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November 15, 1963 - Image 32

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1963-11-15

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Chief Accuses
Quebec Government
Blanes Contribution to • France, Socialism, JWV
Nasser, Makes Plea for
Zionism Related in Biography by Dr. Dalby Negroes' Equal Rights Assists Publication

In "Leon Blum—Evolution , of
a - Socialist," published by
Thomas Yoseloff (11 E. 36th,
NY16), Louise Elliott Dalby
pays a glowing
tribute to the
French states-
m a n who
emerged as a
political power
in his nation;
who spent the
war years in a
German con-
centration
camp and re-
turned as one
of his people's
heroes; w h o
Leon ifium was an ardent
supporter of the Zionist cause.
"His friends liked to think of
him as the French 'Goethe at
Weimar'," his biographer states.
He opposed the Communist at-
tempt at revolution and was
among his people's strongest
champions of the socialist idea.
He was the author of several
books that attracted wide atten-
tion, one of them on marrige,
and "out of the literary dilet-
tante and the half-hearted anar-
chist of his youth, he had made
himself into one of France's fin-
est statesmen." Dr. Dalby adds
in recognition of his achieve-
ments:
"He had held the Socialist
party together when it seem-
ed about to disintegrate as
one of the first victims of
communism. Under his leader-
ship the party gained a stature
never realized before or since.
... Considering the strength
of the opposition, the weak-
ness of his support, and the
troubled nature of the 20th
century, Blum must have felt
that he had accomplished all
that can be expected of one
man. He could look backward
with pride on the long road
he had traveled, serenely con-
fident that in his evolution
from anarchism to Marxism to
human socialism, he had been
true to the goal of social jus-
tice. He once said that the
task of the modern Faust was
to pose the social problems
clearly but not to r esolve
them. This he had done. His
contribution to France and to
socialism was a clearly defin-
ed, even defined, statement of
the endless struggle toward
justice and equality for all
mankind."
When news came of Blum's
death, on March 30, 1950, Edou-
ard Herriot said: "Blum was a
democratic intellectual, a Social-
ist on principle." His biographer
writes that "Blum was all of

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that and something more." Her
biography indicated much more.
Dr. Dalby asserts that Blum's
socialist dream of social justice
was "correlated with his Jewish
heritage." She writes at length
about his Jewish background and
Jewish interests, points out that
his three wives were Jewish,
tells about his activities in de-
fense of Dreyfus.
Born April 9, 1872, second of
five sons of a bourgeois Jewish-
family, Blum "seldom kept the
Mosaic law," although "religious
practices were observed scrupu-
lously by the mother and some-
what more casually by the
f a the r." But the biographer
maintains that Blum's life was
strongly influenced by both the
French political tradition and
the Mosaic law.
The chapter on Blum "The
Jew" contains valuable ana-
lyses of the background of
anti-Semitism in France, des-
cribes the struggle that de-
veloped over Dreyfus' inno-
cence and places emphasis on
the firm stand Blum had taken
in Dreyfus' defense.
Dr. Dalby writes that "Blum
never attempted to hide or to
disguise the fact that he was a
Jew nor did he ever confess to
any shame of humiliation be-
cause of his birth. He was open-
ly proud that his family had
never changed its name since
the day when an Alsatian ances-
tor, obliged by Napoleonic regu-
lations to adopt a surname, had
taken the name of Blum in 1808.
In the first of many attacks
against him as a Jew in the
Chamber of Deputies, he quietly
responded that he had never
denied his race for he felt noth-
ing but pride in his people. In-
deed, he was much more apt to
adopt a contrary course of action
and mention the fact that he
was a Jew when it was not
really necessary. In his address
to the American Club of Paris
in 1936, he cited the debt of all
Jews to France for emancipation
in a remark not particularly re-
levant to the rest of his speech.
Again, when Hitler sent Schacht
to Paris as his special ambassa-
dor to the Popular Front govern-
ment, Blum greeted Schacht
with the announcement that he
was both Jew and Marxist, al-
though it may reasonably be as-
sumed that Schacht knew this
before he left Berlin."
That is how the man who rose
to the Premiership of France
upheld his Jewish heritage. He
knew that both the Drefus af-
fair and the anti-fascist battle
would also bring about an in-
crease in anti-Semitism, and he
faced the issues courageously.
He could have escaped in-
carceration in the concentra-
tion camps, but "the fact that
he was a Jew was one of. the
reasons he offered as justifica-
tion for his decision to remain
in France in 1940."
His sympathy for distressed
Jews brought him to Zionisni. He
was persuaded by Dr. Chaim
Weizmann to join the Zionist
delegation to the Peace Con-
ference in 1918 and for him
"there was no reason why devo-
tion to France should be incom-
patible with allegiance to Zion-
ism."
We are told in this splendid
biography that "few p e o p l e
found greater satisfaction in the
fulfillment of the dream of a
Jewish state than did Blum,"
and the biography quotes the
enthusiastic message he sent be-
fore his death to Baron Guy de
Rothschild encouraging him in
the setting up of the Fonds Na-
tional Juif Unifie.
Dr. Dalby makes this refer-
ence to the manner in which
Blum was honored in Israel:
"In recognition of his service
to Zionism, a new colony in
Palestine was named Kfar
Blum in 1943 after Blum had
been transferred to Buchen-
wald. On the cornerstone of

the first house in the village
is inscribed the message:
`Homage to Leon Blum in this
moment of sorrow: enlight-
ener of the world, defender of
the workers, champion of jus-
tice, he has not attempted to
preserve his own existence al-
though he had that possibil-
ity'." -
Blum is described as having.
been "magnanimous in his abil-
ity to rise above personal rea-
sons for retaliations against the
Germans," in spite of his own
sufferings, of the death of his
brother Rene in the gas cham-
bers "primarily because of his
relationship to Leon Blum."
Magnanimity was not easy for
him as a Jew but he pinned his
hopes "to the long-range goal."
Leon Blum emerges as the
great statesman who did not
compromise his socialism, the
Jew who, although not religious
observant, was proud of his
lineage. A great democrat-Social-
ist-Zionist is ably described in
the Dalby biography.

Israelis Strike
in Protest Against
American Workers

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

TEL AVIV—A strike of 600
workers at the American Con-
struction Company's site at the
Dead Sea was called for Tues-
day in protest against the em-
ployment of American personnel
on heavy equipment.
The company gave as the rea-
son that Israeli operators were
not sufficiently efficient, a claim
rejected by the Beersheba Labor
Council which has announced
support of the walkout. Accord-
ing to the company union agree-
ment, only Israeli staff should
be employed on heavy equip-
ment on the Dead Sea project.

Senate to Consider
Amendment Aimed at
Bias in Foreign Aid

WASHINGTON, (JTA)—Sen.
Ernest Gruening, Alaska Demo-
crat, with a bipartisan group of
co-sponsors, introduced - an
amendment in the Senate to the
Foreign Assistance Bill to deny
assistance to nations like Egypt
if the President determines they
are "engaging in or preparing
for aggressive military efforts
directed against" the United
States or any nation receiving
aid from the United States.
The measure is similar to one
adopted by the House but de-
leted from the Senate version
by the Senate's Foreign Rela-
tions Committee. The co-spon-
sors included Senators Jacob K.
Javits, Abraham Ribicoff, Ste-
phen M. Young, Wayne Morse,
Clifford P. Case, and Harrison
A. Williams, Jr.

Former President
of Mexico Accepts
Invitation to Israel

MEXICO CITY, (JTA)—Mig-
uel Aleman, ex - President of
Mexico, accepted an invitation
to visit Israel. The invitation
was extended to him publicly by
Menahem W. Loyal, Israel's
charge d'affaires accredited to
the Mexican government.

Noted Medical Discoverer
Refused Professorship
Because He Was a Jew
Ludwig Lewin Jacobson, a
Jewish physician who lived in
Denmark in the early 19th cen-
tury, was credited with a num-
ber of important discoveries in
medicine including the discov-
ery of the organ in the nose
responsible for the sense of
smell. Although widely recog-
nized for his work and honored
by the Danish government, he
was refused a professorship at
the University of Copenhagen
because he would not renounce
Judaism..

of Jewish Books

Egyptian strongman Abdul
Gamal Nasser is using Yemen
as a training ground for war
against Israel now, just as Hitler
used Spain prior to World War
II, Daniel Neal Heller, national
commander of the Jewish War
Veterans, charged here in a
Memorial Speech at Philadel-
phia's Mikvah Israel Cemetery.
Heller warned that Nasser is
being supported with Russian
munitions and American fin-
ances.
American Negroes in uniform
are asked to die for their coun-
try but are denied decent hous-
ing near military bases in many
areas of the United States, Hel-
ler declared in a Veterans Day
Speech in Newark.
Heller, 39-year-old Harvard
educated Miami lawyer, said that
"high-sounding phrases about
dying for democracy would be
meaningless unless I took this
opportunity to appear for demo-
cracy for living servicemen."

MONTREAL, (JTA)—A grant
of $3,000 was awarded here by
the Ministry of Culture of the
Province of Quebec to aid the
publication of the second vol-
ume of the Talmudic Encyclo-
pedic Dictionary.
The volume, in HebreW, has
been edited by Dr. Moshe Sam-
batyon, an Israeli scholar living
here. His first volume was is-
sued in Israel several years ago
with the assistance of Israel's
President at the time, Izhak
Ben-Zvi.
Other works encouraged or
aided by the Cultural Ministry in
Quebec of late have been a sub-
sidy for the publication of the
Shulchan Aruch, edited with an
English translation by Rabbi
Chaim Denberg.
The Provincial Government
has also extended assistance to
the Yiddish poet, M. M. Shafir,
whbse second volume of verse
has been purchased by the gov-
ernment for distribution in li-
braries across the continent and
overseas as part of its program
of disseminating the literary
works of residents of the prov-
ince. Similar aid has gone forth
to David Wise, Montreal social
worker, who has issued a small
collection of poems.

Brooks Hays Named
Brotherhood Chairman

NEW YORK, (JTA)—Former
Congressman Brooks Hays, cur-
rently on leave as Special As-
sistant to President Kennedy,
has been named national chair-
man of Brotherhood Week to
be observed next Feb. 16-23, it
was announced by Dr. Lewis
Webster Jones, president of the
National Conference of Chris-
tians and Jews, sponsors of the
observance.

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