The First Holocaust – Jewish Fund Raising Campaigns with Holocaust Claims During and After World War One, by Don Heddesheimer.

The First Holocaust – Jewish Fund Raising Campaigns with Holocaust Claims During and After World War One, by Don Heddesheimer. You don’t even have to read the book, just look at those photo copies from the jewish press.

Der Erste Holocaust – in german

The book in german

Pdf in german

Published in: on February 5, 2009 at 5:10 am  Comments (11)  

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  1. Table of Contents

    Preface, by Germar Rudolf, p. 7

    Chapter 1: Activities Prior to World War One, p. 17

    Chapter 2: World War One Activities, p. 31

    Chapter 3: Postwar Campaigns, p. 47

    Chapter 4: The 1926 Campaigns, p. 57

    Chapter 5: Following The Money, p. 65

    Chapter 6: The Trail Continues, p. 79

    Appendix, p. 91

    Documents, p.119

    Bibliography, p. 136

    Index of Names, p. 139

  2. Preface

    By Germar Rudolf

    As we all know, roughly six million Jews were killed by National Socialist Germany during World War II, or so we are told. This genocide is today generally referred to as the Holocaust or the Shoah. But how do we know that six million Jews lost their lives? And for how long have we known it?

    Whereas it seems that the first question can be answered by demographic research on the Jewish losses during World War Two, the second question has to be directed to historians.

    With regard to the first question, while several scholars tried to make demographic investigations into the question of Jewish population losses during World War Two – sometimes with quite conflicting results – it was not until 1991 that a major monograph, published in Germany by a mainstream publishing house and authored by a group of renowned authors, addressed this important issue. To nobody’s surprise, the result of this massive demographic study confirmed what everybody knew anyway:[1]

    “The bottom line indicates a minimum of 5.29 and a maximum of just over 6 million [Jewish victims of the Holocaust].”

    And even though the six million figure had been called a highly “symbolic figure,”[2] it has now reached almost sacrosanct proportions. It is clear that the massive social and legal persecution encountered by everyone in Germany who doubts, denies, or refutes the six million figure[3] has resulted in an invisible guideline for this study despite the editor of said tome, Wolfgang Benz, rushing to point out:[4]

    “Of course the purpose of this project also was not to prove any pre-set figure (‘six million’).”

    But considering that the Holy Holocaust is without any doubt the biggest taboo of our times, is this really a matter of course?

    In a comparative analysis of Benz’ study with a major revisionist analysis of Jewish population losses during World War Two,[5] I pointed out that Benz’ work has so many logical, methodic, and systematic flaws that its result have to be rejected.[6]

    But if it is true that we do not have a reliable demographic study that shows without a doubt that six million Jews lost their lives during World War Two, then why are we confronted with this six million figure? Where does this figure originate? And when was this figure first propounded?

    The late Dr. Joachim Hoffmann was the first mainstream historian who marveled over this question. In his 1995 study Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941-1945, he pointed out that the chief Soviet atrocity propagandist, Ilya Ehrenburg, had publicized the six-million-figure in the Soviet foreign press as early as January 4, 1945, i.e., fully four months before the war’s end.[7] At that time, no demographic figures could have been available to him. Just a year later, British Historian David Irving emphasized that as early as June 1945, in other words immediately after the end of hostilities in Europe, some Zionist leaders claimed to be able to provide the precise number of Jewish victims – six million, of course – even though the chaos reigning in Europe at that time rendered any demographic studies impossible.[8]

    Revisionist scholars, on the other hand, have long pondered about the origin of the six million figure, the most famous and thorough research stemming from Prof. Dr. Arthur Butz in his epochal work The Hoax of the Twentieth Century.[9] While analyzing a large amount of New York Times articles on the persecution of Jews in German dominated Europe during World War Two, Butz found several articles which clearly indicate that as early as late 1942/early 1943, Jewish lobbying groups within the United States were already anticipating a total loss of five to six million Jews at war’s end. Some of these articles I would like to briefly quote here, taken from Butz’ book:

    NYT, June 30, 1942, p. 7:

    “1,000,000 Jews Slain By Nazis, Report Says”[10]

    NYT, September 3, 1942, p. 5:

    “A European observer said the Germans planned to exterminate the Jews not only in Europe, but throughout the world. He declared the Nazis had executed 2,000,000 Jews in the past three years.”[11]

    NYT, December 13, 1942, p. 21:

    “[…] ‘Authenticated reports point to 2,000,000 Jews who have already been slain by all manner of satanic barbarism, and plans for the total extermination of all Jews upon whom the Nazis can lay their hands. The slaughter of a third of the Jewish population in Hitler’s domain [3×2,000,000=6,000,000] and the threatened slaughter of all is a holocaust without parallel.'”[12]

    NYT, December 20, 1942, p. 23:

    “What is happening to the 5,000,000 Jews of German-held Europe, all of whom face extermination […].

    Early in December 1942 the State Department in Washington gave some figures showing that the number of Jewish victims deported and perished since 1939 in Axis-controlled Europe now reached the appalling figure of 2,000,000 and that 5,000,000 were in danger of extermination.”[13]

    NYT, March 2, 1943, pp. 1, 4:

    “Immediate action by the United Nations to save as many as possible of the five million Jews threatened with extermination […] was demanded at a mass demonstration […] in Madison Square Garden last night.

    […Rabbi Hertz said] ‘appalling is the fact that those who proclaim the Four Freedoms have so far done very little to secure even the freedom to live for 6,000,000 of their Jewish fellow men by readiness to rescue those who might still escape Nazi torture and butchery. […]'”[14]

    NYT, March 10, 1943, p. 12:

    “Forty thousand persons listened and watched […] last night to two performances of ‘We Will Never Die,’ a dramatic mass memorial to the 2,000,000 Jews killed in Europe. […] The narrator said ‘There will be no Jews left in Europe for representation when peace comes. The four million left to kill are being killed, according to plan.'”[15]

    NYT, April 20, 1943, p. 11:

    “London, April 19 (Reuter) – Two million Jews have been wiped out since the Nazis began their march through Europe in 1939 and five million more are in immediate danger of execution. These figures were revealed in the sixth report on conditions in occupied territories issued by the Inter-Allied Information Committee.”

    Thus, Butz concludes in his book:[16]

    “Another point that should be made here […] is that the six million figure had its origin apparently in the propaganda of 1942-1943.”

    Butz also shows that the origins of these articles were Jewish-Zionist pressure groups like the World Jewish Congress and the American Jewish Congress. Initially, their claims were not taken seriously in Washington, until Henry Morgenthau of the Treasury department managed to reduce the influence of the State Department on official U.S. politics.[17]

    But even Butz’ farsighted approach was still a little short. Let me first go back in time six more years. On November 25, 1936, Chaim Weizmann, president of the World Zionist Organization, testified in front of the Peel Commission, which was formed as a reaction of violent clashes between Jews and Arabs in Palestine and which finally decided to divide Palestine into a Jewish and an Arab State. In his speech, Weizmann said:[18]

    “It is no exaggeration to say that six million Jews are sentenced to be imprisoned in this part of the world, where they are unwanted, and for whom the countries are divided into those, where they are unwanted, and those, where they are not admitted.”

    That Weizmann’s reference to six million threatened and/or suffering Jews is neither an exception nor by any means the earliest reference to this figure, is now shown by Don Heddesheimer. He has collected a vast amount of material indicating that the propaganda unleashed by Zionist organization during World War Two was not unprecedented. As a matter of fact, it is a mere repetition – or should we say continuation? – of propaganda, which intensified during World War One (!) and reached its first culmination in the 1920s. Already by then, the figures of five or six million Jews threatened by death were widely publicized and were used as a means to an end: namely the uncritical support of Jewish and Zionist political goals.[19] To go one step further, Heddesheimer even found a source from 1900 claiming that six million suffering Jews were a good argument for Zionism (see p. 40).

    In this preface, I have quoted several New York Times articles of the years 1942 and 1943, because after having read this book, I would like the reader to come back to these pages and read those articles again. He will then be struck by the similarity of the theme. But he will also notice a difference:

    During World War Two, Zionist pressure groups found a very convenient propaganda target in National Socialist Germany, whose extremely anti-Jewish politics invited all sorts of credible sounding accusations.

    Before, during, and immediately after World War One, however, the situation was more complex. As Heddesheimer shows, the major target for polemic attacks in the years before World War One was czarist Russia due to its policies toward Jews, which many Zionists considered to be anti-Jewish. After czarist Russia’s defeat was apparent in 1916/1917, Zionist propaganda switched its target over to Germany (see pp. 38f. of this book), whose ally, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), needed to be defeated to ‘liberate’ Palestine for Zionist plans (and of course in order to secure billions of dollars lent to the British and French). Such propaganda accusations against Germany, however, ceased at war’s end, because Germany, in those years, was quite willing and capable of defending itself against such untrue propaganda.

    After the end of World War One, when Zionist dreams about Palestine were temporarily disappointed, but new hopes had arisen with the Soviet experiment in Russia, no particular country was initially singled out, even though there was a perfect target: Poland.

    Between World War One and World War Two, Poland was a military dictatorship, which implemented a policy of ‘ethnic pressure,’ i.e., all non-Polish minorities were subjected to discriminations and various degrees of persecution with the intention to ‘convince’ them to emigrate (quite similar to what Israel does today in Palestine against non-Jews). The Jews in Poland were not exempt from this treatment. As a matter of fact, Polish official as well as unofficial anti-Judaism was so massive that many Polish Jews preferred to live in Germany even during the Third Reich until late 1938 rather than to stay in their native country.

    Hence, there was enough justification to massively attack Poland for its rabid anti-Jewish attitude as there were reasons to attack Germany after Adolf Hitler rose to power there and step by step implemented a policy increasingly comparable to that already in effect in Poland.

    Although it can be shown that The New York Times accused Poland of anti-Jewish persecution in many articles – whereas this newspaper was basically silent about similar persecution suffered by Germans, Lithuanians, Ruthenians, Ukrainians, and Slovaks residing in Poland -Heddesheimer does not focus on this aspect, because his book is not about the suffering and persecution of Jews in eastern Europe, but about propaganda and fund raising in New York. I therefore want to draw the reader’s attention to a few examples of articles in The New York Times addressing anti-Jewish persecution in Poland.

    Already by 1919, a report about alleged anti-Jewish pogroms in Poland appeared in the New York Times, but with a very ironic connotation, since the veracity of these reports was doubted:[20]

    “It has been pointed out that some of these reports may have originated with German propagandists or may have been exaggerated by them with the obvious purpose of discrediting Poland with the Allies, in the hope that Germany might be the gainer thereby. Germany might have assisted in spreading these stories, may have invented them, although it would be a cruel deception to wring the hearts of great multitudes of people in order to gain such an end […]”

    False claims of Jewish suffering would be cruel, indeed, and it sure is nice to read it from the horse’s mouth. It is troubling, however, when such claims are falsely attributed as in this case where the New York Times apparently could not suppress its prejudice to potentially see the ‘evil German’ behind everything.

    In some articles during the 1920s addressing the sufferings of Polish Jewry, these hardships were interestingly depicted as a result of general economic hardship in Poland after World War One rather than as a result of any specific anti-Jewish policies.[21] Others, in particular during the 1930s when Polish policies became more repressive, reported about anti-Jewish persecutions, which triggered the public protest of Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, the chairman of the American Jewish Congress.[22] This was, however, also accompanied with some dramatic exaggerated claims about the suffering of the Jews:[23]

    “The Jewish people all over the world face a war of extinction, Dr. Tenenbaum declared in an address […].”

    This was roughly one year before Hitler was elected Chancellor of Germany!

    Even though Poland’s anti-minority policies in general and anti-Jewish policies in particular, which started right at this country’s establishment in 1918/19, made it a perfect target for criticism, this aspect of Polish history is today almost forgotten.

    As we know today, the largest suffering of mankind between the two world wars was happening in the Soviet Union, so one would expect that the Zionist organizations would name the Red Terror as one main reason for the claimed sufferings of Jews. But this didn’t happen until later. The reason for that can be deduced from one example, shedding bright light onto how the New York Times viewed the situation of Jews in the Soviet Union. In late 1922, this newspaper reported that there were some hostilities toward Jews in the Ukraine, but that this was stamped out violently with the help of a Jewish army of allegedly 500,000 soldiers – an army that could have been formed and operated only with the consent of the new Soviet authorities.[24] In other words: Considering the terror inflicted upon the civil population of the early Soviet Union in general and the Ukraine in particular by armed and unarmed units of the Soviet authorities, it must be assumed that this Jewish army was one important factor causing terror rather than defending against it. And the New York Times depicted this essential part of Red Terror as heroic, justified Jewish self-defense. This attitude can be understood if one keeps in mind that many Zionist Jews looked at the new Soviet Union as a Jewish dominated and controlled experiment of a Jewish led country free of anti-Judaism.

    Another aspect of the story is to trace the money raised by those fund raising campaigns. In chapter five, Heddesheimer addresses this question. The literature quoted by him shows that Jewish organizations were indeed using some of the money to assist the Jewish populace in Poland. But on the ugly side, as Heddesheimer hints at in his fifth chapter, it also served as a fund raising drive to support various aspects of the Jewish dominated communist revolution in Russia, or in other words: to wittingly or unwittingly finance the Jewish-Soviet holocaust against Christians in Russia, the Ukraine, and all the other states within the Soviet Union.

    In contrast to that, the second large-scale Zionist fund and support raising campaign during World War Two was pointed at the creation of Israel, and this propaganda has never ceased. First of all because Israel has a continuous need for massive support, whereas the Soviet Union did not get any more such support after it became basically de-Judaized under Stalin, and secondly because Germany collapsed totally after the war and has never been allowed to defend itself against those Zionist propaganda claims; quite to the contrary: it is punishable by law in Germany and many other European countries to challenge those claims.

    In his last chapter, Heddesheimer briefly investigates whether or not the claims of extraordinary Jewish sufferings made by Zionist pressure groups during the late 1910s and the 1920s were based on facts. Did Jews in Central and eastern Europe suffer more than the average populace in those countries, which had collapsed after World War One? Was there indeed a holocaust looming or going on in the years between 1915 and 1927? Using contemporary Jewish population statistics, Heddesheimer briefly points out that the worldwide Jewish population was growing much faster during and shortly after World War One than the other religious and/or ethnic groups who lived in the same countries. That should suffice to answer the above questions.

    One might also easily conclude that if those first holocaust claims were true, it would dominate our history books as the First Holocaust. But since it cannot be found there, we can rightly assume that this propaganda was untrue.

    To close my preface, I would like to briefly mention the means of alleged Jewish suffering in both holocaust propaganda claims. Whereas simple poverty is mainly claimed to have been the reason for the (invented) First Holocaust, mass murder by gas chambers and executions are supposed to have been the means during the Second, the ‘real’ Holocaust.

    Even though gas chamber claims were not part of the propaganda pattern of the 1910s and 1920s, there is one known exception, which was published by the London Daily Telegraph on March 22, 1916, p. 7:


    700,000 VICTIMS


    ROME, Monday (6:45 p.m.).

    The Governments of the Allies have secured evidence and documents, which will shortly be published, proving that Austria and Bulgaria have been guilty of horrible crimes in Serbia, where the massacres committed were worse than those perpetrated by Turkey in Armenia.

    […] Women, children, and old men were shut up in the churches by the Austrians and either stabbed with the bayonet or suffocated by means of asphyxiating gas. In one church in Belgrade 3,000 women, children, and old men were thus suffocated. […]”

    Of course, today no historian claims that the Austrians or any of their allies ever committed mass murder with poison gas in Serbia during World War One. This was nothing but black propaganda issued by the British government and eagerly disseminated by the British media.

    But juxtapose this with an article that appeared in the same London Daily Telegraph on June 25, 1942, p. 5, that is, five days before the Jewish owned and controlled New York Times reported about the alleged mass murder of Jews in German controlled Europe for the first time:

    “GERMANS MURDER 700,000



    More than 700,000 Polish Jews have been slaughtered by the Germans in the greatest massacre in world history. […]”

    This time, however, we all know that these claims were true, don’t we? And it is also true that at the end of the 20th century nobody would seriously accuse any country in the world of having built gas chambers and stocked Zyklon B to murder all Jews, hence, that the Jews would once more face a holocaust, an extinction of millions. After all, that was something uniquely German and ‘Nazi,’ which does not happen again, right?

    If you think that it is obviously that nobody would make such outrageous claims, I have to teach you another quite astounding lesson: Let me bring up only two examples from a war that took place almost 50 years after the second holocaust propaganda started, in 1991. It is about America’s first war against Iraq to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. The New York based Jewish Press, then calling itself “The largest independent Anglo-Jewish weekly newspaper,” wrote on its title page on February 21, 1991:


    Or take the front cover announcement of volume 12, number 1 (spring 1991), of Response, a periodical published by the Jewish Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and distributed in 381,065 copies:


    (Iraq’s German-made gas chamber)”

    If you do not believe it, turn to the Appendix, pp. 136f., for reproductions of the documents mentioned above.

    I hope that you get the idea of this book: 1900, 1916, 1926, 1936, 1942, 1991…

    In 1991, it was all invented, for sure, as were the later claims prior to America’s second war against Iraq in 2003 that Iraq possessed or was about to possess weapons of mass destruction – Zyklon B not being mentioned here, though. But as Israel’s renowned newspaper Ha’aretz proudly proclaimed:[25]

    “The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history.”

    Because, as we all know, the Jews in Israel deserve preventive protection from annihilation by weapons of mass destruction – Zyklon B or not, invented or not…

    So maybe not quite all claims referring to events between 1941 and 1945 are completely true? Maybe there is a chance after all that things were twisted, distorted, exaggerated, invented? Maybe…

    If the reader has by now opened his mind to that possibility, I can only invite him to read about the arguments of those who do indeed claim that many things about the ‘Holocaust’ were twisted, distorted, exaggerated, and invented. If Heddesheimer’s book is an eye-opener to you, which I think it will be, then I can only invite you to read even more tantalizing revelations, about which you can learn in the back of this book.

    I think that Don Heddesheimer’s book is a very important contribution to our understanding of the origins of modern time Jewish Holocaust claims. These claims are neither primarily Anglo-Saxon nor Soviet-Communist. The victorious nations of World War Two surely seized upon the opportunity to take advantage of such propaganda and to increase its scope and impact. But the original propaganda claims are Jewish-Zionist in nature and part of a propaganda pattern that started at the very dawn of the 20th century. And they have increased in intensity ever since due to their political success and the lack of resistance.

    This book ought to remind us also of the simple fact that the truth is always the first victim of every war. It is surprising that so many people reject this, when it comes to the most atrocious war ever fought, during and even more so after which the truth was raped and murdered more often than ever before or after in mankind history: World War Two. Isn’t it therefore likely that we were and are being told many more lies about this particular war than about all those other wars, where we all know that our government lied: World War One, Korea, Vietnam, and the wars against Iraq?


    [1] W. Benz (ed.), Dimension des Völkermords, Munich: Oldenbourg, 1991, p. 17.
    [2] German mainstream historian Martin Broszat from the Munich Institut für Zeitgeschichte did so while testifying as an expert witness for the Frankfurt Jury Court, May 3, 1979, Ref. Js 12 828/78 919 Ls.
    [3] For this, see my study “Discovering Absurdistan,” The Revisionist 1(2) (2003), pp. 203-219.
    [4] W. Benz, op. cit. (note 1), p. 20.
    [5] Walter N. Sanning, The Dissolution of the Eastern European Jewry, Newport Beach, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1983.
    [6] “Holocaust Victims: A Statistical Analysis. W. Benz and W. N. Sanning – A Comparison,” in Germar Rudolf (ed.), Dissecting the Holocaust, 2nd ed., Chicago: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003, pp. 181-213.
    [7] Stalins Vernichtungskrieg 1941-1945, Munich: Verlag für Wehrwissenschaften, 1995, pp. 160f.; English: Stalin’s War of Extermination 1941-1945, Capshaw, AL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2001, pp. 189f.
    [8] David Irving, Nuremberg. The Last Battle, London: Focal Point, 1996, pp. 61f.
    [9] Brighton: Historical Review Press, 1976. All following quotes are from the 3rd edition, Chicago, IL: Theses & Dissertations Press, 2003.
    [10] Ibid., p. 98.
    [11] Ibid., p. 99.
    [12] Ibid., p. 100.
    [13] Ibid., p. 101f.
    [14] Ibid., p. 103. This is the same Rabbi Hertz who already as early as 1922 referred to “1,000,000 human beings […] butchered” during pogroms in the Ukraine, New York Times, January 9, 1922, p. 19; see p. 54 and Appendix, p. 117.
    [15] Ibid., p. 104.
    [16] Ibid., p. 105.
    [17] See Butz’ chapter “The First ‘Extermination’ Claims and Washington,” starting on p. 81 of his book, ibid.
    [18] Retranslated from the introduction of Walter A. Berendsohn to Thomas Mann, Sieben Manifeste zur jüdischen Frage, Darmstadt: Jos. Melzer Verlag, 1966, p. 18. I am grateful to R.H. Countess for bringing this to my attention.
    [19] Don Heddesheimer has published an earlier, shorter article on this topic: “Holocaust Number One – Fundraising and Propaganda,” The Barnes Review, 3(2) (1997), pp. 19-24.
    [20] “Pogroms in Poland,” New York Times, May 23, 1919, p. 12.
    [21] E.g., “Jews of Poland Again Face Period of Want”, New York Times Sunday Magazine, May 28, 1926, p. 8.
    [22] “Tenenbaum quits Polish Group Here. Charges Anti-Semitic Policy Abroad in Resigning as Head of Good-Will Committee,” New York Times, Nov. 20, 1931, p. 26.
    [23] “Racial Bias Viewed as Threat top Peace,” New York Times, Feb. 22, 1932, p. 20.
    [24] “South Russian Jews Raise Strong Army,” New York Times, December 20, 1922. It is possible that this claim is an exaggeration itself, though it is quite likely that Jews joined the armed forces of the early Soviet Union more eagerly than non-Jews.
    [25] Ari Shavit, “White man’s burden,” Ha’aretz, April 7, 2003; hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml?itemNo=280279; see also Stephen J. Sniegoski, “War on Iraq: Conceived in Israel,” The Revisionist, 1(3) (2003), pp. 285-298

  3. Chapter 1:
    Activities Prior to World War One

    The golden age of newspapers has come and gone. Before the influence of computers, before television, before radio, political leaders would literally act based on what was written in the newspapers. Their stories and their editorial viewpoints were taken much more seriously than they are today. If it was a less cynical, more innocent time, it was also a time of more influential newspapers. Just one example, some historians blame the Hearst Newspapers for starting the Spanish American War in 1898. Newspapers, while still important today, were the premier opinion molders in the latter part of the nineteenth through the first half of the twentieth century.

    Three New York Times editorials published in 1880 about Germans and Jews were quite forward looking and are a good place to start: An editorial from February 1880 said:[26]

    “The war, which has for some time raged in Germany between the natives and the Jews, seems rather to increase than diminish in intensity. It is something more than a popular prejudice, it is a national passion and the ablest, most dignified, and most learned men have ranged themselves on either side. To us here it seems very strange that such a contest of races can be going on in a land of so much intelligence and intellectual pretension, and in the year 1880, too. The crime of the Jews appears to be comprehended chiefly in their financial prosperity. No sin is as great as success in the eyes of the non-successful. The charge is made that of the 600,000 Israelites in the empire, hardly any engage in agricultural or mercantile pursuits; but that they control trade, rule the money markets, and are eating up the country with their avarice and usury. They are not materially different from the rest of the human family. […] If the Jews in Germany were poor, they would not be attacked. But they are, many of them, very rich, and that is their offense.”

    Two more articles from 1880 written along this same theme are reprinted below:[27]

    “THE [New York] TIMES has referred more than once to the injustice and impolicy of the prejudice, amounting to little less than persecution, in Germany against the Jews. There are not many more than 500,000 Jews in the whole empire, but they abound in Prussia, and have excited the animosity of the mass of the inhabitants, not only by their wealth, but by their intellectual power and moral influence, as well as by the prominent positions many of them occupy. The common people who are, as a rule, always unsuccessful, and therefore disappointed and discontented, complain that the Jews escape military duty and most of the penalties of citizenship, and yet enjoy, beyond all proportion, its emoluments and compensation. They probably do not get anything they have not earned, and the outcry against them is part of the ineradicable prejudice which the non-prosperous have always felt, and will always feel, against the prosperous. In no country of Europe have the Jews been so active and conspicuous in promoting the cause of humanity and the progress of civilization as they have in Germany. The greater part of the Professors of the universities there have been, and still are, Jews, it is said; many of the oldest authors, journalists, composers, artists, philosophers, scholars, savants have been, and continue to be, either that gifted, much-persecuted race or its descendants. NEANDER was of Jewish extraction: so was GANS: and the same may be said of BENARY, WEIL, BENFEY, STAHL, DERNBERG, VALENTIN, LAZARUS, HERZ, and a score of others. The Jews themselves are very naturally indignant at the war making on them, and say, with reason, that they have done as much as any Christians for the intellectual, moral, and financial development of Germany, and that the persecution to which they are exposed is a shameful contradiction of the avowedly tolerant and liberal spirit of the latter half of the nineteenth century. As representatives of literature, music, and the theater they point with pride to HEINRICH HEINE, BOERNE, ENSE, BERTHOLD AUERBACH, HENRIK HERTZ, JULES JANIN, MENDELSSOHN, HALEVY, MEYER-BEER, MOSCHELES, JOACHIM, ERNST, RUBINSTEIN, GRISI, GIUGLINI, CZILLAC, RACHEL, ROTT, DESSOIR. If the German Jews had merely amassed money and become the great capitalists and bankers that they are, the present crusade against them would be less strange than it is when it is remembered how eminent they have become in all of the departments of thought and learning. LEOPOLD ZUNZ spoke truth when he said: ‘If there is a gradation in sufferings, Israel has reached the highest acme. If the long duration of sufferings, and the patience with which they are bourne, ennobles, the Jews defy the high-born of all countries. If a literature is called rich which contains a few classical dramas, what place does a tragedy deserve that lasts 1,500 years, and that is composed and enacted by the heroes themselves.”

    And ten days earlier:[28]

    “The persecution or the Jews in Prussia, led by the County Chaplain, STOCKER, and Prof. TREITSCHKE, presents this novel phase, that the JEWS are by no means inclined toward the Christian doctrine of offering the other cheek to be slapped after the first side has received the blow. If the London Times’s correspondent is to be credited, a Jewish volunteer lately shot his Lieutenant for some insult, a Jewish traveler in a public conveyance caned a Professor of a gymnasium, a Jewish student in Göttingen killed a Christian fellow student in a duel, and a Jewish merchant in open Change boxed a Christian trader’s ears. The [London] Times distinctly states that all these unfortunate incidents were ‘preceded by some violent act by the Christian antagonist.’ This only shows that there is much more fight in the German Jew than was expected, and we suppose that his coreligionists on this side of the water are rather pleased that he should show his combativeness. As to possessing personal courage, it is very stupid to suppose from his antecedents that the Jews are not as brave as any other race. During our own civil strife there were a great many Jews in arms on both sides, and more than once their gallantry was commented upon. In some recent Indian skirmishes the services of a Jew, who was a volunteer, were especially extolled by his commanding officer for coolness and gallantry. There have been occasionally, in our regular service, Jews who were fire-eaters of the most eccentric character. Capt. LEVYx, of the United States Navy, was of this kind , and was so keen to bring a fellow-mortal on the field of honor that he never was so supremely happy as when he had an affair with pistols at 10 paces. In the English Navy some very brave and cool work has been done by Jewish officers. Of course, going down to brute pluck and the lowest animal instincts, the annals of the prize ring show a great many able Jewish pugilists, who, 40 years ago, for punching anybody’s head, or taking any amount of punishment themselves, were quite the compeers of the most illustrious Christian boxers of Corinthian times. It is quite a mistake, then, to imagine that the Jew will not fight. He may not resort with his fist or a stick, except under positive aggression, but if he thinks he is right he is quite as hot blooded as an individual of another race. If, then, in Prussia the Jew has been made a soldier, and has withstood charges of French cavalry, or crossed bayonets with Zouaves, he has acquired some confidence in his own physical strength, and, above all, has been taught some little punctiliousness in regard to his own honor. To descend to fisticuffs will not, of course, settle the question, but an occasional set-to in good English style, and a show of personal pluckiness on the part of the Jews in Germany, can do them no harm.”

    Probably the most surprising invariable in all of the nineteenth century articles I found was that they were written from the same point of view that is printed in the newspapers of today. Here’s another article from the 1880s interviewing a representative of the American Hebrew, giving another glimpse into the situation of Jews in Imperial Germany:[29]

    “The Jews are foremost among the best citizens of Germany. They are not only making great strides in the intellectual pursuits, but more and more they are advancing from what may be called the lower grades of industry and trade to the higher and more respectable. In the legal profession they are entering in vast numbers; in fact, they are more than proportionately represented at the Bar. They take high rank among their legal colleagues for ability and integrity. They meet no obstacles in aspiring to the highest positions which the profession offers, except it be that the Government uses caution so as not to place too many Jewish Judges in any particular district in order to obviate the prejudice and ill feeling which jealousy would thus excite. So, too, their influence is being felt in the medical profession, and in the field of science their position is prominent. At the universities they figure prominently and in great numbers in the professorial chairs. At the Universities there is a great deal of feeling against the Jews. While no doubt there are many Jews employed on the German press occupying prominent positions in the editorial staffs of leading journals, yet their numbers and influence have been much overrated. They certainly do not control the press to as large an extent as in Austria.”

    In 1887, The New York Times reported that London Jews earned an average of at least 82 pounds per person while the Gentile average was 35 pounds, i.e., that the Jews were 21/2 times richer than the native population. It also estimated that Jewish men in London were twenty times as likely to earn more than 10,000 pounds a year, were seventeen times as likely to earn more than a thousand pounds a year, and were more than six times as likely to earn more than 500 pounds a year than the general population in the United Kingdom.[30]

    There were then remarkable extremes of both poverty and wealth among the Jews of London. The Jews took care of their own poor, and there were no Jewish persons dependent on taxes or non-Jewish charity for support. But every third Jew in London was actually in receipt of poor relief, every second Jew belonged to a pauper class, and every second Jewish funeral was a pauper’s funeral according to the report of the Jewish Board of Guardians of 1886.[31]

    Charity has a long tradition in Jewish society. Many believe that the great Old Testament prophets made clear the direct connection between economic oppression and want. To their minds, destitution was fundamentally a consequence of social and economic exploitation. The sources of want they traced to undue advantage taken by the strong over the weak. Public relief grew up around the synagogues. In ancient times there was a room in the Temple itself where the pious, unobserved, left donations for the respectable poor. Even in ancient times synagogues were also used as places of shelter and sustenance for wayfarers.[32] Perhaps stated more politically, Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, said:[33]

    “In old fashioned times Jewish charity in various localities was instituted largely to relieve the needs of those traveling from other localities who had been rendered paupers by persecution, and the motive-spring was, to a considerable extent, the uncertainty as to how soon the charity care giver of today might become the beggar of tomorrow.”

    There was a kinship of misfortune; if not actual, then prospective. German Jews maintained thousands of their own welfare agencies even after the enactment of social legislation in the 1880s.[34]

    The Alliance Israelite Universelle was formed in Paris, France. The Anglo-Jewish Association of London was established in 1871 and operated in collaboration with the Board of Deputies of British Jews and worked mostly in what is now called the Middle East. The Israelitische Allianz zu Wien, headquartered in Vienna, operated largely in the Austrian province of Galicia, which is today a part of Ukraine. The Hilfsverein der deutschen Juden in Berlin was founded in 1901 and was mostly concerned with the problems of migrants in transit through Germany. In 1891, Baron de Hirsch created the Jewish Colonization Association, which eventually received 40 million dollars of his money to help Jews in eastern Europe and encourage them to leave eastern Europe for America.[35] In the nineteenth century, European philanthropic organizations, such as the Baron de Hirsch Fund and the Alliance Israelite, provided aid for Jewish immigrants in the United States. New York City was described as having more poor Jews than any city in Europe.

    Most of the early Jewish immigrants to America were of German heritage. While many distinguished themselves as businessmen and traders, there were also some political leaders. The first Jewish Governor was probably Michael Hahn of Louisiana who was elected in February of 1864 and resigned in 1865 to become a United States Senator. Edward S. Solomon was appointed by President Grant as Governor of Washington territory (1870-1874). Other early Jewish governors include Franklin J. Moses of South Carolina, serving in the reconstruction era from 1873-1875, Alexander Moses of Idaho (1915-1919), and Simon Bamberger of Utah (1917-1921). In 1930, Julius Meier was elected Governor of Oregon and Arthur Seligman was elected Governor of New Mexico.

    One of the many commercial success stories concerned the founding of the banking house of Kuhn & Loeb. Abraham Kuhn and Solomon Loeb were brothers in law, German Jewish haberdashers who had made a fortune selling uniforms and blankets to the North during the American Civil War and then moved to New York starting the Kuhn & Loeb banking house in 1867.[36] Soon Kuhn & Loeb was actually run by Jacob Schiff, a Frankfurt, Germany, native who had married into the family, marrying Solomon Loeb’s daughter Theresa. Schiff’s ancestor’s had been linked to the Rothschilds,[37] and Schiff had previously worked at banking houses in Frankfurt, New York, and at the Warburg bank in Hamburg[38] before accepting an offer from Solomon Loeb to return to the United States and become a partner at Kuhn & Loeb in New York. Schiff concentrated on what was then the most lucrative part of Wall Street: railroad financing.

    At the age of 19, Schiff’s daughter married Felix Warburg from the Hamburg, Germany, banking family where Schiff had previously worked. Paul Warburg, one of Felix’s older brothers, married Solomon Loeb’s youngest daughter from his second marriage, twenty years after Loeb’s daughter from his first marriage had married Schiff.[39] Therefore Paul Warburg, in addition to being Felix Warburg’s brother, became through the two marriages his brother’s uncle. And Jacob Schiff was not only Felix Warburg’s father-in-law, he was Paul Warburg’s brother-in-law because Paul’s wife was Jacob Schiff’s half sister.[39]

    Both Paul and Felix Warburg were at various times partners in both the Kuhn & Loeb banking house in New York and in the M.M. Warburg banking house of Hamburg, Germany, that was run by an older brother Max Warburg. Paul Warburg worked actively at both banks, spending about six months each year in Hamburg and the rest of the year in New York before settling down in New York and finally becoming a U.S. citizen in 1911. To the consternation of many, Paul Warburg, who had never voted in an American presidential election, was appointed to the Federal Reserve Board by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

    By 1903, Jacob Schiff was an important community leader, and there was said to have been a pogrom in Russia that had the semi-official sanction of the Czar’s government. This caused many public rallies to be held in cities throughout the United States. Thousands of people signed a petition of protest, which President Theodore Roosevelt sent to the Russian government. American Jews also raised $100,000 for the relief of the victims. This started a flow of charity money from America back to Europe. There was general civil strife in Russia in the fall of 1905 including reports of crackdowns that were a direct result of the trials of the Russo-Japanese War and the identification of specific Russian Jews with radical and reformist political elements. U.S. rallies were again held in protest, and this time American Jews raised 1.2 million dollars from thousands of contributors. Jacob Schiff, as the head of the New York Jewish community that was furious at the Russian Czar, unashamedly and publicly used his financial power against the Czar. Schiff sought to punish Russia by closing off the American money market to the Russian government. Were the Jews in Russia better or worse off than the average Russian living in that poor country? Under the Czar Jews were restricted to 10% of the places in the government run primary and secondary schools, but they were about 2% of the population. Another statistic, derived from the Russian census of 1897, states that 21.1% of the general Russian population was literate, while official United States government statistics of that period reported a literacy rate of 74% for Russian-Jewish immigrants.

    Schiff lobbied then President Teddy Roosevelt to conduct a Rough Rider assault, patterned after the 1898 American invasion of Cuba, against Russia.[40] Schiff financed Japan in its successful 1904-1905 war against Russia[40] and even paid for the distribution of anti-czarist propaganda to Russian prisoners. Some of the later loans from Schiff’s Kuhn & Loeb to Japan were in part subscribed through the Warburg’s Hamburg bank.[41]

    It was with the intent of weakening the Czar that Schiff underwrote the multi-million dollar loan to the Japanese government during the Russo-Japanese War and paid for the distribution of revolutionary literature to Russian prisoners of war held by the Japanese. Many years later, in April 1917, George Kennan, author of Siberia and the Exile System and a leader of the Friends of Russian Freedom, remembered and praised Schiff’s effort:[42]

    “It was fruitful in good results, because it was the support of the army that enabled the Duma to overthrow the Government of the Czar, and you helped to enlighten the army.”

    President Theodore Roosevelt felt that he could not change the conditions in Russia and did not want to embarrass himself and the U.S. government in useless attempts at intervention. The Jewish leadership was not happy with the American government’s lack of response. Schiff wanted the U.S. to send gunboats or ordinary steamers to Russia to pick up the refugees. President Roosevelt became “piqued at the constant pressure the Jews brought to bear on him and the State Department.”

    The American Jewish Committee was founded in 1906 in the middle of all of this. Schiff told the organizing meeting that he and his friends needed a committee that would be powerful but discreet because he was fearful of substantiating the assumption prevalent in the 1890s that Jews were controlling invisible financial empires and secretly directing governments of many nations. The American Jewish Committee’s lobbying techniques included “lavish expenditures of money, public speaking campaigns, extensive distribution of propaganda, and courting politicians by playing off Republicans against Democrats.” Central to the strategy of behind the scenes pressure and backstairs diplomacy that is their trademark is the political and social contacts its leaders enjoy with high-level officials and foreign dignitaries.[43] Adolf Ochs, then publisher of the New York Times, was a member of the American Jewish Committee.[44] In her book, author Judith Goldstein describes the early American Jewish Committee as an oligarchy, stable, cohesive, and extremely well funded. In 1917, ten of the fifteen men on the executive committee were original members from 1906, while the general membership had increased from 57 to 105 throughout the country.

    The American Jewish Committee’s Constitution, adopted in 1906, declared:

    “The purpose of this Committee is to prevent infringement of the civil and religious rights of the Jews, and to alleviate the consequences of persecution. In the event of a threatened or actual denial or invasion of such rights, or when conditions calling for relief from such calamities affecting Jews exist anywhere, correspondence may be entered into with those familiar with the situation, and if the persons on the spot feel themselves able to cope with the situation, no action need be taken; if, on the other hand, they request aid, steps shall be taken to furnish it.”

    Their first high profile venture into the public arena was a fight for the abrogation of the Russo-American Treaty of 1832. Abrogation means to cancel, repeal or annul by authority. The American Jewish Committee promoted the abrogation of the treaty of 1832 as a way of forcing Russia to allow free migration of Jews within Russia and to America. The history of the American Jewish Committee’s first legislative fight is important background information because it shows the awesome power of these advocacy groups even at the beginning of the twentieth century and that the methods that they are still using today to influence public opinion have been around for a long time. The Politics of Ethnic Pressure by Judith S. Goldstein is an excellent, assiduously researched book covering this period in detail, and this writer relies on her conclusions regarding Schiff’s conduct in the conflict with the U.S. Government’s handling of perceived persecutions of his co-religionists in Russia. Schiff was a rich German born Jew who was the head of a New York Jewish community whose ranks included a lot of less financially well-off Jews of Polish/Russian heritage.

    These eastern European Jews were specifically objecting to an internal passport system then existing in czarist Russia. The purpose of the internal passport system was to maintain internal security and keep Moscow and Leningrad from becoming overcrowded, but some were exempted from the restriction. It certainly wasn’t as onerous as the current Israeli system of passport restrictions on the Palestinians. The freedom of movement of many nationality groups existing within the czarist empire was restricted. Jews within Russia not exempt from the regulations were allowed to live and travel within an area that was about half the size of western Europe and went from the Baltic to the Black Sea. They called this area the ‘Pale’, and it was officially abolished in 1915, though it lives on in myth and lore up to the present day. Within the Pale were major cities such as Odessa, Kiev, and Minsk. In a time period when many Christians in Europe were virtually restricted to living in a tiny village or on a single farm, it seemed like relative freedom, but this regulating of the right to travel was the basis of a determined campaign on both sides of the Atlantic. The situation of Jews living in czarist Russia had been consistently deteriorating since the murder of Alexander II in 1881, which was at least in part organized by a pregnant Jewish woman, Gesia Gelfman. The new Czar, in reaction, authorized the formation of a quasi secret nationalist organizations whose mission was to root out terrorists and protect Russian patriotism.[45]

    Many Americans felt that it was unreasonably selfish for an ethnic group to demand that the United States compromise its foreign policy toward another country based on privileges that other country granted to that same ethnic group. These Americans failed to see how it was in America’s national interest. President William Howard Taft was not willing to shape America’s Russian policy around the needs of Russian Jewry and the desires of an ethnic minority at home. Taft had been handpicked for the presidency by Teddy Roosevelt. A principled and cerebral man who later served as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Taft was not as popular as Teddy Roosevelt had been. During this period of political turmoil, the American Jewish Committee cleverly and boldly employed its network of national contacts and supported politicians such as Woodrow Wilson who were hungry for votes in the 1912 election.[46]

    Louis Marshall was the president and chief strategist of the American Jewish Committee. A contemporary and ally of the Schiffs and Warburgs,[47] he directed the American Jewish Committee in a skillful, uncompromising campaign to spread what was called the ‘abrogation message’ to politicians at the state and national levels. The committee worked openly and unabashedly to make Congress and the public believe that the passport issue involved national rights and power, in which the Jews just happened to be the catalyst. A series of anti-Russian, pro-abrogation articles for newspapers and magazines throughout the country was prepared. They accused the Associated Press of biased, unreliable, and anti-Semitic reporting. They also sent 35,000 copies of Marshall’s January speech to the “creators and leaders of public opinion in every part of the country”, to all newspapers with a circulation of over 2200, and to newspapers in home towns of federal judges, Democratic and Republican National Committeemen, district attorneys, and Congressmen. The American Jewish Committee wrote 50,000 ministers throughout the country suggesting that they make this internal passport dispute within Russia the subject of their sermons. Jewish organizations and individuals prevailed upon fraternal organizations, unions and state legislatures to pass abrogation resolutions. State legislatures in Georgia, Montana, Illinois, Florida, Nevada, and New York all passed similar resolutions.

    Finally, in New York City in 1911, the American Jewish Committee

    “[…] staged an enormous abrogation rally in New York City which featured the appearance of two presidential hopefuls, Woodrow Wilson and Champ Clark, William Randolph Hearst, a former ambassador to Russia, and several Congressmen.”

    It was a lot of pressure on then President Taft who felt it would severely restrain Russian American relations and jeopardize America’s immigration policy. Secretary of State Knox told President Taft that ending normal relations with Russia because she excluded American Jews for the sake of her domestic policy would “stultify our traditional policy in the matter of immigration.” Despite President Taft’s opposition to abrogation, the American Jewish Committee pressured the U.S House of Representatives to pass a (not legally binding) resolution on this by a vote of 301 to 1. Schiff bragged that the abrogation victory was “the greatest victory for the Jews since Napoleon granted them civil rights.”[48]

    There are other examples of lobbying to influence U.S. foreign policy on behalf of their co-religionists before World War One. In 1906, Secretary of State Elihu Root instructed America’s representative at the Algeciras conference, where the European powers were deciding the economic and political fate of Morocco, to express an interest in the Jews of Morocco. Root’s instructions contained a letter from Schiff describing Moroccan-Jewish conditions. In 1912, at the end of the Balkan war in which Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece had defeated Turkey, the American Jewish Committee prevailed upon incoming President Wilson to intervene diplomatically in the London peace negotiations on behalf of the Balkan Jews, who before the Balkan war had lived under the rule of the Ottoman Turks and had enjoyed political and civil rights.[48] But it was a Georgia State conviction of a child murderer based on circumstantial evidence, that is, evidence based on circumstances which form reasonable grounds for determining facts relevant to a case, that roused the New York Jewish community to action and provided the impetus for the establishment of the largest Jewish civil rights organization in the United States.

    B’nai B’rith, founded in 1843, is the largest and oldest Jewish fraternal lodge in the United States. Its name means children of the covenant in Hebrew. In 1913, B’nai B’rith started the Anti Defamation League in response to the President of the Atlanta B’nai B’rith, Leo M. Frank, being convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, a thirteen year old employee in a pencil factory where he was superintendent. A particularly gruesome crime, the victim had been dragged across the coal cindered basement floor, face down, causing punctures and holes in her face. The funeral director reported that when he picked up the little girl’s body the cord she had been strangled with was still around her neck.[49]

    The defendant was indicted by an all white Grand Jury that included three Jewish members. At the trial, the prosecution’s case relied on the testimony of a black janitor, who the jurors believed. Frank was found guilty and sentenced to death. The Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the trial court decision finding in pertinent part:[50]

    “The evidence tended to show a practice, plan, system, or scheme on the part of the accused to have lascivious or adulterous association with certain of his employees and other women at his office or place of business, in which the homicide occurred. Some of these acts were shown specifically to have occurred not long before the homicide. […] It tended to show a motive on the part of the accused, inducing him to seek to have criminal intimacy with the girl who was killed, and upon her resistance, to commit murder to conceal the crime. There was not only evidence of the practice of the accused with other women, but during the trial there was also introduced evidence tending to show that in pursuance of his general practice he made advances toward the deceased.”

    Louis Marshall, the head of the American Jewish Committee, at first took the tactic of bringing influence to bear on the Southern press to free the defendant. When this didn’t work, he convinced Adolf Ochs, the publisher of the New York Times and a member of the American Jewish Committee, to use his newspaper to publicize the ‘injustices’ surrounding this trial, but also insisted that Ochs not mention that the defendant was Jewish or suggest that anti-Semitism had influenced his prosecution.[51]

    The defendant was represented by the high-powered Atlanta law firm of Rosser & Brandon, which merged with Slaton & Phillips in 1913, the same year as the trial. John Slaton from that same law firm became governor of Georgia and commuted the death sentence to life imprisonment on June 21, 1915. While commutation is certainly within a Governor’s discretion and makes ethical sense in a case where the defendant had no prior convictions, the commutation made no sense politically. The Jewish groups weren’t happy about it because they claimed Frank was innocent and wanted a new trial that would clear the defendant. Mary Phagan’s family and much of the general public thought the commutation looked like a back room deal between the Governor and his old law firm, which represented the defendant.

    Then an equally heinous murder occurred when the defendant was abducted from his prison cell and lynched. The justice system completely broke down and no one was ever arrested, prosecuted, or otherwise held accountable for this second murder. And there was no shortage of braggarts claiming responsibility for the lynching. What secretive, organized movements were involved in this gangsterism?

    If B’nai B’rith really thought their defendant was innocent, wouldn’t they have applied pressure to assure that his butchers were brought before the bar of justice? But if some people felt he was actually guilty, the lynching solved a lot of problems. A guilty man spending the rest of his life in prison might decide to confess somewhere along the line in hope of getting released. The Pollard spy case comes to mind in that regard. We know who killed Mary Phagan. The real question is why didn’t anybody care who lynched the President of Atlanta B’nai Brith? Not just who participated in the lynching, but also who was involved in the cover up? Who were the accessories before the fact to this murderous obstruction of justice? Many decades later, after most of the witnesses were dead, he received a posthumous pardon that did nothing to bring his killers to justice. Of course, a pardon is usually based on political influence and has nothing to do with guilt or innocence.

    Demanding the abrogation of the Russian American treaty of 1832, publicly financing the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war and taking up the cause of the convicted murderer of little Mary Phagan are representative examples of causes that galvanized organized Jewish advocacy groups in the United States before World War One. As we have seen, the extent of the influence and access to power of these groups within American politics by the time of the outbreak of the First World War was very great. Much greater than is generally realized today.


    [26] New York Times, Editorial, February 27, 1880.
    [27] Ibid., December 9, 1880.
    [28] Ibid., November 29, 1880, p. 4.
    [29] “Herr Lasker on German Jews”, New York Times, August 26, 1883.
    [30] “Jews and Gentiles in London”, New York Times, June 20, 1887.
    [31] “Jewish Poverty and Wealth”, New York Times, May 30, 1887.
    [32] Ephraim Frisch, An Historical Survey of Jewish Philanthropy, New York: Macmillan and Company, 1924. Beginning on page 62 this book lists “The Eight Degrees of Charity” from Maimonides, “Portions of the Poor,” Chapter 10, Paragraph 7-14 from highest to lowest:

    The highest degree of charity was one who takes hold of an Israelite who has become impoverished and gives him a gift or a loan or goes into partnership with him or finds work for him so that he does not need to ask for help.

    The second highest class of charitable giving was giving charity to the poor without the poor knowing from whom he takes, such as giving to a public charity fund run by a trustworthy, wise person who knows how to manage it properly.

    Continuing in descending order from most worthy to least worthy. Giving charity to the poor where you know the recipient but he does not know you such as distinguished wise men who go secretly and leave money at the doors of the poor.

    Giving where the poor man knows who the giver is but the giver does not know who got his money.

    Giving without being asked.

    Giving after being asked.

    Giving less than is proper but in a pleasant manner.

    The least worthy charitable gift is one who gives reluctantly.

    Reading through this list one can’t help but surmise how such a belief system could be useful to fund raisers who were leaders in the Jewish community.

    [33] Theodor Herzl, The Tragedy of Jewish Immigration, New York: Zionist Organization of America, 1920, p. 9.
    [34] Ron Chernow, The Warburgs – The Twentieth Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, New York: Random House, 1993, p. 43.
    [35] Oscar Handlin, A Continuing Task. The American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee 1914-1964, New York: Random House, 1964.
    [36] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), p. 48.
    [37] Ibid., p. 46.
    [38] Naomi W. Cohen, Jacob H. Schiff, A Study in American Jewish Leadership Hanover, NH: Brandeis University Press, University Press of New England, 1999.
    [39] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 46 to 56.
    [40] Ibid., p. 100
    [41] Judith S. Goldstein, The Politics of Ethnic Pressure, New York and London: Garland Publishing,1990.
    [42] George Kennan, Siberia and the exile system, New York: Russell & Russell, 1970.
    [43] Gregg Ivers, To Build A Wall. The American Jews and the Separation of Church and State, Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995, p. 36.
    [44] Ibid., p. 41.
    [45] Norman E. Saul, Concord and Conflict. The United States and Russia, 1867-1914, Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1996, pp. 241-243.
    [46] J.S. Goldstein, op. cit. (note 41), p. 162.
    [47] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), p. 164, 252.
    [48] J.S. Goldstein, op. cit. (note 41), pp. 165-178.
    [49] Mary Phagan, The Murder of Little Mary Phagan, Far Hills, NJ: New Horizon Press, 1987.
    [50] Frank v. State, Supreme Court of Georgia, Feb. 17, 1914, 80 Southeastern Reporter 1st, pp. 1016-1044.
    [51] G. Ivers, op. cit. (note 43), p. 41.

  4. Chapter 2:
    World War One Activities

    Regarding the growing importance of the American Jewish Committee, a 1931 summary report by its secretary Joseph C. Hyman stated:[52]

    “Small in its beginnings and regarded as merely a temporary committee for emergency aid, the organization has evolved into the greatest relief agency in Jewish history. In its primary results, it meant the physical saving of millions of Eastern European Jews.”

    Another American Jewish Committee’s explanation was more restrained:[53]

    “As soon as the World War [One] started and it was obvious that a large part of the War would be fought in the zone in which six or seven million Jews lived, particularly Poland, Russia and Galicia, many worthy people started organizations to collect funds for the sufferers in the War zones.”

    The story of the holocaust of up to six million European Jews didn’t originate with World War Two. In fact, a very similar scenario was played out in somewhat less flamboyant terms during World War One and its aftermath. After World War One it was reported as news that five million, over five million, even six million Jews in Europe were sick or dying in a holocaust from starvation, horrible epidemics, and a malignant persecution. The following focuses especially on the World War One fund raising drives. These selected campaigns by major Jewish advocacy groups may offer historical significance both on their own and in terms of the post World War Two Holocaust industry.

    Holocaust is a World War One word. Holocaust was used during and after World War One to describe what was going on in Europe and what allegedly happened to the Jews of Europe during and after that war. While the stories that are today referred to as “the Holocaust” weren’t called a holocaust during or even for decades after World War Two, the word holocaust was used while World War One was happening and thereafter. It was called a holocaust, it was called the greatest tragedy the world has ever known and it was called the greatest need the world has ever known.

    Until 1917, the leader of the Jewish community in New York, Jacob Schiff, repeatedly called for an end to “this holocaust”.[54] In 1919, the American Hebrew magazine used the word holocaust in describing the plight of European Jewry in an article written under the byline of a former Governor of New York State.[55] Yehuda Bauer wrote in My Brother’s Keeper, an authorized history of the Joint Distribution Committee of Jewish War Sufferers, that[56]

    “the destruction of European Jewry during World War Two has obliterated the memory of the first holocaust of the 20th century in the wake of the First World War.”

    A “holocaust of humanity” is the way World War One was described in The Great Betrayal, a book co-authored by Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and published in 1930. The premise of The Great Betrayal was that the British had reneged on promises they made concerning Palestine to the Jewish leadership during World War One. This book included a chapter on Winston Churchill’s opinion that:[57]

    “The Zionist movement throughout the world was actively pro-Ally, and in a special sense pro-British. Nowhere was this movement more noticeable than in the United States and upon the active share of the United States in the bloody struggle which was impending rested a large proportion of our hopes. The able leaders of the Zionist movement and their wide-spread branches exercised an appreciable influence upon American opinion and that influence – like the Jewish influence generally – was steadily cast in our favor. Jews (Zionist and non-Zionist alike) sympathized with the Allies and worked for the success of Great Britain and the close co-operation with Great Britain of the United States.

    The Balfour Declaration must, therefore, not be regarded as a promise given from sentimental motives; it was a practical measure taken in the interests of a common cause at a moment when that cause could afford to neglect no factor of material or moral assistance.”

    The Price of Liberty is an authorized history of the American Jewish Committee that was published in 1948, after World War Two was over. It contains a chapter about World War One entitled “The Holocaust of War”. This chapter mentions some of these World War One and postwar fund raising efforts and includes the following quote:[58]

    “As the armies rolled back and forth in desperate conflict over the borders of Poland, Galicia, and East Prussia, terror, desolation and death descended on the civilian population in general, but most of all upon the seven million Jews. The Christian Poles, Ruthenians and Germans suffered the inevitable hardships that attend all warfare; but the Jews, already proscribed by the Russians and Poles, met with a concentrated orgy of hatred, blood lust and vindictive opportunity that threatened to wipe them out in one vast holocaust.”

    Less than a month after the initial declarations of war in Europe, plans were begun to organize an effort to help Jews living in the war affected areas. On October 4, 1914, the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War was formed with Morris Engelman elected financial secretary and a day of prayer was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson. On October 14, 1914, Louis Marshall, the president of the American Jewish Committee, called a meeting which resulted in the formation of the American Jewish Relief Committee with Louis Marshall as chairman and Felix Warburg as treasurer. On November 27, 1914, the American Jewish Relief Committee and the Central Relief Committee organized the Joint Distribution Committee, electing Felix M. Warburg chairman.[59]

    The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for Jewish War Sufferers, affectionately referred to by its supporters as the ‘Joint’, was also started in 1914 by the leaders of the American Jewish Committee in response to:

    “alarming news that reached the U.S. regarding the fate of eighty five thousand Jews of Palestine”.

    There were then many Jews living in Palestine being subsidized by British Jews whose subsidies were interrupted by the war between Great Britain and Turkey, which then controlled Palestine.

    Felix Marshall, the longtime president of the American Jewish Committee, became its first president. Jacob Schiff made son-in-law Felix Warburg the first ‘Joint’ treasurer. On New Years Day of 1915, Felix Warburg, the Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, organized a remittance or credit bureau supervised by his secretary, Harriet Lowenstein. In March of that year, the Central Relief Committee made arrangements with Henry Morgenthau, Woodrow Wilson’s ambassador to Turkey, to transmit funds to institutions in Palestine. In time, aid to Palestine, Greece, Egypt, and Syria was channeled through the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey.

    In 1915, at a rally in New York, Louis Marshall, on behalf of the American Jewish Relief Committee, along with Jacob Schiff and Congressman Meyer London, denounced the apathy toward the suffering of co-religionists declaring that millions were in dire distress and pleading with the rich to give. Marshall said there were about 13 million Jews in the world, and that over 6 million of them are in eastern Europe where the war is being fought. Marshall also read a letter from Schiff that “private reports” had been received showing conditions in Russia, Palestine, Poland, and Galicia, “the frightful nature of which could not be pictured.” Mr. London said this was the worst period in Jewish history and that millions of Jewish peoples depended on the generosity of more fortunate Jews of the United States.[60]

    In May of 1915, certificates bearing the facsimile signatures of the officers of both committees ranging in value from one dollar to five dollars were introduced. In September, the Esras Torah fund was founded to aid the unfortunate Rabbis and Zadikim in Europe and Palestine. In October, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (Hias) obtained permission from Germany and other countries in Central Europe and received the consent of the United States Government to make arrangements so that communications between residents in the United States and their kin in eastern Europe could be reestablished with all letters passing through Hias, which acted as an International Post Office.

    On December 21, 1915, $700,000 was raised by the American Jewish Relief Committee at a meeting held at Carnegie Hall in New York City. On December 28, the Business Men’s League was organized with Jacob Wertheim as chairman to assure the cooperation of business people throughout the United States.

    On January 6, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Senator Martine of New Jersey setting aside a special Jewish relief day. On January 12, a Resolution was signed by President Wilson setting aside January 27, 1916 as Jewish Sufferers Relief Day, “at the urging of friends of the Jewish people in the United States Senate”.[61] It was observed throughout the country resulting in collections exceeding two million dollars. On February 17, representatives of the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War and the Women’s Proclamation Committee visited the White House and were received by President Wilson, who accepted a plaque commemorating Jewish Relief Day.[62]

    A drive to collect ten million dollars in 1916 was kicked off with a pledge of the cooperation of newspapermen. As Engelman notes in his chronological summary of the first fifteen years of the Joint Distribution Committee published in 1929:

    “The generosity of the public was greatly stimulated by the whole-hearted helpfulness of the entire American and Jewish press.”

    Throughout all of the early holocaust fund raising drives, there was a total lack of criticism or media scrutiny, the press being reduced to a sort of cheering section, not unlike today’s cringing fondness over the actions of Israel and the post World War Two holocaust industry by the fourth estate.

    A May 22, 1916, New York Times article reported that there were 700,000 Jews in need on the east war front:[63]

    “of the normal total of about 2,450,000 Jews in Poland, Lithuania, and Courland, 1,770,000 remain, and of that number about 700,000 are in urgent and continuous want. About 455,000 of these are in Poland, and 50,000 of these number are persons who are without homes and in particularly distressful circumstances.”

    Another 1916 project was a book entitled The Jews in the Eastern War Zone. Published by the American Jewish Committee, 25,000 copies of this book were sent to the leaders of American thought and the molders of public opinion including President Wilson, members of the Presidential Cabinet and Congress, the press and the magazines, influential men and women everywhere.[64] The book said that Russia has virtually converted an area into a penal settlement, where six million human beings guilty only of adherence to the Jewish faith are compelled to live out their lives in squalor and misery, in constant terror of massacre, subject to the caprice of police officials and a corrupt administration – in short, without legal rights or social status:[65]

    “a kind of prison with six million inmates, guarded by an army of corrupt and brutal jailers.”

    The Jews in the Eastern War Zone is an important book from this period because the language in the book is reused extensively by other sources, such as the New York Times. It is important today because it shows what the American Jewish establishment was telling people before the United States entered World War One, as a reading of the introduction and the introduction to the section on Russia shows.[66] This book’s concept included the theme that the Jews in eastern Europe were experiencing a unique suffering, that this suffering was to an extent suffered by no others, that they were denied elementary rights denied to no other people, and were the victims of government sponsored persecutions. It even contains the buzz words “six million” and “extermination.”

    The book also describes why the American Jewish establishment thought that the recent abolition of the Pale was temporary, granted grudgingly by Russia’s leadership with galling limitations, and issued in the hope of facilitating a foreign loan.[67]

    In July of 1916, Felix and Paul Warburg’s younger brother Fritz Warburg, who during World War One was the Chairman of the Hamburg Metal Exchange, was involved in discreet unofficial peace talks with Alexander Protopopov, the Vice President of the Russian Duma, in Stockholm, Sweden. Fritz discussed a separate peace between Germany and Russia with Russia receiving parts of German occupied Polish areas.[68] There were several unsuccessful peace attempts between Germany and Russia in 1916.

    In October of 1916, Felix Warburg, who had simultaneously held both the office of Chairman of the Joint Jewish Distribution Committee and Treasurer, resigned as Treasurer and was replaced by Herbert Lehman. Mr. Lehman is more famous as the Democratic governor of New York from 1933 to 1942. Franklin Roosevelt preceded him in that office from 1929 to 1933. Although Lehman served as treasurer for less than a year, he retained close connections with the ‘Joint’ and headed up the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), which was established in 1943 and existed until it was supplanted by the International Refugee Organization in 1947.[69]

    The outbreak of World War One was a difficult time for Americans who had been born in Germany. Most didn’t want the United States to get sucked into this European war, which they thought would not benefit their adopted country as well as for reasons of sentiment. At the beginning of the war, Jacob Schiff rationalized that Germany was going to win and that a German victory that would also end Czarism appeared by far the more desirable end. Schiff’s in-laws at the Warburg firm in Hamburg were actively supporting the German war effort.[54] Although the Russian invasion of Germany was halted by the German army shifting troops from the western front, this produced a stalemate in the west. As hopes for a quick victory evaporated and the war dragged on, the anxieties of German-Americans only increased.

    German-Americans in general had their loyalty as Americans questioned during the World War One period by the pro-British U.S. establishment. Schiff was accused of being pro-German during the first two years of World War One because he didn’t want America to fight in a war allied with the Czar. Once the Czar fell in early 1917, Schiff financially supported the Mensheviks and supported U.S. intervention. A month after the March 1917 revolution deposing the Czar in Russia, the United States declared war on Germany and entered World War One.

    While America was still neutral,[70] the ‘Joint’ channeled 19 million marks to aid Polish Jews through the M.M. Warburg private bank in Hamburg Germany.[71] According to Reports Received by the Joint,[72] a 1916 publication of The Joint Distribution Committee, they were sending money to the Jewish Colonization Committee in Petrograd, Russia, which worked through local committees in 142 centers in Russia from Alitir, Baku, Bessarabia, Irkutsk, and Odessa to Yaraslavl.[73] It was the general policy of the ‘Joint’ to work within existing Jewish organizational structures already in place in Europe.

    After America entered the war, the ‘Joint’ transferred money into German-occupied territory through neutral Holland. A committee was set up that transferred close to two million dollars from the United States to Dutch diplomatic representatives, who distributed it according to guidelines received from New York by way of Holland. In May of 1917, Oscar Strauss, Henry Morgenthau Sr., Louis Marshall, Fulton R. Brylawski, and Albert Lucas, secretary of the Joint Distribution Committee, interviewed the Secretary of State, and arrangements were completed for sending relief funds to the German occupied territories in Poland and Lithuania through the intermediary of a committee of Dutch Jews, instead of the German Hilfskomitee.[74]

    By the time America entered World War One, anti-German hate propaganda in the United States had escalated to a point that was much worse than any time even during World War Two. In many places the playing of music by Beethoven and other German composers was outlawed, as was the teaching of German in public schools. It is now conveniently forgotten how Kaiser Wilhelm was vilified and caricatured. Falsehood In Wartime, a book written by a Member of British Parliament, chronicles some of the vitriolic stories published about aspects of German culture. He notes that films were produced by those who were trying to get America into the war and that one showed a foreign army burning villages, carrying off women, and a hideous German looking villain was depicted plotting and scheming, with a close-up of him, rolling his eyes with Mephistophelian cunning in the gallery of Congress. Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is our God was mistranslated as “Hindenburg is our God”, and Wagner was unfavorably compared to Sousa.[75]

    Rudyard Kipling saw Germans as germs, saying that “Pestis Teutonicus” menaces civilization everywhere in a New York Times article, which is reprinted below:[76]

    “One thing that we must get into our thick heads is that wherever the German – man or woman – gets a suitable culture to thrive in he or she means death and loss to civilized people, precisely as germs of any disease suffered to multiply mean death or loss to mankind, There is no question of hate, or anger or excitement in the matter, any more than there is in flushing out sinks or putting oil on water to prevent mosquitoes hatching eggs. As far as we are concerned the German is typhoid or plague – Pestis Teutonicus, if you like. But until we realize this elementary fact in peace we shall always be liable to outbreaks of anti-civilization. Make this clear by all means in your power. […] We must put the work through for the sake of all mankind and the saving of our souls. I see that Australia has begun to restrict German trade. That is right. Where a bale or box of German goods comes into a civilized country there is always the chance of exposing mankind to danger sooner or later. This has been proved, before all mankind in every quarter of the world. […] If I were a German, I would really be grieved at the blindness of all the rest of the world, and judging from their papers, they are grieving in multitudes. But I fancy it is a long way yet for them and for us. They have got to go on winning victories for about another year if their men and their money run into it. They will probably finish up with a splendid victory, and then those ‘fool allies’ will reform their line and pick up the pieces and get ready to be beaten again – very likely not far from where the lines are now. Then the show will shut up with Germany victorious to the last and the Allies methodically carving her up into nice harmless pieces. Maybe I am wrong, but that is the way I see it. Germany winning all the victories and the Allies winning the war.”

    After America entered the war, “actual war films” (sic) were produced in Hollywood and released, and the Committee on Public Information employed an immense army of speakers and pamphleteers. Lies were successfully circulated including poisoned sugar-candy dropped by German airplanes for children to eat and German soldiers giving poisoned candy and hand grenades to children. A particularly gruesome lie about German soldiers crucifying a young girl was the basis of a war propaganda drama, “Duty to Civilization”, which had the blessing of President Wilson.[77]

    It was during this period that the Provisional Zionist Committee whose chairman was Stephen S. Wise in a news story entitled “Germans let Jews Die, Women and Children in Warsaw Starving to Death” vouched that “Jewish mothers, mothers of mercy, feel happy to see their nursing babies die, at least they are through with their suffering.”[78]

    This report ignores the facts that aid had been sent to Warsaw through Hamburg while America was still neutral and that just a month before, in May of 1917, ‘Joint’ officials made arrangements through both the U.S. Secretary of State and German officials to send relief funds to the German occupied areas of Poland and Lithuania by way of a committee of Dutch Jews as noted previously in this chapter. The Netherlands managed to remain neutral throughout that war and provided asylum for Kaiser Wilhelm the Second from the time of his abdication until his death in 1941.

    The Balfour declaration is dated November 2, 1917, although the language in the declaration had been worked on for years before that. For example the words “national home” were used instead of nation to dispel fears that the Arab Moslems and Christians already living there would be expelled. Lord Balfour of the British foreign office signed and sent a letter to Lord Rothschild which said:

    “I have much pleasure in conveying to you on behalf of His Majesty’s Government the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations, which has been submitted to and approved by the cabinet: ‘His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.’ I should be grateful to you if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.”

    A month after the date of the Balfour Declaration in December of 1917, the British army entered Jerusalem.

    In 1918, Louis Marshall was spearheading a drive to raise twenty million dollars for what they said was the millions of starving Jews in the war zones.[79] While labeled non-sectarian, Felix Warburg, the Chairman of the 1918 campaign explained that:[80]

    “this campaign is entirely for the Jewish civilian populations in Europe, Palestine and Asia Minor.”

    Also in 1918, the American Jewish Congress was founded with the original goals of “providing humanitarian relief for European Jews who had suffered from the carnage of the war and restoring the State Of Israel to Palestine”.[43] The American Jewish Congress saw itself as the voice of the eastern European Jews rather than the American Jewish Committee, whose members were mostly German Jews.

    Rabbi Stephen S. Wise was the major leadership figure of the American Jewish Congress during its formative period.[81] Born in Hungary, the son of a Rabbi and a porcelain heiress and the grandson of Joseph Hirsch Weisz, a Grand Rabbi of Hungary, he was brought to New York by his parents as a small child in 1875, when his father became rabbi of a Brooklyn, New York, congregation. The younger Wise was instructed in Talmudic law by his father and the Rev. Dr. Gustav Gotheil. He attended the College of the City of New York, and was reported to have completed his studies abroad. After returning to the United States, at the age of 20, he was elected rabbi of the Congregation B’nai Jeshurun in New York where he remained for over five years. Shortly after June of 1900, he went to Portland, Oregon, to head up a congregation and then returned to New York, founding the Free Synagogue in 1906. Early on, Dr. Wise was known for his progressive ideas on general topics and also as an exponent of Zionism, a movement then contemplating the reestablishment of the Jewish nation.[82]

    As early as 1900, Wise is recorded telling a Zionist gathering that “there are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism” as reported in a New York Times article.[83]

    By 1906, Dr. Wise had founded the Free Synagogue, an independent reform synagogue on West 81st Street in New York City. His sermons sometimes were reported in the New York Times. In 1908, the New Years service was so crowded that the overflow crowd was addressed by Eugene Lehman of Yale University, the President of the adjoining religious school.[84] His tone was often frankly populist. In one sermon Wise accused the Standard Oil Company of treason and of a bankruptcy in morals.[85] He preached from Carnegie Hall that certain criticism should be ignored but that there was a duty, “to meet every attack on honor, righteousness, and justice, to make ourselves kings among men, and knightly administrators of justice to humanity at large.”[86] In another sermon he went after thirteen New York State Judges for attending a banquet in honor of a former Tammany (political machine) leader. He preached against the intermarriage of Jews and Christians.[87] He spoke at a Seventh Avenue Methodist Church under the auspices of the Peace Society, of which Andrew Carnegie was President, attacking “yellow journalism as would jingoize our land into war.” An excellent topic even for today! Wise also once came out in favor of a bill that was pending in the New York Legislature that would tax and assess “for profit” cemeteries for public improvements.[88]

    One story he used to tell was that in 1914 the Mayor of New York City called him on the phone and asked:

    “Dr. Wise, this is John Mitchell. Where the hell is Armenia? […] Some representatives of Armenia are coming to this office in a few minutes and I don’t know where Armenia is or what those fellows want.”

    Wise said he suggested that Mitchell put a good stenographer on the phone and dictated a short statement of welcome and congratulations to the gentlemen from Armenia.[89]

    In November of 1918, Wise was named chairman of a delegation to go to London, England, on behalf of the Zionist Organization of America.[90] In January of 1919, after conferring with Lord Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, Wise was in Paris, France, where he conferred with Colonel House and received the Legion of Honor decoration in appreciation of his eminent services to the French cause. When asked if there was any likelihood of boundary difficulties in the Near East, Dr. Wise said:

    “Not if France and Great Britain act as they may be expected to act in the spirit of friends and allies – and have regard not for obsolete conventions and questionable facts, but for that spirit throughout the permanent conference.”

    After returning to the United States, Dr. Wise met with President Wilson in 1919 who approved of a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine under British rule. Wise was quoted on page one of the New York Times on March 13, 1919, saying:[91]

    “The rebuilding of Zion will be the reparation of all Christendom for the wrongs done to the Jews.”

    The occasion was a meeting of Zionist leaders headed by Wise and President Wilson at the White House, where guarantees for human rights to Jews throughout the world including eastern Europe and Palestine were discussed. Afterwards, Wise and other leaders spoke to a large Washington, D.C., audience about his recent experiences in Paris and its bearing on the Paris Peace conference. He predicted that Britain, through the League of Nations, would accept a mandate over Palestine and that the Jews would return to their rightful place in the world.

    These articles show that by 1919 the Jewish lobby was international, focused, and powerful. They were in friendly contact with the heads of the victorious allied governments and a strong voice at the Paris Peace Conference. Wise was a major player as the head of the Zionist Organization of America and later the driving force behind the American Jewish Congress. Wise was meeting with world leaders, passing on their agendas, and representing the Jewish leadership on the issue of Palestine. Chaim Weizmann, Chairman of the British Zionist Committee who had been that organization’s central Paris Peace Conference figure, indicated that the allies and especially the British were sympathetic to the Zionist cause. Displaying confidence and assurance that the mandate of Palestine through the League of Nations would naturally evolve into a Jewish commonwealth, Weizmann said:

    “The League of Nation has made it possible to give expression to the centuries old desire of the Jewish race.”

    Weizmann is credited with making the famous prediction in the early nineteen twenties that Palestine would become “as Jewish as England is English.”[92]

    An early American Jewish Congress news story and fund drive article from May 20, 1920, included this message:

    “The fund for Jewish war sufferers in Central and Eastern Europe where six millions face horrifying conditions of famine, disease and death.”

    In the second paragraph Dr. Wise says:

    “If American Jews now fail to help those who suffer through no fault of their own, the blame will rest on their own heads should they miserably perish. Surely no self respecting American Jew will wish, or even will suffer, the extinction of large numbers of Jewish people to come to pass.”

    The article lists many large contributors, including a ten thousand dollar contribution from Adolf Ochs, who was then the owner of the New York Times.[93]

    We are concentrating on Stephen S. Wise because of his role in breaking the World War Two extermination stories to the American mainstream media through the New York Times. A New York Times article of November 25, 1942, written under the byline of James MacDonald, has been mounted and displayed in the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. It is titled:

    “Himmler Program Kills Polish Jews. […] Officials of Poland Publish Data – Dr. Wise Gets Check Here by State Department.”

    The first part of the article was based on a report issued on November 24 by the Polish government in exile in London, England, although details of the report had allegedly been previously printed in unnamed Palestine newspapers. It stated that in June of 1942 Himmler had visited Warsaw and ordered that half the Jews in Poland be killed by the end of the year and that this was being done throughout Poland and especially at Treblinka, Belzec, and Sobibor. There is no mention of Auschwitz.[94] Stephen S. Wise, who was still the president of the American Jewish Congress as well as chairman of the World Jewish Congress, is the source of the second half of the article “Wise Gets Confirmations-Checks With State Department on Nazis’ Extermination Campaign.” Wise said that he had learned through unnamed sources confirmed by the State Department “that about half the estimated 4,000,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe had been slain in an extermination campaign” and that “the plan was drafted by Herman Backe, Secretary of State for Economics, and was put into effect by Hitler by late summer.” Wise presented a detailed memorandum on atrocities committed in areas occupied by German, Rumanian, Hungarian, and Slovak troops and summarized the statistical effect of the campaign on the Jews living in each country. One example:

    “The total number of Jews in Poland, after the deduction of some 500,000 refugees in Russia, should have approximated 2,800,000.”

    I don’t want to say that Wise’s numbers in the article were wrong because one would think that, if anyone knew the Jewish population in German occupied Europe in 1942, it would be the chairman of the World Jewish Congress. If anything, he would inflate the numbers, which may have been the case here. For example, however many Jews purportedly were in Poland, since there was no modern Poland before 1918, they were previously also counted as citizens of other countries, chiefly Russia. In 1939, when Stalin invaded eastern Poland, it was on the pretext of protecting the minorities within what had for two decades been Poland. The Soviet Union considered the Jews under their control to be Soviet citizens as they had been Russian citizens before 1918. Also many so called Polish Jews moved to Hungary, a country that Wise left out of his statistical analysis. This historic article contains several inconsistencies and is historically significant for its timeliness, not for its accuracy.

    There are many other articles. One such example is an article on page one of the New York Times of July 22, 1942, printing the text of messages from President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill to Dr. Wise containing vague statements of atrocities.[95] There are other such examples. The points are that Wise was a major force behind breaking the World War Two holocaust story to the mainstream press through the New York Times, that he then had a history of an active ongoing relationship with the Times that went back over forty years, and that he also had a long history of making extermination claims all the way back to World War One. This makes Wise’s activities during the First World War era holocaust fund raising drives all the more significant.

    A few other examples. In a sermon at Carnegie Hall Wise declared that Jews cannot believe in “the Christ of dogma” in order “to be saved or to be safe.” Regarding Jesus Christ, Dr. Wise said in 1938:[96]

    “We’ve never rejected him. He died as millions of Jews are dying today.”

    There are several articles about Wise’s views on Jesus. One urged Jews to agree as to the historic reality of Jesus and the nature of his activity.[97] In another, Dr. Wise wanted an end of missionizing by Christians to Jews and that Christian textbooks not teach that the Jews tried to kill Jesus:

    “The Christian teacher ought to read backward, trying to make clear to the Christian child that all this happened long ago, that we do not know where the responsibility rests. Some Jews went with Him, some turned against Him. But his mother was a Jewish woman.”

    Wise wrote in his autobiography Challenging Years:[98]

    “I have felt it to be my sacred duty, when addressing Christian groups and committees, to remind them that even if it could be proven, as of course it cannot be [according to Wise], that Jews and only Jews were responsible for the crucifixion, those who called themselves his followers dare not overlook or ignore Jesus’ last appeal on behalf of his persecutors.”

    Wise thought that Christians, in stressing the resurrection, neglected the life and teachings of Jesus the Jew, and that Jews have not repudiated Jesus the Jew. Wise considered it undebatable that, “Jesus was a Jew, not a Christian.” Of course, if we follow that logic to its ultimate absurdity, then it should be stressed that Buddha was born a Hindu, that Luther was born a Catholic, and that John Wesley was born an Anglican and was even buried in his Anglican robes. George Washington was born an Englishman, and the English never rejected Washington the Englishman. El Libertador Simon Bolivar was born a Spaniard, and so on.

    Wise, again from his autobiography published in 1949, says:[99]

    “It is credibly, even verifiably reported that in all negotiations in the last year of the war through neutral powers on the part of the representatives of the Nazi regime in 1944, the first demand of Hitler had reference not to territory or to reparations but to the handing over to him of the Jews of such countries as England and the United States.”

    You can’t help but wonder how much of what he said he actually believed but it’s possible he believed everything he said.

    Recapitulating this chapter, at the beginning of World War One the leadership of the American Jewish Committee established The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee for Jewish War Sufferers, ostensibly to help Jews living in Palestine. It channeled aid to Jews living in eastern Europe through Jewish welfare agencies in Germany until America entered the war, after which, with the permission of the German and American governments, aid continued to be sent through the neutral Netherlands. The suffering of Jewish civilians living in eastern Europe was described literally as a holocaust, a unique suffering, and regular fund raising campaigns to aid these people were conducted throughout the war. January 27, 1916, was set aside as Jewish Sufferers relief day by President Wilson, and also in 1916, an influential book was published by the American Jewish Committee entitled The Jews in the Eastern War Zones, that reported Jews were being denied rights denied to no other people, and used the words six million and extermination in describing their persecutions under the Czar. Anti-German hate propaganda, directed against both Jews and non-Jews in the United States reached a fever pitch. The Balfour Declaration was declared a month before the British army entered Jerusalem. The American Jewish Congress was launched and both the American Jewish Committee and The American Jewish Congress sent delegates to the Paris Peace Conference that placed Palestine under a British mandate.


    [52] The Activities of the Joint Distribution Committee (J.D.C.), A Summary Report, Submitted to the Council of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee by Joseph C. Hyman, Secretary, March 22, 1931.
    [53] Felix M. Warburg, A Biographical Sketch, New York: The American Jewish Committee, 1938, p. 14.
    [54] N. Cohen, op. cit. (note 38), p. 191.
    [55] Martin H. Glynn, “The Crucifixion of Jews Must Stop!,” The American Hebrew, Oct. 31, 1919, pp. 582f. See Appendix, p. 135.
    [56] Yehuda Bauer, My Brother’s Keeper. A History of the American Joint Distribution Committee 1929-1939, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication Society of America, 1974.
    [57] Jacob de Haas, Stephen S. Wise, The Great Betrayal, New York: Brentano’s Publishers, 1930, p. 287.
    [58] Nathan Schachner, The Price of Liberty. A History of The American Jewish Committee, New York: The American Jewish Committee, 1948, p. 60, 287.
    [59] Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry, New York: Ference Press, 1929.
    [60] “Jews Indifference to War Aid Rebuked”, New York Times, Jan. 14, 1915, p. 3. The complete text is reproduced in the Appendix, p. 92.
    [61] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), p. 8.
    [62] M. Engelman, op. cit. (note 59), p. 9.
    [63] “700,000 Jews in Need on the East War Front”, New York Times, May 22, 1916, p. 11. The complete article is reproduced in the Appendix, p. 93.
    [64] Nathan Schachner, op. cit., (note 58), p. 63.
    [65] The American Jewish Committee, The Jews in the Eastern War Zones, New York: The American Jewish Committee, 1916, p. 19f.
    [66] For a longer excerpt from this book, see Appendix, p. 95.
    [67] Ibid., p. 21.
    [68] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 178f.
    [69] Oscar Handlin, op. cit. (note 35), p. 93.
    [70] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), Chapter 13: “Iron Cross,” pp. 171-179.
    [71] Ibid., p. 173.
    [72] Reports Received by the Joint Distribution Committee of Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, Felix M. Warburg, Chairman; Albert Lucas Secretary. New York Public Library 746677 Astor, Lenox and Tylden foundations, 1916.
    [73] Ibid., p. 9.
    [74] Engelman, op. cit. (note 59), p. 16.
    [75] Arthur Ponsonby, M.P., Falsehood In Wartime-Propaganda: Lies of the First World War, New York: E.P. Dutton, 1929.
    [76] “Sees Germans as Germs,” New York Times, May 14, 1916.
    [77] A. Ponsonby, op. cit. (note 75), pp. 183-185.
    [78] “Germans Let Jews Die. Women and Children in Warsaw Starving to Death” New York Times, August 10, 1917. The complete text is reproduced in the Appendix, p. 94.
    [79] “No Sectarianism In Jewish Drive”, New York Times, September 15, 1918.
    [80] Pamphlet with the title “A Message from Felix M. Warburg, Chairman, Jewish War Relief 1918 Campaign, New York City, Conducted by the American Jewish Relief Committee – Louis Marshall, Chairman; Central Relief Committee – Leon Kamaiky, Chairman; People’s Relief Committee – Alexander Kahn, Chairman,” Sept. 29, 1919.
    [81] G. Ivers, op. cit. (note 43), p. 51.
    [82] “Dr. Wise To Go To Portland”, New York Times, August 3, 1898 p. 1.
    [83] “Rabbi Wise’s Address”, New York Times, June 11, 1900, p. 7. For the entire article, see Appendix, p. 91.
    [84] “Throng at Free Synagogue”, New York Times, Sept. 27, 1908, p. 7.
    [85] “Holds Oil Trust Guilty of Treason”, New York Times, Oct. 12, 1908.
    [86] “Dr. Wise On Attacks”, New York Times, March 12, 1912.
    [87] “Dr. Wise Against Intermarriage”, New York Times, Oct. 4, 1909.
    [88] “Would Tax Cemeteries”, New York Times, March 9, 1913.
    [89] Stephen S. Wise, Challenging Years. The autobiography of Stephen Wise, New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1949, p. 15.
    [90] “Send Zionist Mission”, New York Times, Nov. 29, 1918.
    [91] “President Gives Hope to Zionists”, New York Times, March 3, 1919, p. 1. For the complete article, see Appendix, p. 101.
    [92] S.S. Wise, op. cit. (note 89), p. 109.
    [93] “Jewish War aid Gets $100,000 Gift”, New York Times May 7, 1920, p. 11, see Appendix, p. 124.
    [94] According to Arthur Butz, The Hoax of the Twentieth Century, op. cit. (note 9), p. 89, Auschwitz entered the Allied war propaganda with the publication of a booklet by the War Refugee Board in November, 1944. Therefore, it makes sense that Auschwitz isn’t mentioned in this 1942 story.
    [95] Ibid., p. 98; Butz discusses a large series of quotes from the New York Times, ibid., pp. 90-113.
    [96] “Totalitarianism is Scored – Dr. Wise Declares Jews Cannot Believe in ‘Christ of Dogma'”, New York Times April 18, 1938, p. 15.
    [97] “Jesus As A Reality – Rabbi Wise Thinks Jews Should Agree as to His Activities”, New York Times, April 25, 1925; “Jesus Lived, Dr. Wise Tells Jews”, ibid., December 21, 1925.
    [98] S.S. Wise, op. cit. (note 89), p. 282.
    [99] Ibid., p. 235f.

  5. Chapter 3:
    Postwar Campaigns

    “The Jews were the worst sufferers in the war. ‘The successive blows of contending armies have all but broken the back of European Jewry and have reduced to tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and disease about 6,000,000 souls, or half the Jewish population of the earth.”

    -From a statement by Felix Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, November 1919.[100]

    “In Europe there are today more than 5,000,000 Jews who are starving or on the verge of starvation, and many are in the grip of a virulent typhus epidemic.”[101]

    Speaking from Paris on October 26, 1919, Felix Warburg spoke about plans to switch from emergency or general relief to reconstructive relief in the activities of the Joint Distribution Committee. Warburg said:[102]

    “The 30 million dollars given since the war by America for the relief of Jewish victims of the war programs has been well spent and served the purpose of keeping body and soul together for millions of unfortunates who otherwise would have perished.

    Warburg explained, ‘The great need of urgent relief-food, clothing, and shelter, still exists but as Europe settles down the need for money for that purpose will pass. It is passing even now. We are hoping to get 20 million dollars in an American drive and use perhaps half of this for work of immediate relief.

    ‘The other half will be used as capital for a bank. What the Jews and everybody else in Europe need is raw materials to get back to work. […] We negotiated with local bankers throughout the stricken section, saying: ‘We will give you a certain amount of money if you will advance an equal amount as a loan to reestablish the people in their accustomed trades.’

    ‘We want to encourage the Jews in trade and farming so far as possible, and discourage mere merchandising. We feel that in this way we can do much to eliminate race prejudice. This plan of lending money at small interest may go a long way toward this.

    ‘I see no reason to believe that profit cannot be shown on the great mass of loans we intend to make. Naturally we are interested primarily in the Jews, but so far as practicable we hope to do business – that is what this is, with non-Jews as well.”

    Back in New York from his trip to Paris, Felix told the New York Times in an article that the Jews were the worst sufferers in the war, “and have reduced to tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and disease about 6,000,000 souls, or half the Jewish population of the earth.”[103] At the same time, one of Felix’s older brothers, Max Warburg, was representing Germany on their Finance Committee at the Versailles Peace conference. Max ran the Warburg bank in Hamburg and played a role at every major reparations conference for 14 years giving him wide yet unofficial influence. During the Weimar Republic, Max Warburg was on the Central Committee of the Reichsbank and on the board of 27 German businesses including I.G. Farben.

    American Red Cross and American Jewish Committee representatives were working in a remote region of Poland according to another 1919 report article:[104]

    “The war has left 5,000,000 destitute and stricken Jews in Eastern Europe. […] Their number is being reduced every day by a series of the most terrible epidemics that ever swept any section of the world.”

    He attributed this to an accident of geography, causing Jews to suffer “more from the war than any other element of the population.”

    Felix Warburg had a secretary, Harriet Lowenstein, who was active in the Joint Distribution committee. She went to Europe on their behalf and made large purchases from the U.S. Army. When the servicemen asked what she was going to do with the 100,000 plus candles that she bought, she told them that the candles were to keep the rats away from the dead in the horrible cellars where so many of the destitute Jews live in Poland. This was perfectly true, too, according to Lowenstein.[105]

    This article was apparently written months after the fact, probably in New York, after Miss Lowenstein had returned home from Europe. Speculating on how this story came to be, it is possible it was written to explain rumors among the American soldiers that there was a Jewish woman with a lot of powerful friends who was pushing everybody around France and almost stealing army supplies and equipment. It’s also possible that the story was just a human interest story, perhaps written to show contributors to the ‘Joint’ that they were getting their moneys worth, but that alone wouldn’t explain the smart mouth routine about the candles to the American servicemen. Of course only a very small percentage of the world’s many needy people then were Jewish, as is true today, although the State of Israel receives the lion’s share of the total of U.S. foreign aid. Some things don’t change.

    Here is another remarkable ‘news’ story from 1919. Former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau Sr., the father of Henry Morgenthau Jr., back from an official mission to Poland, reported that five to ten million people in Europe and the Middle East faced hunger death in the coming winter. That there was massive hunger in Europe at that time was certainly true. But his real point was not just to talk about the ‘starving millions.'[106]

    This article’s centerpiece is the theme we have seen stressed so many times since, in so many places and in so many ways. Morgenthau uses a Jewish massacre as a universal symbol for all suffering for all people who experience injustice. Morgenthau called the Jewish massacre at Pinsk “a complete expression of the misery and injustice which is prevalent over such a large part of the world today […]” Later he calls the massacre, “the anguish cry of a terribly persecuted race; to my mind it expressed the misery of centuries and the misery not only of the Jews, but the numerous other people that for ages have looked for justice and have not found it.” An earlier example of trying to appropriate the Christian message that we see over and over echoed in today’s popular culture.

    Sholem Asch, a well-known Yiddish writer, served on the Joint Distribution Committee during World War One. When the ‘Joint’ entered Lithuania in 1919, he went there on its behalf.[107] Asch later served on the pro-Soviet American Committee of Jewish Writers and Scientists.[108] Three years before World War Two began, Asch wrote concerning Polish Jews:[109]

    “people made the impression as if they were buried alive. Every second person was undernourished, skeletons of skin and bones, crippled, candidates for the grave.”

    “In the Valley of Death” was a fictional article published by the New York Times magazine in 1943 written by Asch in which he wrote of

    “gas chambers and blood poisoning stations which are established in the outlying countryside, where steamshovels prepare community graves for the victims.”[110]

    At the end of World War One, there certainly were people starving in Europe. There were millions of Germans, Poles, and Russians starving. Also more people died in a worldwide influenza epidemic in 1918-1919 than died in World War One. On Christmas Day of 1919, the American Relief Committee for German Children, which included Jacob Schiff and Paul Warburg, was soliciting funds for hungry German children through the Society of Friends.

    In 1920, there was a non-sectarian appeal for funds with the slogan, “This time the burden is too gigantic to be borne by Jews alone”, by the Greater New York Appeal for Jewish War Sufferers. This fund drive included many prominent Protestant and Catholic clergy with special model sermons prepared for delivery in all denominations on Church Sunday. The New York City Board of Education cooperated so that children in the public schools could hear the story of the suffering of the children in other lands. Once again the appeal concentrated on Poland, and 10,000 active volunteers were helping in the New York campaign. Dr. Boris B. Bogen, sent to Warsaw by the Joint Distribution Committee, provided this message:[111]

    “Hunger, cold rags, desolation, disease, death – Six million human beings, without food, shelter, clothing or medical treatment. At no time during the war, in any land, not either in Belgium or Northern France, was there a situation more critical, a need more great, a demand for sacrifice more insistent than now comes from Eastern and Central Europe. Both the present and future existence of an entire people are at stake.”

    This 1920 fund raising campaign was aided and legitimized by at least two New York Times editorials. One entitled “A Work Of Mercy” made the point that the Jews who fought bravely for the allied cause had no fatherland and were still suffering even though the war had ended. It stated:[112]

    “In Europe there are today more than 5,000,000 Jews who are starving or on the verge of starvation, and many are in the grip of a virulent typhus epidemic. An appeal has been issued throughout the world.”

    Another Times editorial captioned “The Jewish War Sufferers” reported:[113]

    “In Russia and the neighboring countries the Jews have been subject to a particularly malignant persecution which has not ended with the war. Without any national organization of their own, they have no central organization to appeal to. Living in segregated and generally impoverished communities, their misery is cumulative to an extent unknown among other sufferers. It is estimated that more than five millions are actually starving or on the verge of starvation, and a virulent typhus epidemic is raging among them and is already spreading among neighboring populations.”

    Although obviously not true, or at the very least grossly exaggerated, these stories, which have been completely forgotten today, were taken quite seriously at the time they were made. Please remember that the press had a lot more credibility in 1920 than it has today.

    On September 10, 1920, President Woodrow Wilson expressed sympathy for the suffering Jews of eastern Europe in a letter to Stephen S. Wise, then Executive Chairman of the Committee on Jewish Status in eastern Europe. President Wilson declared:[114]

    “I am deeply moved by the reports which you send me of the trials and sufferings endured by your fellow Jews throughout Eastern Europe. No American, whatever his racial origin or religious creed can fail to feel the deepest sympathy with the Jews of Eastern Europe who continue to bear not only the burden of the war, but also the sufferings incident to unenlightened and unjust treatment at the hands of governments and peoples. […] I am of the hope that those nations with which our own land holds political commerce may do everything in their power to end not only the legal disabilities of their Jewish populations as provided for in the minority clauses of the Peace Treaty, but all the injustices and wrongs which are laid upon them.”

    The peace treaty that President Wilson was referring to was of course the Versailles Treaty and the Peace Conference at Paris that ended World War One.

    By this time the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was being called the “undisputed colossus of overseas aid.”[115] The group’s executive committee met at Felix’s office at Kuhn & Loeb or in the Rembrandt Room of his mansion, named for the Rembrandt paintings on display.

    There were free loan societies and other financial institutions being funded through charitable contributions in place by 1921. Instead of having to pay back depositors plus interest, they didn’t have to pay anybody back when the money was donated. One might think that they wouldn’t charge interest. But as their own records show, the ‘Joint’ did charge substantial interest, as proven by this interchange at the Chicago Conference of the American Jewish Relief Committee held in 1921:[116]

    “Mr. Adolf Kraus: ‘I would like to ask the speaker a question. I understood you to say that these banks that will loan out the money will charge no more in the way of interest initially than if we had administered the cost of carrying on these banks. Did I understand you correctly.’

    Colonel Lehman: ‘Yes’.

    Mr. Kraus: ‘If the initial cost will be ten percent, will these people be charged ten percent?’

    Col. Lehman: ‘I have said that we will not allow them to charge an amount more than will be necessary.’

    Mr. Kraus: ‘You are not answering my question.’

    Col. Lehman: ‘Yes, I will answer it. I should have said that we will not allow them to charge more. I did not mean to give the impression that we will not allow them to charge as much as may be necessary to carry on with the administrative charges. In other words, I believe about ten percent will be necessary to carry on with the administrative charges.’

    Mr. Kraus: ‘I protest against charging these people ten percent interest.’

    Col. Lehman: ‘I want to emphasize the fact that the reconstruction committee, the Joint Distribution Committee, will under no circumstances charge ten percent or any substantial proportion of that. The reconstruction committee in Rumania is charging to the federation of cooperatives making these loans two and one half percent. You can’t expect these people to whom we are giving the money to assume all of the costs of administration. They are willing to take some risk of loss on the administration, but where the cost is, say six percent to eight percent for administration, it would be hard to expect them to carry that themselves. Now, in Poland I should say that the cost of administration would be that, while the Joint Distribution Committee is only going to receive three or four percent.’

    Mr. Kraus: ‘What is the difference to the man who pays the interest whether the bank in Rumania receives the interest, or in Poland, or the Joint Distribution Committee? My opinion is that if any interest is charged it should be limited, so it should not cost the person who pays it more than five percent. If we are going to do charity at the rate of ten percent interest and over, let us stop. It is no charity at all.’

    Col. Lehman: ‘I don’t think that you can change the economic laws with the use of a million dollars. You can change them to a certain extent. I think that Dr. Bogen will bear me out when I say that the interest rate in Poland is much higher than that.’

    Dr. Bogen: ‘In Poland the moneys that will be received from America will be used in reconstruction work, and to help the Polish Jew so that he will be able to help himself. The usual rate of interest in Poland is 1 percent a week, or 52 percent a year. The Jews in Poland do not want to borrow money without interest. When I told them that we were going to give them relief they told me they wanted to send you an appreciation for all that was done in the matter of relief.’

    The Chairman: ‘Subject to the approval of the conference the chair would suggest that such questions as may arise in the minds of the members of this conference be jotted down and the chair proposes to set aside all the time that we need for answering questions.”

    The excuse was later given that the interest rates are high in Poland due to the exchange drop (inflation) in Poland, but since the money was donated in dollars that kept their value, the Polish currency fluctuations shouldn’t have made any difference.

    Later a Dr. Rosenblatt of the conference discussed pogroms and children.[117] Dr. Rosenblatt said:

    “Pogroms are going on daily. They spring up sporadically, unsystematically, in one place one week and the next week in another place, and there is no power on God’s earth which can cope with the situation of the pogroms. I do not want you to misunderstand me. The Russian Government is trying its utmost to cope with the situation but it is powerless, because these pogroms, this pogrom movement, these criminal ways of killing the Jews, are a movement against the Soviet government. It is synonymous with them to make a pogrom and to fight the Soviet government and therefore the one insoluble problem today is how to cope with the pogrom situation’. […]

    I witnessed scenes of children playing. What is the play, what is the game of the children? They are playing in pogroms, a group of 25 children on one side and a group of 25 children on the other side. One group is the pogrom maker and the other group consists of Jews who must save themselves, and the psychology of those children, the frame of mind of these children is the most horrible thing to think of.”

    A Mr. Billikopf, who had been a commissioner of the Joint Distribution Committee for three months in Galicia, Lithuania, and Poland, gave the hard sell:[118]

    “I advocate a new and immediate drive as the first and the imperative task that is before us. I know that the words ‘drive’ and ‘campaign’ have become odious – that they cause our flesh to shrivel when we think of them, but whether they are odious or not, there are 60,000 Jewish orphans who, without us, will die!”

    Dr. Nathan Krass spoke about some of the negative rumors that must have been floating about at the time of the conference. Dr. Krass testified:[119]

    “I have crossed the ocean a number of times in the interest of the Joint Distribution Committee. I have traveled all through America, and therefore geographically I have trained myself to see both sides of the problem. I see it from Europe; I see it from America. I see it through your eyes; I saw it through the eyes of our brethren over yonder. I am glad that I was in Europe this year, because so many of our rich Jews of America were tourists this year. I met them in Carlsbad, I met them in Marienbad; they were everywhere, and everywhere they grumbled because they saw in so many of those summer resorts the Jews of Europe living in the hotels and enjoying themselves and they came to the rapid conclusion that because these few Jews, the thousand they saw in Carlsbad, and the 800 they saw in Marienbad and the 500 in Wiesbaden, who through the decline in the exchange value could translate their lei and their lire into large amounts of money in Czechoslovakia and in Germany – these American Jewish tourists have come to the conclusion that all the Jews in Europe are rich and have grown prosperous and therefore we need no longer help them, but we should let them help, let them take the burden from our shoulders.”

    He further stated that while he was in Europe he also saw orphan asylums, misery, and hard working ‘Joint’ agents.

    Felix Warburg and Henry Morgenthau also spoke at this conference along with others.

    The fund drives continued on a more or less annual basis. In 1922, a Rabbi Joseph H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, condemned the silence of pogroms that he said were being carried out in Ukraine. He declared:[120]

    “[…] 1,000,000 human beings had been butchered and that for three years 3,000,000 persons in the Ukraine had been made ‘to pass through the horrors of hell.’ […] He said that although the pogroms in the Ukraine had ended there were something like 600,000 homeless children, 150,000 orphans and 35,000 double orphans in the Ukraine who would die from cold, hunger or disease unless Jewish hearts remained human and came to the rescue.”

    A brief 1922 news article “Jews Take Over Relief” reported that the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee was taking over the work of the American Relief Administration in overcoming famine in seven governments of the Ukraine.[121]

    In 1923, the Jewish Relief Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee was reporting 1,165,290 stray children wandering in the Ukraine. They made the further astounding claim that the 1,165,290 stray children were wandering in the Ukraine because 3 million dollars in pledges had not been paid. The New York Times reported that the Committee stated:[122]

    “There is still time to round up these 1,165,290 homeless children and reclaim them from the fate of savages. There is time to snatch them back from the first onslaughts of Winter in Russia, even now creeping over the hills, but it will require every dollar of the cash pledged to the program of relief and now withheld. Unless the money can be had at once it will be too late.”

    Some people will, by inclination, believe that wherever there’s smoke there must be fire. Even when the smoke is coming from dry ice. These people will think there must be some truth to stories told often enough and well enough, whether or not the stories pass the smell test. By inclination, I may tend toward the opposite extreme. Show me where somebody’s obviously lying and I will probably remember that incident even when he is trying to tell the truth. A lot of the money raised by these drives was used to help many people, and it is possible to argue that if the promoters hadn’t dramatized the situation, less money would have been raised which would have meant that fewer people would have been helped. But on the other hand, the more dubious stories compromised the integrity of these endless appeals for charitable contributions. The next chapter covers the 1926 drive, where stories of 5,000,000 starving European Jews were spread to finance banks in Poland and kibbutz like agricultural colonies in the Soviet Union. It was perhaps the high water mark of fund raising prevarication, at least for the 1920s.


    [100] “Tells Sad Plight of Jews,” New York Times, November 12, 1919, p. 7. See Appendix, p. 126.
    [101] Editorial, New York Times, April 21, 1920, p. 8.
    [102] Editorial, New York Times, October 27, 1919, p. 3.
    [103] “Felix M. Warburg Tells Sad Plight of Jews,” New York Times, September 29, 1919, p. 7. For the complete article, see Appendix, p. 106.
    [104] “Five Million Face Famine in Poland”, New York Times, December 3, 1919, p. 24. For the complete article, see Appendix, p. 111.
    [105] “Spends $2,000,000 in one Bargain Hunt,” New York Times, October 26, 1919, section 2, page 1. For the complete article, see Appendix, p. 107.
    [106] “Says Ten Millions Face Hunger Death,” New York Times, Dec. 3, 1919, p. 19. For the complete article, see Appendix, p. 109.
    [107] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), p. 11.
    [108] Arkady Vaksberg, Stalin Against the Jews, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1994, p. 118.
    [109] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), page 189.
    [110] Sholem Asch, “In the Valley of Death,” New York Times, February 7, 1943 p. 16.
    [111] “Jews Ask Public to Aid War Victims”, New York Times, May 2, 1920, p. 1. For the entire article, see Appendix, p. 113.
    [112] New York Times, April 21, 1920, p. 8. For the entire article, see Appendix, p. 113, reproduced on p. 124.
    [113] “The Jewish War Sufferers,” New York Times, May 3, 1920, p. 12. For the entire article, see Appendix, p. 116, reproduced on p. 125.
    [114] “President Urges Justice for Jews,” New York Times, September 12, 1920.
    [115] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), p. 246.
    [116] Proceedings of Chicago Conference of the American Jewish Relief Committee held on September 24-25, 1921.
    [117] Ibid., p. 40f.
    [118] Ibid., p. 55.
    [119] Ibid., p. 61.
    [120] “British Chief Rabbi Condemns Silence on Pogroms Carried Out in Ukraine”, New York Times, January 9, 1922, p. 19. For the entire article, see Appendix, p. 117.
    [121] “Jews Take Over Relief. Will Carry on Work of American Body in Ukraine,” New York Times, July 2, 1922.
    [122] “1,165,290 In Ukraine Verge On Savagery – Jewish Relief Committee Here Appeals for $3,000,000 to Aid Homeless Children”, New York Times, September 3, 1923.

  6. Chapter 4:
    The 1926 Campaigns

    “There are millions of Eastern European Jews in Poland and an equal number in other countries who are passing away and all of them will disappear unless we rise to the emergency, forget everything else, and come to the rescue.”

    -Louis Marshall, President, American Jewish Committee.[123]

    “There are 5,000,000 Jews in Central and Eastern Europe facing starvation […]. Five million Jews are in desperate distress today-2,225,000 in Russia, 2,225,000 in Poland, and 500,000 in Bessarabia, Lithuania, and the nearby countries.”

    -The American Christian Fund, December 6, 1926.[124]

    After World War One, the public generously contributed to European relief efforts. But by 1926, the ‘Joint’ found itself:[125]

    “Faced with a Jewish American community that was becoming increasingly indifferent to disaster appeals.”

    The records of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee show a drop off in contributions from 1920 to 1925 followed by a large increase in 1926. 1926 was also the year in which the most outrageous Jewish suffering news stories of the 1920s were concocted, the stories of the five million starving eastern European Jews.

    On April 26, 1926, a page one New York Times news story announced the opening of this fund raising drive at three simultaneous dinners in New York City the preceding night attended by 2200 people. It was announced that the largest gift was $400,000 from Felix Warburg. Speakers drew graphic word pictures for the guests at the dinner tables and also for the larger radio audiences[126]

    “of the pathetic conditions in which millions of Jews are living in Poland, Bessarabia, Russia and Rumania, as a result of post-war industrial and economic depression, added to the distress left by the war itself. […] The speakers appealed to America to salvage one half of the Jews of the World. They said that all the suffering and persecution to which Jews had been subjected to in the past all over the world were nothing [compared] to the misery of the Jews in Eastern Europe today […and that] thousands have died from starvation and the diseases that follow famine like typhus and tuberculosis, and hundreds have committed suicide because they felt their lot hopeless.

    Unless America goes to the rescue, it was declared, 1,000,000 Jews in Poland and 1,000,000 more in other countries affected will be wiped out by famine and pestilence and will simply disappear off the face of the earth.”

    Louis Marshall, the head of the American Jewish Committee, said:[127]

    “At this very moment there are literally millions of men, women, and children who have always led blameless lives, who are industrious, thrifty, conscientious, abstemious (eating and drinking sparingly), and provident, who, without fault of their own, are moving on the very brink of destruction and annihilation, before whom gaunt famine stalks, who are threatened and pursued by bigotry and intolerance, and who are denied the opportunity of gaining a livelihood by abhorrent legislation and by malignant hostility. The scene of the Jewish tragedy is laid in Poland and its several divisions, including Galicia; in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Rumania and Russia. The victims are the Jews of these countries, numbering more than 7,000,000 souls. They are emaciated, ragged, debilitated by physical deterioration resulting from hunger and disease and mental solicitude. Their eyes are downcast. There is scarcely a gleam of hope left in their hearts. They are on the verge of despair, and many of them have given way to it, so that on every side one beholds the suicide of desperation. […] All this has come after the war is over, after they have passed through famines, after they have been refugees, after they have lost frequently the head of the household as a result of the war, after in some of these countries there have been pogroms, and people have been murdered in cold blood, after all that they possessed is gone, their wealth taken from them, and these things have not been enough, but those that I have just described are continuing, are occurring at this hour, at this moment, while I am speaking, there are millions of Eastern European Jews in Poland and an equal number in other countries who are passing away and all of them will disappear unless we rise to the emergency, forget everything else, and come to the rescue.”

    David A. Brown from Detroit, Michigan, the national chairman of this 1926 drive, said that:[127]

    “900,000 Jews in Poland alone were on the verge of starvation and that this was nearly one third of the entire Jewish population of Poland. There have been more suicides among the Jews in Poland alone than had ever occurred there in five centuries. […] However, there has been a rift in the clouds of Russia due to the fact that the Russian Government recognizes that the very foundation of their economical existence depends on agriculture. It has hundreds of millions of fertile acres. Russia has put an end to the private ownership of land, but it recognizes the right of anybody who desires to work upon the land to engage in agricultural pursuits and has made no discrimination between the Jew and the non-Jew in that regard.”

    Brown’s message, which was read at the meetings, began:

    “Never in the history of the Jewish people, dating back for centuries, was there a situation like this, and never before in the history of the Jewish people was there an emergency as great as this.”

    The New York Times quoted Mr. Brown as stating the “standard of life of the Russian Jew is lower than that of the people of India, China, Japan and Korea” in an editorial in support of the drive.[128] This editorial called the drive:

    “the latest chapter in the story of American succor for Europe’s stricken populations, which began with Herbert Hoover’s work in Belgium and has taken the form of vast sums expended on war relief, famine relief and reconstruction.”

    The 1926 drive of the American relief fund for the Jews of eastern Europe used a correspondent named Irma May who sent radiograms from Warsaw to New York. One of these radio programs said:[129]

    “In Lodz […] Records show threatening increase of hysteria, insanity and suicide within last months. Schools report tuberculosis to 65 percent. Sixty percent of children survive on tea and bread distributed by schools which face closing. Outbreaks of typhoid and other hunger epidemics anticipated and no means available for preventing. Approximately 230,000 Jews doomed unless immediate relief available.”

    Another of Ms. May’s radio messages described conditions in Rovno, Poland “selling last piece of furniture to escape prison for not paying taxes.”[130] About 500,000 persons attended rallies in New York City in support of this 1926 drive and speakers “spread the message of the suffering of millions of Jews abroad.”[131] The Joint Distribution Committee cabled that[131]

    “unless substantial help came quickly – the Jewish orphans asylum will be compelled to close. […] Thousands of children will be turned out into the streets to roam about aimlessly, hopelessly, blindly.”

    On November 26 in Washington, D.C., a movement to enlist 50,000 Christian clergy in an organization to save 5,000,000 starving Jews in eastern and Central Europe was backed by what was called, oddly, the Near East relief movement. They claimed that one third of the Jewish population is in distress and:[132]

    “in some parts of Europe the death rate among Jewish babies is almost 100 percent. […]

    Thousands of Jews are dying of want right now. Hundreds of thousands are confronted by that most painful death-hunger. Unless help is given, 5,000,000 Jews will starve. This does not mean that they will die immediately, but that they will linger, with lack of sufficient food, and some will die next week, some next month and each succeeding month, unless relief comes, one way or another.”

    On December 6, 1926, there was another page one New York Times article about a rally for the five million starving Jews of eastern Europe. The headline read: “Cathedral is Scene of Rally of Faiths for Jewish Relief”. 1,500 people attended the mass meeting and heard World War One Commander in Chief of the US forces General John J. Pershing urge generous contributions as well as Protestant and Catholic leaders and Louis Marshall, the head of the American Jewish Committee. New York Governor and later Presidential Candidate Alfred Smith and Supreme Court Justice Arthur S. Tompkins sent telegrams of support. One of the themes stressed by several of the speakers was that by financially helping the starving Jews of Europe they will be fighting race prejudice, hate and bigotry throughout the world.

    General Pershing said:

    “It is a difficult thing for us in our prosperous country to imagine just what suffering those poor people overseas are going through. This is an occasion for all Americans, whether Christians or what not, to show our Jewish friends that we have charitable instincts and that there is no such thing as race prejudice in this great country. To my mind this is one of the great lessons we can teach the people of Europe by contributing to this fund.”

    Bishop Manning who presided is quoted as follows:

    “The lives of 5,000,000 Jewish men and women and children are at stake. Our Jewish fellow Americans are sending their help nobly to their stricken brethren. But the American Jews cannot do it all. The need is too great for them to meet it. And we cannot allow them to do it all. The Christians of America must have a share in this great work of mercy. The call that comes from those suffering mothers and starving babies is the call of our common humanity.”

    Louis Marshall, the wily head of the American Jewish Committee, stated:

    “We rejoice that the Christian Community has decided to help us complete our fund. The telegram we received announcing this decision came to us like manna in the wilderness, like the dew of heaven on the parched soil, after the Jews in America for twelve years had striven alone to keep alive their brethren in Poland, Rumania, Besserabia and Russia, where pestilence, war, famine, and massacre have been their daily experience.”

    New York Governor Alfred Smith, who two years later would be the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party, sent a generous contribution and the following telegram, which was read to the audience:

    “Contribution to the American Christian Fund and to the fund of the United Jewish Campaign for relief of suffering Jews in Eastern Europe represents the true Christian and American spirit. Suffering unites us in common brotherhood. Such deeds further good will, better understanding and tolerance. May your meeting have substantial results.”

    It was also reported that the American Christian Fund had sent a letter to 150,000 Christian leaders around the country apprising them that there are 5,000,000 Jews in Central and Eastern Europe facing starvation.

    “We must realize that American Jews cannot save all of them. Unless Christians help, many will perish. American Christians have never realized nor understood the sufferings of the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe. Five million Jews are in desperate distress today-2,225,000 in Russia, 2,225,000 in Poland, and 500,000 in Bessarabia, Lithuania, and the nearby countries. Men, women, and little children are suffering and in misery – they are hungry all the time.

    Since 1914 ‘the Four Horsemen’ have ridden grimly over half the Jewish population of the world-war pestilence, famine and always death.”

    A New York Times editorial supporting this drive reported that 62 million dollars had been raised and that they were now engaged in raising 25 million more.[133]

    Isn’t it revealing that in 1926 there are news stories on page one of the New York Times that five million Jews are starving, unlike during World War Two, where press coverage was nonexistent or relegated to the back pages and the religion section until it was practically over? In 1926, we have fifteen hundred people coming out in a snowstorm for the five million starving Jews, fund drives all over the country, support from notables including the Governor of New York, 500,000 people attending rallies in New York City in support of this 1926 drive.[134] One can’t help but wonder about the I.M.T. prosecutors and staff that grew up in the New York area or elsewhere and had been exposed to these earlier campaigns. Are we really supposed to believe that an extermination of the Jews in Central and eastern Europe was avoided in the 1920s because of mass fund raising campaigns and an outpouring of public sympathy and support and that twenty years later these same people in eastern and Central Europe were killed because no one knew about their plight or no one cared? Certainly they couldn’t have argued that nobody knew about the holocaust in 1926 because it was on the front page of the New York Times at least twice.

    Did the 1926 holocaust stories evolve out of previous Jewish fund raising drives and commitments? Was this just part of a charity tradition? Were these emotional appeals playing on people’s fears or perhaps spirituality contrived in order to raise lots of money? We do know these charity drives were run by international bankers who had also financed wars, revolutions, and railroads. What they said they actually did with this money is the subject of the next chapter.

    A few other news stories about millions of suffering Jews. In 1937, Samuel Untermeyer called a conference at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to report that at least 2,000,000 of the slightly more than 3,000,000 Jews in Poland were virtually starving:[135]

    “An entire nation of more than three million souls is threatened with annihilation.”

    In 1938, “a depressing picture of 6,000,000 Jews in Central Europe deprived of protection or economic opportunities, slowly dying of starvation, all hope gone” was presented by Jacob Tarshis, known by his radio audience as the Lamplighter, representing the American Joint Distribution Committee:[136]

    “‘The Jewish tragedy started when Hitler came to power in 1933,’ Mr. Tarshis declared. ‘Now anti-Semitism has spread to thirteen European nations, and threatened the very existence of millions of Jews.”

    In 1940, Dr. Nahum Goldman, chairman of the administrative committee of the World Jewish Congress, said in an interview at the Hotel Astor that:[137]

    “Six million Jews in Europe are doomed to destruction, if the victory of Nazis should be final. […] The chances for mass emigration and resettlement of European Jewry seems to be remote, and European Jews face the danger of physical annihilation. Even the 4,000,000 Jews under Soviet rule, although free from racial discrimination, are not safe in the event of a final Nazi victory.”

    There is a pattern of emotional appeals playing on people’s fears in order to raise lots of money. And they needed a believable crisis to convince the donors to contribute these large sums of money. Were the leaders making these appeals calculating and unscrupulous enough to invent facts? Over time and with enough practice, could miracles be manufactured that would appear credible to institutional sources? Repeated and expanded upon day after day over and over for generations in these institutional sources, could the credibility of these invented facts become unassailable? I believe that these early holocaust fund raising drives provide an important clue toward unraveling the revisionist puzzle.


    [123] “Gifts of $3,700,000 Open Jewish Drive”, New York Times, April 26, 1926, p. 1.
    [124] “Cathedral Is Scene of Rally of Faiths for Jewish Relief”, New York Times, December 6, 1926, pp. 1, 18; first part reproduced on p. 126.
    [125] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), p. 18.
    [126] “Gifts…”, op. cit. (note 123), p. 1.
    [127] Ibid., p. 10.
    [128] “Arrives With Plea For Starving Jews – Miss May Relief Worker, Says 1,000,000 in Poland Alone Need Speedy Help”, New York Times, April 8, 1926.
    [129] According to the article quoted before, Miss May made a study of conditions in those countries on instructions from David A. Brown, National chairman of the United Jewish Campaign.
    [130] “Jews of Poland Again Face Period of Want”, New York Times Sunday Magazine, May 28, 1926, p. 8.
    [131] Editorial, New York Times, May 3, 1926 p. 6.
    [132] “Will Aid Starving Jews-Protestant and Catholic Clergy to Back Near East Relief Movement”, New York Times, Nov. 27, 1926.
    [133] “Cathedral Is Scene”, New York Times, December 6, 1926, p. 1.
    [134] New York Times, May 3, 1926, p. 6.
    [135] “Untermeyer Asks Aid For Jews In Poland – He Reports at an Emergency Meeting That 2,000,000 Are Virtually Starving to Death”, New York Times, December 6, 1937.
    [136] “Jewish Teachers Chided By Isaacs”, New York Times, February 23, 1938.
    [137] “Nazi Publicity Here Held Smoke Screen”, New York Times, June 25, 1940, p. 4.

  7. Chapter 5:
    Following The Money

    This chapter sketches the very puzzling story of where the money raised in these fund raising drives went in Russia at least according to the published sources. We will also cover a few important points of historical background and touch on the political situation in the Soviet Union in the early twentieth century, a period that is largely forgotten or misunderstood today.

    The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee’s own yearly expenditures chart shows the amounts of money the ‘Joint’ says they spent from 1914 through 1934 on relief. They had two classifications of aid: emergency or general relief which included soup kitchens, clothing, emergency medical care and rehabilitative or reconstructive relief which consisted largely of setting up and operating trade schools, banks, and farms. At the end of World War One, people were generous with their contributions, but in the early 1920s collections dropped off year by year. In 1926, as featured in the last chapter, the promoters really got creative and were successful in boosting collections. The aid raised during the war and in the immediate postwar period was channeled into emergency relief, which they also called general relief. Later, most of the money was spent on reconstruction, or rehabilitative relief. By 1926, they were spending 81% of the money on reconstruction, and in 1927, 86% according to their own figures.

    Less than 20 percent of the funds sent to Poland actually went into emergency relief in 1927 according to chairman David A. Brown. The remainder was devoted to “constructive undertakings” such as establishing cooperative banks in Poland, financing tradesmen and artisans, and promoting Jewish agricultural settlements.[138] Also in 1927, a Max Steuer who had gone to Europe to investigate the relief programs charged that 40% of the money raised “disappeared in the manipulations by the bankers on the subject of exchange.”

    Mr. Steuer quoted a Dr. Greenebaum, a member of the Polish Parliament, who said that until recently, “after the money had been transmitted, the exchanges were so manipulated on the other side that at least 40 percent of the money was consumed before a single dollar was distributed to any person for whom it was intended.” Steuer made other charges but also made it clear that he was referring to Polish bankers and not American bankers.[139]

    As one would expect, Steuer received a scathing in the press for questioning the actions of the ‘Joint’. On Monday, September 12, 1927, The New York Times editorialized:[140]

    “Mr. David A. Brown cited figures which would indicate that in Poland less than 20 percent of the funds went into emergency relief. The remainder was devoted to ‘constructive’ undertakings. Mr. Henry Moskowitz in a recent public statement expresses the opinion that a study of the Joint Distribution Committee’s accounts would show that in Poland the bulk of the relief money went into the establishment of cooperative banks and other agencies for the purpose of financing small tradesmen and artisans. Incidentally, this may suggest what Mr. Steuer had dimly in mind – very dimly – when he made his startling charges, and particularly his reference to manipulation of the exchanges. If American dollars were converted into Polish zloty for the creation of bank capital, it is conceivable that some losses may have been incurred through the fluctuations of the Polish exchange.”

    The Jewish Daily News was more blunt. They editorialized that Mr. Steuer had simply removed himself from the role of a Jewish communal leader.[141]

    The actions of the Committee were defended by both Louis Marshall and Felix Warburg. Warburg deplored the wide publicity and insisted that Steuer had placed an exaggerated value on hearsay testimony and was trying his case in the newspapers. Warburg further stated that no good purpose had been served by Steuer’s statement and that the problem had been corrected.

    Speaking at the Constructive Relief Conference in October of 1927, Felix Warburg responded that the policy of the Joint Distribution Committee has been based on a deep seated respect for the Jewry of the old world and that the European Jews, long before the war, had developed many conspicuous national and international philanthropic associations. He said that the leadership of European Jewry had never been questioned and that it was the general policy of the ‘Joint’ to work within existing Jewish organizational structures in Europe.[142] Warburg wasn’t recorded as saying anything about the starvation statistics that had been claimed during the fund raising campaigns of the year before. But he did offer the opinion that 1919 and 1920 were the blackest years in modern Jewish history. During those two years, according to Warburg:

    “Widespread massacres and pogroms resulted in the murder of several hundred thousand Jews. On the other hand, it witnessed a phenomenal revival of Jewish activity, accompanied by intense social strife, and by a renaissance of cultural and economic theories incident to the universal movements for national self-determination and the recognition of racial minority rights.”

    Warburg also claimed that there had been Ukrainian pogroms in the course of which nearly 200,000 Jewish men, women and children perished by fire and sword, constituting one of the blackest pages of history.[143]

    The public quickly forgot about Steuer’s little criticism. In 1932, Felix Warburg was selected as second only to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in an honor roll of the ten leading Jews in the United States. Others in that top ten included United States Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo and Harvard law professor Felix Frankfurter as well as New York Times publisher Adolf Ochs and Rabbi Stephen Wise.[144]

    What kind of a person was Felix Warburg? He was described as fun loving, a person who knew how to relate to many different types of people. While highly respected and genuinely liked as a leader within the New York establishment, he was not an intellectual, a doer, not a thinker. Married to an heiress while maintaining numerous girl friends openly, he was the kind of person who is incapable of embarrassment, possessed of a cast iron gut, and publicly credible whether or not he was being particularly truthful. The rap on Felix was that he was the family flyweight and not bright enough for the Hamburg bank.[145]

    In reading this next section, it’s only fair to first point out the obvious, that to most of the general public, Felix Warburg was an extremely wealthy Republican banker. We will assume that he didn’t at first want to have anything to do with Soviet Russia. To me, saying that Jews were attracted to communism is about as fair as saying that Germans were attracted to National Socialism. But it is a fact that the private charity he headed funded agricultural colonies in the Soviet Union, claiming that millions of Jews were starving in Europe, year after year.

    Jewish agricultural colonies in Russia had been tried before under czarist rule. Before the Communist revolution, there were Chibbat Zion branches in operation all over Russia. This socialist agricultural movement was financially supported by Baron Edmund de Rothschild who called them “my colonies” and put in agents to supervise them. This didn’t mean that Baron Rothschild approved of the Czar any more than Warburg was attracted to communism. It’s possible that both Rothschild and Warburg thought that they could have a positive and moderating effect on these respective regimes by being involved in a business relationship with them. Or they could have become involved for other reasons, such as to facilitate emigration from Russia, or to set up temporary settlements of people who could later be moved to Palestine.

    Of course there’s the obvious humanitarian reasons. With the benefit of hindsight, any attraction to Marxist ideology seems odd and incredible. But we must briefly mention a few of the writers and thinkers whose works were influential during that period and whose ideas could have motivated leaders and opinion makers from Rothschild and Warburg on down to the lowliest commissar and GULag enforcer. They are largely forgotten now perhaps for the good reason that their ideas have not stood the test of time.

    A Hebrew novelist extolled readers to cease to be Jews in a theoretical religious sense and to become Jews in their own right as a living and developing nationality. Nachman Syrkin predicted that the Jews would redeem the world which crucified them and that their role in human history was a uniquely chosen role, which in the future through the agency of Zionism would usher in the socialist millennium.[146] Syrkin said in 1918 that the Jewish people is socialist not by necessity but because the revolution was declared on Mt. Sinai.[147] A chief rabbi of Palestine, Abraham Kook, wrote that a consistent application of all the laws of the Torah in social and economic matters would not tolerate the capitalist system. Moses Mendelssohn, who was the founder of Jewish rationalism, argued:[148]

    “The progress of modern civilization has come to be regarded as a sort of ‘Messiah’ for the final solution of the Jewish problem.”

    Dov Ber Borochov was a leading exponent of Marxist Zionism. He wrote The National Question and the Class Struggle in 1905, which was widely read by Jews living in Russia at the time. Writing in the scientific, jargon ridden, lumberingly constructed style of Marxist analysis[149] Borochov argued that just as the class struggle is waged for the material means of production, there is also a national struggle waged for “spiritual” (language, customs, mores) and territorial conditions of production. Borochov theorized that the normally antagonistic classes within a conquered or oppressed nationality unite in identifying with the oppressed proletariat. According to Borochov, even upper classes of an oppressed nationality think and act like oppressed proletariat because of the history of the whole nationality having been oppressed. By this twisting of Marxist gibberish, Jewish nationalism was transformed into a progressive movement of national liberation by interpolating the class struggle into Zionism.

    The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia explained Boroshov’s theory this way:[150]

    “Borochov’s chief ideological contribution was his Marxist analysis of the economic structure and social situation of the Jewish people, pointing to the physical inevitability of territorial concentration in Palestine as a means of occupational redistribution and normalization.”

    Sokolow’s History of Zionism first published in 1919, chronicles that during the Communist revolution of 1917 at Odessa, a port on the black sea, entire battalions of Zionist soldiers bore through the town behind blue and white banners proclaiming: “Liberty in Russia, land and liberty in Palestine”. A hundred and fifty thousand men followed these banners to which the military Governor of Odessa insisted on showing honor publicly.[151] In the course of the Russian civil war between the reds and the whites, the Jewish population rallied massively to the Red Army, and its intelligentsia was recruited into the Soviet state apparatus.[152] Leon Trotsky, as the head of the Red Army in 1919, accepted the proposition from Paole Zion that Jewish “national battalions” be constituted to organize the defense of the Jewish population and win it over to the new Bolshevik regime.[153] In 1922, it was reported that a strong Jewish army organized for self-protection was well equipped with rifles, ammunition, and machine guns and numbered 500,000 strong. In a town called Spalla, the Jewish Volunteer Army, well armed, engaged in guerrilla warfare with a band of several hundred bandits, which ended with the Jews entering the town. Order was established immediately and several thousand former residents who escaped a series of massacres two or three years before began streaming in from all parts of Russia and Rumania. The Jewish army was founded by young Zionist groups and therefore had religious as well as racial significance.[154]

    Beginning in 1924, Jewish colonies totaling 1.5 million acres were established in the Crimea, the Zaporozje, Cherson, and Odessa districts, in Caucasia and in White Russia. Also in 1924, at a luncheon at Kuhn & Loeb in New York, a program was worked out to involve the Joint Distribution Committee in some of these projects. The Joint Distribution Committee began financing Soviet Jewish agricultural settlements in Ukraine and the Crimea with a mixture of donated money, loaned money, and Soviet funding. These settlements became a bizarre hybrid of Park Avenue charity and Marxist agriculture. Some of the Jewish settlements founded by Agro-Joint were Zionist colonies settled by people who saw the Crimea as a stepping-stone on the road to Palestine. Thirteen of the colonies had Hebrew names. According to statistics published in Yehuda Bauer’s book, My Brother’s Keeper, which was financed with a generous grant from the Joint Distribution Committee, there were 112 Agro-Joint colonies in the Crimea in 1928.[155] The Soviet government contributed 500,000 rubles for the Agro-Joint settlements each year and placed this budget at the disposal of Agro-Joint.[156]

    The new Soviet government considered the Jews to be a formerly oppressed nationality entitled to their own territorial regions. In accordance with the Soviet scheme of national autonomy, these regions were governed as autonomous Jewish districts. Schools, Colleges, law courts, police forces and the entire machinery of government were conducted in Yiddish. There were also traveling theaters, publications, movies, radio and lectures. Jewish workers were recruited for new factories all over Russia. In Asia near the Manchurian border, the New Jersey sized territory of Biro-Bidjon was, in time, also declared a territory exclusively for Jewish settlers. It was prestigious being Jewish in the Soviet Union during the 1920s and the first half of the thirties and perhaps long after that. It was a time of state protection for Russian Jews. They were assumed to be faithful allies of Soviet Power and therefore to be trusted in promoting policy. The Soviet government gave the Jewish theater a first class building in the middle of Moscow and large state subsidies for its work, and its creative figures received generous titles and medals which guaranteed them privileges and material comforts within the Soviet system.[157]

    In the spring of 1927, Felix Warburg went to the Soviet Union, traveling from Vladivostok to Moscow, claiming to have toured forty of the Agro-Joint colonies in the Crimea and Ukraine. Warburg’s party traveled by private railroad car and toured more remote regions in two chauffeured limousines. Felix laid a cornerstone for a Felix Warburg high school and visited a settlement named Felix Warburg No. 4 and 5.[158] Upon his return he told a fund raising rally in Chicago:[159]

    “I wish you had been with us on our trip through Russia. Good friends had warned us not to make the trip, that it was dangerous, that we were going to a country where everything would be supervised and we would get predigested food in regard to the things we wanted to see. Nothing of the kind has happened. In no country we visited were we as free from formalities and granted such absolute freedom as in Russia. […] The work in Russia has been a great success, not only from the sentimental standpoint but also from the financial standpoint. It is difficult to realize that untrained Jewish people from the cities should have been brought to these farms and in the third year should begin seriously to pay back the loans, heavy loans, but that is the truth. Everything given to them is noted down by them in a book. Whenever they look at the book they know what they owe to the mutual credit society, and they know what they owe to the Kassas and they know what they owe to the Jews of America.”

    Julius Rosenwald, the owner of Sears, was a heavy donor to the American Jewish Joint Agricultural Corporation and a settlement was also named after him.

    To the Communists it was blood and not religion that determined Jewishness. Anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union was prosecuted as a crime against the Jewish nationality. It was a crime against racism. Communists supported what they called “spiritual” aspects of the people. These spiritual aspects were myths, folkways, customs and so forth and should not be confused with religion, which the communists opposed. While religious Christianity, Islam, and Judaism were persecuted as religions within the communist system, the Jewish people were favored as an historically oppressed nationality like the Georgians or the Armenians.

    In 1928, the Central Committee of the Communist party in Moscow appointed a special committee to combat anti-Semitism. The special committee’s program provided for a systematic campaign by trained personnel beginning within the Communist Party and also within schools including colleges. The campaign against anti-Semitism was introduced into the schoolbooks, motion pictures, the press, and literature. Public debates on anti-Semitism were held and excursions to the Jewish colonies arranged. A campaign against anti-Semitism was also conducted in the Red Army and in the trade unions. It became a crime against the state. The highest disciplinary penalties were provided in the program recommended by the committee for those found guilty of anti-Semitic practices and particularly for those opposing the Jewish colonization work.[160]

    The head of the Moscow State Theater and seven other officials of the State Theater were dismissed for their anti-Semitic practices.[161] A Moscow dispatch to The Jewish Telegraph Agency reported that four “Pogromists” were sentenced to death and nine to prison terms of from one to ten years.[162] During a conference on combating anti-Semitism held in the All-Russian Communist Club, a Moscow District Court Judge stated that disciplinary punishment had been inflicted upon seventy persons in Moscow during the first ten months of 1928 for anti-Semitic propaganda.[163]

    The battle against anti-Semitism became an election campaign issue in White Russia.[164]

    “Communists, fight ignorance, alcoholism and anti-Semitism read a poster placarded in the streets.”

    In a separate report, two ringleaders found guilty of attacking the Jewish Colony No. 3 were sentenced to death. Two other members of the band were sentenced to imprisonment followed by deportation. The Chief of Police and his assistant received eighteen-months jail sentences and the chairman of the regional Soviet was sentenced to one year in prison.[165]

    The Communist press was reporting that the principal cause of anti-Semitism in industrial centers was the influence of the “Kulaks” (wealthier peasants) upon former peasants now working in factories. A reporter from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency investigated and reported in a dispatch from Minsk:[166]

    “Jewish and non-Jewish workers interviewed by the correspondent agreed in blaming the Kulaks for using their influence over the new factory hands for the purpose of promoting anti-Semitic disturbances and thus making trouble for the Soviet government. The Kulaks are especially incensed at the government’s insistence upon its plan for the eventual socialization of agriculture.”

    In one show trial eight workers including three Communist party members were charged with tormenting a Jewish working girl. In order to achieve the maximum publicity, it was staged in the largest available hall and advertised throughout Russia. The President of the White Russian Supreme Court presided over a bench of judges, and the chief prosecutor of the White Russian Republic personally conducted the case for the state. The President of the White Russian Academy of Sciences and the dean of the Minsk faculty of Law also appeared as “prosecutors on behalf of public opinion”. Intending to serve as a warning to other offenders, the sentences at Soviet show trials tended to be draconian. According to the indictment, a Jewish girl was first habitually mocked and later roughly handled. She was told she would be put in an oven and then water was thrown over her. Then she tripped and fell on her face and finally was brutally kicked on the ankle with a wooden clog. Such rowdyism was all too frequent with White Russian workers during that period. Almost an exactly similar case occurred almost simultaneously in a nearby town at another factory with a non-Jewish girl as the victim, but no action was taken.[167]

    Why did the Bolshevist party decide to hold a full-dress political anti-Semite ‘show trial’ at the White Russian capital Minsk? A major reason given in a New York Times report covering this trial was that the Soviet elections were about to begin and the Communists hoped to use these elections to smash the power of the Kulaks once and for all. In White Russia much land had recently been taken from the Kulaks and a small part of it was utilized to form new Jewish land colonies. As a result there had been a certain amount of terrorization of the new Jewish colonists. The Communists then hit back with this slogan:[167]

    “All anti-Semitism comes from the Kulaks.”

    It was also decided to thrash out this case with the utmost publicity because such acts were prevalent in the area and an increase could have become politically dangerous in an atmosphere of discontent generated by a bad harvest, crushing taxation on the villages and a shortage of goods in the towns. Even the official “Jewish section” of the Communist party directorate in Moscow often soft-pedaled anti-Semitism in order not to supply enemies of the Soviet regime and the anti-Socialist Jewish press abroad with opportunities for “fantastic pogrom propaganda.”[167]

    The eight defendants were accused of “counter revolution” although the alleged facts hardly seemed to justify such a terrible charge. The Soviet Chief Prosecutor (Krylenko) at this trial wanted the death penalty by shooting for Class One offenders found guilty of counterrevolutionary activities and prison for an indefinite term for Class 2 offenders. He stated:[167]

    “Under no circumstances will these criminals belonging in Class 2 be allowed to return home. After their release from prison they will be exiled for life to remote places out of harm’s way.”

    The central issue at the trial was whether the defendants were guilty of an act of a counter-revolutionary nature (Class One). The judge sought to establish the connection of the defendants’ acts with the influence of the Kulaks, wealthy peasants, and Nepmen. Nepmen were new economic policy men – small businessmen who had been allowed to operate under Lenin after the famine of 1921-1922, but were later taxed out of existence. The four major defendants were found guilty of anti-Semitism and rough treatment of their fellow worker and received prison terms.[168]

    In a separate show trial four months later, 24 other Russian workers charged with anti-Semitism received prison sentences. The trial attracted wide attention, and hundreds of people crowded the court to hear the decision, which was issued at 5 o’clock in the morning. At the same time during a meeting held in Moscow, Anatole Lunatcharsky, Commissioner of Education, said he could understand those who opposed the Soviet Government but could not see how followers of communism could maintain the claim that “Jews govern us”.[169]

    The Soviet war on anti-Semitism coincided with the period after Lenin’s death in 1924 when Joseph Stalin was jockeying for power. He was a man who spent a lifetime portraying himself as an internationalist and as a determined foe of anti-Semitism. Stalin’s bitterest enemy, Leon Trotsky, called Stalin a clerk, an embezzler of ideas, timid and unintelligent, but never said anywhere that Stalin was motivated by anti-Semitism.

    Stalin, an early editor of Pravda, had first came to public attention with the publication of his article “Marxism and the National Question” in the Communist theoretical journal Enlightenment one year before the start of World War One in 1913. This article dealt with what Marxists should do after the revolution with all of the non-Russian nationalities that had been conquered and forcibly made a part of Russia by the Czars. Stalin argued for the creation of locally autonomous regions (colonies, reservations) for the historically oppressed nationality groups where their language, folkways and traditions would be respected. In this politically charged article, Stalin wrote at length on the Jewish nationality, describing them as not a nation but something mystical, intangible and otherworldly. This article established Stalin as the Bolshevik authority on the national (actually the nationalities) question. Lenin appointed Stalin the Commissar of Nationalities Issues in the first Bolshevist government. In April of 1922, at Lenin’s insistence, Stalin was elected to the newly created post of general secretary of the Communist party.[170]

    Less than a year after becoming the undisputed dictator of the Soviet Union with his public statements viewed as national policy, Stalin made his most famous statement about anti-Semitism. Stalin characterized it as “the most dangerous survival of cannibalism”:[171]

    “National and racial chauvinism is a remnant of man hating customs characteristic of the era of cannibalism. Anti-Semitism is an extreme expression of racial chauvinism and as such is the most dangerous survival of cannibalism. It is useful to the exploiter for it serves as a lightning rod enabling capitalism to evade the blows of the toilers.

    ‘It is a danger to the working people for it is a false path leading them into the jungles and away from the right road. Communists cannot but be irreconcilable enemies of anti-Semitism. In the Soviet Union it is rigidly prosecuted and militant anti-Semites are punishable by death under the law.”

    Stalin’s “cannibalism” and “lightning rod” analogies were standard communist orthodoxy. Karl Kautsky, a principal theorist of the second Marxist International, wrote in 1903 that the czarist regime used the Jews “as a lightning conductor during the storms that gather over the autocracy”. Lenin always condemned anti-Semitism in the clearest and most intransigent fashion. In 1918, he signed a decree calling it a “mortal danger for the entire revolution and as a menace to the workers and the peasants”. Engels saw the struggle against anti-Semitism as a priority task of the international workers’ movement writing in Arbeiterzeitung, the daily newspaper of the Austrian Socialists, that “we owe much to the Jews […] Marx was of pure Jewish blood, Lassalle was Jewish, very many of our best comrades are Jewish”.[172] And Karl Marx said:

    “The stiffest form of opposition between Jew and Christian is religious. How is this to be resolved? By abolishing religion”.

    Marx also said that man emancipates himself from religion politically by relegating it from public to private law.[173]

    Typically, Stalin’s supporters were dedicated, not particularly intellectual party officials who had never been outside the Soviet Union. His group brought a rigid, totalitarian, small mindedness to Marxist social theory. When the theories proved to be unworkable, they became even more dogmatic, brutal, and even murderous in their insistence on carrying them out. Lazar Kaganovich was probably the biggest and certainly the most durable butcher during the Stalinist era. Sometimes using the alias Kosherovitz,[174] he was the Soviet official most responsible for the Ukrainian famine of 1932-1933. Some have even argued that Kaganovich was the real master at the Kremlin and Stalin a mere puppet.[175]

    The only English language biography about this killer of over twenty million people was written by Stuart Kahan, an American writer whose aunt Rosa was Stalin’s third wife and who is therefore also the nephew of Lazar Kaganovich, but more about that later. Kahan worked as a journalist for the New York Times. In the 1980s, he visited and interviewed Kaganovich who was retired and living in a Moscow apartment. A courageous book based on interviews with family members commingled with family history and lore, it is a fascinating and highly readable biography. But it spares the family and treats even Lazar Kaganovich in a relatively friendly manner, to the extent that it is ethically possible. While the only available biography about this biggest mass killer of the twentieth century is largely positive, it’s amazing that this book exists at all.

    Kahan wrote that during the first year of the ‘Great Terror’ Kaganovich supervised the killing of nearly half a million people as mass purges swept across the country like a deranged prehistoric animal.[176] While he was in power, eight towns’ names were changed to Kaganovich in addition to the Moscow subway initially being named after him. He was assigned to the Cheka (later called the OGPU, then the NKVD, and still later the KGB), an investigative agency that became a political police force of organized terror. Stalin assigned Kaganovich the task of keeping his second wife under surveillance and reporting back on her activities. After she committed suicide, Kaganovich introduced Stalin to his younger sister Rosa who was a medical doctor at a clinic in Moscow and within a year Rosa Kaganovich became Stalin’s third and last wife.

    His perennial sidekick during that period was a young Nikita Khrushchev who as a Shabes Goy in the Ukraine lit the Sabbath lights and started the stoves for the Jewish high politicos on Saturdays.[177] Khrushchev wrote in his biography that as a Russian peasant he first met Kaganovich in 1917 and owed his early career to Kaganovich. Kaganovich was Khrushchev’s boss from 1928 to about 1938 and again from 1946 to 1948.[178]

    Kahan wrote that Kaganovich took great pleasure in having 16 major Cossack villages removed to Siberia because he blamed the Cossacks for persecuting Jews under the Czars.[179] He participated in demolishing the church of Christ the Savior in Moscow for a new palace of Soviets. The holy week monastery was turned into a theater for use by party members:[180]

    “People were afraid to laugh. It was as if a huge blanket had been dropped over their mouths.”

    Kahan wrote of an interesting and possible account of Stalin’s death. According to Kahan, after Stalin’s first stroke Rosa (Dr. Rosa Kaganovich Stalin, Stalin’s wife) prescribed for him pills called dicoumarol, an anticoagulant also used in rat poison. Large amounts are lethal, but taken in small amounts, dicoumarol retards blood clotting making another stroke less likely. After his first stroke, Stalin took dicoumarol twice a day. Later Rosa secretly quadrupled the dosage, which eventually poisoned him. The problem with the story is that Kahan implicates Molotov, Bulganin, and others in the inner circle as plotters in Stalin’s demise. It is not very likely that Stalin would have no friends in his own inner circle but this theory protects Rosa and Lazar Kaganovich from total responsibility.[181] Maybe Stalin really was killed by a Jewish doctor, namely his wife. An autopsy might tell us for sure.

    Hard to believe stories about killer doctors have been around for a long time in the Soviet Union. An earlier ‘doctors plot’ was one of the excuses for the Soviet Great Terror of the 1930s. Briefly, this earlier tale and its resultant consequences went like this: In 1934, Bukharin, Yagoda, and other rightists in contact with Trotsky were plotting to assassinate Stalin, Voroshilov, Kirov, Menzhinsky, Molotov, Kuibyshev, Kaganovich, Gorky, and Zhdanov, just about the entire Soviet leadership. They plotted to accomplish this through physicians slowly ruining the health of these leaders. As directed by the plotters, the physicians deliberately gave bad advice and mistreatment for illnesses especially to the cardiovascular system. Injections and stimulants were administered in a way calculated to surreptitiously kill the patient. In that way, Menzhinsky was murdered and his position in the leadership was assumed by Yagoda.

    When Gorky, the internationally famous literary figure, contracted a serious case of influenza and died, it was soon rumored that his doctor deliberately aggravated his condition, murdering Gorky. Soon they were saying that Trotsky had ordered that “Gorky must be physically exterminated at all costs” due to Gorky’s prestige and because he was very devoted personally to Stalin. These and similar fictional ‘crimes’ were prosecuted at three trials held at the height of the Great Terror before the Military Collegium of the Supreme Court of the USSR in August 1936, January 1937, and in March 1938.[182] At the 1936 trial, Zinoviev and Kamenev were brought from prison where they were serving out terms on previous convictions. The prosecutors established that an intimate relationship had developed between Leon Trotsky on the one hand and Alfred Rosenberg and Rudolf Hess of National Socialist Germany on the other hand. At the conclusion of the third trial in 1938, the murdering doctors and other plotters were convicted and shot by a firing squad.

    During the great terror, from 1936 to 1938, Stalin approved a plan to summarily shoot tens of thousands of people establishing target figures for shootings by province. There was socialist competition between NKVD departments to find the most spies. N.I. Ezhov, Stalin’s secret police chief at the height of the Great Terror, cynically and knowingly forced confessions from innocent people. Stalin personally signed death sentences including a record 3,167 in one day. Eventually Ezhov was arrested, convicted, and shot for the crime of “leftist overreaction” and was replaced by Beria.[183] The old line Bolsheviks were arrested and shot in a move that may have actually been popular with some of the lower classes because there was so much bitterness accumulated against the misery that the revolution had caused to the Russian people.[184]

    Closing this chapter with a note concerning the Soviet ‘doctors plot’ of the 1950s, according to author Kahan, six of the fifteen doctors who were charged were Jewish, but the official news of the arrest only reported nine of the fifteen names, including all of the six Jewish names. It therefore looked to the world like most of those arrested were Jewish, which is typical of the misconceptions that are repeated to this day. For example, online Encarta Encyclopedia reports:

    “In 1953 fifteen doctors, most of them Jewish, were arrested and charged with murdering important Soviet officials on orders from the Joint Distribution Committee, a Zionist organization.”

    Go figure.


    [138] Editorial, New York Times, September 12, 1927.
    [139] “Steuer Puts Blame on Polish Bankers”, New York Times, September 7, 1927.
    [140] Editorial, New York Times, September 12, 1927.
    [141] “Warburg Assails Steuer’s Charges”, New York Times, September 9, 1927.
    [142] Report on the Activities of the Joint Distribution Committee, Constructive Relief Conference, Chicago, IL, October 22-23, 1927, p. 4.
    [143] Ibid., pp. 9-11.
    [144] New York Times, December 31, 1932.
    [145] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), p. 289.
    [146] David J Goldberg, To the Promised Land – A History of Zionist Thought, London/New York: Penguin Books, 1996, p. 117.
    [147] Enzo Traverso, The Marxists and the Jewish Question, New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1994, p. 51.
    [148] Nahum Sokolow, History of Zionism 1600-1918, vol. 1, London/New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1919, p. xvii.
    [149] D. Goldberg, op. cit. (note 146), p. 126.
    [150] The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia, seventh edition, 1992.
    [151] N. Sokolow, op. cit. (note 148), vol. 2, p. 38.
    [152] E. Traverso, op. cit. (note 147), p. 7.
    [153] Quoted by Joseph Nedava, Trotsky and the Jews, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1972, p. 114.
    [154] “South Russian Jews Raise Strong Army – Organized for Self-Protection, It is Said to Number Now 500,000 Soldiers”, New York Times, December 20, 1922.
    [155] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), p. 60.
    [156] Ibid., p. 65.
    [157] E. Traverso, op. cit. (note 147), p. 155; Arkady Vaksberg, op. cit. (note 108), pp. 52-63.
    [158] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), pp. 289-304.
    [159] “After Three Years, The Progress of the Jewish Farm Colonies in Russia”, Reports of Dr. Joseph A. Rosen, Felix M. Warburg, and James H. Becker, Delivered at the Constructive Relief Conference of the Joint Distribution Committee and the United Jewish Campaign, Chicago, October 22-23, 1927.
    [160] “Communist Body Acts”, New York Times, May 20, 1928.
    [161] “Russian Communists War on Anti-Semitism”, New York Times, May 13, 1928.
    [162] “Death Decreed for Pogromists”, New York Times, July 8, 1928.
    [163] “Moscow Anti-Semites Disciplined”, New York Times, October 14, 1928.
    [164] “War on Anti-Semitism Feature in Soviet Election Campaign”, New York Times, January 6, 1929.
    [165] “Two to Die for Pogrom”, New York Times, September 3, 1929.
    [166] “Holds Kulaks Responsible – Investigators Blame Wealthier Peasants for Russian Anti-Semitism”, New York Times, December 30, 1928.
    [167] “Anti-Semite Show Trial Opens at Minsk,” New York Times, January 20, 1929.
    [168] “Anti-Semites Sentenced. Several Russians Get Prison Terms for Treating Girl Roughly”, New York Times, January 22, 1929.
    [169] “Soviet Still Wars on Anti-Semitism”, New York Times, May 19, 1929.
    [170] Albert Resis (ed.), Molotov Remembers, Conversations with Felix Chuev, Chicago: Ivan R. Dee Inc., 1993, p. 87.
    [171] “Stalin Hits Anti-Semitism – Says It is ‘Most Dangerous Survival of Cannibalism'”, New York Times, January 15, 1931. This statement was made in Moscow on the previous day to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
    [172] E. Traverso, op. cit. (note 147), p. 26.
    [173] Morris Stockhammer (ed.), Karl Marx Dictionary, New York: Philosophical Library, 1965, p. 121, 214. Both quotes are taken from Marx’s Papers on the Jewish Question.
    [174] Strobe Talbott (ed.), Khrushchev Remembers – The Last Testament, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1974, p. 150.
    [175] Walter Laqueur, Stalin – The Glasnost Revelations, New York: Scribner’s, 1990, p. 251.
    [176] Stuart Kahan, The Wolf of the Kremlin, New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1987, p. 174.
    [177] Ibid., p. 158.
    [178] Strobe Talbott (ed.), op. cit. (note 174), p. 544f.
    [179] S. Kahan, op. cit. (note 176), pp. 158-165.
    [180] Ibid., p. 178.
    [181] Ibid., pp. 257-265.
    [182] Albert E. Kahn, Michael Sayers, The Great Conspiracy – The Secret War Against Soviet Russia, Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1946, p. 262 et al.
    [183] John Arch Getty, Roberta T. Manning, (eds.), Stalinist Terror. New Perspectives, Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993. pp. 14, 34, 42.
    [184] Walter Laqueur, op. cit. (note 175), p. 273f.

  8. Chapter 6:
    The Trail Continues

    Glowing reports of activities in the Soviet-Joint agricultural colonies continued into the early thirties. In 1931, The New York Times reported:[185]

    “The economic transformation of Jewish life in Soviet Russia is not far short of a marvel. Discarding all estimates about the future, one cannot overlook the remarkable fact brought out at the session of the Council of Nationalities held in Moscow in the middle of January that at the beginning of this year 46.7 percent of the Jewish population in Soviet Russia were wage earners, a percentage which no other nationality in Soviet Russia has yet reached; also that 43% of this new Jewish proletariat were connected with heavy industry; that the former preponderance of Jews in the needle and the leather trades has changed to a preponderance in the metallurgical industries; that the number of Jews working in the Soviet metal industries now exceeds the number in all other trades. […] The number of Jewish men without rights because they engage in trading has been reduced to such a minimum that it no longer counts. […] a nation of, literally, shopkeepers and traders is in front of our eyes being transformed into a people of land and industrial workers.”

    Yehuda Bauer reports in My Brother’s Keeper that a ‘Joint’ leader had discussed the contemporaneous ruthless extermination of the Kulaks with colleagues and Jewish leaders in Russia but notes that there were few Kulaks among the colonists and it would therefore affect them very little.[186] Agro-Joint reacted to the Soviet forced collectivization drive by intervening with local Soviet government and Communist party officials to modify legal restrictions so that the Agro-Joint colonies came out of the collectivization drive relatively well.[187]

    Jewish Workers and Farmers in the Crimea and Ukraine is a book about the activities of the Soviet Agro-Joint colonies that was written by a long-time American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee activist and Agro-Joint Assistant Treasurer, Evelyn Morrissey. It chronicles a month-long visit to the Soviet Union and tour of these agricultural colonies in 1935. The Agro-Joint project inside the Soviet Union made fellow travelers (persons who espouse the cause of the Communist Party without being a member) out of some ‘Joint’ officials. Treated like royalty, Morrissey’s party did not have to wait in line to see the embalmed body of Lenin. She spent her first night at the State Opera Theater, then made the rounds of Moscow’s museums and the just opened opulent Lazar Kaganovich Moscow subway system. She was told that Red Square was not named after the Communists, but was so named because of the public executions that took place there during ancient times. “Was it Ivan the Terrible whose blood-spilling gave it its name?” Morrissey wondered. She saw churches that were still open and churches that were now museums or clubs for workers. She saw the house where Stalin was living. She toured Leningrad, Odessa, and Kiev.

    Then Morrissey’s party went off to visit the Agro-Joint colonies. In one Kolkhoz they were told that 1934 was a good crop year for them, but that 1935 would be even better.[188] (Remember, over 7 million Ukrainians had died in an artificial famine during 1933-1934.[189]) She reported seeing prisoners working in the fields in the Crimean steppes living under fairly good conditions. She wrote that “undesirables, counter-revolutionaries, and class enemies in Russia” are denied internal passports, which means that as escaped convicts they could not secure employment. These passports had to be renewed every three to five years, she explained, and only workers and those who accept the Soviet system receive passports. The book goes on:[190]

    “This, it is explained, provides a careful check on the Soviet citizen. We have read much of forced and prison labor conditions and its horrors, but here in these golden fields of sunflowers we cannot visualize what it means.”

    Morrissey also reported that the “Soviet Government has not merely actively cooperated in the work, but has taken the lead officially, recognizing the solution of the Jewish question as a State problem.” She noted the Government’s ongoing campaign against anti-Semitism, that spreading anti-Semitic propaganda was a criminal offense, punishable by internal exile and imprisonment:

    “Jews as a nationality, she said, enjoy actual and absolute equality in civil, political, and other rights with the rest of the population. In the Agro-Joint colonies Jews enjoy cultural autonomy; Yiddish is spoken in the schools and courts, thus transmitting Jewish national tradition to the younger generation through Jewish communal life, the study of Jewish literature, etc.”

    A ‘Joint’ publication written by Joseph Hyman and published in 1939[191] reported that Agro-Joint projects included farm settlements, industrialization, and other activities for both rural and urban Jews:[192]

    “At certain stages of development in all the Agro-Joint projects, the work was taken in hand by local government agencies, fitted into the general structure of economic and social life of the country, and continued on a larger scale at the expense of the Government.”

    This publication claimed that the land settlement work settled 250,000 people in the Ukraine and Crimea and that “by 1937 the collectives had become strong enough to take new members into the colonies without outside help, and to provide large funds for general improvements, electrification of villages, irrigation, water supply and other projects.” Agro-Joint operated three hundred loan societies which were absorbed by the Government Bank in 1937 “which enabled them to continue working on a scale larger than any social welfare organization would have been able to provide.”

    This same 1939 ‘Joint’ publication also mentioned operating other successful trade and farm schools, sometimes in cooperation with other Jewish organizations such as ORT[193] and the Soviet Government. It reported organizing 63 medical societies that successfully fought “tuberculosis, trachoma, favus and other diseases ravaging the impoverished Jewish population.” This showed a capability of moving large groups of people around deep within the Soviet Union during the 1920s and 1930s. It reported that Agro-Joint wound up its activities in 1937-1938 “when it was found that Russian Jews no longer required the assistance of outside organizations.”[194]

    According to The JDC Story, which was published in 1953 by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, there were 215 Agro-Joint colonies containing 100,000 persons operating in the Crimea and Ukraine by 1936:[195]

    “In less than a decade and a half, the work of Agro-Joint helped to transform a large section of Russian Jewry from a downtrodden, almost helpless ghetto population into self-reliant and productive workers of the field and factory. […] Without the full cooperation of the Russian Government, these tasks could not have been accomplished, according to this 1953 ‘Joint’ source. But finally in 1938, JDC was asked to wind up its activities in Russia, since according to the authorities, the government was now in a position to provide for its citizens without calling upon outside aid.”

    In My Brother’s Keeper, Yehuda Bauer called the results of this colonization effort “unclear” and said that the full story of what happened to Agro-Joint can’t be told until the Agro-Joint files in Russia are found and opened to scholarly inspection.[196]

    But the Soviet agricultural colonies were always overshadowed by the colonies in Palestine. After all, the ‘Joint’ had been founded in 1914 to help colonists in Palestine. Many fundraisers, especially in Wise’s American Jewish Congress, felt that the Soviet colonies were at best a distraction to the Zionist goal. Palestine was the most consistent cause in the Joint Distribution Committee’s fund raising campaigns from 1914 through the 1920s and 1930s, as it is today – for Israel.

    As previously mentioned, what was then called Palestine was a part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire at the time that hostilities first broke out in 1914 between the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Turks on one hand and Great Britain, France, and czarist Russia on the other hand. The United States entered the war in 1917. Also in 1917, there was the Balfour Declaration and Great Britain conquered Palestine including Jerusalem. After the cessation of hostilities, Great Britain was awarded the mandate of Palestine at the Paris Peace conference.

    Rabbi Wise reminisced about a meeting he had with Lord Balfour in December of 1918. Wise wrote:[197]

    “We [Wise and Balfour] met again at the dinner tendered by Lord Rothschild to King Feisel and the world-famed Colonel T. E. Lawrence. Feisel looked every inch an Eastern potentate and spoke in Arabic. Lawrence translated the speech in simple, musical English, a simple enough task, seeing that he had probably written the Arabic version for his majesty.”

    Soon after Britain obtained this League of Nations Mandate over Palestine, Winston Churchill became Colonial Secretary in British Prime Minister Lloyd George’s cabinet. He seemed to believe that the Jews coming to Palestine would be advantageous for the Arabs dwelling in Palestine. As mentioned in a previous chapter, Churchill told a Moslem delegation in Jerusalem that Palestine would be “a” not “the” national home of the Jews. Speaking in the British House of Commons on July 4, 1922, Churchill asked rhetorically:[198]

    “Are we to keep our pledge to the Zionists made in 1917? […] Pledges and promises were made during the war, and they were made, not only on the merits, though I think the merits were considerable. They were made because it was considered they would be of value to us in our struggle to win the war. It was considered that the support which the Jews could give us all over the world, and particularly in the United States, and also in Russia, would be a definite palpable advantage.”

    The Churchill White Paper of June 1922, while he was Secretary of State for the Colonies, concluded that the apprehensions, “so far as the Arabs are concerned, are partly based upon exaggerated interpretations of the meaning of the [Balfour] Declaration favoring the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine. […] Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become as Jewish as England is English.”[199] Perhaps Churchill thought that the Jews coming to Palestine would become good Palestinians, as they had become good Englishmen, good Germans, and good Frenchmen.

    Many of the leaders of that period did not see Palestine developing into a Jewish state. Max Warburg viewed Palestine as a possible sanctuary to restore the spirit, a cultural gift to mankind.[200] Along those lines, Felix Warburg largely financed the creation of an Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University. Lord Balfour presided over the founding ceremonies at the opening of Hebrew University on April 1, 1925. Chaim Weizmann became the first President and Albert Einstein chairman of the Academic Council.[201] In 1925, Felix Warburg joined with Louis Marshall in setting up the Palestine Economic Corporation, with Felix as honorary chairman, to channel investment money into commercial and agricultural projects in Palestine. Felix’s fantasies about a classless society, purged of human frailty, with farmers and artisans settling there, was suggestive of the Jewish Agro-Joint colonies in Russia.[202] This idea did not originate with Warburg, of course, much of the same idea is seen in Theodor Herzl’s writings, especially his novel Old New Land.[203]

    The indigenous Palestinians were not happy about these changes, although the British and the Zionists tried to convince world opinion that they were. On August 23, 1929, there was an Arab uprising against the Jewish population in Palestine. Five days after this Arab uprising, a mass meeting was held at Madison Square Garden, New York City, raising two and a half million dollars and creating an emergency relief fund for Jewish victims of the Arab uprising, which began to be distributed in September 1929. Propaganda efforts were made to show how Jewish immigration to Palestine brought prosperity to the Arabs residing there. A survey was completed that showed that Jewish enterprises had both quadrupled the value of Arab property and increased the purchasing power of the Arabs. According to this survey, classes affected adversely by the Jews included Arab employers who exploited their fellow natives through cheap labor and land owners who exploited their lessees.[204] The survey echoed the opinions of the Palestinian character Reschid Bey out of Herzl’s best known novel, Old New Land, who had exclaimed that everyone has gained from Jewish expansion, the landowners from higher land prices, the peasants from regular employment and welfare benefits.

    Herzl’s popular utopian fantasy novel Old New Land was written in 1899 and set in the future (1923). In this novel, a Christian says:[205]

    “You’re queer fellows, you Moslems. Don’t you regard these Jews as intruders?”

    “You speak strangely, Christian,” responded the fictional Moslem character named Reschid. “Would you think of someone as a robber, who does not take anything from you, but brings you something instead? The Jews have enriched us. Why should we be angry with them? They dwell among us as brothers, why should we not love them? […] You must excuse my saying so, but we did not learn tolerance in the Occident. We Moslems have always had better relations with the Jews than you Christians.”

    This could have been wishful thinking for some, but to many others the concerns of the Arabs that were already living in Palestine were simply a matter of indifference.

    The ‘Joint’ organized the Palestine Economic Corporation in 1926, which through various subsidiaries, such as the Central Bank of Cooperative Institutions and the Loan Bank, Ltd., and the Palestine Mortgage and Credit Bank, offered credit to farmers, artisans, small merchants, and manufacturers. The Palestine Water Company and the Bayside Land Corporation were established, and they also had investments in Palestine Potash, Ltd., Palestine Hotels, Palestine Foundries, and Metal Works, Agricultural Mortgage Company, and the Palestine Electric Corporation.[206]

    Steven S. Wise said this about Zionism and the problems in Palestine in 1931:[207]

    “Only two kinds of beings believe that Zionism aims at power and the use of violence. First, those unworthy Arab leaders who are incapable of believing that faith in the weapons of love and peace can be real, and the equally unworthy Jewish leaders who believe only the worst about their own people who, with all facts of and passion for an outmoded nineteenth century philosophy insist that the recrudescence of Jewish life in Palestine means force, violence and war. As if there were to be the abrogation of every Jewish ideal of the centuries by Jews who stand out even among their own as idealists!”

    There was a general feeling after the end of World War One that something big was about to happen. Many of the hopes and perhaps wishful thinking of that period are neatly summarized in an article from the New York Times of August 28, 1922, which also refers to the return of Jerusalem, predicting that it will be the world peace capital:


    Dr. Sokolow Tells Zionist Congress Jerusalem Will Be International Peace Capital.


    Dr. Weizmann Convinced Palestine Cannot Be Rebuilt Without Cooperation of Arab People.

    CALSBAD, Aug. 27 (Jewish Telegraphic Agency) – ‘The League of Nations is a Jewish idea and Jerusalem some day will become the capital of the world’s peace,’ declared Dr. Nahum Sokolow, Chairman of the Zionist Executive Committee, at a special meeting of the Zionist Conference today.

    ‘The League has recognized our rights to our ancient home,’ Dr. Sokolow continued. ‘We Jews throughout the world will make the League’s struggle our own and will not rest until there is ultimate victory.’ […]

    It was decided at the meeting to send messages of congratulation to Max Nordau, one of Herzl’s first followers, the Earl of Balfour and Baron Edmond de Rothschild, the last named being the founder of the first Jewish colony in Palestine.

    […] George Halpern, Treasurer of the Zionist World Organization, contended that the Zionists should concentrate on colonization and immigration rather than on cultural activities. […]”

    Dr. Sokolow was the author of History of Zionism, published in 1919, and very influential in defining both the scope and the naiveté of the movement at the time. Theodor Herzl was the founder of the Zionist movement and was remarkable as a religious leader who was personally not religious. Max Nordau was considered by many to be Herzl’s spiritual heir, and Chaim Weizmann was the charismatic former English chemistry professor who actually led the Zionist movement at the time. Felix Warburg’s niece, Lola Hahn Warburg, was Weizmann’s lover.

    In the 1920s, Theodor Herzl’s spiritual heir Max Nordau was claiming that Jews were being slaughtered on the Polish-Russian border and that 600,000 pogrom-afflicted Jews should immediately be transferred to Palestine along with their assets. Nordau reportedly predicted that a third of these Jews would starve to death, a third would emigrate, and that the remaining third would quickly and finally achieve the Jewish State.[208]

    According to Nahum Sokolow’s History of Zionism, a seminal and encyclopedic study first published in 1919, the anti-Zionist Mendelssohnian school argued:[209]

    “The progress of modern civilization had come to be regarded as a sort of ‘Messiah’ for the Final Solution of the Jewish problem.”

    This history relates how the public sympathy engendered by fifteenth century massacres of Jews in Poland and Inquisition stories of Jews being burned alive in Spain led to the readmission of the Jews into England.[210] Sokolow writes this about World War One:[211]

    “Now among all the battlefields and graveyards of the war, there is not one to be compared with the battlefield of the Jewish ‘Ghetto’ in Eastern Europe. Millions of Jews have waded through seas of blood and tears. Towns and villages have been dyed with their blood. The Jews have sacrificed their trade, their fortunes and themselves. The flower of their manhood has been lost or mutilated. The sources of life have been cut off, every link of the chain of existence has been broken.”

    Similarly, concerning Theodor Herzl, the non-religious founder of the Zionist movement., Sokolow wrote:[212]

    “Herzl had written his first pamphlet under the influence of the Dreyfus affair. That cry of 20 years ago thunders in unison with the cries of mothers, wives, orphans, from underneath the pyres and ruins which in their brutal reality leave the worst imaginings of a Jeremiah far behind. The dead arise from their graves, covered with blood, trampled in the dust, with the fiery name of God, the shaddae on their pale foreheads, and they demand to be heard.”

    As we can see, the imagery of a massive garish imitation of the crucifixion has been present in the literature for a long time.

    Another book also published in 1919, The Jew Pays. A narrative of the Consequences of the War to the Jews of Eastern Europe, and of the Manner in which Americans have Attempted to Meet Them, provides a spiritual explanation for these charity drives:[213]

    “The very speech of ancient Israel in all its eloquent and touching modulations had been somehow prophetically fashioned for this supreme hour. The trained organizer, equipped with a knowledge of the Jewish soul, could turn to the sacred books and find therein texts without number for his purpose. One quarter of the content of the Bible is a record of Jewish struggle and sorrow, and fairly teems with gems in the literature of exhortation and appeals to compassion. Half the Jewish fasts and feasts are redolent of exile and oppression and the threat of national extermination.”

    Population statistics published during this period do not support the claims that there was a holocaust of Jewish people during World War One. Quite the contrary, from 1900 to 1920, according to standard reference books, the world’s Jewish population more than doubled. One reference book, the World Almanac of 1900, gave a Jewish population of 7,186,000 including 3.4 million in Russia and 1.7 million in the Austrian Empire. The World Almanac of 1920 put the Jewish population at about 15 million including 10.9 million in Europe and 3.5 million in North and Central America.

    During this same 20-year period, from 1900 to 1920, the total world population increased twenty five percent from roughly 1.2 billion in 1900 to roughly 1.6 billion in 1920. The world’s Christian population increased from 477 million in 1900 to 576 million, and the world’s Moslem population increased from 176 million in 1900 to 227 million in 1920.[214]

    Why do statistics show the population of the world and of the rest of the world’s religions increasing by twenty to twenty five percent from 1900 to 1920 and the world’s Jewish population increasing by over 100% in those same twenty years? This same period where, according to the promoters of the First World War era holocaust fund raising drives, there was massive starvation, pogroms, and persecution. It is incongruous, to say the least. The total world population increased by twenty five percent from 1900 to 1920. If the Jewish population of the world really only increased by twenty to twenty five percent from 1900 to 1920, that would explain the missing five and a half million at the end of World War Two. Of course it’s not that simple. The main point here is that during the first part of the twentieth century, the world’s Jewish population was increasing much more rapidly than the surrounding populations. This is according to the standard reference books published during that time period.

    Additionally, according to Arno Mayer, there was a remarkable growth in England during that period:[215]

    “In the mid 1880s England had only 65,000 Jews, of whom 46,000 lived in London. Three quarters of them were engaged in trade, commerce, and the professions, and most of them were well established and relatively well off. But then during the next 30 years, up until 1914, the Jewish population increased nearly five fold, to reach 300,000.”

    It is also generally accepted that about one third of all eastern European Jews left their countries of origin for the United States between 1881 and 1914.[216] The United States census of 1890 reported a population of 130,000 Jews, yet by 1920, the Jewish population of North and Central America was about 3,530,000.[217] These American figures appear to be in the ballpark of reality. There were no restrictions on immigration to the United States during much of that period, and up to three million Jews came from countries in eastern Europe, where there was war and political instability. What’s hard to believe is the claim that the populations of the eastern European Jewish communities that had sent so many of their young men off to war and so many of their families to America and Great Britain, also increased in population from 1900 to 1920. In comparing the figures, remember there was no modern Poland, no Czechoslovakia, and no Yugoslavia before 1918.

    Working backward, in 1885 the bulletin of the Geographical Society of Marseilles calculated the total number of Jews in the world at 6,877,602 including 300,000 in America and 5,407,603 in Europe. Of the 1885 European statistics, the most interesting is Russia which is listed at 2,552,145. (another 70,000 were listed as living in Asiatic Russia and 14,000 in Turkestan and Afghanistan.) France is listed with 70,000.

    Of course there was no Poland in 1885, because it was split between the Austrian Empire (1,648,708), the German Empire (561,512) and Russia (2,552,145).[218]

    Conklin’s Handy Manual of Useful Information and World’s Atlas, published in 1888, put the world’s Jewish population then at 7 million.[219]

    At least 6,000,000 was the estimate accepted at the Jewish Young Men’s Club in Glasgow, England, in 1889. They went on to say:[220]

    “It is distressing to hear that, with the exception of half a million, they are all in a state of political bondage.”

    Lets recapitulate all of this and see how it fits into the big picture. After World War One, up to six million European Jews are saved from extermination because of the intervention of people of all faiths. This is just twenty years before these same people are all but exterminated in a secret campaign without written orders and no budget because no one cared. In 1920 and 1926, we have rallies and campaigns all over the United States in drives for up to six million starving European Jews, who are called the worst sufferers in what is now called World War One and its aftermath. They had organizations with offices and agents all over Europe receiving money raised in the United States and elsewhere by organizations that have continually existed since World War One, and exist even today.

    All of these fund raising groups have operated continuously up to the present day and are still operating. They have raised money continuously since the end of World War One. The Joint Distribution Committee for the relief of Jewish war sufferers is still thriving. As this is being written, they have a very active, tame, dignified, web site. Also as of this writing, the ‘Joint’ is funded primarily through the national United Jewish Communities (UJC), which is supported by campaigns conducted by Jewish federated and non-federated communities throughout the U.S. Not much has changed there. There is alleged to be a big warehouse full of old Joint Distribution Committee records in Brooklyn, New York.

    The Warburg family has a museum in Great Britain that was the pet project of Aby Warburg, the oldest brother of Felix and Max Warburg. At the time of this writing, they have a much-enlarged site on the World Wide Web. They have a history web site with the name “The Institute for Historical Research”. Just go to a good search engine like Google and type in I.H.R. Then look for a British address.

    The World Jewish Congress was formed by the American Jewish Congress in 1936, “uniting Jewish communities around the world,” according to their web site. The American Jewish Congress is today headquartered at the Stephen Wise Congress House at East 84th Street in New York City. Their national staff is headed by an executive director. They maintain 15 regional offices in the United States, a permanent representative in Washington, D.C., and an Israeli office in Jerusalem. President Clinton spoke at a World Jewish Congress dinner in New York on September 11, 2000, in honor of World Jewish Congress President Edgar M. Bronfman. Bronfman was the chairman of Seagram’s, which was recently swallowed up by Vivendi Universal, a French entertainment and water conglomerate. Bronfman became a media mogul and as of this writing is a Vivendi vice chairman.

    The American organizations promoting the charity drives after World War One were also going full blast before and during World War Two. That is another story that needs to be explored from a revisionist perspective sometime in the future.


    [185] William Zukerman, “Status of the Jews in Russia as transformed by the Revolution,” The New York Times, May 31, 1931.
    [186] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), p. 70.
    [187] Ibid., p. 74f.
    [188] Evelyn Morrissey, Jewish Workers and Farmers in the Crimea and Ukraine, Privately Printed, New York: Self-published, 1937, p. 38.
    [189] Robert Conquest, Harvest of Sorrow. Soviet collectivization and the terror-famine, London: Hutchinson, 1986; Robert Conquest et al., The Man-made famine in Ukraine, Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, 1984.
    [190] E. Morrissey, op. cit. (note 188), p. 41.
    [191] Joseph C. Hyman, Twenty Five Years of American Aid To Jews Overseas. A Record of the Joint Distribution Committee, New York, 1939.
    [192] Ibid., p. 31.
    [193] Organization for the Distribution of Artisanal and Agricultural Skills among the Jews in Russia (ORT), a Jewish advocacy group founded in 1880 in czarist Russia. The administrative offices are located in London, England.
    [194] J.C. Hyman, op. cit. (note 191), pp. 27-33.
    [195] Moses A. Leavitt, The JDC Story. Highlights of JDC Activities 1914-1952, New York: American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Inc., 1953, p. 10.
    [196] Y. Bauer, op. cit. (note 56), pp. 103f. Bauer notes in the preface that he received a generous grant from the Joint Distribution Committee in writing the book.
    [197] S.S. Wise, op. cit. (note 89), pp. 195f.
    [198] Robert John, Behind the Balfour Declaration, Costa Mesa, CA: Institute for Historical Review, 1988, p. 85.
    [199] J. de Haas, S.S. Wise, op. cit. (note 57), pp. 173-176.
    [200] R. Chernow, op. cit. (note 34), p. 297.
    [201] Ibid., p. 252.
    [202] Ibid., pp. 252 and 448.
    [203] Theodor Herzl, Old New Land, Princeton, NJ: M. Wiener, 1997; first published in German as Altneuland circa 1900.
    [204] “Survey Reveals that Jewish Immigration to Palestine Brings Prosperity to Arabs,” The New York Times, June 15, 1930.
    [205] Theodor Herzl, Old New Land, op. cit. (note 203), p. 124f.
    [206] J.C. Hyman, op. cit. (note 191), pp. 39.
    [207] “Rabbis Urge Faith As Key To Crisis,” The New York Times, September 21, 1931, p. 36.
    [208] Edwin Black, The Transfer Agreement, Washington, D.C.: Dialog Press, 1999, p. 77.
    [209] N. Sokolow, op. cit. (note 148), vol. 1, p. xvii.
    [210] Ibid., vol. 1, p. 32.
    [211] Ibid., vol. 1, p. xxii.
    [212] Ibid. vol. 2, p. 13.
    [213] Marcus Eli Ravage, The Jew Pays. A narrative of the consequences of the war to the Jews of eastern Europe, and of the manner in which Americans have attempted to meet them, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1919. The rest of the quote is: “The Passover service begins with an invitation to the hungry and the stricken to come and partake of the bread and prosperity of their more fortunate brethren. The New Year and the Day of Atonement are essentially days of repentance, and in the Jewish tradition, repentance ever begins with love and charity towards one’s neighbor. The Feast of Purim celebrates the memory of a man and a woman who were instrumental in rescuing the people of Israel from annihilation; and the ninth of Ab is a fast of mourning over the destruction of the national life.”
    [214] The World Almanac and Encyclopedia 1900, New York: The Press Publishing Co., 1900; The World Almanac and Encyclopedia 1920, New York: The Press Publishing Co., 1919.
    [215] Arno J. Mayer, Why Did The Heavens Not Darken?, New York: Pantheon Books, 1988, p. 50.
    [216] For example see G. Ivers, op. cit. (note 43), p. 35.
    [217] The World Almanac and Encyclopedia 1920, op. cit. (note 214), puts the Jewish population of North and Central America at 3,530,000.
    [218] “Statistics of the Jews,” The New York Times, October 17, 1885.
    [219] Conklin’s Universal Handbook for Ready Reference, Chicago: Laird & Lee, 1888, p. 219.
    [220] The New York Times, February 10, 1889.

  9. Appendix 1. Selected Book and Newspaper Excerpts June 11, 1900, p. 7 “Rabbi Wise’s Address Rabbi Wise said, in part: ‘The day will never come when I will care less for Zion, when there will be anyone who will strive more for the glorious ideals of Zionism. ‘Two great conventions of Jews are being held tonight. In Chicago, there is a conference of charities called together by men who minister to the wants of the poor. They have assembled to see that too much charity is not given to the unworthy. Their purpose is right. But ours is the greater charity. We have assembled not to see that the Jew does not get too much, but that every Jew shall get the right to live. ‘There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism. They come not to beg, but ask for that which is higher than all material things. They seek to have satisfied the unquenchable thirst after the ideal. They ask to become once again the messengers of right, justice, and humanity. ‘Your Christian friends will honor you if you have enough self-respect to care for your own people. Say that you are not a Jew and you will be hated as a Jew, nevertheless. But say that you are an American Jew, and strive for the best principles of the race, you will be respected and the Zionist name honored. ‘Of Israel and Zion one thing is true. They can conquer. God is our leader, and with the General of the heavenly hosts to lead who will say that we go not to victory? ‘In the old Greek games, the man who won the race was not he who went fastest, but the one who bore a lighted torch to the end of the course. ‘We Zionists have entered a race, the torch of liberty, charity, and justice in our hands. ‘The race will be won, not because we are fastest but because that lamp is a light unto the world. It will never be extinguished. ‘Come, brothers, the lamp is in your hands, run the race and may God give you the victory forever.” January 14, 1915, p. 3: “JEWS INDIFFERENCE TO WAR AID REBUKED Louis Marshall Denounces Apathy Toward Suffering of Co-Religionists. MILLIONS IN DIRE DISTRESS Jacob H. Schiff, Meyer London, and Dr. Enelow Plead with the Rich to Give. Louis Marshall, speaking at a meeting in Temple Emanu-El last night, deplored what he termed the failure of the Jews of America, particularly of New York, to realize the terrible calamity that has overtaken the millions of Jews whose homes are in the eastern theater of the European war. The meeting was held in the interest of the American Jewish Relief Committee, of which committee Mr. Marshall was President. Besides Mr. Marshall Congressman-elect Meyer London, and the Rev. Dr. H.G. Enelow of the Temple Emanu-El, spoke. Like Mr. Marshall, each deplored the fact that the Jews of America have not given the assistance they should to their suffering co-religionists. Further emphasis on the same subject was contained in a letter from Jacob H. Schiff, read by Mr. Marshall. ‘It is discouraging to those who have devoted so much time and energy to this work that there is so small a response from Jews in New York, a city which is so great a Jewish center. It seems to me that the people are so dazed by the European cataclysm that they are unable to realize that it is their duty to aid of those who are suffering through the calamity. ‘In the world today there are about 13,000,000 Jews, of whom more than 6,000,000 are in the heart of the war zone; Jews whose lives are at stake and who today are subjected to every manner of suffering and sorrow, and the great American Jewish community is not doing its duty toward these sufferers. In the United Stated there are between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 Jews, nearly all able to do something and yet, after months of work, we have not raised more than $300,000. In New York there are more than a million Jews, some of them persons of great affluence, but many of them seem to think if they have given a few hundred dollars they have done their duty. ‘We hear of pogroms in Russia, in Poland, in Galicia, and we sit indifferent. In Palestine, starvation stalks through the land. Shall we selfishly enjoy ourselves and say we would like to, but cannot help because of hard times, and think that we are doing our duty? No. The time has come for every man and woman and child to do his duty, and we must fulfill that duty quickly or it may be too late in hundreds of thousands of cases’ At this point Mr. Marshall read Mr. Schiff’s letter. Mr. Schiff said his own interest in the work was intense, and that it should appeal to every Jew. Private reports he has received, Mr. Schiff said, showed conditions in Russia, Palestine, Poland, and Galicia, the frightful nature of which could not be pictured. He said that the Emanu-El congregation is the largest and wealthiest in the United States and hoped that its members would give in proportion to their means. He further suggested a committee to canvass the congregation for a Temple Emanu-El fund and said he would contribute. Mr. Marshall put the suggestion in the form of a motion which was unanimously carried. Mr. Marshall will name the committee soon. Mr. London said this was the ‘worst period in Jewish history,’ and that the having of millions of Jewish peoples depended on the generosity of more fortunate Jews of the United States. Dr. Enelow emphasized what Mr. Marshall had said and added that never before were the Jews of this country confronted with so great a duty.” May 22, 1916, p. 11 “700,000 Jews in need on the east war front German Hebrew Relief Association, Striving to succor them, requires more food. An associated press correspondence from Berlin said, ‘of the normal total of about 2,450,000 Jews in Poland, Lithuania, and Courland, 1,770,000 remain, and of that number about 700,000 are in urgent and continuous want. About 455,000 of these are in Poland, and 50,000 of these numbers are persons who are without homes and in particularly distressful circumstances. The number of the needy is increasing from month to month. Opportunities to earn money are few, and thousands who are still living on their savings will, sooner or later, find these exhausted and become dependent on charity. These estimates appear in the annual report of the German Hebrew Relief Association, which has taken upon itself the work of aiding co-religionists in the occupied districts of the battle line in Russia and Galicia. The sum of 500,000 marks monthly is required to alleviate the distress of the most necessitious of the 700,000 sufferers, and even that sum which is all that the relief association can devote to the work for the next few months, can do little more than keep them from starvation. ‘With this sum 225 cities and villages in the occupied districts are being assisted. The Grand Lodge of B’nai B’rith in Germany has had a large share in the relief work, and more than a half million marks has thus far been received from America. Up to date nearly 2,250,000 marks has been paid out of the Hebrew Relief Association for Poland and Lithuania. Funds available have not been sufficient to afford relief to some 10,000 Jews in Courland, where the distress is not so great as in the other districts. ‘Those activities have formed but a part of the work of the Relief Association. Quite as important and even more arduous has been its work as an intermediary between the residents of the occupied districts and the outside world. In this department no denominational distinctions were made, Jews and Catholics alike being aided. Chief advantage was taken of this work by relatives and friends in America of the Polish sufferers. About 8,000,000 marks has thus far been received from America for direct transmission, and the relief association handles as many as 100,000 letters monthly to and from America. ‘A slight elevation of conditions may come from the recently secured permission of emigration from the occupied districts. Many families have already availed themselves of the permission, most of them going with tickets sent from America.” August 10, 1917 “Germans Let Jews Die. Women and Children in Warsaw Starving to Death “Through the Intelligence Department of the Mayor’s Committee on National Defense, the Provisional Zionist Committee last night made public a letter describing conditions among Jews in Warsaw under German rule. The name of the writer of this letter is not divulged for obvious reasons. The veracity and authenticity of the letter is vouched for by the Zionist Committee, of which Dr. Stephen S. Wise is chairman and Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, honorary chairman. The letter says in part: ‘Death from starvation is a real fact. It is witnessed here all over, in every street, in every step, in every house. Jewish mothers, mothers of mercy, feel happy to see their nursing babies die; at least they are through with their suffering. ‘Our wealthiest people cut off their daughters’ hair and sell it to be able to buy the indispensable things like bread for their dying children. Four and five year old children have become so weak they must be carried on their arms like babies. Fathers, should they return from the battlefield will meet of their five and six children they kissed good-by when they left for the war two or probably one or more. How long yet will this suffering last. From where will our help come. A commission has been sent to Switzerland to maintain our soup kitchens, but I doubt the success of their mission. Help us, help us. Awaken America. This is our only hope. Should America not aid us all will be lost.” The Jews in the Eastern War Zones Published by the American Jewish Committee, 1916, pp. 7 to 21 “Introduction Of all the people that have suffered deeply from the present war, none have borne a greater burden than the Jews – in physical and economic loss, in moral and spiritual torment. Jews are today fighting each other in all the armies of Europe. Russia alone has 350,000 Jewish soldiers; Austria has over 50,000; altogether there are one-half million Jews in the ranks of the fighting armies. The Jews are bearing the brunt of the war’s burdens, not only on the field of battle, where they suffer with the rest of the world, but also in their homes, where they have been singled out, by their peculiar geographic, political and economic position, for disaster surpassing that of all others. When the war broke out, one-half of the Jewish population of the world was trapped in a corner of Eastern Europe that is absolutely shut off from all neutral lands and from the sea. Russian Poland, where over two million Jews lived, is in a salient. South of it is Galicia, the frontier province of Austria. Here lived another million Jews. Behind Russian Poland are the fifteen Russian provinces, which together with Poland, constitute the Pale of Jewish Settlement. Here lived another four million Jews. Thus seven million Jews – a population exceeding that of Belgium by one million-have borne the brunt of the war. Behind them was Holy Russia, closed to them by the May laws of 1881. In front were hostile Germany and Austria. To the south was unfriendly Rumania. They were overwhelmed where they stood; and over their bodies crossed and recrossed the German armies from the west, the Russian armies from the east and the Austrian armies from the south. True, all the peoples of this area suffered ravage and pillage by the war, but their sufferings were in no degree comparable to those of the Jews. The contending armies found it politic, in a measure, to court the good will of the Poles, Ruthenians and other races in this area. These sustained only the necessary and unavoidable hardships of war. But the Jews were friendless, their religion proscribed. In this medieval region all the religious fanaticism of the Russians, the chauvinism of the Poles, combined with the blood lusts liberated in all men by the war – all those fierce hatreds were sluiced into one torrent of passion which overwhelmed the Jews. Hundreds of thousands were forced from their homes on a day’s notice, the more fortunate being packed and shipped as freight – the old, the sick and insane, men, women and children, shuttled from one province to another, side-tracked for days without food or help of any kind – the less fortunate driven into the woods and swamps to die of starvation. Jewish towns were sacked and burned wantonly. Hundreds of Jews were carried off as hostages into Germany, Austria and Russia. Orgies of lust and torture took place in public in the light of day. There are scores of villages where not a single woman was left inviolate. Women, old and young, were stripped and knotted in the public squares. Jews were burned alive in synagogues where they had fled for shelter. Thousands were executed on the flimsiest pretext or from sheer purposeless cruelty. These Jews, unlike the Belgians, have no England to flee to. The sympathy of the outside world is shut off from them. They have not the consolation of knowing that they are fighting for their own hearths, or even for military glory or in the hope of a possible reward of indemnity. The only thought they cherish is that after the struggle shall be over they may at last achieve those elementary rights denied to no other people, the right to live and move about freely in the land of their birth or adoption, to educate their children, to earn a livelihood, to worship God according to the dictates of their conscience. Russia Nearly half of the Jewish population of the world lives in Russia, in the immediate area of active hostilities, congested in cities, which are the first point of attack. The dreadful position of the Jews of Russia in normal times is well known. Forbidden to live outside of the enlarged Ghetto, known as the Pale of Settlement; burdened with special taxes; denied even the scant educational privileges enjoyed by the rest of the population; harried by a corrupt police, a hostile government and an unfriendly populace – in brief, economically degraded and politically outlawed – their condition represented the extreme of misery. It was the openly expressed policy of the reactionaries who ruled Russia to solve the Jewish question by ridding the country of the Jews. ‘One-third will accept the Greek Church; one-third will emigrate to America; and one-third will die of starvation in Russia’ – so ran the cynical saying. Some did abjure their faith, tens of thousands did starve in Russia and hundreds of thousands did emigrate to America. Loyalty of Russian Jews Then came the war. The Jews saw therein an opportunity to show the Christian population that in spite of all the persecutions of the past they were ready to begin life anew in a united and regenerated Russia. Thousands of Jewish young men who had been forced to leave Russia to secure the education which their own country denied them returned voluntarily to colors even though they knew that all hope of preferment and promotion was closed to them. On the field of battle the Jewish soldiers displayed courage and intelligence which won the respect of their fighting comrades and gained for them the much desired cross of St. George, granted for distinguished valor in the face of the enemy; while those who remained at home opened and equipped hospitals for wounded soldiers without distinction of race or creed, contributed generously to all public funds, and, in brief, gave themselves and their possessions unsparingly to the Russian cause. It appeared at first as though the long desired union with the Russian people was about to be realized. But it soon developed that the chains which bound the Jews of Russia to their past could not be broken. Forces which they could not possibly control doomed them to the greatest tragedy in their history. The Pale in which they lived was Polish in origin and population. Poles and Jews were fellow victims of the Russian oppressor; but instead of being united by the common bond of suffering, they were separated by religious and racial differences and above all by dissension deliberately fostered among them by the Russian rulers until it developed into uncontrollable hate. Russian Atrocities Immediately before the war the struggle had assumed its bitterest form – that of unrelenting boycott waged against the Jews. When the war broke out the political status of the Poles changed overnight. Both the Russian and the German armies found it politic to cultivate the good will of the Polish population. Many Poles seized the opportunity to gratify personal animosity, religious bigotry or chauvinistic mania by denouncing the Jews, now to the one invader and now to the other, as spies and traitors. In Germany the animus of the attacks was to some extent uncovered and the lies refuted. But in Russia they found fertile soil. The Russian military machine had met with defeat at the hands of the Germans. To exonerate themselves in the eyes of their own people the military camarilla eagerly seized the pretext so readily furnished them by the Poles and unloaded the burden of their ill-fortune upon the helpless shoulders of the Jew. Men, women, even children were executed without the shadow of evidence or the formality of a trial. Circumstantial stories of Jewish treachery, invented by the Poles, were accepted as the truth and circulated freely through the Russian press and on the local government bulletin boards; but when official investigation proved those stories false in every particular, the publication of the refutation was discouraged by the censorship. The authorities gave the troops a free hand to loot and ravage, even encouraging them by the publication of orders which officially denounced all Jews as spies and traitors. The result was a series of outrages unprecedented even in Russia. A million Jews were driven from their homes in a state of absolute destitution. Protest of Liberal Russia All of the liberal elements of Russia protested against this campaign of extermination, but were powerless in the face of the military Government. Hundreds of municipal bodies, trades and professional organizations, writers, publicists and priests, petitioned the civil government to admit the Jews to human equality or at least suspend its policy of persecution. These memorials, together with the speeches delivered in the Duma, constitute a body of evidence from non-Jewish sources, which must condemn the Russian Government in the eyes of the world. Galicia During the ten months of the Russian occupation of Galicia, the Jews of that section suffered even more severely than did the Jews who dwelt in the Russian Pale. For here the Jews were the subjects of the enemy and no pretext was needed for their maltreatment. The Ruthenians and Poles who occupied the land were friendly to Russia, which promised them independence and power. But Russia could expect nothing from the Jews of Galicia, for they were already in the possessions of rights and liberties not enjoyed by the Jews of Russia, and the weight of the Russian invasion fell upon them mercilessly. Here thousands of Russian Jewish soldiers were forced to give up their lives in an attempt to impose on free Jews of Galicia the servitude from which they themselves so ardently longed to escape in Russia. They were forced to witness the desecration by their Russian companions-in-arms of synagogues, the outrage of Jewish women and the massacre of innocent and helpless civilians of their own faith. Rumania Though Rumania is not yet a belligerent, some of the Jews of that country have been vitally affected by the war. In July of 1915, the Ministry of the Interior issued a general order expelling the Jews of the towns near the Austro-Hungarian frontier into the interior. Though this order was later alleged to have been designed to prevent the operation of Jewish grain speculators from Bukowina, many Jews who had resided in the border towns for generations were summarily expelled. This action of the Government was bitterly criticized by the liberal press and a memorial addressed to the King by the League of Native-born Jews, and the order was finally revoked. Whether the present Balkan situation may or may not result in the entrance of Rumania among the belligerent nations there is no doubt that upon the termination of hostilities the question of Rumania’s treatment of the Jews should be reopened. Palestine At the outbreak of the war Palestine contained, according to reliable estimates, about 100,000 Jews, some of whom were economically independent agriculturists, but the great majority of whom were aged pilgrims dependent upon their relatives and the good-will offerings of their pious co-religionists in Europe. The war cut them off completely from both the markets of Europe and from their relatives and friends; nearly the entire Jewish population was thus left destitute. Their position was further aggravated by the severity with which Turkey, upon her entrance into the war as an ally of the Central Powers, treated the nationals of hostile countries. About 8,000 Jews who declined to become Turkish subjects were either expelled or departed voluntarily. Jews in Other Belligerent Countries In all the countries where the Jews have heretofore enjoyed freedom there has been no special Jewish problem during this war. The Jews have identified themselves completely with the lands of their birth or adoption, and have shared the trials and glories of the peoples among whom their lot was cast. In England, the Jewish population, according to estimates prepared by Lord Rothschild, furnished more than its share of recruits to the British army, its quota of 17,000 comprising about eight and a half percent of the total Jewish population as compared with six percent furnished by the non-Jewish population. The Lord Chief Justice, Baron Reading, a Jew, mobilized the financial resources of the country and was called upon to head the Anglo-French commission which negotiated the $500,000,000 credit secured in the United States. Lord Rothschild is treasurer of the Red Cross organization. Hon. Herbert Samuels is a member of the Coalition cabinet. A Jewish battalion organized by Palestinian fugitives rendered exceptional service to the allies in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Many rewards, including the bestowal of Victoria Crosses and promotions, are listed in the Anglo-Jewish press every week. In Germany the Jews, although without complete social privileges, have borne their full share of the burdens of war. To Herr Ballin, the head of the mercantile marine, was given the task of organizing the national food supply, and other Jews have been prominently identified with every department of the industrial mobilization of the country. In France and Italy, Austria-Hungary and Turkey, Jews are to be found in the ministerial cabinets, in command of troops in the field, and prominent in charge of the medical service of the armies. Thus the present war has again demonstrated the great truth that, in times of struggle as in times of peace, the Jews constitute a most valuable asset to those nations that accept them as an integral part of their population and permit them to develop freely, but wherever an autocratic government demoralizes its people by confronting them with the spectacle of an unprotected minority denied all human rights, the government itself feels the reaction and the moral tone of the nation is thereby impaired.[221] Russia Russia acquired the great bulk of her Jewish population through the partitions of Poland, from 1773 to 1795. Strongly medieval in outlook and organization as Russia was at that time, she treated the Jews with the exceptional harshness which the medieval principle and policy sanctioned and required. By confining them to those provinces where they happened to live at the time of the partitions, she created a Ghetto greater than any known to the Middle Ages; and by imposing restrictions upon the right to live and travel even within this Ghetto, she has virtually converted it onto a penal settlement, where six million human beings guilty only of adherence to the Jewish faith are compelled to live out their lives in squalor and misery, in constant terror of massacre, subject to the caprice of police officials and a corrupt administration-in short, without legal right or social status. Only twice within the last century have efforts been made to improve the conditions of the Jews in Russia; and each interval of relief was followed by a period of greater and more cruel repression. The first was during the reign of Alexander the Second; but his assassination in 1881 resulted in the complete domination of Russia by the elements of reaction, which immediately renewed the persecution policy. The ‘May laws’ of Ignatieff (1882) which enmesh the Jews to this day, were the immediate product of this regime. The second period, a concomitant of the abortive revolution of 1904-5, was followed by a ‘pogrom policy’ of unprecedented severity which lasted until the outbreak of the present war. The Pale of Settlement At the beginning of the war the number of Jews in the Russian Empire was estimated at six million or more, comprising fully half of the total Jewish population of the world. Ninety-five percent of these six million people were confined by law to a limited area of Russia, known as the Pale of Settlement, consisting of the fifteen Governments of Western and Southwestern Russia, and the ten Governments of Poland, much of which territory is now under German occupation. In reality, however, residence within the Pale was further restricted to such an extent that territorially the Jews were permitted to live in only one two-thousandth part of the Russian Empire. No Jew was permitted to step outside this Pale unless he belonged to one of a few privileged classes. Some half-privileged Jews might, with effort, obtain special passports for a limited period of residence beyond the Pale; but the great majority could not even secure this privilege for any period whatsoever. A tremendous mass of special restrictive legislation converted the Pale into a kind of prison with six million inmates, guarded by an army of corrupt and brutal jailers. The Recent Abolition of the Pale In August 1915, the Council of Ministers issued a decree permitting the Jews of the area affected by the war to move into the interior of Russia. This act has been supposed in some quarters to constitute the virtual abolition of the Pale, this interpretation being chiefly attributable to the extensive publicity given the measure by the Russian government; but the evidence, official and otherwise, clearly indicates that far from being a generous act of a liberal Government toward an oppressed people, it is in reality only a temporary expedient, dictated mainly by military necessity and partly by the need of a foreign loan; it is evident that it was granted grudgingly, with galling limitations which served to emphasize the servile state of the Jews; that it is in practice ignored or evaded at the convenience of the local authorities; and that it has been utilized, if not designed, to mislead the public opinion of the world.” March 3, 1919, p. 1 “PRESIDENT GIVES HOPE TO ZIONISTS Tells Delegation He Approves Plan for a Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine. DR. WISE DEFENDS ENGLAND – Says at Mass Meeting- League of Nations Means Justice to World’s Weakest Peoples Special to the New York Times. – Washington, March 2, 1919. Approval of the plans of Zionist leaders for the creation of a national Jewish Commonwealth in Palestine was given tonight by President Wilson to a delegation of representative American Jewish Leaders who spent an hour at the White House in conference with the President over the international status of Jews around the world. The delegation was headed by Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise of New York, and also included Judge Julian W. Mack of Chicago, Louis Marshall of New York, and Bernard J. Richards of New York, members of the delegation to the Paris Peace Conference recently named by the American Jewish Congress. Here is the word of promise that was given to the delegation by the President: ‘As for your representations touching Palestine, I have before this expressed my personal approval of the declaration of the British Government regarding the aspirations and historic claims of the Jewish people in regards to Palestine. I am, moreover, persuaded that the allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundation of a Jewish Commonwealth,’ The delegation presented to the President a memorial setting forth the present status of the Jews in eastern Europe and the effect upon them of the creation of new and enlarged states – Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia. The delegation also presented the resolution adopted by the American Jewish Congress held in Philadelphia last December which set forth the guarantees considered necessary for securing fundamental human rights to Jews throughout the world. After the conference the delegates stated that they had always found the President, ‘as always, sympathetic with the incontestable principle of the right of the Jewish people everywhere to equality of status.’ Meeting Cheers Wilson’s Words On leaving the White House Rabbi Wise and Justice Mack went to a mass meeting in the auditorium of the Central High School, the largest meeting place in Washington [D.C.]. Three thousand persons had crowded into it, but large numbers were unable to gain admittance. Rabbi Wise spoke of the aspirations and hopes of American Jews and of Jewry around the world, told of his recent visit to Paris, in its bearing on the Peace Conference, and discussed the League of Nations, predicting that it would be part of the final Peace Treaty. After making the announcement of the President’s attitude toward the Zionist movement and quoting amid the greatest enthusiasm what was said, Rabbi Wise exclaimed: ‘I believe that England should be the mandatory for the League of Nations for the Jewish National Commonwealth to be established in Palestine and I, here and now, make the prophecy that Great Britain will accept the mandate over Palestine. He wrongs, slanders, and libels Great Britain who asserts that England in her attitude towards Palestine wants to spread out her dominions. I know whereof I speak, when I assert, following my recent visit to Paris and London, that England will never accept a mandate over Palestine except in response to a mandate from the League of Nations, and when England does accept such a mandate it will mean that the Jewish people of the world have again come to their rightful place in the world. The formation of the League of Nations means two things. It means justice from the greatest of the nations and justice to the weakest of the peoples of the earth. I am almost terrified by some of the formidable arguments against the League of Nations I have heard in the last few days. We have been told that if we want peace all we have to do is to come back from Europe and let Europe fight it out without any League of Nations being formed. We tried that once. We tried that from August, 1914, until we entered the war in April, 1917, when we had to make up our minds that when the liberty of the world was invaded the liberty of America was also threatened. We would go to war tomorrow under the same circumstances, only if we had the same circumstances tomorrow in the light of recent history, we would go to war a little earlier. The real question now is whether we will form a League of Nations, whether we will stay where we are and help keep the peace of the world, or come back here and have to go back and make war again. Instead of going there again to make war let us stay there and make peace. I prophesy here and now that the Peace Conference will not adjourn without making provision for a League of Nations. A am not undertaking to say whether we should undertake a mandate under the League of Nations. But I am not willing to say, as an American, that we should accept all of the advantages flowing out of a League of Nations and not be willing to assume our responsibilities under such a league. America and Armenia ‘I firmly believe that if the League should turn to America and point to Armenia, wounded, broken, and helpless, and ask us to take Armenia and bind up her wounds until such a day as she was able to stand alone, America would accept such a mandate.’ Rabbi Wise said the Jews of the world would have to thank America and the Allies for the recreation of the Jewish commonwealth in Palestine. It was not his idea that all the Jews could or would go to Palestine. Palestine, he said, could not begin to find room for the Jewry of the world. ‘Perhaps,’ he said, ‘little more than a fourth of the Jews of the world will be able to go there. When the national home is established for the Jews in Palestine it will be a home for the homeless, wronged and disinherited Jews and a radiating center of light and inspiration to all the Jews of the world. The rebuilding of Zion will be the reparation of all Christendom for the wrongs done to the Jews. [Emphasis added] Dr. Wise resented the imputation in connection with the ongoing investigation that Russian Bolsheviks and Russian Jews were synonymous. Bolshevism, he said, was not a Jewish phenomenon. Admitting that a considerable number of Jews held office under the Bolsheviks, it must be remembered that these Jews who had returned to Russia included many of the ‘all but crucified exiles.’ He asserted, on authority of Kerensky, that 80 to 95 percent of the millions of Jews are against Bolshevism, as they ought to be. ‘I consider it a grave wrong against a whole people to speak of Bolshevism and the Russian Jew as if these were interchangeable terms,’ continued Dr. Wise. ‘Even though a handful of Bolshevist leaders may be perfidious outcasts, the great leaders among the Russian Jews are against Bolshevism. Are all Jews to be damned because a few Jews are damnable? I had not thought that was the real Christian or American way. Russian Jewry and half of the world Jewry are broken for a time. The responsibility rests with the American Jewry.’ The four members of the delegation headed by Rabbi Wise, who will leave for Paris soon, arrived in Washington this morning and spent most of the day in conference with Louis D. Brandeis, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, who has been very actively supporting the Zionist movement.” “Washington, March 2, 1919 (Associated Press.) In his speech at Washington High School tonight, Dr. Wise, referring to an unpublished document placed in the records of the Senate Committee, which he said purported to be a list of Jews in India, Russia and elsewhere who were used as agents by the German Government to stir up social unrest in those countries, declared the information in the document was erroneous. He described its author as ‘either a madman or a foul and loathsome knave.\'” “ACTION OF CONFERENCE SATISFIES ZIONISTS Dr. Weissman [sic] Says Palestine Will See First Fruits of League of Nations. By Walter Duranty. Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES. Paris, February 28. – ‘We are very well satisfied with the reception given by the Peace Conference to the Zionists’ claims,’ said Dr. [Chaim] Weissman [sic], Chairman of the British Zionist Committee, who has been the central figure of the organization in Paris. ‘The principal Allied statesmen have shown sympathy with Zionist aims, and yesterday’s hearing set the seal of the formal approval of the Conference as a body. We have obtained full recognition of the historic title of the Jewish people to Palestine and of the Jews’ right to reconstitute their national home there. By national home I mean the creation of such conditions as will enable large numbers of Jews to travel to Palestine, to settle there on a self supporting basis, to found their own schools, universities and other institutions – in short, to establish an administration that will carry out our program and ultimately make Palestine as Jewish as America is American. For the present that is the limit of the Zionist aims. We want it understood that the immediate formation of a Jewish State or Commonwealth is not contemplated. Today, and doubtless for some years to come, Jewish settlers in Palestine will actually be in a considerable minority as compared with the non-Jewish inhabitants of the country. There can be no question of that minority imposing its will upon the majority. Our position will be the first great experiment of the League of Nations mandatory system by which people not yet ready for independent self-government will gradually rise thereto under the tutelage of the great powers. We have asked that the British should be appointed. For centuries the Jews have been scattered among the nations of the world, and we know which are our friends. First among them are the English-speaking peoples, educated on the Bible, just as the Jews have been. We chose Great Britain partly owing to the doubt as to whether the United States would be willing to accept obligations in the Near East, partly because of geographical considerations and because of Great Britain’s great and varied experience with all kinds of races and constitutions. Under her direction the whole of Palestine from the Lebanon Province to the Egyptian frontier and from the sea to the Hedjaz Railway will be open to Jewish settlements, which will automatically develop into an autonomous Jewish commonwealth. Thus the League of Nations has made it possible to give expression to the centuries old desire of the Jewish race. Jews everywhere are ardent supporters of the League, and owe a deep debt of gratitude to President Wilson for his advocacy of the principles by which our return to our ancestral home will be brought about. We have asked that Great Britain shall place Palestine under a suitable political administration and economic conditions, shall promote Jewish immigration and settlements on the land, and shall seek the cooperation of a Jewish council representing the Jews of Palestine. Concessions for the benefit of Palestine will be granted by Great Britain to this council with a proviso that the latter not be prohibited from using them for private profit. Finally, we have agreed to accept the original stipulation of the British Government as follows: It is clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status of Jews living in other countries. You see our aims for the present are modest and cautious. Later, an Independent Government of Palestine will be a natural outgrowth of the new circumstances and conditions.” September 29, 1919, p. 7 “FELIX M. WARBURG TELLS SAD PLIGHT OF JEWS. Felix M. Warburg Says They Were the Worst Sufferers in War. Felix M. Warburg, Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, who returned several days ago from a trip to Europe for that organization, made public yesterday some of his findings. ‘The successive blows of contending armies have all but broken the back of European Jewry,’ he said, ‘and have reduced to tragically unbelievable poverty, starvation and disease about 6,000,000 souls, or half the Jewish population of the earth. ‘The Jewish people throughout Eastern Europe, by sheer accident of geography, have suffered more from the war than any other element of the population. The potential vitality and the capacity for self-help that remains to those people after the last five years is amazing to me.’ The people are deeply moved by the help given them by America, Mr. Warburg said, but it would be fatal to lessen the emergency aid now while millions are in tragic need. The $30,000,000 spent by this committee, he said, has fed and clothed more than a million children and it has renewed the hope of five million parents and elders. ‘For more than four years,’ he said, ‘The war on the Eastern front was fought largely in the congested centers of Jewish population. A straight north and south line from Riga, on the Baltic, to Salonica, on the Aegean Sea, will touch every important battle area of the Eastern war zone and every center of Jewish population. After the cataclysm of the last few years it is too much to expect this Jewry to become self-sustaining in a short twelve-month.’ Mr. Warburg is concerned over the program soon to be started for the discontinuance of emergency relief. This plan, he said, calls for the formation of a $10,000,000 reconstruction corporation. ‘This organization,’ he said, ‘would afford facilities for constructive aid to Jews abroad in the way of loans and credit at nominal interest rates. The value of this sort of assistance as a substitute for pure charity is apparent.’ Other relief projects recommended by Mr. Warburg include the establishment of an express company to forward money and packages from Jews in this country to relatives and friends abroad; the distribution of $120,000 worth of fuel in sections of Poland where destitution is greatest; the purchase of $300,000 worth of cloth in the bolt whereby unemployed workmen of Poland may get raw material, and a plan to reunite those Jewish families that have relatives in the United States and those who have become separated abroad.” October 26, 1919, Section 2, page 1 “SPENDS $2,000,000 IN ONE BARGAIN HUNT Miss Lowenstein Tells of Buying for 4,000,000 Starving Jews of Eastern Europe. ARMY FILLS HER ORDERS Purchases Range from Hardtack to Hobnailed Boots-Soap the First Big Need Supplied. A three week shopping tour, in which she spent $2.000,000 for a ‘family’ of 4,000,000 people, is the record of Harriet B. Lowenstein, a representative of the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers, who returned recently from Eastern Europe. In a statement issued yesterday by the committee it was said that Miss Lowenstein’s purchases virtually saved the lives of the Jews of Eastern Europe who were dying of starvation. Miss Lowenstein snapped up every bargain offered by the Liquidation Bureau of the United States Army, from hardtack to hobnailed boots and from soap to motor trucks! On her arrival in Paris she met Lewis Strauss, secretary to Herbert Hoover, and learned of the terrible conditions in the European countries, and from Poland she received word to spend $2,000,000 on behalf of 4,000,000 destitute Jews. ‘I didn’t know what to get,’ said Miss Lowenstein, ‘and I didn’t know where to get it. All I knew was that it must be done. Luckily, when I got to Paris Louis Marshall, Chairman of the Jewish delegation to the Peace Conference, and Dr. Cyrus Adler were still there. They took me to see Judge Parker of Texas, who was in the Liquidation Bureau of the United States Army. ‘Has the army anything to sell?’ we asked him. Why, yes, it has quite a few things, here and there, he said. ‘Could we see them?’ we asked. ‘We have to get several train loads off to Poland right away.’ It turned out that the things weren’t in Paris. To get her bargains, Miss Lowenstein had to attend a series of Monday morning sales, so to speak, all through France. The salvage department of the United States Army were her wholesale stores. Her shopping tour might take her to Bordeaux for olive oil, and to Tours for blankets, and to Toule for medicine, but what ease can a bargain finder expect? ‘The first thing I did,’ she said, ‘was to borrow an army car, and run down to Gievres, which I was told was one center for their Liquidation Board. In the three days and three nights that I stayed there, I bought enough stuff to fill thirty-nine freight cars, which were leant to me through the courtesy of the army, and of the Liquidation Board. ‘The first thing I bought was a lot of soap. Nobody had told me to do that, but we had reports about the filth and disease in Poland, and it seemed to me that soap was a luxury we couldn’t get along without. The men said that they thought I must be going to scrub all Poland up, when they saw my freight car full of soap. ‘There were thousands of cases of typhus in Poland among the destitute Jews, and I wanted to send beds, but I knew that was impossible, as we could get only the space on the ships as Mr. Hoover could spare us. So I figured that the best thing to do would be to send three carloads of army blankets. 80,000 bed sheets, and 150,000 pillowcases. I managed to get 1,000 cots and 1,000 mattresses in, without being stopped. Miss Lowenstein did not find all of these things conveniently laid out for her at Gievres, by any means. She had scoured France of them, by this time. Then, when her things were packed into the boat, she heard that medicines were to be procured at Toule, and rushed off to buy them. ‘Medicines were one thing of which I knew practically nothing at all,’ she said. ‘So I just bought the things that I thought women of common sense could use, without doctors and without nurses – quinine, cathartics, typhoid disinfectants, anesthetics, (I had heard that operations were constantly being performed without anything of the kind in Poland,) and simple things of the kind. I also got twenty surgical cases, the kind they used in the field of battle, and a large quantity of ninety five percent pure alcohol at 72 cents a gallon – another bargain, as anyone who has bought it here must know. Then, because I knew the children were suffering from malnutrition, and that the Jewish youngsters couldn’t eat most fats, because of their religion, I got all the pure olive oil the Army had, at $1.75 a gallon. All this while, the entire Army was helping Miss Lowenstein with her bargains, just as if they had been real salesmen and she a real buyer with a big order to place. Through their help, Miss Lowenstein was able to get hold of 400,000 pounds of hardtack, for the hungriest region in the world, the desolate territory east of the Bug River, where thousands of Jewish children were dying of starvation. Relief workers say that this despised food of the doughboys saved the lives of a host of youngsters there, Along with this hardtack, Miss Lowenstein sent about a carload of condensed milk. ‘I knew that the Jewish people in these lands had hardly a ray of hope left to them,’ she explained. ‘I knew that fathers were watching their children starve, and that mothers were having to leave their babies dead along the roads they trod as returning refugees. And I knew that it must seem to the stricken Jewish people of Poland that they had not even the consolation of religion left, when they could not get the candles that their creed requires them to keep burning on the Sabbath day while they say their blessing. So I got as many candles and matches as I possibly could – at least 100,000 of the candles. ‘What are you going to do with so many?’ the army men asked, and because I didn’t want to give them a sentimental woman-reason, I told them that the candles were to keep the rats away from the dead in the horrible cellars where so many of the destitute Jews live in Poland. This was perfectly true, too, but my chief reason was the other one. Miss Lowenstein followed her bargains to Eastern Europe, where she had the satisfaction of seeing how much good they were doing, and the unhappiness of knowing that millions of dollars worth of supplies were still needed, if the Jewish race was to be saved. Without doubt, hundreds of thousands of Jews in eastern Europe will die this winter, unless the United States comes to their aid,’ said Miss Lowenstein. ‘More important even than food or medicine is the fact that the American Relief Administration, the Red Cross, and the American Jewish relief agencies have given these little people a little ray of hope, after the blackness of five years of war and starvation. If that hope fails them now, they will die.” December 3, 1919, p. 19 “SAYS TEN MILLIONS FACE HUNGER DEATH Morgenthau Urges America to Try to Save Dying Nations of the Old World Describes Scenes He Saw Ex-Ambassador Convinced Nothing Except Miracle Can Prevent Great Horror Winter Holds in Store Washington, Dec.2 – In an address here tonight, Henry Morgenthau, former American Ambassador to Turkey, said that ‘nothing on earth except a miracle can prevent the death by freezing and starvation of from 5,000,000 to 10,000,000 people in Europe and the Middle East this Winter.’ Many prominent officials were in the audience that heard Mr. Morgenthau, who recently had returned to this country from an official mission to Poland. ‘I wished that I could adequately describe a scene which I witnessed in Pinsk last August,’ said Mr. Morgenthau. ‘It has haunted me ever since and has served as a complete expression of the misery and injustice which is prevalent over such a large part of the world today. A few months before my arrival a particularly atrocious Jewish massacre had taken place. ‘A Polish officer with troops had entered an assembly hall where the leading Jewish residents had gathered, arrested them, and marched them hurriedly to the public square. He took thirty-five men, and in the dim light of an automobile lamp, placed them against a Cathedral and shot them in cold blood. A somewhat hazy charge had been made that these men were Bolsheviks, but no trial was given them and indeed, the charge was subsequently shown to be untrue. ‘Returning to the scene of the execution the next morning the troops found that three of the victims were still breathing: these they dispatched with bullets and all thirty-five corpses were thrown into a pit in an old Jewish cemetery, without an opportunity for decent burial or religious exercises and with nothing to mark the graves. ‘A proceeding to make one shudder, it is true, yet not a particularly horrible event compared with the crimes that have been perpetrated in Central Europe, in the Balkans, and in Asia Minor in the last five years. The lives of only thirty five Jews were sacrificed, but in a few months nearly a million Armenians were destroyed under conditions that were far more hideous. It was the scene which I witnessed in my visit that I wish particularly to bring to your minds. ‘Up to the time not a single Jew had been permitted to visit that cemetery. But I was allowed to inspect the scene of this martyrdom; and, when I entered, a great crowd of Jews who had followed me also went in. As soon as they reached the burial place of their relatives they threw themselves as a mass upon the ground, and set up a wailing that still rings through my ears. It was the anguish cry of a terribly persecuted race; to my mind it expressed the misery of centuries and the misery not only of the Jews, but the numerous other people that for ages have looked for justice and have not found it. That same evening I attended divine services at the synagogue. Inside this building a crowd of more than 5000 had gathered to express their grief for the loss of their leaders. This large mass of men, women and children screamed until it seemed that the heavens would burst. I had read of such public expressions of agony in the Old Testament, but this is the first time I completely realized what the collective grief of a persecuted community was like. To me it has remained a pitiful memory and symbol of the cry for help that is going forth from a great part of Europe.’ In conclusion, Mr. Morgenthau said: ‘You can travel for days in Eastern Europe and see no faces that are not truly emaciated, and gaze into eyes that are not dull and almost expressionless from lack of food. ‘At this moment the greatest problem facing the American people is this: Are we going to stand aside while Europe flounders in agony into dissolution, or are we to rise to our opportunity and our duty and rescue these suffering peoples? Emerson said that ‘America represented God’s last attempt to save mankind.’ It certainly looks as though the time when we were to make good this prophecy had arrived. ‘Third is something in this opportunity that appeals to the historic imagination. The woes of Armenia are directly connected with the development of the United States. It was the Turkish conquest of Asia Minor and Constantinople which shut off the centuries-old trade route to the East and thus led to that search for that eastward route which culminated in the discovery of America. It would be nothing more than historic justice if this new country should be the means saving from destruction not only what is left of the Armenians but saving also the other despairing peoples of Eastern and Central Europe. All the people are really brothers. ‘The great impulse must come from this side of the Atlantic. I have already said that Europe is today facing a dissolution not unlike that which overwhelmed her when the Roman Empire fell. But the world situation today presents one great contrast to that of nearly two thousand years ago. The Roman Empire fell through its own vices and miseries, it fell because there was no outside force that would come to the rescue.” December 3, 1919, p. 24 “Five Million Face Famine in Poland American Jewish Relief and Red Cross Societies Fighting Disease and Hunger. Many Children Stunted – A New Malady Spreading Blindness Among War Refugees – Typhus Toll Is Heavy. Five million people east of the River Bug in the new Poland are at the point of starvation, according to a statement made public yesterday by the American Jewish Relief Committee as a result of investigation by the American Red Cross and the American Jewish Relief Agents. The vast region, from which there has been practically no news in five years, has just been penetrated by the American Red Cross and the American Jewish Relief Committee’s representatives. ‘The war has left 5,000,000 destitute and stricken Jews in Eastern Europe,’ the statement says, ‘a number as great as the entire population of New York City, utterly helpless, in many cases sick, in every case hungry and dependent. ‘East of the River Bug these people are living in devastated houses, in stalls of old stables, on roofless platforms built for refugee families, one family to a platform, in old freight cars, in holes in the ground, or under the open sky. They are weak from many months of semi-starvation, for they have gone for five years without one square meal. They are still terror-stricken from the war. Their number is being reduced every day by a series of the most terrible epidemics that ever swept any section of the world. ‘Typhus, cholera and smallpox are all raging in the territory east of the River Bug. No estimate of the actual number of those smitten with typhus in Poland has yet been compiled, but it probably is greater than in Siberia, where the American Red Cross found 100,000 cases. Dirt and malnutrition are the two great causes of the epidemic of disease. ‘All through Poland may be found children of eight or ten years old no larger than youngsters half their age ordinarily are. Two out of three infants do not survive their first year of life. The average child in the territory east of the Bug River has never tasted milk, even mother’s milk. American Red Cross investigators say that an abnormal number of children are born blind, because of the malnutrition of their mothers. American Jewish relief investigators discovered a new eye disease that had attacked thousands of children, beginning with constant blinking and ending in total blindness, resulting when long-continued starvation had affected the muscles of the eyes. In the battle against disease that is going on in the territory east of the Bug River the American Red Cross is fighting the former with medicines and doctors and attempts toward cleanliness, while the American Jewish relief workers have entered the lists against hunger, with soup kitchens and milk stations, and Children’s Relief Bureaus, established here and there, all through the vast stretch of territory. ‘If all of the people in the territory east of the Bug River could be fed properly at once, disease would soon disappear, doctors in this afflicted region say. If they could replace the rags which they have worn since the beginning of the war with fresh clothing, the epidemics would cease to spread. If their living places could be made habitable and clean, it would no longer be as it is today the most desolate expanse of land in the world. It is toward this end that the two great organizations, one of Gentiles and the other of Jews, are working hand in hand, differences of creed forgotten, in the great practical need that they face.” April 21, 1920, Editorial, p. 8 “A WORK OF MERCY. Hitherto the Jews have financed their own philanthropies and with a liberality and skill that has been universally recognized. In behalf of those of their religion who are still suffering in the war-ridden districts of Europe they are now for the first time seeking outside aid. With the fate of Belgium and Serbia it was easy to sympathize. A nation’s territory was invaded and its citizens were making a united stand. The Jews have no fatherland, no means of uniting in the common defense. Yet from the outset, wherever the call came, they fought, and fought bravely, for the allied cause. Meantime, in widely scattered lands the folk at home suffered as perhaps those of no other people, and their suffering has in many localities outlasted the war. In Europe there are today more than 5,000,000 Jews who are starving or on the verge of starvation, and many are in the grip of a virulent typhus epidemic. An appeal has been issued throughout the world. The quota of New York City is $7,500,000. The drive will occupy the week of May 2-9, and will be based wholly upon the principle of sympathy and a common humanity.” May 2, 1920, Section 2, page 1 “JEWS ASK PUBLIC TO AID WAR VICTIMS Non-Sectarian Appeal for $7,500,000 Starts Today with Sermons in All Churches. POLAND’S WOE APPALLING Campaign to be Pressed by 10,000 Active Workers, in the Five Boroughs. A famished child upon the auction block, a mother in the foreground pleading for aid, death with outstretched arms lurking near and the legend, ‘Shall Death Be the Highest Bidder?’ Such is the pictorial representation of the needs of stricken peoples in the war devastated zones of Central and Eastern Europe which will confront New Yorkers everywhere today. Back of that representation stands an organization designed to take advantage of every channel to press home to the people of this city the need for contributing toward the $7,500,000 to be raised here this week by the Greater New York Appeal for Jewish War Sufferers. This fund is but a tithe of that which must be subscribed in the entire country if disaster to whole peoples is to be averted. The world nature of the calamity which has overtaken men, women and children, deprived not only of life’s bare necessities but of all means of rehabilitating themselves without aid from the outside, has led leading Jews of New York and the nation to turn to the public, irrespective of creed, for help. Heretofore the Jews themselves have contributed many, many millions which have been expended by the Joint Distribution Committee through relief agencies of all countries and without regard to the religious beliefs of those in need. This time the burden is too gigantic to be borne by Jews alone. Millions Racked by War. A pen picture of actual conditions, typical of those in several countries, has been sent to the Campaign Committee by Dr. Boris B. Bogen of this city, now in Warsaw as head of the First Relief Unit, sent abroad by the Joint Distribution Committee. Dr. Bogen writes: ‘Hunger, cold rags, desolation, disease, death – Six million human beings, without food, shelter, clothing or medical treatment in what now are but the wastes of once fair lands, lands ravaged by long years of war or blighted by its consequences! ‘That, in a few words, is the actual situation in all those countries that constituted what was known during the great conflict as the Eastern theater of war. ‘Words cannot adequately convey nor can any picture be drawn which can bring home to comfortable, affluent, happy New Yorkers, surrounded by their families and friends, riding in their automobiles, enjoying every luxury, the utter, abject, hopeless misery confronting the population of these lands, a population about equal to that of New York City itself. ‘If you would try to visualize, to realize the situation, place yourself at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Forty-second Street. ‘The once teeming avenue is all but deserted. Gone are the gay equipages, their bejeweled occupants and liveried attendants. No longer are the sidewalks filled with a surging crowd of gaily dressed men and women. The street is all but still. Laughter and lively chatter are heard no more. ‘Instead, old men lean for support against the buildings. Mothers, with dying babes tugging vainly at their breasts, sit along the curb. The flower of what was once young manhood and womanhood of the city is not in the picture, for they, by thousands and tens of thousands, lie stricken in the overcrowded hospitals, laid low by the breath of a pestilence. Too Weak to Cry For Bread. ‘Little children, with wasted frames and swollen bodies, cling to their mothers’ rags, too weak even to cry for bread that is not to be had. ‘A bitter wind sweeps the avenue from the north. A man – his tatters cannot be called clothes – his face blue and pinched, looks at you with unseeing eyes. You do not at first recognize him. It then dawns upon you that you have seen that face before. It is the face of a friend, a man who but a few short months before was well-to-do, a banker, as prosperous, well fed and well dressed as you are now. He reaches out his arms toward you and falls at your feet. You stoop down to lift him up. He is dead! Hunger did it. ‘The scene is not exaggerated, not overdrawn. It has its exact counterpart in hundreds of cities, towns and villages throughout Central and Eastern Europe at this very moment. The call comes from one human being to another, from those who have less than nothing to those who have much. It is the call of humanity. ‘At no time during the war, in any land, not either in Belgium or Northern France, was there a situation more critical, a need more great, a demand for sacrifice and help more insistent than now comes from Eastern and Central Europe. Both the present and future existence of an entire people are at stake.’ The campaign is receiving the active cooperation and support of Archbishop Patrick J. Hayes of the Roman Catholic Diocese, Bishop Luther B. Burch of the Episcopal Diocese, Bishop Luther B. Wilson, President of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church; Miss Evangeline Booth, Commander of the Salvation Army. Members of the Executive Committee include Cleveland H. Dodge, Treasurer of the Committee for the Relief in the Near East; President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University, George Gordon Battle, Otto T. Bannard, John G. Ager, the Rev. Dr. David J. Burrell, Robert Grier Cooke, Paul G. Cravath, Francis D. Gallatin, Charles H. Sabin, President of the Guaranty Trust company; former Attorney General George W. Wickersham, Judge Joseph F. Mulqueen, Judge William H. Widhams and Alfred E. Marling. The appeal is to be brought home forcibly to the people of New York in many ways. Today is Church Sunday, and there will be special sermons in the churches of all denominations. The Rev. Dr. S. Parkes Cadman has prepared a model sermon for Protestant churches. Vicar General Joseph F. Mooney has written a message to the Roman Catholic churches, and Dr. Nathan Stern, rabbi of the West End Synagogue, prepared an appeal to be read to the Jewish congregations. Children in the public schools, through the cooperation of the Board of Education, are to hear the story of the sufferings of the children in other lands. In theaters, moving-picture houses, clubs, hotels and restaurants, in short wherever people are gathered together, the conditions they are asked to alleviate will be made clear to them. It is estimated that not fewer than 10,000 active workers have been enlisted in the cause in the five boroughs. The organization for the campaign has been divided into three parts: The organization of the trades and industries, so that not a single business or profession in the city has been overlooked; the women’s division, embracing 3,000 women workers under the leadership of Mrs. I. Unterberg, Mrs. Samuel C. Lampert and Mrs. S.S. Prince, which has divided the city into districts: the women organized the schools and churches and will make a direct appeal to the homes and to t
  10. It is estimated that not fewer than 10,000 active workers have been enlisted in the cause in the five boroughs. The organization for the campaign has been divided into three parts: The organization of the trades and industries, so that not a single business or profession in the city has been overlooked; the women’s division, embracing 3,000 women workers under the leadership of Mrs. I. Unterberg, Mrs. Samuel C. Lampert and Mrs. S.S. Prince, which has divided the city into districts: the women organized the schools and churches and will make a direct appeal to the homes and to the neighborhood storekeepers: the third organization is that of the boroughs, each borough, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Richmond, having a borough organization.”

    May 3, 1920, Editorial, p. 12


    The non-sectarian character of the drive on behalf of the Jewish war sufferers was emphasized in the appeal which marked its formal beginning yesterday. An accompanying letter was signed by Evangeline Booth of the Salvation Army, Bishop Burch, Archbishop Hayes and many other representatives of Christian churches. A statement of the nature of the crisis was prepared by the Rev. Dr. S. Parker Cadman and sent to every Protestant minister in the city to serve as the basis for an announcement from the pulpit. A similar statement for the Catholic churches was sent out by Mgr. Joseph F. Mooney.

    Hitherto the Jews have financed their own charities, and with a liberality and skill that has been universally recognized. The present need transcends the means of any single sect and centers in a catastrophe which threatens the entire world. In Russia and the neighboring countries the Jews have been subjected to a particularly malignant persecution which has not ended with the war. Without any national organization of their own, they have no central organization to appeal to. Living in segregated and generally impoverished communities, their misery is cumulative to an extent unknown among other sufferers. It is estimated that more than five millions are actually starving or on the verge of starvation, and a virulent typhus epidemic is raging among them and is already spreading among the neighboring populations. Both in intensity and the extent of present suffering and in the menace it holds out for all Europe, the situation is one which directly concerns the public of all races and creeds.

    The quota of New York City is $7,500,000. On the American Joint Distribution Committee are Professor Harry Fisher of Chicago, Professor Israel Friedlander, Max Pine and Maurice Kass. In their work of distributing food and medical aid through the ghettos of Central Europe they are obliged to proceed without the protection of the Government of the United States which has no diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia. Ample precautions will be taken, however, to make sure that the supplies will be used for the purpose in hand. It is a work of mercy that makes a peculiar appeal to both the hearts and the interests of a common humanity.”

    January 9, 1922, p. 19


    London, Jan 8 (Associated Press).

    -At the second annual conference of the Federation of Ukrainian Jews the Very Rev. Joseph H. Hertz, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, called attention to the ‘astonishing fact in the moral history of contemporary humanity that one of the blackest pages in the annals of man has just closed, and yet the world knows next to nothing of the unspeakable horrors and infinite crimes perpetrated against the Jewish people.’

    Dr. Hertz declared that 1,000,000 human beings had been butchered and that for three years 3,000,000 persons in the Ukraine had been made ‘to pass through the horrors of hell’ and that hardly a word of these facts had appeared in the newspapers.

    The voice of the Jewish community, Dr. Hertz continued, had not been raised as it should have been, and it was humiliating to find the apathy and callousness with which certain sections of Jewry had faced this disaster. He described in detail some of the crimes that had been committed.

    He said that although the pogroms in the Ukraine had ended there were something like 600,000 homeless children, 150,000 orphans and 35,000 double orphans in the Ukraine who would die from cold, hunger, or disease unless Jewish hearts remained human and came to the rescue.”


    [221] A note on sources of information that has not been copied claims, incredibly, that the Russian government hasn’t denied anything claimed in this report.

  11. Appendix 2: Documents

    New York Times, May 3, 1920, p. 11

    New York Times, May 5, 1920, p. 9

    New York Times, May 1, 1920, p. 8

    New York Times, May 5, 1920, p. 19

    New York Times, April 21, 1926

    New York Times

    May 7, 1920, p. 11

    New York Times

    April 21, 1920, p. 8

    New York Times, May 3, 1920, Editorial, p. 12

    New York Times

    November 12, 1919, p. 7.

    New York Times

    December 6, 1926, p. 1.

    The Literary Digest, December 4, 1926

    Resume of Activities of the Joint Distribution Committee for Lessing J. Rosenwald from Felix M. Warburg, November 21, 1935

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 7

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 9

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 23

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 35

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 10

    Morris Engelman, Fifteen Years of Effort on Behalf of World Jewry,
    New York: Ference Press, 1929, p. 39

    From right to left: Felix Warburg of Kuhn & Loeb, New York, and Chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee; Max Warburg of
    the Warburg bank in Hamburg; Dr. Cyrus Adler member of the Executive Committee of the Joint Distribution Committee; Rev. H. Pereira Mendes; Morris Engelman, Member of the Executive Committee of the JDC.

    “From across the sea, six million men and women call to us for help […] six million human beings. […] Six million men and women are dying […] in the threatened holocaust of human life […] six million famished men and women. Six million men and women are dying […]”

    The American Hebrew, Oct. 31, 1919, pp. 582f.
    Martin H. Glynn was temporarily governor of the State of New York
    between Oct. 17, 1913, and Dec. 31, 1914

    “According to reliable information, the victims of the Austrians and Bulgarians exceeded 700,000. […] Women, children, and old men were shut up in the churches by the Austrians, and either stabbed with bayonet or suffocated by means of asphyxiating gas.”

    The Daily Telegraph, March 22, 1916, p. 7

    The Daily Telegraph, June 25, 1943, p. 5

    The Jewish Press,
    February 21, 1991

    “Germans produce Zyklon B in Iraq […]

    (Iraq’s German-made gas chamber)”

    Response, Vol. 12, No. 1, Spring 1991

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