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February 19, 1960 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1960-02-19

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS—Friday, Fe bruary 19,


Purely Commentary

Countries Without Jews: Related Conditions in

Spain of the Inquisition and Nazi Ruled Germany


Spain was a country without Jews for generations after the
Inquisition had made it a condition for Jews either to accept
Christianity or leave that country. There were Marranos in Spain,
and many of them later settled in Latin American countries.
There were tortures which transformed Spain into a land of
terror and tragedy for Jews.
Some Jews returned to Spain, and there is a synagogue in
Madrid. But their numbers in the country are small, and the
herem that was practiced against the Jews' return to Spain
virtually remains in force.
It was believed, after Hitlerism, that Germany, too, would
become a Jew-less country. But some Jews returned after the
Nazi plague, many of them to collect the reparations due them,
some to enjoy the pensions that were offered them; many
of them are older people who are deriving the benefits of
The proposal for an "exodus from Germany" as a "solution
for Jewry to the problem of anti-Semitism" was posed in a
letter to the New York Times by Mark Goulden, who was
identified by the Times, in an explanatory note, as chairman of
the well known British publishing house of W. H. Allen & Co.,
Ltd. In his letter, Goulden wrote:
The recrudescence of Jew:baiting in Germany has
produced a plethora of facile explanations and excuses
from the altruists, the idealists, the apologists—and even
the psychologists—who, by and large, seek to minimize
both the gravity and the significance of the outbreak.
Is it not the supreme fatuity of our time that we
have blindly --accepted the carefully contrived legend
that all this bestiality was the work of some mythical
monsters called Nazis? The world has chosen to forget
that these Nazis were to a man — and woman — pure
Germans, the best and the worst of the "master race."
"There were millions of Nazis." So says Dr. Adenauer
in extenuation of the "small percentage" of ex-Nazis
wh.om he retains in his own entourage.
And there, I think, you have the crux and core of
the matter. Millions of deeply indoctrinated Jew-haters
are still alive and no doubt prospering in prosperous
Germany today.
Is it remotely conceivable that their hatred can have
turned to love? Why should it? Can the abracadabra of
democracy cause the leopard to change its spots?
Manifestly the presence of millions of ex- (and not
so ex-) Nazis in Western Germany must be a permanent
and virulent focus of anti-Semitic infection. And since
"appetite comes with eating," surely the only positive
remedy must be to remove the supply of nutrition.
Where there are no Jews there can be no anti-
Semitism. No Jew is obligated to remain in Germany;
no Jew :L‘.*.mpellc.iicl to trade with Germany; no Jew is
bound to fraternize with those who.despise and denigrate
him; no Jew need hate the Germans. But no Jew must
ever forget the words of the prophet Isaiah: "Woe to
those who call evil good."
Only the Jews themselves can solve this otherwise
insoluble problem. And basically it is a matter of human
dignity. There must be a limit to the humiliation and
obloquy which the Jew is prepared to endure.
• Here, then, is the solution. I submit it with deep
conviction. The remnant of Jewry must quit Germany;
it must shake from its feet the soil that is still met with
the blood of its butchered brethren. Let there be an
exodus from the land which has chosen to become the
charnel house of the Jewish people.
And concomitantly, the rest of Jewry must impose
on itself a complete disengagement from all things

Brotherhood Week Commentary

on Page 2

Proposal for an
Exodus of Jews
From Germany

Germanic—physical, spiritual, social and economic. There
is no need for histrionics or rancor or hate; just a
dignified but implacable detachment. Thus would honor
and pride be restored to the whole of Jewry and it
might indeed shame the apparently shameless.
Away with polemics and pious platitudes. Let the
Jew stand up and defend himself.
Jews, generally, are certain to subscribe to Goulden's appeal
for an end to "polemics and pious platitudes," and there will be
wide endorsement of his call: "Let the Jew stand up and
defend himself."
However, there are complications. Konrad Adenauer and
some of his associates are atoning for the Hitler crimes. Germany
is paying compensation to survivors and reparations to Jewry.
Israel has vast dealings with Germany. Besides, there always
are to be found elements who refuse to adhere to the idea of
leaving the scenes of degradation.
It was different with Spain. Under the rule of the Inquisition,
Jews were compelled either to abandon their faith—unless they
practiced Judaism in secret as Marranos—or to become converts
to Catholicism. That is why Spain remained a Jew-less country,
until a few straggled in. Some even found haven in Spain during
the Nazi regime.
During World War I, when Dr. Max Nordau was treated
as a German enemy alien in France, he found refuge in Spain.
The conditions in Spain today are interestingly described
in an article, "Nazi Stragglers in Spain," in the New Leader,
by the eminent foreign correspondent, Richard Scott Mowrer.
We are told by Mowrer that "though the Franco regime remains
moderately pro-Nazi in its ideological sympathies, it has never
been anti-Semitic." Why is this so? Mowrer explains in his
article, written from Madrid:
"Taken literally, the anti-Semitic slogans are meaningless
because there is no anti-Jewish feeling here. Anti-Semitism
went out in 1492 when Spain's Jews were forced to choose
between conversion to the Catholic faith and exile. Most chose
exile, and today the Jewish population is negligible; in Madrid
it numbers less than 200."
On the strength of such reasoning, Mark Goulden is right
in his assertion that "where there are-no Jews there can be no
anti-Semitism." But the very truth of this observation is its own
weakness, for. it poses the question: should Jews resort to an
exodus from other lands where the ugly head of anti-Semitism
rises to power?
,Let it be indicated that there are contradictions in the
Movvrer article. While he states that Franco is primarily fascist
and not necessarily anti-Semitic, his article goes into great length
to show that some of the most notorious Nazi murderers and
gangsters have found havens in Spain. The Croatian "poglavnik"
("fuehrer"), Ante Pavelitch, now dead, found a home in Spain.
Leon Degrelle, the founder of the Belgian fascist "Rex," was
given security by Franco. Mowrer mentions others who saved
themselves in Spain. Thus, the land of the Inquisition, now the
vassal state of Franco, remains the haven for anti-Semites.
In the late 1920s, Httgo Bettauer wrote a novel about
Vienna. He entitled it "Die Stadt Ohne Juden"—"The City
Without Jews." Its prophecy was grave but real. The book
was published in an English translation and was a sensation
in several countries. A year after he had published his book,
Bettauer was assassinated by a Nazi. It is with such recollec-
tions that we view Goulden's proposal.
Thus, the question remains: is exodus the answer to
anti-Semitism in Germany? If exodus can not be arrived at as a
reply to all manifestations of anti-Semitism, there is validity in
the Goulden argument insofar as Germany is concerned. As long
as the Nazi spirit remains in that country, there is no room there
for Jews who can smell the flesh of their exterminated kinsmen
all over German soil.



B Good

Will Section in This Issue

Allied Jewish Campaign Division in Action;
`Eva', Kolitz, Dr. Haber Week's Speakers

The real "Eva," the Jewish
heroine of the Meyer Levin
novel that has become a best-
seller, will be guest at the
Allied Jewish Campaign Wom-
en's Division special gifts fund-
raising meeting, at noon Tues-
day, at Temple Israel, announces
Mrs. Philip R. Marcuse, special
gifts chairman.
Mrs. Eda Loew, whose escape
from a Nazi Death Camp to a
new life in Israel, inspired the
novel "Eva," came to the U.S.
for a limited speaking tour
under the auspices of the Unit-
ed Jewish Appeal. Like nearly
1,000,000 other Jewish immi-
grants, Mrs. Loew was helped
to reach Israel through the UJA.
Zvi Kolitz, author, producer
of Israel's first major motion
picture, "Hill 24 Doesn't An-
swer," will bring a report from
Israel to the meeting.
Mrs. Loew, now a housewife
in Israel and the mother of two
children, during World War II
was a hunted young girl sought
by the Nazis. A Polish Jewess,
she masqueraded as a Christian,
disguising herself as a Ukrainian
peasant girl and living with a
non-Jewish family. She worked
as a domestic and as a factory

worker for the Nazis in a muni-
tions plant until her capture by
the Gestapo. She was sent to
Auschwitz. Only she and her
brother Chaim survived out of
a family of six. But "Eva" al-
most welcomed the discovery of
her false identity because it en-
abled her to return to her true
identity as a Jewess and shed
doubts and fears that pursued
her since the invasion of Poland
by the Nazis. Later, she made
her way, with UJA help, to
Israel, to start a new life.
Special gifts section of the
campaign is for women who con-

Dr. Haber

By Philip

tribute $50 or more.
The Junior Women's Spe-
cial Gifts Section of the Allied
Jewish Campaign will hold a
fund-raising tea, 3-5 p.m.,
Sunday, at the home of Mrs.
Stanley R. Gard, 20240 Ren-
frew. Janet Schuster and
Sandy Slobin are division co-
William M. Wetsman, member
of the 1959 Detroit Service
Group Mission to Israel, former
Junior Division president and
co-chairman of the arts and
crafts division, will be the


Mrs. Marcuse

Dr. Haber to Speak
at Junior Division
Special Gifts Party

Dr. William Haber, professor
of economics at the University
of Michigan, president of the
American ORT Federation and
of the Central Board of the
World ORT Union, will be
speaker at the Allied Jewish
Campaign Junior Division spe-
cial gifts men's cocktail party,
8:15 p.m., Monday, at the home
of Mel Durbin, 19430 Lucerne.
Merle Harris and Robert L.
Siegel are co-chairmen of Men's
special gifts. Daniel M. Honig-
man and Edward Narens are as-
sociate chairmen. Alan E. Luck-
off is the division's campaign
Special gifts cabinet members
are: Jay W. Allen, Stephen A.
Bromberg, John Druker, Mel
Durbin, Howard Freeman, Stan-
ley R. Gard, Alvin B. Gendel-
man, Harvey A. Gordon, Jerome
Halperin, Richard Hamburger,
Wallace M. Handler, Richard
A. Jones, Fred H. Keidan, Mar-
tin Kohlenberg, Michael Luck-
off, Allen Jay Ross, Herbert S.
Ruben, Fred Rubin, Ivan Schol-
nick, Jerome L. Schostak, Jona-
than Sobeloff, Robert Sosnick,
Louis M. Stern, Joel D. Tauber,
Bruce E. Thal, Walter J. Wol-
pin and Norman A. Zausmer.

Ten-liar' Film:

Theater-lovers who are flock-
ing to the United Artists
Theater are witnessing a great
spectacle in the Hollywood ver-
sion of "Ben-Hur," the dramatic
story that was written in 1878
by the Civil War hero, Gen.
Lew Wallace.
The film has been hailed as
"a heroic chapter in Jewish his-
tory"—for the obvious reason
that the setting is in Judea and
the central theme is the battle
for religious and civil freedoms
by the Jews of the first century
of this era, against the tyranny
of Rome.
"A Tale of the Christ" sub-
titles the theme of the movie—
and that provides all the an-
swers to whatever doubts the
production may raise in the
minds of Jewish viewers of the
Much has been made of the
fact that one of the leading
roles of the movie — that of
Esther—is played by Haya Ha-
rareet, the Haifa-born, beautiful
Israeli actress, who performs
creditably. That's beside the
point. The fact is that the film
is christological. From the very
first introductory shots, preced-
ing the title and the listing of
the cast, the flashing of the Star
of Bethlehem on the screen is
at once an indication that it is
a Christ story.
(Miss Harareet's success in
"Ben-Hur" has brought her a
stardom assignment in the
Cinerama, "Charlemagne.")
The producers went to great
pains to remove any possible
criticisms of religious bias in
the production of "Ben-Hur."
In the main, they succeeded.
While there are gruesome
scenes of the crucifixion, the
biased accusations against Jews
were eliminated. The Romans
are the guilty ones throughout.
Nevertheless, from the Jew-
ish viewpoint of this reviewer,
there are shortcomings in the
theme—traceable, of course, to
Wallace's "Ben-Hur" text.
In the first place, in refer-
ences to the teachings of Jesus,
there are no indications what-
ever that Jesus spoke as a prac-
ticing Jew. Therefore, what he
enunciated were Jewish ethical
principles. The "miracles" were
ascribed to him much later, by
his disciples. Thus, the Jewish
idea is distorted.
Then there is the matter of
the crucifixion. While the Ro-
mans are the villains in the
movie, there are no indications
to show that it was a Raman
trial that condemned Jesus to
be crucified, and that crucifix-
ions were routine Roman pun-
ishments. There is nothing in
a movie dedicated to the heroic
stand of the Jews against the
Romans to show that capital
punishment was virtually un-
known in Sanhedrin decisions.
There is another shortcom-
ing: Pontius Pilate is intro-
duced into the film, but with-
out indication of his cruelty
and his responsibility for the
crucifixion. It becomes clear
throughout that "Ben-Hur" is

mere fiction.

"Ben-Hur" is a christological
movie. It is a great spectacle.
The chariot race is fantastic.
There is shocking realism in
the march of the slaves. (How-
ard Fast, in his "Spartacus," de-
lineated it in an even more
realistically brut al fashion.)
Other scenes are immense in
Those who see it should, how-
ever, keep in view that it is "A.
Tale of the Christ." As such it
is christological and it is not to
be assumed other than in its
setting and in the references to
the Judean-Roman struggle —
which are not historically valu-
able in this film — as a great
Jewish theme.
—P. S.

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