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The Jewish Transcript
Seattle, Washington
December 24, 1937     The Jewish Transcript
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December 24, 1937
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Pa Two I (.'7' Thought Of The Week THE JEWISH TRANSCRIPT, SEATTLE DECEMBER 24, 1937 DECEM ----1iGor. "Who helps create the Jewish problem? I list first the iqnorant Jew  the Jew who knows not the history and purpose of Jewish life. Knowledqe and learninq have made for Jewish aristocracy. So precious and holy was the book for the Jew that he would actually huq it and kiss it. But, alas, multitudes in Israel today are Torahless. What do they know of our Bible, Talmud and post- Talmudic literature? And because Jews are iqnorant of that tradition and culture which made for couraqe they easily are panic- stricken by the utterances of any fifth-rate anti-Semite.'" -- RABBI HARRY J. STERN, of Montreal, one of Canada's leadinq rabbis. 00etuis00 00:ran00tript F I were a statistician, I would plot a graph to illustrate this article. It would trace two trends in American history. One line would show tile high and low points of national prosperity, our booms and panics, our periods of expansion and depression. The other line would show the degree of friendliness or hostility toward minority groups--racial, religious, political--during the same years. And with very slight allowance for a time lag between the first and second, the two lines would coincide continuously--thus supplying graphic proof that the American attitude toward minorities has been determined by our own sense of social security or insecurity, of econ- omic confidence or fear. When conditions were good, wages high and prices low, the recog- nizably different among us were welcomed or, at least, undisturbed by majority antagonism. But in the United States, as in other lands and ages, "when the ledger showed red the outlook for minorities was black." A truth which was brought home in turn to Irish Catholics, German Protest- ants, Russian Jews and Japanese Shintoists! It is being brought home again today to millions of foreign-born Americans who, whether citizens or non-citizens, are the potential victims of the latest depression-born wave of minority baiting. To be sure, the foreign-born are not alone cast in tile scapegoat role. Certain native-born groups--Negroes, Jews and, in some sections of the country, Catholics--are likewise receiving marked attention by the forces of reaction in their search for decoys. But up to the present the "alien" menace has evoked the most concerted campaign in the houses of Congress, the IIearst newspapers and among tile Patriots, Inc. Before considering the nature and the implications in this cam- paign, let us cite certain figures relative to the group against which it is directed. According to the Commissioner of Immigration, there are less than 5,000,000 aliens in the United States today; and of these, 1,500,000 have directly, or through their parents, taken out first citi- zenship papers. Moreover, tile foreign-born are not only not increasing in num- ber, but for the last five years there has been an excess of departu,res over admissions aggregating 238,695; nor has any foreign country filled the quota of immigrants to which it is entitled under existing law. And there are less than 100,000 non-citizens who are legally deport- able from the United States. Yet certain interests and individuals are proclaiming that the social and economic morass in which tile nation flounders is attribut- able to the "aliens," that the solution of the unemployment problem is to be foand, in part or in whole, through de,porting them. And to strengthen their case they indiscriminately hurl charges of crimin- ality, radicalism, subversion and the like at the foreign-born. Manifestly absurd is tile attempt to solve tile economic problems of 120,000,000 people by eliminating one-tenth of one per cent (or even four per cent, as is fantastically proposed by Congressman Martin Dies of Texas, who calls for the deportation of ALL the foreign-born.) False, too, are the charges launched--IIearst leading the way-- against the character of our new Americans. A recent study made by tile Department of Justice reveals that in 1934 the incidence of crime among the foreign-born was only 62.5 per cent as high as that among our native citizens. The native-born Dillingers triumph over alien Caponesl Not all the current anti-foreignism is so crude or rabid as that of IIearst and Dies. In some instances it appears superficially to be nothing more than a subtle preference for native Americans. In others it is limited to advocating "protective" legislation such as compulsory registration and "alien" finger-printing bills, or dis- criminatory measures against non-citizens who have been forced on federal, state or municipal relief. Always, however, it constitutes an attempted diversion from Sen- We Need Aliens! By James Waterman Wise Son Of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise uine issues and the real tasks of recovery. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the current pressure being brought to bear on Congress and the Department of Labor for the deportation of so-called political radicals, a term made to include even those merely suspected of having harbored unorthodox political beliefs before coming to the United States. And these prospective deportees invariably have one thing in common: activity of some kind in industrial disputes, strikes or or- ganization of the unemployed. One case, typical of hundreds, may well be cited: In November, 1933, a young German seaman jumped ship in the harbor of Seattle, Iie was in the truest sense of the word a political refugee, seeking the right of asylum from a regime of tyranny and dictatorship. This young man's name was Otto Richter; born in Bremen, Ger- many, he was a worker and an active anti-Nazi. On the night of the burning of the Reichstag, storm troopers apprehended him and, though he had not the slightest connection with that event, beat and tortured him. The next four and a half months he spent hiding from Hitler'S secret police. In November, 1933, he managed to enlist as a seaman and sail on German boat which was to call at ports in tile United States. During tile voyage his identity became known and officers of the ship, after abusing him, threatened to turn him over to the police on their re- turn to Nazi Germany. These were the circumstances underlying Richter's attempted escape from Nazi tyranny to American freedom. What has happened since? In July, 1934, during the San Fran- cisco general strike, a vigilante raid was made on the Workers Center, and there Otto Richter was found engaged in what the Department of Labor evidently regarded as the heinous offense of helping to feed striking marine workers. lie was seized and ordered deported to Nazi Germany on the tech" nical charge that he had remained inthe United States illegally. SinCe that time a long legal battle has been fought by the American Corn" mittee for Protection of Foreign Born to save him from deportatiott. And only tile tremendous counterpressure of mass sentiment has secured for Otto Richter the dubious privilege of being deported to country of his chgtee--Belgium--instead of to Ilitler's sadistocracy. Otto Richter's name is legion. To mention only two: Jesus pal, lercs, deported in June to Mexico, and Cassimo Caficro, deported olt July 4th (shades of 1776!) to Fascist Italy. Nothing is more urgent today than to bring home the truth to American people that denial of civil liberties to foreigners presages and prepares the way for Fascism and denial of those rights to the native-born. If laws can be introduced permitting search and seizure without warrant in an "alien's" home, and his trial by "administratiVe process" (a polite name for star-chamber proceedings) instead of bY jury, the way is opened for such assaults upon tile liberties of us all, A step in this direction was taken at the Conference for a Farmer" Labor Party, which in its platform expressly demanded that, for the sake of the American People, the deportation and persecution of tBe foreign-born be ended, and that the right of asylum for political and religious refugees be re-established. Let it be clear that I do not plead for tolerance or charity for the foreign-born. They neither ask nor need them. What they do demand, and what is rightfully theirs, is full equality in working out the social and economic problems which are mutually theirs and ours. That equality is today imperiled. Those who seek to establish Fascist regime in the United States are concentrating their first bar- rage upon the foreign-born. Our task--the task of the united and indivisible masses of the Am" erican people--is to pierce the smoke screen they have laid down. IIt schools and churches, in the liberal, progressive press and parties, lt trade unions and among the unemployed we must counter-attack bY exposing their real objectives. --(Copyright, 1937) PLAIN TALK (Continued from Page 1) I must let go all the Jewish help." But this dreadful injustice could not go on for long, he thought. In- justice is hut a rank weed that quickly is torn out. Other Jews were leaving Germany. He would stay and wait for justice. Four years passed. Two nmnths ago he came to our city. There was a hotel that took him into its kitchen to wash dishes. Dirty dishes have a way of being irritating. You Wash a dish and in ten minutes it is back to be washed again; there is no finality in dish- washing as in salesmanship. A salesman negotiates a deal, brings it to a happy conclusion and goes and gives himself a swell din- ner to celebrate the triumph. Not so with dish-washing which is never through and gives a man a sense of working to no ends at all. So the refugee salesman lifted himself out of the dishwater and became a hundle-wrapper. He was very happy to become a bundle-wrapper. This seemed like a step lmck to salesnmnshtp, unlike dish-washing which didn't seem to lead anywhere. From bundle-wrap- ping he might ascend to the place he had in the world when he was living in Frankfurt. He must show them his willing- ness to become a swift bundle-wrap- pet'. But the faster his fingers tried to labor with a bundle the more like thumbs they became. At 41, fingers no longer have the speed of lightning, especially a salesman's fingers which never had any speed at all. Much quicker were the bundles that passed through the fingers of the younger bundle-wrappers. He envied them. Their bundles fairly flew through, but for him bundles seemed to creep. It took sometimes five minutes for a bundle, he guessed; he was very thorough about it. He trembled when the eyes of the head bundle-wrapper fell upon him. They were baleful eyes that seemed always to be saying, "You will never make a great bundle-wrapper. You're all thumbs." He should have liked to answer him, "Wait, wait, I'll be all right in time. Today my poor fingers fin- ished a bundle even in three mitt- utes. They are getting faster right along. "This is all so new to my fingers. Forty-one year-old fingers--and you should give them a chance. They may yet become like ligi]tning, as 444 By ALFRED SEGAL swift as the young bundle-wrappers' fingers." At the end of the week he was paid off. They were very sorry. The head bundle-wrapper had reported it wasn't in him to be a bundle- wrapper. The uprooted man goes here and there to find a new place in which to plant himself. When you are still a young.plant it is easier to find a new place and it doesn't hurt so much to be uprooted; for a young plant does not yet know the ineffable comfort of being planted deep. But if you are a ripe plant it is the ultimate agony to be uprooted and to find no place that wants you. He has been coming to my desk ahnost every day. I have given him a letter to this employer or that, and even as he approaches I know what lie is bringing. His countenance has taken a fixed mask of tragedy. He is com- ing to my desk to say "Gar nichts." I don't know what to do about him anymore. Not that I am nmk- tng any appeal for him; I abhor making appeals. But why should he be on my conscience alone? Why should the destiny of any of these uprooted people be left to the concern of individuals when there are rich and influential Jewish cor" munities that should be troubled about them ? Not that I shit'k my duty, but I can't carry this man alone. Isn't it the obligation of every Jewish cor: munity to see to it that these nle are helped to find new places in the world ? Isn't it the obligation of Jewish huslness men to make places for them ? If not, what does all our sympathy mean? What is it, then, but war# air? My steam radiator is more comforting. Somehow all this has to do alS0 with the matter of a Jewish welfare drive that is going on in our city (as in many another place). I heard of a lady who asked her husband to reduce his subscription this year. "But we mustn't do that," he a" swered. "We should be thankful We can give, considering what Jews are suffering in Germany and in Fo" land." But she was troubled more about a new autonmbile. "If we give too much to the W el" fare we won't be able to get the new car." (Copyright, 1937.) Combined w0th THE JEWISH CHRONICLE A Weekly Newspaper for the Jewlsh People of the Paclflc Northwest. Phone MAin 2715. HERMAN A. HOROWrrz ................................ Editor and Publ/she NA Kazs ............................................... .Associate Editor OTVC'XaL lm ........................ WalterJ Studio, 4th and Pike Buildin8 A weekly paper devoted to the interests of the Jewish people of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Brit/sh Columbia and Alaska. Entered as second clam mat- ter September 5, 1924, at the Post Office at Seattle, Washington, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Single Copies, $ cents. $2.00 per Year 38 VOL. XIV. Friday, Dec. 24, 1937 No. 43 A BOUQUET FOR THE LIVING EO A. MELTZER is a modest, unassuming, cheery, hard-worker, whose outstanding quality, perhaps, is sincerity. Mrs. Leo Meltzer is a quiet, big-hearted woman who has held almost as many honors among the women's organizations she's served as her husband has among men's groups. Mr. and Mrs. Leo A. Meltzer have made many friendsyou can count them in the hundreds--since they came here, a friend- less boy and a girl, 25 years ago, when horse cars were the vogue and fiery editorials denounced the breakneck deviltry of bicyclists. And today, Leo and Dora Meltzer are perhaps the happiest couple in Seattle--and deservedly so. For 20 years of communal service, for long hours of unselfish devotion to causes that gained them not a whig except a warm glow of satisfaction that no money can buy, for a beautiful lesson in helping others through the years--for all this and a thous- and other precious deeds that are hard to put into mere words-- 100 friends honored Leo and Dora Meltzer at a surprise banquet at Herzl Synagogue, Sunday, after Rabbi Philip A. Langh had paid tribute to the couple on their 25th wedding anniversary at Friday night services in the synagogue. The Transcript, as the spokesman of the state's Jewry, joins in felicitating Mr. and Mrs. Meltzer. Even as they love each other, so does the Jewish community love them for their many fine qualities. Their presence is a blessing. FACTS THAT TALK HE December 8 issue of The New Republic pul)lishes an article by tlerbert J. Seligmann calle(l "J ewish Faith--Christian Civ- ilization" in which the status of the 6,000,000 Jews in Europe today is made crystal clear by an unusual tal)le, ol! figures and facts. Mr. Sell/mann's table lists the 24 major countries ol! Europe together with their geueral and Jewish l)Ol)ulations and then sum- marizes tersely official restrictions on Jews and their e, eonomic and social situation in each country. Examination of this table shows that wherever political democ- racy and economic security reign there tl|e economicand social status of the Jews is good. Mr. Seligmann's sumnmries reveal also that wherever authori- tarianism has not obtained a political foothold there are no re- strictions against Jews, either legally or in fact. They also reveal that in a few countries, notably Greece, Bul- garia, Italy and Jugoslavia, where quasi-Fascist regimes are in power, anti-Semitism has become serious but not official. On the other hand, there are such democratic lands as Great Britain, Czeehosh)vakia, Hollan(I, Switzerland, ]e]gium and France where well-marked anli-Semitic movements stimulated from outsi(le sources are causing some concern to Jewish com- munities enjoying full freedom and equality as well as substantial economic prosperity. One of the most interesting revelations made in this table is that Germany is the only country in Europe where Jews arc of- ficially discriminated against by laws specifically aimed at them. In Poland, Rounmnia, Hungary, Austria, Lithuania and Latvia Jewish difficulties, serious as they are, arise not from legal enact- ments but from governments' blinking at quasi-official discrimina- tion which has the effect of law. Every fair-minded person should read this article because it effectively dramatizes the contemi)orary Jewish situation in Europe. It demonstrates far better than speeches or protests the unde- niable fact that 60 per cent o the 10,000,000 Jews in Europe, or more than one-third of all the Jews in the world, are living under conditions that challenge not only worht Jewry but civilization itself. AIN'T SCIENCE WONDERFUL? CIENTIFIC progress has made possible many things which were once universally regarded as impossible of achievement. It has even succeeded, through 1)syehoh)gy and l)syehiatry, in straightening out quirks of the human mind. Thus far, however, it has not been able to do anything about such social enemies as breeders of war and l)reachers of racial and' religious hatreds. But now comes Prof. Charles R. Stockard of Cornell Medical College with a discovery that the relations of men to each other are governed by glandoerats, or chemical messengers known as pro]aetins, which are sent ont by the ])ituitary gland located at the base of the skull. It is Professor Stoekard's theory that these glandocrats are the supreme life force controlling human reactions. Predicating his theory on the assuml)tion that a society is as good or as bad as its nervous system and its glands, Professor Stockard intimates that a few injections of prolaetins can com- pletely change the instinctive emotional reactions of any human being. Professor Stockard is too much of a scientist to indulge in spec- ulations concerning the political implications of his theory. But it doesn't seem far-fetched to say that if his theory is upheld then such gentry as Ititler and Mussolini need but a few injections of prolactins to make them forget all about anti-Sem- itism and war. All that is needed is their permission to make tlle injection and the era of international good-will will be ushered in. NEW YO] that the "fu democracy i lftleal, socia abt become 0f life "whil Planned to " ' land or to pc the Mennoni of Michigan lelegats at tional conic 50th annive liege hy discl |:ago a mid-W lined the ne ization was to "drive Je Without n ernor Mul'p] Said that tli to "subjugat tainate Jews lie office an( Pectally ere for each cit: After 17 y, tzation proI: determine of these ghe to travel Country. Other spe ben W. Barl the U. S. S Lewisohn ; 1: dent of the Konovitz, pr Orthodox R 1)resident of Man, Wi $300,000 PITTSBU: liShment of essorship o Carnegie I Was anuoun rent Robert that the M POUldation Qarnegie fo gram of ed social relati, Rosenw $500,000 CHICAGO Valued at lsk Univet groes at Nt Jlius Rose ilounced thl PRO1 PROF INVE CLAI SUIT VERD LI[ E M J. CO 90