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January 22, 1960 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1960-01-22

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THE JEWISH NEWS

Radio Ukraine Calling

In.corporating the Detroit Jewish Chronicle commencing with issue of July 20, 1951

Member American Association of English-Jewish Newspapers, Michigan Press Association, National
editorial Association.
Published every Friday by The Jewish News Publishing Co. 17100 West Seven Mile Road, Detroit 35,
Mich., VE 8-9364. Subscription $5 a year. Foreign $6.
Entered as second class matter Aug. 6, 1942 at Post Office, Detroit, Mich. under act of Congress of March
1, 1879.

PHILIP SLOMOVITZ

SIDNEY SHMARAK

CARMI M. SLOMOVITZ

Editor and Publisher

Advertising Manager

Circulation Manager

FRANK SIMONS

City Editor

Sabbath Scriptural Selections
This Sabbath, the twenty-third day of Tebet. 5720, the following Scriptural selections will

be read in our synagogues:
Pentateuchal portion., Shemot, Ex. 1:1-6:1. Prophetical portions, Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23.

Licht Benshen, Friday, Jan. 22, 5:16 v.m.

VOL. XXXVI. No. 21

Page Four

January 22, 1960

'It Is Perilous to Forget' the Crimes

Our people would do well to study
the editorial opinions that have appeared
in newspapers throughout the world in
protest against the re-emerging Nazi
spirit that has been in evidence not only
in Germany but in communities through-
out the world.
The unanimity with which Christians
have condemned the psychopaths, refer-
ring to them as sick-minded and deluded,
is heartening. It offers encouragement
that rationally-minded and clear-thinking
people can not condone hate and van-
dalism, no matter where they occur.
Deploring "the work of malcontents
and ne'er-do-wells" and the fact that
"there seem always to be a few who wish
to make the Jews the scapegoat of
their miseries, and their sick minds strive
to spread poison in all directions," the
Boston Catholic weekly, The Pilot stated:
"Christians should examine their con-
sciences, search their hearts, and analyze
the society that can produce incidents of
this kind so soon after all the world
learned the lessons of depravity practices
by the Nazis against the Jews. Certainly
we can believe that the present actions
are the work of a small group of trouble-
makers who hope to gain notoriety, and
we know, too-, that decent people in every
land abominate their hate-mongering.
But even a few people of this type are
already too many."
'5 * *
We were especially impressed by the
scholarly editorial in another Catholic
magazine, Commonweal. which - stated,
after a review of "The Specter of
Nazism":
"There can be no question of for-
giving, of course. It is not for us to for-
give. But it is perilous for us to forget.
We must remember, as we have not
remembered, and so must the German
people, as they have not. For only if
we admit its existence can we hope
to exorcise the evil which took such
hold of men: What happened in those
decades? How did it happen? Why?
These are the questions we must face,
German and non-German alike, not
for the sake of blame and accusation,
but to save ourselves now."
It is not only Munich and Vienna and
Berlin of the 1930s and 1940s that must
not be forgotten. We can not possibly
forget the poisons that emanated from
Dearborn and Royal Oak in the 1920s and
1930s. There still are among us people
who believe that they are imbued with
a great spirit when they preach a "for-
give and forget" policy. No sane person
would propagate vengeance or retaliation,
but students of history surely must agree
that in order to prevent the recurrence
of massacres the memories of the past
must not be erased. The neo-Nazis of the
present time are proving the truth of it.
Commonweal emphasizes it anew when
it declares that it is perilous for us to
forget. •
That is why it is so distressing to
know that when the neo-Nazis, for a
number of years now, since they had
begun to be conscious of a re-emerging
German military power, had begun to
ridicule the historical fact of the murder
of six million Jews by their fuehrer,
there were too few to set them straight
and to prove anew—as if proof anew
were necessary!—that the wholesale mas-
sacre by the Hitlerites is a tragic his-
torical fact!
That is why it is equally distressing
now to read in accounts in Commonweal

and the New York Times that five million
Jews were murdered. Even the unbiased

already have bargained down a million
souls in the record of Nazi genocide. And
the record is so vital if the shame and
the crime of Nazism is to remain a rejec-
tion of genocide for all time to come!
* * *
Too many of those who now condemn
the resurgence of Nazism were available
when, for more than a decade, Arab pro-
pagandists, among them many Christian
supporters, were maligning Jews and
Israel, as they still do. That poison, too,
had left its mark and undoubtedly contri-
buted towards the current international
wave of hatred against Jewry.
We retain confidence that anti-Semitic
manifestations, or the frequent reap-
pearance of • haters against Catholics,
Negroes and others, are passing phases
in the life of a people or of many peoples.
But even the minutest evidences of
bigotry call for repudiation, and it is good
to know that the rejection of hatred in
the press is the general policy of the
majority of the peoples everywhere. It
is the guarantee of non-recurrence of such
atrocities that we strive for, and there
is heartening evidence now that people
of good will, among all faiths, are ready
to work together, recognizing that it is
perilous to forget the crimes of the past,
and that it is humanity's duty, remem-
bering the tragic events in history, not to
permit the gory head of bigotry to raise
itself anew.
* * *
Meanwhile, regrettably, the causes for
concern are mounting. Instead of keeping
the records open for public perusal, it
has become difficult, if not impossible,
fOr newspapermen to study the back-
grounds of Nazis who now are again
powerful in West Germany. The United
States is a party to such "censorship,"
and it is deplorable that public opinion
should thus be stymied by the withhold-
ing of facts.
In a letter to the New York Times,
Robert Major expresses the view that the
Nazis "are rather moderate and re-
strained," in the light of what had tran-
spired previously. But he accuses the
press of having failed to report earlier
Nazi demonstrations, and he points out:

"When the Nazi Reich collapsed, its propa-
ganda was moved to other centers and con-
tinued there: Austria, England, Sweden, the
United States and Argentina, among other coun-
tries. These Governments do not hesitate to
fight so-called smut and pornography—even if
written by Aristophanes, Voltaire, Mark Twain,
Joyce or Lawrence. They also attempt to exer-
cise control over certain types of imported
political literature. But faced with instigations
to race hatred and mass murders, these coun-
tries observe the rule of absolute freedom of
thought. Sweden, for example, in fifteen years
has been unable to check the flow of the
literary productions of Aberg and the Malmo
group."

-

There can be no doubt about the cor-
rectness of the latter claim. That one of
the freest countries in the world—Sweden
—should be the headquarters for an in-
ternational anti-Semitic organization is
an indication of a weakness in democracy
to tackle the tragedy of anti-Jewishness.
Thus, with hatred in evidence in the
hearts of many people, a hatred that
developed into an international flame in
the past few weeks, no amount of vigi-
lance is sufficient; and we need not worry
about memories of bigotry: the anti-Sem-
ites quite evidently are seeing to it that
we will have no occasion to forget it
because they have no occasion to end it.

Splendid Book for Children

Epstein's 'Pictorial Treasury of
Jewish Holidays and Customs'

As editor of Workl. Over, the splendid children's magazine,
as author of a number of books for Jewish children which have
previously been reviewed in these columns, Dr. Morris Epstein
has gained recognition for his ability to
reach into the hearts and minds of Jewish
children with his awn works and those
he has edited.
His newest book, "A Pictorial Treas-
ury of Jewish Holidays and Customs,"
published by Ktav Publishing House, 65
Suffolk, N.Y. 2, greatly enriches the
children's book shelf he has produced
with remarkable literary skill and with
a fine understanding of the subjects that
should be taught our children.
Dr. Epstein commences his large
new work with an explanation of the
Jewish calendar, and he concludes with
an evaluation of the world of Jewish
books.
The numerous chapters that com-
prise this work deal with the Sabbath,
Epstein
the Holy Days and the holidays, with the synagogue and its
functions, Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish home and the cycle of
Jewish life.

*

*

The author's scholarship comes into evidence at once
with his truly fascinating description of the development of
the Jewish calendar. He describes the "Legend of the Moon"
—the manner in which the new month officially began for the
Israelites and how out of it there developed our lunar calendar.
He tells how our ancestors "with remarkable wisdom dis-
covered that a year calculated by the sun haS 365 days," and
the astronomers said "we must devise a plan to keep the
•oon-month in step with the sun-year." Since the lunar year
of the Jews contains only 354 days, Dr. Epstein advises his
readers: "To make up for this difference, the Jewish leap,
year has an additional month after Adar. called Adar Sheni
(Second Adar). The second Adar months come every .third,
sixth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth, seventeenth and nineteenth
year."

A splendid collection of photographs enhances Dr. Epstein's

Pictorial Treasury. In the gathering of illustrations he has shown

as much understanding of the values of passing on information
about Jewish traditions as he did in his text.
*
*

The chapter on the synagogue is an interesting historical
analysis of the Jewish house of worship and center of studies.
"The Cycle of Jewish Life" covers a variety of Jewish tradi,
tions, beginning with the birth of a child, continuing through
various means of consecration, touching upon the tradition a
Tzedakah as an act of righteousness, and dealing also with death.
and the rules of mourning.

Of interest, also, in relation to all the traditions, is the
mezuzah, the Sabbath ceremonies, the observance of the
seder on. Passover, the incorporation of books into every
home, the observance of kashrut.
Excellent judgment was used in his review of the most

important Jewish books, in the final 'chapter of his work deal-
ing with the world of Jewish books. He describes the develop.
ment of books out of anscient scroll-making, and he explains
the major works created by Jews—the Bible, the Talmud, the
works of Maimonides—leading up to the literary creations
of our own • time, including those of Mendele Mocher Seforim,
Sholem Aleichem, Theodor Herzl and others.
"A Pictorial Treasury of Jewish Holidays and Customs"
is a truly valuable work. It enriches the modern Jewish
library.

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