7.

12/19/27,

p.

12; T h e A m e r i c a n

236 When a j o i n t

r e s o l u t i o n was i n t r o d u c e d in the House

o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s on December 12,

1927, condemning the

new di s t u r b a n c e s and the l a c k o f government response, shall it.

urged i t s

sponsor.

Congressman S i r o v i c h ,

Mar­

to wi t hdr aw

He t o l d S i r o v i c h t h a t such r e s o l u t i o n s were f u t i l e ,

and i nfor med him o f hi s correspondence wi t h C r e t z i a n o in which C r e t z i a n o o u t l i n e d hi s gover nment ' s pr oposal s to stop the d i s t u r b a n c e s . Marshall's however,

lackey,

Sirovich,

not w i l l i n g

to appear as

r e f u s e d to wi t hdr aw t he r e s o l u t i o n ;

he wat er ed down i t s

no i mport ance in a l l e v i a t i n g

tone.

The r e s o l u t i o n was of

the c o n d i t i o n o f Roumanian

J e wr y .^5 Differences

between the American Jewish Committee

and the American Jewish Congress were s k i l l f u l l y by the Roumanian ambassador, Mar shal l

into thinking that

would curb the s t u d e n t s '

George C r e t z i a n o .

exploited He l u l l e d

a t l a s t t he home government

excesses;

Ma r s hal l

wrote C r e t z i ­

ano ; I t seems to me t h a t a g r e a t o p p o r t u n i t y is now p r e ­ sented to the Roumanian Government to set i t s e l f r i g h t

^^Marshal l to C r e t z i a n o , 1 2 / 1 9 / 2 7 , in R e z n i k o f f , Louis Marshal 1 , volume 2, pp. 6 6 5 - 6 6 6 ; Richards to Sherman, 1 / 1 1 / 2 8 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1928 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ m i t t e e , 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

237 i n t he eyes o f t he wor l d and to b r i n g about a r eal union of h e a r t s and minds between t h e Jews and nonJews o f Roumani a. 46 Having calmed M a r s h a l l ,

C r e t z i a n o t u r n e d hi s a t t e n t i o n

the American Jewish Congress.

He i n v i t e d

t he o f f i c e r s

to of

t he U n i t e d Roumanian Jews o f Ameri ca to come to Washing­ ton to c o n f e r w i t h him. told

When i t s

President,

Leo Wol fson,

the Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee o f the

invitation,

t he Committee was opposed to i t s

because o f the

"consistent a t titu d e

acceptance

o f p r o t e s t which was

p r e v i o u s l y t a ken a g a i n s t t he Roumanian Government, .

.

. t he o f f e n s i v e

in l e t t e r s determined, finally

written

references

t o t he Jews which were made

by C r e t z i a n o .

however,

and

.

.

. "4?

Wolfson was

to meet w i t h C r e t z i a n o ,

gave gr udgi ng a c c e p t a n c e .

and Wise

Wise di d e x a c t a

promise from Wolfson t h a t t he Jewish Congress would help to f o r m u l a t e t he demands to be gi ven to C r e t z i a n o .

4 6 Ma r s h a l l to C r e t z i a n o , 1 2 / 1 9 / 2 7 , Louis M a r s h a l l , volume 2, pp. 6 6 5 - 6 6 6 .

48

in R e z n i k o f f ,

47&dmini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 3 / 1 / 2 2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1928 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

48ibid.

238 On March 14,

1928,

Wolfson pr esent ed a s e r i e s of

demands to the Roumanian Ambassador which conformed to p r e ­ vious demands made by t he Jewish Congress to Roumanian officials.

They were:

(1)

D i s s o l u t i o n o f the C h r i s t i a n St udent s N a t i o n a l Uni on, "whose s o l e r a i s o n d ' e t r e i s to propogate a n t i - S e m i t i sm"; ( 2 ) An open door to t he u n i v e r s i t i e s and t r a d e schools in Roumania and p r o t e c t i o n w h i l e i n a t t e n da n c e to t he Jewish s t u d e n t s ; ( 3 ) A b o l i t i o n o f the C h r i s t i a n St udent s N a t i o n a l Day, December 10, because t h i s h o l i d a y [ c e l e b r a t i o n ] in t he p a s t , "has been conve r t ed i n t o c r i m i n a l acts o f v i o l e n c e a g a i n s t u n o f f e n d i n g Jewish s t u ­ d e nt s . . . ( 4 ) The ad op t i on o f a moderate a t t i t u d e on the pa r t s of t he r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the Churches toward the Jews ; ( 5 ) The Roumanian Government shoul d g r a n t i t s Jewish i n h a b i t a n t s a t a l l times t he " f u l l e s t a d m i n i s t r a ­ t i v e p r o t e c t i o n . . . ."49 C r e t z i a n o assured t he d e l e g a t i o n t h a t i t s met.

In r e t u r n ,

demands would be

he asked the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

American Jewry to expr ess themsel ves rency s t a b i l i z a t i o n

o f Roumanian-

i n f a v o r of the c u r ­

loan which Roumania was n e g o t i a t i n g .

In a s t a t e me nt r e l e a s e d to t he p r e s s ,

l e a d e r s o f the Uni t ed

Roumanian Jews o f Ameri ca expr essed t h e i r appr oval loan.

The Jewish Congress,

despite denials

of the

by Wise,

49" Repor t o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to the Del egat es o f t he American Jewish Congr ess, " n . d . , in posses sion o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

239 approved t he purposes o f the l o a n ,

as did Louis Ma r s hal l

o f the American Jewish Committee. Not a l l

i n t he American Jewish Congress approved of

t he n e g o t i a t i o n s wi t h C r e t z i a n o .

Bernard G. Ri chards

expr essed doubt as to how much t he Roumanians could be trusted,

and warned t h a t the Jews of America should be

wary o f being used as pawns by t he Roumanians.

Zvi

Aber-

son o f t he Jewish Congress' s Geneva Bureau was adamantly opposed to the whole e pi sode.

He noted t h a t the Uni t ed

Roumanian Jews o f America i n f e r r e d " t h a t t h e r e ar e no trea ty obligations entered

and l e g a l

guar ant ees p r e v i o u s l y

i n t o and e s t a b l i s h e d . "

Moreover,

c o r d i a l e di d not t ake i n t o c o n s i d e r a t i o n interests

o f t he Jewish c i t i z e n s

the newly a c q u i r e d t e r r i t o r y B e s s a r a b i a . "51

Irving

like

this

entente

"t he uneven

o f t he ol d count r y and T r a n s y l v a n i a and

Finernan, a Jewish Congress member

SQj h e New York Ti me s , 5 / 2 6 / 2 8 , p. 4, 5 / 2 7 / 2 8 , sec­ t i o n 2, p. 5. In a l e t t e r to L i n l e y V. Gordon, S e c r e t a r y o f t he American Committee on the Ri ghts o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s , Louis Ma r s hal l wr ot e : "We cannot help them [ t h e Jews o f Roumania] i f by our a c t i o n t he bread which t hey seek i s t ur ned i n t o a stone because of the w o r t h l e s s ­ ness o f t he n a t i o n a l c u r r e n c y . . . ." Ma r s hal l to Gordon, 5 / 2 1 / 2 8 , in R e z n i k o f f , Louis M a r s h a l l , volume 2, pp. 671672. 51 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 9 / 2 7 / 2 8 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1928 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 ,

240 who had j u s t

r e t u r n e d from Roumania, warned t he Admi ni ­

s t r a t i v e Committee t h a t t he a u t h o r i t i e s agai n to use a n t i - S e m i t i s m should a p o l i t i c a l

situation

The s i t u a t i o n while;

however,

in e a r l y

1929,

.

.

"would not s c r u p l e

. f o r t h e i r own v i l e

call

ends

for it." ^ ^

i n Roumania di d improve f o r a sh or t

a d i s a s t r o u s fami ne ov er t ook the count r y and, j u s t as Fineman p r e d i c t e d ,

manian Government did not hi ng to q u e l l t urbances which f o l l o w e d .

the Rou­

anti-Jewish

dis­

Rumors ran rampant t h a t Jews

were hoar di ng g r a i n and o t h e r f o o d s t u f f s

until

prices

rose,

The Jewish Congress and Roumanian-American Jewish groups o r ga ni z e d the Uni t ed Emergency R e l i e f Committee f o r the Famine S t r i c k e n Jews i n Bessar abi a to r a i s e $ 5 00 , 0 0 0 to a s s i s t the s u f f e r i n g Jews.

In May,

1929,

Wise

c o n f e r r e d wi t h C r e t z i a n o and demanded t h a t t he Roumanian Government adhere to i t s

agreement w i t h

the Uni t ed Rou­

manian Jews o f Ameri ca.

C r e t z i a n o agai n assured Wise t h a t

American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ tee Me e t i n g , 1 / 1 7 / 2 9 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi nut e s, 1929 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Society. ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 7 / 1 7 / 2 8 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1928 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

241

Roumania i nt ended t o do a l l

t h a t she had promi sed; y e t ,

the e f f e c t s o f t he fami ne and t he u n s t a bl e economic c o n d i ­ t i o n s l e d t he Maniu regime to f o s t e r a n t i - J e w i s h excesses in t he hope o f r e l i e v i n g government.

Anti-Semitic

t he p o l i t i c a l

pr essur e on the

d i s t u r b a n c e s occur r ed in Bucha­

r e s t and K1aussenberg, and Roumanian st udent s a t t e n d i n g a convent i on in Cr ai ova , newspaper o f f i c e

stormed and demolished a Jewish

and Jewish shops,

and mugged Jewish

d e p u t i e s o f the Roumanian P a r l i a m e n t . t hese a t t a c k s was t he C h r i s t i a n

In t he f o r e f r o n t of

Students N a t i o n a l

Uni on,

under t he l e a d e r s h i p of P r o f e s s o r Cuza, which had suppos­ e d l y been d i s s o l v e d by t h e pr evi ous ment ai ded and a b e t t e d t h e s t u d e n t s ; transportation

regi me. it

The Govern­

pr ovi ded f r e e

and l o dgi n g f o r the s t u d e n t s .

Moreover,

the M i n i s t e r o f Educat i on added to the b i t t e r n e s s tile

f e e l i n g by c l a i m i n g

and hos­

t h a t the Jews used such occasions

" f o r spr eadi ng d e r o g a t o r y rumors in f o r e i g n c o u n t r i e s . "53

53Report of the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of the American Jewish Congress, 1930 f o l d e r , pp. 5 - 6 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish h i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

242

A new Cul t s

Law was enact ed i n l a t e

d e s p i t e the p r o t e s t s Parliament.

in

1929,

t he Roumanian

The t e a c h i n g o f the Hebrew and Y i d d i s h l a n ­

guage was f o r b i d d e n funds,

o f Jewish d e p u t i e s

Spring,

i n school s w h o l l y suppor t ed by Jewish

because the a u t h o r i t i e s

b e l i e v e d t h a t a knowledge

of t hese l anguages somehow d e t r a c t e d from on e' s l o v e of country.

Too,

increase i t s

the Roumanian government r e f u s e d to

subsi dy to Jewish school s and r e l i g i o u s

i nsti tu tio n s . Jewish Congress l e a d e r s met i n l a t e c o n s i d e r the new s i t u a t i o n .

July,

1930 to

They di scussed two p l a n s :

(1)

making r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s

(2)

c o n f e r r i n g w i t h t he Roumanian Ambassador to the Uni t ed

States,

Carol

A.

Davila.

to the S t a t e Depar t ment ;

A f t e r considerable debate,

and

the

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee opted f o r t h e second p l a n .

Rep­

resentations

would

to t he S t a t e

Depar t ment ,

many b e l i e v e d ,

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g s , 5 / 2 1 / 3 0 , 6 / 1 6 / 3 0 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1930 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ m i t t e e , 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; Report o f t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of t he American Jewish Congress, 1930 f o l d e r , pp. 14, 4 4 - 4 5 , American Jew­ ish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; B e r n s t e i n to Wise, 9 / 1 1 / 3 0 , M i c r o f i l m # 8 8 6 , P h i l i p B. B e r n s t e i n Mss, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

243 accompl ish n o t h i n g .

55

A d e l e g a t i o n o f Jewish Congress

l e a d e r s ar r anged a meeting w i t h D a v i l a on August 13,

1930,

and was to p r e s e n t him w i t h a d e t a i l e d memorandum on con­ ditions

in Roumania.

They se nt Salo Baron,

P r o f e s s o r of

H i s t o r y a t Columbia U n i v e r s i t y and t he Jewish I n s t i t u t e Religion

in New Yor k,

of

to Roumania to i n v e s t i g a t e c o n d i t i o n s

in t h a t c o u n t r y . Baron r e p o r t e d t h a t e c o n o mi c a l l y r u i n e d . the a g r i c u l t u r a l

the Jews o f Roumania were

The Jewish merchant had depended on

p o p u l a t i o n to buy hi s wares;

peopl e were charged usuri ous

i n t e r e s t rates

per c e n t on loans and mor t gages, produce f e l l

on t he wor l d m a r k e t ,

the p r i c e s

s i nce these

o f up to 40 for th e ir

and t he v a l u e of t h e i r

land d e c l i n e d from an average o f $80 to $100 to onl y $16 to $18 an a c r e .

They could not a f f o r d to buy the more

expensi ve pr oducts produced by the Jewish a r t i s a n .

The

Jewish a r t i s a n s were l o s i n g ground to the l a r g e i n d u s t r i e s

S^Some di d not agree w i t h t h i s assessment. Israel Thurman, Vi ce- Chai r man o f t he E x e c u t i v e Committee o f the American Jewish Congress, b e l i e v e d t h a t a n o t h e r meeting wi t h the Roumanian Ambassador would prove even l ess f r u i t ­ f u l than r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s to the S t a t e Depar t ment . How­ e v e r , Wise d i s a g r e e d , and so t he Committee opted f o r an o t h e r meet i ng wi t h D a v i l a . See B l i t z to R i c h a r d s , 8 / 1 / 3 0 , in possession of Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

244 as we l l

as to the number o f s k i l l e d

whose number was s t e a d i l y

rising.

non-Jewi sh cr af tsmen Roumania in a t w e l v e -

y e a r p e r i o d al most quadrupl ed t he number o f t r a d e school s; yet,

t he Jews were almost t o t a l l y

make m a t t e r s worse,

excl uded from them.

the a n t i - S e m i t i c

To

propaganda of the

Cuza s t r a i n was now g i v i n g way to t he more " r o m a n t i c , " racial

a n t i - S e m i t i s m of A do l f

t h a t f aced them,

Hi t i e r .

56

%n s p i t e of a l l

the Jews o f Roumania were d i v i d e d i n t o

numerous f a c t i o n s and could not agree on any concert ed pl an o f a c t i o n . leaders

Baron s t a t e d t h a t the Roumanian-Jewish

suggested t h a t i f

t he American Jewish Congress and

the American Jewish Committee were to i ssue an appeal Jewish u n i t y It

i n Roumania, a u n i t e d f r o n t

for

could be e f f e c t e d .

was deci ded by the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of the Jew­

i sh Congress t h a t the American Jewish Committee be con­ tacted;

Ri char ds opposed the move because he b e l i e v e d t h a t

"such j o i n t that

a c t i o n was not d e s i r a b l e a t t h i s

the v a r i o u s Jewish elements

time and

in Roumania might r ese nt

S b ^ d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 9 / L 0 / 3 0 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s, 1930 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 193 3, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . See a l s o , Salo Baron, The Jews in Roumania, (New York, 1 9 3 0 ) , passi m.

245 any e f f o r t

to i n t e r v e n e

in t h e i r

local

affairs.

The meeting wi t h D a v i l a took pl ace as schedul ed. The Roumanian Ambassador expressed r e g r e t a t the r e c e n t occur r ences and assured t he d e p u t a t i o n t h a t

his government

was t a k i n g " e n e r g e t i c measures" to p r e v e n t f u r t h e r d i s ­ turbances.

Wise pr es ent ed a memorandum to D a v i l a demand­

ing the immediate l i q u i d a t i o n such as the I r o n Guard, the C h r i s t i a n

the Archangel

Students N a t i o n a l

pr essi on of a n t i - J e w i s h to Jewish v i c t i m s ; ities

of a n ti-S e m itic organizations

Union;

Mi chael

League,

and

t he immediate sup­

propaganda; adequate compensation

and a d e c l a r a t i o n from Roumanian a u t h o r ­

t h a t t he government would ensure t he s a f e t y of i t s

Jewish c i t i z e n s . T h e de af e a r s .

Jewish Congress' s demands f e l l

on

In an i n t e r v i e w wi t h the Jewish T e l e g r a p h i c

Agency less than a week a f t e r

hi s meeting w i t h Wise,

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 0 / 9 / 3 0 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1930 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Ri chards was r e l u c ­ t a n t to broach t he s u b j e c t w i t h t he American Jewish Com­ m i t t e e because he f e a r e d t h a t such an o v e r t u r e would d i s ­ r u p t the up-coming American Jewish Congress c o n v e n t i o n . S^Report o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to the American Jewish Congress, 1930 f o l d e r , pp. 1 1 - 1 2 , Amer i ­ can Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; The New York Ti mes, 8 / 1 4 / 3 0 , p. 40; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 8 / 1 9 / 3 0 , pp. 1, 4.

246 Davila

stated:

"We cannot s a c r i f i c e

t he l i v e s o f a l l

the

members o f the Roumanian Government i n o r d e r to p r o t e c t t he Jews."

He d e c l a r e d t h a t a t t empt s on the l i v e s

manian o f f i c i a l s He c o n t i n u e d :

"I

had been made by Roumanian n a t i o n a l i s t s . cannot advi se the Roumanian Government

to t a k e such measures a g a i n s t t he a n t i - S e m i t i c would endanger t he l i v e s

Government enact ed l e g i s l a t i o n Jewish c i t i z e n s .

riots

o f some c a b i n e t members.

Conti nued p r o t e s t s were o f no a v a i l .

of its

o f Rou­

detrimental

.

as .

.

The Roumanian to the w e l f a r e

Even Prime M i n i s t e r Ni chol a s

Gorga, who was t o l e r a n t o f the Jews, was unable to p r e ­ vent rampages by u n i v e r s i t y s t u d e n t s , pensate the v i c t i m s . do a n y t h i n g ; als

though he di d com­

The Jewish Congress was h e l p l e s s

f u r t h e r representations

by Jewish Congress l e a d e r s

59 The Jewish Advocate

to

to Roumanian o f f i c i ­

brought no r e l i e f .

(Boston),

8/19/30,

p.

1

GOpeport o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to the American Jewish Congress, 1 932 f o l d e r , pp. 4 - 5 , Ameri can Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar c hi v es and L i b r a r y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 1 2 / 3 2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

247 The r o o t o f the Jewish mi ser y i n Poland l a y in the economic c i r cu ms t an ce s o f t he newly c r e a t e d s t a t e . markets, trial

particularly

t hose in Ru s si a,

goods and a g r i c u l t u r a l

e x i s t e d due to t he p o l i c i e s er nment ; mor eover ,

Former

fo r Polish indus­

s u r p l u s commodities no l o n g e r established

by the S o v i e t Gov­

t he d i s s o l u t i o n o f t he A u s t r o - H u n g a r i a n

Empire and the economic n a t i o n a l i s m o f t he new or e n l a r g e d states

left

Poland in a very p r e c a r i o u s

economic p o s i t i o n .

The Jews o f Pol and, who had been engaged in commerce and industry, tions.

s u f f e r e d t he most from t h e new economic c o n d i ­

Unable to s e l l

their

products,

t he Jews were a l s o

i n c o m p e t i t i o n w i t h a new c l a s s o f P o l i s h b o u r g e o i s i e which hoped to s u p p l a n t them.Gl About 14 per c e n t o f t he P o l i s h ish, Thus,

and P o l i s h o f f i c i a l s

p o p u l a t i o n was Jew­

sought to l ower t h a t

percentage.

t he Jews o f t he Ukr a i n e and o t h e r p r ov i nc es were

forcibly

expelled

from t he c o u n t r y .

Though t he American

Ha r r y M. Rabi nowi cz, The Legacy o f P o l i s h J e w r y : A H i s t o r y o f P o l i s h Jews in t he I n t e r - W a r Y e a r s , 1 9 1 9 - 1 9 3 9 , (New Y o r k , 1 9 6 5 ) , pp. 6 4 - 7 8 ; A. G. Duker , The S i t u a t i o n of t he Jews i n P o l a n d , (New Yor k, 1 9 3 6 ) , pa s s i m; Raymond L. B u e l l , Pol and; Key to Eur ope, (New Y or k, 1 9 3 9 ) , pp. 120154, 1 5 5 - 1 9 0 , 2 8 8 - 3 1 9 ; Oscar Janowsky, People a t Bay, The Jewish Problem in E a s t - C e n t r a l E ur op e , (New Yor k, 1 9 3 8 ) , pa ssi m; C e l i a H e l l e r , On the Edge o f D e s t r u c t i o n , Jews of Poland Between the Two World War s, (New Yor k, 1 9 7 7 ) , passim.

248 Jewish Congress p r o t e s t e d these a c t i o n s and was gi ven assurances by P o l i s h o f f i c i a l s dat e would be f o r t h c o m i n g , out as o f March 1, ser ve to a l e r t

1923.

t he mass e x p u l s i o n was c a r r i e d Jewish Congress p r o t e s t s did

t he American banki ng community t o the

unstable conditions e x i s t i n g Pol and, t i o n and t r i e d

like

in t h a t c o u n t r y .

62

Roumania, ex per i e nce d a t e r r i b l e

to n e g o t i a t e a c u r r en cy s t a b i l i z a t i o n

i n t he Uni t ed S t a t e s . conditions

t h a t a d e l a y in t he t a r g e t

an agreement

between t he P o l i s h Government and r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s P o l i s h Jewry was reached i n June,

rights

its

loan

To s a t i s f y American bankers t h a t

in Poland were indeed i mp r o v i n g ,

ernment r e a f f i r m e d

infla­

of

1925, whereby t he Gov­

pr evi ous pl edge to guar ant ee the

and s a f e t y of i t s

Jewish c i t i z e n s .

Moreover,

the

Grabski

regime promised t o end t he numerus clausus in edu­

cation;

t he t a x system which pl aced on t he Jews a d i s p r o ­

portionate

share o f t he t a x burden was to be r e s t r u c t u r e d ;

and more s t a t e s u b s i d i e s would be gi ven t o Jewish

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 2 / 7 / 2 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1923 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; E x e c u t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 2 / 1 1 / 2 3 , E x e c u t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1923 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 19161949, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

249 school s . 63 and,

The Jewish Congress welcomed t he agreement ,

upon t he a r r i v a l

United Sta te s, gratulate icy.

it

o f a new P o l i s h ambassador to the

gave a r e c e p t i o n

in hi s honor to con­

the Pol i s h Government f o r i t s

Sai d Joseph Barondess:

enlightened p o l­

"We ar e happy to note t h a t

t he P o l i s h Government has a t l e a s t f e l t

t he i n c o n g r u i t y of

t he pr ev i ous p o l i c y toward the Jews and we welcome wi t h gratification

the agreement which has .

.

. been ent er ed

i n t o . "64 Gratification

t ur ned to d i s a p p o i n t me n t .

Violations

o f t he agreement were r e p o r t e d to the Jewish Congress as early

as J u l y ,

1925.

Barondess proposed anot her meeting

w i t h t he P o l i s h Ambassador,

but t he o t h e r members o f the

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee opposed t h i s

course of a c t i o n

because they b e l i e v e d t h a t not enough ti me had el apsed to make a d e f i n i t e d e t e r m i n a t i o n of the v i a b i l i t y

ment,

o f the

63por a complete t e x t of t he P o l i s h - J e w i s h a g r e e ­ see The American I s r a e l i t e , 1 1 / 1 9 / 2 5 , p. 3.

64The American I s r a e l i t e , 8 / 1 3 / 2 5 , p. 3; Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n gs , 7 / 2 / 2 5 , 7 / 1 6 / 2 5 , A d m i n i s t r a ­ t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Con­ gress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 7 / 2 3 / 2 5 , p. 1; The New York Ti mes, 7 / 2 3 / 2 5 , p. 8; Ri chards to Wise, 7 / 2 4 / 2 5 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r # 9 , Bernard G. Richards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary,

250 agreement .

However,

by Oc t ob e r ,

1925,

r e p o r t s o f non-

compl i ance by t he P o l i s h Government appeared in Ameri canJewish newspapers.

The Grabski

Government was unable to

c o n t i n u e i n power w i t h o u t t he suppor t o f t he Jewish depu­ ties

i n the Sejm.

Joseph P i l s u d s k i

A coup d ' e t a t to power,

in 1926 br ought Ma r s hal l

though he d e c l i n e d to accept

the p r es i de ncy . G5 Pilsudski administration,

was t o l e r a n t o f t he Jews.

many o f t he o l d c z a r i s t laws and ukazes

d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t he Jews were a n n u l l e d ; Yi dd i s h languages were gi ven f u l l

the Hebrew and

r e c o g n i t i o n as l a w f u l

f o r use in p u b l i c speeches and t he pr es s; "polonization"

Under his

t he f o r c ed

of Jews abated somewhat; and Jews were not

d i s c r i m i n a t e d a g a i n s t in t he i ssuance o f t r a d e l i c e n s e s . However,

t he numerus cl ausus in e duca t i on

anti-Semitic

agitation

continued,

remai ned.

the P i l s u d s k i

While

regime

was qui ck to suppress acts o f v i o l e n c e and a r r e s t the offenders.

Actually,

many of t he a t t a c k s on t he Jews were

G^Lowenthal to Wise, 2 / 2 3 / 2 6 , Marvin Lowenthal f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , s e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 0 / 8 / 2 5 , s e c t i o n 2, p. 4; H e l l e r , On the Edge o f D e s t r u c t i o n , pp. 1 2 0 - 1 2 5 ; Bernard K. Johnp o l l , The P o l i t i c s o f F u t i l i t y : The General Jewish Work­ ers Bund of Pol and, 1 9 1 7 - 1 9 4 3 , ( I t h a c a , 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 1431 54.

251

d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t he P i l s u d s k i was a b l e to make t he l i f e he was in i l l - h e a l t h

regime.Though

o f t he Jew t o l e r a b l e

Pilsudski

i n Pol and,

f o r a long t i me and f i n a l l y

di ed in

1935. Pilsudski's

death opened the doors of power to the

openl y a n t i - S e m i t i c Radical

Party,

political

parties

o f the r i g h t .

known as t he Nar as,

weapon; as i n Roumania,

The Na t i o n a l

used a n t i - S e m i t i s m as a the f a s c i s t and a n t i -

Jewish elements aroused t he u l t r a - n a t i o n a l i s t st ude nt groups to act s o f v i o l e n c e . Jews o f Poland was

b

l

e

a

k

I ndeed,

t he o u t l o o k f o r the

.

The w o r l d - w i d e depr essi on a l s o had i t s the economic s i t u a t i o n

i n Poland became more a c u t e ,

too di d t he s i t u a t i o n o f P o l i s h Jewry. a n t i - J e w i s h out br eaks occur r ed wi t h and i n t e n s i t y .

effect.

As

so

Throughout 1932,

i n c r e a s i n g f r equency

The f e r o c i t y o f the new a t t a c k s

had a g a l -

vanazi ng e f f e c t on American Jews; a J o i n t Committee on

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 6 / 2 6 / 2 9 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1929 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . See a l s o , Horace M. Kai l en, F r o n t i ers o f Hope, (New Yor k, 1 9 2 9 ) , pp. 1 4 5 f f ; Raymond B u e l l , Poland: Key to Eur ope, pp. 2 9 7 - 2 9 8 ; Rabino­ w i c z , The Legacy o f P o l i s h J e w r y , pp. 5 0 - 5 2 . G7"Report on the Outbreaks in Pol a n d , " American Jewish C o m mi t t e e / P o l a n d / 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 3 2 .

12/18/31,

252 Poland was c r e a t e d , gress,

c o n s i s t i n g o f t h e American Jewish Con­

t he American Jewish Commi ttee,

P o l i s h Jews in Amer i ca,

t he F e d e r a t i o n of

and t he B ' n a i

Brith.

The American

Jewish Committee was somewhat h e s i t a n t about j o i n i n g because i t

f e a r e d t h a t t he o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n s

p r e s ti g e without i t s

opinions;

S e c r e t a r y o f t he Commi t t ee,

M o r r i s Waldman,

believed th at

wanted i t s Executive

t he Commi t t ee' s

p a r t i c i p a t i o n was w a r r a n t e d so as t o p r e s e n t a u n i t e d f r o n t as w e l l

as p r e v e n t " s e n s a t i o n a l

and i r r e s p o n s i b l e

the p a r t o f t he Jewish bodi es in t h i s

country.

The J o i n t Committee debat ed i t s anti-Jewish t o r Borah, mittee,

disturbances.

Rabbi

.

a c t i o n on .

. "G&

response to the new

Wise suggested t h a t Sena­

Chairman o f t he Senate Forei gn

Relations

Com­

be urged to speak w i t h S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e Henry

Stimson and ask t he S e c r e t a r y to c o n f e r w i t h the P o l i s h Ambassador to the U n i t e d S t a t e s , stated

that this

t he p a s t ,

course o f a c t i o n

and urged i t s

Tytus F i l i p o w i c z .

had been successf ul

a d o p t i o n . 69

^^Waldman to A d l e r , mi t t e e / P o l a n d / 1 931 - 1 9 3 2 .

Wise

12/1/32,

Waldman a g r e e d ,

in and

American Jewish Com-

^^Wise was r e f e r r i n g to hi s meet i ng wi t h S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e Kel l ogg in 1927 a t which he urged Kel l ogg to use hi s i n f l u e n c e w i t h t he Roumanian Ambassador to make him stop the a t t a c k s on Roumanian Jews.

253 Wise c o nt a c t e d Borah.

I t was al s o agreed t h a t a press

r e l e a s e would be i ssued to i nf or m the Jewish p u b l i c t h a t the s i t u a t i o n

was bei ng looked a f t e r ;

mor eover ,

the Amer i ­

can Jewish Committee deci ded t h a t now was t he ti me to p r e ­ sent a j o i n t memorandum to F i l i p o w i c z . Meeti ngs w i t h Borah proved to be i n e f f e c t u a l .

The

S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e was much too busy w i t h Japanese a g g r e s ­ si on i n Manchur i a;

t h e memorandum to F i l i p o w i c z had no

e f f e c t wh at so ev er .

Jewish Congress members wished to have

more mass p r o t e s t me e t i ngs . ever,

Wise was o f the o p i n i o n ,

how­

t h a t mass p r o t e s t meet i ngs would onl y serve to

embarrass t hose " l i b e r a l " b e l i e v e d , were the r e a l The i n a b i l i t y

el ements i n Poland who,

t a r g e t s o f t he s t u d e n t

he

r i o t s .

^0

o f t he American Jewish Congress to

e f f e c t any n o t i c e a b l e change in t he c o n d i t i o n o f East er n European Jewry can be l a i d

to many f a c t o r s .

The Jewish

Congress was unabl e to secure the suppor t of t he S t a t e Department because, States c i t i z e n s

i n al most a l l

were a t t a c k e d .

was wary o f i n t e r f e r i n g c o un t r y unl ess i t

instances,

Too,

t he S t a t e

in the i n t e r n a l

deemed such a c t i o n

no Uni t ed

affairs

Department of anot her

to be i n t he i n t e r e s t

7 0 j o i n t L e t t e r to the P o l i s h Ambassador, American Jewish Commi t t ee / Pol a nd/ 1 931 -1 932.

12/7/32,

254 o f American f o r e i g n r e l a t i o n s . any formal

Thus,

though not making

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s to Roumania, Ambassador P e t e r

Jay was a bl e to t e l l stabilization

Roumanian o f f i c i a l s

t h a t no curr ency

loan could be n e g o t i a t e d unl ess the c o n d i ­

t i o n o f Roumanian Jewry became more t o l e r a b l e . Jewish Congress l e a d e r s must al so t a ke some r espon­ sib ility

f o r t he Congress' s i n a b i l i t y

Lack o f f i n a n c i a l

to e f f e c t u a t e

change,

suppor t o f t e n f o r c e d members o f the

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to r e a c t to c o n d i t i o n s

in East ern

Europe in a way t h a t would b e n e f i t t he Congress a t home as we l l

as t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s

abroad.

I n dee d,

the f a c t ­

f i n d i n g commission to Roumania was s e i z e d upon as a method to gain p u b l i c

r e c o g n i t i o n and to r e l i e v e

Wise o f the odious t a s k o f f u n d - r a i s i n g . funds from wea l t h y American Jews,

Rabbi

Unable to secure

t he Congress was f or ced

to emphasize "dynamic" a c t i o n s to gai n p u b l i c n o t i c e .

The

Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s was c r e a t e d as a temporary body, it

and t he American Jewish Congress sought to t r a n s f o r m

i n t o a permanent i n s t i t u t i o n .

were made to l i n k Jews o f a l l

lands.

From 1925 to 1927,

plans

the American Jewish Congress wi t h the Since most Jews were appr ehensi ve

about convoking a World Jewish Congress, a r e o r g a n i z e d Committee of Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s was the next best t h i n g .

255 Jewish Congress l e a d e r s b e l i e v e d t h a t

the r e o r g a n i z e d Com­

m i t t e e would serve as t he i n s t r u m e n t by which i t

could

cooper at e i n c o n f r o n t i n g t he problems o f European Jewry. Once f u n c t i o n i n g , and i n t e r e s t cil

t he new o r g a n i z a t i o n would a t t r a c t

money

in the American Jewish C o n g r e s s . T h e

Coun­

o f Jewish R i g h t s ,

as i t

came to be c a l l e d ,

a d j u n c t o f the American Jewish Congress;

was but an

t we nt y - on e o f the

f i f t y - o n e members e l e c t e d to the pr a e s i d i um of the Counci l were Jewish Congress

leaders.

Said Wise:

l ook f o r wa r d to American Jewry g i v i n g i t s and m a t e r i a l

suppor t to the Council

Jewish Congress.

.

.

."

"I

confidently

fullest

moral

and to t he American

72

Lowenthal to the American Jewish Congress, S / 7 / 2 6 , Marvi n Lowenthal f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , s e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i ­ cal S o c i e t y . ^^The New York Ti mes, 1 0 / 3 / 2 7 ,

p.

12.

CHAPTER V

AIDING OPPRESSED JEWRY IN THE SOVIET UNION, 1919- 1933

Russian Jewry s u f f e r e d g r e a t ha r dshi ps du r i ng and a f t e r World War I .

Pogroms of unt ol d v i o l e n c e were com­

mon; the East er n f r o n t f l u c t u a t e d ever y t i me the Germans or Russians ge ner at ed an o f f e n s i v e , mi ddl e o f the k i l l i n g , Political

and r e l i g i o u s

disease,

and r u i n were the Jews.

r e p r e s s i o n were ever yday o c c u r ­

rences i n pre- War Russi a. actively

and caught in the

The Czar and hi s s u p p o r t e r s

sought to use the Jews as sc ape goat s ; y e t the

t e r r o r o f t he Black Hundreds never e q u a l l e d t he sus t a i ne d mi ser y o f t he War and i t s Dur i ng the f i r s t tion,

aftermath.^

two year s of the Russian Revol u­

what ever v i o l e n c e was d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t t he Jews was

1 Uni ted St a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s of the Uni t ed S t a t e s , 1919, R u s s i a , Swenson to Com­ m i t t e e to N e g o t i a t e Peace, 5 / 1 4 / 1 9 , p. 133; Salo Baron, The Russian Jews under Tsars and S o v i e t s , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 4 ) , pp. 1 8 7 - 2 0 5 . 256

257 s p o r a d i c and d i s o r g a n i z e d . a n n u l l e d the C z a r i s t ever,

The P r o v i s i o n a l

Government had

laws d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t the Jews;

how­

300 y e a r s o f i n t o l e r a n c e were not er ased by the n u l l i ­

fication

o f l a ws .

German oc cupat i on o f t he Uk r a i n e l e f t

t he Jews i n a t o l e r a b l e tion forces ukazes

situation,

declared null

(directives);

it

German Empire and i t s

f o r t he German occupa­

and voi d many o f t he C z a r ' s

was onl y a f t e r

Ukrainian a l l i e s

t he do wnf al l

o f the

t h a t t he Jews agai n

suffered. The c i v i l

war in t he Ukr ai n e began wi t h a v i c t o r i ­

ous r e v o l t by a D i r e c t o r a t e General

Skoropadski,

by a v i o l e n t

Def e at e d by the B o l s h e v i k s , small

Petlura against

an a p p o i n t e e o f t he Germans,

and suc c e s s f ul

di sbanded i n t o

l ed by General

followed

r e v o l t o f t he B o l s h e v i k s . t he t r oops o f General

groups o f f r e e b o o t e r s

Petlura

and r e b e l s ,

and

t hey roamed t he c o u n t r y s i d e which was supposedl y c o n t r o l l e d by t he B o l s h e v i k s . allies

Civil

war er u p t e d when t he U k r a i n i a n

o f t h e B o l s h e v i k s broke w i t h t he l a t t e r .

The com­

muni sts sought to break up t hese r o v i n g bands, and the more decisively

the t r oops o f P e t l u r a were d e f e a t e d ,

o f t e n t hey began to revenge t h e i r bystanders.

Most o f t e n ,

t he more

l osses on i n n o c e n t

t he i nnocent s were Jews.

many o f t he l e a d i n g Bo l s hev i ks were Jews,

Because

the P e t l u r a

258 forces viks,

t hought t h a t a l l

and vent ed t h e i r rage on the i nnocent c i v i l i a n s .

follow ing describes lence,

Jews were s u pp or t er s o f the Bol she­ The

t he thoroughness o f t he act s o f v i o ­

the b a r b ar i sm o f the p a r t i c i p a n t s ,

and the har dshi p

o f t he v i c t i m s : The gang br eaks i n t o t he t ownshi p, spreads a l l over the s t r e e t s , s e p a r a t e groups break i n t o the Jewish houses, k i l l i n g w i t h o u t d i s t i n c t i o n o f age and sex everybody t hey meet , w i t h the e x c e p t i o n o f women, who are b e s t i ­ a l l y v i o l a t e d b e f o r e t h e y a r e murdered, and men ar e f o r c e d to g i v e up a l l t h e r e i s i n the house b e f o r e they are k i l l e d . . . . E v e r y t h i n g t h a t can be removed i s taken away, the r e s t i s d e s t r o y e d , t h e w a l l s , door s, and windows are broken in search o f money. On one group d e p a r t i n g comes a n o t h e r , and then a t h i r d , u n t i l a b s o l u t e l y not hi ng is l e f t t h a t coul d be t aken away. . . .2 Reports o f the d e t e r i o r a t i n g

conditions

in the

Uk r a i n e and the r e s t of Poland reached t he p l e n i p o t e n t i ­ aries

a t the P a r i s

I gnacz Paderewski

Peace Conf er ence. o f Pol and,

At the r e qu e s t o f

P r e s i d e n t Wi lson appo i nt e d a

commission to i n v e s t i g a t e t h e r e l a t i o n s

between the Jewish

^Uni t ed S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ t i o n s o f t he U n i t e d S t a t e s , 1919, R u s s i a , Polk to S e c r e ­ t a r y o f S t a t e , 1 0 / 2 6 / 1 9 , pp. 7 8 2 - 7 8 3 ; E l i a s H e i f e t z , The S l a u g h t e r o f t he Jews in t h e Uk r a i n e in 1 9 1 9 , (New Yor k, 1 9 2 1 ) , passi m; American Jewish Congress and t he Committee on P r o t e s t A g a i n s t t he Massacre o f Jews in U k r a i n i a and Ot her Lands, The Massacres and Other A t r o c i t i e s Committed A g a i n s t the Jews i n Southern Russi a: A Record I n c l u d i n g O f f i c i a l R e p o r t s , Sworn St at ement s and Ot her Documentary P r o o f , (New Yor k, 1 9 2 0 ) , pp. 1 3 - 1 4 .

259 and non-Jewish p o p u l a t i o n s i n the a r e a . d e l e g a t e s were Henry Morgenthau,

The commission

B r i g a d i e r General

Edgar

Jadwi n, and Homer H. Johnson. Morgent hau' s r e p o r t a f f i r m e d the occur r ence o f the pogroms, as di d Jadwi n' s and Johnson' s. the wrong-doers had gone unpunished. however,

All

agreed t h a t

The commi ssi oners,

di sagr eed on the causes o f the pogroms.

thau a t t r i b u t e d

the a n t i - S e m i t i c out r ages to P o l i s h n a t i o n ­

alists,

economic t u r m o i l ,

social,

and r e l i g i o u s

and a long h i s t o r y o f economic,

discrimination.

i ndul ged in g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s clusions.

Morgen­

Jadwin and Johnson

and p a t e n t l y a n t i - S e m i t i c con­

To w i t :

P o l i s h c i r c l e s have f e l t t h a t some of the d i f f i c u l t i e s exper i enced by t he Jews have r e s u l t e d p a r t i c u l a r l y from t h e i r own a c t i o n s and from c e r t a i n t eachi ngs o f the Old Testament and o t h e r Jewish w r i t i n g s concerni ng Jewish r e l a t i o n s wi t h o t h e r pe opl es. . . . They i n t i m a t e d ,

moreover,

t h a t t he " r e l i g i o u s

the Jews" was a reason f o r t h e i r m a l t r e a t m e n t . the Jews'

separ at i sm of They c i t e d

cl ose connect i on to the synagogue as g i v i n g f u r ­

t h e r impetus to t he s p i r i t

o f " s epa r a t i sm and cl eavage from

the r e s t o f the p o p u l a t i o n . "

Commercial

c o mp e t i t i o n and

^Cyrus A d l e r asked Morgenthau not to p a r t i c i p a t e in t he i n v e s t i g a t i o n f o r f e a r t h a t hi s being a Jew would some­ how d i s t o r t his o b j e c t i v i t y . See Cyrus A d l e r , I Have Con­ s i d e r e d the Days, p. 319.

260

"acquisitiveness"

aroused a c e r t a i n

irritation

amongst the

P o l i s h masses. Jadwin and Johnson c o mp l e t e l y i gnor ed the economic bo y c o t t o f the Jews by the Pol i s h and U k r a i n i a n popul a­ tions.

They a s s e r t e d t h a t the Jews o f Poland and t h e i r

co-religionists

i n o t h e r lands at t empt e d to keep Poland i n

t he s p o t l i g h t o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l afford

t he Jews b e t t e r t r e a t m e n t .

ers c o n t i n u a l l y allies

concern so t h a t Poland would Too, t h e two commission­

r epe at e d t he c l a i m t h a t t he Jews were

of the Bol shevi ks and f r i e n d l y

di d not b o t h e r t o i n c o r p o r a t e which i n v a l i d a t e d

in t h e i r

these c l a i m s .

to Germany; y e t ,

they

r e p o r t evi dence

4

In response to the pogroms, a Committee o f P r o t e s t A g a i n s t the Massacre of Jews in U k r a i n i a , ous f e d e r a t i o n s organized. outrages,

o f P o l i s h and Russi an- Amer i can Jews, was

The Commi ttee' s purpose was to p u b l i c i z e the and,

thus,

put pr essur e on t he P o l i s h government

t o put an end to them. rally

composed of v a r i ­

It

pl anned to hol d a l a r g e p r o t e s t

a t Madison Square Garden even though M a r s h a l l ,

ards and Wise advi sed a g a i n s t i t . believed th at representations

The l a t t e r

to t he S t a t e

^Marshall to P h i l i p s , 11/26/19, Mar shal 1 , vol ume 2, pp. 6 1 2 - 6 2 1 .

in

Ri ch­

three

Department and

Reznikoff,

Louis

261 the American r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s would be more e f f e c t i v e

to t he P a r i s Peace Conference

because t he American Government

would be a b l e to e x e r t pr es sur e on the P o l i s h Mor eover , Ma r s ha l l

leadership.

r e p o r t e d t h a t t he S t a t e Department

gr an t ed per mi ssi on f o r a Jewish commission to go to the Ukr ai ne f o r the purpose o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n shall

and r e l i e f .

Mar­

and Wise deci ded to c o n f e r w i t h the Committee o f Pro­

t e s t to t r y accept,

to persuade i t

instead,

Ukraine.

5

to abandon t he mass meet i ng and

the pl an o f the Jewish commission to the

The two f i n a l l y

convi nced t he Committee to p o s t ­

pone the p r o t e s t r a l l y . When a d e l e g a t i o n o f t he American Jewish Congress p r o t e s t e d to S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e Lansi ng in December, about the cont i nue d a t t a c k s t h a t the Uni t ed S t a t e s

upon the Jews,

1919,

Lansing r e p l i e d

coul d do very l i t t l e .

These out r ages have been known to us, though i n d i r e c t l y . We have c o n s t a n t l y sought ways in which to suppress them i f i t were p o s s i b l e . The d i f f i c u l t y l i e s in the f a c t t h a t Western Rus s i a , p a r t i c u l a r l y Southwestern Russi a, i s i n such a s t a t e of t u r m o i l and anarchy t h a t we have been unabl e even to send a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e t h e r e , because t h e r e has been no s t a b l e government wi t h which to deal . . o . He went on to say t h a t u n t i l

t he p o l i t i c a l

situation

i n the

^Richards to C u t l e r , 1 0 /29 /19, Harry C u t l e r f o l d e r , B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e m i n a r y .

262 U k r a i n e changed, thing;

it

factions deem i t

the U n i t e d S t a t e s was powerl ess to do any­

coul d not reason w i t h the heads o f the w a r r i n g as t hey were o f the " medi eval " t y p e ,

nor di d

it

a d v i s a b l e t o send an i ndependent commission t o

ascertain

the f a c t s . ^

A f t e r L a n s i n g ' s meet i ng w i t h t he Jewish Congress delegation, its

t he Jewish Congress deci ded to go f or wa r d wi t h

pl an t o send a Jewish Commission to the U k r a i n e .

gress l e a d e r s met i n l a t e tives

o f the U k r a i n i a n

t he J o i n t

Distribution

i n t he U k r a i n e , sion.

1919, w i t h

representa­

F e d e r a t i o n o f Jews in America and Commi ttee, whose agents were a l r e a d y

to di scuss

The U k r a i n i a n

December,

t he composi t i on o f the commis­

F e d e r a t i o n wanted men who were known

and t r u s t e d by the Jewish masses t o be a p p o i n t e d , offered

Con­

t he names o f men a f f i l i a t e d DeHaas,

wi t h

its

and i t

organization.

Marshall,

Wi se,

and Bor i s Bogen o f t he J o i n t

Dis­

tribution

Committee emphasized the i mport ance o f sendi ng

"outstanding p e r s o n a l i t i e s

and men," who coul d command the

r e s p e c t o f t he a u t h o r i t i e s

under such d i f f i c u l t

Wise t ook t he r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t he U k r a i n i a n t ask f o r

conditions.

F e d e r a t i o n to

i n s i s t i n g on sendi ng Jews o f U k r a i n i a n a n c e s t r y .

Gf h e New Yor k T i m e s , 1 2 / 1 1 / 1 9 ,

p.

6,

263 Abraham Coral n i c k the U k r a i n i a n

o f t h e Congress agreed wi t h Wise, and

F e d e r a t i o n dropped t he m a t t e r .

then bandied about t he names o f s e v e r a l much h a g g l i n g ensued, and i t was f i n a l l y

The meeting

d i s t i n g u i s h e d Jews; deci ded t o a p po i nt

a commi ttee o f t h r e e - - M a r s h a l 1, Wi se, and Wa r b u r g - - t o come up w i t h a l i s t

o f names.^

The t h r e e coul d not agree and t hey f i n a l l y to l e t

t he J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

on t he scene,

decided

Committee members, a l r e a d y

conduct t he i n v e s t i g a t i o n .

The Commission to

the Ukr ai ne met w i t h g r e a t r e s i s t a n c e from the n a t i v e popu­ lation.

One o f t h e Commissioners was murdered.

the har dshi ps endured,

Despi t e

t he group reached an agreement wi t h

the S o v i e t Government which p e r m i t t e d Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s to send r e l i e f

to t h e i r s t r i c k e n

z a t i o n s merged t h e i r r e l i e f

brethren.

efforts

Jewish o r g a n i ­

w i t h those o f the

American R e l i e f A d m i n i s t r a t i o n under the l e a d e r s h i p of H e r b e r t Hoover. tion; yet

it

The j o i n t

was on l y w i t h

p r o j e c t pr event ed mass s t a r v a ­ the end o f t he c i v i l

S o v i e t c o n s o l i d a t i o n o f power,

war,

the

and i n c r e a s e d p r o d u c t i v i t y

^ R i c h a r d s t o Mack, 1 2 / 2 2 / 1 9 , J u l i a n W. Mack f o l d e r #1, B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e wi s h T h e o l o g i c a l Semi ­ nary.

264 g

t h a t the c o n d i t i o n s o f the Jews improved somewhat. Though the chaos o f t he c i v i l

war subsi ded,

o f S o v i e t Russia stood i n ur ge nt need o f r e l i e f .

the Jews At the

Jewish World R e l i e f Conference hel d in Car l sbad in August, 1924,

Russi an- Jewi sh d e l e g a t e s urged t h e i r c o l l e a g u e s

send a i d as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e . sentatives inviting

Jewish Congress r e p r e ­

to t he Carl sbad meeting endorsed the idea of

a d e l e g a t i o n o f Jewish communal workers from the

S o v i e t Union to the Uni t e d S t a t e s need f o r

relief.

to f u r t h e r emphasize the

Wise wr ot e Louis Ma r s ha l l

aski ng t h a t he meet wi t h the d e l e g a t i o n , t i o n w i t h the J . D . C . Mar shal l

to

to pr ov i de r e l i e f

o f the J . D . C .

and sought cooper a­

to Russian Jewry.

r e p l i e d t h a t the r e l i e f work i n Europe and P a l e s ­

t i n e was to be s h o r t l y t e r m i n a t e d . difficulty

o f r a i s i n g f unds;

He c i t e d t he i n c r e a s i n g

the Jews o f Ameri ca,

he

Bpor more d e t a i l e d account o f r e l i e f a c t i v i t i e s in post - Wor l d War I Europe, see: H e r b e r t Agar, The Saving Rem­ na nt : An Account o f Jewish S u r v i v a l , (New Y or k, 1 9 6 0 ) ; Oscar H a n d l i n , Cont i nui ng T a s k , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 5 ) ; Joseph Hyman, T went y- F i ve Years o f American Aid t o Jews Over s ea s. (New Yor k, 1 9 3 9 ) . Jewish agenci es pr ovi ded onl y temporary relief. In a l e t t e r t o The New York T i mes, H e r b e r t Lehman o f the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n Committee wr ot e : We thought a y e a r or two ago t h a t our task was ended, but u n f o r t u n a t e l y the s i t u a t i o n in Eastern . . . Europe i s worse today than i t ever has been si nce the a r m i s t i c e . . . . [Men] and women are r ui ned and w i t h o u t e i t h e r resour ces or means of employment. . . ." The New York Ti mes, 3 / 1 4 / 2 6 .

265 c o n t i n u e d , were absorbed i n l o c a l

problems on which a c t i o n

had been d e f e r r e d due to the war r e l i e f over,

campaigns.

More­

he b e l i e v e d i t was not t h e duty o f American Jewry

c o n t i n u a l l y to pr ov i de a i d to t h e i r European b r e t h r e n when t he r i c h Jews o f Gr eat B r i t a i n and Germany r e f u s e d to do so Too,

relief

bred pauperi sm;

"we would breed schnor r er s

where o t h e r w i s e they would c o n t i n u e to be n o n - e x i s t e n t . " He was o f t he opi ni on t h a t t he s i t u a t i o n was v a s t l y

i n East er n Europe

improved and t h a t w h i l e po v e r t y was c h r o n i c ,

catastrophe occurred. could a l l e v i a t e Yet, deteriorate.

g

No amount o f money,

no

he t h o u g h t ,

the po v e r t y o f Jews i n such a s i t u a t i o n .

the c o n d i t i o n o f S o v i e t Jewry cont i nue d to The Jewish merchant had been d e s t r o y e d . H e

was r e q u i r e d to seek hi s l i v e l i h o o d had t he necessary c a p i t a l

in o t h e r f i e l d s .

If

to s t a r t a new shop or t r a d e ,

was c o n f i s c a t e d by t he S o v i e t a u t h o r i t i e s ,

he it

and o f t e n t i m e s

the woul d- be merchant or tradesman would be sent to j a i l . Since t he Jews had t r a d i t i o n a l l y

been ba r r ed from owning

l and and coul d not seek employment i n t he a g r i c u l t u r a l

^Mar sha l l to Wise, 1 0 / 2 4 / 2 4 , Mi s c e l l a n e o u s f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. l^Avrahm Yar mo l i ns k y . The Jews and Other Minor N a t i o n ­ a l i t i e s Under t he S o v i e t s , (New Yor k, 1 9 2 8 ) , p. 67.

266 sp her e,

it

was f o o l i s h

coul d become f a r m e r s .

to t h i n k t h a t t he Jews o f Russia Given t he l a c k o f governmental

p o r t and necessar y farm machi ne r y , ca r i o us e x i s t e n c e .

not ed:

any m a n i f e s t a t i o n of

t he S o v i e t s coul d not er ase

al most 300 ye a r s o f r e l i g i o u s As Louis Ma r s h a l l

the Jews f aced a p r e ­

Though o f f i c i a l l y

a n t i - S e m i t i s m was o u t l a we d ,

sup­

b i g o t r y and r a c i a l

violence.

" I t would be d i f f i c u l t

to remedy

e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f t he Jews in Russia by any p r a c t i c a l method.

^ In 19 24,

t he S o v i e t s

o f t h e i r Jewish c i t i z e n s a Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n

at t empt e d to r e s o l v e the p l i g h t

by l aunc hi ng w i t h g r e a t f a n f a r e

Program.

The S o v i e t s

announced t h a t

those Jews who were d e s i r ou s o f l i v i n g on t he l and and p u r ­ suing a g r i c u l t u r a l

c a r e e r s would be suppor t ed by the S o v i e t

Government and gi ven t he necessar y farm machi ne r y . f o r e i g n Jews who wished to see t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s per were more than welcome to c o n t r i b u t e

Those pr os ­

toward the r e a l i z a ­

t ion of the p r o j e c t . I t was i n t h i s

atmosphere t h a t t he d e l e g a t e s

t he Jewish World R e l i e f Conference a r r i v e d

from

in New York in

11 Repor t o f the E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 0 / 2 5 - 2 6 / 2 5 , P h i l a d e l p h i a f o l d e r , pp. 1 3 - 1 6 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jew­ i sh H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

267 March,

1925.

The d e l e g a t i o n met w i t h the Jewish Congress

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee and Louis M a r s h a l l . gates s t a t e d t h a t t he J o i n t r e f u s e d to co op er a t e w i t h

Distribution

The d e l e ­

Committee had

t he Jewish World R e l i e f C o n f e r ­

e n c e ' s a t t e mp t s to a i d t he s t r i c k e n

Russian Jews, and t h a t

i t was t he Jewish Congr ess' s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y

to come f o r t h

and a i d t h e i r b r e t h r e n . The Jewish Congress deci ded to i ss ue a c a l l conf e r e nce o f n a t i o n a l

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

problems pr es ent ed by t h i interim,

a Provisional

visiting

for a

to c o n s i d e r the

delegation.

I n the

American Committee f o r Jewish R e l i e f

i n East er n Europe was e s t a b l i s h e d to over see p r e p a r a t i o n s f o r the c o n f e r e n c e ;

t he P r o v i s i o n a l

American Committee was

no t h i n g more than a dummy o r g a n i z a t i o n c r e a t e d by the Jew­ ish Congress so as to gi ve the appearance t h a t a l l o f American Jewry were r e p r e s e n t e d . to be hel d on May 24,

1925.

12

The Conference was

Though p u b l i c l y

was t o c o n s i d e r t he problem o f Jewish r e l i e f , it 4»

factions

the Conference in r e a l i t y ,

was an a t t e m p t to p r e v e n t t he barons o f the J o i n t D i s ­

tribution

Committee from a l l o c a t i n g

huge sums o f money to

l ^The l e a d e r s h i p o f the P r o v i s i o n a l Committee con­ s i s t e d of r a n k i n g members o f the Jewish Con gr e s s - - Ma c k , Li p s k y , Barondess, Judge Hugo Pam, Rabbi B. L. L e v i n t h a l , Gustave Hartman, and Adolph S t e r n .

268 the Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n

project,

and,

thus,

n e g l e c t the

devel opment o f P a l e s t i n e . As e a r l y as March,

1925,

the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

Com­

m i t t e e s t a r t e d f u n d - r a i s i n g d r i v e s to save Russian Jewry by putting

them "on t he l a n d . "

the J o i n t ,

David A.

Brown,

a l e a d e r of

p u b l i c l y s t a t e d t h a t the Crimean p r o j e c t was the

onl y a l t e r n a t i v e

open to Russian Jewry.

Jews who had f or saken c i t y

life

mean had " a d j u s t e d to the l i f e than 2 5 , 0 0 0 Jewish f a m i l i e s Brown i n d i c a t e d

He noted t h a t those

and had moved to the C r i ­ of pioneers,"

and t h a t more

had made a p p l i c a t i o n

for land.

t h a t t h e r e had been a n o t i c e a b l e

increase

i n the number o f Jewish f a m i l i e s moving away from urban centers

and t h a t t he Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n

that trend. all

Brown was p o s i t i v e

t h a t they had promi sed; y e t ,

that

project

reflected

the S o v i e t s would do

t h e r e remained some doubt

in hi s mind t h a t t he new c o l o n i s t s would pr osper due to the l a c k o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n could get t h e i r ever,

that

by which t he Jewish farmers

produce to mar ket .

the r e s u l t i n g

l^Lionel (New Yor k,

difficulties.^^

Kochan, e d . . The Jews in S o v i e t Russia Since 1 9 7 2 ) , pp. 6 6 - 6 7 .

l ^The J e w i s h A d v o c a t e

p. 3.

how­

decrease in a n t i - S e m i t i s m would

overshadow these l o g i s t i c a l

1917,

Brown b e l i e v e d ,

(Boston),

7/3 0/2 5,

section

2,

269 A g i t a t i o n a g a i n s t the Crimean p r o j e c t by the Ameri ­ can Jewish Congress was p a r t i a l l y

successful.

p r i o r to t he May 24 conf erence o f n a t i o n a l tions, it

Several

days

Jewish o r g a n i z a ­

the Exe c ut i v e Committee o f the J o i n t announced t h a t

had deci ded to i ssue an appeal

$ 1 5 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 to be used f o r t he J o i n t ' s

relief

f o r an Overseas Chest of i n East er n Europe.

d e c i s i o n was made p u b l i c .

the Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Once

Wise and o t he r s of

Committee came to the

concl usi on t h a t the conf erence shoul d be postponed and t h a t a s t at e me nt should be issued d e c l a r i n g t h a t by coming to New Yor k, had achi eved t h e i r ards was opposed to t h i s Conference was h e l d ,

pl a n.

the d e l e g a t e s ,

purpose.

He b e l i e v e d t h a t ,

i t would r e s u l t

Ri ch­ if

the

in much needed f r e e

p u b l i c i t y f o r the Congress and f o r c e the J o i n t to c a r r y out its

promise to pr ovi de r e l i e f .

and the Conference was h e l d .

15

R i ch ar ds'

o p i ni o n p r e v a i l e d

The Conference adopted a

r e s o l u t i o n which c a l l e d f o r t he c o n t i n u a t i o n o f r e l i e f and c o n s u l t a t i o n wi t h European Jewry to det er mi ne how much money was a c t u a l l y needed and how i t conf er ence o f a l l

relief

was t o be spent ; a

agenci es should be hel d to

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 5 / 2 0 / 2 5 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

270

det er mi ne t h e I n s t r u m e n t a l i t i e s projects,

f o r c a r r y i n g out the r e l i e f

and t he J o i n t shoul d cooper at e w i t h the proposed

conf e r e nce i n r e l i e f

e n d e a v o r s .

Op p o s i t i o n to t he J . D . C . was m a n i f e s t e d by t he Congress.

Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n scheme Several

members b e l i e v e d

t h e r e were dangers to which t he Jewish peopl e might be exposed i f

t he p l a n ,

was i n s t i t u t e d

i n v o l v i n g huge e x p e n d i t u r e s o f money,

i n c o o p e r a t i o n wi t h t he S o v i e t government

and the Jewish Communists ( t h e Y e v s e k t s i a ) .

Rongy b e l i e v e d

t h a t c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h the S o v i e t Union in any way would be const rued by those not f r i e n d l y i ng r e c o g n i t i o n to t h e U . S . S . R . , the o f f i c i a l

to the Jewish cause as g i v ­ and,

t h us ,

p o s i t i o n o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s

not su p p o r t i n g Government.^^

Rongy's arguments were very s i m i l a r to those advanced by Louis Ma r s hal l

several

months e a r l i e r .

Sai d M a r s h a l l :

The g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y . . . o f doing a n y t h i n g in Russia l i e s not onl y i n t he a t t i t u d e o f the government, but o f the Jewish Communists, who ar e c o n s t a n t l y p l a y i n g p o l i t i c s and who seem t o be anxious to ge t t h e i r hands

I Gp e p o r t o f t he E x e c ut i ve Commi ttee, 1 0 / 2 5 - 2 6 / 2 5 , P h i l a d e l p h i a f o l d e r , pp. 1 3 - 1 6 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jew­ ish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 6 / 1 0 / 2 5 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

271

on American money, i n o r d e r to gi ve themsel ves an appearance o f i mpo r t a nc e . . . . We do not propose to pl ay i n t o t h e i r hands, nor do we f e e l j u s t i f i e d i n a s k ­ ing funds from American Jewry f o r use in Rus si a, so long as t h e r e e x i s t s t h i s c h a o t i c c o n d i t i o n and the danger o f bei ng m i s i n t e r p r e t e d and mi sunderst ood by the gener al p u b l i c . Our b e n e v o l e n t o b j e c t i v e s are l i k e l y to be d i s t o r t e d . . . . ^ ^ A debat e ensued over what the o f f i c i a l Congress was to be;

p o l i c y o f the Jewish

upon the suggest i on o f Barondess,

the

Congress deci ded to c o n f e r wi t h t he Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Ameri ca.

19

The Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n opposed the Crimean

p r o j e c t because o f i t s

p o s s i b l e harmful

e f f e c t on the

devel opment o f P a l e s t i n e . Wise then went to Europe f o r t he World Z i o n i s t gr e s s .

He l e a r n e d to hi s g r e a t s u r p r i s e

stein

t h a t t h e r e was not as much o b j e c t i o n

colonization

pl an as he had o r i g i n a l l y

believed th at r e a l l y want ed,

if

Con­

from Temkin Ber n­ i n Russia to the

thought.

Wise

c o l o n i z a t i o n was what the Russian Jews

he would suppor t them.

However, what he di d

o b j e c t to was the e x p e n d i t u r e o f m i l l i o n s

for colonization

l ^ M a r s h a l l to Wise, 1 0 / 2 4 / 2 4 , Mi s c e l l a n e o u s f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 7 / 2 / 2 5 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1925 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

272 when o t h e r emergency needs had not been met.^O

At the

Z i o n i s t Congress i n V i e n na , Wise a t t a c k e d the J . D . C . as w a s t e f u l ,

inappropriate,

and un de mocr a t i c .

plan

Jacob DeHaas

asked why American Jewry should i n v e s t money in a count r y which he c h a r a c t e r i z e d as a " b l oo d- d r e nc h e d morass. The c o n t r o v e r s y over t he Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n p r o ­ ject

reached i t s

c l i ma x a t a r e l i e f

the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n Philadelphia.

c onf e r e nce c a l l e d by

Committee on September 13,

Z i o n i s t delegates

1925,

f o u g h t a g a i n s t the idea

o f submerging P a l e s t i n e c o l o n i z a t i o n

in f a v o r of a scheme

which t hey b e l i e v e d he l d out no pr os pe c t o f success. the

in

If

Russian c o l o n i z a t i o n scheme was to be implemented as

t he J o i n t e n v i s i o n e d , have d i s a p p e a r e d ,

and,

funds f o r P a l e s t i n e devel opment would hence, t h e Z i o n i s t dream va ni s h.

ponents o f Crimean c o l o n i z a t i o n

never argued t h a t funds f o r

P a l e s t i n e would be spent in the S o v i e t Union; Jacob B i l l i k o p f s t r e s s e d ,

rather,

the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

f a v o r o f t he more ur ge nt needs o f r e f u g e e work,

Times,

p.

5;

in

child care.

ZOwise t o R i c h a r d s , 7 / 1 2 / - 1 3 / 2 5 , To be R e f i l e d Ber nard G„ Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary. I s r a e l i t e , 9/3/25,

as

Committee

o n l y wi shed to postpone the devel opment o f P a l e s t i n e

The A me r i c a n 9 / 1 1 / 2 5 , p. 6.

Pr o­

Folder,

The New York

273 medi cal

assistance,

and c u l t u r a l

activities.

I ndeed,

the

J.D.C.

wished to i n c o r p o r a t e the numerous f u n d - r a i s i n g cam­

paigns

i n t o one fund d r i v e to be used as a r e v o l v i n g fund

to promote i n d u s t r y and s e t t l e m e n t i n P a l e s t i n e . 22 By such arguments, t he Z i o n i s t s

t he J . D . C .

c o mp l e t e l y f r u s t r a t e d

and the Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s .

a compl et e d e f e a t ,

To pr ev ent

t h e Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s proposed

t h a t a commission be ap po i nt e d to st udy t he p o l i t i c a l , economi c,

social,

colonization.

and r e l i g i o u s

Louis Ma r s hal l

assembled d e l e g a t e s

r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f Crimean

then rose and t o l d the

t h a t t he Jewish Congress had a l r e a d y

made such an i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f c o n d i t i o n s

i n Russi a,

and he

proceeded to t ake from h i s coat pocket a copy of a r e p o r t by a j o u r n a l i s t ,

Louis F i s c h e r ,

whom the Congress had com­

mi ssi oned i n 19 24. 23

2 2 B i l l i k o p f to Brown, n . d . , i n possession of Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. 2 3 F i s c h e r ' s r e p o r t was not used by the Congress because i n t he words o f Ri c h a r d s , "His c o n c l u s i o n s , reached from a p a r t i s a n p o i n t o f vi e w, coul d not be o f any ai d to us i n d e t e r m i n i n g t he qu est i on o f t h e d i f f e r e n t f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n the pr obl em. " Report o f t he E x e c u t i v e Commit­ t e e , 1 0 / 2 5 - 2 6 / 2 5 , P h i l a d e l p h i a f o l d e r , American Jewish Con­ gress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 9 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The a u t h o r was not abl e to f i n d a copy o f the F i s c h e r r e p o r t in any o f the manuscr i pt c o l ­ lections.

274 Wise rose from hi s s e a t ,

and in the tense atmosphere,

gave h i s word o f honor t h a t he had never seen or heard o f such a r e p o r t .

Ri c h a r d s , who had commissioned F i s c h e r ,

r ef used to answer any quest i ons put to him by Wise. stunned d e l e g a t e s adj ourned f o r the day.

The

The damage had

been done; t h e r e p o r t served to weaken the o p p o s i t i o n ' s position.

The ne xt day, Joseph Barondess, V i c e - P r e s i d e n t

o f the Jewish Congress, w i t h o u t c o n s u l t i n g any o f hi s c o l ­ l eagues on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, and made a motion f o r inferred

"Shalom!"

i n t e r r u p t e d Wise

Opponents of the Congress

from Bar doness' s motion t h a t the Z i o n i s t f o r c e s

wanted a compromise, and t h a t Barondess was p u l l i n g Wise "out o f a h o l e . "

Congress d e l e g a t e s were amazed and d i s ­

mayed by the mot i on; Ma r s ha l l moved t h a t n e g o t i a t i o n s

s e i z e d upon the faux pas and

commence i mme di a t e l y to o f f e r the

Conference a compromise r e s o l u t i o n .

D i s o r g a n i z e d and d i s ­

h e a r t e n e d , opponents o f Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n accept ed a weak r e s o l u t i o n

about t he cl ai ms o f P a l e s t i n e

sideration of a l l

Jewish r e c o n s t r u c t i o n p l a n s .

in the con­ Whi l e the

Conference di d not endorse "any new or u n t r i e d t ask i n the field

of social

believed initiated

it

a m e l i o r a t i o n and r e c o n s t r u c t i o n , "

"necessary and i n e v i t a b l e

by t he J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

it

to co nt i nue the work

Committee f o u r ye ar s

275 ago i n the f i e l d letter

o f i n d u s t r y and r e s e t t l e m e n t . " ^ ^

to Chaim Weizmann, Wise s t a t e d :

t he very best o f a bad b a r g a i n ,

"I

or p u t t i n g

t h a t we have g o t t e n out o f the s i t u a t i o n

In a

t h i n k we have made it

differently,

as honor abl y as

could be d o n e . "25 The l e a d e r s o f t he J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

Commi t t ee’ s

$ 1 5 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 f u n d - r a i s i n g campaign made l i t t l e ,

if

any,

men­

t i o n o f t he compromise r e s o l u t i o n which d e a l t w i t h P a l e s t i n e devel opment .

Reform Rabbis a f f i l i a t e d

w i t h the Ce n t r a l

Con­

f e r e n c e o f American Rabbis voted down an endorsement o f the P a l e s t i n e a i d p l a n k , w h i l e g i v i n g t h e i r appr oval Colonization. J.D.C.

to Crimean

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s i n s i s t e d t h a t the

p u b l i s h a budget ar y s t a t e me nt i n d i c a t i n g how the

money c o l l e c t e d was to be a l l o c a t e d and what per c ent age of the fund was to go toward P a l e s t i n e devel opment p r o j e c t s . Louis Ma r s hal l

explained:

"It

i s not cl ai med t h a t the fund

to be c o l l e c t e d was to be expended o t h e r w i s e than in E u r o p e .

"25

The J . D . C .

E x e c u t i v e Committee f i n a l l y

released

a d e t a i l e d s t at e me nt o f t he amounts to be spent in the

24ibid. 25wise to Weizmann, 9 / 1 4 / 2 5 , 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s . 25The A mer i c a n

Isra e lite s,

Stephen S. Wise Mss,

11 / 5 / 2 5 ,

p.

1.

Box

276 Cri mea.

Agricultural

and r e c o n s t r u c t i o n

projects

i n Russia

were to c o s t a p p r o x i m a t e l y $ 4 , 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 f o r a t h r e e y e a r pe r i o d and $ 1 , 5 0 0 , 0 0 0 was to be i n v e s t e d i n t he P a l e s t i n e Economic C o r p o r a t i o n .

The J . D . C .

reduced t he amount t a r ­

geted f o r t he Crimea by al most 50 per c e n t .

It

why such cuts were made;

had always been

however,

t he J . D . C .

s u s p i c i o u s o f t he S o v i e t s and t h e i r Jews.

i s not known

t r e a t m e n t o f Russian

One o b s e r v e r t h o u g h t t h a t the reduced a l l o c a t i o n was

a d e l i b e r a t e a t t e m p t to f o s t e r on the Z i o n i s t s what he b e l i e v e d to be t he u l t i m a t e f a i l u r e tion

scheme.

tainly

say,

"They w i l l that i t

say,

o f t he Crimean C o l o n i z a ­

and t he S o v i e t peopl e w i l l

was due t o t he Z i o n i s t a g i t a t i o n

t he scheme was not a d e q u a t e l y f i n a n c e d . " Crimean c o l o n i z a t i o n

fell

American J e wr y ' s e x p e c t a t i o n s . very meagre r e s u l t s . to i n d u s t r i a l i z e , s i z e d . 28

Stalin's

cer­

that

?7

f a r s h o r t o f S o v i e t and The m i l l i o n s

i n v e s t e d br ought

The S o v i e t s i n 1929 began t h e i r d r i v e

and a g r i c u l t u r a l

p u r s u i t s were deempha­

economic v o l t e f a c e was combined wi t h a

d r i v e to er ase t he v e s t i g e s o f Old Russian l i f e .

I n s o f a r as

Z^Agronsky to R i c h a r d s , 1 2 / 1 / 2 5 , Gershon Agronsky f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary, Z^I sa ac D e u t s c h e r , S t a l i n : (New Yor k, 1 9 4 9 ) , pp. 3 2 0 - 3 2 1 .

A Political

Biography,

Ill this

p o l i c y concerned t he Jews, S o v i e t a u t h o r i t i e s

s c r i b e d the use o f t he Hebrew l anguage, and Z i o n i s t a g i t a t i o n . Russia was f u r t h e r Yevsektsia,

pro­

t h e Jewish r e l i g i o n ,

The p l i g h t o f the Jews i n S o v i e t

co mp l i c a t e d by the a c t i v i t i e s

of t he

t he Jewish branch o f t he Communist P a r t y ,

sought to demonst r at e i t s

loyalty

to S t a l i n

which

by p e r s e c u t i n g

t h e J e ws . 29 In May,

19 29, Wise suggested to the Jewish Congress

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee t h a t something be done to arouse Jewish p u b l i c o p i n i o n about t he p l i g h t o f t h e i r t he S o v i e t Uni on.

i n f a v o r of the appoi nt ment o f a

committee to f u r t h e r

cutions. t h a t Wise,

in

A l a r g e mass meet i ng was suggested by

some, but was r e j e c t e d special

brethren

investigate

the a l l e g e d p e r s e ­

The s p e c i a l

committee i n v e s t i g a t e d and suggested

Richards,

and Bernard Deutsch c o n f e r wi t h Sena t or

W i l l i a m Borah to a s c e r t a i n hi s views o f t h e s i t u a t i o n . ^0

29Repor t o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to the American Jewish Congress, 1930 f o l d e r , pp. 1 6 - 1 7 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 192319 33, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 30Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g s , 5 / 2 9 / 2 9 , 6/1 0 / 2 9 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1929 f o l d e r , American Jew­ i sh Congress Mss, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , Amer i ­ can Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

278 Borah met w i t h Wise and Ri c h a r ds .

The Chairman of the

Senate For ei gn R e l a t i o n s

Committee sympathi zed wi t h the

p l i g h t o f Russian Jewry,

but di d not o f f e r any suggesti ons

as to how the American Jewish Congress coul d a l l e v i a t e

the

situation. At an A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Oct ober 31,

1929,

Committee meet i ng hel d on

Rabbi Wise t hought t h a t c o n d i t i o n s

Russia wa r r a n t e d p r o t e s t a c t i o n .

However,

in

he b e l i e v e d t h a t

t he t i me was not r i g h t f o r such a c t i o n because P a l e s t i n e ' s situation

was uppermost i n t he minds o f American Jewry.

Until

t he s i t u a t i o n i n t he Holy Land calmed,

think

it

he did not

a p p r o p r i a t e to t a c k l e t he Russi an- Jewi sh s i t u a t i o n

Joseph Tenenbaum di sagr eed wi t h t he Rabbi ' s assessment. b e l i e v e d t h a t t he "u r g ent s i t u a t i o n w a i t f o r developments wi t h

He

i n Russia could [ n o t ]

r egard to P a l e s t i n e . "

He urged

the i ssues be handled s e p a r a t e l y but c o n c u r r e n t l y .

31 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 0 / 3 1 / 2 9 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1929 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The Committee al so corresponded w i t h Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s in c o u n t r i e s whose governments had formal d i p l o m a t i c r e l a t i o n s w i t h the U . S . S . R . ; moreover. Rabbi I saac J. Scheursohn o f t he Ü . S . S . R . was i n t e r v i e w e d w h i l e on a v i s i t to the U n i t e d S t a t e s .

279 On the basi s o f the s p e c i a l t i o n s and new r e p o r t s

commi t t ee' s i n v e s t i g a ­

emanating from t he U . S . S . R . ,

American Jewish Congress i ssued a c a l l national

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

December 8 ,

1929.

Yet,

as to how e f f e c t i v e

f o r a conf e r e nce of

to be hel d i n New York on

t h e r e was s t i l l

much appr ehensi on

p r o t e s t a c t i o n would be.

o f t he Union o f Orthodox Jewish Co n g r e g a t i o n s , bert Goldstein,

the

The P r e s i d e n t Rabbi

i nformed the Jewish Congress t h a t

He r ­

hi s o r g a n i ­

z a t i o n would not be r e p r e s e n t e d a t t he c o n f e r e n c e ,

and t h a t

the best way to handl e t he s i t u a t i o n was c e r t a i n l y

not by

p u b l i c p r o t e s t . 32 tions,

The Union o f American Hebrew Congrega­

the Uni t ed Synagogue o f Ameri ca, and the Ce n t r a l

Jewish Conference a l s o d e c l i n e d i n v i t a t i o n s . Dr. Cincinnati

J u l i a n Morgenstern o f the Hebrew Union Col l ege was most adamant i n hi s o p p o s i t i o n to p u b l i c

d e mo n s t r a t i o n s . stern

in

In a l e t t e r

to Bernard R i c h a r d s ,

Morgen­

di d not f i n d t he s i t u a t i o n of Russian Jewry i ncompre­

hensible.

He r egar ded t h e i r p l i g h t i n much t he same l i g h t

as the ex pe r i e nc e of the Jews o f Cent r a l

Europe n e a r l y a

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 2 / 4 / 2 9 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1929 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Rabbi G o l d s t e i n made no suggesti on as to what o t h e r method should be used.

280 century b e f o r e . stood s t i l l

because o f t h e i r

He a t t r i b u t e d , Soviets'

Then as now,

therefore,

the Jew and Jewish l i f e

had

f o r c e d e x i s t e n c e i n t he g h e t t o .

t he t u r mo i l

i n Russia to the

a t t e m p t "to catch up wi t h t he r e s t o f the w o r l d . "

He n a i v e l y b e l i e v e d t h a t the s o l u t i o n to the Jews'

problems

i n the S o v i e t Union was t h e i r acceptance o f Reform Judaism. The soul o f Judaism and t h e soul o f t he Jewish people wi t h i t can f i n d t r u e s e l f - e x p r e s s i o n on l y in s p i r i t u a l pr ogress and even i n s p i r i t u a l l e a d e r s h i p . We must r e a l i z e t h a t t he Y e v s e k t s i a are s t r i v i n g f o r t h i s , even though we must condemn t h e i r methods and t h e i r goal s . 33 The Conference took pl ace on s c he d ul e .

Del egat es

heard r e p o r t s on c o n d i t i o n s i n Russia from P r o f e s s o r M. Kroll,

a Russian emigre r e s i d i n g

in P a r i s ,

and Leo M. C l a s s ­

man, the Moscow cor r espondent f o r t he Jewish T e l e g r a p h i c Agency.

The d e l e g a t e s a u t h o r i z e d t he P r e s i d e n t of the

American Jewish Congress to name a Committee on the Repres­ sion o f Judaism in S o v i e t Russia to r e p l a c e the i n v e s t i g a t o r y committee which had f u n c t i o n e d si nce May 29. al s o gave t h e i r approval

to a n a t i o n a l

The de l e g a t e s

p r o t e s t day to be

33Morgenstern to R i c h a r d s , 1 / 3 / 3 0 , in possession of Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves of the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. R i c h a r d s ' s response may be found in a l e t t e r to the e d i t o r of the Jewish D a i l y B u l l e t i n , 4/4/30.

281

hel d i n March,

1930.34

Mass p r o t e s t meet i ngs were hel d in many c i t i e s across the c o u n t r y .

So as n o t to r e p r e s e n t the i s s ue as one o f

Jew versus t he S o v i e t Uni on,

t he Jewish Congress sought the

suppor t o f l e a d i n g C h r i s t i a n

organizations.

1930,

On January 2,

Ri char ds met w i t h a sub- commi t t ee o f the American

Committee on the Ri ght s o f R e l i g i o u s M i n o r i t i e s , t i o n was t o survey c o n d i t i o n s

whose f u n c ­

in t he S o v i e t Uni on.

ards asked them to co- sponsor a Car negi e H a l l

mass me e t i ng.

Whi l e the su b- commi t t ee was anxi ous to c o o p e r a t e , deferred action late

February,

test

rallies

indeed,

until

to address

they

t hey coul d c o n s u l t Se na t or Borah.

Borah assured the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

would not be d e t r i m e n t a l

he t hought i t

Rich­

t h a t pro­

to Russian Jewry;

might be o f some b e n e f i t ,

the g a t h e r i n g .

By

and o f f e r e d

The sub- commi t t ee deci ded to

schedul e t he mass meet i ng f o r March 19.

However,

Wise sai d

t h a t Jews should not g a t h e r on t h a t date as i t

had been s e t

a s i d e by C a t h o l i c s

deci ded t h a t

definite

to p r o t e s t .

I t was f i n a l l y

pl ans would be f i n a l i z e d

Organizations

34por The New York 1 2 / 2 2 / 2 9 , p. p a r t 3, p. 1;

a t the Conf er ence of

to be hel d on Febr uar y 26.

At the Con f e r e n c e ,

a more d e t a i l e d account o f t h e c o n f e r e n c e , see T i me s , 1 2 / 9 / 2 9 , p. 16, 1 2 / 1 0 / 2 9 , p. 30, 14; The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 1 2 / 2 6 / 2 9 , The American I s r a e l i t e , 1 2 / 2 7 / 2 9 , p. 1.

282 the d e l e g a t e s

d e s i g n a t e d March 16,

1930,

as the Jewish p r o ­

t e s t d a y . 35 Many Jews i n t he Uni t ed S t a t e s were opposed to the Jewish Congr ess' s p r o t e s t a c t i o n . Menorah Jour nal

Elliot

Cohen o f t he

t o l d t he Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­

m i t t e e t h a t w h i l e p r o t e s t a c t i o n was ne c e s s a r y , Congress should not a l l y S o v i e t Uni on;

i t s e l f wi t h t he enemies of the

he di d not s p e c i f y who were t he " e nemi es . "

a l s o accused t he Congress o f f a i l i n g quences o f i t s

the Jewish

a c t i o n s whi ch,

spur o f the moment."

to c o n s i d e r t he conse­

he s t a t e d ,

Richards r e p l i e d

were taken "on the

t h a t t he p r o t e s t was

not a g a i n s t any p a r t i c u l a r s o c i a l ,

economi c, or p o l i t i c a l

philosophy,

o f fundamental

r i g h t s . 36

but a g a i n s t the d e n i a l I n de e d,

a t Town H a l l ,

Wi se,

He

human

speaki ng b e f o r e a p u b l i c meeting

advocat ed t he r e c o g n i t i o n o f the S o v i e t Union,

though he s a i d t h a t the S o v i e t Union would never be r ecog­ ni z e d by the U n i t e d S t a t e s as long as i t persecution.

He di scount ed o f f i c i a l

the Uni t ed S t a t e s

practiced

religious

representations

government because i t

had no r i g h t

from to

35/\dmi n i s t r a t i ve Committee Me e t i n g s , 1 / 8 / 3 0 , 2 / 6 / 3 0 , 2 / 2 5 / 3 0 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1930 f o l d e r . American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t e e , 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

36ibid.

283 p r o t e s t a g a i n s t any i n t e r n a l powerful

governments

affairs

i n "one of the most

in the wor l d because we have denied o u r ­

s e l v e s t h a t r i g h t by our n o n - r e c o g n i t i o n

p o l i c y .

"37

The Committee on the Suppressi on o f Judaism in S o v i e t Russia r e a l i z e d t h a t p u b l i c pr essur e would no I al one r e l i e v e the p l i g h t of t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s . 7,

it

At a meet i ng on A p r i l

recommended t h a t an e f f o r t be made to secure Canadian

v i s a s f o r t he persecut ed Russian Z i o n i s t s ;

t h a t the Jewish

Congress and o t h e r Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s use t h e i r i n Congress to o b t a i n victims of r elig io u s

special

influence

i mmi g r a t i o n p r i v i l e g e s

persecution;

f o r the

to meet and di scuss wi t h

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f t he Amtorg (American Trade O r g a n i z a t i o n , a q u a s i - p r i v a t e c o r p o r a t i o n c r e a t e d by the S o v i e t s to f o s t e r better

t r a d e r e l a t i o n s wi t h the Uni t ed S t a t e s )

of permitting certain

the quest i on

r a b b i s and Jewish sc hol a r s

to emi ­

g r a t e from t he U . S . S . R . 3 8 Canadian o f f i c i a l s

were r e l u c t a n t to di scuss i mmi gra­

t i o n wai ver s as was t h e Un i t e d S t a t e s Congress. w i t h Amtorg o f f i c i a l s

proved f r u i t l e s s .

37xhe New York Ti mes, 3 / 1 7 / 3 0 ,

p.

Di scussi ons

Jewish Congress

2.

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 2 3 / 3 0 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1930 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

284 l e a d e r s agreed to work i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t he American Jewish Committee and t he J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n m a t t e r of r a b b i n i c a l Joseph C. Hyman,

emigration.

Committee i n the

The S e c r e t a r y o f the J . D . C . ,

i nfor med Ri chards t h a t he had r e f e r r e d

problem to the European d i r e c t o r o f t he J . D . C . Moscow o f f i c e o f t he J . D . C .

However,

the

l a t e r wr ot e Ri char ds t h a t i t

was

not engaged in t h i s t ype o f work and r e f e r r e d organization, some gener al

the

him to anot her

t he Ezras Torah "which o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

should

r u l i n g be o b t a i n e d from t he S o v i e t Government,

would be i n a p o s i t i o n to a d v i s e . "^9 It

i s not c e r t a i n

to what e x t e n t t he Jewish Congress

p r o t e s t movement i n f l u e n c e d Josef S t a l i n .

Dr.

John Morehead

t o l d Richards o f a c o n v e r s a t i o n he had had wi t h Paul

Schaffer

o f t he B e r l i n e r T a g e b l a t t dur i ng which S c h a f f e r t o l d him t h a t t he Jewish Congress p r o t e s t movement was q u i t e e f f e c t i v e . One i n d i c a t i o n o f a r e l a x e d atmosphere w i t h i n Union was the l i q u i d a t i o n group.

To be s u r e ,

Stalin

the S o v i e t

o f the Y e v s e k t s i a as an o r ga ni z e d di d not a l l e v i a t e

t he Jews or any o t h e r p a r t o f the p o p u l a t i o n

the pr essur e on until

f o r c ed

39Report of the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of the Ame r i ­ can Jewish Congress, 1930 f o l d e r , p. 21, American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

285 collectivization

was a c h i e v e d .

Russian Jews s t i l l

s u f f e r e d economic h a r d s h i p s .

The

h e r a l d e d Fi ve Year Plan f o r c e d Jews i n t o occupat i ons which were u n f a m i l i a r to t hem. ^l the S o v i e t Union enj oyed a l l Soviet c i t iz e n s h ip ,

Though t h e o r e t i c a l l y t he r i g h t s

the Jews o f

and p r i v i l e g e s

of

t h r e e c e n t u r i e s o f d i s c r i m i n a t i o n and

p r e j u d i c e coul d not be d i s p e l l e d by a d m i n i s t r a t i v e d e c r e e . Jews,

particularly

i n t he p r o v i n c e s ,

r assed by non-Jews. t i o n were s t i l l

cont i nued to be h a r -

The Hebrew language and Z i o n i s t a g i t a ­

regarded by S o v i e t a u t h o r i t i e s

revolutionarythose

as c o u n t e r -

suspected o f Z i o n i s t a c t i v i t y were

"out l awed" and se nt i n t o e x i l e

i n one o f the many pr i son

camps of the G. P. U.

social

form o f r e l i g i o u s

Moreover,

pr essur e a g a i n s t any

e x pr ess i on and the p r o h i b i t i o n

i n t he school s t he customs and t r a d i t i o n s the e v ent ual

of t e a c h i n g

o f Judaism meant

e x t i n c t i o n o f the Jewish community i n the

S o v i e t U n i o n . 43

40 $al o Baron, The Russian Jews Under Tsars and S o v i e t s , (New Yor k, 1 9 6 4 ) , pp. 2 4 9 - 2 6 7 . 41 I b i d . ,

pp.

256-259.

4^Li onel Kochan, e d . , 1 9 1 7 , pp. 9 9 - 1 1 2 .

43%bid.,

pp.

15 8 - 1 7 1 .

The Jews in S o v i e t Russia Since

286 About m i d - J a n u a r y , 1932, dent f o r

that

l a r g e numbers of Jews were being

a r r e s t e d and i n c a r c e r a t e d . until

by r e l a t i v e s .

this

Tygel

The i mpr i soned Jews were not

a ransom o f f o r e i g n exchange or gold was paid The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee

appointed a speci al tions.

committee to i n v e s t i g a t e K a t z ' s a l l e g a ­

r e p o r t e d t h a t he was "not y e t convi nced t h a t

a c t i o n on t h e p a r t o f t he s e c r e t p o l i c e i s

aimed a t

correspon­

t he Jewish Morning J o u r n a l , cabl ed the Jewish Con­

gress a l l e g i n g

released

Ben Zion K a t z ,

t he Jews. " ^^

particularly

He s t a t e d t h a t S o v i e t p o l i c y

had

always been geared to t he c o n f i s c a t i o n o f p r i v a t e we a l t h and to stop f o r e i g n exchange s p e c u l a t i o n ; crats

traced a l l

G. P. U.

of a l l

and when the r e c i p i e n t was asked to g i v e a com­

the exchange i n an i l l e g a l Tygel,

however,

way,

s i n c e he had a c q u i r e d

t he a u t h o r i t i e s

arrested

recommended t h a t t he Jewish Congress

p r o t e s t to t he S o v i e t government. tive

The

those who r e c e i v e d American

p l e t e a c c o u n t i n g and coul d not do so,

him.

S o v i e t b u r e a u­

f o r e i g n exchange e n t e r i n g t he c o u n t r y .

maintained a l i s t

dollars,

thus,

Committee opposed t h i s

Others on t he A d m i n i s t r a ­

course of a c t i o n as they

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 2 / 1 7 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2. A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

287 b e l i e v e d t h a t not enough i n f o r m a t i o n was a v a i l a b l e r a n t such a

m o v e .

45

By mi d- Mar ch, tional

1932,

t he Jewish Congress r e c e i v e d a d d i ­

evi dence about the " V a l u t a T e r r o r . "

from P a l e s t i n e c o r r o b o r a t e d e a r l i e r bl es as Chaim B i a l i k protest. Bialik

and Dr.

4&

it

reports,

is r e a l l y

Des pi t e B i a l i k ' s

gress r e f u s e d to t a k e a c t i o n . nication

Communications and such n o t a ­

M. Glucksohn urged a w o r l d - w i d e

"Every moment o f s i l e n c e

d e cla re d .

to war ­

plea,

Instead,

it

sinful.

II





>

the Jewish Con­ d i r e c t e d a commu­

to the J o i n t For ei gn Committee i n London r e q u e s t i n g

to take t he m a t t e r up wi t h t he S o v i e t Ambassador to Gr eat

Britain,

and to i n f or m him t h a t

"we are a w a i t i n g word from

you b e f o r e we make p u b l i c t he mass o f documentary evi dence .

.

. we have on hand."

Committee r e p l i e d

that

Lucien Wol f of t he J o i n t Forei gn upon i n v e s t i g a t i o n ,

st ance to the a l l e g a t i o n s ; mend any a c t i o n be

ta ken .

47

t h e r e was no sub­

i n view o f t h i s , The c o n f l i c t i n g

he di d not recom­ reports

left

the

45ibid. 45Repor t o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee o f the Ame r i ­ can Jewish Congress, 10/31 to 6 / 3 2 , pp. 1 3 - 1 7 , American Jew­ ish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y ; The New York T i mes, 3 / 2 7 / 3 2 , p. 28. 4^Minutes o f American Jewish Congress Committee on Problems i n For ei gn Lands, 5 / 4 / 3 2 , i n possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es of t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

2 88

Jewish Congress i n a quandary. Rabbi Wise r e f e r r e d to t he f a c t t h a t Rabbi Wohl Cincinnati future,

expect ed to v i s i t

and,

the S o v i e t s

the S o v i e t Union i n the near

as he t o l d Wise, was w i l l i n g to f a c i l i t a t e

Valuta T e rro r. through Wohl,

of

to n e g o t i a t e wi t h

e m i g r a t i o n and a l l e v i a t e

the

Wise doubted the wisdom o f doing t h i s because he di d not t h i n k him o f enough i n f l u ­

ence and s t a t u r e

to make the Sovi et s

listen.

Charl es Cowen

then suggested t h a t the S o v i e t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e i n Washington be c o n t a c t e d .

Though a memorandum on the V a l u t a T e r r o r was

pr es ent ed to t h e S o v i e t l i a i s o n intermediary,

arrests

i n Washington through an

o f Jews c o n t i n u e d .

Jewish Congress l e a de r s were being urged to p r o t e s t the V a l u t a T e r r o r by i t s wished a d e f i n i t e

series

"will

if

it

r ef used to do so,

be f or c ed a g a i n s t i t s w i l l

the Jewish

to commence a

to p r o t e s t meetings t hr oughout the c o u n t r y ,

t he a t t e n t i o n

They

promise from the S o v i e t Government t h a t i t

would end the o u t r a g e s ; Congress

constituent organizations.

directing

of the p u b l i c to t he inhuman conduct of the

Soviet a u t h o r i t i e s

i n t h i s m a t t e r . "48

The Congress,

however,

48Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g, 3 / 2 9 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

289 di d not c a r r y out i t s Richards,

threat.

and o t h e r l e a d e r s

protest at a ll

By December,

in t he Congress deci ded not to

because i t was hoped t h a t w i t h the r e c o g n i ­

t i o n of the S o v i e t Uni on,

it

mi ght be p o s s i b l e f o r worl d

Jewry to c o n t a c t t h e i r b r e t h r e n explained:

1932, Wise,

in t h a t c o u n t r y .

" I n view o f the f a c t t h a t

F. D. R.

Ri chards

may r ecogni z e

the Ü . S . S . R . , we should t h e r e f o r e not do a n y t h i n g a t t h i s moment to j e o p a r d i z e such r e c o g n i t i o n . "

49

American r e c o g n i t i o n of S t a l i n i s t

Russia di d not

a p p r e c i a b l y a f f e c t t he c o n d i t i o n o f S o v i e t Jewry. ure o f the Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n Soviet a u t h o r i t i e s

from t r y i n g

The f a i l ­

scheme di d not d e t e r the to f i n d some pl ace in t h a t

va st count r y where the Jews would not b o t h e r anyone. late

as June,

1932, a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f the U . S . S . R .

sented a proposal

As pre­

to t he American Jewish Congress asking

to help f a c i l i t a t e

it

t he s e t t l e m e n t o f Jewish tradesmen and

mechanics in the B i r o - B i d z h a n r e g i o n .

Soviet o f f i c i a l s

assured the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee t h a t t hey would ar r ange f o r the t r a n s p o r t a t i o n wished to go t h e r e .

and s e t t l e m e n t o f those Jews who

As soon as 50 , 0 0 0 Jews had d e f i n i t e l y

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 2 / 2 7 / 3 2 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 193 3, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

290 e s t a b l i s h e d t hemsel ves in t h e i r new homes, B i r o - B i d z h a n would be d e c l a r e d an i ndependent r e p u b l i c .

The Congress di d

not accept the p r o p o s a l . ^0 Jewish Congress l e a d e r s Soviet a u t h o r i t i e s

coul d no more i n f l u e n c e

than coul d any i n s t i t u t i o n

or government.

The American Jewish Congress t hr oughout the pe r i od opposed S o v i e t plans f o r

its

Jewish c i t i z e n s .

I ndeed,

the f i g h t

between t he American Jewish Congress and t he J o i n t D i s t r i b u ­ tion

Committee over the Crimean C o l o n i z a t i o n scheme must

have convi nced the S o v i e t l e a d e r s h i p t h a t t he Jewish Con­ gress was u n a l t e r a b l y opposed to t h e i r citizens.

To be s u r e ,

pl ans f o r

its

Jewish

S t a l i n and hi s c o l l e a g u e s must have

b e l i e v e d t h a t t he Jewish Congr ess' s advocacy o f P a l e s t i n e as a Jewish homeland di d not corr espond to the i de a l wo r k e r s '

state."

to some e x t e n t ,

Moreover, a reflection

o f "t he

t h e p l i g h t of S o v i e t Jewry was, of Russia's past.

Though the

Jews in t he S o v i e t Union were t h e o r e t i c a l l y

gi ven the same

rights

t he S o v i e t Gov­

and p r i v i l e g e s

as any o t h e r c i t i z e n ,

ernment coul d not er ase d i s c r i m i n a t i o n administrative f i a t .

Russia was,

and i n t o l e r a n c e

for all

intents

by

and

S^Report o f t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee of the American Jewish Congress, 10/ 31 to 6 / 3 2 , p. 17. American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y .

291 purposes, century,

still

a co un t r y t r y i n g

and t he t r a d i t i o n s ,

I nde e d,

to come i n t o

albeit

S t a l i n was w i l l i n g

bad ones,

S t a l i n was w i l l i n g purposes.

Thus,

Colonization,

thus,

deci ded t h a t

worl d Jewry mi ght be h e l p f u l

di ed s l o w l y .

t o work w i t h any o r g a n i ­

z a t i o n t h a t would ser ve hi s purpsoes; T e r r o r stopped when S t a l i n

the t w e n t i e t h

t he V a l u t a

c o o p e r a t i o n wi t h

in hi s f i g h t w i t h H i t l e r .

to o v e r l o o k i d e o l o g y when i t

suited

he was w i l l i n g

to seek t he American Jewish I t was

t he Ameri can Jewish Congress and J o s e f S t a l i n

f aced a common enemy t h a t alliance.

his

even a f t e r t he f i g h t over t he Crimean

Congress' s c o o p e r a t i o n f o r hi s B i r o - B i d z h a n scheme. not u n t i l

Too,

t h e two e n t e r e d

i n t o an unholy

©

Copyright by Morris Frommer 1978

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS: A HISTORY,

1914- 1950

Volume I I

DISSERTATION

Present ed in P a r t i a l

F u l f i l l m e n t o f the Requirements f o r

t he Degree Doct or o f Phi l osophy in t h e Graduate School

o f The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y

By Mo r r i s

Frommer, B. A. ,

*

*

*

*

fl.A.

*

The Ohio S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y 1 978

Reading Committee: Dr.

Marvi n Za h n i s e r

Dr.

Robert Chazan

Dr.

Marc Raphael

Approved By

/

'2 .-L / / Adviser Department of H i s t o r y

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter VI.

VII. V III.

IX.

X.

Page

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AND THE JEWISH BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS ................................. RESCUING EUROPEAN JEWRY;

1933 TO 1945 . . . .

292 375

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AND THE CREATION OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS: DOMESTIC POLITICS ON A GLOBAL SCALE ...................

458

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS: DOMESTIC ACTI V I T I ES , 1918 TO 1 945 ...............................................

497

CONCLUSION.....................................................................................528

BIBLIOGRAPHY

..........................................................................................

Vi

542

CHAPTER V I

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AND THE JEWISH BOYCOTT OF GERMAN GOODS

The American Jewish Congress was c o m p l e t e l y unpr e­ pared to meet t he c h a l l e n g e posed by A d o l f H i t l e r .

Lead­

ers o f t he Jewish Congress m i s c a l c u l a t e d t he t h r e a t posed by H i t l e r ; movement,

once t hey r e a l i z e d

t he s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t he Nazi

t hey r e s o r t e d t o measures which were i n e f f e c t u a l ,

mismanaged, a n d , i r o n i c a l l y ,

designed to make the American

Jewish Congress t he pr e e mi n e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n o f American Jewry , Adolf H i t l e r ' s

meteoric r i s e

not consi der ed to be c a t a s t r o p h i c in the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

to power in Germany was

by many Jewish obser ve r s

Though t he American Jewish Congress

and t he American Jewish Committee were aware o f who H i t l e r was and what he a d v o c a t e d ,

they,

like

t he r e s t o f the w o r l d ,

di d not c o n s i d e r him to be a s e r i o u s t h r e a t or German Jewry. present,

to wor l d peace

A n t i - S e m i t i s m i n Germany had always been

and the murder i n

1923 o f Wa l t e r Rathenau, 292

the

293 brilliant

a r c h i t e c t and a d m i n i s t r a t o r o f Germany's economic

self-sufficiency

program d u r i n g World War I ,

n o t i c e d by Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

was h a r d l y

in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Rabbi Wise viewed the a s s a s s i n a t i o n as a " s a c r i f i c e upon the a l t a r o f a n t i - J e w i s h p a ssi on. " ^ Putsch o f 1923 and d i s t u r b a n c e s

The Munich Beer Hal l

in B e r l i n

l e d the American

Jewish Congress to c a b l e t he German Ambassador; t e l egr ams i n q u i r i n g about the s i t u a t i o n were sent to Jewish O r g a n i z a ­ tions

in Europe.

Once the d i s t u r b a n c e s a b a t e d ,

Congress t u r n e d i t s

attention

e l s e wh e r e .

Louis Ma r s ha l l

the American Jewish Committee c h a r a c t e r i z e d as the "German Ku Klux K l a n , "

and s t a t e d

t he Jewish

the Nazi

of

Pa r t y

t h a t t he " u t t e r ­

ances of t h a t unspeakabl e group are n o t hi ng more than sound and f u r y .

.

.

.

There i s not the s l i g h t e s t l i k e l i h o o d

t h a t t h e i r pl an w i l l

ever be c a r r i e d out to t he s l i g h t e s t

extent.

Repor t o f the E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, p. 3, E x e c u t i v e Committee R e p o r t s , 1923 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jew­ ish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Spec i al M e e t i n g , 1 1 / 8 / 2 3 ; Oct ober- December f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jew­ ish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; quoted in Naomi Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , p. 147.

294 Even a f t e r the worl d depr essi on made i t s Germany and t he r e s u l t a n t success o f the Nazi Rei chst ag e l e c t i o n s

P a r t y i n the

of 1930, Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

Uni t ed S t a t e s were a mb i v a l e n t about H i t l e r .

i n the

Stephen Wise

b e l i e v e d t h a t the German people would u l t i m a t e l y H itler.

impact on

reject

He s t a t e d :

I t is s o l a c i n g to remember t h a t what ever a n t i - S e m i t i s m t h e r e i s in Germany today i s bound up wi t h the elements o f d i s o r d e r , r e a c t i o n , and d e s t r u c t i o n t hr oughout Ger­ many. I t i s not Germany a t i t s best and h i g h e s t t h a t is i n d u l g i n g i n a n t i - S e m i t i c r i o t s , but onl y rowdyism, which by i t s conduct , di shonors Germany as t r u l y as i t hur t s Germany's l o y a l Jewish c i t i z e n s ; not the Germany o f Rathenau and Stresemann, but the Germany o f H i t ­ ler. 3 Albert Einstein

t hought the Jews of Germany had not hi ng to

f e a r from H i t l e r . ^ Des pi t e such o p t i m i s t i c o b s e r v a t i o n s , who r ecogni z ed the ser i ous

t h e r e were some

p l i g h t o f German Jewry.

Jacob

Landau o f the Jewish T e l e g r a p h i c Agency b e l i e v e d the s i t u a ­ tion

in Germany was more de spe r a t e than the Jewish s i t u a t i o n

in Pol and,

Roumania, and Russia combined.

He r e p o r t e d t h a t

the a n t i - S e m i t i c movement i n Germany was p a r t o f an

3j h e New York T i mes, 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 0 , p. 44. I t is i n t e r ­ e s t i n g to note t h a t the Y i ddi sh press was p r e d i c t i n g the wor st f o r German Jewry in 1930 and 1931. ^The Amer i c an

Isra e lite,

10/23/30,

p.

4.

295 international offices

c o n s p i r a c y , and t h a t H i t l e r had e s t a b l i s h e d

i n Geneva to s t r e n g t h e n hi s c o nt a c t s w i t h such

o r g a n i z a t i o n s as t he "Aryan C h r i s t i a n A l l i a n c e " "World League A g a i n s t t he L i e . " growth o f t he Hugenburg p r e s s , Nazi

dailies,

Moreover,

and the

he c i t e d

the l a r g e c i r c u l a t i o n

the o f two

and i nnumer abl e Nazi w e e k l i e s as i n d i c a t i v e

of the power and p o p u l a r i t y o f the Nazi

Party.

He con-

cluded: I f i n such a count r y as Germany where t he Jews have been as t h o r o u g h l y a s s i m i l a t e d i n l anguage, manners, and c u l ­ t u r e , t h e r e coul d a r i s e such a n t i - J e w i s h f a n a t i c i s m then the s i t u a t i o n i s e x t r e me l y s e r i o u s . . . . If

the Jews o f the wor l d f a i l e d to c o u n t e r a c t t he H i t l e r

menace t h e i r affected. Nazi

p o s i t i o n and i n t e r e s t s were bound to be

Therefore,

policies

he urged American Jews to p r o t e s t

and a c t i o n s as being un- Ameri can,

t h a t they would s o l i c i t rence o f Hi t i e r . 5

and hoped

non-Jews t o express t h e i r

abhor ­

Joseph Tenenbaum, a u r o l o g i s t who was to

become t he l e a d e r o f t he Jewish Congress b o y c o t t program, surveyed t he s i t u a t i o n

in Germany in e a r l y 1931

American Jewish Congress.

f o r the

He s t a t e d t h a t the Jewish

^Report o f Meet i ng o f the Sub-Committee on Germany o f the American Jewish Commi ttee, 1 0 / 8 / 3 1 , American Jew­ ish Commi t t ee / Fo r e i gn C o u n t r i e s / G e r m a n y / 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 3 3 .

296 population

t h e r e was d e s t i t u t e ,

intimidated

and o t h e r a n t i - S e m i t i c o r g a n i z a t i o n s , bl eak d e s p a i r .

by t he Nazi s

and "submerged in

J e w - b a i t i n g and J e w- b e a t i n g are the o r d e r

o f the d a y . T e n e n b a u m ' s

assessment o f the s i t u a t i o n was

not d i s p u t e d by the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee.

Bernard

Ri char ds wrote Tenenbaum t h a t he had p i c t u r e d the s i t u a t i o n in such terms t h a t t he " r e a d e r woul d, an i mpr essi on t h a t t he whole s i t u a t i o n

in f a c t , is

be l e f t w i t h

utterly

hopeless

and t h a t no t hi ng can be done to improve c o n d i t i o n s . " ards's

concer n,

Rich­

however, was on what e f f e c t the r e p o r t

would have on t he Jewish Congress. hopeless as s t a t e d ,

If

t he s i t u a t i o n was as

then why would Jews wish to c o n t r i b u t e

to an o r g a n i z a t i o n whose t a s k resembled t h a t o f Don Quixote's.^ By l a t e gress r e a l i z e d

1931,

l e a d e r s of t he American Jewish Con­

t h a t t he Nazi

movement was more menacing

than any o f them had h e r e t o f o r e r e a l i z e d ; a quandary as to what a c t i o n Deutsch,

yet,

could be t a k e n .

P r e s i d e n t o f the Jewish Congress,

^The New York T i me s , 3 / 9 / 3 1 ,

p.

t hey were in Bernard

suggested t h a t

22.

^ R i c h a r d s t o Tenenbaum, 4 / 1 4 / 3 1 , St ephen S. Wise f o l d e r # 4 , B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l Semi n a r y .

297 Dr .

Bernard Kahn o f t he J o i n t For ei gn Committee i n London

be c o n t a c t e d f o r t h e purpose o f a s c e r t a i n i n g the a t t i t u d e o f German Jewry towar d o u t s i d e h e l p , Congress coul d do to a l l e v i a t e

and to ask what the

t he s i t u a t i o n .

pr oposal

was not accept ed e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y

strative

Commi ttee,

Deut sch' s

by t h e Admi ni ­

and he drooped the m a t t e r . ^

Wise l a t e r

suggested t h a t one or two Jewish Congress r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s go to Germany and di scuss German Jewry, If

this

stated

the problem wi t h the l e a d e r s

to pl an s t r a t e q y

proposal

of

i n case H i t l e r came to power

was not amenable to t he Congress,

he

t h a t P r e s i d e n t Hoover shoul d be urged to send a

" d i s t i n g u i s h e d non-Jew t o Germany to di scuss the whole mat­ ter

wi t h P r e s i d e n t Hindenburg and C h a n c e l l o r B r u n n i n g . " ^

By J a nua r y , burner,

1932,

Wi s e ' s

and he opt ed f o r

pr opos al s were put on t he backa suggest i on made by Nahum Goldman

t h a t the Jewish Congress approach the American Jewish Com­ m i t t e e on the s u b j e c t o f h o l d i n g a j o i n t di scuss

the German s i t u a t i o n .

conf e r e nce to

The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 0 / 2 7 / 3 1 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1931 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

pp.

^C. H. Voss, 170-171.

Stephen S.

Wise:

Ser van t o f the P e o p l e ,

298

o f the Congress accept ed t h i s o p t i o n ,

and a u t h o r i z e d

Deutsch to c o n t a c t Cyrus A d l e r . The two exchanged l e t t e r s , organization no a c t i o n

and each pl edged his

to h o l d i n g a c o n f e r e n c e .

had y e t been t a k e n .

By m i d - J a n u a r y ,

1932

Har r y Schneidermann o f the

American Jewish Committee i nf or med Ri chards t h a t he was t r y i n g to s e l e c t a s u i t a b l e d a t e , least

but t h a t i t

two weeks b e f o r e t hey coul d meet .

would be a t

Wise was f u r i o u s

a t the American Jewish Committee f o r what he consi der ed to be unnecessary del ays and d i l a t o r y

t a c t i c s . A

t e l e gr a m

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 / 1 9 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Once be f or e the Jewish Congress had a t t e mp t e d to f o r m a l i z e t h e i r r e l a t i o n s wi t h the American Jewish Commi ttee. The 1929 Congress Conven­ t i o n a u t h o r i z e d Deutsch to a p p o i n t a committee "which s h a l l ar r a ng e f o r an e a r l y conf er ence o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s o f the . . . Committee and t he . . . Congress to t he end t h a t s o r e l y needed u n i t y o f a c t i o n wi t h r e s p e c t to Jewish pr ob­ lems may be a f f e c t e d and p r e s e n t and p o t e n t i a l causes of d i s c o r d i n Jewish l i f e be then a v e r t e d . " Deutsch cont a ct e d Louis M a r s h a l l , and t hey agreed to a p p o i n t committees to c o n f e r w i t h each o t h e r . However, Ma r s ha l l di ed w h i l e vaca­ t i o n i n g in Europe, and no t hi ng f u r t h e r happened. Wise was anxi ous to secur e c o o p e r a t i o n , and, d e s p i t e o p p o s i t i o n from R i c h a r d s , Tenenbaum, and o t h e r s , a modus oper andi was reached w i t h t h e Commi ttee. Mutual d i s t r u s t , however, p r e ­ vented any r e a l c o o p e r a t i o n between the two groups. Adler wr ot e Deutsch: "You say t h a t the un de r s t a nd i ng i s to be t h a t any a c t i o n t aken by you ' w i l l be c o n s i s t e n t wi t h the fundamental p r i n c i p l e s o f your o r g a n i z a t i o n , t h a t i t s p o l i c y should r e f l e c t the judgment o f i t s dul y e l e c t e d

299 was se nt to t he Committee suggest i ng t h a t t he j o i n t ence meet on January 21; pl ace u n t i l

however,

confer­

the meeting di d not t ake

one week l a t e .

At the meet i ng,

Deutsch t o l d the American Jewish

Committee r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

t h a t hi s o r g a n i z a t i o n was c o n s i d ­

e r i n g the a d v i s a b i l i t y o f r e q u e s t i n g P r e s i d e n t Hoover to ask one o f the American de l e g a t e s to t he f or t hcomi ng d i s ­ armament conf erence a t Geneva to make r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s the German o f f i c i a l s

" r e g a r d i n g the concern,

Amer i ca, " over the Nazi feared

Party's

anti-Semitic

t h a t i t was a l r e a d y too l a t e

mann d i s a g r e e d ;

to

prevailing program.

to do t h i s .

in He

Schneider­

he s t a t e d t h a t ti me was not o f the essence.

r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s on e i t h e r the E x e c u t i v e or A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi t t ee . ' I f [ t h i s s t a t e me n t ] means t h a t you must i n v a r i ­ a bl y r e f e r back to your Exe c ut i v e or A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t e e , i t appears to me such pr oc edu r e , mi ght , e s p e c i a l l y in cases o f emergency, a c t u a l l y embarr ass, i f not p a r a l y z e acti on. . . . " [ T h e ] l i m i t a t i o n s i n s i s t e d upon by the Congress . , . leaves me wi t h a f e e l i n g t h a t t h e r e i s some r e s e r v a t i o n in your minds whi ch, i f you want to impose them, t h i s Commit­ t ee ought to c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r , but put in t he way you have put i t they are i n d e f i n i t e and hence I do not know how to meet them. . . ." He f u r t h e r s t a t e d t h a t i f , dur i ng an emergency, the Congress i nvoked those c o n d i t i o n s , then the Committee would be put in a p o s i t i o n where i t could not take any a c t i o n u n t i l such time as the Congress Exe c ut i v e or A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee had decided on a course of action. See A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me et i ng, 2 / 2 5 / 3 0 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi nut e s, 1930 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 19231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

300 but t h a t i t

would not be e f f e c t i v e

tude o f the H i t l e r which i t

"i n view o f the magni ­

p a r t y and t he tremendous propaganda

had been c a r r y i n g on f o r so many y e a r s . "

David M.

D r e s s i e r o f the Committee c a u t i o n e d the Jewish Congress not to be too hast y in i t s

a t t e mp t s to ease t he s i t u a t i o n ;

he s t a t e d t h a t Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s Britain

in Germany and Gr eat

had c a u t i o n e d the American Jewish Committee not to

do a n y t h i n g "because o f the danger t h a t such steps would be u t i l i z e d

as ammunition by the N a z i s . "

Moreover,

Schneidermann s t a t e d t h a t A d l e r had been in c o n t a c t w i t h Max Warburg o f Germany and was l e f t w i t h the i mpr essi on t h a t Warburg di scount ed to power.

I n dee d,

the e f f e c t s

of H i t l e r ' s

should the N a t i o n a l

accessi on

Socialists

come to

power, the r e s u l t i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s would a c t as a st r ong sober i ng i n f l u e n c e and t hey would not c a r r y out many o f the pl anks o f t h e i r p l a t f o r m , which were made p a r t o f i t l a r g e l y in the n a t u r e of b a i t to win a d h e r e n t s . Baruch Zuckerman d i sag r e ed wi t h Warburg' s a n a l y s i s . He s t a t e d t h a t t he Nazi s would not be awed by t h e i r ac c e s ­ si on to power;

he b e l i e v e d t h a t the a n t i - S e m i t i c

part of

"Memo o f C o n f e r e n c e o f German S i t u a t i o n , " 1 / 2 8 / 3 2 i n p o s s e s s i o n o f Mr s. Ruth R i c h a r d s E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , A r c h i v e s o f t h e J ewi s h I n f o r m a t i o n Bur e au.

301 t h e i r program would be c a r r i e d out as q u i c k l y and r u t h ­ l e s s l y as p o s s i b l e . Hitlerites

He s c o f f e d a t t he charge t h a t the

would t u r n any Jewish a c t i o n

to t h e i r advantage;

to remain s i l e n t , we may arouse t he suspi ci on t h a t we ar e engaged in some underhand a c t i v i t i e s because no r eas ona bl e person w i l l be a b l e to b e l i e v e t h a t the Jews o f America are i n a c t i v e in the f ace o f t h e danger. . . Unless steps were taken now to c o u n t e r a c t H i t l e r , action

"may be necessary l a t e r . "

p r o t e s t meet i ngs ,

par ades,

He d e f i n e d mass a c t i o n as

and mass d e mo n s t r a t i o n s .

L . St r auss o f t he American Jewish Committee s t a t e d such a c t i o n s as Zuckerman recommended, publicists

condemning H i t l e r ,

i.e.,

He advocated doing a n y t h i n g

Brunning government, prevent H i t l e r

and,

if

he a t t a i n e d power.

that

because

but a n t i -

to s t r e n g t h e n the

t h a t was to prove

from e x e c u t i n g hi s

Lewis

influential

would be i n e f f e c t i v e

t he German peopl e were not onl y a n t i - J e w i s h , Ameri can.

mass

f u t i l e , to

a n t i - S e m i t i c program once

He di d not e l a b o r a t e what methods he

would employ to achi eve t h i s Bressler admitted,

as

end. di d Deut sch,

knew what to do to meet t he c h a l l e n g e .

t h a t n e i t h e r group

Bressler stated

t h a t t he American Jewish Committee had deci ded on t h r e e steps whi ch,

he a d m i t t e d , were o f l i m i t e d

value:

(1)

the

302 a t t e m p t to d e p o r t a l i e n N a t i o n a l

Socialist

agitators,

the o r g a n i z a t i o n of a League o f Human R i g h t s ; creation

and,

(3)

the

by t h e American Jewish Committee o f a s p e c i a l

German Department to keep i n touch w i t h t he s i t u a t i o n Germany through t he German p r e s s . Congress s t a t e d t h a t organization tion

( 2)

in

Nathan Perlman o f the

s i n c e i t was e v i d e n t t h a t n e i t h e r

knew what to do,

he suggested a small

delega­

go to Washington to c o n f e r w i t h Senat or Borah and

o t h e r members o f the Senate Forei gn R e l a t i o n s Committee. St r aus s

rejected

this

ti me was not r i g h t f o r I t was f i n a l l y

i dea because he b e l i e v e d t h a t the such a c t i o n . deci ded t h a t Jewish l e a d e r s

i n Ger­

many be c o n t a c t e d and asked whether t hey f a v o r e d a c o n f e r ­ ence w i t h tee;

if

representatives

o f t he Congress and the Commit­

t hey deemed a conf e r e nce i n a d v i s a b l e ,

gestions

di d t hey have?^^

A f t e r more me e t i n g s ,

c o n f e r e n c e agreed to c o n t a c t Dr. him t o p o l l

what sug­ the j o i n t

Ludwig H o l l a n d e r and ask

o t h e r l e a d i n g Jews in Germany as to what a c t i o n

American Jewry should t a k e .

When n o t i f i e d

many o f t he Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e expr essed t h e i r

^^Ibid

o f the d e c i s i o n , Committee

i mp a t i e n c e a t what t hey b e l i e v e d were

303 interminable delays;

some demanded immedi ate a c t i o n .

Wise

e x p l a i n e d t h a t si n c e the Congress had agreed to w a i t f o r Hollander's

response,

"our hands are t i e d . " ^ ^

Whi l e a w a i t i n g H o l l a n d e r ' s S ena t or Borah on March 8 ,

reply.

and r equest ed t he Senat or to

i s s ue a s t a t e me n t p r o t e s t i n g H i t l e r ' s Borah agreed to do t h i s

if

it

anti-Semitic

program.

coul d be shown t h a t H i t l e r

was usi ng hi s name to advance t he Nazi t o r al so t o l d Wise t h a t i t

Wise met wi t h

campaign.

The Sena­

mi ght be more e f f e c t i v e

P r e s i d e n t Hoover coul d denounce t he Nazi

terror

if

tactics,

and urged t h a t Adolph Ochs o f The New York Times i n t e r v i e w the P r e s i d e n t .

Wise then t o l d Cyrus A d l e r o f hi s conv e r s a ­

t i o n wi t h Borah and asked him to c o n t a c t Ochs. refused,

however,

to r equest an i n t e r v i e w .

Ochs

A d l e r then t o l d

Wise t h a t he was going to c o n t a c t the For ei gn E d i t o r o f the Ser i pps- Howar d S y n d i c a t e to g i v e him some background material

on the H i t l e r a n t i - J e w i s h campaign.

On March 10,

the New York World Tel egram p u bl i s he d a

s t o r y which cl ai med t h a t A d l e r , can Jewish Commi ttee,

as P r e s i d e n t o f the Amer i ­

asked Borah to i s s ue a st at e me nt

1 3 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 3 / 1 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

304 denouncing H i t l e r .

The Jewish Congress consi der ed t h i s

a c t as a breach o f i t s

agreement wi t h the Commi ttee,

namely

t h a t both bodies would remain s i l e n t on t he German s i t u a ­ tion,

and the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee was ready to break

o f f r e l a t i o n s wi t h A d l e r and hi s group. e f f e c t was pr e p a r e d ,

but the next day,

A letter

to t h i s

Schneidermann o f the

Committee i nformed Wise t h a t A d l e r had not a u t h o r i z e d such a statement. nificant

Though the l e t t e r was w i t h h e l d ,

it

is s i g ­

to note t h a t the American Jewish Congress wished

to a c t i n d e p e n d e n t l y on the m a t t e r . Wise was being pressured by the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e m i t t e e to do somethi ng.

Com­

He f e l t bound by hi s agreement

w i t h t he American Jewish Committee,

so he t r i e d

to channel

the p r e v a i l i n g d i s c o n t e n t in the Congress i n t o more con­ structive a c tiv itie s .

Thus,

in l a t e March,

1932, a s p e c i a l

committee was c r e a t e d to study the growth o f the Nazi ment i n the Uni t ed S t a t e s . and Sidney Ma t z ,

Finally,

reports

move­

from H o l l a n d e r

an American Jewish Congress member who had

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me et i n g, 3 / 1 5 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The American Jewish Congress di d not make an a t t e mp t to i n q u i r e o f A d l e r whether the s t o r y was t r u e . I t was Schneidermann o f the American Jewish Committee who c a l l e d Wise.

305 been t r a v e l i n g

i n Germany, were r e c e i v e d .

them "Hands o f f , Jewish l e a d e r s ,

please!" all

Hollander told

Matz i n t e r v i e w e d about t h i r t y

o f whom, w i t h the ex c e p t i o n o f George

Ber nhar d, e d i t o r o f t he Vossi sche Z e i t u n g , s t a t e d : Say i sh with with

to Rabbi affairs Jewish Jewish

Wise t h a t he not concern h i m s e l f w i t h Jew­ i n Germany. I f he i n s i s t s upon d e a l i n g a f f a i r s in Europe, l e t him occupy h i m s e l f problems i n Poland and '5 R

Matz r e p o r t e d l a t e r

t he Nazi

u

m

a

n

t h a t Bernhard suggested i t

the Jews in Germany i f criticize

o

i

a

.

might help

non-Jews i n the Uni t ed S t a t e s would

program.

Matz al s o s t a t e d t h a t the

American Ambassador i n Germany t o l d him t h a t the Uni t ed S t a t e s Government coul d do not hi ng o f f i c i a l l y Jewry i f

the d i s t u r b a n c e s c o n t i n u e d .

[ t h e Jews o f ] Ame r i c a , "

he s a i d .

t h a t most Jewish l e a d e r s

f o r German

"Help must come from

Moreover,

Matz r e p o r t e d

di d not t h i n k the s i t u a t i o n

had as

y e t become c r i t i c a l . German Jewr y' s c a u t i o u s a t t i t u d e

toward H i t l e r was

echoed by Angl o- Jewi sh newspapers in the Uni t ed S t a t e s . The American I s r a e l i t e

editorialized,

after

t he German s t a t e

TSgtephen S. Wise, Cha l l e n g i n g Y e a r s , pp. 2 3 4 - 2 3 5 ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 1 2 / 3 2 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

306 elections

in March,

substantial a party."

t h a t t he f a c t t h a t

gai ns "may b r i n g about t h e i r H itler's

newspaper. resultant

1932,

reasoned t h a t t he depr essi on and

chaos had t o p p l e d more s t a b l e governments

than H i t l e r coul d ev e r hope to a c h i e v e . trialists,

d i s i n t e g r a t i o n as

i n c r e a s e d power was welcomed by the

The e d i t o r s social

the Nazis made

politicians

of a l l

Banker s,

i n dus­

per suasi ons

are a l l e q u a l l y h e l p l e s s in t he f ace o f the economic debacle. Every government i s i n e f f e c t i v e t o d a y . Every government i s doomed to be a scapegoat . . . . Hitler was bound to come i n t o power. I t mi ght as we l l be now, when hi s weakness, in t he f a c e o f a wor l d problem, may d e s t r o y him u t t e r l y . . . . T 6 Nazi

pr opagandi st s c o n t i n u a l l y

r e sp ect ed German c i t i z e n s to

f e a r from H i t l e r ;

s t r e s s e d t he f a c t

o f the Jewish f a i t h had

the Nazi s onl y wished to r i d

man n a t i o n o f the Jewish i mmi gr ant e l e me n t , " O s t - J u d e n t u m. " not d i r e c t e d beliefs,

that

To be s u r e ,

not hi ng the Ger ­

t he s o - c a l l e d

t he a n t i - J e w i s h

agitation

was

a g a i n s t t he Jew because o f hi s r e l i g i o u s

but a g a i n s t hi s p o l i t i c a l

American S o c i a l i s t s

vi ews.

"Look a t the

and Communists and you w i l l

many o f them ar e i mmi grant Jews,

l ^ T h e A mer i c a n

Isra e lite ,

see how

especially

aliens,"

5/5/32,

4

p.

stated

307 one p r o p a g a n d i s t . ^ ^ ticularly

Such words r e i n f o r c e d the b e l i e f ,

par­

among a s s i m i l a t e d German-Jewish c i t i z e n s o f the

Uni t e d S t a t e s ,

t h a t H i t l e r onl y wished to keep Germany f r e e

from r a b b l e - r o u s i n g p o l i t i c a l to be o f t he Jewish f a i t h .

agitators

who j u s t happened

He onl y wished to suppress the

B o l s h e v i k h a l f o f t he " B o l s h e v i k - J e w ." H i t l e r was appoi nt e d C h a n c e l l o r on January 30, On Febr uar y 6,

1933,

1933.

Wise and Deutsch c o n f e r r e d wi t h the

German Ambassador to the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

Baron von P r i t t w i t z ,

w i t h r e g a r d to t h e s i t u a t i o n o f German Jewry. dor opi ned t h a t much o f what H i t l e r

The Ambassa­

sa i d b e f o r e his

appoi nt ment as C h a n c e l l o r was onl y campaign propaganda; Wise asked von P r i t t w i t z

to express hi s op i ni ons p u b l i c l y

so as to r e a s s u r e and a l l a y The Ambassador,

however,

t he u n r e s t i n American Jewry. 1g r e f u s e d to do t h i s .

The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e n e x t day.

P r o f e s s o r Sal o Baron t o l d

Committee met the

the group t h a t Germany

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 7 / 2 1 / 3 2 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^^Adrnini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 2 / 7 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

308 h?d no a l t e r n a t i v e - - " e i t h e r

it

is

to be Nazi

or Communist,

and t h a t Hindenburg accept ed H i t l e r wi t h grave r e l u c t a n c e . " Baron b e l i e v e d t h a t some form o f p r o t e s t a c t i o n should be t aken b e f o r e the German e l e c t i o n o f March 5,

but t h a t i t

shoul d be o f such a n a t u r e so as not to suppl y the Nazis w i t h more ammunition f o r Abraham H.

Cohen,

t h e i r a n t i - S e m i t i c campaign.

E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r o f the Congress,

gest ed a mass or p r o t e s t meet i ng as an i n i t i a l Israel

sug­

step;

Thurman b e l i e v e d t h a t a p r o t e s t meet i ng "per se" was

insufficient.

He suggested t h a t a s p e c i a l

committee be

ap p o i n t e d to f o r m u l a t e pl ans f o r t h e ha n d l i n g o f the emer­ gency;

t h a t ever y man o f prominence be urged to r a i s e

voi ce i n p u b l i c p r o t e s t ;

his

and t h a t t he Congress should seek

the c o o p e r a t i o n o f t he German l anguage newspapers i n New Yor k.

Deutsch then a p po i nt e d a s p e c i a l

Baron,

Rabbi

Jacob Cohen,

Israel

Thurman,

and Horace K a l l e n - - t o put i n t o e f f e c t Ri chards was o f t he op i n i o n fraught with

danger t h a t

o f "watchful

waiting"

Joseph Tenenbaum,

Thurman's proposal s . 19

t h a t the s i t u a t i o n was so

t he Congress should adopt a p o l i c y

and not one o f p r e c i p i t o u s

Ri chards was in the m i n o r i t y ;

1^ I b i d .

committee o f f i v e - -

action.

Cohen contended t h a t nothi ng

309 the Congress "would do would p r e c i p i t a t e a c t i o n . " believed i t

to be t he moral

the g r a v e s t o f s i t u a t i o n s . 20

He

duty o f the Congress to a c t in The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee

decided to a t t e n d a conf erence c a l l e d by t he B ' n a i a t which t he t h r e e maj or Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

Brith,

in the Uni t ed

St a t e s would c o n f e r on t he German s i t u a t i o n . 21 The American Jewish Committee coul d do l i t t l e d e s p i t e t he f a c t t h a t t he " p r e sen t s i t u a t i o n dynamite f o r our people in Germany." Jews to speak out a g a i n s t H i t l e r , organizations

It,

t o o,

of

urged non-

and se nt money to Jewish

i n Germany to help them.

counted any e f f o r t s

is f u l l

The Committee d i s ­

made by the American Government on

behalf of t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s .

Mo r r i s Waldman s t a t e d

t h a t si nce the end o f World War One, American f o r e i g n p o l i c y had been one of n o n - i n t e r v e n t i o n , "American c i t i z e n s involved."

or t h e i r business

He sa i d t h a t

except where

interests

were d i r e c t l y

the American Jewish Committee was

t r y i n g to b r i n g about t h e r e t u r n to t he " f or me r hu ma ni t a r i a n foreign

policy;"

however,

t h a t depended on the manner "i n

which the qu est i on s o f debts and disarmaments ar e s e t t l e d . "

ZOlbid. 21 I b i d .

310

The Committee was w a i t i n g f o r i t s gress and t he B' n a i

Brith

conf er ence wi t h

to see what could be

The t h r e e groups met on February 22 ,

the Con­

d o n e .

1933.

22

A policy

o f u n i f i e d a c t i o n was di scussed but no d e c i s i o n was reached, The conf er ees mittee,

did agree t o a suggest i on t h a t a s m a l l e r com­

c o n s i s t i n g o f the P r e s i d e n t and two r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

from each o r g a n i z a t i o n m e ^ o n a r e g u l a r basi s to di scuss the situation.

All

agreed t h a t o b t a i n i n g t he co o p e r a t i o n of

non-Jews i n t he f i g h t a g a i n s t H i t l e r was e s s e n t i a l . over,

t he t h r e e groups would c o o r d i n a t e

see t h a t P r e s i d e n t - e l e c t

told

to

Roosevel t a p p o i n t a sy mpat het i c

American ambassador to Germany. Brith

their efforts

More­

the g a t h e r i n g t h a t

A l f r e d Cohen of the B' nai he was assured by r e l i a b l e

sources i n Germany t h a t H i t l e r would not s u r v i v e the March 5 election.Thus,

t he t h r e e groups di d l i t t l e

pursue t h e i r own cour se,

and no one p r o t e s t e d when the Con­

gress sponsored a mass meet i ng a t ism and i t s

e l s e but

Carnegi e Hal l

on " H i t l e r ­

Meani ng. "

22waldman to S t e r n , tee/ Germany .

2 / 1 6 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commit­

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 2 / 2 8 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

311 The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee o f t he Jewish Congress was being pr essur ed by i t s the Y i d d i s h p r e s s ,

particularly,

o f Per Tog, to p r o t e s t Wise,

constituent organizations

formally

Samuel Margoshes, the s i t u a t i o n

and

Editor

i n Germany.

however, was v e r y r e l u c t a n t to approach P r e s i d e n t

Roosevelt; velt's

he s t a t e d ;

limited

Moreover,

"We h e s i t a t e

to use up any o f Roose-

ti me and to add to hi s

relations

terrible

cares."

24

between the two had not been ver y

ami cabl e si n c e they had cl ashed over the o u s t e r of Mayor James Wal ker o f New Yor k. ^S f or ced to c a l l tive

But Wise and Deutsch were

f o r p r o t e s t a c t i o n when t he N a t i o n a l

Committee met on March 12,

1933.

They t r i e d

Execu­

but could

not p r e v e n t t he passage o f a r e s o l u t i o n which a u t h o r i z e d the E x e c u t i v e Committee to sponsor a s e r i e s o f meet i ngs to voi c e the p r o t e s t o f the American peopl e a g a i n s t the out r ages committed a g a i n s t the Jewish c i t i z e n s o f Germany and to c a l l

24

C. H. Voss, P e o p l e , p. 180.

Stephen S. Wise,

S e r v a n t o f the

^^The Seabury I n v e s t i g a t i o n Committee concl uded t h a t Walker shoul d be removed from o f f i c e . R o o s e v e l t , then Gov­ e r n o r o f New Yor k, proceeded s l o w l y . Wise and John Haynes Holmes, who worked f o r t he Reform Committee o f One Hundred, were i m p a t i e n t and c r i t i c i z e d F. D. R. f o r moving too s l o w l y . He, in t u r n , s e v e r e l y c r i t i c i z e d Wise and Holmes; hence, the s p l i t .

312 upon the c i v i l i z e d peoples o f t he worl d to express t h e i r d i s a p p r o v a l o f t he t a c i t conduct of the German Government i n t he f ace o f a t t a c k s upon pe a c e f ul c i t i ­ zens. . . The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, at i t s

March 14 me e t i n g ,

al s o

deci ded to send a d e l e g a t i o n to Washington to c o n f e r wi t h government o f f i c i a l s , m i t t e e and t h e B' n a i

and i n v i t e d Brith

to j o i n

t he American Jewish Com­ t he p r o t e s t a c t i o n s .

The American Jewish Committee and the B' n a i

Brith

met s e p a r a t e l y and urged t he American Jewish Congress to refrain

from sponsori ng any mass demonst r a t i ons u n t i l

t i me as t he J o i n t Conference on Germany coul d meet. Congress r e f u s e d to comply wi t h t h i s mann o f t he Committee t o l d Cohen t h a t ceeded w i t h

request; "if

such The

Schneider­

the Congress p r o ­

t h e i r pl ans t h e r e no l o n g e r would be j o i n t

a c t i o n o f t he t h r e e o r g a n i z a t i o n s

in th is

m a t t e r . "27

In accordance wi t h t he March 12 r e s o l u t i o n , i sh Congress i ssued a c a l l

f o r a conf e r e nce o f a l l

the Jew­ national

Z^American Jewish Congress, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e p o r t , J u l y , 1932 to May, 1933: Submi t t ed to the El e v e nt h (Emer­ gency) Sessi on o f the American Jewish Congr ess, n . p . , n . d . , p. 41 . 2 7 l b i d . , pp. 4 2 - 4 3 . See a l s o . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ tee M e e t i n g , 3 / 1 4 / 3 3 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

313 and l o c a l

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

meet t he H i t l e r

threat.

to de v i s e ways and means to

At the c o n f e r e n c e ,

speaker a f t e r

speaker denounced the "counsel or s o f i n a c t i o n , " demanded t h a t t he Congress do somet hi ng.

and

Margoshes i n t r o ­

duced a r e s o l u t i o n c a l l i n g on American Jewry to set asi de one day f o r solemn p r o t e s t . delegates.

J.

Thi s di d not s a t i s f y some

George Fredman, a l e a d e r o f the Jewish War

Vet er ans o f t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , Margoshes r e s o l u t i o n c a l l i n g goods and s e r v i c e s .

o f f e r e d an amendment to t he

f o r a b o y c o t t of a l l

German

The Fredman amendment had much sup­

p o r t from t he d e l e g a t e s ,

but Wise,

Perlman were l uke-warm t o the i d e a .

Deutsch, and Nathan They mustered enough

d e l e g a t e s to d e f e a t the amendment; the Margoshes r e s o l u t i o n passed, be r g ,

unamended.

po

Joseph Proskauer and James N.

r e p r e s e n t i n g t he American Jewish Commi ttee,

the conf e r e nce not to i n i t i a t e me e t i n g s ,

or b o y c o t t s .

Rosen­

caut i oned

any p r o t e s t campaigns, mass

Wise count er ed t h a t even i f

such

a c t i o n s were disavowed by t he l e a d e r s o f American Jewry,

Z^Moshe G o t t l i e b , "The A n t i - N a z i Boycot t Movement in the Amer i can- Jewi sh Community, 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 4 1 , " ( Unpubl i shed Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n , Brandei s U n i v e r s i t y , 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 3 6 - 3 8 . See a l s o . H i s t o r y of t he B o y c o t t , N o n - S e c t a r i a n A n t i - N a z i Boycot t League and Jewish War Vet erans o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s o f America Mss, Box 2639, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

314

the Jewish masses would not l i s t e n , s l i g h t e s t e f f e c t on H i t l e r ' s

and would not have the

p o l i c y toward the Jews.

huge p r o t e s t r a l l y was s e t f o r March 27, Square Garden.

1933,

A

a t Madison

29

Expressions o f sympathy poured I n t o gress h e a d q u a r t e r s .

t he Jewish Con­

The American F e d e r a t i o n of Labor j o i n e d

the p r o t e s t movement as di d numerous church o r g a n i z a t i o n s . The Commission on I n t e r n a t i o n a l Council

R e l a t i o n s o f the General

of the Congregati on of C h r i s t i a n

p r o t e s t to the Congress d e s c r i b i n g Nazi " u n c h r i s t i a n and b a r b a r o u s . "

Churches sent a activities

as

Three r e s o l u t i o n s were I n t r o ­

duced In the Uni t ed St a t e s House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s a u t h o r ­ izing

the S t a t e Department to lodge a formal

Germany.

On March 20,

1933,

p r o t e s t wi t h

the Jewish War Vet erans

29wise f e a r e d any movement which t he Congress could not c o n t r o l . "We f e e l t h a t something must be done, " he wrote a f r i e n d . "You cannot Imagi ne the f e e l i n g t h a t rages through the c o u n t r y . There ar e a l l s o r t s o f t h i ng s being spoken o f , such as bo y c o t t of goods, the avoi dance o f Ger­ man st eamer s, and, a f t e r a l l , f o u r m i l l i o n s of Jews In America have a r e a l purchasi ng power." Wise to G o t t h e l l , 3 / 2 0 / 3 3 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947, American Jewish Archives. He was a f r a i d t h a t I f I r r e s p o n s i b l e elements w i t h i n the Jewish community should gain c o n t r o l o f such a b o y c o t t movement. I t would do i r r e p a r a b l e harm to the Jewish cause. "We want n e i t h e r Communist nor S o c i a l i s t nor R e v i ­ s i o n i s t meet i ngs. We want Jewish meetings and as soon as we t ake our hands o f f we are going to have Communist, Marx­ i s t , and R e v i s i o n i s t d e mo n s t r a t i o n s . " The New York Ti me s , 3 / 2 0 / 3 3 , p. 5.

31 5 endorsed t he b o y c o t t movement and ar r anged to hold a mass p r o t e s t parade on March 23.

In t h i s

f r e n z i e d atmosphere

Wise and Deutsch went to Washington and c o n f e r r e d wi t h Under-Secretary of State William P h i l l i p s . to a s c e r t a i n t he H i t l e r

all

They urged him

t he f a c t s on the a n t i - S e m i t i c

r egi me,

p o s s i b l y be made.

so t h a t d i p l o m a t i c

policies

representations

of

could

Moreover, Wise and Deutsch made known

t h e i r a n x i e t y over the appoi nt ment o f an ambassador to Ger­ many.

Too,

t hey t o l d P h i l l i p s

t h a t t he nascent b o y c o t t

movement was not being endorsed by " r e s p o n s i b l e " organizations,

Jewish

i n c l u d i n g t he American Jewish Congress.

A f t e r t he me e t i n g . Wise was a u t h o r i z e d to s t a t e t h a t the Department o f S t a t e or dered t he Uni t ed S t a t e s embassy in Berlin

to make a complete r e p o r t on t h e a n t i - S e m i t i c

ci es of Nazi

Germany.

On March 23, to C i t y H a l l ;

poli-

3n

1933,

t he Jewish War Vet erans paraded

t he Veterans o f Forei gn Wars,

American War V e t e r a n s , Jewish Congress l e a d e r s

t he Di s a bl e d

and the American Legion p a r t i c i p a t e d . t r i e d to persuade the Jewish War

Vet erans to postpone the mass par ade,

and when they r ef used

The New York Ti mes, 3 / 2 2 / 3 3 , p. 1; Sherman to Wise, 3 / 2 7 / 3 3 , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n ­ s t e i n , New York C i t y , Archi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bur eau.

316 to do so,

urged Mayor O ' B r i e n to a b s e n t h i m s e l f from the

review stand.

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s

believed th at d i p l o ­

mat i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s would serve a more usef ul this

t i me than p r o t e s t marches.

Mo r e ove r ,

purpose a t

many i n the Con­

gress f e a r e d t h a t t he Jewish War V e t e r a n s were s t e a l i n g t hunder and l u s t r e

from t h e i r massive p r o t e s t r a l l y

ul ed f o r March 27,

pl ans f o r which had been made a t an

earlier

sched­

d a t e . 31 On t he eve o f t he Madison Square Garden r a l l y .

r e c e i v e d a c a b l e from S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e C o r d e l l

Hul l

Wise in

which he s t a t e d t h a t m i s t r e a t m e n t o f Jews i n Germany had virtually

ceased.

some s c a t t e r e d

He i n d i c a t e d though t h a t t h e r e was s t i l l

p i c k e t i n g o f Jewish s t o r e s

and p r o f e s s i o n a l

discrimi nation. These m a n i f e s t a t i o n s were viewed w i t h s e r i o u s concern by the German government. . . . H i t l e r . . . i ssued an o r d e r c a l l i n g upon hi s f o l l o w e r s to m a i n t a i n law and o r d e r . . . and to avoi d the c r e a t i o n o f p o s s i b l y embar­ rassing in t e r n a t i o n a l in cid e nts . . . . As a r e s u l t , the embassy r e p o r t s t h a t t he a u t h o r i t y o f the r e g u l a r p o l i c e has been r e i n f o r c e d .

-) 1

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 3 / 2 2 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . See a l s o , " H i s t o r y o f the B o y c o t t , " N o n - S e c t a r i a n A n t i - N a z i Boycot t League and Jewish War Vet er ans o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s o f America Mss, Box 2639, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

317 The embassy r e p o r t e d t h a t t h e r e was a wi despread f e e l i n g Germany t h a t ment

.

.

" f o l l o w i n g so f a r - r e a c h i n g a p o l i t i c a l

in

realign­

. some t i me must el apse b e f o r e a s t a t e of e q u i l i b ­

rium coul d be r e - e s t a b l i s h e d . "

He f u r t h e r noted t h a t the

embassy b e l i e v e d such a s t a b i l i z a t i o n

had been r eached,

and

t h a t t he s i t u a t i o n would soon r e v e r t to normal . D e s p i t e assurances from H u l l ,

the mass p r o t e s t r a l l y

went on as schedul ed.

Jewish l e a d e r s

to postpone the e v e n t ;

Er nest Wal l a c h,

Central

in Germany cabl ed Wise V i c e - P r e s i d e n t o f the

A s s o c i a t i o n o f German C i t i z e n s o f t he Jewish F a i t h ,

urged t h a t i f speakers

t he meet i ng could not be postponed,

"refrain

from s t i r r i n g

ence a g a i n s t Germany." Government i s

t h a t the

the emotions o f the a u d i ­

He assured Wise t h a t the "German

permanent l y and s u c c e s s f u l l y engaged in a s s u r ­

i ng peace and o r d e r to a l l

c it iz e n s without discrimination."

Wise and Deutsch r e j e c t e d the d e n i a l s as " p i t i f u l l y vincing."^^

At t he p r o t e s t r a l l y .

de mo ns t r a t i on s would stop i f

uncon­

Wise s t a t e d t h a t a l l

H i t l e r and hi s bench ten

^^Anierican Jewish Congress, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e p o r t , J u l y , 1932 to May, 1933; Submi t ted to t he El e v e nt h (Emer­ gency) Sessi on o f the American Jewish Congr ess, n . p . , n . d . , pp. 5 7 - 5 8 ; The New York Ti mes, 3 / 2 7 / 3 3 , pp. 1, 5. ^ ^ The New York T i m e s , 3 / 2 7 / 3 3 ,

p.

4.

318 accept ed t he f o l l o w i n g f o u r demands; cessation of a l l Germany;

(2)

anti-Semitic

(1)

activities

an immediate and propaganda in

the abandonment o f the p o l i c y o f r a c i a l

dis­

c r i m i n a t i o n a g a i n s t and economic e x c l u s i o n o f Jews from German l i f e ; and ( 4 ) after

(3)

and p r o p e r t y ;

no e x p u l s i o n o f "Ost-Juden" who e n t e r e d Germany

19 1 4 . 3 ^

viction

p r o t e c t i o n o f Jewish l i f e

wise j u s t i f i e d

the p r o t e s t r a l l y

on the con­

t h a t s i l e n c e was tantamount to acqui escence.

m a t t e r what the H i t l e r i t e s

"Mo

do now," he s t a t e d ,

i t w i l l be n o t h i n g more than the o v e r t commission of act s t h a t would have been c o v e r t l y per f or me d, p r o t e s t or no p r o t e s t . . . . They [German-Jewish l e a d e r s ] have been sayi ng f o r y e ar s t h e r e i s no Gef ahr ( danger ) of H i t l e r ' s coming to power. They have no judgment and c e r t a i n l y they can have no o b j e c t i v e judgment now. . 35 The p r o t e s t

rally

a l s o or dered t he Jewish Congress to r a i s e

an emergency fund to hel p the Jewish s u f f e r e r s the H i t l e r i t e

program.

and combat

A Committee o f One Hundred was

a p po i nt e d to over see the o p e r a t i o n . The Nazi s used the Jewish Congress p r o t e s t r a l l i e s as an excuse to i n i t i a t e German-Jewish busi ness es.

a one-day economic boycot t of Nazi

spokesmen pr ocl ai med the

3^I b i d . 33c. H. Voss, People , p. 182.

Stephen S. Wise:

S e r v a n t o f the

319 b o y c o t t to begin on A p r i l di d not cease,

1,

and i f

the a n t i - N a z i

the b o y c o t t would resume on A p r i l

agitation 5.

was aware o f the bo y c o t t f o r he was f or ewar ned of i t letter

Wise in a

sent by an anonymous Jew in Germany.

You have no i dea o f how t h i s was o r g a n i z e d to the n^h degr ee. They had speakers in every f a c t o r y . . . t e l l ­ ing workmen . . . t h a t through a b o y c o t t i n s t i t u t e d by t he Jews a g a i n s t Germany, t h e y , the workmen, would be the ones to s u f f e r and so they must hel p i n r o o t i n g out these p e o p l e . 36 The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee met on March 29 to deci de what a c t i o n to t a k e .

Wise and Deutsch

were sent to Washington and asked the S t a t e Department to make r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s to Germany.

They c o n f e r r e d wi t h

Under-Secretary of State P h i l l i p s

on March 30,

documentary pr oof o f the s i t u a t i o n

and gave him

in Germany.

Phillips

was sympat het i c to the Jewish cause; he b e l i e v e d t h a t H i t ­ l e r was no l o nge r "master of the s i t u a t i o n one-day b o y c o t t i s a concession H i t l e r followers

out o f f e a r f o r t h e i r w r a t h . "

and t h a t the

had to make to hi s Phillips

urged

Wise and Deutsch not to make any s t at e me nt to the press in view of t he f a c t " t h a t a n y t h i n g sai d a t t h i s harmful."

ti me might be

When Deutsch c o n f e r r e d wi t h S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e

^ ^ St e p h e n S. Wi se,

C h a l l e n g i n g Y e a r s , pp.

247-248.

320 Hull, if

he was t o l d

the Nazi s agreed to c a l l

o f f t he b o y c o t t

the S t a t e Department "v/ould i ss ue a f r i e n d l y

to t h a t Government."

st at ement

The S t a t e Department compl i ed,

but

t he message di d not reach Germany i n t i me to get the boy­ c o t t postponed.

"Thi s accounts f o r t he f a c t t h a t the boy­

c o t t l a s t e d o n l y one d a y , " De s pi t e c a l l s Administrative

sa i d D e u t s c h . 37

f o r cont i nue d p r o t e s t s .

Committee kept s i l e n t .

Goldberg b e l i e v e d

t h a t some p u b l i c s t a t e me n t was ne c e s s a r y , All

were i n agr eement ,

however,

Wise and the

as di d Ri c h a r ds .

t h a t any p u b l i c

st at ement

e x p l a i n i n g the Jewish Congress' s p o s i t i o n would have to i n c l u d e a di savowal

of t h e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the b o y c o t t .

Margoshes proposed t h a t t h e Jewish Congress send a message to Nazi

leaders

through t h e S t a t e Department t h a t

not f a v o r a b o y c o t t ,

di d

and t h a t the b o y c o t t was onl y sanc­

t i o n e d by i s o l a t e d Jews who would cease and d e s i s t Nazi s d i s c o n t i n u e d t h e i r

terror

tactics.

deci ded t h a t a press r e l e a s e would s u f f i c e own c o n s t i t u e n c y "

it

It

if

the

was f i n a l l y

to r eassur e "our

and to "keep the a t t e n t i o n

of the American

^^Moshe G o t t l i e b , " A n t i - N a z i B o y c o t t , " p. 53; Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 4 / 1 / 3 3 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s ­ to rical Society. The New York T i mes, 4 / 3 / 3 3 , p. 8.

321 public

.

.

. c e n t e r e d on t he cause,

and m o b i l i z i n g Amer i -

OO

can s y mp a t h i e s . " declared th at

In a s t a t e m e n t i ssued A p r i l

t he o f f i c i a l

lifting

5, Wise

o f t he a n t i - J e w i s h

c o t t di d not d e c e i v e anyone, and t h a t co nt i nue d to press hi s a n t i - S e m i t i c Congress would c o n t i n u e to p r o t e s t .

boy­

as long as H i t l e r

policies,

the Jewish

Significantly,

Wise

mentioned no t h i n g about t he ant i - Ger man b o y c o t t in the Un i t e d S t a t e s . ^9 ment,

f o r he f e a r e d t h a t

representations. shall

He adamant l y opposed t he b o y c o t t move­

"We have not o r g a n i z e d a b o y c o t t ,

not o r g a n i z e one.

not the f i r s t

i t would i n t e r f e r e w i t h d i p l o m a t i c

A b o y c o t t would be t he l a s t

weapon o f t he Jewish p e o p l e .

.

.

and we and

. "^0

Nazi s cont i nue d to p e r s e c u t e t h e Jews o f Germany. Civil

law excl uded a l l

Jews from o f f i c i a l

appoi nt ment s;

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 4 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^9j h e New York T i me s , 4 / 6 / 3 3 ,

p.

10.

H. Voss, Stephen S. Wise: S e r v a n t of the P e o p l e , p. 183; The American I s r a e l i t e agreed w i t h Wise. In an e d i t o r i a l i t s t a t e d : "Should we p r o c l a i m a b o y c o t t we should be mer el y f a l l i n g i n t o a p o l i t i c a l t r a p . An economic b o y c o t t i n v o l v e s t he s u f f e r i n g o f i nnoc ent p e o p l e . A b o y c o t t i s not in harmony w i t h the e t h i c a l and p a c i f i s t i c outlook. We cannot decry the German economic b o y c o t t i f we engage in the same nasty b u s i n e s s . Jewish l e a d e r s h i p can­ not accept t he bo y c o t t i d e a s . " The American I s r a e l i t e , 4 / 6 / 3 3 , p. 1.

322 mor eover ,

t hose Jews who were di smi ssed from t h e i r c i v i l

s e r v i c e posts were d e c l a r e d i n e l i g i b l e pensi ons or unemployment compensati on.

to r e c e i v e t h e i r A numerus cl ausus

o f 1 per c e n t was a p p l i e d to Jewish l a w y e r s ; a r t s and t h e a t e r were s y s t e m a t i c a l l y positions;

Jews i n the

r e l i e v e d of t h e i r

o f t he a p p r o x i ma t e l y 7 0 , 0 0 0 Jews engaged in

busi ness and commerce, al most o n e - t h i r d were out o f b u s i ­ ness by A p r i l

15,

1933; non-Jewish employers were r e q u i r e d

to have not more than 5 per cent o f t h e i r work f o r c e com­ posed o f Jews.

In response to these o u t r a g e s ,

the Jewish

Congress agai n deci ded to t a k e to t he s t r e e t s . A ence was c a l l e d f o r A p r i l Rabbi conference,

confer­

19 to pl an the p r o t e s t march.

Wise was r e l u c t a n t to i ssue t he c a l l

for

the

but he r e l e n t e d due to the p r es sur e e x e r t e d by

the Y i d d i s h p r e s s ,

particularly,

Samuel

Margoshes.

Ri c h ­

ards was d i s g u s t e d by t he whole a f f a i r . The meet i ng was an ot h er noi sy and confused a f f a i r wi t h a l o t o f heated and ai ml ess t a l k and r e s o l u t i o n s to have an o t h e r conf e r e nce o f l o c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , anot her s t r e e t parade promoted by Dr. Margoshes, and s i m i l a r t h i n g s which ar e to assure the a t t a i n m e n t of an

^Tf he New York T i me s , 4 / 1 5 / 3 3 , p. 7; A d m i n i s t r a ­ t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 1 2 / 3 3 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s ­ t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; American Jewish Commi t t ee/ Nazi sm/ Amer i can Jewish Congress, 4 / 1 4 / 3 3 .

323 anti-climax. . . . I agai n ex per i e nce d the p a i n f u l f e e l i n g t h a t wi t h the Thunder banging away i n most p l a n l e s s manner, German-Jewish i n t e r e s t s are f a r from bei ng in sa f e h a n d s . 42 Wise s t i l l

hoped t h a t P r e s i d e n t Roosev el t would

show hi s concer n.

"Roosevel t ought to know the s t o r y .

course F e l i x

F r a n k f u r t e r must have t o l d Roo sev el t much,

but t h e r e is s t i l l

much to be t o l d .

t e mp l a t e d doing t he " v e r y ,

very,

ing out a g a i n s t the P r e s i d e n t , "

Mor eover ,

Samuel

.

.

Whi l e he con­

l ament abl e t h i n g o f c r y ­ he t hought t h a t f u r t h e r

p r o t e s t meetings would be f u t i l e , ful.

Of

and perhaps,

Unt er meyer ,

even harm­

a l e a d e r o f the nascent

b o y c o t t movement in the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

publicly c ritic iz e d

both Roo sev el t and the Uni t ed S t a t e s Congress f o r t h e i r failure afraid agitate

to p r o t e s t the Nazi

terror.

Wise and Deutsch were

t h a t d e l e g a t e s to the f or t hcomi ng conf er ence would f o r a bo y c o t t as wel l

thy and concern from F. D. R. Chairman p r o h i b i t

all

as some ex pr ess i on of sympa­ Thus, Wise demanded t h a t the

such c r i t i c i s m . 43

43Ri char ds to Sherman, 4 / 1 3 / 3 3 , Carl Sherman f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish T e o l o g i c a l Seminary. 43wise CO G o t t h e i l , 4 / 1 7 / 3 3 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 947 , American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; Richards to Sabat h, 4 / 1 S / 3 3 , Carl Sherman f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish T h e o l o g i c a l Seminary; C. H. Voss, Stephen S. W i s e : S er van t o f the Peop l e, pp. 1 8 4 - 1 8 5 .

324 The conf er ence convened in the Hotel wi t h 1 , 2 0 0 d e l e g a t e s a total that

in a t t e n d a n c e .

P e nnsy l vani a

Some d e l e g a t e s demanded

bo y c o t t o f German goods and s e r v i c e s ;

Wise r e p l i e d

the "t i me has not y e t come f o r an o f f i c i a l

we s t i l l

have o t h e r weapons."

boycott--

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s were

a b l e to pr e v e n t t he passage o f the bo y c o t t r e s o l u t i o n , to appease t he d e l e g a t e s , march,

.

wi t h us , "

.

. but i t

Congress ur gi ng

actions.Wise

t h a t the P r e s i d e n t would a c t .

helpful

and the g a t h e r i n g o f a

to be sent t o the Uni t e d S t a t e s

t h a t body to p r o t e s t Nazi ful

they consented to an ot h e r p r o t e s t

to be hel d on May 1û , 1933,

petition

was s t i l l

hope­

"Our government has been

has not been f a n a t i c

in cooperating

he s t a t e d . ^5

A g i t a t i o n f o r a bo y c o t t was wi d esp r e ad. Untermeyer d e c l a r e d t h a t fied

but

in seei ng to i t

from "now on Jews w i l l

Samuel be j u s t i ­

t h a t nowhere i n the wor l d and under no

ci rcumst ances should a Jew buy or use merchandi se manufac­ t u r e d in Germany, or suppor t German i n d u s t r y

in any

^^Moshe G o t t l i e b , " A n t i - N a z i B o y c o t t , " pp. 8 7 - 8 8 ; The New York T i me s , 4 / 2 0 / 3 3 , p. 11; American Jewish Con­ g r e s s , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e p o r t , J u l y , 1932 to May, 1 9 3 3 : Submi t ted to t he El e v e nt h (Emergency) Session of the Ameri can Jewish Congress, n . p . , n . d . , pp. 6 5 - 6 7 . 45wi s e t o G o t t h e i l , 4 / 1 7 / 3 3 , Box 947, Amer i can J e w i s h A r c h i v e s .

St ephen S. Wise Mss ,

325 f o r m .

"46

U n w i l l i n g to endorse t h e b o y c o t t ,

the Jewish Con­

gress was al so b e r a t e d by the American Jewish Committee and t he B ' n a i

Brith fo r

its

p r o t e s t meet i ngs.

We . . . consi der such forms o f a g i t a t i o n as b o y c o t t s , pa r a des , mass - meet i ngs, and o t h e r s i m i l a r demonst ra­ t i o n s as f u t i l e . They serve o n l y as an i n e f f e c t u a l channel f o r t he r e l e a s e o f emot i ons. They f u r n i s h the pe r s e c u t o r s wi t h a p r e t e x t to j u s t i f y the wrongs they p e r p e t r a t e and . . . d i s t r a c t those who d e s i r e to help w i t h more c o n s t r u c t i v e e f f o r t s . 47 In an a t t e mp t to br i n g about some form o f u n i t y , Cohen,

P r e s i d e n t of the B ' n a i

Brith,

A l f r e d M.

sent t el egr ams

to the

Congress and the Committee suggest i ng t h a t the t h r e e organizations

resume j o i n t

consultations.

Deutsch r e f u s e d

to cooper a t e wi t h Cohen because such " c o o p e r a t i o n " inaction; proposal

moreover, Deutsch di d not even p r e s e n t the Cohen to the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi t t e e . 48

By mi d-May,

1933, Wise and o t h e r l e a d e r s o f the Jew­

ish Congress began to r e a l i z e

t h a t P r e s i d e n t Roosev el t was

not going to come to t h e i r a i d ; helpful,

l ed to

the S t a t e Department was

but not o v e r - e n t h u s i a s t i c .

Moreover,

4^The American I s r a e l i t e , 4 / 2 7 / 3 3 , 47Amer i can Jewi sh C o mmi t t e e , 4 / 2 8 / 3 3 .

pp.

Roosevel t

1,

5.

Committee/Boycott/American

J ewi sh

48waldman to Mack, 5 / 1 2 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commit­ t e e / F o r e i g n C o u n t r i e s / Germany/I 931 -1 933.

326 had been c o u n s e l l e d by German Jews such as Max Warburg not to do a n y t h i n g and t h a t t he s i t u a t i o n eventually

stabilize.

in Germany would

The r e s u l t was t h a t

F.D.R.

much e a s i e r t o p l a y o f f one Jewish f a c t i o n

a g a i n s t anot her

than to f o r m u l a t e and ex ecut e any meani ngf ul hel p the s t r i c k e n ton D.

Jews o f Germany.

Too,

" o t h e r n a t i o n s have t r o u b l e s ,

too,

and he

He s t a t e d t h a t

Secretary of State

adamant l y opposed the Jewish b o y c o t t movement,

ing i t

as " e c o n o m i c a l l y unwi se; "

a violation "plain

logic

of f a c t s . "

50

voi ced t h e i r d i s a p p r o v a l

in s h r i l l e r

protest

49c. H. Voss, Peopl e , pp. 1 8 7 - 1 8 8 , i ng Y e a r s , p. 238.

p o l i c y of s i l e n c e

t ones .

Isidore A p fe l,

I ndependent Order o f B r i t h Abraham,

urged the government to make i t s ing t he g i a n t

but was co u n t e r to the

of the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n ' s

Gr and - Ma st e r o f t he

condemn­

t he b o y c o t t was not onl y

o f d i p l o m a t i c pr udence,

Critics

Mss,

men such as New­

and t h a t t he Jews must

not mer el y t h i n k o f t h e m s e l v e s . "49 Hul l

p o l i c y to

Baker ad vi s ed the P r e s i d e n t not to a c t ,

c a u t i o n e d Jewish l e a d e r s not to p r o t e s t .

found i t

rally

position

on May 1 0,

known.

1 933,

Apf el

Address­ stated :

Stephen S. Wise: S e r v a n t o f the 1 96, 208; Stephen S. Wi se, C h a l l e n g ­

^ ^ J o i n t Boycot t Counci l 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 3 8 , YIVO.

folder,

Joseph Tenenbaum

327 Are we to b e l i e v e t h a t the new deal w i l l mean a raw deal f o r our p e o p l e . . .? I c a l l upon our P r e s i d e n t . . . to st a y t h e hand o f the Angel o f D e s t r u c t i o n . . . . Le t the voi c e o f o f f i c i a l America be hear d, England has done i t ! France has done i t ! Why c a n ' t Free America do i t ?^^ In an a t t e m p t t o push the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f f dead c e n t e r , Jewish members o f t he House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s representatives

o f t he American Jewish Congress and the

American Jewish Committee meet under t h e i r b r i n g about some form o f u n i t y . May 2 6 ,

asked t h a t

auspi ces to

The meet i ng took pl a c e on

19 3 3 , w i t h Supreme Court J u s t i c e s Br andei s and

Cardoza i n a t t e n d a n c e ;

the meet i ng accompl i shed n o t h i n g ,

Cyrus A d l e r r e f u s e d to a t t e n d because o f hi s personal l i k e o f Deut sch,

and Judge Joseph Pr oskauer l e f t

s h o r t t i me t o c o n f e r w i t h C o r d e l l At a l a t e r me e t i n g ,

after a

Hull.

Proskauer s t a t e d

ment o f u n i t y must be r eached;

dis­

t h a t an a g r e e ­

he asked Deutsch to pr epar e

a s t a t e me n t o f u n i t y between the t h r e e groups and t h a t he would si gn i t .

Deutsch n o t e d ,

though,

that a declaration

o f u n i t y would be w o r t h l e s s w i t h o u t A d l e r ' s

signature.

Wise

then read a s t a t e me nt he had pr epar ed in which he announced

51 American Jewish Congress, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e R e p o r t ; J u l y , 1932 to May, 1933: Submi t ted to the E l e v e nt h (Emer­ gency) Session o f the American Jewish Congr ess, n . p . , n. d. pp. 7 3 - 7 4 ,

328 t he f o r m a t i o n o f a C o n j o i n t C o n s u l t a t i v e Commi ttee, composed o f t h r e e to f i v e zation.

representatives

to be

from each o r g a n i ­

The Committee was to meet a t r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s

and

have the power to make r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s on b e h a l f o f the t h r e e groups in d e a l i n g wi t h a l l U n i t e d St a t e s Government.

official

Edward L.

bodies and the

Bernays,

representing

t he American Jewish Committee, o b j e c t e d to t he name of the organization,

and noted t h a t the p a r a l l e l

between the new

body and t he C o n j o i n t Committee o f t he Angl o- Jewi sh Associ ­ a t i o n and the Jewish Board of Deput i es was " i n f e l i c i t o u s . " He o f f e r e d a c o u n t e r - s t a t e m e n t in which a J o i n t N at i ona l Jewish Committee was to be c r e a t e d ,

composed o f t h r e e r e p ­

resentatives

Thi s Commi ttee--"com-

o f each o r g a n i z a t i o n .

p a r a b l e to l i k e committees of o t h e r r a c i a l

and r e l i g i o u s

groups

Council,

. .

Feder al

. such as the N a t i ona l

Counci l

Catholic

the

o f Chur ches"- - woul d meet a t r e g u l a r i n t e r ­

val s and have the power to recommend j o i n t a c t i o n by the organizations tions

it

r e p r e s e n t e d as wel l

to o t h e r o f f i c i a l

statement,

bodi es.

as make r e p r e s e n t a ­

Wise r e j e c t e d the Bernays

and t he t h r e e groups decided to meet a t a l a t e r

date f o r f u r t h e r c o n s u l t a t i o n s . When Wise r e p o r t e d back to t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ mittee,

t h e r e was much o p p o s i t i o n .

Nathan Perlman opposed

329 the i n c l u s i o n o f t he B ' n a i ternal

organization,

Committee.

Brith,

as an equal

which he termed a f r a ­ o f t he Congress and the

He b e l i e v e d t h a t t he I ndependent Order of B r i t h

Abraham, a c o n s t i t u e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t he Congress and one wi t h a much l a r g e r membership than t he B ' n a i b e t t e r r i g h t to be i n c l u d e d .

Thus,

Brith,

had a

he s t a t e d t h a t onl y the

Congress and the Committee be s i g n a t o r s o f any u n i t y a g r e e ­ ment.

Leo Wolfson di d not wish to see t he Congress in any

Council

or Commi ttee.

group i t

Once t he Congress j o i n e d such a

"would i mme di a t e l y be pl aced a t a di sa d v a n t a g e as

t he vote would be s i x f o r the p o i n t of view r e p r e s e n t e d by the Committee a g a i n s t t h r e e f o r t he Congress. " gress coul d not c o n t r o l Dr.

the new body,

it

If

the Con­

should not j o i n .

Joseph Tenenbaum warned t h a t any u n i t y a g r e e ­

ment should not d e t e r i o r a t e

into a "unity for

inaction."

To pr e v e nt the American Jewish Commi ttee' s phi l os ophy of "do-nothing"

from p r e v a i l i n g ,

he suggested t h a t each

o r g a n i z a t i o n be "autonomous in i t s

work; "

if

agreement on

a c e r t a i n course o f a c t i o n could not be r eac hed,

the

organization

d e s i r i n g t he program should be al l owe d to

execut e i t .

Tenenbaum's pessimism was echoed by I s r a e l

Thurman who did not t h i n k t h a t any u n i t y pl an would suc­ ceed.

Margoshes frowned on t he c r e a t i o n o f any permanent

330 u n i t y commi ttee " s i nc e a l l tual

those pr e s e nt knew how i n e f f e c ­

an a t t e m p t a t u n i t e d a c t i o n would r e a l l y

pr ov e.

.

.

Wise then s t a t e d t h a t some form of u n i t y would have to be a c h i e v e d .

He reasoned t h a t the passi on " f o r

among the Jews o f America was u n d e r e s t i m a t e d ,

the qu e s t i o n

was even becoming more i m p o r t a n t than t he f i g h t Hitlerism."

He proposed t h a t a s p e c i a l

unity

against

committee of f i v e

be ap po i nt e d to c o n f e r wi t h the American Jewish Committee to c o n s i d e r the p o s s i b i l i t y a united f r o n t . " shes,

Per l man,

for

"effectuating

Deutsch named Tenenbaum,

L i p s k y , Margo-

and s u b s e q u e n t l y .

Deutsch c o n f e r r e d w i t h Proskauer and Sol

tative

Wise and

St r oock o f the

The f o u r agreed to t he f o r ma t i o n o f a c o n s u l ­

committee composed o f t h r e e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

Congress,

of

and Jacob Fishman to f o r m u l a t e a program.

This committee di d n o t h i n g ,

Committee.

the ideal

Commi ttee, and the B' nai

Committee to r a t i f y

Brith.

from the

Wise urged the

i mme di a t e l y the agreement , which i t di d

at i t s

E x e c u t i v e Committee meet i ng o f June 5,

night,

however.

1933.

Wise t o l d the sub-commi t tee t h a t

That

the terms

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 6 / 2 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . Wise and Deutsch were e x - o f f i c i o members o f the commi tt ee.

331 o f the agreement out o f which a C o n s u l t a t i v e or C o n j o i n t Committee was to be c r e a t e d had to be a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r and explicit.

He s t a t e d t h a t t he Congress would have to r e c e i v e

a t l e a s t o n e - h a l f o f the seat s on the Commi ttee, and t h a t no o r g a n i z a t i o n

i n the C o n s u l t a t i v e

Committee coul d veto

any a c t i o n by any o f t he c o n s t i t u e n t b o d i e s . c l e a r why Wise changed hi s p o s i t i o n ; t h a t t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e agreement . strative

i s not

perhaps he b e l i e v e d

Committee would not r a t i f y

such an

When he p r e s e n t e d t he agreement to the Admi ni ­

Committee on June 7,

the r e p o r t .

It

Loui s Li psky s t r o n g l y opposed

He t hought t h a t t h e u n i t y pl an was not hi ng

more than a f a cade to dupe t he Jews of America ing t h a t u n i t y

had f i n a l l y

been a c h i e v e d .

into

think­

He o b j e c t e d to the

p r o v i s i o n which gave each group the r i g h t to wi t hdr aw a t any time.

He urged t h a t a " r e a l

u n i t e d body" should be e s t a b ­

lished

in the U n i t e d S t a t e s ,

even i f

t h a t meant the eventual

di sappea r a nce o f t he American Jewish Congress. t h a t American Jewry was ready f o r such a move, "this

s e n t i me n t

. . .

is

He s t a t e d and t h a t

s t r o n g among a l a r g e p a r t o f the

members of the Ameri can Jewish Committee as we l l B'nai

B r i t h . I n

what amounted to a m i n o r i t y

as the report.

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 7 / 3 3 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish

332

Li psky proposed in t he form o f a r e s o l u t i o n a C o n s u l t a t i v e Commi ttee, bers,

t o deal

unified ever,

with

each group to a p p o i n t f i v e mem­

t he German s i t u a t i o n

representation

the f o r m a t i o n of

and to e s t a b l i s h

b e f or e the American Government.

How­

the C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee was to be onl y a tempor ar y

institution;

Li psky proposed t he c r e a t i o n o f an i n s t i t u t i o n

to be known as the American Jewish C o u n c i l .

A Joint

Confer­

ence Committee composed o f seven members from the Congress, seven from the American Jewish Commi ttee,

and two a d d i t i o n a l

members to be unanimously agreed upon by t he o t h e r s , i ssue a c a l l

would

f o r an American Jewish convent i on to be held

not l a t e r than January 1,

1934;

t h e convent i on would c r e a t e

a permanent o r g a n i z a t i o n t o r e p r e s e n t t he Jews o f Ameri ca. The American Jewish Congress and t he American Jewish Com­ m i t t e e were to agree i n advance t h a t i f institution activities life

was e s t a b l i s h e d , and merge t h e i r

and a c t i v i t i e s

and when such an

they would t r a n s f e r

their

" c o r p o r a t e e x i s t e n c e w i t h i n the

o f t he new o r g a n i z a t i o n .

.

.

."54

Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . See a l s o , Waldman to A d l e r , 5 / 2 8 / 3 3 , American Jewish C o m mi t t e e / P o l i c y Commi ttee/ German-Jewish s i t u a t i o n / 1 9 3 3 (ADM). 54Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 6 / 7 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

333 Wise asked the Cha i r whether the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ m i t t e e had the a u t h o r i t y to e n t e r i n t o any plan which might mean the end o f t he Congress. delegates

to a r e g u l a r l y

the o r g a n iz a ti o n .

Deutsch r u l e d t h a t onl y the

convened sessi on could d i s s o l v e

Wise then asked Li psky to wi t hdr aw his

r e s o l u t i o n which the l a t t e r r ef u sed to do. r u l e d hi s motion out o f o r d e r ; amendment to the m i n o r i t y cial

Li psky then proposed an

r e p o r t which c a l l e d f o r a spe­

sessi on o f the Congress; a g a i n ,

posal

out of or de r.

The Chai r then

Deutsch r u l e d the p r o ­

I t was obvious to Wise,

however,

that

a m a j o r i t y o f t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee f avor ed the Li psky proposal the d i f f i c u l t y

in p r i n c i p l e .

He s t a t e d t h a t a way out of

mi ght be t he appoi nt ment o f a committee

wi t h power to say to t he American Jewish Committee t h a t the Congress was w i l l i n g joint

consultative

to j o i n

it

in the c r e a t i o n of a

committee pr ovi ded t h a t

it

base i t s

work on t he f o u r demands enunci at ed by Wise a t the Madi son Square Garden p r o t e s t r a l l y . mittee

If

the American Jewish Com­

r ef used to accept the p r o p o s a l ,

the Congress would

submit to them the Li psky pr op os a l .

If

t h e r r e f u s e d to accept the p r o p o s a l ,

the Congress would

then pr e s e nt a proposal

the Committee f u r ­

enunci at ed by Margoshes whereby

h a l f o f t he r e p r e s e n t a t i o n on the c o n s u l t a t i v e committee

334 would be Congress members, no o r g a n i z a t i o n would have the r i g h t to veto any proposed a c t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r pl an of a c t i o n

Li psky agr e ed,

and depl or ed the Congr ess' s

and d i f f e r e n c e s

Pr o ska ue r ,

he f i n a l l y

."

To

proposal s su bmi t t e d to

r a i s i n g o f quest i ons of claiming th at

i n s e r i o u s d e l a y s , mi s u n d e r s t a n d ­

of opinion."

t h a t t he Congress r a t i f y Deutsch,

.

55

i mport ance and d i f f i c u l t y , "

these would onl y " r e s u l t ings,

.

t he o r g a n i ­

and the American Jewish Committee was

The Committee r e j e c t e d a l l

"such fundamental

agreement on a

from a f a r .

infor med o f the Congr ess' s p r o p o s a l .

it,

if

could not be r eached,

z a t i o n would be "asked t o watch i t this,

and,

The Committee asked

the agreement between Wise,

and S t r o o c k .

Wise t r i e d

to d e l a y ,

persuaded a v e r y r e l u c t a n t A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

m i t t e e to accept t he p r o p o s a l .

Unity a t t h i s

but

Com­

t i me was of

t h e e s s e n c e . 56

The J o i n t C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee was a complete f a i l ­ ur e.

Even i n t h e f a ce o f H i t l e r ,

American Jewish l e a d e r s

SSoeutsch to P r o s k a u e r , 6 / 1 0 / 3 3 , m i t t e e / A m e r i c a n Jewish Congress.

American Jewish Com­

S^Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g, 6 / 1 2 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 . American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; The New York Ti me s , 6 / 2 3 / 3 3 , p. 8; The American I s r a e l i t e , 6 / 2 9 / 3 3 , p. 1.

335 could not t r u s t each o t h e r . "sham" and a " d e l u s i o n . "

Mo r r i s Waldman c a l l e d

Bernard Deutsch,

it

onl y f i v e

a days

a f t e r t he c r e a t i o n o f t he Commi ttee, wr o t e : I came away from t h e second meet i ng o f t he J o i n t Coun­ c i l . . . w i t h a deep f e e l i n g o f the f u t i l i t y o f i t alio They h a v e n ' t a s i n g l e suggest i on to o f f e r as to future action. So f a r as we o u r s e l v e s are concerned, we h a v e n ' t very much e i t h e r . . . . By December,

1933, Joseph Tenenbaum t o l d

gress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee t h a t

if

t he Jewish Con­

d e f i n i t e functions

f o r t he C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee were not put i n t o p r a c t i c e , the body should be di sbanded; to do t h i s

the Jewish Congress r ef used

because as Li psky s t a t e d :

"all

t h i s would do

would be to gi ve ammunition to t he American Jewish Commit­ t ee to a t t a c k t he American Jewish C o n g r e s s . "^8 Though t h e Congress f i n a l l y o f the H i t l e r

terror,

e i t h e r to a l l e v i a t e

it

r e a l i z e d t he magnitude

coul d not f o r m u l a t e any program

t he p l i g h t o f German Jewry or to change

87|\iaomi Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , pp. 21 9 - 2 2 0 ; Deutsch to Kai l en, 6 / 2 6 / 3 3 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , 1 933, Horace Kai l en Mss, YIVO. 88Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 1 / 2 8 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t ee Me e t i n g , 3 / 1 3 / 3 4 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 3 4 - 1 9 5 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Society. The C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee agreement was renewed in May, 19 35.

336 s u b s t a n t i a l l y American f o r e i g n

policy.

The f a i l u r e

of the

J o i n t C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee was j u s t one o f t he many d i s ­ a s t e r s encount er ed by t he American Jewish Congress. from t he c r e a t i o n o f a number of commi t t ees, Congress di d ver y l i t t l e onslaught,

Aside

t he Jewish

to co u n t e r e f f e c t i v e l y

the Nazi

and even t hose committees e i t h e r di d not meet

or proved to be t o t a l l y

ineffectual.^^

At an emergency sessi on o f t he American Jewish Con­ gr es s,

hel d in Washington i n l a t e

Cbhen o u t l i n e d

May,

1933,

Abraham H.

the st eps t he Congress had a l r e a d y t aken to

meet t h e c r i s i s :

t he c r e a t i o n o f a s p e c i a l

Department under the d i r e c t i o n o f Rabbi

Organization

Jacob X.

Cohen,

whose purpose was to e n l a r g e t he Congress' s c o n s t i t u e n c y ; a Department o f Research and P u b l i c i t y was o r g a n i z e d ; the American Jewish Congress was e s t a b l i s h e d .

Mor eover ,

i zed the i n i t i a t i o n

"Courier,"

and

a monthly magazi ne,

t h e emergency sessi on a u t h o r ­

o f an Emergency Fund D r i v e to ai d Ger ­

man Jewry. Though the Congress was a b l e to e n r o l l it

di d not p o r t r a y t he enemy as H i t l e r ,

new members,

but as the American

Jewish Commi ttee.

Horace Ka l i en o f t he Committee on

59Mearprint Jewish A r c h i v e s .

File,

Abraham H. Cohen Mss, American

337 Organization

stated that

to be e f f e c t i v e ,

the Congress

would have to r ender some s e r v i c e to t he i n d i v i d u a l as compensati on f o r a f f i l i a t i o n and adherence to the organization. . . . I t i s i m p e r a t i v e t h a t the Congress devel op s t r e n g t h and power which i t might e x e r t in b e h a l f o f t he group i n t e r e s t as we l l as t he i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t i f the rank and f i l e is to p a r t i c i p a t e . . . in a p r o g r e s s i v e l y s u s t a i n e d program of a c t i v i t y . An ani mated f i g h t serves to r a l l y p a r t i c i p a n t s . . . . [The American Jewish Committee] might wel l be d e f i n e d as the common enemy a g a i n s t which to f i g h t . Kal i en proposed t h a t t he Congress e n r o l l membership e n r o l l m e n t f e e o f $ 1 . 0 0 .

75 0, 0 00 Jews a t a

Toward t h i s

end,

a

d i r e c t o r o f o r g a n i z a t i o n was a p po i nt e d wi t h e i g h t a s s i s ­ tants.

The campaign,

personal to secure

politics

however,

f ounder ed on t he rocks of

and p e t t y r i v a l r i e s .

individual

subscriptions,

Instead of tr y in g

some o f t he f i e l d

workers t hought o f t hemsel ves as d i r e c t o r s o f o r g a n i z a t i o n in t h e i r

geogr aphi c b a i l i w i c k s ,

and announced " q u e s t i o n a b l e

and u n s y s t e m a t i c a l l y det er mi ned community pledges having no val ue and doing a c t u a l

injury

to t he planned c a mp a i g n . "61

G ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 0 / 1 8 / 3 2 , Admini' s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 61 Kal i en to Cohen, 7 / 3 1 / 3 5 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , 1 933 , Horace M. Kai l en Mss, YIVO; "Report of the Hon­ o r a r y Campaign Committee o f t he American Jewish Congress, " 5 / 2 5 / 3 3 , in possessi on of Mr s . Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

338 In August , 1 933,

Kail en s t a t e d :

I have t he d e f i n i t e i mpressi on t h a t we have not c a p i ­ t a l i z e d the sympathy and g o o d - w i l l which our work has aroused or drawn upon a d d i t i o n a l p e r s o n n e l . . . . I am a f r a i d t h a t we s h a l l f i n d o ur s el v es when the H i t l e r f l u r r y i s o v e r , or becomes c h r o n i c , as i t must, e x a c t l y where we were b e f or e i t s t a r t e d . . . . The Research and P u b l i c i t y Department proved no l ess a f i a s c o . There were no signs o f an a d e q u a t e l y f u n c t i o n i n g bureau o f r esear ch . . . even t he assembl ing and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of f a c t u a l m a t e r i a l , so necessary in documenting st at ement s of p o l i c y and in e v o l v i n g plans of pr ocedur e, appeared to be l a c k i n g . 63 The " C o u r i e r ' s " ily

f u n c t i o n was to convey i n f o r m a t i o n not r e a d ­

a v a i l a b l e e l s ewh er e.

minds o f the masses, editorial

o p i n i o n .

"64

Its

purpose was to form the

"or a t l e a s t i n f l u e n c e them through However,

t h e r e was no working

r e l a t i o n s h i p between t he " Co ur i e r " Research Department; moreover, lacking,

and the P u b l i c i t y and

specialized

and the Congress was u n w i l l i n g

i n f o r m a t i o n was

to pay f o r

it.

The Honorary Campaign Committee o f the Jewish Congress charitably characterized

it

as a " f a i r

example of what an

G^i b i d . G^i b i d . ^4American Jewish Commi ttee/Ameri can Jewish Congress/ 1 933.

339 i n t e l l i g e n t amateur can accompl ish the p r o f e s s i o n a l

standard,

.

.

. [but]

not up to

e i t h e r in c o n t e n t or f o r m a t ,

t h a t t he onl y c o n t i n u i n g organ o f the Congress should have. Fi ve days b e f o r e t he emergency sessi on o f the Con­ gress was to convene. paign f o r f unds ,

K al i en proposed t h a t a n a t i o n a l

t o be known as the " A n t i - H i t l e r

Fund," be l aunched a t t h e s e s s i o n , w i t h $2,000,000.

cam­

Defense

t he o b j e c t i v e of

The fund was to " e n l i g h t e n and educat e the

p u b l i c to a r e a l i z a t i o n

o f the problem f a c i n g worl d Jewr y. "

Kai l en s t a t e d t h a t p r o f e s s i o n a l teered t h e i r

services;

fund-raisers,

told

Dr.

fund-raisers

had v o l u n ­

P h ilip Goldstein,

one o f t he

t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee t h a t

view o f t he depressed s t a t e o f the economy,

it

ex t r e me l y d i f f i c u l t

t o r a i s e such a sum.

t i o n e d the need f o r

such a l a r g e sum; moreover,

the Congress do w i t h i t

once i t

stein

count er ed t h a t a d e f i n i t e

licly

"for

its

psychological

in

would be

Margoshes ques­ what would

c o l l e c t e d the money?

Gold­

sum should be s t a t e d pub­

effect."

He al s o s t a t e d t h a t

Z i o n i s t and r e l i e f o r g a n i z a t i o n s would oppose the campaign

65' i Report of t he Honorary Campaign Committee o f the American Jewish Congr ess, " 5 / 2 5 / 3 3 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

340 si n c e none o f the money would be earmarked f o r

those

ca us e s . Others on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e the l a c k o f a d e f i n i t e ev ent ual

success.

paign would f a i l

program,

Committee o b j e c t e d to

and many qu e s t i o n e d i t s

Judge Hartman b e l i e v e d if

t h a t such a cam­

the p u b l i c was not t o l d

money was to be used.

f o r what the

Ot her s opi ned t h a t t he campaign

could succeed depending "on t he s p i r i t

i n which we approach

the p u b l i c . " Wise then made an impassioned p l ea to the Admi ni ­ strative

Committee.

He was amazed t h a t t h e r e should be

any doubt as to the need f o r such a f u n d .

He s t a t e d t h a t

l a c k o f funds pr event ed the sendi ng o f a t l e a s t

ten men o f

"unquest i oned r e p u t e "

to Germany t o g a t h e r m a t e r i a l

" b r i n g back the t r u t h

to t he p e o p l e . "

were w a i t i n g to be o r g a n i z e d ,

and

The Jews o f America

and t he Emergency Defense

Fund was the v e h i c l e by which t he Congress coul d achi eve this task.

Thereupon,

the motion f o r the fund was

a p p r o v e d . 66

66/\clmi ni s t r a t i ve Committee M e e t i n g , 5 / 1 6 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

341 The emergency sessi on o f the Congress approved the campaign f u n d ; tioned i t s

however,

need.

l e a d e r s o f t he Congress s t i l l

ques­

Ri char ds t hought t he i dea o f sendi ng and

payi ng f o r pr omi nent men to go t o Germany to r e p o r t on t he situation

was the utmost f o l l y .

I am v e r y much a f r a i d t h a t a l l t a l k o f t h i s kind wi t h r e g a r d co l a r g e funds and l a r g e e x p e n d i t u r e s w i l l l ead to i m p l i c a t i o n s o f sl ush f unds, b r i b e r y , and what n o t . . . . I s t h e r e very much o f a choi ce between t he e v i l r e s u l t s o f f a l s e h oo ds and those which ar e bound to f o l ­ low t he t r u t h t h a t i s to be pai d f o r ? 6 7 He t hought a sum o f $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 a y e a r would s u f f i c e . leaders

i n t h e Congress di d not b e l i e v e i n

f o r such a f u n d . lected,

By August 1,

the n e c e s s i t y

onl y $ 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 was c o l ­

and one Jewish Congress l e a d e r s t a t e d t h a t

the Congress had a d e f i n i t e lag.

1933,

Other

until

program the campaign fund would

Indeed,

t he whole campaign was an amat eur a t t e m p t a t

fund-raising,

and t hose i n charge di d not have the vaguest

n o t i o n o f how t o r a i s e

such a l a r g e

sum o f money.

such as honor i ng t h e U n i v e r s i t y - i n - E x i 1e, and a n a t i o n a l

benefit

Schemes concert?,

day o f mourning were bandi ed about by the

Committee on O r g a n i z a t i o n and Fi nance.

G^Richards

t o Wi s e ,

5/18/33,

Appeals f o r funds

St ephen S. Wise f o l d e r

§?., B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J ewi s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e m i n a r y .

342 from New York C i t y p u b l i c school

officials

groups di d not wish t o c o n t r i b u t e . jealousies,

and gross i n e f f i c i e n c y

gress's f a i l u r e Hitlerism.

failed;

l awyer s

Lack o f p l a n n i n g ,

petty

c o n t r i b u t e d to the Con­

to execut e a c o ncr et e program to combat

As one o b s e r v e r o f the Congress not ed:

There must be a r e - b i r t h o f t he e n t i r e i n t e r n a l machine o f the Congress; t h e r e must not be a new o r g a n i z a t i o n competing w i t h the o l d , but a new o r g a n i z a t i o n u n i f i e d w i t h the o l d . . . . R e - b i r t h c a l l s f o r an end to spas­ modic and haphazard c o o p e r a t i o n . ^9 American Jewish Congress l e a d e r s e x h i b i t e d the same l ac k o f p l a n n i n g , organizations,

in t h e i r

individuals,

a t t e mp t to

the b o y c o t t movement i n t he Un i t e d

it

enabl ed t h e masses to f e e l

th a t they,

were doing something to d e s t r o y H i t l e r .

Unt ermeyer announced in May,

1933,

received world-wide a t t e n t i o n

as

When

the f o r ma t i o n of

the American League f o r t h e Defense o f Jewish R i g h t s ,

Jewry.

and

The b o y c o t t unleashed tremendous emotion among

American Jews;

Samuel

toward i n d i v i d u a l s

and gross i n e f f i c i e n c y

d i r e c t and c o n t r o l States.

petty jealousies

he

and a c cl a i m from American

Though the American Jewish Committee and the B' nai

fi Q " Repor t o f the Honorary Campaign Committee o f the American Jewish Congress, " 5 / 2 5 / 3 3 , i n possessi on of Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar c hi v es of the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

343 B r i t h adamant l y opposed the promul gat i on o f an o f f i c i a l cott,

t he Jewish masses di s r e g a r d e d t h e i r a d v i c e ,

out those o r g a n i z a t i o n s

and sought

t h a t f a v or e d such a t a c t i c . ^0

c o t t advocates such as Dr.

Abraham Coral n i c k ,

boy­

Boy­

associate

e d i t o r o f Per Tog, b e l i e v e d the boycot t to be i n the best interests

o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

interests

are concerned, "

"As f a r as the business

he s t a t e d ,

t h a t by d i v e r t i n g t e m p o r a r i l y

.

.

"we ar e more than sure

. i n t o o t h e r ch a nn e l s ,

in

M o r r i s Waldman o f the American Jewish Committee wr ot e Unt ermeyer : " I n t he f i n a l a n a l y s i s our d i f f e r e n c e s o f o p i n i o n r e v o l v e onl y around the quest i on of t a c t i c s . " The Committee deci ded a g a i n s t t he boycot t f o r t he f o l l o w i n g r easons: ( 1 ) an o f f i c i a l bo y c o t t a g a i n s t Germany would have pr ov i de d t he Nazis a p r e t e x t f o r f u r t h e r excesses; ( 2 ) the pr omul gat i on o f a boycot t would have f o r f e i t e d the f r i e n d ­ shi p o f C h r i s t i a n s in the Uni t ed S t a t e s , and t h e i r help in e f f o r t s to r e s t o r e German Jewr y' s r i g h t s ; ( 3 ) an o f f i c i a l Jewish bo y c o t t o f Germany would " c r y s t a l l i z e " a cl eavage between German C h r i s t i a n s abroad who numbered in t he m i l ­ l i o n s , and Jews o u t s i d e of Germany; ( 4) the bo y c o t t would l ead to a general r e t a l i a t i o n a g a i n s t Jewish busi nesses; ( 5) the Jews would be made "scapegoats" by C h r i s t i a n s f o r " s p e c i a l u n f o r t u n a t e consequences o f t h i s b o y c o t t l i k e l y to devel op in i n d i v i d u a l c o u n t r i e s , " i . e . , Uni t ed S t a t e s c i t i ­ zens who hel d German bonds; ( 6) t he boycot t was unwise as a method o f p r a c t i c a l p o l i t i c s ; ( 7) t he b o y c o t t would s t i mu ­ l a t e a n t i - S e m i t i c a c t i v i t y ; ( 8) t h e r e were e t h i c a l o b j e c ­ t i o n s to a b o y c o t t ; and ( 9 ) i f t he Jews used a b o y c o t t , they were endangeri ng t h e i r r i g h t to appeal to p u b l i c a u t h ­ o r i t y and to the consci ence o f the wor l d. See Waldman to Unt ermeyer , 5 / 9 / 3 3 , American Jewish C ommi t t ee / Boy cot t / American Jewish Committee; Proskauer to Unt er meyer , 6 / 2 6 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commi t t ee/ Boycot t / Amer i can Jewish Co mmi t t e e / Ge r ma ny / Boy c ot t / P ubl i c Opi ni on; Naomi Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , pp. 1 6 3 - 1 6 5 .

344 the main toward the markets and i n d u s t r y o f Amer i ca, we are h e l p i n g to r e v i v e ence.

By t h i s

in t h i s c o u n t r y p r o s p e r i t y and a f f l u ­

p o l i c y o f b o y c o t t adopted by us, we are

doing a p a t r i o t i c

s e r v i c e as Americans w i t h o u t embarrassi ng

in any way our N a t i o n a l our moral

function

A d m i n i s t r a t i o n and are f u l f i l l i n g

in the s o c i e t y o f f r e e men.

The Jewish Congress boycott. to di scuss until

its

On May 15,

1933,

t he b o y c o t t ,

v a c i l l a t e d on the i ssue o f the the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee met

but did not do so.

I t was not

June 22 meet i ng t h a t the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

t ee di scussed t he i s s u e .

Wise s t i l l

cl ung to the hope t h a t

t he P r e s i d e n t would a c t on b e h a l f o f German Jewry. 13,

1933,

Commit­

On June

he s t a t e d

I have no doubt t h a t P r e s i d e n t R o o s e v e l t has been as f a r from i n d i f f e r e n t to the h o r r o r o f the s i t u a t i o n in Germany as you and I . But f o r reasons which must have seemed adequate to him, he has r e f r a i n e d from p u b l i c u t t e r a n c e or p u b l i c a c t i o n . . . . I am not w i t h o u t hope t h a t the P r e s i d e n t may y e t , as I b e l i e v e he ought t o , see f i t to choose some course o f a c t i o n which w i l l make c l e a r to the H i t l e r Government the abhorr ence of the American p e o p l e . . . Wise, tive

however,

on June 22,

recommended to the A d m i n i s t r a ­

Committee t he appoi ntment o f a s p e c i a l

71 Quoted i n Moshe G o t t l i e b ,

"Anti-Nazi

76-77. 72quoted i n

Ibid .,

pp.

committee to

98-99.

Boycott,"

pp.

345 c o n s i d e r t he a d v i s a b i l i t y o f l a u n c h i n g a boycot t a g a i n s t German goods and s e r v i c e s c a r r y through the program.

and to recommend procedures to Thi s proposal

was approved as

was one made by K a l l e n whereby t he Congress would send an unofficial

ob s e r v e r to a bo y c o t t conf e r e nce i n London.

The s p e c i a l

committee r e p o r t e d to the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee on June 29. that i f

Margoshes,

the chai r man,

believed

a c t i o n on t h e bo y c o t t was to be taken w i t h o u t con­

s u l t i n g Jewish l e a d e r s

in P a l e s t i n e and Europe,

have been taken a few months e a r l i e r .

it

should

In view o f the f a c t

t h a t t he World Jewish Conference was to convene i n an ot h er s i x weeks, and t he extreme d i f f i c u l t y wo r t h w h i l e dur i ng the summer months, to be d e f e r r e d u n t i l for dramatization

o f doing a n y t h i n g any a c t i o n would have

the autumn " t o r e c e i v e t h a t occasi on

t o which i t

is e n t i t l e d . "

t he committee recommended t h a t no a c t i o n the American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s

Therefore,

be taken bef or e

to the World Jewish

Conference coul d c o n f e r w i t h Jewish l e a d e r s i n Europe. Des pi t e some f e e b l e o p p o s i t i o n from some members o f the Administrative

Commi ttee,

the r e p o r t was

a p p r o v e d . ^3

7 3 A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi t tee M e e t i n g , 6 / 2 9 / 3 3 , Admini s t r a t i v e Commi t t ee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , Amer i can Jewi sh Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi t t e e , 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , Amer i can Jewi sh H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

346

In m i d - J u l y ,

1933, Wise l e f t

the World Jewish Conf er ence.

f o r Europe to a t t e n d

Even though he a d m i t t e d t h a t

the evi dence he had seen proved t he Jewish s i t u a t i o n Germany to be al most h o p e l e s s , tion

t he b o y c o t t u n t i l

he s t i l l

in

r e f u s e d to sanc­

a f t e r t he Conf er ence.

I . . . adhere to my judgment t h a t a wor l d b o y c o t t can­ not be p u b l i c l y pr oc l ai med by any one group i n wor l d Jewry. Thi s i s our g r i e v a n c e a g a i n s t Unt ermeyer and hi s two f e l l o w mu sk et i e r s [ s i c ] t h a t w i t h o u t c o n f e r ­ r i n g w i t h anyone, t hey took t h i s g r e a t st ep i n such a way as to do a minimum o f h u r t to German commerce and a maximum o f damage to t he Jewish 74 p

Refugees from

o

p

Germany in London and P a r i s

" p u b l i c l y pr oc l ai med bo y c o t t ge r o us . "

e

.

.

l

e

.

insisted th at

. most u n d e s i r a b l e ,

He b e l i e v e d t h a t o t h e r measures could s t i l l

taken to r e l i e v e

t he s i t u a t i o n ,

namely,

that

a

dan­ be

the League of

Nat i ons extend t he o p e r a t i o n s o f the Nansen Pass por t O f f i c e to a l l

Jews d r i v e n from Germany,

Britain,

Fr a n c e ,

pr ovi ded t h a t Gr eat

t he U n i t e d S t a t e s ,

al l owed them to e n t e r .

and p o s s i b l y I t a l y ,

Mor eover , Wise thought t h a t

we s h a l l have to press p u b l i c l y d e s p i t e ev er y r i s k f o r foreign intervention. The Engl i sh ar e r e a d y , i n my j udgment , to go very f a r . . . .

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 8 / 3 / 3 3 , A d mi n i ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; Jacob X. Cohen to K a l l e n , 7 / 2 8 / 3 3 , American Jewish Congress f o l d e r , 1933, Horace M. K a l l e n Mss, YI VO.

347 He c o n f e r r e d w i t h t h e French M i n i s t e r o f For ei gn A f f a i r s , Paul for

Boncour, who s t a t e d t h a t t he German s i t u a t i o n international

wr ot e Wise,

activity.

called

" S u r e l y we, i n Ame r i c a , "

"must and can b r i n g s u f f i c i e n t

bear upon our own Government t o move i t

p r es sur e to

to u n i t e wi t h

England and F r a n c e . "^5 The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee met in s p e c i a l on August 3.

sessi on

Deutsch sai d t h a t t he purpose o f the meeting

was t o di scuss and deci de on t he b o y c o t t i s s u e . t hose assembled t h a t

t he League f o r

He t o l d

the Defense o f Jewish

Ri ght s had j u s t concl uded an I n t e r n a t i o n a l

Boycot t C o n f e r ­

ence in Amsterdam where a World Jewish Economic F e d e r a t i o n had been e s t a b l i s h e d various

to over see t he b o y c o t t ;

moreover,

branches o f t he Congress were demanding the Admi ni ­

strative

Committee t a k e a c t i o n .

Abraham S p i r o t hought the American Jewish Committee and the B' nai

Brith

should f i r s t

Congress took a d e f i n i t e

stand.

be c o nsu l t e d b e f or e the Deutsch count er ed t h a t

the i ss ue had been di scussed a t t he J o i n t C o n s u l t a t i v e Committee and both o r g a n i z a t i o n s were opposed to any p u b l i c declaration

of a boycott.

75ibid.

Yet,

Isadore Teitelbaum n a i ve l y

348 believed t h a t i f

the Committee and t he B ' n a i

be convi nced t h a t

above o r g a n i z a t i o n s

"alienate

However,

even i f

declared in favor of a boycott,

oppose i t s

pr omul gat i on because i t

he would appeal

to C h r i s t i a n s

the

he

would

the sympathy o f the C h r i s t i a n w o r l d . "

than a b o y c o t t ,

could

t h e r e was enough s e n t i me n t f o r a b o y c o t t ,

they would come out i n f a v o r o f i t .

would s t i l l

Brith

Rather

around the

worl d to hel p stem t he t i d e o f a n t i - S e m i t i s m in Germany. Horace K a l l e n adamant l y opposed the b o y c o t t . had once f a v o r e d such a t a c t i c ,

he r e l u c t a n t l y concl uded

t h a t i t would be w h o l l y i n e f f e c t i v e the Uni t ed S t a t e s , boycott,

even i f

Though he

because the Jews of

they were unanimous about a

di d not c o n s t i t u t e a " s u f f i c i e n t l y

e f f e c t i v e mar­

ket f o r German goods" to a f f e c t a p p r e c i a b l y the German economy.

To be s u c c e s s f u l ,

he e x p l a i n e d ,

a b o y c o t t would

have to be suppor t ed by C h r i s t i a n Amer i ca; many Jews were opposed to i t ,

however,

si nce

he saw no reason why C h r i s ­

t i a n America shoul d t a k e up t he burden.

He al so s t a t e d

t h a t both American Jews and C h r i s t i a n s were ho l de r s of German m u n i c i p a l , default.

state,

and n a t i o n a l

bonds t h a t were in

He c i t e d t h e c r e a t i o n o f such o r g a n i z a t i o n s

the Forei gn Bondholders P r o t e c t i v e

Counci l

as

which sought

repayment o f those bonds through d i p l o m a t i c means, and

349 men such as John Fo s t e r D u l l e s ,

a l e a d e r in the C o u n c i l ,

had l o u d l y pr oc l ai med his o p p o s i t i o n to any and a l l cotts.

Too,

boy­

t h e German Government took t he p o s i t i o n

that

the bonds coul d not be amor t i ze d unl ess expor t s exceeded i mp o r t s . ful

" I f we d e c l a r e a b o y c o t t - - w h e t h e r i t

or n o t - - w e become charged wi t h t he f a i l u r e

can bondhol der s] to r e c e i v e t h e i r j u s t

i s success­ of [Ameri­

interest,"

Ka l l e n

stated. Others on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee f a v or e d the i mmediate pr omul gat i on or endorsement o f t he b o y c o t t .

Dr.

Joseph Tenenbaum s t a t e d t h a t unless t he American Jewish Congress d e c l a r e d in f a v o r o f a b o y c o t t , late."

" i t would be too

He b e l i e v e d t h a t now was the ti me f o r a c t i o n ;

the

b o y c o t t was a wo r l d - wi d e phenomenon, and was being e x e ­ cuted w i t h o u t t he a i d o f or a s s i s t a n c e from the Congress. Thus,

t he p r e s t i g e o f the Congress had been d e a l t a s e r i ­

ous blow.

He s t a t e d t h a t t h e r e was not one reason why the

Administrative cott,

Committee should not now d e c l a r e f o r a boy­

and t h a t to del ay any f u r t h e r would mean the end of

the Congress as an i n s t i t u t i o n . f a v or e d i t , tee.

Almost a l l

as di d those on t he N a t i o n a l

those pr es ent

E x e c u t i v e Commit­

Bernard G. Richards f a v or e d the b o y c o t t ,

t h a t t h e Congress' s del ay redounded to i t s

and s t a t e d

advant age.

350

because i t

could t e l l

measures t o a l l e v i a t e

the wor l d t h a t i t the s i t u a t i o n ,

was going to use t he l a s t weapon i t Carl

had t r i e d o t h e r

and t h a t ,

finally,

had in i t s

arsenal.

it

Sherman o r i g i n a l l y opposed the i dea o f a boycot t

because " i t was not q u i t e what Jews o f d i g n i t y should undertake."

Now, however,

suppor t ed t he t a c t i c .

in view o f t he s i t u a t i o n ,

Margoshes s t a t e d t h a t he had always

been in f a v o r o f t h e boycot t and t h a t direct i t .

he

the Congress should

He sai d the t i me t o ac t was NOW, e s p e c i a l l y

in

view of t he f a c t t h a t Untermeyer was pl a n n i n g to c r e a t e a " g r e a t and i m p o r t a n t movement t hr oughout the Uni t ed S t a t e s ."76 Anot her group, to de l ay i t s

though i t

endorsement u n t i l

World Jewish Conf er ence. to be a wise a c t i o n ;

f a v o r e d t he b o y c o t t , w i s h e d Wise r e t u r n e d from the

Leo Wolfson thought the boycot t

however,

he noted t h a t o t h e r Jewish

problems e x i s t e d wi t h which the Congress could d e a l . moved,

therefore,

He

t h a t the E x e c u t i v e Committee meet i ng,

schedul ed f o r August 6,

be postponed.

Israel

b e l i e v e d t h a t the Congress "must be c a r e f u l

Thurman

not to deepen

76Adnii ni s t r a t i ve Committee M e e t i n g , 8 / 3 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

351 and widen the schism t h a t

i s begi n ni n g to appear between

the Jews o f America and t he German-descended c i t i z e n s o f Ameri ca. many,

. . . "

Rat her than a Jewish b o y c o t t a g a i n s t Ger ­

t h e r e should be a w o r l d - w i d e bo y c o t t

r egi me.

Mor eover ,

against H i t l e r ' s

he di d not t h i n k t he Congress should

take any "hast y a c t i o n " mer el y because Unt ermeyer "might supersede us in doing so. "

A f t e r considerable debate,

Wo l f s o n ' s motion was approved by a vote o f t we l v e to t e n , and t he E x e c u t i v e Committee meet i ng was postponed u n t i l August 20,

1933.

When Untermeyer r e t u r n e d from Amsterdam, he charged Wise wi t h m i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ;

he r e f e r r e d to him as the

" k i n g p i n o f m i s c h i e f makers" who was j u n k e t i n g around t he c o n t i n e n t engaged i n hi s f a v o r i t e past i me o f spr eadi ng d i s c o r d , a s s e r t i n g a t one ti me and pl ace t h a t he f a v o r s the b o y c o t t , and a t anot her t h a t he i s opposed or i n d i f f e r e n t to i t , a l l depending on the audi ence he i s a d d r e s s i n g , but always d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y d e l i v e r i n g a st ab i n t he d a r k . 77 Unt ermeyer di d conse nt ,

however,

to meet w i t h a d e l e g a t i o n

from the Jewish Congress to di scuss p o s s i b l e c o o p e r a t i o n in b o y c o t t endeavor s.

A f t e r t he c o n f e r e n c e ,

cabl ed Wise i n Prague t h a t

the delegates

i n view o f t he tremendous p u b l i c

77The New York T i m e s , 8 / 1 5 / 3 3 ,

p.

9.

352 pr es sur e

i n Ame r i ca,

he d e c l a r e h i m s e l f i n f a v o r of the

boycott. On August 14,

1933, Wise i n a speech d e l i v e r e d

be f or e t he Prague Jewish community d e c l a r e d h i m s e l f in f a v o r o f t he b o y c o t t . As long as Germany d e c l a r e s t he Jews to be an i n f e r i o r race . . . decent s e l f - r e s p e c t i n g Jews cannot deal wi t h Germany in any way, buy or s e l l or m a i n t a i n any manner o f commerce w i t h Germany or t r a v e l on German boats. The Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee met t h r e e days l a t e r .

Margoshes o f f e r e d a r e s o l u t i o n endor si ng the

boycott; y e t ,

t h e r e was s t i l l

a g r e a t deal

of opposition.

K a l l e n s t a t e d he was opposed t o the i ssuance o f any p u b l i c declaration

" a t t he t i me"

because o f t he p o s s i b l e i n j u r y

t h a t such a s t a t e me n t mi ght have on Jewish i n t e r e s t s Ameri ca.

Mor eover ,

preparation

a bo y c o t t c a l l e d w i t h o u t adequate

would end in dismal

gested a pl an o f a c t i o n the Congress p u b l i c l y Others

in

failure;

be e v o l v e d ,

declare i t s

repeated K a l l e n ' s

rather,

he sug­

and onl y then should

suppor t o f t he b o y c o t t .

arguments,

but the r e s o l u t i o n

78Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 8 / 1 7 / 3 3 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^^The New Yor k Ti me s ,

8/15/33,

p.

9.

353 passed.

An amendment t o t he r e s o l u t i o n was al so passed

which pr ev ent ed anyone who had voted a g a i n s t i t opposition o

ing.

speaki ng in

to the bo y c o t t a t t he E x e c u t i v e Committee meet-

n

The E x e c u t i v e Committee pr oc l ai med the b o y c o t t ,

and Unt ermeyer pr oudl y s t a t e d t h a t winter i f

American Jewry does i t s

"Germany w i l l

cr ack t h i s

share in b o y c o t t i n g Ger-

O 1

man goods."

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 8 / 1 7 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The New York T i me s , 8 / 2 1 / 3 3 , p. 2. Abba Hi 11 el S i l v e r , Chairman o f the R e s o l u t i o n s Committee o f the Ameri ­ can League f o r the Defence o f Jewish R i g h t s , opined t h a t t he b o y c o t t would l a s t a long t i m e . " I n a way, t h i s i s war ; t h i s i s a s u b s t i t u t e f o r war. . . . That i s what boy­ cott is ." Quoted in Moshe G o t t l i e b , "Ant i Nazi B o y c o t t , " pp. 1 3 0 - 1 3 2 . The American Jewish Committee s t a t e d t h a t even i f the b o y c o t t was s u c c e s s f u l , the r e s u l t s would be d i s a s t r o u s f o r the Jews. E x t o r t i o n o f concessions by the Jews from t he Nazi s would onl y i n c r e a s e t he h o s t i l i t y be­ tween t he Jew and non-Jew i n Germany; moreover, a success­ f u l b o y c o t t would b r i n g about the d e s t r u c t i o n o f t he Nazi regime which i n a l l l i k e l i h o o d would be r e p l a c e d by e i t h e r a r e t u r n o f the monarchy or a communist t a k e o v e r . The Com­ m i t t e e b e l i e v e d t h a t " i f communism should r e p l a c e the p r e s e n t r egi me, t h e r e i s no doubt t h a t t he r epe r c uss i ons on the Jews o u t s i d e of Germany w i l l be t e r r i b l e . . . . I f the b o y c o t t should b r i n g Communism [ s i c ] to Germany, t he Jewish b o y c o t t would be blamed f o r i t and i t would even be charged t h a t the r e a l o b j e c t of t he b o y c o t t was to br i n g about the success of communism, as p a r t o f a c a r e f u l l y p r e me d i t a t e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l Jewish p l o t . " See American Jewish Committee S t a t e m e n t , " Sha l l t he Jews Engage i n an O f f i c i a l Boycot t o f Germany," 8 / 1 7 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commi ttee/Germany/ American Jewish Commi t t ee / St at ement .

354 No comprehensive plan of a c t i o n e x i s t e d . sai d t he Congress would have to employ e x p e r t s

Kallen to serve on

a boycot t commi t t ee, among whom would be a f i n a n c i e r , e x p e r t on s h i p p i n g ,

an

and e x p e r t on t he i m p o r t - e x p o r t t r a d e

w i t h Germany, and one who was t h o r o u g h l y f a m i l i a r wi t h the retail

market f o r German goods in the Uni t e d S t a t e s .

warned, moreover,

t h a t onl y " r e s p o n s i b l e "

He

peopl e from t he

Jewish Congress should work as l i a i s o n s wi t h t he e x p e r t s . He s t a t e d t h a t the most d i f f i c u l t problem t he b o y c o t t com­ m i t t e e would have to r e s o l v e was t h a t o f appr oachi ng the maj or hol ders of German s e c u r i t i e s and t r y i n g to e n l i s t thought t h a t i f Recovery A c t , cess. A.F.L., Church,

it

their

in the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

" goodwi l l

and c o o p e r a t i o n . "

He

t he boycot t could be l i n k e d to t he N a t i o n a l would stand a much g r e a t e r chance o f suc­

He al so c i t e d

t he need f o r c o op e r a t i o n wi t h the

the chur ches, and l i b e r a l

particularly,

t he Roman C a t h o l i c

groups t hr oughout the Uni t e d S t a t e s ;

once t h e i r co o p e r a t i o n was r e c e i v e d ,

an American bo y c o t t

could be d e c l a r e d . 82

^^Kal l en to Deutsch, 8 / 1 8 / 3 3 , American Jewish Con­ gress f o l d e r , 1933, Horace M. Kal l e n Hss, YIVO.

355 The b o y c o t t , grams,

so many o t h e r Jewish Congress p r o ­

never succeeded due to l a c k o f i n t e r e s t among Jewish

Congress l e a d e r s , Nazis,

like

to p u r s u i t o f o t h e r means to combat the

inefficiency,

and p e t t y p o l i t i c s .

Boycot t advocates

were stunned when they l e a r n e d t h a t onl y t h r e e days a f t e r the Congress had sol emnl y pr ocl ai med t he b o y c o t t ,

the Ger­

man Land-Trade League announced t h a t a b a r t e r agreement had been reached w i t h S y r i a - P a l e s t i n e ,

whereby Germany

would i mpor t a p p r o x i ma t e l y ni ne m i l l i o n marks worth of J a f f a oranges i n exchange f o r twenty m i l l i o n marks worth of German i n d u s t r i a l

goods.

Moreover,

shipped i n German bottoms.

t he goods were to be

Too, t he German M i n i s t e r o f

Economics and t he A n g l o - P a l e s t i n e Bank o f P a l e s t i n e signed a ha-avarah

(transfer)

agreement whereby Jews were p e r ­

m i t t e d to e mi g r a t e from the F a t h e r l a n d and to t ake w i t h them about two m i l l i o n "Accordingly, spe c i a l

d o l l a r s worth o f machinery and wares.

such Jews would t u r n t h e i r monies over to a

Reichsbank fund f o r which they would be compen­

sated in German-made goods to be taken wi t h them upon embarkation."83

^^Moshe G o t t l i e b ,

"Anti-Nazi

Boycott,"

pp.

118-119.

356 The Ha- avar ah and b a r t e r agreements Congress l e a d e r s

dismayed.

r e t u r n e d from Europe,

l e f t Jewish

They di d n o t h i n g .

he was s t i l l

b o y c o t t was t he o n l y weapon l e f t

When Wise

not convi nced t h a t the

to wor l d Jewry.

I t i s ^ weapon, but i t i s not t h e weapon. I t i s not the l a s t g r e a t overwhel mi ng method o f a t t a c k . We must s t i l l w i e l d t h a t weapon. . . . Unless t he League a c t s , or u n t i l , b e t t e r s t i l l , Engl and, Ame r i ca, and F r a n c e , t he be st j udgment is t h a t s a l v a t i o n w i l l come t hrough t he u n i t e d a c t i o n o f England and Amer i ca. He t o l d the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e t a n t to t r y

Committee t h a t

to convi nce F . D . R .

gi ve t h e i r s u p p o r t .

it

and t he S t a t e

was v e r y i mpor ­ Department to

He saw the b o y c o t t not as an economic

weapon a g a i n s t Germany, but as a p o l i t i c a l used as an a d j u n c t to d i p l o m a t i c

weapon t o be

representations.

The one g r e a t good t h a t can come to us w i l l be j o i n t a c t i o n by Washington and London. A b o y c o t t may be g o o d - - i t may not a v a i l . Washington and L o n d o n - - F . D . R . and t he Prime M i n i s t e i — can do more than a hundred boy­ cotts. We have taken t h e weapon o f the b o y c o t t i n t o our own hands. We must wage i t e f f e c t i v e l y , c o n s c i e n t i o u s l y - - a n d I s t i l l b e l i e v e , and c e r t a i n people in Washington and London d o - - t h a t i f Germany is to be deterred . . . i t w i l l be i n p a r t , not w h o l l y , but l a r g e l y as a r e s u l t o f such pr es sur e as we can move Washington and London to br i n g to b e a r . ^ ^

"Repor t by Wise on European T r i p t o the Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee o f t he American Jewish Congr ess, " 9 / 2 3 / 3 3 , pp. 25, 2 9 - 3 0 , f o l d e r 7A, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress, Box 1, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The S t a t e Depar t me nt ' s a t t i t u d e was expressed by C o r d e l l H u l l ; "The

357 Wi se' s f a i t h

in eventual

l e d him t o the p o s i t i o n

American d i p l o m a t i c a c t i o n

t h a t c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h Samuel

Unter­

meyer 's American League f o r t he Defense o f Jewish Ri ght s was not a b s o l u t e l y e s s e n t i a l over,

hi s personal

j udgment .

More­

d i s l i k e o f Unt ermeyer a f f e c t e d his

He and Unt ermeyer had cl ashed in 1923 over the

publication

o f a speech d e l i v e r e d by I s r a e l

which Z a n g w i l l i n 1924,

t o t he b o y c o t t e f f o r t .

Z a n g wi l l

p r e d i c t e d t he demise o f p o l i t i c a l

over t he Ku Klux Kl an,

remarks over n a t i o n - w i d e f o r hi s non- c ommi t t al

radio

attitude

as wel l

in

Zi oni sm;

as U n t e r me y e r ' s

i n which he c h a s t i z e d Wise toward the b o y c o t t .

When

Unt ermeyer c a l l e d Wise and asked him to meet "t o s e t t l e thing,"

Wise t o l d

him t h a t he coul d do no t hi ng w i t h o u t the

consent o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee. sisted,

and Wise t o l d

upon Deut sc h' s r e t u r n made.

the

Unt ermeyer p e r ­

t he gentleman from Greystone t h a t from Europe,

A commi tt ee was f i n a l l y

a d e c i s i o n would be

appo i nt e d to meet wi t h

Untermeyer. Deutsch t o l d di d not seek t o t a l

the commi ttee t h a t the Jewish Congress control

o f t he bo y c o t t movement,

but

f r i e n d l y and w i l l i n g c o o p e r a t i o n o f Germany i s necessary to the program o f wor l d r e c o v e r y . " Quoted i n Naomi Cohen, Not Free to D e s i s t , p. 162.

358 o n l y wished f o r "equal m i t t e e was i n s t r u c t e d fully

r e p r e s e n t a t i o n ; " mor eover ,

t he com­

to make sure t h a t the Congress was

r e p r e s e n t e d on any f u n d - r a i s i n g committees as wel l

as any commi ttees which would a l l o c a t e the f u nds . v a r i e d on what Margoshes termed " p a r i t y . "

Opi nion

Some wished to

co op er a t e wi t h Unt ermeyer r e g a r d l e s s o f what arrangements were made.

Rabbi

Louis I .

gat e from San F r a n c i s c o , and Hartmann added t h a t for

Newman, a Jewish Congress d e l e ­

s t r e s s e d t he i mport ance o f u n i t y , it

would be p r a c t i c a l l y

i mpossi bl e

the Congress and the American League to run se pa r a t e

campaigns.

Thurman i n s i s t e d

t h a t "we should help out

Unt ermeyer in ever y way p o s s i b l e . " parity.

Personally,

Others

i n s i s t e d on

Deutsch was opposed to any s o r t of

c o o p e r a t i o n wi t h Untermeyer because i f

a j o i n t campaign f o r

funds was i n i t i a t e d , i t would mean t h a t we cannot go out and r a i s e funds f o r the r e g u l a r work o f the Congress, which means t h a t t he Congress can cl ose up because we w o n ' t have the funds to c o n t i n u e . Wise s t a t e d ,

t hough,

that

it

was necessary f o r the Congress

to co op e r a t e wi t h Untermeyer because "to r e f e r o f t he bo y c o t t

the m a t t e r

to t he League would be s u r r e n d e r i n g to

o t h e r s who have no sense o f r e s p o n s i b i l i t y t o Jewish l i f e . " Mor e ove r , than i t

he sai d t h a t Untermeyer needed t he Congress more

needed him;

"he has no o r g a n i z a t i o n ;

is u n w i l l i n g

359 to spend l a r g e sums o f money; c a n ' t gi ve o f hi s t i me . It

.

.

was then moved and passed t h a t t he committee accept

nothi ng less than p a r i t y . ® ^ N e g o t i a t i o n s wi t h Untermeyer proved f r u i t l e s s . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee was u n w i l l i n g l ess

than p a r i t y .

Too,

if

The

to accept a nyt hi ng

t he Jewish Congress were t o j o i n

f or c es wi t h Unt ermeyer , and should the b o y c o t t f a i l ,

Jewish

Congress l e a d e r s were a f r a i d t h a t they would be blamed "because i t men from . refrained

would be s a i d t h a t the Congress took away these .

. U n t e r m e y e r . "^6

Moreover,

t he Congress

from c o o p e r a t i n g wi t h t he A . L . D . J . R .

sought t he c o op e r a t i o n o f the A . F . the Congress al most n u l l i f i e d to have the A. F.

of L.

o f L.

the e f f o r t s

Yet,

because i t here t o o ,

of l a b o r l e a d e r s

convent i on endorse the b o y c o t t .

c o n t i n u a l l y r equest ed t h a t r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

It

of the Congress

be al l owed to speak on the German s i t u a t i o n ,

in s p i t e of

the f a c t t h a t the l a b o r l e a d e r s wished to t ake a c t i o n

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 9 / 2 3 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g, 1 1 / 2 8 / 3 3 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

360 " w i t h o u t any p r es sur e from the Jewish s i d e . " L.

O7

approved t he b o y c o t t recommendation o f i t s

Council

in Oc t ob e r ,

The A . F .

of

Executive

1933.

When Wise and Perlman c o n f e r r e d wi t h W i l l i a m Green in November, 1 9 33,

they l e a r n e d t h a t t he A . F .

of L . had

done no t hi ng except to pass t he boycot t r e s o l u t i o n . two suggested t h a t copi es o f t he r e s o l u t i o n ever y S t a t e and Local be c r e a t e d i n t h e A. F. deal

Federation,

of labor leaders

i n Washington to

and t h a t Green c a l l

a meeting

in t he New York ar ea and ask t h a t machin­

er y be c r e a t e d f o r t he b o y c o t t movement. all

be sent to

t h a t a s e p a r a t e bureau

o f L . headquar t er s

s o l e l y w i t h the b o y c o t t ,

The

o f the recommendations.

Green agreed to

Wise t o l d Green t h a t the Jew­

i sh Congress "would want to f o l l o w t he l ead o f t he A . F . L.

and cooper at e wi t h

them in the movement and t h a t we

would be d e l i g h t e d t o j o i n a t e . I n

of

the meantime,

in any bureau t hey would c r e ­ the Congress di d very l i t t l e .

^^Meet i ng of the Committee on P o l i c y , Mi n ut e s , 1 0 / 1 8 / 3 3 , American Jewish C o m mi t t e e / P o l i c y Committee/ German-Jewish s i t u a t i o n / 1 9 3 3 (ADM). O O

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 1 / 2 8 / 3 3 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 23- 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

361 L illie

Shultz,

chairwoman o f the Research D e p a r t ­

ment o f t he Congress, wr ot e Wise t h a t t h e r e was an immedi­ a t e need f o r a b o y c o t t program t h a t would g i v e the masses some d i r e c t i o n .

She s t a t e d t h a t

t he most vocal

members of

Congress were j o i n i n g Unt e r me y e r ' s group because o f the Congress' s f a i l u r e

to e s t a b l i s h

a program.

t h a t the Congress send t hrough i t s

She suggested

affiliated

organizations

a pl edge card whereby each s i g n a t o r promised not to buy German goods or s e r v i c e s ; the l o c a l

t h e cards were to be r e t u r n e d to

Congress o f f i c e .

"I

think this

pl edge

.

.

.

would a i d us c o n s i d e r a b l y in s t r e n g t h e n i n g our o r g a n i z a t i o n inasmuch as i t

would gi ve us an i ndex o f names of i n t e r gQ

es t e d p e r s o n s . " mendat i ons,

Kallen's

suggestions,

program were not act ed u p o n . 90

As l a t e as December 26, Administrative

1933,

f o ur months a f t e r the

Committee endorsed t he b o y c o t t ,

asi de from W i n k l e r ,

pp.

recom­

and those o f P r o f e s s o r Max W i n k l e r who had been

h i r e d t o over see t he b o y c o t t

work.

Shultz's

Mor e ove r ,

no one,

had been h i r e d t o c a r r y on the b o y c o t t

the P u b l i c i t y

Department was charged wi t h

BOquoted in Moshe G o t t l i e b , 160-163.

"Anti-Nazi

Boycott,"

OOwi n k l e r ' s pl an p a r a l l e l e d K a l l e n ' s s u g g e s t i o n s . See Memo o f Max W i n k l e r , 1 1 / 2 0 / 3 3 , f o l d e r 78, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress F i l e , A n t i - N a z i Boycot t Commi ttee, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

352 t he f a i l u r e with .

.

to i d e n t i f y

t he b o y c o t t . . had f e l t

Rabbi

tyranny,

Jacob X.

Cohen d e c l a r e d t h a t

t h a t t he Congress had detached i t s e l f

t he b o y c o t t movement." Hitler

t he Congress i n the p u b l i c mind

I ndeed,

from

even in the mi dst o f the

some on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee wished

t he Congress t o t a k e up o t h e r probl ems; to w i t : lem o f Jewish e d u c a t i o n , social

"he

organiza tion of local

a d j u s t me n t o f uprooted Jews,

t he pr ob­ Kekillahs,

and the Jewish farm

s e t t l e m e n t movement.

Abraham Goldberg charged t h a t the

Congress found i t s e l f

i n such d i f f i c u l t

because o f t he " a s s i m i 1a t i o n i s t

ci r cumst ances

tendency of t he l e a d e r s h i p

which does not see Jewish r e a l i t y

nor r e a l l y

feel

Jewish

l i f e . "91 It

was not u n t i l

t he l a t t e r

p a r t of February,

t h a t the Congress o r g a n i z e d a b o y c o t t bureau. Tenenbaum o u t l i n e d t he b u r e a u' s o b j e c t i v e s :

Dr. (1)

mote p u b l i c s e n t i me n t i n f a v o r o f the b o y c o t t ;

1934,

Joseph

to p r o ­

(2)

to p r o ­

v i d e gui dance and a s s i s t a n c e to those c a r r y i n g on t he boycott; that

(3)

to br i n g moral

pr es sur e upon those businesses

had not as y e t adopted the b o y c o t t ;

(4)

to e s t a b l i s h

9 T A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 1 2 / 2 6 / 3 3 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19231933, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

363 and m a i n t a i n an i n f o r m a t i o n s e r v i c e i n r egar d to e q u i v a ­ l e n t s and s u b s t i t u t e s (5)

f o r German goods and s e r v i c e s ;

and

to e n f o r c e the b o y c o t t . 92 To promote bo y c o t t s e n t i m e n t ,

earlier

approved o f a pl an f o r hol di ng a p u b l i c

which the crimes o f t h e H i t l e r by e y e wi t n e s s e s . t ee were f e a r f u l Jewry,

t he Congress had

Though some on t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ o f t he t r i a l ' s

possible e f f e c t s

a n t i - H i t l e r factions

"The Case o f C i v i l i z a t i o n March 7,

at

regime were to be r ecount ed

the d e c i s i o n was made to hold the t r i a l

t i o n wi t h a l l

trial

on German

in coopera­

i n the Uni t e d S t a t e s .

against H i t l e r "

took pl ace on

1934, and t he a t t e n d a n t p u b l i c i t y was used by the

Congress to f u r t h e r the b o y c o t t . ^3 March, 1934,

the A.

Moreover,

in l a t e

F . o f L . accepted the Congress' s o f f e r

o f c o o p e r a t i o n and a j o i n t boycot t committee was e s t a b l i s h e d to oversee the o p e r a t i o n of t he b o y c o t t .

94

The

92"Repor t of the Boycot t Committee of the American Jewish Congress f o r Three Months," 6 / 1 2 / 3 4 , f o l d e r 7B, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , A n t i Nazi Boycot t Commi ttee, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^^American Jewish Congress, The Case o f C i v i l i z a t i o n Aga i ns t H i t l e r , (New Yor k, 1 9 3 4 ) , passi m. ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 3 / 2 0 / 3 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 19 34- 1 9 5 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

364

Congress had hoped t h a t t h e A . F . f o cal

p o i n t o f t he b o y c o t t , and Wise was w i l l i n g

o ver a l l ever,

o f L. would become the

boycott a c t i v i t i e s

t he A. F.

at i t s

annual

o f L.

to t u r n

to t h a t o r g a n i z a t i o n .

did l i t t l e

How­

e l s e but pass a r e s o l u t i o n

convent i on r e a f f i r m i n g

its

opposition

to

Hi t l e r . Tenenbaum wished to a i d those who had p r e v i o u s l y purchased German goods and s e r v i c e s , t i o n o f t he b o y c o t t ,

had st opped.

o f the Congress pl anned a "Goodwi l l which i t

and upon the pr omul ga­

The Boycot t Committee Me r chandi si ng F a i r "

by

hoped to show the p u b l i c where s u b s t i t u t e s and

e q u i v a l e n t s coul d be bought.

One o f the p r i n c i p a l

obsta­

cl e s i n the enf or cement o f the b o y c o t t was the e x p l a n a t i o n gi ven by users of those products t h a t German-made goods were "uni que"

in t h e i r make, q u a l i t y ,

and p r i c e and could

95wise to Unt ermeyer , 1 0 / 1 2 / 3 4 ; Green to Wise, 1 0 / 3 / 3 4 ; Unt ermeyer to Wise, 1 0 / 1 5 / 3 4 , in possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri chards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves of the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. Unt ermeyer was not e n t h u ­ s i a s t i c about the performance o f t he A. F. o f L. "I would not under any ci r cumst ances be w i l l i n g , a f t e r my ex p e r i e n c e wi t h these gent l emen, to t u r n over the l e a d e r s h i p o f the bo y c o t t to them even though we were to co nt i nue to do the work. . . . They have too many cr ushi ng burdens and pr ob­ lems . . . a t t h i s ti me to be a b l e to gi ve the s u b j e c t any real a t t e n t i o n . To them i t i s p u r e l y a c o l l a t e r a l m a t t e r in which they are . . . not deepl y i n t e r e s t e d as compared with, the ve x a t i ou s problems t h a t ar e p r es si n g upon them a t t h i s c r i s i s in t h e i r a f f a i r s . "

365 not be s u b s t i t u t e d by American or o t h e r p r o d u c t s . " over, for

More­

Tenenbaum s t a t e d t h a t the F a i r would " r a i s e money

the

C o n g r e s s .

"96

W i l l i a m Spi egel man,

t a r y o f t he Boycot t Commi ttee,

Executive Secre­

wr ot e Wise:

I t i s our c o n v i c t i o n t h a t t he F a i r w i l l serve a two­ f o l d purpose. I t w i l l help to s t i m u l a t e t r a d e r e c o v ­ ery t hr oughout t h e w o r l d , and, a t t he same t i m e , i s o ­ l a t e H i t l e r [ s i c ] Germany, which i s r e t a r d i n g t r a d e r e c o v e r y as i t i s t h r e a t e n i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l peace.

Tenenbaum c o n t r a c t e d wi t h Samuel the Commercial

E.

Kimball,

P r e s i d e n t of

E x p o s i t i o n s Company, to c o o r d i n a t e the

p r o j e c t f o r a f ee o f $ 4 , 0 0 0 ;

the Congress was t o r e c e i v e

70 per c e n t o f the net revenues. a l r e a d y si gned a c o n t r a c t , m i t t e e had s e r i o u s

Though the Congress had

many on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­

reservations

about the p r o j e c t .

Sherman di d not b e l i e v e t he a f f a i r

Carl

should be hel d under

the auspi ces o f t h e Jewish Congress, w h i l e Ri chards b e l i e v e d it

contrary

"t o the d i g n i t y of the C o n g r e s s . "98

Scheduled

96 Boycot t Committee o f the American Jewish Congress, 3 / 8 / 3 4 , f o l d e r 7B, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e . Box 2, A n t i - N a z i Boycot t Commi ttee, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 97quoted in Moshe G o t t l i e b , pp. 1 7 7 - 1 7 8 .

"Anti-Nazi

Boycott,"

9 & A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 4 / 1 0 / 3 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 3 4 - 1 9 5 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

366 to open i n June, until

late

1934,

Oct ober ;

the F a i r di d not open i t s

by t h a t t i m e ,

t he U n i t e d S t a t e s was al most

the b o y c o t t movement in

n e g lig ib le .9 9

The American Jewish Congress, shi p o f t he Goodwi l l activities,

despite i t s

sponsor ­

Me r c handi s i ng F a i r and o t h e r b o y c o t t

deci ded as e a r l y as l a t e March,

b o y c o t t was no t h i n g more than a q u i x o t i c same t i me

doors

1 9 34,

gesture.

t h a t t he F a i r was bei ng pl anned,

t h a t the At the

t h e Budget Com­

mittee

o f the Congress wished to m a i n t a i n the Boycot t Com­

mittee

on a v o l u n t e e r b a s i s . T e n e n b a u m

t h r e a t e n e d to

resign

i f more funds were not a p p r o p r i a t e d .

"We ca n n o t .

^^The London B oy c ot t Committee a l l e g e d l y o f f e r e d to end the b o y c o t t i f H i t l e r r e p e a l e d t he d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s a g a i n s t t he Jews and r e s t o r e d t h e i r c i v i l r i g h t s . A c a bl e to t h i s e f f e c t was p u b l i s h e d i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s and many wi t hdr ew t h e i r suppor t f o r t he bo y c o t t upon i t s p u b l i c a ­ tion. See Unt ermeyer t o Ov e d o r f , 1 0 / 2 4 / 3 4 , i n possession o f Mrs. Ruth Ri char ds E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f the Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau. Brandei s was al so o f the o p i n i o n t h a t "we coul d not c o n s i d e r peace on terms which would be l e s s t han t he complete r e s t o r a t i o n o f equal citizenship. We would show t he wor st judgment i ma gi na b l e i f we were c o n t e n t to t a k e a l e s s e r p o s i t i o n than e q u a l ­ ity." See "Memo o f T a l k o f Brandei s w i t h Wi se, K a l l e n , Waldman, and S t r o o c k , 5 / 1 5 / 3 4 , " Louis D. Brandei s f o l d e r Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e . Cor ­ respondence, S e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , lOOAdmini s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 3 / 2 0 / 3 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 3 4 - 1 9 5 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

367 we dare not st op a t h a l f - m e a s u r e s , " mary r e p o r t o f b o y c o t t a c t i v i t i e s ,

he s t a t e d .

In a sum­

Tenenbaum warned the

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee not to " q u i b b l e about t r i f l e s " ; " i f we ar e to win t h i s strength

fight,

in t he f r o n t - l i n e

we must put our p r i n c i p a l

of the c o u n t e r - a t t a c k . "^01

Tenenbaum demanded t h a t the Boycot t Committee be gi ven the a u t h o r i t y to r a i s e a d d i t i o n a l that

it

have so l e c o n t r o l

funds f o r b o y c o t t work, and

over cash di s bu r s e me nt s .

warned the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee t h a t

di d not l e a d t he b o y c o t t ,

no one would.

if

He

the Congress

I f we p e r m i t t he b o y c o t t movement i n America to become an academic i s s u e , or an ' a t t i t u d e ' - - t o use K a l l e n ' s p h r a s e - - w e l l t h e n , in l ess than s i x months, the Boy­ c o t t w i l l be a n c i e n t h i s t o r y and not a very g l o r i o u s page a t t h a t . " If

t he Congress were to d i s c o n t i n u e b o y c o t t a c t i v i t i e s ,

very e x i s t e n c e would be t h r e a t e n e d as we l l

its

as t h a t o f the

proposed World Jewish Congress. The masses want b o y c o t t . Under no ci r cums t ance s can we p e r m i t t he Congress to l ose i t s g r i p over the boy­ cott. N e i t h e r can we a f f o r d to stand by a t the t a i l end o f a movement which c a r r i e s a tremendous p o t e n t i a l f o r c e f o r h u r t i n g Germany and r a i s i n g ourv s e l f - r e s p e c t .

1 0 1 "Repor t o f the Boycot t Committee o f the American Jewish Congress f o r Three Months, " 6 / 1 2 / 3 4 , f o l d e r 7B, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e , A n t i Nazi Boycot t Commi ttee, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

368 Unless hi s demands were met,

he t h r e a t e n e d to r e s i g n .

The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee was s p l i t on the i s s u e ; the Committee o f Seven,

the chairmen o f a l l

the Congress

commi t t ees, opposed any f u r t h e r a p p r o p r i a t i o n to the boy­ cott

b u r e a u .

tinue a ll

102

wi s e,

however, was u n w i l l i n g to d i s c o n ­

b o y c o t t work; he was s a t i s f i e d

t o l e t Tenenbaum

c o n t i n u e pr ovi ded t he boycot t di d not become a f i n a n c i a l albatross. C o n f l i c t and t e nsi ons grew.

In l a t e May,

1935,

Tenenbaum t o l d t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee t h a t i t i s st r ange t h a t t h e r e should be so many d i f f i c u l t i e s not onl y r e g a r d i n g t he qu e s t i on o f money but al s o r e g a r d ­ ing the qu est i on o f p u b l i c i t y , which is the backbone of t h e boycot t movement. . . . I t i s no use going on as we have f o r the past y e a r and a h a l f , wr a ng l i ng about t r i f l e s and f o r g e t t i n g t he bi gge r i s s u e s . 103 The Boy cot t Committee o f the Jewish Congress e v e n t u a l l y merged w i t h t he Jewish Labor Committee to form a J o i n t Boycot t Council

in Febr uar y,

1935; Wise gave hi s b l e s s i n g

1O^I b i d . , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 0 / 1 6 / 3 4 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 19341959, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y ; Tenenbaum to Wise, 1 0 / 2 2 / 3 4 , Joseph Tenenbaum Mss, 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 3 8 , J o i n t Boy­ c o t t C o u n c i l , YIVO. l ^ ^ " R e p o r t Submitted to the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ tee by t he Chairman o f the Boycot t Committee of the Amer i ­ can Jewish Congress, 5 / 2 3 / 3 5 " World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO.

369 to t h i s

ar r angement d e s p i t e hi s d i s t r u s t o f B.

Vladeck,

head o f the Jewish Labor Committee.

Though i t cott,

Charney

al most a l l

cont i nue d to gi ve l i p

service

to t he boy­

Congress l e a de r s were gl ad to see t h a t

they no l o n g e r had to expend v a l u a b l e r esour ces on a cause which t hey t hought to be hopel ess. followers

viewed the b o y c o t t as t he u l t i m a t e weapon i n the

Jewish a r s e n a l ; if

it

Only Tenenbaum and his

he was w i l l i n g

to promote t he b o y c o t t even

"shoul d prove a f a i l u r e . "

duty to c o n t i n u e t he b o y c o t t ; our e ner gy,

and i f

He deemed i t

to " s t r a i n

we ar e to f a i l ,

hi s moral

ev er y ounce o f

then a t

least le t

us

l ea ve to p o s t e r i t y t h e i mpeccable pr o o f t h a t we have made the most of our o p p o r t u n i t i e s . " ^ ® ^ strative

No one on the Admi ni ­

Committee l i s t e n e d very a t t e n t i v e l y when Tenenbaum

spoke. Boycot t advocates cont i nued to p r o c l a i m pr ou dl y t h a t Germany's economic f u t u r e looked hopel ess; tistics

t h ey c i t e d s t a ­

which a l l e g e d l y proved t h a t American i mport s o f

German goods d e c l i n e d on a percent age basi s

Mss,

^®^Tenenbaum to Wise, 1 0 / 2 2 / 3 4 , 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 3 8 , J o i n t Boycot t C o u n c i l , ^®^The Amer i can

Isra elite,

Joseph Tenenbaum YIVO.

4/16/36,

pp.

1,

8.

370 German I mports T o t a l U.S. to U. S. ___________I mports________ % from Germany $73,571,644 $1,332,773,548 5. 8 78,167,612 1,449,207,682 5. 4 68,805,488 1,655,055,447 4.2 77,741,474 2,047,287,217 3.8

1932 1933 1934 1935 Yet,

these s t a t i s t i c s

d e c l i n e in i mpor t s

are very m i s l e a d i n g .

The g r e a t e s t

from Germany occur r ed from 1929 to 1932,

when t hey f e l l

al mos t 71 per c e n t .

came to power,

t he monthly average o f i mpor t s from Germany

was a p p r o x i m a t e l y $6.1 the b o y c o t t , slightly figure tity

l es s

million;

In 1932,

i n 1934,

t he aver age monthly f i g u r e than $ 5 . 9 m i l l i o n .

actually

a t t he h e i g h t of had d e c l i n e d to

However,

represented a s l i g h t

be f or e H i t l e r

t he l a t t e r

increase

in the quan­

o f i mport ed goods si nce the German Reichsmark had

fallen

in v a l u e . S t a t e and Tr ea sur y Department o p p o s i t i o n to the boy­

c o t t was m a n i f e s t .

Secretary of Stat e H u l l ,

champion o f the Open-Door p o l i c y , r e c o v e r y l a y in t he r e v i v a l

an a r d e n t

b e l i e v e d t h a t economic

of international

trade.

he opposed t h e b o y c o t t as " e c o n o mi c a l l y unwi se; " t h a t a b o y c o t t was c o s t l i e r boycotted,"

"t o the b o y c o t t e r s

He a s s e r t e d , moreover,

that

it

Thus,

he s t a t e d

than to the

cost the

Uni t ed S t a t e s Bureau o f the Census, Hi s t o r i cal S t a t i s t i c s o f the U n i t e d S t a t e s , C o l o n i a l Times to 1 9 5 7 , ( Washi ngt on, D . C . , 1 9 6 0 ) , p. 552.

371 United States t e d . T h e than H u l l .

$5.

f o r ev e r y $1.

of foreign

goods b o y c o t ­

T r e a s u r y Depar tment was somewhat more f l e x i b l e The t a r i f f

a c t then i n f o r c e mandated t h a t

ev er y a r t i c l e o f i mpor t ed merchandi se and i t s c l e a r l y marked to i n d i c a t e

t he count r y o f o r i g i n .

the Tr e a s ur y Department i n t e r p r e t e d loosely, a city,

province,

or o t h e r p o l i t i c a l

Too,

to p r i n t

very

s u b d i v i s i o n to e n t e r

t he p o i n t o f o r i g i n

p a r t o f t he a r t i c l e .

It

and p l a c e i t

was not u n t i l

Unt ermeyer t h r e a t e n e d the Department wi t h a l a w s u i t

di d t he p o l i c y change.

T r e a s u r y d e c i s i o n 46865 was handed

down i n e a r l y Mar ch, 1934; effect

provision

the Naz i s encouraged German manufac­

illegibly

on an i n a c c e s s i b l e Samuel

this

However,

and o f t e n a l l o we d goods from Germany marked wi t h

the c o u n t r y . turers

c o n t a i n e r be

until

t he T r e a s u r y ,

ninety

however,

days l a t e r .

Stephen Gi bbons,

i t would not t a k e

Assistant

S e c r e t a r y of

explained t h a t a th re e-

month grace p e r i o d was necessar y so as not to work har dshi ps and f i n a n c i a l l osses upon American i m p o r t e r s and o t h e r s who hol d e x e c u t o r y c o n t r a c t s , and t h a t such an e a r l y a p p l i c a t i o n o f a new r u l i n g . . . h i n d e r s and embarrasses i n t e r n a t i o n a l commercial i n t e r c o u r s e , and

l O ^ The A me r i c a n

I s r a e l i t e , 9/27/34,

p.

4.

372 causes i l l f e e l i n g and r esent ment on the p a r t of e x p o r t e r s and shi pper s i n f r i e n d l y n a t i o n s . ^ 08 Unt ermeyer cl ai med t h a t the S t a t e Department could have made an e x c e p t i o n t o t he n i n e t y day r u l i n g w i t h Germany, s i n c e t h a t c o u n t r y ' s "w illful."

However,

such an e x c e p t i o n ,

evasi on o f the law had been

t he S t a t e Department r e f u s e d to make

and German goods cont i nue d to f l o w i n t o

the co un t r y wi t h count r y o f o r i g i n Bavaria,"

r egar d to

labels

such as "made in

and "made i n Hamburg."

The Jewish Congress, though i t Jewish s u p p o r t ,

tried

to e n l i s t non-

consi der ed t he bo y c o t t a Jewi sh measure.

Wise had always s t a t e d t h a t the b o y c o t t was a weapon Jews could use to combat H i t l e r .

"My p o s i t i o n

has been t h a t a

wor l d Jewish b o y c o t t coul d onl y be d e c l a r e d a g a i n s t Ger ­ many by a worl d body o f Jews."

Samuel

Margoshes sa i d t h a t

even though non-Jewi sh o r g a n i z a t i o n s endorsed the b o y c o t t , " I t t a kes Jewish v i g i l a n c e

to see to i t

t h a t American

workingmen do not buy German goods."

If

r e li n qu is h control

was doomed to f a i l u r e ;

o f the b o y c o t t ,

it

the Jews were to

^^^Gibbons to Unt er meyer , 3 / 8 / 3 4 ; Unt ermeyer to Gibbons, 3 / 1 2 / 3 4 ; Unt ermeyer to Brown, 3 / 1 4 / 3 4 , David A. Brown Mss, Box 2303b, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

373 the Jews were to l e a d w h i l e ot her s f o i l owed. 1^9 s i z i n g t he Jewish aspect o f the b o y c o t t ,

By empha­

the Jewish Con­

gress Boycot t Committee expanded t he scope o f t he boycot t to i n c l u d e a l l

German-American busi nesses.

the r a t h e r f a n t a s t i c societies

s t at e me nt t h a t a l l

Deutsch made

German-American

pai d a p a r t o f t h e i r membership dues to the Nazi s

and r e c e i v e d f i n a n c i a l

suppor t from the H i t l e r

regi me.

Unt ermeyer even wished to pr oc l ai m a secondary boycot t against stores n i t y . T h e

f r e q u e n t e d by the German-American commu­ Congress had t o t a l l y

alienated organizations

such as t he Steuben S o c i e t y t h a t had cooperat ed w i t h i t

in

t he p a s t . The American Jewish Congress was comp l e t e l y unpre­ pared to meet t he c h a l l e n g e of Adolph H i t l e r . s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the H i t l e r

t h r e a t was r e a l i z e d ,

Once the the Jewish

Congress di d not pr epar e any comprehensive plan of a c t i o n , and r e s o r t e d to haphazard schemes which foundered on inefficiency,

gross mismanagement,

and l a c k of i n t e r e s t .

1 0 9 " 0 i g e s t o f Jewish News and Opinion Regarding the Work o f t he American Jewish Congress," 1 1 / 1 7 / 3 4 , American Jewish Commi ttee/ Ameri can Jewish Congress/1 934-1 944. TT^Kudl i ch to K o h l e r , 5 / 1 0 / 3 4 , American Jewish Comm m i t t e e / G e r m a n y / B o y c o t t / P u b l i c Opi ni on; Brown to U n t e r ­ meyer, 7 / 1 7 / 3 4 , David A. Brown Mss, Box 2303b, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

374 The enemy was not onl y the Nazis in Germany,

but al so any

o r g a n i z a t i o n which at t empt ed to usurp t he a u t h o r i t y o f the American Jewish Congress.

Hitler

tri umphed w h i l e the

American Jewish Congress wal lowed i n i t s ness .

own s h o r t s i g h t e d ­

CHAPTER V I I

RESCUING EUROPEAN JEWRY: 1933 TO 1945

The American Jewish Congress' s r e l u c t a n c e to i n i t i ­ a t e an economic b o y c o t t o f Nazi

Germany and the subsequent

f a i l u r e o f t h i s v e n t u r e f or c ed the Congress to pursue o t h e r methods to a l l e v i a t e ists.

the p l i g h t of t h e i r

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s sought r a t i o n a l

to a s i t u a t i o n

t h a t was al most i n s o l v a b l e ;

co-religionsolutions

t hey appeal ed

to a worl d whose consci ence had been suppressed by economic t r auma. until

Li ke a c a n c e r ,

Nazi

i d e o l o g y and t a c t i c s

spread

t hey i n f e c t e d t h e e n t i r e European b o d y - p o l i t i c ,

t he a n t i b o d i e s o f de mocr at i c t hought and moral not a r r e s t t he dreaded d i s e a s e .

Thus,

and

suasi on did

Jews in Germany and

N a z i - o c c u p i e d Europe were condemned to economic d e s t r u c ­ t i o n and,

eventually,

p hysi cal

annihilation.

One way in which Stephen Wise and o t h e r Jewish Con­ gress l e a d e r s

sought to rescue t h e i r European b r e t h r e n was

to have them e mi g r a t e from Germany to the Uni t e d S t a t e s or to any o t h e r s a n c t u a r y .

Yet t hey r e a l i z e d t h a t any 375

376 attempt to s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r policy,

i.e .,

ba s i c American i mmi g r a t i o n

t he quota syst em, would be f r u i t l e s s .

Jew­

i sh Congress l e a d e r s not o n l y had to convi nce a h o s t i l e Senate and House o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s , tial

but,

also,

a substan­

number o f Ameri can Jewish l e a d e r s who were not o v e r -

enthusiastic

about any a t t e m p t to open A me r i c a ' s doors to

thousands o f i mmi gr ant s when m i l l i o n s

of n a t i v e Americans

were s t a n d i n g i n bread l i n e s .

Max Kohl er o f t he American

Jewish Committee t y p i f i e d

attitude:

this

We o u r s e l v e s a r e s u f f e r i n g from such economic d i s t r e s s t h a t we cannot t a k e care o f our own r e s i d e n t unemployed! You c r e a t e a s i t u a t i o n where i t w i l l be charged t h a t Ame r i c a ' s Jews want to s a c r i f i c e Ame r i c a ' s obvious and e s s e n t i a l i n t e r e s t s on b e h a l f o f t h e i r German co­ religionists. . . . ^ In a c t u a l i t y , system,

for

t h e r e was no need to a l t e r

the Ameri can Congress had made Germany one of

the most f a v o r e d n a t i o n s ; Gr eat B r i t a i n , The pr obl em,

and i t

however,

Order o f September 8 ,

it

had t h e next l a r g e s t quota to

had not been f i l l e d

f o r many y e a r s .

l a y i n P r e s i d e n t Hoover ' s 1930,

the " p u b l i c char ge"

^Kohl er to D i c k s t e i n , m i t t e e / I mini g r a t i o n / 1 9 3 3 .

Executive

which commanded the S e c r e t a r y

o f S t a t e to i n s t r u c t American c o n s u l a t e s strictly

the quota

provisions

3/31/33,

to i n t e r p r e t o f t he l aw, and.

American Jewish Com­

377 thus,

to i ssue v i r t u a l l y

leaders

no v i s a s a t a l l .

Jewi sh Congress

in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the Hebrew I mmi grant Aid S o c i ­

e t y urged the r e v o c a t i o n o f t he E x e c u t i v e Order so as to enabl e v i c t i m s o f Nazi 2 5 , 0 0 0 pl aces March, bill uled,

1933,

oppr essi on to u t i l i z e

i n t he German q u o t a . R e p r e s e n t a t i v e Samuel

toward t h i s

end;

however,

t he al most

Toward the end of Dickstein

introduced a

when hear i ngs were sched­

Wise and Bernard Deutsch d e c l i n e d to t e s t i f y

because

t hey f e a r e d t he o p p o s i t i o n o f t h e " p a t r i o t i c "

groups such

as t he Daughters o f the American R e v o l u t i o n .

Too,

the

S t a t e Department expressed s t r o n g o p p o s i t i o n to the measure,

and t he D i c k s t e i n

bill

di ed in commi t t ee.

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s l e g i s l a t e an end t o t h e p u b l i c c e n t r a t e d on t r y i n g

abandoned t h e i r

p a t t e m p t to

charge p r o v i s i o n and con­

to persuade P r e s i d e n t Roosev el t to

ease t he c o n s u l a r i n t e r p r e t a t i o n the P r e s i d e n t to i ssue a p u b l i c

o f t he l aw.

Wise urged

p r o c l a m a t i o n i n which he

A d l e r to H a r z f e l d , 4 / 5 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commit­ t e e / Ge r ma n y / B o y c o t t / Ma s s M e e t i n g s ; "Review o f R ef u sa l s o f Visas by Consul ar O f f i c e s , " H e a r i n g s , House Committee on I mmi g r a t i o n and N a t u r a l i z a t i o n , 73 Congress, F i r s t Se s s i on , ( Washi ngt on, 1 9 3 3 ) , pp. 1 - 3 3 . The " p u b l i c char ge" p r o v i ­ sion o f the i mmi g r a t i o n law p r o h i b i t e d anyone from e n t e r i n g the Uni t ed S t a t e s i f t he a u t h o r i z e d o f f i c e r o f the S t a t e Department b e l i e v e d t he woul d- be i mmi grant would have to be suppor t ed by p u b l i c funds a f t e r hi s a r r i v a l .

378 would not d i r e c t l y mention t he Jewish s i t u a t i o n

i n Germany,

but would e m p h a t i c a l l y d e c l a r e t h a t America had always been a land o f asylum.

3

As b e f o r e ,

However, Jewish e f f o r t s

Roosevel t r ef used to a c t .

di d prove to be o f some v a l u e ,

for

a t the end o f 1933, t he S t a t e Department accepted vi s a applications

from German c i t i z e n s

o t h e r than Germany.

Heretofore,

accepted v i s a a p p l i c a t i o n s

r e s i d i n g in c o u n t r i e s t he S t a t e Department

i n a n a t i o n onl y from t hose who

were c i t i z e n s o f the c o un t r y or permanent a l i e n s . over,

a s h o r t ti me l a t e r ,

More­

t he St a t e Department announced

t h a t vi sas would be i ssued to those whose f r i e n d s or r e l a ­ tives

agreed to post bond as a guar ant ee t h a t the immi grant

would not become a p u b l i c charge.

Previously,

the S t a t e

Department r e q u i r e d t h a t t he i mmigrant h i m s e l f post bond; f o r t he w e l l - t o - d o

German Jews t h i s would not have r e p r e ­

sented any g r e a t problem,

but the Nazi s forbade any would-

be emi gr ant from l e a v i n g Germany w i t h a n y t h i n g more than a small

per cent age o f hi s a s s e t s . ^

Though v a r i o u s n a t i v i s t

^"Memorandum on Washington T r i p , 1 0 / 3 0 / 3 3 , " Stephen S. Wise Mss, I mmi gr at i on f i l e , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jew­ i sh H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . to P h i l l i p s , 7 / 1 8 / 3 3 , American Jewish Committee/ Germany. The S t a t e Depar t ment ' s v o l t e - f a c e did not appr e­ c i a b l y a f f e c t the r a t e o f i m mi g r a t i o n . In t he year s 1934 and 1935, onl y about 9 , 0 0 0 Jews i mmi grated to the Uni t ed S t a t e s from a l l f o r e i g n l ands.

379 groups clamored t h a t t he S t a t e Department had opened the f l o o d gates t o t he Jews, insignificant.

in a c t u a l i t y ,

To be s u r e ,

t h a t t hey were t o t a l l y

al most a l l

assimilated

t h a t H i t l e r was but a f l e e t i n g , ing,

ni ght ma r e .

the number was German Jews f e l t

i n t o German s o c i e t y and

though t e r r i b l y

frighten­

Many o f the 60 0 , 0 0 0 German Jews r ef used

to l e a v e the co un t r y where t hey occupi ed i mp o r t a n t posts in busi ness and government. emi gr at ed to c o u n t r i e s

When t hey di d l e a v e ,

b o r d e r i n g Germany i n a n t i c i p a t i o n

t h a t t hey would soon r e t u r n Anti-immigration

to t he F a t h e r l a n d .

a program to pl ace German-Jewish c h i l d r e n homes.

However,

to i n i t i a t e

in American f o s ­

t he E x e c u t i v e Committee o f the Amer i ­

can Jewish Congress passed a r e s o l u t i o n sion o f f i f t y

5

f e e l i n g was so i n t e n s e i n the

U ni t ed S t a t e s t h a t Jewish groups were r e t i c e n t

ter

they

favoring

thousand German-Jewish c h i l d r e n

f o r by p r i v a t e f a m i l i e s .

the admis­

to be cared

The i dea o r i g i n a t e d wi t h Mor r i s

Waldman o f t he American Jewish Committee who broached t he s u b j e c t a t a meeting o f the J o i n t C o n s u l t a t i v e C o u n c i l . The Congress and o t h e r Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s deci ded to c o n s u l t S t a t e and Labor Department o f f i c i a l s .

^ I bi d.

The

380

Commissioner General

o f I mmi g r a t i o n was f a v o r a b l e to the

idea as was S e c r e t a r y o f Labor Frances P e r k i n s ; Department personnel Stroock, tion

and se v e r a l

State

Jewish l e a d e r s - - S o l

p a r t i c u l a r l y - - w e r e opposed.

However,

the i mmi gr a­

law f o r b a de any group o r p h i l a n t h r o p i c o r g a n i z a t i o n

from b r i n g i n g any i mmi grant t o t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , school

and a

bond and p u b l i c charge bond had to be f i l e d w i t h

t he Department o f Labor f o r c h i l d r e n under the age o f s i x ­ teen . At a Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e ing,

it

was deci ded t h a t

having i n d i v i d u a l s t i o n o f each c h i l d .

Committee meet ­

t he law coul d be ci r cumvent ed by

as i n d i v i d u a l s

pay f o r the t r a n s p o r t a ­

A committee was o r g a n i z e d to persuade

250 peopl e to donate $100 each f o r t he t r a n s p o r t a t i o n c o s t s . Also,

a pl an was devi sed f o r t he o r g a n i z a t i o n o f a c o r ­

p o r a t i o n t o be c h a r t e r e d by t he S t a t e o f New York w i t h a capital

of $25,000.

The c o r p o r a t i o n would then d i s b u r s e

t he necessary monies f o r school bonds.

bonds and p u b l i c

charge

The money was donated by t he Baron del l i r sh Fund.^

S u b seq uen t l y,

S e c r e t a r y o f Labor Per ki ns deci ded t h a t to

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 5 / 1 / 3 4 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1934 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 3, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 3 4 - 1 9 5 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

381 prevent p a t r i o t i c gressional

and n a t i v i s t

groups from a r o u s i n g Con­

r e s t r i c t i o n i s t s , t h e 250 c h i l d r e n were to be

gr ant ed t empor ar y r a t h e r than permanent v i s a s . ^ Jewish Congress l e a d e r s t i o n s e n t i m e n t was so p r e v a l e n t o n l y a few Jews coul d p o s s i b l y States.

To be s u r e ,

realized that anti-immigrain t he U n i t e d S t a t e s t h a t i mmi grat e to the Uni t ed

many German Jews di d not wish t o come

t o t he U n i t e d S t a t e s ,

and n a t i v i s t groups were qu i ck to

p o i n t out t h a t no t a mp er i ng w i t h the law or e x e c u t i v e or de r s was needed i n view o f t h i s

phenomenon.

was r unni ng out f o r Germany's Jews.

The f a s c i s t

was b e g i n n i n g t o spread to Fr a n c e , P ol a nd, and i t

became i n c r e a s i n g l y

e n t e r t h ese c o u n t r i e s . stabilize

this

international

situation

d ifficult

Yet ti me cancer

and A u s t r i a ,

f o r Germany's Jews to

The Jewish Congress a t t e mp t e d to by ur gi ng t he c r e a t i o n o f an

agency t hrough t he League o f Nat i ons which

would ser ve as a c l e a r i n g house f o r a l l in t he c o u n t r i e s

to which t h e r ef ugees

r e l i e f operations fled.

As Wise

stated :

^Sheldon N e u r i n g e r , "American Jewry and Uni t ed S t a t e s I m mi g r a t i o n P o l i c y , " pp. 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 . For an e a r l i e r a t t e m p t to i n i t i a t e a c h i l d - r e s c u e program, see W i l l i a m s to American Jewish Congress, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Meet ­ i n g , 6 / 7 / 3 3 , A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1933 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t e e , 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

382 t h e aim would not be p a l l i a t i v e r e l i e f which i s being a t t e mp t e d i n a hundred ways i n a l l t he lands o f Europe and Amer i ca, but to e x p l o r e t h e p o s s i b i l i t i e s of immi­ g r a t i o n and r e c o n s t r u c t i o n , i n c l u d i n g t h e problem of c i t i z e n s h i p f o r those who are r ef ugees from t he H i t l e r Reich.8 Plans f o r such an agency had a l r e a d y been di scusse d by the Jo i n t Con sultative Council. had been r e t a i n e d

Dr.

Er nst F e i 1c h e n f e l d , who

by the J o i n t D i s t r i b u t i o n

Commi ttee,

devel oped a pl an f o r t he Nansen O r g a n i z a t i o n to extend hel p t o German r e f u g e e s .

The O r g a n i z a t i o n would have the

power to n e g o t i a t e wi t h t h e H i t l e r the p r o p e r t y

interests

of a l l

government r e g a r d i n g

the Jews.^

Proskauer and

St r oock c o n f e r r e d w i t h r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from t he American Jewish Congress and had "i mpressed upon them the i mpor­ t ance o f t h e avoi dance by Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

of the

appearance o f sponsor i ng any c a n d i d a t e . "10 ^Quoted i n t he Jewish Exponent , 9 / 2 2 / 3 3 . ^ P o l i c y Committee Me e t i n g , Mi n u t e s , 9 / 1 / 3 3 , American Jewish C o m m i t t e e / P o l i c y Commi ttee/ German- Jewi sh S i t u a t i o n / 1933 (ADM), AJC. The Nansen O f f i c e , e s t a b l i s h e d in 1921 and d i r e c t e d by F r i d t j o f Nansen, sought to f a c i l i t a t e the e m i g r a t i o n o f per s ecut ed peoples by the i ssuance of an " I n t e r n a t i o n a l Passport." The Nansen Passpor t gr ant ed r ef ugee s t he same s o c i a l and economic r i g h t s as t hose n a t i o n a l i s t s in t he host c o u n t r y . However, t he passpor t was v a l i d f o r onl y one y e a r , and onl y i f t h e r e f u g e e ' s n a t i v e co un t r y c e r t i f i e d t h a t he would be a l l o we d to r e t u r n A f t e r H i t l e r took power, German-Jewish r e f u ge e s could not o b t a i n a Nansen passpor t because H i t l e r would not guar ant ee t h e i r r i g h t to r e t u r n t o Germany. l O j b i d . , 10/18/33.

383 The Committee and t he Congress coul d not reach a g r e e ­ ment on whom they wished t o see appoi nt ed as d i r e c t o r of t he Autonomous O f f i c e o f High Commissioner f o r Refugees from Germany. ald,

The Congress wished to see James G. MacDon­

d i r e c t o r o f the For ei gn P o l i c y A s s o c i a t i o n ,

w h i l e t he Commi ttee, part,

in def er ence to i t s

British

appointed, counter­

the Board o f Deputi es o f B r i t i s h Jews, opted f o r Lord

Robert Ceci l

who was w i l l i n g

to accept t he post " i f

an

a s s i s t a n t who would take a c t i v e charge could be a p p o i n t e d . ^ Some members o f the Committee thought MacDonald u n q u a l i f i e d f o r t he p o s i t i o n ,

and Edgar A. Mowrer,

f ormer cor r espondent

in Germany f o r t h e Chicago D a i l y News, a l l e g e d l y t o l d the Committee t h a t MacDonald "r egar ded H i t l e r i s m sy mpat het i c t o n e . " ^ ^ not too f r i e n d l y

in a somewhat

Wise viewed the Commi ttee' s choi ce in

terms.

I am ver y much a f r a i d t h a t c e r t a i n groups in England and America are going to st r e s s the s e t t i n g up of a commission . . . f o r t he care o f the i mmi grant German Jews which may mi ni mi ze o t h e r p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a c t i o n on t he p a r t o f t h e League o f N a t i o n s . And I want to warn you. I t h i n k t h e r e i s a very r e a l danger t h a t a l l

^^I b i d ,

TZibid,

384

i n t e r e s t and a l l t h i s one t h i n g .

attention w ill

be c o n c e n t r a t e d on

MacDonald was appoi nt ed by t he League Co u n c i l ; ap po i nt e d as a s s i s t a n t s Amer i ca,

two Jewish r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

one from t he " c o n s e r v a t i v e "

he

from

el ement r e p r e s e n t e d

by the American Jewish Commi ttee, and one from the "demo­ cratic"

el ement r e p r e s e n t e d by the American Jewish Congress

MacDonald,

however, was hi nder ed i n hi s at t e mpt s to rescue

German Jewry. The Autonomous O f f i c e of High Commissioner was c r e ­ at ed as an agency c o mp l e t e l y s e pa r a t e d from t he League o f Nations.

Though t h e League di d p r o v i d e t h e High Commis­

s i o n e r ' s O f f i c e w i t h an i n i t i a l

sum o f 2 5 , 0 0 0 f r a n c s ,

it

di d not c o n t i n u e to fund the agency, and t h e O f f i c e soon became dependent upon the c o n t r i b u t i o n s zations.^^

from Jewish o r g a n i ­

The High Commi ssi oner' s f u n c t i o n was to open

the doors o f c o u n t r i e s so t h a t Jews coul d i mmi grat e and settle,

to c o n s i d e r and deci de on plans t o g e t h e r wi t h

Report by Wise on European T r i p , 9 / 2 3 / 3 3 , p. 23, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , f o l d e r 7A, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress F i l e , Box 1, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . l^Though o s t e n s i b l y c r e a t e d to deal wi t h a l l German r e f u g e e s , non-Jewi sh o r g a n i z a t i o n s c o n t r i b u t e d very l i t t l e to the suppor t o f the Autonomous O f f i c e .

385 private

r e l i e f organizations

g r a t i o n and r e s e t t l e m e n t , aspects o f r e l i e f clear,

however,

to best c a r r y out the immi­

and to c o o r d i n a t e t he v a r i o us

and r ef ugee a c t i v i t i e s .

that

It

soon became

the Autonomous O f f i c e was onl y d u p l i ­

c a t i n g the work o f the Nansen Commission; moreover, f o r b i d d e n under i t s

it

c h a r t e r t o hel p t hose Jews who sought

r ef uge from t he Nazi

terror

in A u s t r i a . A s

soon as the

League a p po i nt e d the High Commissioner and hi s a i d e s , funded the p r o j e c t , ter.

it

washed i t s

and

hands o f t he whole mat­

A r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of t he League o f Nat i ons S e c r e t a r i a t

comments: ticipate Al l

was

" I t would not be p o s s i b l e f o r t he League to p a r ­ in the o r g a n i z a t i o n

i n an o f f i c i a l

way.

.

.

o f the correspondence which came to t he League about

the o f f i c e o f t he High Commissioner was f orwarded on to Geneva.

As MacDonald s t a t e d :

"I would say t h a t t he world

has been d i s a g r e e a b l y conscious o f t he Jews;

they are con­

s i d e r e d a drug on t he mar ket .

T^Saul S. ( D e t r o i t , 1973),

Fri edman, pp. 5 - 5 2 .

No Haven f o r t he Oppressed,

l^Memorandum from Waldman t o t he E x e c u t i v e Commi ttee, 1 1 / 3 - 4 / 3 3 , American Jewish Commi ttee/ Ameri can Jewish Con­ gr ess. ^^Naomi

Cohen,

Not Free t o

Desist,

pp.

174-175.

386 By J u l y ,

1936,

the Autonomous O f f i c e o f High Commis­

s i o n e r was reduced to d e c i d i n g At an i n t e r - g o v e r n m e n t a l Geneva,

the l e g a l

conf e r e nc e on r ef ugees hel d in

the p a r t i c i p a t i n g c o u n t r i e s

gees work p e r m i t s ,

and the v i t a l

r e f u s e d to g r a n t r e f u ­

problem o f d i s t r i b u t i n g

t he r e f u ge e s amongst t h e c o u n t r i e s removed from the agenda.

f o r r e s e t t l e m e n t was

P r o f e s s o r George

f r i e n d o f t he Jewish Congress and i t s tive

i n Eur ope,

status of refugees.

Ber nhar d,

unofficial

a

representa­

urged the Congress to press t he f o l l o w i n g

demands f o r t he r e f u g e e s : 1.

Expu l si o n o f r e f u ge e s by a d m i n i s t r a t i v e o r d e r s h a l l be governed by f i x e d r u l e s , and a r b i t r a r y d e c i s i o n s by b u r e a u c r a t s be made i m p o s s i b l e , e x p u l s i o n s h a l l t a k e pl a c e o n l y a f t e r o r d e r l y pr oceedi ngs i n which the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the r ef ugees has p a r t i c i p a t e d i n an a d v i s o r y c a p a c i t y .

2.

No r e q u e s t o f e x t r a d i t i o n o f r ef ugees to Germany s h a l l be g r a n t e d unl ess i t i s a b s o l u t e l y c l e a r t h a t the crime f o r which t h e i r e x t r a d i t i o n i s asked is not bei ng used by Germany as a p r e t e x t to cover up p o l i ­ tic a l objectives.

3.

The governments o f t he c o u n t r i e s o f r ef uge s h a l l g r a n t the r e f u ge e s t h e r i g h t to w o r k . 18

The League di d not t a k e any a c t i o n . In F e b r u a r y ,

1938,

an i n t e r - g o v e r n m e n t a l

conf er ence

met in Geneva f o r t h e purpose of adopt i ng a convent i on on

18

Yor k,

World Jewish Congress, 1 9 4 8 ) , pp. 6 3 - 6 4 .

Unity

in D i s p e r s i o n ,

(New

387 the s t a t u s o f r ef ugees from Germany. resentatives

t r i e d t o broaden t h e d e f i n i t i o n

" r e f uge e s from Germany" sons.

In a d d i t i o n ,

gible

f o r social

tunities

Jewish Congress r e p ­

it

o f the phrase

so as to i n c l u d e s t a t e l e s s p e r ­ proposed t h a t r ef ugees

insurance,

relief,

in c o u n t r i e s o f r e f u g e .

be made e l i ­

and e d u c a t i o n a l

oppor ­

Most o f the Jewish

Congr ess' s proposal s were embodied in t he Geneva Convention o f February 10, ments.

1938, which was signed by seven govern­

However,

i t was never r a t i f i e d ,

c o u n t r i e s f e a r e d a new i n f l u x

o f r e f u ge e Jews a f t e r H i t l e r

t r i u m p h a n t l y marched i n t o A u s t r i a . Jewish Congress e f f o r t s Nat i ons

because most

1Q

to persuade t he League of

to t a k e some a c t i o n a g a i n s t t he H i t l e r t e r r o r were

not t o t a l l y

fruitless.

Germany had been bound by a t r e a t y

n e g o t i a t e d wi t h Poland under t he auspi ces of t he League in May,

1922; whereby Germany pledged to "assure f u l l

p l e t e p r o t e c t i o n of t h e i r

life

and l i b e r t y

t a n t s o f Germany wi t h o u t d i s t i n c t i o n l anguage ,

race,

cr r e l i g i o n . "

a l s were to be equal or r e l i g i o n . "

T^i b i d .,

to a l l

of b i r t h ,

Moreover,

without d i s t i n c t i o n

all

and com­ inhabi­

nationality, German n a t i o n ­

of race,

l anguage

Every i n h a b i t a n t of Upper S i l e s i a was gi ven

pp.

112- 113,

388 t he r i g h t to appeal alleged v io la tio n s . racial

d i r e c t l y to t he League r ega r d i ng any 20

When the Reich i n t r o du c e d Germany's

laws i n t o Upper S i l e s i a ,

the Jewish Congress and the

Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s present ed t he League two petitions

in May,

1933.

One of t he p e t i t i o n s was si gned by

Franz Bernheim, a Jewish r e s i d e n t o f t he t e r r i t o r y ,

who had

been di smi ssed from hi s j ob because o f hi s r e l i g i o n . German r e p r e s e n t a t i v e to t he League Council

The

a d mi t t e d t h a t

Germany's b i n d i n g t r e a t y o b l i g a t i o n s could not be ab r o ­ gated by i n t e r n a l

decr ee.

Y e t , when t he Council

was d r a f t e d i n Bernheim' s f a v o r ,

report

the German r e p r e s e n t a t i v e

r e f u s e d to accept the r e p o r t , and "expressed hi s doubts as to whether i t

came w i t h i n t he League' s j u r i s d i c t i o n . "

League o f Nat i ons j u r i s t s

upheld the C o u n c i l ' s

Germany was f or ced to adhere to the t r e a t y ration

in J u l y ,

report,

until

its

and

expi­

1937.21

Fol l owi ng the pr omul gat i on of the Nuremburg decree in 1935, whereby German Jews were s y s t e m a t i c a l l y excl uded from German l i f e

and denied basi c l e g a l

2 0 1b i d . , pp. 3 Ï - 3 5 ; Raymond L. B u e l l , to Eur ope, (New Yor k, 1 9 3 9 ) , pp. 330-331 o 21 Wor l d J e wi s h C o n gr e s s , 34-35.

Unity

rights.

Poland:

Key

i n D i s p e r s i o n , pp.

389

l e a d e r s o f t he German-Jewish community, w i t h the a i d o f American and B r i t i s h

Jews,

approached the Nazi s wi t h a

pl an f o r the s y s t e ma t i c e m i g r a t i o n o f the R e i c h ' s Jews. Max Warburg,

a w e a l t h y German Jew,

e n v i s i o n e d the e mi gr a­

t i o n o f some 1 0 0 , 0 0 0 German-Jewish y o u t h . liquidation effect,

In r e t u r n ,

bank was to be e s t a b l i s h e d which would,

a

in

have pr ov i de d t he emi gr ant s wi t h enough funds so

t h a t they coul d e s t a b l i s h t hemsel ves in a n o t h e r count r y and then send f o r t h e i r r e l a t i v e s . Congress opposed t he p l a n . t h a t the l i q u i d a t i o n

The American Jewish

One Congress member s t a t e d

bank would be used as an i n s t r ume nt

to e x p r o p r i a t e i n a p o l i t e way a c o n s i d e r a b l e p a r t of the f o r t u n e s o f men o f w e a l t h , and a t t he same ti me secure much needed f o r e i g n funds f o r Germany e i t h e r in t h e form o f c r e d i t s or i n t h e form o f f o r e i g n v a l u t a ( e x c h a ng e ) , w h i l e Jews became drummers f o r H i t l e r . ^ z Wise l a t e r d e c l a r e d : The American Jewish Congress i s not i n t e r e s t e d in sav­ ing Jewish w e a l t h . We w i l l oppose suppor t f o r any pl an f o r savi ng Jewish money a t the expense of Jewish honor the wor l d c v e r . ^ ^ Whi l e Wise was savi ng Jewish honor,

and p o s s i b l y p r e v e n t i n g

^^ Shul t z to Wi se, 2 / 2 6 / 3 6 , E x e c u t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1936 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Committee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l So ci e t y . ^^The Amer i c an

Isra elite,

4/9/36,

p.

11.

390 o t h e r a n t i - S e m i t i c governments from a d o p t i n g the scheme, the problem o f how to save t he Jews i n Germany r emai ned. A gl immer o f hope appeared when Dr.

Howard B l a k e ,

a f r i e n d o f Wi se, went to t h e Dominican R e p u b l i c . wi t h a l e t t e r

of introduction

see and c o n f e r w i t h

from Wise,

P r e s i d e n t Raphael

Armed

Blake managed to

Trujillo.

Trujillo

proposed t h a t Jews coul d e m i g r a t e from Europe and s e t t l e hi s co un t r y to become t i l l e r s keeper s.

Trujillo

from Germany, Republic,

Pol and,

and Roumania coming to the Dominican

Trujillo

costs and "sust enance"

estimated th a t

to be paid by p h i l a n t h r o p i c

his c o n v e r s a t i o n to Wise, however.

trans­

costs would be a p p r o x i ­ Jewish o r g a n i z a ­

Upon hi s r e t u r n t o the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

next day,

Jews

each pr ov i de d w i t h t h i r t y acres o f l and and tax

mat el y $ 1 , 0 0 0 , tions.

shop­

e n v i s i o n e d as many as one m i l l i o n

exemption f o r f i v e y e a r s . portation

of t he l and and small

in

Bl ake r e p o r t e d

and was q u i t e o p t i m i s t i c .

Wise r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r

The

in which he was

asked to examine a For ei gn P o l i c y A s s o c i a t i o n pa mphl e t , "Dictatorship

in the Dominican R e p u b l i c . "

Its

author i n d i ­

cated t h a t a r e i g n o f t e r r o r e x i s t e d in t h e c o u n t r y ; r egi on is .

"the

c r e d i t e d wi t h an e x t e n s i v e system o f e s pi o nag e.

. . No one knows whom t o t r u s t .

e x is ti n g conditions

and t he t o t a l

. .

."

control

In view o f the o f the regime of

391 all

avenues o f commerce, t he c o u n t r y l ea ve s no hope t h a t any peopl e may expect t he freedom o f worshi p and the p u r s u i t o f g a i n f u l i n d u s ­ t r y and t h e s a f e t y o f even t he r emot e st resemblance of a haven f r e e from o p p r e s s i o n . . . . The t e r r i t o r y , i f a t a l l co nt e mp l at e d f o r Jewish c o l o n i z a t i o n , should be c o m p l e t e l y f o r g o t t e n f o r such purpose. . . The above epi sode i s very s i g n i f i c a n t ,

lights

wor l dwi de de pr ess i on l e f t gr aspi ng f o r

The e x i g e n c i e s o f the

t h e American Jewish Congress

st raws i n the wi nd.

effort.

The Nazi

What was t r u l y

can best be i l l u s t r a t e d e i g h t e e n months a f t e r

annex at i on o f A u s t r i a

The s i t u a t i o n

by t he f a c t t h a t

i n l e s s than

t he Nazi s marched i n t o Vi enna,

over

" Ar y a ni z e d " or l i q u i ­

in Poland was s i m i l a r .

Over two-

o f t he P o l i s h - J e w i s h p o p u l a t i o n had incomes below

the s u b s i s t e n c e l e v e l . racial

in

d e s t r u c t i o n o f A u s t r i a n Jewry

2 5 , 0 0 0 Jeiwsh busi nesses were e i t h e r

thirds

needed to

1938 widened t he arena o f l awl ess ne ss and murder;

the economic and p o l i t i c a l

da t e d .

high­

t he p l i g h t o f European Jewry was a h i g h l y o r ga ni z e d

international March,

it

t he haphazard approach p r i v a t e Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s

f o l l o w e d t o rescue European Jewry.

relieve

for

anti-Semitism.

Polish an ti-Sem ites The N a t i o n a l

Radi cal

adopted H i t l e r ' s P a r t y and the

24yhe New Yor k T i m e s , 1 / 9 / 3 7 , p. 26 ; ? t o w i s e , 1 / 1 9 / 3 7 , St ephen S. Wise f o l d e r #2, B a r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e w i s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e m i n a r y .

392 National

Democrati c P a r t y u n i t e d i n a Camp of N a t i o n a l Uni t y

w i t h t he avowed purpose o f f o r c i b l y

"evacuating"

t he Jews

from P o l a n d . 25 A f t e r H i t l e r marched i n t o A u s t r i a , v e l t announced t h a t the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n

P r e s i d e n t Roose­

had become so

impressed wi t h

" t he urgency o f t he problem o f p o l i t i c a l

r e f u ge e s "

it

that

had c o nt a c t e d sever al

European and West­

ern Hemisphere c o u n t r i e s

f o r t he purpose o f c o op e r a t i n g

"in s e ttin g

committee [ t o f a c i l i t a t e ]

gration cal

r

e

the emi ­

from A u s t r i a and presumably from Germany o f p o l i t i ­ f

u

in itially mu n i t y ,

up a s p e c i a l

g

e

e

s

.

Though R o o s e v e l t ' s announcement was

g r e e t e d wi t h p r a i s e from the Ameri can- Jewi sh com­

t he a d m i n i s t r a t i o n was not as magnanimous as i t

appeared to be.

Both S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e Cor de l l

Hul l

and the

P r e s i d e n t di d not expect any c o u n t r y to " r e c e i v e a g r e a t e r

"The S i t u a t i o n o f European Jewry: A Survey of the C o n d i t i o n s under which Jews Li ve i n East er n and Cent r al Eur ope, " p. 6, American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar c hi v es and L i b r a r y ; "Repor t o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commit­ t e e of t he American Jewish Congress," 1 0 / 2 9 - 3 1 / 3 8 , pp. 3 - 4 , Joseph Gootman Mss, Box 2525, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; "Summary o f the A c t i v i t i e s o f the American Jewish Congress submi t t e d by the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee to the Adjourned Session of t he American Jewish Congress, " 1 1 / 2 7 - 2 8 / 3 7 , American Jewish Congress Mss, 1931- 1944 f o l d e r , YIVO. 2®Quoted i n Saul Oppr essed, pp. 5 2 - 5 3 .

S.

Friedman,

No Haven f o r the

393 number o f i mmi grants than i s p e r m i t t e d by i t s legislation;"

existing

f i n a n c i n g of the proposed e m i g r a t i o n and

r e s e t t l e m e n t would have to be borne by the p r i v a t e a g e nc i e s ;

relief

not hi ng was to be done t h a t would i n t e r f e r e wi t h

the o p e r a t i o n s o f t he Nansen O f f i c e or t he Autonomous O f f i c e o f t he High Commissioner f o r Refugees from Germany; and no r e l i g i o u s or e t h n i c group was t o be i d e n t i f i e d wi t h the r ef ugee problem or the c a l l i n g o f t he Enthusiasm t ur ned to d e s p a i r . dent di d l i t t l e

c o n f e r e n c e .

Hul l

and t he P r e s i ­

to or ga ni z e t he conf er ence and hoped the

French would assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r making a l l m e n t s . ^8

^7

arrange­

The B r i t i s h were most anxious to avoi d any men­

t i o n o f P a l e s t i n e as a p o s s i b l e haven f o r

refugees;

the

French were not anxious to open t h e i r borders to more Jews. George Messersmith o f t he S t a t e Department t o l d Wise: Any a t t e mpt s to i n t e r j e c t i n an a c t i v e form the P a l e s ­ t i n e and Z i o n i s t problems, should be r e j e c t e d , as t h e r e a r e so many passi ons i n v o l v e d and so many major pr ob­ lems t h a t any endeavor to consi der t hese problems

7 i b i d . ; I h e New York Ti mes, 3 / 2 6 / 3 8 , p. 5; Ri chards to H u l l , 3 / 2 5 / 3 8 , Sabath and Sumner Wel l es f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri chards Mss, Jewish Th e o l o g i c a l Semi nary. ^8( j ni t ed St at es Department o f S t a t e , t i o ns of the Uni t e d S t a t e s : 1933, volume 1,

Forei gn R e l a ­ pp. 7 4 3 - 7 4 5 .

394 would pr obabl y l ead to t h e e a r l y d i s r u p t i o n of the c o n f e r e n c e . . . .29 D i s a p p o i n t e d by Me sse r s mi t h,

Wise s t i l l

expected

the conf e r e nce to be a success, even though an American Jewish Congress r e p r e s e n t a t i v e

i n Europe s t a t e d t h a t

government and i n t e r e s t e d c i r c l e s over here seem as y e t to have p r a c t i c a l l y no p r e c i s e i n f o r m a t i o n o f any s o r t as to j u s t what t he Uni t e d St a t e s w i l l propose t o do a t E v i a n . 3 0 Wise then began to e x h i b i t those very t e nde nc i e s which he de pl o r e d i n o t h e r s .

He d i s r e g a r d e d the numerous signs

t h a t t he Evian Conference would be not hi ng more than a g r o ­ tesque p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s associates th at

"I

gi mmick, and c o n f i d e n t l y t o l d

have so shaped t h i ng s t h a t

t h a t he [ Chaim Weizmann] w i l l welcome.

.

.

.'

O1

Wise l a t e r

have . . .

his

I am sure

a most vigorous

l e a r n e d t h a t the American

d e l e g a t i o n a t Evian was very much opposed to Weizmann's qp appearance a t t he p r o c e e d ! n g s . - -

29

Minutes o f F i r s t Me e t i n g , P r e s i d e n t ' s Advi sor y Committee on P o l i t i c a l Refuge F i l e , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^^Quoted i n The New York Ti mes, 5 / 2 2 / 3 8 , 3Tcar l H. Voss, Stephen S. Wise: P e o p l e , p. 227. 32weizmann t o Wi s e, 7 / 1 4 / 3 8 , Box 1001, Amer i c an J e w i s h A r c h i v e s .

p.

33.

Ser vant of the

St ephen S.

Wise Mss,

395 The Conference convened in e a r l y J u l y , resort

town o f É v i a n - l e s - B a i n s ,

ticipated.^^ gation,

Myron T a y l o r ,

Fr ance.

1938,

T h i r t y nations p a r ­

t h e head o f t he American d e l e ­

proposed t h a t t he conf e r e nce f a c i l i t a t e

tlement of p o l i t i c a l

i n t he

the r e s e t ­

r ef ugee s from Germany and A u s t r i a ,

including

those who wished to l e a v e ; t h a t t he

conf er ence

a s s i s t in

e x p e d i t i n g " u r g e nt cases ;" t h a t t he

conf er ence

agree on a system o f p r o v i d i n g papers a c c e p t a b l e to the participating

nations

to those r ef ugees who were not a bl e

to secure

the pr o p e r documents; and, t h a t t h e

establish

an i n t e r - g o v e r n m e n t a l

c a r r y out l o n g - r a n g e s o l u t i o n s

office

to f o r m u l a t e and

t o t h e r e f u g e e problem.

American pr oposal s di d not f a r e w e l l . f u l l y opposed any ge ner al

conf e r e nce

definition

The B r i t i s h

success­

o f t he term " r e f u g e e " ,

and P a l e s t i n e was not a f a c t o r in t he d e l i b e r a t i o n s . British

efforts

to t h w a r t t he conf e r e nce were u n w i t t i n g l y

ai ded by t he " d e p l o r a b l e i mpr essi on" made by some twenty

S ^ A r g e n t i n a , Bel gi um, B o l i v i a , B r a z i l , Canada, C h i l e , Columbi a, Gr eat B r i t a i n , Guatemal a, H a i t i , Honduras, Mexi co, N e t h e r l a n d s , New Z e a l a n d , N i c a r a g u a , Norway, Panama, P a r a ­ guay, Per u, Sweden, S w i t z e r l a n d , Uni t ed S t a t e s , Uruguay, and Vene zue l a. ^^The A mer i c a n

Isra e lite ,

7/7/38,

p.

1.

396 p r i v a t e Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s , who wished to p r e s e n t t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r p o i n t o f view to t he d e l e g a t e s . Counci l

The B r i t i s h

f o r German Jews r e f u s e d to o r g a n i z e t he v a r i o u s Jew­

i s h groups i n t o a u n i f i e d ,

cohesi ve body, which would pr ob­

a b l y have had a g r e a t e r chance o f p r e s e n t i n g t he c o n f e r e n c e . Counci l unity,

S i r H e r b e r t Samuel,

f o r German Jewry,

its

l e a d e r o f the B r i t i s h

r e f u s e d to make any a t t e mp t a t

because he f e a r e d some obser ve r s and t h e Nazis would

r a i s e the canard o f " i n t e r n a t i o n a l

Jewry,

The Evi an Conference produced very l i t t l e . final

case to

communique o f J u l y 15,

1938,

The

s t a t e d t h a t t he l i f e

of

t he c o n f e r e n c e would be prol onged by t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of an I n t e r - G o v e r n m e n t a l

Committee on Ref ugees,

c o n s i s t i n g of

members o f t he worl d community who wished to p a r t i c i p a t e . The Commi t t ee' s

f u n c t i o n was to n e g o t i a t e

" wi t h the Nazis

to improve p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n s o f exodus and to r e p l a c e with conditions of o r de rl y emigration"

from Germany,

them The

scope of t he Commi t t ee' s concern was to be l i m i t e d to those r ef ugee s

from Germany and A u s t r i a o n l y . 3 6

^^Goldniarin to wi s e , 7 / 1 6 / 3 8 , Box 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ,

tions

The r h e t o r i c

Stephen S.

^^Uni t ed S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e ; o f t he U n i t e d S t a t e s : 1938, volume 1,

Wise Mss,

For ei gn R e l a ­ pp. 7 5 5 - 7 5 7 .

397 o f Evian di d not match l a t e r a c t i o n s ; Committee was handicapped i n

its

t he I n t e r - Go v e r n me n t a l

a t t e mp t to f i n d havens f o r

r e f u ge e s f o r t he same reasons t h a t pl agued the Autonomous O f f i c e o f High Commissioner.

Few c o u n t r i e s were w i l l i n g

open t h e i r doors to Jewish r e f u g e e s ,

and those who di d o f f e r

were seeki ng more p u b l i c i t y and good p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s refugees,

to

than

o7

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s were u t t e r l y

dismayed and

d i s a p p o i n t e d by democracy' s cowar di ce in t he f ace of the Nazi

aggressors.

Kristalnacht

The Munich pact and l a t e r the event s o f

(November 10,

f o r t h e murder o f a Nazi by a Jew,

1938),

official.

in which in r e t a l i a t i o n Count von Rath,

in P ar i s

t he Nazi s p e r p e t r a t e d t he most heinous d e s t r u c t i o n

upon the Jews o f Germany, onl y added to t h e i r f e a r s f o r Ger ­ man Jewry. tent

Bef ore K r i s t a l n a c h t , the Nazis had seemed con­

to " h u m i l i a t e "

Germany; a f t e r

and "degrade"

the Jewish community of

K r i s t a l n a c h t , the Nazi

regime s y s t e m a t i c a l l y

pl anned to d e s t r o y the remnants o f a once proud and

E v i a n , the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e form the Dominican Republ i c s t a t e d t h a t P r e s i d e n t T r u j i l l o would welcome 100,000 r ef ugee s from Germany and A u s t r i a to s e t t l e as c o l o n i s t s . The e x i l e s were to be " a g r i c u l t u r i s t s wi t h unimpeachable r e c o r d s , who s a t i s f i e d the c o n d i t i o n l a i d down by the Domini­ can l e g i s l a t u r e . " A Dominican Republ i c S e t t l e m e n t Cor por a­ t i o n was c h a r t e r e d in 1939; however, by the end o f 1941, on l y 500 Jewish f a m i l i e s had s e t t l e d t h e r e .

398 prosperous Jewish community.

A f i n e o f one b i l l i o n

Rei chs­

marks was imposed upon the Jewish community as a punishment f o r the murder o f von Rath.

Moreover,

the damage done to

Jewish p r o p e r t y was to be pai d f o r by t he Jews; a l l payments f o r i nsur ance cl ai ms were c o n f i s c a t e d by t he r egi me; Jews who wished to emi gr a t e from Germany were not p e r m i t t e d to t a ke any o f t h e i r asset s w i t h them; and Jews were no l o n g e r entitled

to r e c e i v e b e n e f i t s

from p u b l i c w e l f a r e

f u n d s .

38

The response o f Jewish Congress l e a d e r s and the Roosevel t a d m i n i s t r a t i o n tepid.

Though F . D . R .

to t he event s o f f a l l ,

c a l l e d t he American ambassador to Ger­

many home f o r c o n s u l t a t i o n s ,

little

e l s e was done.

t a r y of t he Tr easur y Henry Morgenthau t o l d had r e c e i v e d a l e t t e r

1938, was

proposi ng t h a t

t h a t he

the Uni t ed S t a t e s

a c q u i r e B r i t i s h and French Guiana in r e t u r n l a t i o n o f t h e i r World War One d e bt s .

F . D. R.

Se c r e ­

f o r t he c a n c e l ­

The P r e s i d e n t r e j e c t e d

the idea o f making these two t e r r i t o r i e s

a haven f o r Jews

because he thought " i t would t a ke the Jews f i v e

to f i f t y

38wise to Goldmann, 9 / 1 4 / 3 8 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; The New York Ti me s , 1 0 / 3 0 / 3 8 , p. 19; "The S i t u a t i o n o f European Jewry: A Sum­ mary of t he Condi t i ons under which Jews Li ve in East er n and Cent r al Europe, " pp. 3 - 4 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y ; Saul S =, Fr i edman, No Haven f o r the Oppressed, pp. 6 2 - 6 3 .

399 y e ar s to overcome t he f e v e r . "

9Q

Rather,

he suggested the

Cameroons as a p o s s i b l e Jewish haven, c l a i m i n g t h a t some "ver y w o n d e r f u l , .

.

. all

r e a d y . "40

high l a n d ,

t a b l e l a n d , wonderf ul

grass and

o f t h a t count r y has been ex p l o r e d and i t ' s Roosevelt's

pl an was sheer f a n t a s y ,

f o r Morgen­

thau commissioned a study o f t he Cameroons and t he c o n c l u ­ si ons reached di d not suppor t t he P r e s i d e n t ' s w i s h f u l

think­

ing. In some way Morgenthau wished to convey to the Nazi s the t o t a l

r epr eh ens i on o f t h e American government to the

Munich Pact and Kri s t a l n a c h t . ment l awyer s to e s t a b l i s h

He d i r e c t e d Tr ea sur y D e p a r t ­

legal

reasons to compel

him to

impose c o u n t e r v a i l i n g d u t i e s a g a i n s t German ex por t s to the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Accordi ng t o the T a r i f f Act of 1930,

the

S e c r e t a r y o f t he Tr e a s ur y was compel l ed to r a i s e d u t i e s on i mports from c o u n t r i e s Uni t ed S t a t e s .

t h a t s u b s i d i z e d t h e i r ex por t s to the

Morgenthau di d not have to seek Congr essi onal

or S t a t e Department approval

39john Morton Blum, o f War, volume 3, ( Bost on,

f o r such an a c t i o n . A s

From t he Morgenthau D i a r i e s : 1 9 6 7 ) , pp. 2 0 7 - 2 0 8 .

a

Years

40lb id . 4Tjohn Morton Blum, From t he Morgenthau D i a r i e s : Years of Urgency, 1 9 3 8 - 1 9 4 1 , volume 2, ( Bost on, 1 9 6 5 ) , pp. 7 8 - 8 1 .

400 courtesy,

he wr ot e Hul l

Kri s t a l n a c h t . Hul l

o f hi s scheme.

One week a f t e r

replied:

I might al s o p o i n t ou t t h a t t h i s a c t i o n a t t h i s t i me mi ght p o s s i b l y a f f e c t t h e p r o s p e c t i v e a t t e mp t o f the I n t e r - G o v e r n m e n t a l Committee on P o l i t i c a l Refugees to secure German c o o p e r a t i o n l o o k i n g toward t he f a c i l i t a ­ t i o n o f r ef ugee s from Germany--t hough I may say t h a t the pr ospect s o f such f a c i l i t a t i o n a t the pr e s e nt moment ar e d i s t i n c t l y u n c e r t a i n . Morgenthau pressed hi s scheme w i t h t he P r e s i d e n t , was succe ss f ul Hul l

i n d e l a y i n g t he m a t t e r f o r over f o u r months.

f e a r e d t h a t any a t t e mp t to embarrass p o l i t i c a l l y

t he Nazi s would v i r t u a l l y Jews.

but Hul l

nullify

The I n t e r - G o v e r n m e n t a l

any chance to save t he

Committee had been n e g o t i a t ­

ing wi t h t he Nazi s s i n c e t h e l a t t e r

p a r t o f summer,

1938.

The Nazi s had proposed t o p e r m i t the r e f u g e e s to t ake out p a r t o f t h e i r p r o p e r t y i n German-made mer chandi se. t h e Ha- avar ah agreement f i v e y e a r s e a r l i e r ,

As w i t h

t he Nazi s wished

to use t he r e f u g e e q u e s t i o n as a means to dump German goods on t he wor l d ma r k e t . west er n di p l o ma t s

In December,

i n London.

1938,

Schacht met w i t h

He s t a t e d t h a t Jewish p r o p e r t y

not y e t c o n f i s c a t e d by the Reich was a p p r o x i m a t e l y s i x lion

Reichsmarks

($2.5 b i l l i o n ) .

In r e t u r n

for

this

b il­

sum,

t he Nazi s would p e r mi t t he e m i g r a t i o n o f some 5 0 , 0 0 0 Jewish

42lbid.

401

males each y e a r f o r t h r e e y e a r s .

Schacht coated hi s plan

i n h u m a n i t a r i a n t er ms; t h e Jews would be p e r m i t t e d to l e a v e with all

funds drawn from a t r u s t fund equal Jewish p r o p e r t y

t o 25 per cent of

in Germany, and to be r a i s e d by the

wor l d Jewish community.

In a d d i t i o n ,

per c e nt i n t e r e s t and annual

Germany would pay 4

a m o r t i z a t i o n o f 2 per cent

which would a l l o w Jews t o buy German-made pr oduct s to be taken w i t h t hem. ^3 secuted.

Jews,

he s t a t e d ,

would no l o n g e r be p e r ­

George Rublee o f the p r e s t i g i o u s Washington law

f i r m o f Covi ngton and B u r l i n g pr esent ed a s i m i l a r proposal but wi t h some i m p o r t a n t q u a l i f i c a t i o n s .

Rublee hoped t h a t

t h e r e coul d be a complete r e s t o r a t i o n o f German t r a d e wi t h na t i o n s

that

had f o r m e r l y done business w i t h t he Rei ch.

b e l i e v e d t h a t h a l f t he proceeds from t h i s

increased trade

would be a n p l i e d t o the a s s i s t a n c e o f the r e f u g e e s , as

5 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0

pounds s t e r l i n g

from German

He

f o r e i g n

as wel l

e x c h a n g e . ^4

When Jewish Congress l e a d e r s were i nf or med o f the va r i o u s schemes,

t hey di d not know what to do.

always been opposed t o "ransom" p l a n s , months o f 1939,

tions

he began to waver.

but

Wise had

in t he e a r l y

The shock o f K r i s t a l n a c h t

^^ Uni t ed S t a t e s Department o f S t a t e , For ei gn R e l a ­ of the Uni t ed S t a t e s : 1 9 3 8 , volume 1, p. 874. 44lbid.,

pp.

809-813.

402 had d i s s i p a t e d and t he Uni t ed S t a t e s Congress again t ur ned its

attention

system.

to t he p r e v e n t i o n o f l i b e r a l i z i n g

The Wagner-Rogers b i l l ,

which c a l l e d

si on o f 2 0 , 0 0 0 German r ef ugee c h i l d r e n on a non- quot a b a s i s , scenes,

was d e f e a t e d .

the quota

f o r the admi s­

under age f o u r t e e n

and f o r which Wise l o b b i e d behind t he Moreover,

Wise t o l d the Exec ut i ve

Committee of the Jewish Congress t h a t hi gh o f f i c i a l s

i n the

government i nf or med him t h a t t he pl ans coul d c o n c e i v a b l y work,

and, t h u s ,

he supported i t

as a l a s t measure to save

German Jewry. But not a l l

in the Jewish Congress were so b e l i e v i n g

of government o f f i c i a l s .

Joseph Tenenbaum, t he l e a d e r of

t he Jewish Congress boycot t commi t t ee,

argued t h a t the plan

was no t h i n g more than a program o f c o n f i s c a t i o n

and ransom.

The "Agreement"

1939, was

signed in B e r l i n on Febr uar y 2,

n o t hi ng more than a f a r c e . leaving

Germany,

He argued t h a t wi t h every Jew

75 per cent o f hi s p r o p e r t y would be con­

f i s c a t e d by the Rei ch; a t t h a t r a t e ,

t he r emai ni ng Jewish

p r o p e r t y would "mel t away be f or e any s u b s t a n t i a l Jews coul d q u i t Germany."

Si nce t he Jewish community in

Germany l i v e d on t he accumul ated c a p i t a l members,

of i t s

t he r emai ni ng p r o p e r t y would l a s t

three to f i v e ye ar s,

number of

weal t hy

perhaps onl y

the ti me necessary to get 150, 000 Jews

403 out o f Germany. "Agreement , "

Tenenbaum saw the i m p l i c a t i o n s

f o r he r e a l i z e d

for emigration,

o f the

t h a t f o r ev er y d o l l a r "saved"

$4 t o $5 was being put back i n Germany.

argued t h a t had t h e I n t e r - G o v e r n m e n t a l

He

Commi ttee,

i n s t e a d o f b a r g a i n i n g f o r ' Jewi sh p r o p e r t y ' si mpl y i n s i s t e d on an o r d e r l y process o f e m i g r a t i o n , w i t h the r ef ugee s p e r m i t t e d to t a k e out some o f t h e i r bel ongi ngs and the German Government p r o v i d i n g . . , t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . . . , we could have been a b l e t o save f u l l y as much or more on some o f t he p r o p e r t y w i t h o u t any o b l i g a t i o n on our p a r t to keep Germany s u p p l i e d w i t h f r e s h money each t i me t h e Jewish p r o p e r t y r e s e r v e became empty. . . . He quest i oned the a b i l i t y to secure " f a i r

treatment"

the Germans di d l i v e

o f worl d Jewry to f o r c e the Nazi s f o r t he r emai ni ng Jews.

up to t h e i r end o f t h e b a r g a i n ,

would t he German Jews emi gr at e? St.

Even i f where

He c i t e d t h e case o f the

L o u i s , a boat w i t h 917 German Jews a boar d, which was

pr event ed from l a n d i n g a t many por t s of c a l l . 45 ment" was never c a r r i e d o u t ,

The "Agr ee­

because t he Nazi s invaded

Poland l ess than seven months l a t e r .

A new and h o r r i b l e

c h a p t e r in Jewish h i s t o r y was about to be w r i t t e n .

4^Ienenbaum to Wise, 5 / 1 / 3 9 , J o i n t Boycot t Council and Refugee Problems f o l d e r , Joseph Tenenbaum Mss, YIVO.

404 Bef or e the ou t br e a k o f World War I I , s c h o l a r s had det er mi ned t h a t a l l Jewish p o l i t i c a l

life

many Jewish

o f t he ol d f or mul as of

i n an a l i e n worl d had l o s t t h e i r mean­

ing and would have to be f u n d a me n t a l l y a l t e r e d new p o l i t i c a l , 1939,

Dr.

economi c,

and s o c i a l

Jacob Robinson,

o f L i t h u a n i a n Jewr y, an I n s t i t u t e

for

to meet the

realities.

an i n t e r n a t i o n a l

In A p r i l ,

jurist

and l e a d e r

submi t t ed a plan f o r the c r e a t i o n of

Research in Contemporary Jewish L i f e .

t hought the t a s k o f t h e I n s t i t u t e

to be t h e s c i e n t i f i c

i n v e s t i g a t i o n o f the p o l i t i c a l - j u r i d i c a l Jews in the D i a s p o r a ; be the s u b - s t r u c t u r e

t he va r i o us

p o s i t i o n o f the

r esear ch p r o j e c t s were to

o f a new, w e l l - d e f i n e d

A f t e r World War Two began,

t he o r i g i n a l

J e w i s h

p o l i c y . 4 6

p r o j e c t was modi f i e d

to meet the urgency o f the moment and to make sure t h a t po s t - wa r s e t t l e m e n t would i n c l u d e the Jews.

The fundamental

He

inviolable

the

guar ant ees to

aim was i n t e r n a t i o n a l

protection

of Jewi sh r i g h t s . To pr e s e nt a u n i t e d f r o n t a t t he peace c o n f e r e n c e , the Jewish Congress i n v i t e d to j o i n

the I n s t i t u t e

the American Jewish Committee

to f o r m u l a t e p o l i c i e s .

Nahum Goldmann

and Maur i ce P e r l z w e i g o f t he World Jewish Congress t o l d the

46stephen

S. Wi s e,

Challenging

Y e a r s , pp.

209-210.

405 Committee t h a t P a l e s t i n e would not be an i ss ue s i n c e t h a t problem f e l l Palestine.

within

t he pur vi ew o f t he Jewish Agency f o r

M o r r i s Waldman o f t he American Jewish Committee

s t a t e d t h a t s i nce t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s was s t i l l nation,

the Committee would not j o i n

a neutral

in t h e p r o j e c t .

He

al so s t a t e d t h a t t he many members o f t he Committee would not cooper at e w i t h anyone from e i t h e r t h e American or World Jewish Congress, and t h a t o b j e c t i o n s would be r a i s e d to any international the

war.

47

cooperation of a p o l i t i c a l

c h a r a c t e r dur i ng

The Committee di d not choose to p a r t i c i p a t e

t he I n s t i t u t e ' s

in

activities.

Some members o f t he American Jewish Congress quest i o n e d t he goals o f t he I n s t i t u t e . f o r t he peace, The goal

it

48

Rat her than pr epar e

was i m p e r a t i v e t h a t H i t l e r

o f "Defence o f Jewish R i gh t s "

be d e f e a t e d .

had l o s t a l l

meaning;

t he q u e s t i o n t h a t now had to be answered was how coul d American Jewry sa f eguar d i t s

brethren

in Europe.

randum to t he American Jewish Congress, Mordecai

In a memo­ Bor ai sha

47"Memorandum on Conf er ence w i t h Goldmann and P e r l ­ z w e i g , " 2 / 9 / 4 0 , Nahum Goldmann f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress F i l e , Correspondence, S e c t i o n 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 48

Affairs

The name was changed to t he I n s t i t u t e of Jewish in 1941.

406 di d not b o t h e r to mention t he Jews' H i t l e r was v i c t o r i o u s ; defeat H i t l e r , I ndee d,

even i f

position

Britain

i n Europe i f

and France were to

he di d not f o r e s e e much hope f o r t he Jews.

t he problems were al most i n s u r mo u n t a b l e . ^ ^

best way, ac cor di ng t o B o r a i s h a ,

The

to sal va ge a n y t h i ng o f an

al most hopeless s i t u a t i o n was to suppor t P r e s i d e n t Roose­ velt's

"prepar edness" campaign.

Indeed,

the i m p l i c a t i o n

was ve r y c l e a r t h a t Bor ai sha would g l a d l y welcome Uni t ed States entry

i n t o t h e European c o n f l i c t .

The preparedness debat e was,

i n essence,

a question

o f what r o l e t he U n i t e d S t a t e s would pl ay i n the wor l d arena.

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s p e r c e i v e d t hemsel ves to be

internationalists;

Wise had v i g o r o u s l y campaigned f o r

League o f Nat i ons as di d many in t he Jewish Congress. of t h e i r

c o n t e n t i o n s was t h a t

pursue an i s o l a t i o n i s t

co u r s e ,

if

the One

t he Uni t ed S t a t e s was to

then the defense of Jewish

^^Bor ai sha to American Jewish Congress, 8 / 2 7 / 4 0 , M. Bor ai sha f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress F i l e , Cor respondence, Sect i on 7, American Jewish H is to ric a l Society. Bor ai sha was p r o p h e t i c i n hi s e s t i m a t e of Soviet in tentio ns; "There i s a p r e v a i l i n g o p i n i o n t h a t even a B r i t i s h v i c t o r y w i l l not cause t he S o v i e t Union in the near f u t u r e to r e t u r n t he t e r r i t o r i e s occupi ed in the las t year. We ar e t h e r e f o r e faced w i t h the f a c t t h a t f i v e m i l l i o n Jews a r e doomed t o s p i r i t u a l e x t i n c t i o n . . . . A New Order in Europe may a l s o cause changes i n the i n n e r p o l i c i e s o f the S o v i e t Union and we ar e to be prepar ed wi t h some pl ans f o r t he s p i r i t u a l savi ng o f Russian Jewry. . . .'

407 rights

abroad would s u f f e r as i t

period.

di d dur i ng the i n t e r - w a r

T h e i r e x per i e nce w i t h t r y i n g to r e l i e v e

the p l i g h t

o f t h e i r European br e t h r e n l e d them to b e l i e v e t h a t onl y a new f o r e i g n

policy,

based on i n t e r n a t i o n a l

save the s i t u a t i o n .

guarantees,

could

Thus, when P r e s i d e n t Roosevel t c a l l e d

f o r America to be the ar senal

o f democracy,

Jewish Congress

l e a d e r s responded wi t h e n t h u s i a s m . 50 Wise and o t h e r Jewish Congress l e a d e r s j o i n e d wi t h liberal

and a n t i - N a z i

groups to p a r t i c i p a t e

t e e to Defend America by A i d i n g the A l l i e s . to o r g a n i z e a p a t r i o t i c

f r o n t of a l l

in t he Commit­ They al so began

t he groups o f American

c i t i z e n s whose n a t i v e lands were occupied by the N a z i s , e.g.,

P o l e s , Czechs,

Dutch, Norwegian,

American o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

Belgian,

and Franco-

Wise even went so f a r as to r e j e c t

any a t t e mp t s to pe r mi t the admission o f Jewish r e f u g e e s , "however imminent be t h e i r p e r i l , " and

for fear that

Republ icans

a n t i - R o o s e v e l t Democrats would use t he r ef ugee and

i ssues to h u r t t he

President's

quota

r e - e l e c t i o n chances.

Cruel as I may seem, as I have sai d to you b e f o r e , his r e - e l e c t i o n i s much more i mpo r t a nt f o r e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s w o r t h w h i l e and t h a t counts than the admission of a few pe op l e . . . .51

5Of h e New York T i mes. 1 0 / 3 / 3 9 , 5 / 2 2 / 4 0 , p. 26. 51 Carl H. Voss, Peopl e, p . 242.

p.

Stephen S. Wise:

10;

12/14/39,

Ser vant of the

p.

8;

408 Wise and Carl

Sherman,

former A t t o r n e y General

o f New York

S t a t e and Chairman o f the Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee,

r u t h l e s s l y cut down any o p p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the

Jewish Congress to F . D . R . ' s meet i ng o f the n a t i o n a l

preparedness campaign.

counci l

At a

o f t he Youth D i v i s i o n of

the American Jewish Congress, Wise and Sherman d i s s o l v e d t he Youth D i v i s i o n

because i t

had d e c l i n e d a r e q u e s t o f the

Jewish Congress Governing Council

to wi t hdr aw from the

American Youth Congress and r e p u d i a t e a stand taken by i t s New York c h a p t e r a g a i n s t a i d to t he A l l i e s A f t e r November,

1940,

s h o r t o f war . ^Z

t he Jewish Congress p u b l i c l y

c a l l e d f o r more e x t e n s i v e a i d to the A l l i e s .

Jewish Con­

gress l e a d e r s pl anned a program o f Jewish a i d to Gr eat Britain

i n the form of s u p p l i e s r a t h e r than m i l i t a r y

ments.

In a memorandum t o Wise,

t he Congress o u t l i n e d

imple­

the E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r of

t he f u n c t i o n s of t he proposed o r g a n i ­

zation : 1.

s e cur i ng o f needed s u pp l i es f o r Gr eat B r i t a i n o t h e r than m i l i t a r y m a t e r i e l ; 2. the o r g a n i z a t i o n would serve as a propaganda agency to i n f l u e n c e American p u b l i c o p i n i o n f o r " a l l pos­ s i b l e suppor t to Gr eat B r i t a i n , s h o r t o f war , by the American peopl e as a w h o l e . "53

52i h e New York T i me s , 6 / 2 4 / 4 0 ,

p.

17.

5 5 $ h u l t z to Wi se, 1 2 / 1 7 / 4 0 , (Memorandum, 1 9 3 6 - 1 9 4 3 ) , American Jewish Congress F i l e , Correspondence, S e c t i on 7, Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

409 The pl an proposed t h a t t he Jewish Congress s o l i c i t f o r the purchase o f s u p p l i e s as wel l t he s u p p l i e s chens, cots,

binoculars,

British

as t he s o l i c i t a t i o n

themselves such as ambul ances,

dr ugs, medical

instruments,

funds

rolling

of

kit­

absor bent c o t t o n , c l o t h e s ,

and any o t h e r goods or s e r v i c e s which the

a u t h o r i t i e s would

r e q u e s t .

A conf e r e nce to e s t a b l i s h

54

a National

Jewish Aid to Gr eat B r i t a i n was c a l l e d

Committee on

by t he American Jew­

i s h Congress and met i n New York C i t y on December 29,

1940.

In hi s opening r emar ks. Wise s t a t e d t h a t t he new o r g a n i z a ­ t i o n would be independent of t h e Jewish Congress. read a message from Henry A. A t k i n s o n , Inter-Faith

S e c r e t a r y o f t he

Committee f o r Aid t o the Democraci es,

the Conference to a f f i l i a t e

He then

inviting

t he newly e s t a b l i s h e d N a t i o n a l

Committee wi t h h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n so as to b e t t e r pl an f u t u r e activities

and avoi d d u p l i c a t i o n

of e f f o r t .

Wise i mme di a t el y endorsed t he p r o p o s a l , carry i t

through in the form o f a r e s o l u t i o n .

s e r i o us o b j e c t i o n s r a i s e d from the f l o o r . o f the Jewish N a t i o n a l

and t r i e d to There were

Representatives

Workers A l l i a n c e and Dr.

Joseph Tenen­

baum o f t h e Jewish Congress argued t h a t t he pr i ma r y purpose

^ 4 jb id .,

See a l s o ,

Shultz

t o Wi s e,

12/17/40.

410 o f a “Jewi sh" contribution ish s e c t i o n that

campaign was t o emphasi ze the " s p e c i a l to Gr eat B r i t a i n ,

Jewish

and t h e f o r m a t i o n o f a Jew­

i n a n o n - s e c t a r i a n body would be c o n t r a r y to

p u r p o s e .

"55

L illie

amal gamati on o f f o r c e s r e s p e c t to r e l i e f , "

S h u l t z o b j e c t e d to the proposed

from a s t r u c t u r a l

standpoint.

"With

she wr ot e Wise,

i n a l l our t h i n k i n g in co nn e c t i on w i t h American Jewish Ai d t o Gr eat B r i t a i n , we saw t he n e c e s s i t y o f e s t a b l i s h ­ i ng a s e p a r a t e body f o r t h i s u n d e r t a k i n g to be i n i t i ­ a t e d by us. . . . [ T ] hr ou gh t h e c r e a t i o n o f a s e p a r a t e body, i t would become p o s s i b l e t o a t t r a c t el ement s to i t t h a t would not o r d i n a r i l y be a t t r a c t e d to t he Con­ g r e s s , and t h a t from t he Congr ess' s s t a n d p o i n t , i t is e s s e n t i a l t h a t t h e r e shoul d be a s e p a r a t i o n between i t and i t s normal a c t i v i t i e s i n a r e l i e f u n d e r t a k i n g whi ch, however i m p o r t a n t , was t empor ar y and not a l l i e d t o the p r i n c i p a l o b j e c t i v e s of t he American Jewish Congress as an agency f o r the def ence o f Jewish r i g h t s . 56 Si nce t he pr i ma r y purpose o f t he I n t e r f a i t h p o litical, fit

in,

Committee was

she qu e s t i on e d where t he Jewish Congress would

s i n c e t he I n t e r f a i t h

Committee was t o f u n c t i o n as a

r e l i e f agency. Wise and Samuel

Margoshes s u c c e s s f u l l y swayed the

R e s o l u t i o n s Committee and t he c o n f e r e n c e r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

to

55Report o f Z. Shu st er on "Conf erence on Ameri canJewish Aid to Gr eat B r i t a i n , " 1 2 / 4 0 , American Jewish Commit­ t e e / A m e r i c a n Jewish Congress. 5 5 $ h u l t z to Wi se, 1 2 / 1 7 / 4 0 , (Memorandum, 1 9 3 6 - 1 9 4 3 ) , American Jewish Congress F i l e , Cor respondence, S e c t i o n 7, Stephen S„ Wise Mss, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

411 vot e f o r a f f i l i a t i o n

and f o r f u n n e l i n g t he su p p l i e s through

t he B r i t i s h War R e l i e f S o c i e t y . I t

i s not c l e a r why Wise

was so eager f o r a f f i l i a t i o n

w i t h t he I n t e r f a i t h

One o b s e r v e r no t e d ,

t h a t Wise was not t h o r o u g h l y

however,

convi nced o f the success o f t he u n d e r t a k i n g ; wished f o r the suppor t and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l the o t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n .

Also,

Committee.

hence,

he

sub-s tr uct ure of

Wise mi ght have f e a r e d f u r ­

t h e r backl ash from n a t i v i s t and i s o l a t i o n i s t elements who combined a n t i - S e m i t i s m w i t h t h e i r i s o l a t i o n i s t

p h i l o s o p h y .

As t he Uni t e d S t a t e s moved i n e x o r a b l y toward war ,

58

the Jewish

Congress and o t h e r i n t e r n a t i o n a l i s t groups were charged wi t h "agitating

f o r wa r . " ^ ^

Japan' s a t t a c k on Pear l

Harbor

pushed t he U n i t e d S t a t e s over the p r e c i p i c e . At t he same t i me t h a t t he American Jewish Congress was b u s i l y denyi ng charges o f war mongeri ng, d i s q u i e t i n g news was bei ng r e c e i v e d by S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s

^^The New York Ti me s , 1 2 / 3 0 / 4 0 ,

p.

that

9.

5 8 " I n v e s t i g a t i o n o f Un-American A c t i v i t i e s ; Repor t o f Nazi Propaganda in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s , " passi m, D i c k s t e i n Committee Mss, Box 473, American Jewish A r c h i v e s . See a l s o , Saul S. Fr i edman, No Haven f o r the Oppr essed, p. 50. Said F.D.R.: " F i r s t t h i n g s come f i r s t , and I c a n ' t a l i e n a t e c e r ­ t a i n votes I need f o r measures t h a t are more i m p o r t a n t a t the moment by pushing any measure t h a t would e n t a i l a f i g h t . " ^^The New York Ti me s ,

9/21/41,

p.

12.

412 the Nazi s were conduct i ng mass execut i ons o f Jews. 2,

1941,

Jan C i echanowski , Ambassador o f the P o l i s h Govern-

me nt - i n E x i l e Co r d e l l

Hul l

eu t h e n a s i a " rent,

On June

in London,

r e p o r t e d to S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e

t h a t the Nazi s had p e r p e t r a t e d "compulsory a g a i n s t t h e Jews.

Unsubstantiated,

but r e c u r ­

t a l e s o f h o r r o r reached t he ears of S t a t e Department

officials

as we l l

as Jewish Congress l e a d e r s .

versary of H i t l e r ' s

On the a n n i ­

assumption o f power in 1942,

the Führer

decl a r e d : We know f u l l wel l t h a t t he war can end onl y by the e x t e r m i n a t i o n o f the Germanic peoples or by the d i s ­ appearance o f Jewry from Europe. Aryan peoples w i l l not be removed from Europe and t h i s war w i l l see the d e s t r u c t i o n o f J e w r y . 60 Reports o f f u r t h e r a t r o c i t i e s In June,

1942,

c i r c u l a t e d amongst d i p l o m a t s .

the P o l i s h G o v e r n m e n t - i n - E x i l e br oadcast

t h a t 7 0 0 , 0 00 Jews in Poland and L i t h u a n i a had been murdered by the N a z i s ;

the Jewish T e l e g r a p h i c Agency r e p o r t e d t h a t

more than 120, 0 00 French and A u s t r i a n Jews di ed wh i l e transit

to Pol and.

r e p o r t e d to Hul l

S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s

in

in Stockholm

o f var i ous massacres o f Jews which were

^^"Survey o f the Rescue A c t i v i t i e s o f the World Jew­ ish Congress, 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 4 , " pp. 3 - 4 , World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO.

413

c o r r o b o r a t e d by Russian o f f i c i a l s . Nazi

crimes a g a i n s t t he Jews and o t h e r subj ugat ed

peoples were t he f o c a l

p o i n t f o r a conf er ence of e i g h t gov-

e r n m e n t s - i n - e x i 1e and t h e Free French N a t i o n a l hel d i n London i n J a n u a r y ,

1942.

Committee

The d e l e g a t e s to t he S t .

James Conference d e c l a r e d t h e i r d e t e r m i n a t i o n to see to i t t h a t "t hose g u i l t y and r e s p o n s i b l e , ality,

are sought f o r ,

what ever t h e i r n a t i o n ­

handed over to j u s t i c e ,

Crimes a g a i n s t t he Jews were not s p e c i f i c a l l y

and j u d g e d . " consi der ed

even though the World Jewish Congress pl eaded wi t h the d e l e g a t e s to i n c l u d e a " s p e c i f i c s t a t e me n t wi t h r e f e r e n c e to t hose crimes and an e x p l i c i t p erp re ta tin g them." General

Sikorski,

d e n u n c i a t i o n o f those g u i l t y o f

The d e l e g a t e s

r e f u s e d to do t h i s ;

P r e s i d e n t o f t he Conf er ence,

declared

t h a t as the c h a r a c t e r , the r ace or r e l i g i o n o f the v i c t i m ought not i n any case to c o n s t i t u t e an el ement s u s c e p t i b l e of modi f y i n g the c r i m i n a l n a t u r e o f an a c t or t he degree of i t s i l l e g a l i t y ; t h e r e was no reason e x p l i c i t l y to r e c a l l t he s u f f e r i n g s endured by t he Jews, a l l t he more so as such a r e f e r e n c e mi ght be e q u i v a l e n t to an i m p l i c i t r e c o g n i t i o n o f t he r a c i a l t h e o r i e s which we a l l r e j e c t . 62

G' Saul 135-136.

S.

Fr i edman,

No Haven f o r t he Oppressed, pp.

G2"Survey o f the Rescue A c t i v i t i e s o f the World Jew­ ish Congress, 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 4 , " pp. 1 5 - 1 6 , World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO.

414

Jewish l e a d e r s were no more succe ss f ul

i n persuadi ng A l l i e d

governments to gi ve succor to t he v i c t i m i z e d Jews. chill

Chur­

had t o l d t he House o f Commons " t h a t no form of r e l i e f

can be devi sed which would not d i r e c t l y the enemy's war e f f o r t . "

or i n d i r e c t l y a s s i s t

S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e Hul l

con­

cur r ed . 64 Wise sought to r e l i e v e t he a n x i e t i e s Jewish community.

o f the Ameri can-

He was aware o f t he many rumors and

u n s u b s t a n t i a t e d r e p o r t s o f Nazi

atrocities,

and he asked

P r e s i d e n t Roosevel t to extend hi s sympathies to t he Jews which F . D . R .

did.^S

On August 1, t he Geneva o f f i c e

But t h a t was a l l 1942,

Dr.

F.D.R.

did.

Ge r h a r t R i e g n e r ,

d i r e c t o r of

o f t he World Jewish Congress,

German i n d u s t r i a l i s t ,

who t o l d

him o f t he N a z i s '

t a l k e d to a pl an to

e x t e r m i n a t e t he Jews wi t h t he use o f p r u s s i c a c i d .

Ri egner

at t empt ed to v e r i f y

the s t o r y ,

essential

he went to t he American Embassy on

August 10,

veracity, 1942.

There,

and once s a t i s f i e d of i t s

he t a l k e d to the American

6 ^ 1b i d . , pp . 9 - 1 1 .

G4i b i d . 65wise to E a r l y , 7 / 1 7 / 4 2 , F . D. R. to Wise 7 / 1 7 / 4 2 , M i c r o f i l m #89, Stephen S. W i s e - F r a n k l i n D. Roosevel t Cor ­ respondence, 1 9 2 0 - 1 9 4 5 , American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; The New York Ti mes, 7 / 2 2 / 4 2 , p. 4.

415

Vice-Consul,

Henry El t i n g ,

Embassy n o t i f y

the State

Jr.,

and r equest ed t h a t t he

Department and t he World Jewish

Congress, o f which Wise was P r e s i d e n t .

El t i n g cabl ed Hul l

and asked t h e S e c r e t a r y o f S t a t e to i n f or m Wise. El t i n g a l s o ca bl e d Lei and H a r r i s o n , Ber n.

H a r r i s o n was v e r y s k e p t i c a l

hi s s u p e r i o r in

o f t he Ri egner s t o r y .

He i n t u r n c a b l e d the S t a t e

Department t h a t t he Ri egner

s t o r y was n o t h i n g more than

"war rumor i n s p i r e d by f e a r and

what i s dition

commonly underst ood to be t he a c t u a l

m i s e r a b l e con­

o f t hose r e f u g e e s who f a c e d i s c r i m i n a t i o n as a

r e s u l t o f physical

maltreatment.

t he H a r r i s o n c a b l e , European D i v i s i o n

.

.

El br edge Durbrow,

Director,

Upon r e c e i p t o f S t a t e Department

r e p o r t e d to hi s s u p e r i o r s

that

Wise and o t h e r Jewish l e a d e r s should not be i nf or med o f Ri eg ner s t o r y . ^7

The S t a t e Department l a t e r

embassy in S w i t z e r l a n d t h a t

parties.

w i r e d Sidney S i l v e r m a n ,

a Labor M.P.

S.

cabl ed t he

"no f u r t h e r unconfi rmed r e p o r t s

be t r a n s m i t t e d by t h i r d

GGsaul 130-131.

the

.

.

."^8

Ri egner a l s o

and Chairman o f t he

Friedmanm No Haven f o r t he Oppr essed, pp.

^ 7 1b i d . , Durbrow acknowl edged, though, t h a t even i f the s t o r y was t r u e , t h e U n i t e d S t a t e s coul d do not hi ng about i t . G^ibid.

416

B r i t i s h Jewish Congress,

and i t was he who a c t u a l l y

relayed

the s t o r y to Wise. Wise c a l l e d an emergency sessi on o f the American Jew­ i sh Congress Governi ng C o u n c i l . any p u b l i c

It

was deci ded t h a t p r i o r to

announcement about t he a t r o c i t i e s .

Wise would go

to Washington and t a l k t o S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s .

He

c o n f e r r e d w i t h Sumner Wel l es whom Wise r e s p e c t e d and t r u s t e d ; the U n d e r - S e c r e t a r y asked t h e rabbi lic

until

t he A l l i e d

not to make the s t o r y pub­

governments could v e r i f y

later,

Wel l es t o l d Wise t h a t

rect.

Stunned and shaken.

Riegner's

it.

Ten weeks

allegations

were c o r ­

Wise did not know what to do.

The P r e s i d e n t o f t h e American Jewish Congress had continually

sought the adv i c e o f government o f f i c i a l s

what a c t i o n should be t a k e n .

Myron T a y l o r and the P r e s i ­

d e n t ' s Adv i sor y Committee on P o l i t i c a l that efforts vene.

as to

Refugees t o l d

Wise

were bei ng made to persuade the Pope t o i n t e r ­

He di d not t h i n k much o f t h i s

tactic,

f o r he c o n s i d ­

ered the Pope an " e nsh r i ned p r i s o n e r , "

one who was "a p o l i t i ­

cian f i r s t

Moreover,

and a churchman

s e c o n d . "^0

G^I b i d . , pp. 1 3 6 - 1 3 7 , C h a l l e n g i n g Y e a r s , p. 274. 7 0 c a r l H. Voss, P e o p l e , p. 250.

142.

See a l s o ,

Stephen S. Wise:

he di d not

Stephen Wise,

S e r v a n t o f the

417

think Roosevelt's would not l i s t e n victory.

i n t e r v e n t i o n would h e l p ,

because H i t l e r

t o a man who had de pr i ve d him of a complete

He asked Har ol d Ickes to c o n t a c t the P r e s i d e n t to

det er mi ne i f one thousand Jewish c h i l d r e n could be brought to the Uni t ed S t a t e s from Europe; the c h i l d r e n were to be ma i n t a i n e d in t he V i r g i n politically

feasible,

murdered by " H i t l e r ' s

Islands.

If

t h i s proved to be

then a d u l t s who o t h e r wi s e would be brutes,"

could be pr ovi ded s a f e t y .

Nothing ever came o f t h i s . Toget her w i t h t he l eader s o f the American Jewish Com­ mittee,

t he B' n a i

Brith,

t he Jewish Labor Committee,

Union o f Orthodox Rabbis o f the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

Wise request ed

a meet i ng wi t h the P r e s i d e n t i n December, 1942. ga t i o n pr esent ed F . D. R.

two memoranda.

and the

The d e l e ­

The f i r s t

se t f o r t h

the hopes o f t he Jews o f the worl d t h a t t he P r e s i d e n t as "the symbol licly

o f huma ni t y' s w i l l

to f i g h t f o r freedom" would pub­

a c t to save European Jewry;

a t e l y un de r t a ken ,

unless a c t i o n was immedi­

"t he Jews of Europe are doomed."

Wise t o l d

the P r e s i d e n t t h a t al t hough the . . . process of e x t e r m i n a t i o n has never abated . . . [ i t ] has not f o l l o we d a uni f orm course and

7 1 I ckes to F . D . R . , 1 0 / 7 / 4 2 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s . A s i m i l a r plan had been ban­ died about by the A d m i n i s t r a t i o n i n the autumn of 1940; not hi ng was done.

418

t h e r e are c l e a r cut i n d i c a t i o n s t h a t t he Nazi regime has sometimes r e t r e a t e d in t he f ace o f e n e r g e t i c and c l e a r cut warni ngs on the p a r t o f P r e s i d e n t Roosevel t and Prime M i n i s t e r C h u r c h i l l . 72 The memorandum di d not e l a b o r a t e on how t h i s could be accomplished. The second memorandum d e t a i l e d t he methods by which the more than two m i l l i o n Jews were put to deat h: 1.

Jews were loaded onto f r e i g h t cars strewn wi t h c h l o ­ r i d e or l i me and s e a l e d ; 30 per cent o f the v i c t i m s di ed by s u f f o c a t i o n or s t a r v a t i o n ;

2.

Jews were l i n e d up al ong si de mass graves and machine gunned ;

3.

Jews were used as human guinea pigs in Nazi e x p e r i ­ ment c e n t e r s where t h e i r g e n i t a l s were cut o f f , or they were "humanely" put to death by t he i n j e c t i o n of a i r bubbles i n t o t h e i r v e i n s ;

4.

Jews were e i t h e r a s p h y x i a t e d or burned a l i v e matoria.

in c r e ­

The memorandum f u r t h e r noted t h a t in a d d i t i o n to these " qui ck" methods,

the Nazi s

killed

i n v e n t i v e measures as " r a c i a l

their

ration

victims

through such

systems, " and f o r c e d

l a b o r where t he v i c t i m s were worked to death or s h o t .

The

memorandum concluded t h a t t he Jewish p o p u l a t i o n o f t h i r t e e n

72]2/8/42, Jewish Congress.

American Jewish Commi t t ee/ Nazi sm/ Amer i can

419 European c o u n t r i e s had been reduced by over 50 per ce nt si nce 19 39. ^^ The d e l e g a t i o n urged t he appoi nt ment o f an American commission to " r e c e i v e and examine a l l barity,"

and t h a t

"such a c t i o n as i s

evi dence of Nazi

initiated

by the U n i t e d

S t a t e s would be j o i n e d by t he U n i t e d N a t i o n s . "74 r epe at e d hi s pl edge t h a t t he p e r p e t r a t o r s would be " br ought to s t r i c t

F. D. R.

o f the crimes

accountability";

S t a t e s would make ever y e f f o r t

that

the U n i t e d

to save those who could be

saved;

and t h a t ,

in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t he o t h e r a l l i e d

tries,

a commission would be e s t a b l i s h e d to r e c e i v e and

examine evi dence o f Nazi

bar­

barbarities.

One week l a t e r ,

coun­

the

Allies

announced to t he wor l d the e x i s t e n c e o f the murder

camps,

and warned t h a t

shall

"t hose r e s p o n s i b l e f o r these cri mes

not escape r e t r i b u t i o n . "75 Though t he P r e s i d e n t

tion requested.

promised e v e r y t h i n g the d e l e g a ­

Wise had an uneasy f e e l i n g

I t was al most as i f

about the me e t i n g .

he had heard t h e same tune b e f or e and

75 I b i d . 74 I b i d . 75

Saul S. p . 133.

Fri edman, No Haven f o r t he Oppressed,

420 t h e r eco r d was be g i n n i n g t o warp. with the C h ie f Exec ut i ve;

if

Yet Wise had t o deal

a n y t h i n g was t o be accompl i shed,

he b e l i e v e d Roo s e v e l t must do i t .

Ot her Jewish Congress

l e a d e r s were not as enamored o f t he man from Hyde Park as was Wise.

They f e l t

t h a t o n l y by f o r c i n g

t he P r e s i d e n t ' s

hand t hrough p u b l i c p r e s s u r e would t he rescue o f European Jewry even be a t t e m p t e d .

They b e l i e v e d t h a t the on l y way

p u b l i c o p i n i o n would be aroused and t he government moved to a c t i o n was through mass d e m o n s t r a t i o n s , p r o t e s t marches o f 1933.

s i m i l a r to the mass

They sought to m o b i l i z e the Jewish

masses f o r a march on Washington t o arouse a d o c i l e

Con­

gress.

groups,

To gai n t he

they approached the a media b l i t z

s u pp or t o f v a r i o u s o t h e r e t h n i c A.F.

wi t h p u b l i c

o f L. and t he C . I . O .

speakers and a r t i c l e s .

Wise was a b l e t o p r e v e n t

such a program.

e n t l y promised those who f a v o r e d o t h e r t a c t i c s efforts

and conducted

He ap p a r ­ that i f

to move the government to r escue European Jewry

were not s u c c e s s f u l , mass d e mo ns t r a t i on s would ensue. and o t h e r l e a d e r s o f Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s ered to see what course o f a c t i o n

Mss,

his

^^Memorandum ( ?) 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , VIVO.

12/10/42,

He

once agai n g a t h ­

should be t a k e n .

Joseoh

World Jewish Congress

421 Proskauer o f t he American Jewish Committee suggested t h a t he al one would go to see Sumner W e l l e s . me and I w i l l .

.

"He w i l l

ge t hi s j udgment on what you c a l l

Wel l e s t o l d Proskauer t h a t the Jews'

talk

to

'action,'. demands

would be di scussed a t the upcoming Angl o- Amer i can C o n f e r ­ ence on Ref ugees,

to be hel d i n A p r i l

a t an undetermined

site. Wise r e p o r t e d to Jewish Congress l e a d e r s on what had transpired.

To put pr es sur e on the government to do some­

thing,

it

was deci ded t h a t a mass r a l l y

Square

Garden on March 1,

and p r e s e n t a l i s t i n t o the Garden.

be

hel d a t Madison

1943, to di scuss

possible action

o f demands.

Almost 2 0 , 0 0 0 people crowded

A f t e r many v o c i f e r o u s

speeches,

se ver al

pr oposal s were made t o rescue t he Jews: 1.

Through t he me di a t i o n o f n e u t r a l a g e n c i e s , the Ger­ man Government should be approached t o secure i t s agreement to t he r e l e a s e of the Jews and to consent to t h e i r e m i g r a t i o n to havens o f r e f u g e ;

2. The U n i t e d S t a t e s should t ake st eps to d e s i g n a t e and e s t a b l i s h a number o f s a n c t u a r i e s in A l l i e d or neu­ t r a l s t a t e s to serve as havens; 3.

The pr ocedur e t h a t was c u r r e n t l y in f o r c e in t he a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f t he i m mi g r a t i o n laws in the Uni t ed S t a t e s should be r e v i s e d and a d j u s t e d w i t h i n the quota system to meet the e x i g e n c i e s o f the war;

7 7 c a r l H. Voss, P e o p l e , pp. 2 5 6 - 2 5 7 .

St ephen S.

Wi s e:

Servant o f the

422 4.

Gr eat B r i t a i n should be asked to pr ovi de f o r a r easonabl e number of the r e f u g e e s ;

5.

The Uni t ed Nati ons should urge the L a t i n American r e p u b l i c s to modify t h e i r a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r e g u l a t i o n s which hi ndered the rescue process;

6.

Gr eat B r i t a i n should be asked to open the doors to P a l e s t i n e to a l l o w Jewish v i c t i m s of the war to enter ;

7.

The Uni t ed Nati ons should pr ov i de f i n a n c i a l guar an­ tees to a l l ne u t r a l s t a t e s t h a t gave temporary r ef u ge to the v i c t i m s o f H i t l e r ;

8.

The Uni t ed Nati ons was urged to e s t a b l i s h an a p p r o p r i a t e i n t e r - g o v e r n m e n t a l agency which would have the power to implement the rescue pr o g r a m. 78

The pr oposal s were sent to P r e s i d e n t Roosev el t . 2,

1943,

fully

On March

Welles de cl a r e d t h a t these demands would be c a r e ­

consi der ed a t

the

f or t hco mi n g Angl o-American C o n f e r ­

ence on Refugees to be held in Bermuda.

The next day,

Wel l es di v ul g e d to the press the d e t a i l s

of a note on the

Conference from Hul l

to t he B r i t i s h Ambassador.

not mention the Jews or t h e i r p l i g h t ;

Hul l

di d

he r e p o r t e d l y t o l d

the ambassador t h a t no bi ndi ng d e c i s i o n s were to be made, and t h a t the Conference would make i t s

"recommendations"

to the al most impotent I n t e r g o v e r n me n t a l

Committee on

78"Survey of the Rescue A c t i v i t i e s o f the World Jew­ ish Congress, 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 4 , " pp. 2 1 - 2 2 , World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO; World Jewish Congress, U n i t y in D i s ­ p e r s i o n , p . 170.

423 Political

Refugees.

He i m p l i e d t h a t not hi ng could be done

to save European Jewry;

s h i p p i n g was a t a premium and could

not be used f o r r ef ugee t r a n s p o r t . 79

Hul l

had suggested

Ottawa as t he s i t e of the c o n f e r e n c e ,

but the B r i t i s h were

even r e l u c t a n t to meet t h e r e because the press might swarm over the d e l i b e r a t i o n s . because o f i t s

Rat her t hey opted f o r Bermuda

i n a c c e s s i b l e l o c a t i o n and because a l l

muni cat i ons systems were c o n t r o l l e d Wise was al most p o s i t i v e

com­

by the B r i t i s h .

t h a t the Bermuda Conference

would do not hi ng to save t he Jews.

As one o f the l e a d e r s

of the J o i n t Emergency Committee f o r European Jewish A f f a i r s , 89 he wrote to Sumner Wel l es and expressed his concern.

He had thought t h a t ,

would be t a k e n ; British

at l a s t ,

e f f e c t i v e action

but he was d i s a p p o i n t e d t h a t n e i t h e r

nor the Americans had seen f i t

to i n v i t e

the r e p r e ­

s e n t a t i v e Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f t he two c o u n t r i e s c o n s u l t wi t h

79$aul 158-159.

the d e l e g a t e s .

S.

Friedman,

the

to

He asked Wel l es f o r a hear i ng

No Haven f o r the Oppressed, pp.

BOfhe J o i n t Committee r e p r e s e n t e d the American Jew­ i sh Congress, the American Jewish Commi ttee, the B' nai B r i t h , and t he Synagogue Counci l o f Ameri ca.

424 a t the C on f er en ce,

but t he r e q u e s t was de ni e d.

The American d e l e g a t e s

to Bermuda--Sol

man of the House o f For ei gn A f f a i r s W illis

Dodds,

81 Bloom,

Commi ttee,

Dr.

President of Princeton U n i v e r s i t y ,

Reams, a S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l ,

R.

Chair­

Har ol d Borden

and Senat or S c o t t

L u c a s - - b e l i e v e d t h a t the u l t i m a t e p r i o r i t y was wi nni ng the war ,

and thus a n y t h i n g t h a t hi nde r e d t he war e f f o r t

not be t o l e r a t e d . ference r e f l e c t e d

The f i n a l this

could

communique o f the Bermuda Con­

concern:

From t he o u t s e t i t was r e a l i z e d t h a t any recommendations t h a t the d e l e g a t e s coul d make to t h e i r governments must pass two t e s t s : would any recommendation su bmi t t e d i n t e r f e r e w i t h or de l a y t he war e f f o r t of t he U n i t e d N a t i o n s ; and was the recommendation capabl e o f accom­ p l i s hme n t under war c o n d i t i o n s ? ^ ^ The Bermuda Conference r e j e c t e d t he proposal

to

e n t e r i n t o f u r t h e r n e g o t i a t i o n s w i t h the Axis f o r t he r e l e a s e of t he condemned Jews. b e l i e v e they had the a u t h o r i t y

The conf er ees di d not to recommend t he s h i p p i n g of

Unpubl i shed memorandum o f the J o i n t Emergency Com­ m i t t e e f o r European Jewish A f f a i r s , 4 / 1 9 / 4 3 , "Program f o r t he Rescue of Jews from Nazi Eur ope, " YIVO. Wise wished to pr esent to the Bermuda Conference e s s e n t i a l l y the same p r o ­ posal s he had f or war ded to t he P r e s i d e n t a f t e r the March 1, 1943 r a l l y a t Madison Square Garden. Op

sion,

Quoted i n Wor l d J e w i s h C o n g r e s s , p . 165.

Unity

in D is p e r­

425 food to c o n c e n t r a t i o n camp i nma t e s , i ng t o e s t a b l i s h cruelty. their

tempor ar y havens f o r v i c t i m s o f Nazi

The B r i t i s h were t o t a l l y

policy of r e s tr ic tin g

outlined

and t hey were not w i l l ­

s u cce ss f ul

in p r e s e r v i n g

i mmi g r a t i o n to P a l e s t i n e as

in the White Paper o f 1939. ^^

Re a c t i o ns to t he f a i l u r e s were q u i c k l y f o r t h c o m i n g . t he I n t e r n a t i o n a l

Dr.

o f t he Bermuda Conference

Frank Kingdom, P r e s i d e n t of

Rescue and R e l i e f Commi ttee,

the Conf er ence as a "shame" and a " d i s g r a c e . "

attacked He i m p l i e d

t h a t t he whole d i s g u s t i n g epi sode was a p u b l i c r e l a t i o n s gimmick.

Rabbi

gogue Counci l

Israel

Goldstein,

o f Amer i ca,

P r e s i d e n t of t he Syna­

echoed these s e n t i m e n t s .

The j ob o f the . . . Conference was a p p a r e n t l y not to rescue v i c t i m s o f Nazi t e r r o r but to rescue our S t a t e Department and t he B r i t i s h Forei gn O f f i c e from p o s s i b l e

83" Sur vey o f t he Rescue A c t i v i t i e s o f the World Jew­ i sh Congress, 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 4 , " pp. 2 2 - 2 4 , World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO. The S t a t e Department t r i e d to c l a r i f y i t s p o s i t i o n to a very s k e p t i c a l p u b l i c the a c h i e v e ­ ments o f t he Bermuda Conf er ence: ( 1 ) I t agreed upon f i n a n ­ c i a l measures to cover t he cost o f m a i n t a i n i n g r ef ugees in n e u t r a l c o u n t r i e s ; ( 2 ) "When sh i p p i n g became a v a i l a b l e , a number o f tempor ar y havens would be e s t a b l i s h e d and r e f u ­ gees t r a n s p o r t e d " ; ( 3) Upon t he t e r m i n a t i o n o f h o s t i l i t i e s , the c o nf e r e e s would p r o v i d e f o r the r e p a t r i a t i o n o f r e f u ­ gees; ( 4 ) To meet t he e x i g e n c i e s o f t he war , the d e l e g a t e s would submi t a pl an f o r an expanded i n t e r - g o v e r n m e n t a l r e f u ­ gee o r g a n i z a t i o n wi t h f u l l a u t h o r i t y over r e f u ge e m a t t e r s . See Saul Fri edman, " O f f i c i a l Uni t ed S t a t e s P o l i c y toward Jewish R e f u ge es, " pp. 3 1 1 - 3 1 2 .

426

embar r assment . 84 The World Jewish Congress' s Jewish Comment e d i t o r i a l i z e d : The t r u t h i s t h a t what stands i n the way of a i d to the Jews i n Europe by the Uni t ed Nat i ons i s not t h a t such a program i s dangerous, but s i mpl e l a c k of w i l l to go to any t r o u b l e on t h e i r b e h a l f . 85 Though Wise was incensed by t he Bermuda f i a s c o ,

he

r e f u s e d to s a n c t i o n p u b l i c de monst r a t i ons a g a i n s t the President. ify

He f e a r e d t h a t p u b l i c p r o t e s t would onl y s o l i d ­

t he Congress behind t he E x e c u t i v e

"do-nothing"

in support of the

attitude.

I cannot and w i l l not do i t . That we should t e l l the w o r l d , i n c l u d i n g the N a z i s , t h a t the P r e s i d e n t and our government w i l l not do a n y t h i n g f o r t he r ef ugees is m o r a l l y and perhaps even p h y s i c a l l y s u i c i d a l . 86 He t hought the J o i n t Emergency Committee was not hi ng more than a p l a t f o r m f o r long speeches by " a l l in t he

C o m m i t t e e .

87

t he w i l d people"

He suggested t h a t a small

group from

t he J o i n t Emergency Committee be ap po i nt e d to n e g o t i a t e

84The New York Ti mes, 4 / 2 9 / 4 3 ,

p.

85quoted i n World Jewish Congress, s i o n , p. 165. 86 wi s e t o Gol dmann, 4 / 2 3 / 4 3 , Box 1001, Amer i ca n J ewi s h A r c h i v e s . 87ibid.

9. Uni t y i n D i s p e r ­

St ephen S. Wise Mss,

427 wi t h government o f f i c i a l s ; n e s s . T h e

" t h e n , we w i l l

do some b u s i ­

Rabbi opted f o r Sht adl an di pl omacy.

I t i s ver y easy t o hold press conf er ences and to c a l l meet i ngs , but we must co ns i de r i n advance what i t w i l l l ead t o - - t h a t i t w i l l shut every door and l eave us u t t e r l y w i t h o u t hope o f r e l i e f as f a r as F. D. R. i s con­ cer ned. He i s s t i l l our f r i e n d , even though he does not move as e x p e d i t i o u s l y as we would wi sh. But he moves as f a s t as he can, i n view o f the Congress on his hands, a b i t t e r l y h o s t i l e and in a ver y r e a l sense p a r t i a l l y a n t i - S e m i t i c Congr ess. 89 Thus, Wise was abl e to pr event t he "hotheads" on the Jewish Congress Exec ut i ve Committee from c a l l i n g

f o r mass s t r e e t

demonst rat i ons to p r o t e s t government i n a c t i o n a t r o c i t i e s .

90

r e ga r d i ng the

I mmedi at el y a f t e r the Bermuda Conf er ence,

he

asked to see P r e s i d e n t Roosevel t about what could be done to save the remnants o f European Jewry w i t h o u t h u r t i n g the war e f f o r t .

91

BBl b i d .

89wise to Goldmann, 4 / 2 2 / 4 3 , Box 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

Stephen S. Wise Mss,

9 0 [ x e c u t i v e Committee M e e t i n g , 6 / 8 / 4 3 , Exec ut i ve Com­ m i t t e e M i n u t e s , 1943 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 6, E x e c u t i v e Committee, 1 9 1 6 - 1 9 4 9 , American Jewish H i s ­ t o r i c a l Society. 9Twise to F . D . R . , 4 / 2 8 / 4 3 ; F. D. R. to Watson, 5 / 1 1 / 4 3 , Watson to Wise, 5 / 1 2 / 4 3 , M i c r o f i l m # 8 9 , Stephen S. Wi s e - F r a n k l i n D. Roosevel t Correspondence, 1 9 2 0 - 1 9 4 5 , American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

428 The above does much t o e x p l a i n Wi se' s a c t i o n s the H o l o c a u s t .

Even though t he Jewish Congress had e s t a b ­

lished a special activities

p l a n n i n g committee t o c o o r d i n a t e rescue

and m a i n t a i n c o n t a c t wi t h government a g e n c i e s ,

i t worked under t he assumption t h a t t he paramount i s s u e . it

sought

duri ng

"wi nni ng the war" was

Though, as Chaim Greenberg c l a i me d ,

t he suppor t o f C h r i s t i a n

the Jews, and though i t

clerics

f a i l e d miserably

to hel p save

in i t s

attempt,

the q u e s t i o n remained what t a c t i c would have succeeded. Wise was t he American Jewish Congress from the f i r s t o f t he war to V-E Day. Papal

He di scount ed any a t t e mpt s to sway

o p i n i o n f o r he consi der ed Pius X I I

a Churchman.

days

a politician,

To t he charge t h a t a " f o r e i g n e r "

not

c h a i r e d the

Rescue Committee when one who was wise in t he ways o f Wash­ i ngt on p o l i t i c s

coul d have done b e t t e r ,

one must answer t h a t

war tends to c o n s o l i d a t e power i n the hands of a ver y few men. tee;

I t was Wise who knew R o o s e v e l t ,

not t he Rescue Commit­

the Jewish Congress pl aced upon Wise t he t e r r i b l e

den o f f i n d i n g s o l u t i o n s

to i n s o l v a b l e s i t u a t i o n s .

bur ­

No o t h e r

Jew gave of h i m s e l f more in those h a r r y i n g days than Stephen Wise.

Orthodox Jewish groups r ef used to cooper at e w i t h any

organizations

unl ess they were gi ven i m p o r t a n t posts on

rescue commi t t ees.

The Jewish Labor Committee t y p i f i e d

this

429 attitude, action,

and f o l l o w e d t he path o f " n o n - c o o p e r a t i o n ,

non­

and keepi ng a p a r t from common a t t e mp t s to accompl i sh

so me t hi n g." Wi se' s a t t i t u d e

toward t he rescue o f some 70 , 0 0 0

T r a n s d n i s t r i a n Jews in F e b r u a r y , in t he above fr amework.

1943,

Ben Hecht ,

can al so be e x p l a i n e d

a p l a y w r i g h t and co-

chairman o f t he Committee f o r a Jewish Army,

pl aced a f u l l

page a d v e r t i s e m e n t i n The New York Times which s t a t e d t h a t Roumania would a l l o w t he 7 0 , 0 0 0 Jews to l e a v e a t a cost of fifty

dollars

was aware t h a t scheme,

per person f o r t r a n s p o r t to the b o r d e r . Ri egner had o s t e n s i b l y approved o f the

but he p u b l i c l y

been r e c e i v e d ,

and,

s t a t e d t h a t no c o n f i r m a t i o n

therefore,

no c o l l e c t i o n

money was necessary a t t h a t t i m e .

of ransom

to t he proposed

as a "hoax on t he p a r t of t he Hecht gr ou p. "

quest i oned H e c h t ' s

information,

for

cost per person would not be $50,

had

He wr ot e a long l e t t e r

to John Haynes Holmes i n which he r e f e r r e d "sale"

Wise

he t o l d

He

Holmes t h a t t he

but al mos t e i g h t

times

t h a t amount. That would mean $ 3 0 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 t o begin w i t h ; and even i f the t h i n g coul d be e f f e c t e d and i t were not a b a r e f a c e d swi ndl e and t h i e v e r y ; we could not a f f o r d to pay a penny

92quoted i n Saul Oppr essed, pp. 1 4 4 - 1 4 5 .

S.

Fr i edman, No Haven f o r the

430 to Roumania, to t he government or the s w i n d l i n g r e p r e ­ s e n t a t i v e s o f the government, w i t h o u t t he express con­ sent o f our own government. For , as you know, Roumania has d e c l a r e d war a g a i n s t u s . 93 Asi de from t he t e c h n i c a l tain

problem o f payi ng t he ransom, c e r ­

o t h e r f a c t o r s e n t e r e d the s i t u a t i o n .

To be s u r e . Wise

di d not want t o j e o p a r d i z e whatever chance t he Jews had t h a t something p r o d u c t i v e would come out o f t he Bermuda Conf er ence.

Also,

Wise di d not wish to deal

with t e r r o r ­

i s t Jewish groups which t he American Jewish Conference had condemned.

Much has been made o f t he d e l a y i n pr eci ous

t i me from when Wise f i r s t pressed F . D . R .

l e a r n e d o f t he scheme u n t i l

he

to a c t .

Wise must have pondered why Hecht chose t he v e h i c l e of a f u l l - p a g e

a d v e r t i s e m e n t in The New York Ti me s .

must have seemed i n c r e d i b l e to him t h a t as d e l i c a t e

It a mat­

t e r as t h e s a l e o f Jews would be p l a s t e r e d on the pages of t h e T i me s .

B r i b e r y and ransom payments ar e not a c t i v i t i e s

one would wish to be made p u b l i c ; mor eover ,

if

the o f f e r

had been a c c e p t e d , would not t he Roumanian Government have disavowed any connect i on wi t h

it,

and branded the o f f e r as

9^The New York Ti mes, 2 / 1 6 / 4 3 , p. 11; Ben Hecht , P e r f i d y , (New Y or k, 1 9 6 1 ) , p. 192; Shad P o l i e r , e t . a l . . The Personal L e t t e r s o f Stephen Wi se, ( Bost on, 1 9 5 6 ) , pp. 265266.

431 Allied

propaganda and chi caner y?

Al s o ,

had the Roumanian

Jews been al l owe d to l e a v e , where could t hey have gone? The B r i t i s h

categorically

r ef used them e n t r y i n t o P a l e s t i n e ;

Nor t h A f r i c a was a no-man' s land f o r Jews even a f t e r liberation,

and t he Uni t e d St at es was u n w i l l i n g

Jews a haven in t he Uni t e d St at es or any o f i t s

its

to g i v e the territor­

ies.^^ In J u l y ,

1 9 43, Wise came to Washington and t a l k e d to

T r e a s u r y Department o f f i c i a l s D n i s t r i a n Jews. that

about t he rescue o f the Tr an s-

He t o l d S e c r e t a r y o f the Tr ea sur y Morgenthau

he had l e a r n e d t h a t Nazi

officials

a l l o w the e v a c u a t i o n o f t h e Jews i f in l o c a l

currency.

in Roumania would

t hey were paid $1 70 , 0 0 0

He t o l d Morgenthau t h a t t he Jews of Rou­

mania coul d make t he payment pr ovi ded t hey were rei mbursed i n d o l l a r s or Swiss f r a n c s , end of h o s t i l i t i e s .

to be hel d f o r them u n t i l

He f u r t h e r s t a t e d t h a t

the

representatives

^^One day a f t e r Wise announced t h a t no funds would be c o l l e c t e d to f i n a n c e t he ransom scheme, the American Jewish Congress a s s e r t e d t h a t the " a n t i - J e w i s h l egacy of t he Nazi s remained i n t a c t in North A f r i c a . . . . No changes o f an i m p o r t a n t c h a r a c t e r have been made i n the p o l i t i c a l and economic s i t u a t i o n . " The New York T i me s , 2 / 1 5 / 4 3 . See a l s o , F . D. R. to Wise, 3 / 2 3 / 4 3 , M i c r o f i l m #89, Stephen S. W i s e - F r a n k l i n D. Roosev el t Correspondence, 1 9 2 0 - 1 9 4 5 , American Jewish A r c h i v e s .

432 of the World Jewish Congress could d i r e c t from Geneva,

and t h a t the S t a t e Department was n o t i f i e d of

the p o s s i b l e t r a n s a c t i o n .

Morgenthau t o l d Wise t h a t the

T r ea sur y Department was " f u l l y

sympat het i c to the p r o p o s a l .

In a l a t e r meeting wi t h t he P r e s i d e n t , fact,

the o p e r a t i o n

Wise s t r e s s e d the

t h a t u n l i k e the Hecht scheme, no U. S.

a c t u a l l y be t r a n s f e r r e d ,

curr ency would

si nce i t would be held in escrow

in bl ocked accounts i n Swiss banks.

F.D.R.

o r a l l y approved

of the pi a n . 96 S t a t e Department o f f i c i a l s , skeptical Hul l

o f t he scheme or t o t a l l y

opposed to i t .

Though

assured Morgenthau t h a t hi s ai des were c o o p e r a t i n g

fully,

i t was not u n t i l

l a t e September,

sary cabl es were sent to Bern. cific

however, were e i t h e r

instructions;

opposed to t he p l a n . British

finally

agreed;

t h a t the neces­

Ha r r i s on cabl ed f o r spe­

he al so noted t h a t the B r i t i s h were Morgenthau t r i e d

to wi t hdr aw t h e i r o b j e c t i o n s

necessary l i c e n s e s .

1943,

By mid-December,

to persuade the

to t he issuance o f the 1943, t he B r i t i s h

however, onl y $2 5 , 0 0 0 was to be a l l o c a t e d .

96john Morton Blum, From the Morgenthau D i a r i e s : War Y e a r s , volume 3, pp. 2 1 0 - 2 1 1 .

9^Ibid.

The

433 "and onl y under c o n d i t i o n s lars Also,

to Nazi

p r e v e n t i n g t h e movement of d o l ­

agents or o t h e r o b j e c t i o n a b l e

persons.

t he For ei gn O f f i c e noted t h a t 7 0 , 0 0 0 Jews could not

be accommodated in t he M i d - E a s t . him to t a l k

to t he P r e s i d e n t ,

Morgent hau' s ai des urged

but he was r e l u c t a n t to s t a r t

a b u r e a u c r a t i c war wi t h t he S t a t e Depar t ment . see Hul l

He chose to

once a g a i n .

Hull,

t o o , was f l a b b e r g a s t e d about t he del ays and

obstructionist tactics

of hi s own c o l l e a g u e s ,

Gerhard

Ri egner soon r e c e i v e d t he necessary f u nds ,

but Morgent hau' s

j o y soon t u r n ed to b i t t e r

S t a t e Department

disappointment.

u n d e r l i n g s n e g l e c t e d to send t he new l i c e n s e s land.

The B r i t i s h

to S w i t z e r ­

once again began to r a i s e o b j e c t i o n s ;

the movement o f r e f u g e e s ,

they b e l i e v e d ,

"would c r e a t e

problems in t r a n s p o r t a t i o n and accommodation which might be embarr assi ng not onl y to t h i s

government but to your own. "9^

Morgenthau deci ded to go to the P r e s i d e n t . On January 15, randum e n t i t l e d

1944, Morgenthau

handed

F. D. R.

a

a "Repor t to the S e c r e t a r y on t he Ac q ui ­

escence o f Thi s Government in t he Murder o f the Jews."

97lbid, SBlbid,

memo­

With

434 T r e a s u r y Department General

Counsel

For ei gn Funds C h i e f John P e h l e , at hi s s i d e , tale

of State

Randolph Paul

co-authors

and

o f the r e p o r t ,

Morgenthau recount ed to the P r e s i d e n t t he sad Department p r o c r a s t i n a t i o n ,

inaction,

pr e s s i o n o f r e p o r t s .

He demanded t h a t F . D . R .

at e a c t i o n t o r e c t i f y

t he s i t u a t i o n :

and sup­

t ake immedi­

There a r e a growing number o f r e s p o n s i b l e people and o r g a n i z a t i o n s today who have ceased to view our f a i l ­ ure as t h e pr oduct o f si mpl e i ncompet ence on t he p a r t o f these o f f i c i a l s i n the S t a t e Depar t ment charged wi t h h a n d l i n g t h i s probl em. They see p l a i n a n t i - S e m i t i s m m o t i v a t i n g t he a c t i o n s o f these . . . o f f i c i a l s , and, r i g h t l y or wr o n g l y , i t w i l l r e q u i r e l i t t l e more in the way o f p r o o f f o r t h e i r s u s p i c i o n to expl ode i n t o a nast y s c a n d a l . The P r e s i d e n t , responded q u i c k l y .

shocked and angry a t

On January 21,

he c r e a t e d

the War

Refugee Board and appo i nt e d John Pehl e as D i r e c t o r .

Unlike

agenci es which had p r e v i o u s l y t r i e d lem,

1944,

t he a l l e g a t i o n s ,

t o deal

w i t h the pr ob­

Pehl e was gi ven t he power t o a p p o i n t s p e c i a l

tants with di plomatic ev e r t h e i r

assis­

s t a t u s who were p e r m i t t e d to go wher­

presence was r e q u i r e d .

Mor e ov e r ,

they could

n e g o t i a t e w i t h any count r y to secure t he r e l e a s e and

S^Ar t hur Morse, Whi l e Si x M i l l i o n Di ed: A C h r o n i c l e of American A p a t h y , (New Y or k, 1 9 6 8 ) , pp. 8 8 - 9 1 ; Saul S. Fri edmann, No Haven f o r the Oppr essed, p. 209; John Morton Blum, From t h e Morgenthau D i a r i e s : The War Y e a r s , volume 3, pp. 2 2 0 - 2 2 3 ; Raul Hi 1 ber g. The D e s t r u c t i o n o f the European Jews , (Chicago , 1 9 6 7 ) , passim.

435 e v a c u a t i o n o f I mpr i soned Jews, and, most i m p o r t a n t l y ,

were

exempted from t he p r o v i s i o n s o f the Tr a d i n g With t he Enemy A

c

t

.

TOO

When the c r e a t i o n o f t h e War Refugee Board was

announced,

the American and World Jewish Congress submi t t ed

a program t o t he new agency,

"A Program o f General

Measures

of R e l i e f and Rescue o f Jews Thr eat ened wi t h E x t e r m i n a t i o n by t he Enemy."

Both agenci es s t r e s s e d t h a t

i f the program o f the War Refugee Board i s to be f u l ­ f i l l e d , customary pr ocedures must be superseded. The rescue o f Jews from t he c l u t c h e s o f t he Nazi s now f a l l s f o r the most p a r t w i t h i n t h e sphere o f underground a c t i v i t y , and commando and g u e r r i l l a w a r f a r e . The program was d i v i d e d i n t o p s y c h o l o g i c a l l o m a t i c steps and measures. ings

to t he Nazi s as we l l

populations

to a i d

of extermination on t h e s a t e l l i t e s for

for publication

through t he media,

war n­

o f the f a c t s

f o r cont i nued pr essur e

and encouragement o f t h e n e u t r a l

states,

o f the a l r e a d y ca pt ur e d war c r i m i n a l s ,

and t he r e c l a s s i f i c a t i o n

o f the Jewish v i c t i m s

as c i v i l i a n

The pl an al s o proposed t he c r e a t i o n of tempor­

a r y camps i n f r e e rights

c a l l e d f o r continual

as f o r appeal s to t he surr oundi ng

the Jews,

i mmediate t r i a l s

internees.

It

and d i p ­

countries,

to the I n t e r n a t i o n a l

TOOgaul

Fr i edman,

t he g r a n t i n g of shi ppi ng Red Cross to t r a n s p o r t food

No Haven f o r t he Oppressed, p.

213

436 and medi ci ne to the i n t e r n m e n t camps, difficulties

in T u r k ey,

of t r a n s i t

the e x p l o r a t i o n o f the p o s s i b l e

exchange o f Jews f o r Axis n a t i o n a l s , underground groups in t h e i r e f f o r t s Nazi

the removal

and f u r t h e r support of to smuggle Jews out of

areas. By June,

1944,

Pehl e could r e p o r t t h a t wi t h the help

o f t he World Jewish Congress,

a program f o r t he removal

of

Jews from France to S p a i n , S w i t z e r l a n d and North A f r i c a had been s t a r t e d , Distribution

and t h a t in c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h the J o i n t

Committee,

more than 5 , 0 0 0 Jewish c h i l d r e n

been evacuat ed from Fr ance.

had

The War Refugee Board al so had

begun to pl an f o r the rescue o f Jews from Poland and Hun­ ga r y , and had worked c l o s e l y wi t h t he V a t i c a n

in t h i s mat­

ter. ^ Though the War Refugee Board saved thousands of Jews from a n n i h i l a t i o n ,

t he Nazi

murder camps had proved

101 World Jewish Congress, U n i t y 170-171 .

in D i s p e r s i o n ,

pp.

'OZjohn Morton Blum, From the Morgenthau D i a r i e s : The War Y e a r s , volume 3, pp. 2 2 3 - 2 2 4 ; A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Com­ m i t t e e Meet i ng o f the American and World Jewish Congress, 6 / 2 5 / 4 4 , pp. 5 - 8 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 1, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y ; Goldnann to Wise, 8 / 1 0 / 4 4 , Stephen S. Wise Mss, Box 1001, American Jewish A r c h i v e s ; "Survey o f t he Rescue A c t i v i t i e s o f the World Jewish Con­ g r e s s , 1 9 4 0 - 1 9 4 4 , " pp. 4 1 - 4 2 , World Jewish Congress Mss, 1 9 3 1 - 1 9 4 4 , YIVO.

437 to be as e f f i c i e n t as t h e i r R e l i e f and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n

directors

had f o r e c a s t e d .

f o r those Jews f o r t u n a t e enough

to escape death was c a r r i e d on by t he Uni t e d Nat i ons R e l i e f and R e h a b i l i t a t i o n A d m i n i s t r a t i o n wi t h p r i v a t e o r g a n i z a t i o n s . the A l l i e s

However,

in c o n j u n c t i o n

even i n t h i s

showed t he same c a l l o u s n e s s as b e f o r e .

ever y o t h e r p a r t o f t he European p o p u l a t i o n social

institutions,

even i f

a t t e n d i n g the A t l a n t i c

i n s e n s i t i v i t y of A l l i e d

were drawn up had to remind the

officialdom.

government o f f i c i a l s

still

t he Jews

That Jewish l e a d e r s

d e l e g a t e s t h a t such was t he case t e l l s

leaders

its

C i t y Conference in 1944 a t which

plans f o r t he U . N . R . R . A .

bilitation,

Whereas

retained

in weakened f orm,

were c o mp l e t e l y d e p r i v e d o f t h e i r s .

area,

much about the In t he ar ea of r eha­

and even some Jewish

cl ung to t he hope t h a t t he few r emai ni ng

Jews could best be d e a l t wi t h by sending them back to t h e i r countries of o r i g i n .

They f a i l e d

to r e a l i z e

th a t there

were thousands o f Jews who had dwe l l e d in pl aces which were not t h e i r c o u n t r i e s of o r i g i n ; still

ran rampant in East er n Europe,

mor eover , and,

anti-Semitism

despite assur­

ances from l e a d e r s of governments-i n-exi 1 e t h a t the Jews that

did r e t u r n would be t r e a t e d f a i r l y ,

to prove t r u e .

t he o p p o s i t e was

American Jewish Committee spokesmen

438 b e l i e v e d t h a t t he Jews coul d r e t u r n to t h e i r homelands wi t h l i t t l e

difficulty,

and were assured by such no t a b l e s

as P r o f e s s o r A l g i a r d Gorka,

C h i e f o f t he M i n o r i t i e s

sion o f t he P o l i s h M i n i s t r y o f t he I n t e r i o r ,

Divi­

that

Jewish i n t e g r a t i o n i n t o the P o l i s h n a t i o n w i l l t ake p l a c e , d e s p i t e the f a c t t h a t a Jewish n a t i o n a l i s m w i l l e x i s t as an emot i onal c a t h a r s i s a f t e r the war . . . . [ T ] h e American Jewish Committee phi l osophy o f Jewish l i f e w i l l gai n g r e a t acceptance in Pol and. . . . ' 0 3 Jews of enemy a l i e n

n a t i o n a l i t y were caught i n a n e t h e r ­

wor l d o f b u r e a u c r a t i c principle until

that

regulations.

U.N.R.R.A.

no r e l i e f coul d be gi ven to enemy peoples

the Counci l

o f the U . N . R . R . A .

had f i r s t

o f t he peopl es o f occupied t e r r i t o r i e s . Roumania, were

e

n

e

m

adopted the

taken care

Jews in Hungary,

and Germany were to be t r e a t e d as though they i e

s

.

^^4

%t was not u n t i l

late

1 945 t h a t someone

t hought o f t h e idea to ask those Jews in the d i s p l a c e d persons camps where they p r e f e r r e d to be r e s e t t l e d . first

choi ce was P a l e s t i n e ,

wi t h the Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

Their Gr eat

l O^Meet i ng wi t h P r o f e s s o r A l g r i e d Gorka, 1 1 / 2 2 / 4 4 , American Jewish Commi t t ee/ For ei gn C o u n t r i e s / P o l a n d / 1 9 4 4 . a comprehensive view o f po s t - wa r problems f a c i n g t he Jews o f Europe, see A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 6 / 2 5 / 4 4 , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 1, Z i o n i s t Ar c hi v es and L i b r a r y .

439 Britain, quently

the B r i t i s h m

e n t i o n e d . T

Domi ni ons,

and South America a l s o f r e ­

05

Jewish demands a t t he peace conf er ences a f t e r war f a r e d no b e t t e r

t he

than Jewish demands dur i ng t he war.

The American and World Jewish Congress r e c o g n i z e d the d i f ­ ferences

i n the s i t u a t i o n s

which p r e v a i l e d i n 1919.

that existed

i n 1945 and those

A f t e r World War I ,

t he Committee

o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s t h oug ht t h a t a u n i f o r m s o l u t i o n coul d be found f o r the Jewish q u e s t i o n They sought to c i r c u mv e n t n a t i o n a l

in East er n

hostilities

Europe.

toward the

Jews by a gener al

e manci pat i on on t he i n t e r n a t i o n a l

It

t he e s s e n t i a l l y

was hoped t h a t

vidual

and group e q u a l i t y "

international basi s

fiat.

problems o f i n d i ­

coul d be sol ved ever ywher e by

By 1945,

f o r e t h n i c and c u l t u r a l

narrowed down.

"legal

level.

The conce pt i on

however,

the "demographic

autonomy had been t r a g i c a l l y [sic]

of minority

rights

had been d i s c r e d i t e d by Germany's misuse o f i t . " A l s o , of t h e f i v e

countries

the S o v i e t o r b i t ,

o f Ear l p . 6.

sui ng f o r peace,

f o u r were w i t h i n

and even though t he Russians had made the

^^^American Jewish C on f er en ce, "The Recor d, " Report G. H a r r i s o n to P r e s i d e n t Truman, ( O c t o b e r , 1 9 4 5 ) ,

^ ^ ^ Wo r l d J e w i s h 249-250.

Congress,

Unity

in

D i s p e r s i o n , pp

440 p r a c t ic e of an ti-Semiti sm a crime,

t hey r e s e n t e d t h e f a c t

t h a t Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s wished to pry i n t o affairs

o f s t a t e s which had a l r e a d y guar ant eed t h e i r Jew­

ish c i t i z e n s

all

freedoms.

Toward t he end o f the war , the O r g a n i z a t i o n o f Peace, ish Congress, t he Big Four. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

8. 9.

the "domest i c"

t he Commission to Study

e s t a b l i s h e d by t he American Jew­

o u t l i n e d t he demands o f t he Jewish peopl e to They were:

Rec ogn i t i o n o f the r i g h t o f the Jewish peopl e to be heard a t t he peace c o n f e r e n c e ; The assurance o f equal r i g h t s f o r e v er y Jew i n a l l c o u n t r i e s o f the wo r l d ; P a l e s t i n e as a Jewish commonwealth wi t h f r e e immi­ g r a t i o n , under Jewish a d m i n i s t r a t i o n and c o n t r o l ; The o u t l a w i n g o f a n t i - S e m i t i s m by i n t e r n a t i o n a l regulation; Rec ogn i t i o n o f Jewish group r i g h t s in a l l lands where such r i g h t s were accorded to o t h e r s ; Compensation and r e p a r a t i o n f o r l osses s u f f e r e d by Jews i n Germany and N a z i - o c c u p i e d t e r r i t o r i e s ; Freedom to r e t u r n to t he lands from which Jews were d r i v e n by t he Nazi s and o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r m i g r a t i o n and s e t t l e m e n t i n o t h e r lands f o r t hose Jews who could not or di d not wish to r e t u r n to t h e i r f or mer homes ; T r i a l and punishment f o r a l l war c r i m i n a l s and those responsible f o r the holocaust; E s t a b l i s h m e n t o f an a p p r o p r i a t e Uni t ed Nat i ons agency r e s p o n s i b l e f o r t he r e h a b i l i t a t i o n of t he

107"post - War Demands o f the American Jewish Con­ gress," ( n . a . , n . d . ) American Jewish Congress Mss, 19311944, YIVO. See a l s o , Richards to F a g l e y , 1 / 3 0 / 4 5 , in possessi on o f Mrs. Ruth Richards E i s e n s t e i n , New York C i t y , Ar chi ves o f t he Jewish I n f o r m a t i o n Bureau.

441

Though the American Jewish Congress l e a d e r s h i p r e c ­ ogni z ed the t o t a l l y

d i f f e r e n t ci r cumst ances f a c i n g the

v i c t i m s a t t he end o f World War Two, international lem.

solution

still

to an e s s e n t i a l l y

s t r e s s e d an

n a t i o n a l i s t pr ob­

The Commission t o Study the O r g a n i z a t i o n of Peace

wished to sa f eguar d human r i g h t s It

it

through i n t e r n a t i o n a l

means

wished to convene a conf er ence through the Uni t ed Nati ons

to pr omul gat e an i n t e r n a t i o n a l lish

bill

of r i g h t s

a permanent commission on human r i g h t s .

wished to r e c o g n i z e t h e r i g h t

of i n d i v i d u a l s

under p r e s c r i b e d l i m i t a t i o n s ,

to p e t i t i o n

human r i g h t s , call

and to e s t a b ­

a f t e r exhaust i ng l o c a l

attention

tried

al so

or groups,

t he commission on

r emedi es,

in or d e r to

to v i o l a t i o n s . ^

Al e x a nd e r P e k e l i s , Congress,

It

a l awyer f o r the American Jewish

to i n c o r p o r a t e t he above in a memorandum

to be su bmi t t e d to the d e l eg at e s to the San Fr anci sco Con­ ference.

He c l e a r l y

political

differences

r ecogni zed t he g r e a t i d o l o g i c a l between t he A l l i e d

some gu ar ant ee o f i n d i v i d u a l

rights

and

na t i o ns and sought

"on the basi s o f a

1 rjO

Commission to Study the O r g a n i z a t i o n of Peace, Fourth R e p o r t - P a r t Thr ee, " I n t e r n a t i o n a l Safeguard of Human R i g h t s : With Comments by Jacob Robi nson, " p. 1, American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, Z i o n i s t Ar chi ves and L i b r a r y .

442 realistic

appraisal

nations.” cal

o f the p r e s e n t a t t i t u d e o f t he va r i o us

He al so r e a l i z e d ,

c l i m a t e and t he mutual

and t he S o v i e t Uni on,

it

l a t e d e t a il e d provisions

t h a t gi ven the p r e s e n t p o l i t i ­

d i s t r u s t of the U n i t e d S t a t e s

would be very d i f f i c u l t

d e a l i n g wi t h human r i g h t s

would "prove a c c e p t a b l e a t t h i s t i me t o a l l parties."

Moreover,

to formu­

interested

he i m p l i e d t h a t even i f

tees coul d be i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o

that

such guar an­

the Uni t ed Nat i ons c h a r t e r ,

an o u t r i g h t enf or cement o f t hese st andar ds would be bl ocked by the r e l u c t a n c e to r e co gni z e a s u p e r i o r i n t e r ­ n a t i o n a l j u r i s d i c t i o n in a sphere long a j e a l o u s l y guarded domain o f e x c l u s i v e domestic j u r i s d i c t i o n . He sought to sol ve t h i s

dilemma by d e v i s i n g a scheme

which would make use o f t he f a c t t h a t a l l na t i o n s agreed on t he n e c e s s i t y of some basi c human r i g h t s , b u t , a t t he same t i m e , a v o i d i n g too d e t a i l e d a l i s t of such r i g h t s , and s i d e t r a c k t he o p p o s i t i o n to s u p e r i o r i n t e r n a t i o n a l enf or ce me nt , deemed a c h a l ­ l enge to n a t i o n a l s o v e r e i g n t y . Thus w h i l e a v o i d i n g any a t t e mp t to f o r m u l a t e too " d e t a i l e d " a bill

of r ig h t s

at t h a t time,

the immediate c r e a t i o n would " o p e r a t e w i t h i n eignty.

he,

nevertheless,

o f an i n t e r n a t i o n a l

proposed

agency t h a t

t he framework of n a t i o n a l

sover­

09

P e k e l i s Memorandum on the I n t e r n a t i o n a l P r o t e c ­ t i o n o f Human Ri ghts t o be Present ed to the San Fr anci sco Conf er ence, 1945, American Jewish Congress Mss, 1945p r e s e n t , YIVO.

443 The c r e a t i o n o f an i n t e r n a t i o n a l

agency was not con­

t i n g e n t upon t h e a dopt i on o f an i n t e r n a t i o n a l rights. a bill

He b e l i e v e d t h a t t he "f undament al

bill

r u l e s " o f such

o f r i g h t s were a l r e a d y i n c o r p o r a t e d i n t o

laws o f most c o u n t r i e s .

Moreover,

of

the or ga ni c

he b e l i e v e d t h a t the

San Fr anci sco Conference would never produce such a docu­ ment i n so s h o r t a p e r i o d o f t i m e .

U n l i k e t h e Committee

o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s a t the P a r i s Peace Conference of 1919,

P e k e l i s s t r e s s e d the devel opment o f e f f e c t i v e

cedural

"pro­

enf or cement devi ces r a t h e r than t he f o r m u l a t i o n of

additional

r u l e s o f s u b s t a n t i v e l aw. "^^®

Once c r e a t e d , ing f o u r f u n c t i o n s .

Pekelis Its

e n v i s i o n e d t he agency as hav­

first

the c o n d i t i o n s

prevailing

the p r o t e c t i o n

o f human r i g h t s

t ask was to make a study of

in t he c o u n t r i e s

in r egar d to

and to p u b l i s h i t s

findings.

The agency would al so be p e r m i t t e d t o appear be f or e a d mi n i ­ strative

agencies,

national

legislatures

and cour t s as

e i t h e r a wi t n e s s or amicus c u r i a e , whenever i t

believed

t h a t t he case b e f o r e such a body was o f i n t e r n a t i o n a l ce r n .

The agency was al s o to be gr ant ed the r i g h t of

i ndependent p e t i t i o n .

llO lbid.

con­

444 To assure t he e f f e c t i v e p r o t e c t i o n of t he i n a r t i c u l a t e , t he Agency shoul d have t he r i g h t o f i n i t i a t i v e , i n d e ­ pendent o f t he c o mp l a i n t o f i n t e r e s t e d p r i v a t e p a r t i e s . And to remedy p o s s i b l e r e l u c t a n c e o f l o c a l a t t o r n e y s i n c r i t i c a l ar eas to appear i n proceedi ngs a g a i n s t t h e i r own governments, t he v a r i o u s member n a t i o n s s h o u l d , on r e c i p r o c a l t e r ms , g r a n t to t h e l awyer s a d m i t t e d to p r a c t i c e i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s the r i g h t to r e p r e s e n t t he agency b e f o r e t he n a t i o n a l co ur t s of a l l members o f the I n t e r n a t i o n a l O r g a n i z a t i o n . Finally,

he t hought t h e agency should appl y the t e c hn i qu e

of "y ar d s t ic k

regulation,"

Much l i k e T . V . A . United S ta te s,

t o t he f i e l d

and t h e e l e c t r i c

t he agency,

of c i v i l

power i n d u s t r y

liberties. in the

through t he use o f the medi a,

would be b e t t e r a b l e to gauge "t he a c t u a l

scope o f freedom

in a co un t r y than volumes o f i n v e s t i g a t i o n . " ^ ! ! Pekelis i n de p e nd e nt .

t hought the agency shoul d be c o mp l e t e l y He based hi s a s s e r t i o n

on t h e f a c t t l i a t

i ndependent r e g u l a t o r y agenci es

in t h e Uni t e d S t a t e s , w h i l e

technically

control

under t h e f i n a n c i a l

o f the Congress and

the E x e c u t i v e br anch, were i n f a c t al most a f o u r t h of t h e government, other three.

often oblivious

Much l i k e

branch

to the wishes o f the

the p r o g r e s s i v e s o f e a r l y t w e n t i e t h

c e n t u r y American p o l i t i c s ,

Pekelis

t hought t h a t such an

i ndependent agency would be s h i e l d e d from t h e c o r r u p t i n g

111 I b i d .

445 i n f l u e n c e s o f the p r i v a t e and p u b l i c s e c t o r s . concept of a human r i g h t s

His whole

agency was based on the assump­

t i o n o f the "overwhel mi ng i mport ance o f pr oc edur a l t i o n s over s u b s t a n t i v e

institu­

rights.

P e k e l i s ' s memorandum was not pr esent ed to t he San Fr anci sco Conference d e l e g a t e s the American Jewish Congress, ence,

and the B r i t i s h

original

form.

When

t he American Jewish C o n f e r ­

Board o f Deput i es pr es ent ed t h e i r

demands to t he d e l e g a t e s , which P e k e l i s

in i t s

they made one s u b s t a n t i v e change

had c a u t i o n e d a g a i n s t .

The t h r e e o r g a n i z a ­

ti ons maintained t h a t p r o t e c t i o n i n v o l v e s c o n c r e t e o b l i g a t i o n s by the S t a t e s concerned si nce on l y d e t a i l e d and c l e a r l y d e f i n e d o b l i g a t i o n s can be e i t h e r guar ant eed or v i o l a t e d . It has, t h e r e f o r e , always been hel d t h a t onl y a c l e a r l y s t a t e d c a t a l o g u e o f human r i g h t s and fundamental f r e e ­ doms can gu ar ant ee t h e i r i n t e r n a t i o n a l obser va nc e, as onl y t h e i r enumer at i on in a domestic a c t makes them e f f e c t i v e on the n a t i o n a l s c e n e . ^13 They wished to see e i t h e r nomic and S oci al of r i g h t s , relief

and i f

Counci l

the S e c u r i t y Counci l

implement the i n t e r n a t i o n a l

bill

e i t h e r these two agenci es could not br i ng

to the a g g r i e v e d group o f c i t i z e n s ,

national

or t he Eco­

then the

Court o f J u s t i c e would make t he f i n a l

Inter­

and

ITZibid. l l S W o r l d J e wi s h 314.

Congress,

Unity

in

D i s p e r s i o n , p.

446 definitive It

decision. i s not c l e a r why the t h r e e o r g a n i z a t i o n s changed

tactics

a t the l a s t mi nut e.

A clue,

beliefs

as to the causes o f Nazism.

perhaps,

l ay i n t h e i r

They a l l e g e d ,

i n the

memorandum they pr esent ed to t he d e l e g a t e s a t San F r a n c i s c o , that this

alien

i d e o l o g y gai ned wi despread acceptance

because o f the " l a c k o f an i n t e r n a t i o n a l r i g h t s . U n l i k e

Pekelis,

guar ant ee of human

they w h o l e h e a r t e d l y b e l i e v e d

t h a t guar ant ees on paper were t he s i ne qua non f o r a b e t t e r future

f o r the Jews.

Thus,

t hey thought t h a t the g r e a t mi s­

t ake made by Jewish l e a d e r s a t P a r i s t h a t human r i g h t s

and group r i g h t s were made a p a r t of the

o r g a n i c laws o f the d e f e a t e d , states,

and,

in 1919 was the f a c t

newly c r e a t e d ,

or enl ar ged

hence, onl y t enuousl y t i e d to t he League of

N a t i o n s , which was to be t he gu a r a n t o r o f such r i g h t s . over,

More­

they must have been deepl y a f f e c t e d by the euphor i a

o f a new i n t e r n a t i o n a l

o r g a n i z a t i o n t h a t would not r e p e a t

the mi st akes o f t he d i s c r e d i t e d

League.

Unlike Pe ke lis ,

they reasoned t h a t the Uni t ed St a t e s and t he S o v i e t Union would c o nt i nue to cooperat e a f t e r the d e f e a t o f Germany.

1 1 4 i b i d . , p.

315,

447 The d e l e g a t e s to t he San Fr anci s co Conference r e j e c t e d t he j o i n t memorandum o f t he t h r e e o r g a n i z a t i o n s . As P e k e l i s had warned, s h o r t a t i me p e r i o d ;

t h e r e was too much to be done in too

global

and r e g i o n a l

geo-political

s i d e r a t i o n s were more i m p o r t a n t than an i n t e r n a t i o n a l ant ee o f human r i g h t s . as i t was f i n a l l y

d r a f t e d a t San F r a n c i s c o , c o n t a i n e d

moreover,

supervision,

or enf or cement of

no procedure or j u r i s d i c t i o n

t h a t purpose was c r e a t e d . ever,

The c o nf e r e es di d a f f i r m ,

i n A r t i c l e One, Paragraph Three o f t he C h a r t e r ,

one o f the purposes of t he Uni t ed N a t i o n s , of in te rn a t io n a l

cooperation

r e s p e c t f o r human r i g h t s without d i s t i n c t i o n gion."

Articles

guar ­

The C h a r t e r o f t he Uni t ed N a t i o n s ,

not hi ng about the enact ment , human r i g h t s ;

con­

for how­ as

t he achi evement

in "promoti ng and encouragi ng

and fundamental

as t o r a c e ,

sex,

freedoms f o r a l l

l anguage,

or r e l i ­

55 and 56 pl edged each member s t a t e

to

"t a k e j o i n t and se pa r a t e a c t i o n in c o o p e r a t i o n w i t h the Organization"

f o r t he promot i on o f " u n i v e r s a l

and observance o f , Article

human r i g h t s

and fundamental

62 charged t he Economic and S oc i a l

making recommendations f o r

respect f o r ,

t h a t purpose,

f r eedoms. "

Council

wi t h

and A r t i c l e

68

d e a l t wi t h s e t t i n g up a commission f o r the promotion of human r i g h t s .

It

must be no t e d ,

however,

that f i f t y

448 nations,

upon s i g n i n g the document,

became members o f the

new o r g a n i z a t i o n , many o f which had long h i s t o r i e s Semi t i sm.

No " t e s t o f membership" was r e q u i r e d ;

of a n t i -

now member

s t a t e s were on l y r e q u i r e d to prove t h a t t hey were " peaceloving." Two,

Mor eover , even i f

violations

di d oc c ur .

Article

Paragraph Seven o f t he C h a r t e r e x p r e s s l y f or bade

interference

i n ma t t e r s which " a r e e s s e n t i a l l y w i t h i n

domesti c j u r i s d i c t i o n

o f any s t a t e or s h a l l

the

r e q u i r e t he

members to submit such ma t t e r s to s e t t l e m e n t under the Charter."

The onl y ex ce p t i o ns to t h i s

made when the S e c u r i t y Council

cl a us e were to be

det er mi ned t h a t measures f o r

enf or cement were necessary a g a i n s t t h r e a t s breaches o f the peace, Rabbi

and acts o f a g g r e s s i o n .

Wise was t o t a l l y

t h a t took p l a c e ;

o f peace, ^^

di senchant ed wi t h the event s

he wr ot e :

I t [ t h e San Fr anci sco Conf er ence] i s c h i e f l y an a t t e mp t to rescue the gai ns o f the war. B r i t a i n is bent upon r emai ni ng an empi r e; Russia d e s i r e s to become a mighty empi r e; and we are wobbl i ng between t he two, not q u i t e an emp i r e , but i n s i s t e n t upon g e t t i n g t h i n g s which w i l l i n v o l v e us i n a l l s o r t s o f t r o u b l e . . . . ' 1 6 In J a n u a r y , the C h a r t e r ,

1946, as pr ovi ded f o r

by A r t i c l e

68 of

t he Commission on Human Ri ght s was c r e a t e d .

1 1 6 1b1d . , 1 1 6ca r l

H.

pp.

31 3 - 3 2 0 .

Voss,

Rabbi

and M i n i s t e r , p.

321.

449

The American and World Jewish Congresses were unabl e t o i n f l u e n c e the d e l i b e r a t i o n s were g r a n t e d c o n s u l t a t i v e 1947,

o f t he Commission u n t i l

status

i n March,

1947.

t hey

In June,

t he World Jewish Congress submi t t ed a memorandum to

t he D r a f t i n g

Committee o f the Commission.

ni z ed t he f a c t

The memo r e c o g ­

t h a t c o n s i d e r a b l e time was needed to adopt

an i n t e r n a t i o n a l

bill

done in t he i n t e r i m .

of righ ts;

however, much could be

Accordingly,

was urged to submi t to t he General

t he D r a f t i n g

Committee

Assembly a d r a f t -

r e s o l u t i o n which a f f i r m e d t h e o b l i g a t i o n

of a l l

members to

assur e e q u a l i t y b e f o r e t h e law o f a l l i n h a b i t a n t s w i t h ­ out d i s t i n c t i o n as to r a c e , l anguage, sex, or r e l i g i o n ; r e q u e s t them t o enact a p p r o p r i a t e l e g i s l a t i o n to i m p l e ­ ment t h i s e q u a l i t y and to t a k e a c t i o n to i n s u r e i t , through s p e c i a l l y d e s i g n a t e d s t a t e or gans. The d r a f t - r e s o l u t i o n was to p r o v i d e f o r

the r i g h t of

a g g r i e v e d persons o r groups t o p e t i t i o n

t he Commission,

the Commission t o n o t i f y r e p o r t t o t he General

t he governments concerned,

to

Assembly and the Economic and Soc i a l

Council

on a c t i o n

taken by member s t a t e s ,

reports

thereon.

Mor eover ,

observations

and to p u b l i s h

t h e memo asked t h a t t he General

Assembly r e qu e s t member s t a t e s mi ssi on t h e i r

for

to communicate to the Com­

on t he p e t i t i o n . ^ ^ ^

l l ^ w o r l d Jewish Congr ess, 324-328.

Uni t y in D i s p e r s i o n , pp.

450 F u r t h e r memoranda by the World Jewish Congress s t r e s s e d t he n e c e s s i t y f o r t he e s t a b l i s h m e n t o f e f f e c t i v e i n t e r n a t i o n a l machi nery to p r o t e c t those r i g h t s ; t h a t t he r i g h t o f i n d i v i d u a l s and groups to appeal to the Commission on Human Ri ght s must be e s t a b l i s h e d , and t h a t a pr ocedure f o r the sub­ mi ssi on o f p e t i t i o n s be l a i d down, c o n f e r r i n g upon o r g a n i z a t i o n s gr a n t e d c o n s u l t a t i v e s t a t u s w i t h the Economic and S o c i a l Council t he r i g h t to submit such p e t i t i o n s . ! 18 Too,

World Jewish Congress l e a d e r s

term " e q u a l i t y " political

by g u a r a n t e e i n g t he equal

activities

and f u n c t i o n s ,

f e s s i o n s and employment, suits.

It

dom o f speech,

spirit

to broaden the e x e r c i s e of

public o f f i c e s ,

and c u l t u r a l

pro­

and e d u c a t i o n a l

pur­

was f u r t h e r urged t h a t t he d i s s e m i n a t i o n and

teaching of r a c ia l

for this

tried

and r e l i g i o u s

press,

h a t r e d be p r e v e n t e d ;

and assembly were not to be "misused

purpose and t h a t e d uc a t i o n

of intolerance

free­

serve to combat the

and ha t r ed toward g r o u p s . "119

The Human Ri ght s Commission adopted t hose sugges­ tions, Rights,

and made them a p a r t of t he I n t e r n a t i o n a l written

in Geneva in 1948.

ers had achi eved t h e i r

! ! 8 1b i d .

llSlbid.

goal.

Bill

of

Jewish Congress l e a d ­

However, accept ance of the

451 Bill

o f Ri ghts by the i n t e r n a t i o n a l

community had been

a n y t h i n g but s a t i s f a c t o r y . Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s were not so successf ul

in t h e i r

a t t e mp t s to i n s e r t guar ant ees f o r Jews i n the peace t r e a ­ t i e s w i t h the d e f e a t e d n a t i o n s . pation

They were denied p a r t i c i ­

i n the P a r i s Peace Conference d e l i b e r a t i o n s ,

could onl y press t h e i r demands on an i n f or ma l one who cared to l i s t e n . Louis Li psky wr ot e Paul

Henri

Spaak,

a chance to pr e s e n t t h e i r case.

concl uded i t s

basis to any­

In e a r l y August , 1946, Wise and Chairman o f t he Rules

Committee o f t he P a r i s Peace Conf er ence,

Byrnes answered,

and

however,

t h a t they be given

S e c r e t a r y of S t a t e James

t h a t t he "Rules Committee has

work w i t h o u t t a k i n g any s p e c i f i c

de c i s i on

w i t h r e s p e c t to t he communications from non-governmental organizations.

.

.

. "^20

Byrnes went on t o s t a t e t h a t the

U n i t e d S t a t e s had c o n s i s t e n t l y advocated t he i n c l u s i o n in t he d r a f t t r e a t i e s o f p r o v i s i o n s e s t a b l i s h i n g t he p r i n c i p l e t h a t a l l persons s h a l l enj oy the fundamental freedoms and human r i g h t s w i t h ­ out d i s t i n c t i o n as to e t h n i c o r i g i n , sex, l anguage, or r e l i g i o n , thus i n c o r p o r a t i n g t he p r i n c i p l e s of the C h a r t e r o f the Uni t ed Nat i ons in a l l t r e a t i e s .

IZOpuQted i n I b i d . , p. 121 I b i d . ,

p.

258.

257.

452 Essentially,

t he Jews'

demands a t t he Peace C o n f e r ­

ence were: 1.

A commitment on b e h a l f o f t he count r y concerned to "t ake a l l measures necessary to secure to a l l p e r ­ sons under [ i t s ] j u r i s d i c t i o n , w i t h o u t d i s t i n c t i o n as to r a c e , sex, l anguage , or r e l i g i o n , t he e n j o y ­ ment o f human r i g h t s and fundamental f reedoms, i n c l u d i n g freedom o f e x p r e s s i o n , o f press and pub­ l i c a t i o n s , o f r e l i g i o u s wo r s h i p , of p o l i t i c a l o p i n ­ i o n , and o f p u b l i c me e t i ngs ; "

2.

That t he d e f e a t e d na t i o n s se t f r e e a l l in c onf i nement because o f t h e i r r a c i a l

3.

That a l l d i s c r i m i n a t o r y l e g i s l a t i o n and r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed be r e p e a l e d , and a pl edge not to enact any law which would i n f r i n g e upon t hose r i g h t s mentioned in Number One;

4.

That t he concerned governments would not pe r mi t the e x i s t e n c e and a c t i v i t i e s o f o r g a n i z a t i o n s " o f a f a s c i s t t ype which have as t h e i r aim d e n i a l to the people o f t h e i r democr at i c 22 r

Jewish Congress l e a d e r s fo r inclusion

i

g

h

t

s

.

"

persons hel d origin;

!

did not press t h e i r

in t h e B u l g a r i a n peace t r e a t y ,

demands

f o r they

b e l i e v e d t h a t t he B u l g a r i a n Government would c o n t i n u e i t s p o l i c y o f n o n - r e p r e s s i o n o f Jews, and would t r e a t Jewish n a t i o n a l s restitution, The I t a l i a n

freedom o f e m i g r a t i o n , abroad,

in r e s p e c t to

on t he same basi s as those l i v i n g peace t r e a t y

i n c l u d e d the f i r s t

demands of the Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

!22quoted in

Ib id .,

pp.

258-259,

Italy,

in B u l g a r i a .

and l a s t like

Bulgaria,

453 di d not have a st r ong h i s t o r y o f a n t i - S e m i t i s m , Jewish demands in r egar d to Roumania and Hungary included a l l

o f t he above as wel l

as a r e q u e s t t h a t r e s t i ­

t u t i o n o f Jewish asset s and t r a n s f e r o f h e i r l e s s f o r purpose o f Jewish r e l i e f and r e h a b i l i t a t i o n in the peace t r e a t i e s .

because i t

be i n s e r t e d

Whi l e t he American and B r i t i s h

g a t i o ns suppor t ed the Jewish demands, waver ed,

property

dele­

the S o v i e t Union

di d not want t he I n t e r n a t i o n a l

Relief

O r g a n i z a t i o n to be one o f t h e agenci es a d m i n i s t e r i n g the dispersal Council

o f f unds.

A f t e r conse nt i ng to t h i s

o f Forei gn M i n i s t e r s All

none o f the t r e a t i e s

adequate methods f o r e nf or ce me nt .

p a r t y coul d not appeal

an a g gr i e v e d

to any i n t e r n a t i o n a l

were not guar ant eed r i g h t s

forum,

and Jews

accorded to s i m i l a r n a t i o n a l

The Big Four i n s e r t e d provisions.

co nt a i ne d

No p r o v i s i o n s were made

to guar ant ee s u p e r v i s i o n and e n f or c e me nt ,

o f t he t r e a t y

Peace C o n f e r ­

Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s were p a r t i c u l a r l y

upset over t he f a c t t h a t

groups.

the

passed t he amendment.

o t h e r Jewish demands to t he P a r i s

ence were i g n o r e d .

proviso,

two methods f o r enf or cement

Political

d i s p u t e s were "t o be

under t he s u r v e i l l a n c e o f a group composed o f the heads of mi ssi ons i n t he c a p i t a l

o f t he d e f e a t e d c o u n t r i e s

ing e i t h e r t he Big Two, T h r e e ,

or Four.

.

.

."

represent­

Not hi ng in

454 t he t r e a t i e s

ment i oned methods about s e t t l i n g

between t h e heads o f

m

i s

s

i o

n

s

.

1^3

di sagreement s

pr ocedure was o u t ­

l i n e d by which Jews coul d i n f or m t he heads o f t he missi ons about a l l e g e d

violations;

appropriate a u t h o r i t ie s ,

if

a Jew chose t o complain to the

t h e r e was no guar ant ee t h a t r e p r i ­

sa l s would not be taken by t h e l o c a l

g

o

v

e

r n

m

e

n

t .

1^4

In t he p e r i o d 1 9 3 3 - 1 9 4 5 , Jewish Congress l e a d e r s sought to p r e v e n t the p o l i t i c a l , annihilation rational

of t h e ir

solutions

and p hysi cal

European c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s

to s i t u a t i o n s

Appeals t o Nazi o f f i c i a l d o m appeal

economi c,

fell

by seeki ng

t h a t d e f i e d comprehension. on de af e a r s ;

how could one

to peopl e who c o n s i d e r e d human b e i ng s- - Jews

and non-

Jews-- oS no t h i n g more than b u i l d i n g bl ocks f o r the c r e ­ a t i o n and p r e s e r v a t i o n o f t h e T h i r d Reich? bl ock proved to be d e f e c t i v e tions, tion,

then i t

If

ac cor di ng to Nazi

was mer el y d i s c a r d e d - - d e s t r o y e d .

Jewish l e a d e r s

a particular specifica­ In a d d i ­

in t he Uni t ed S t a t e s were c o nf r on t e d

T^^The Big Four f i n a l l y deci ded t h i s agreed to r e s o l v e d i s p u t e s by a r b i t r a t i o n .

p o i n t when they

l - ^ F o r a t y p i c a l r e a c t i o n o f Jewish l e a d e r s to the P a r i s Peace C on f er en ce, see Press Re l e a s e , 8 / 3 0 / 4 6 , I r v i n g M i l l e r f o l d e r , Stephen S. Wise Mss, American Jewish Congress f i l e . Cor respondence, S e c t i on 7, American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l Soci e t y .

455 wi t h economic d e p r e s s i o n , platitudes

about j obs f o r American c i t i z e n s

anti-Semitism. fell

r e a c t i o n t o which ranged from

Thus,

on de af e a r s .

ca l l o u s n e s s

to o u t r i g h t

pl eas to open the i m mi g r a t i o n gates

Thi s same i n s e n s i t i v i t y ,

a perverse

toward s u f f e r i n g pe opl e- - Jews as we l l

Jews--was r e f l e c t e d t he war y e a r s .

as non-

by American and A l l i e d o f f i c i a l s

duri ng

Those who r e f u s e d to p e r mi t per s ecut ed

peopl es to e n t e r the Uni t ed S t a t e s dur i ng t he de pr ess i on r a i s e d e q u a l l y pious p l a t i t u d e s f o r j obs f o r American c i t i z e n s 7,

l'^41,

dur i ng the war.

The need

was r e p l a c e d a f t e r

by t he need to win t he war w i t h o u t any del ays or

inconveniences. unfortunates

Even a f t e r H i t l e r had been d e f e a t e d ,

Why,

t hey asked, were

t he German peopl e p e r m i t t e d to wear warm c l o t h i n g , the v i c t i m s o f Nazi

barbarity,

tivity

while

had to be c o n t e n t wi t h

the rags o f c o n c e n t r a t i o n camp uniforms? had ended,

the

in t he D i sp l ac ed Persons camps were t r e a t e d

worse than the d e f e a t e d popul ace.

they,

December

The sh oo t i ng war

but American p o l i c y once again showed an i n s e n s i ­

to t he v i c t i m s o f t he war .

appoi nt e d to o f f i c i a l

p o s i t i o n s w i t h i n t h e American s e c t o r

in Germany; t he Jews were l e f t best t hey c oul d.

Ex- Naz i s were being

to fend f o r themsel ves as

456 The American Jewish Congress had p r i d e d i t s e l f on being the onl y t r u e democr at i c Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n se r v i ng the needs o f American Jewry.

Y e t , when the g r e a t e s t c r i s i s

f a c i n g the Jews o f America and t h e i r c o - r e l i g i o n i s t s Europe b e f e l l

them,

the l e a d e r s h i p o f t he American Jewish

Congress r e v e r t e d to t he sh t a d l a n t a c t i c s heretofore

depl or ed in o t h e r s .

which they had

The l e a d e r s h i p of the

American Jewish Congress pl aced a t e r r i b l e Stephen Wise.

During the p e r i o d 1941

burden on Rabbi

to V-E Day, he was

t he American Jewish Congress, and, whet her he l i k e d not,

became t he s h t a d l a n par e x c e l l e n c e !

f r i e n d l y w i t h P r e s i d e n t R oo sev el t ; ogni z e t he f a c t

t h a t F . D. R.

others.

is very d i f f i c u l t

But i t

in

It

it

or

was he who was

perhaps he did not r e c ­

used him as he used so many to accuse the one man who

coul d have helped t he Jews o f Europe o f bei ng c a l l o u s , insensitive, si ded w i t h

and unworthy of su pp or t .

To be sur e. Wise

Roosevel t because t h e r e was no one el s e to whom

he coul d t u r n !

Perhaps he r e f r a i n e d

from denouncing the

P r e s i d e n t because he could not b e l i e v e t h a t

the man from

Hyde Park would have a deaf ear to t he c r i e s

o f angui sh.

I n dee d,

if

Wise was g u i l t y o f a n y t h i n g ,

too much t r u s t .

he was g u i l t y o f

457 Though hi s t a c t i c s as wel l

failed

as dur i ng the H o l o c a u s t ,

in t h e i n t e r - w a r per i od t he American Jewish com­

muni ty gave him t h e i r al most s o l i d s u p p o r t .

They marched

to t h e beat of hi s drum because t h e r e was no one e l s e to whom t hey coul d gi ve t h e i r East er n European ghet t oes and succor ,

trust.

l ooked to t h e i r

rabbi

f o r sol ace

so too di d the American Jewish community look

to Wise f o r ai d and c o mf or t . would b r i n g them d e l i v e r a n c e . beyond hi s c o n t r o l war.

As t he Jews o f the

It

was he whom t hey hoped

But ci r cumst ances were

both d u r i n g and i mme d i a t e l y a f t e r

I t was not Wise who f a i l e d ;

governments,

the

politicians,

and human n a t u r e i t s e l f must st and i n t he do c k e t .

CHAPTER V I I I

THE AMERICAN JEWISH CONGRESS AND THE CREATION OF THE WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS: DOMESTIC POLITICS ON A GLOBAL SCALE

When the d e l e g a t e s met in P h i l a d e l p h i a

to the American Jewish Congress

in December,

1918,

t hey adopted a r e s o ­

l u t i o n which c a l l e d f o r the convening o f a World Jewish Congress as soon as peace was d e c l a r e d .

Some d e l e g a t e s and

obser ver s h a i l e d t he r e s o l u t i o n and p r e d i c t e d t h a t such a st ep would a t once t r a n s f o r m the Jews from an anomolous, unor gani zed group i n t o a cohesi ve u n i t - - " a e n t i t y which the mind could c l e a r l y Abraham Schomer,a New York l a w y e r , state

psychological

p e r c e i v e and j u d g e . " even went so f a r as to

t h a t the c r e a t i o n o f a World Jewish Congress would a t

once put an end t o a n t i - S e m i t i s m and a l l o w f o r r a t i o n a l t hought on the Jewish q u e s t i o n . ^ Though t he Pa r i s

Peace T r e a t y was si gned i n 1919,

many Jews who had f a v o r e d the World Jewish Congress

"The Jewish Questi on in the L i g h t o f Psychol ogy, " Abraham Schomer f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress f i l e , 19151923, American Jewish Congress Mss, YIVO. 458

459 resolution

i n P h i l a d e l p h i a were no l o n g e r i n t e r e s t e d ,

and

t he World Jewish Congress i dea l o s t p o p u l a r s u p p o r t .

The

f l e d g l i n g American Jewish Congress had tremendous d i f f i ­ culty ju st trying

to pay the r e n t f o r i t s

offices,

and

could not hope to expend pr e c i o u s funds on an i dea f o r which no one seemed to car e and which he l d out l i t t l e chance of success.

Articles

o c c a s i o n a l l y appeared in the

Angl o- Jewi sh press c a l l i n g f o r t h e e s t a b l i s h m e n t of a world Jewish body;

some peopl e argued t h a t Jews would not be

heard i n t h e c o u n c i l s o f governments unl ess some a u t h o r i ­ tative

organization

spoke f o r a l l

o f Ameri can and worl d

Jewry. There a r e so and d i r e c t i n g purpose--that in b e h a l f of c l a mo r i n g f o r

many g e n e r a l s , so many l e a d e r s pl anni ng toward d i f f e r e n t ends, t h a t the u l t i m a t e o f p r e s e r v i n g Jewish i d e n t i t y , of a c t i n g t he whole Jewish peopl e i n a l l mat t e r s s o lu tio n --is lost sight of,

s t a t e d Louis D. Gi bbs,

F i r s t Vi c e - Cha i r ma n o f the Committee

f o r a World Jewish Congress.

p

J u l i a n Mack s t a t e d t h a t

view o f t he e x i s t e n c e o f t he World Z i o n i s t

Congress,

in

he

qu e s t i o n e d whet her a wor l d Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n would ever

The J e w i s h A d v o c a t e

(Boston),

12/23/20,

p. 8.

460 b e

e

s

t a

b

l i s

h

e

d

.

3

Leaders o f t he American Jewish Congress

hoped t h a t advocates f o r such a wor l d body would q u i e t l y gi ve up t h e i r

plans.

American Jewish Congress l e a d e r s di d gi ve l i p s e r v i c e t o the i d e a .

Rabbi

t h a t a Wcrl d Jewish Council

Stephen Wise even suggested be e s t a b l i s h e d to t ake t he

p l a c e o f t he moribund Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s .

He

po i n t e d out t h a t American Jewry needed an a u t h o r i t a t i v e Eur opean- Jewi sh body to c o n s u l t on m a t t e r s o f i mpor t ance. He suggested t h a t t he proposed c o u n c i l sentatives Africa,

consist of r e p r e ­

o f t h e Jewish communities o f A r g e n t i n a ,

Palestine,

and t he Uni t ed S t a t e s ,

South

h a r d l y a cr os s-

s e c t i o n o f wor l d Je wr y . ^

O "Mack St at ement to the American Jewish Congress, " 5 / 3 0 / 2 0 , J u l i a n Mack f o l d e r #2, Ri char ds to S t r a u s , 1 0 / 1 9 / 2 0 , Nathan S t r a u s f o l d e r , Bernard G. Ri char ds Mss, Jewish Theo­ l o g i c a l Semi nary. Jewish Congress l e a d e r s were not opposed to t he c r e a t i o n o f a wor l d Jewish body i n p r i n c i p l e ; how­ e v e r , t hey t hought t h a t they faced too many problems i n the domesti c and f o r e i g n arenas to be burdened wi t h such a t a s k . They d i d , n o n e t h e l e s s , c a l l f o r t he c r e a t i o n o f a worl d Jew­ i sh body "To arouse t he i n t e r e s t o f and t o o r g a n i z e American Jewry f o r p a r t i c i p a t i o n [ i n a World Jewish Congress] f o r the upbuilding of P a l e s t i n e . " See The American I s r a e l i t e, 9 / 2 8 / 2 2 ,

p .

2 .

^The Jewish Advocate ( B o s t o n ) , 8 / 5 / 2 6 , s e c t i o n 3, p. 1. The A11 i ance I s r a e l i t e U n i v e r s e l l e , the German Cen­ t r a l V e r e i n , and the B r i t i s h Board of Deput i es were u n a l t e r ­ a b l y opposed to t he c r e a t i o n of such an o r g a n i z a t i o n .

461

It

was onl y wi t h the r i s e o f N a t i o n a l

S o c i a l i s m in

Germany t h a t the l e a d e r s h i p o f the American Jewish Con­ gress expressed a ser i ous World Jewish Congress.

interest

A special

Wi se' s chambers on A p r i l

15,

1931,

in t he f o r ma t i o n o f a committee met i n Rabbi and decided t h a t the

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee o f t he American Jewish Congress should l a y plans f o r the c a l l i n g of a conf er ence o f r e p r e ­ s e n t a t i v e s o f wor l d Jewry, to be hel d a t Bas l e, mer o f 1931. Jewish a f f a i r s

i n the sum­

The conf erence was to co ns i de r the s t a t e of and to study the a d v i s a b i l i t y of convening

a World Jewish Congress.

5

Wise cont act ed Jewish l e a d e r s

in Europe to a s c e r t a i n t h e i r o p i n i o n s ,

and was t o l d

that

Leo Mot zki n o f t he Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s had a l r e a d y c a l l e d f o r such a conf er ence to be hel d in the Uni t ed S t a t e s .

Wise decided to proceed wi t h his conf er ence

because he t hought t h a t f l ot zki n was t r y i n g the Committee o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s , he consi der ed to have o u t l i v e d i t s

to p e r p e t u a t e

an o r g a n i z a t i o n which

usefulness.^

^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g, 4 / 2 2 / 3 1 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1931 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 19 23 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me et i ng, 5 / 1 9 / 3 1 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n ut e s, 1931 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

462 Mot zki n f i n a l l y

postponed hi s pl ans f o r the c o n f e r ­

ence and threw i n hi s l o t w i t h Wise. convened on J u l y 12,

1931.

The Basle Conference

Del egat es from East er n Euro­

pean c o u n t r i e s were e n t h u s i a s t i c about t he i dea o f a World Jewish Congress; y e t , energy as wel l

they were r e l u c t a n t to spend ti me and

as f i n a n c i a l

resour ces on a ve nt ur e t h a t

promised no r e a l

hope f o r a l l e v i a t i n g

I saac Gruenbaum,

an a r de nt P o l i s h Z i o n i s t ,

o f t he whole i d e a ,

but he s t a t e d t h a t

t h e i r problems.

if

was s k e p t i c a l

P a l e s t i n e was to

be t he main focus o f t he World Jewish Congress, would be g r e a t

i n t e r e s t and p a r t i c i p a t i o n .

the Conference a p r o v i s i o n a l

then t h e r e

At the end of

committee and counci l

were

c r e a t e d to l a y t he groundwork f o r a World Jewish Congress. ^ Some American Jewish Congress d e l e g a t e s to the Basle Conference became convi nced t h a t

if

Congress would t ake t he i n i t i a t i v e worl d body,

not onl y would i t

new o r g a n i z a t i o n ,

but i t

t he American Jewish in t he c r e a t i o n of a

have a l e a d i n g voi ce in the

would al s o a t t r a c t

new membership.

^ G o l d b e r g t o D e u t s c h , 7 / 1 9 / 3 1 , Wi se t o Deut sch 7 / 1 7 / 3 1 , Stephen S. Wise f o l d e r #2, B e r n a r d G. R i c h a r d s Mss, J e wi s h T h e o l o g i c a l S e m i n a r y .

463 i.e .,

" i n f u s e new bl ood i n t o our American Jewish Congress.

At the American Jewish Congress c o n v e n t i o n , 1931, many d e l e g a t e s resolution

hel d i n Oct ober ,

voi ced t he same o p i n i o n s ,

and passed a

empowering t h e E x e c u t i v e and A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Com­

m i t t e e s o f t h e Congress to t a k e "such a c t i o n as may be r e q u i r e d to convene a World Jewish Congress. "® s t a t e d onl y a week e a r l i e r

Wise had

t h a t " i t might be wise to p o s t ­

pone f o r one or two y e a r s t he convening o f a conf e r e nce p r e ­ l i m i n a r y to t he c a l l i n g o f a World Jewish Con gr ess . "10 Wise submi t t ed to t he wishes o f t he convent i on d e l e g a t e s ; ever,

i t was n o t u n t i l

March,

how­

1932 t h a t t he A d m i n i s t r a t i v e

Committee di scussed t he m a t t e r o f a p r e l i m i n a r y

c o n f e r e n c e . ^^

Ibid. Del e gat es to t he American Jewish Congress convent i on he l d i n P h i l a d e l p h i a in Oc t ob e r , 1931, voted ov er whe l mi ngl y t o p a r t i c i p a t e in an ot h er p r e l i m i n a r y con­ f e r e n c e f o r a World Jewish Congress s e t f o r t he Summer of 1932 in Geneva. ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 2 / 7 / 3 1 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1931 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The R e s o l u t i o n was dated 1 0 / 2 0 / 3 1 . ^^The American I s r a e l i t e , 1 0 / 2 2 / 3 1 ,

p.

1.

A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 3 / 1 5 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The Congress l e a d e r ­ ship devoted i t s a t t e n t i o n to the growing menace of Nazism in Germany.

464 The A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee moved very c a u t i o u s l y in t h e m a t t e r o f a World Jewish Congress. berg,

a f t e r much s t u d y ,

Abraham Gold­

o u t l i n e d to the Committee a t h r e e ­

pronged approach to t he problem.

He suggested t h a t the

Congress sound out se v e r a l

of t he l e a d i n g Jewish o r g a n i z a ­

tions

in o r d e r to o b t a i n t h e i r

i n t h e Uni t e d S t a t e s

t i o n and a s s i s t a n c e conference.

i n the c a l l i n g of the p r e l i m i n a r y

He s t a t e d t h a t the v a r i o us n a t i o n a l

t i o n s were to be t o l d

organiza­

t h a t the p r e l i m i n a r y conf er ence in no

way ensured the c a l l i n g o f a World Jewish Congress. ar ouse i n t e r e s t

coopera­

To

i n t he movement, Goldberg suggested t h a t a

n a t i o n w i d e press campaign be i n i t i a t e d ;

then

formal i n v i t a t i o n s should be addressed t o t he l e a d i n g n a t i o n a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s who could be expect ed to respond f a v o r a b l y to t h e idea o f a c o nf e r e nc e . At t he same t i m e , some one [ s i c ] should be d e si g nat ed in Europe to c a r r y on a s i m i l a r a c t i v i t y . . . . ^ ^ After

r e v i e w i n g Go l d b e r g ' s s u gg e s t i ons ,

th a t a special zations

it

meet i ng o f r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

i n New York be convened,

and t h a t

was recommended o f Jewish o r g a n i ­ t he o r g a n i z a t i o n s

be urged t o c o n t r i b u t e money and manpower to the cause.

11

Whi l e the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee approved o f t he p l a n ,

^^ I b i d .

T ^ i bi d .

it

465 di d not want t o scar e any p r o s p e c t i v e members away by mak­ i ng i t

mandatory t h a t money be pl edged t o a cause which

some o r g a n i z a t i o n s

di d not c o n s i d e r neces sa r y.

The meeting

o f New York Jewish o r g a n i z a t i o n s was supposed to have taken pl a c e on A p r i l

3,

1932;

however, t h e r e were numerous d e l a y s .

Because t h e r e was l e s s than unanimous agreement i n the Jewish Congress A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee about t he p r o ­ ject,

Bernard Ri chards suggested t h a t t he whole idea o f a

World Jewish Congress be postponed.

He was o v e r r u l e d .

Mem­

bers o f the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee p o i nt e d out to him t h a t the Congress was committed to a c t i o n ,

and t h a t n e g o t i a t i o n s

were a l r e a d y underway w i t h t h e American Jewish Commi ttee, the B ' n a i out now,

Brith, it

and the Counci l

o f Jewish Women.

To back

was i m p l i e d , would make t he American Jewish Con­

gress l ook f o o l i s h .

The E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r t o l d

t h a t he assumed t h a t a l l

organizations

Jewish Congress would p a r t i c i p a t e , n o t h i n g t o worry a b o u t .

It

Richards

a f f i l i a t e d w i t h the

and t h a t t h e r e was

was deci ded t h a t a p r e l i m i n a r y

c onf e r e nce would meet i n J u l y ,

1932 a t Geneva.

^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 4 / 1 2 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . The American Jewish Committee had a l r e a d y i n d i c a t e d i t s u n w i l l i n g n e s s to p a r t i c i pat e i n such a c o n f e r e n c e , and denounced t he e n t i r e concept .

466 Because o f a l a c k o f f unds,

personnel,

and s u p p o r t ,

t he Jewish Congress was g r e a t l y handicapped in i t s to pl an f o r t he p r e l i m i n a r y c o n f e r e n c e .

Dr.

efforts

Nahum Goldmann

had o f f e r e d to v i s i t a number o f European c o u n t r i e s to i n t e r ­ view l e a d i n g Jews. tive

A f t e r much di s c u s s i o n by the A d m i n i s t r a ­

Committee, Wise pledged somehow to f i n d the necessary

f unds.

Almost everyone on the A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee was

o f the o p i ni o n t h a t the Jewri es o f t he wor l d would send de l eg at e s to Geneva; they were q u i t e di senchant ed when Gol d­ mann cabl ed: A f t e r di scussi on London, P a r i s . . . recommend s t r o n g l y i n v i t e Conference onl y o r g a n i z a t i o n s p e r s o n a l i t i e s [ s i c ] wi t h n a t i o n a l program. . . . P articipation assimilationi S t o r g a n i z a t i o n s i mpr obabl e. . . . I n v i t a t i o n a l l kind o r g a n i z a t i o n s would c r e a t e conf usi on w i t h p o s s i b i l i t y practical results. . . . Necessary f i r s t u n i t e n a t i o n a l groups f o r l aunchi ng movement World Congress. . . . They were al s o j o l t e d when Motzki n wr ot e Wise t h a t the Com­ m i t t e e o f Jewish D e l e g a t i o n s al so pl anned t o hold a c o n f e r ­ ence,

but in de f er ence to Wise,

t he Committee suggested a

j o i n t c o n f e r e n c e , w i t h h a l f the t i me being spent on d i s c u s ­ sions o f the World Jewish Congress.

Wise h u r r i e d l y c a l l e d

meeting o f Jewish Congress l e a de r s on May 23, was decided t h a t ,

1932,

and i t

r a t h e r than have competing c o n f e r e n c e s ,

the Congress would issue a c a l l

f o r a Conference in

a

467 co n j u n c t i o n wi t h the Committee o f Jewish d e l e g a t i o n s .

15

The P r e l i m i n a r y Conference f o r t he c r e a t i o n o f a World Jewish Congress was to meet i n August,

1932.

Dele­

gates from t we nt y - on e n a t i o n s and P a l e s t i n e were to a r r i v e in Geneva; however, B' n a i

Brith,

the A l l i a n c e

Israelite

U n i v e r s e l l e , the

t he American Jewish Commi ttee,

Z i o n i s t movement,

and t he Cent r al

V er ei n Deutscher S t r a a t s -

bur ger Judi schen Glaubens r ef used t o a t t e n d , the p a r t i c i p a n t s

l e a d e r s of the

for th e ir precipitous

and c a s t i g a t e d

action.

Cyrus A d l e r ,

P r e s i d e n t o f t he American Jewish Commi ttee, c a t e g o r i z e d the meet i ng as a " s e n s a t i o n a l

blunder."

The enemies o f Jews in ever y c o un t r y and e s p e c i a l l y in Germany would s e i z e upon the Congress as an a l l e g e d j u s t i f i c a t i o n o f t h e i r char ges. The qu e s t i on i s not whether such a r e s u l t should o c c u r , but whet her i t is l i k e l y t o oc cur . The Jews o f Europe, and e s p e c i a l l y of Germany, want no such C o n g r e s s . 16 I ndeed,

i n s t e a d o f r e a c t i n g to H i t l e r wi t h deeds,

some mem­

bers o f the American Jewish community used a n t i - S e m i t i c arguments to t r y nity

to pr e v e nt one s e c t i o n o f the Jewish commu­

from t a k i n g any a c t i o n .

The Reich C h a n c e l l o r could not

have done any b e t t e r .

1 ^Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 5 / 3 1 / 3 2 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee Mi n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . 16 The A me r i c a n I s r a e l i t e ,

6/23/32,

p.

1

468

Despite A d l e r ' s ence convened,

a d mo n i t i o n s ,

and t he d e l e g a t e s

an o t h e r co nf e r e nc e i n 1933,

t he P r e l m i n a r y C o n f e r ­

f a vor ed the c a l l i n g

t he e s t a b l i s h i n g o f a bureau to

c a r r y on f u r t h e r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l

work, and t he p l e d g i n g of

necessary funds t o cover t he expenses.

The d e l e g a t e s were

persuaded to postpone t he ne xt conf er ence u n t i l A d l e r need not have w o r r i e d . Jewish Congress were al most t o t a l l y o f any c o o p e r a t i o n

1 9 3 4 . ^^

Proponents o f a World unorganized,

and unsure

from l a r g e Z i o n i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n s .

meeting c a l l e d to di scuss

of

At a

t he o r g a n i z a t i o n o f an American

Committee f o r a World Jewish Congress,

t he P r e s i d e n t of the

Z i o n i s t O r g a n i z a t i o n o f America and t he P r e s i d e n t o f the Hadassah t o l d Wise t h a t Z i o n i s t

suppor t f o r such a v e n t u r e

would not be f o r t h c o mi n g in t he near f u t u r e , Z io n is t Organization c o n f e r r e d . I n d e e d , identified

until

t he World

even Mot z ki n

t he aims o f t he World Jewish Congress as bei ng

t h a t o f " t he devel opment o f t he Jewish N a t i o n a l

Home in

1^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 9 / 8 / 3 2 , Admi ni ­ s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y . ^ ^ A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Committee Me e t i n g , 1 2 / 2 7 / 3 2 , Admini s t r a t i v e Committee M i n u t e s , 1932 f o l d e r , American Jewish Congress Mss, Box 2, A d m i n i s t r a t i v e Commi ttee, 1 9 2 3 - 1 9 3 3 , American Jewish H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y .

469 Palestine