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June 19, 1964 - Image 2

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-06-19

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Purely Commentary

Bigotry and Snap Judgments
Were Denigrated in One of
Most Dramatic Cases in U. S.

By Philip

Jewish Scientists
Still Significant
in Soviet Union

Taft was in constant correspondence with Gus J. Karger, veteran
The Dramatic Louis D. Brandeis Story
correspondent in Washington for the Cincinnati Times-Star which
Few contestants over a Presidential appointment attracted so much was owned by Taft's half-brother Charles. Karger kept Taft fully in-
NEW YORK (JTA) — Jews still
attention as the selection of Louis D. Brandeis for the United States formed on the trend of events in the nation's capital. The letters
for a high fraction of the
Supreme Court by President Woodrow Wilson. It became "a Jewish of Taft to Karger quoted by Todd indicate the extent of Taft's dis-
case;" it involved leaders in both political parties; it was a battle be- like for Brandeis, his "emotional outpouring," his having been mad- leading scientists in the
tween conservatives and liberals; and it was primarily a challenge to dened by Wilson's "drawing to himself the veneration of American Union as indicated by the num-
bers of Jewish names among the
the sense of fair play of the American people.
lists of persons nominated for
Although nearly half a century has passed since the issue was
"What stung Taft most," Todd states, "was the fact that Bran-
created by the determined will of President Wilson to see his appoint- delis had never been a faithful son of Israel. He had hardly ever step- election to the Soviet Academy of
Science, it was reported in the
ment through, no matter what the consequences, it remains a cause
ped inside a synagogue. Only in the past two years of war had he
celebre that will remain among • the most sensational battles between become identified with Zionism, through the movement for relief New York Times.
a President and Congress in the history of our nation.
While Jews constitute about 1.5
of masses of Jewish refugees made homeless in the war-torn Turk-
A revival of interest in the case by the appearance of "Justice ish, Austrian, and Russian empires. Surely Gus Karger, a conser- per cent of the population of the
on Trial — The Case of Louis D. Brandeis," by A. L. Todd (published
Soviet Union, well over 10 per
vative, thoroughly Americanized, Midwestern German Jew, would
by McGraw Hill Book Co., 330 W. 36th, NY 36) is assured.
cent of the persons nominated to
Todd, incidentally, is the author of the most interesting account
Senator Lodge had denied that there was anti-Jewish bias in full membership or corresponding
of the Greeley Arctic Expedition, 1881-1884, under the title "Abandon- the opposition to Brandeis. But the campaign took on a vile anti- membership in the Academy, ap-
ed" (also published by McGraw-Hill, in
Semitic tone. Todd quotes a letter written to Taft by Homer Albers, pear to be Jewish.
1961), which recalled the fascinating story
Dean of Boston University Law School. Albers wrote:
Academy membership is con-
of the young Michigan Jewish astronomer.
"Have you heard this one? What is the difference between Willi-
am H. Taft and Louis D. Brandeis? Why, the former is dinstinguished sidered the highest mark of rec-
Sgt. Edward Israel.
ognition of achievement among
Todd's "Justice on Trial" is, in a sense,
in Jurisprudence, and the latter in Jewish prudence!"
Soviet scientists.
Todd's comment at this point is: "It was the kind of joke that
study in American politics. It throws light
not only on the genius of one of America's
William Howard Taft did not find funny."
Of the 103 persons nominated
It is at this point that Todd has a minor error in his search into
most distinguished Jews but reopens a chap-
for election to full membership
ter in history in which William Howard Taft
Jewish reactions. To quote Todd:
in the academy, 16 have Jewish
"A somewhat different form of Jewish prudence, which Albers
figured prominently; which describes a fa-
equoated with Memphistophelian cunning, had actually impelled a num- names. Of the 438 persons nom-
mous case that was handled by Brandeis
ber of wealthy and conservative Jews during the committee impasse
which may have caused the failure of Presi-
inated for election as corre-
dent Taft to be re-elected; which re-intro-
to suggest to Wilson that he withdrew the Brandeis nomination.
members, 58 have Jew-
Mainly men of property and position, like Louis Marshall and Jacob
duces the dynamic personality of Theodore
had taken
ish names, the Times reported.
Schiff, this group had boiled with rage at the way Brandeis
the leadership of the Zionist movement away from them in the few
It is suggested by Todd that because it
The percentages of Jewish
Louis D. Brandeis
years since he had taken an interest in specifically Jewish affairs.
would have taken only 1983 votes from
Wilson to Charles Evans Hughes to give the California electorial Terribly fearful that the controversy over the Brandeis nomination names among the nominees ap-
votes to the latter and to take away the Presidency from Wilson that would give rise to new manifestations of anti-Semitism, these few con- pears to be highest in the fields of
Brandeis' confirmation resulted directly in Wilson's re-election. It is servasives counseled retreat. While Morgenthau looked forward to chemistry, mathematics and phys-
a reasonable guess, because Wilson became a hero among American Brandeis on the Supreme Court as a step toward the Jews' full partici- ics and lowest in geology, biology
Jews for his courageous insistence upon his Jewish friend's ascension pation in American democracy, the timid deplored the nomination be- and some of the humanities. While
cause the uproar it caused was upsetting their gradualist plans for eight of the 32 persons nominated
to the Supreme Court.
And it is equally reasonable to assume that Todd is right gaining status. -Wilson at first could not understand such an attitude. for full membership in the fields
when he states that Brandeis' legal inquiries into the charges that Josephus Daniels explained it to him in terms of an old Southern story of mathematics and physics ap-
about a Negro woman carrying a basket of live crabs on her head. pear to be Jewish, none of the
Taft's Secretary of the Interior, Richard A. Ballinger, was abandon-
ing the national policy of conservation "had set the stage for the No, suh, she wasn't afraid those crabs would crawl out and pinch her. nine geologists or eight biologists
B'cause if one of them did try to get out, the other crabs would sho' appears to be a Jew.
election disaster in 1912" and led to the split in the Republican party
pul him back in! These prudent, self-appointed leaders of the Ameri-
by the formation of Theodore Roosevelt's Party, the election of
Among the Jews nominated for
can Jews, Daniels assured the President, were just trying to pull
Wilson and the defeat of Taft.
Brandeis stayed in the background during the struggle in which Brandeis back into his proper place in the basket. Wilson laughed at full membership are two mathema-
ticians, Izrail Moiseyevich Gelfand
Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts, President A. Lawrence Daniels' anecdote and paid no more attention to the counsel of the
and Mark Grigorievich Krein.
Lowell of Harvard and a number of other prominent men played rather timid."
The implied struggle over Zionist leadership is, of course, an er- Among the physicists nominated
nefarious roles. Senator William Edgar Borah, who voted against
Brandeis' confirmation. later reportedly deeply regretted his mistake. ror. Marshall and Schiff were not Zionists, and if there was a griev- are Benzion Moiseyevich Vul,
Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg, Gersh
Todd's recapitulation of the historic case is complete in most de- ance it was against Brandeis' Zionism.
Morgenthau, too, as is well known, was a violent anti-Zionist. But Itskovich Budker and Isaak Yako-
tails. It is not a biography of Brandeis. yet it throws light on the re-
markable character of the man. He stayed out of the fray, and except he was a close friend of Wilson, had represented Wilson as Ambas- vlevich Pomeranchuk.
for meeting socially with two of the Senators whose votes were need- sador in Turkey and had just returned to this country to assist in Wil-
ed for confirmation (Hoke Smith of Georgia and Jim Reed of Mis- son's campaing for re-election. Morganthau arranged for a meeting
souri), he made no statements, did not refute any of the malicious with Brandeis and suggested that- he refuse the high court nomina- Philadelphia Day School
statements that were made against him, and let the case rest on the tion and instead run for the Senate against Lodge. Brandeis decided Is Federation Agency
evidence that was gathered by the Senate Judiciary Committee. It to stick it out with the court nomination and Wilson concurred.
Todds' story is remarkable from many points of view. In the long
run, it proves that the sense of decency is stronger than prejudice. Solomon Schechter Day School has
The American spirit is vindicated. In the course of relating one of been admitted to the Federation
the most dramatic stories in American history. Todd provides proof of Jewish Agencies as a constitu-
that the craving for fair play predominates. The Brandeis story has a ent agency. The school, which has
great lesson for Americans. A maligned man emerged as one of the 148 pupils pursuing Hebraic and
most brilliant jurists in our history. Bigotry often stands in the way of secular studies from kindergarten
a country's benefiting from genius. And in Brandeis' case there also to the sixth grade. will receive
were snap judgments by his opponents. Both were denigrated by his- support from the Allied Jewish
tory's verdict in the case of the great jurist who also was one of the Appeal, effective with the 1965
world's most distinguished Zionists.

`Moon-Clock' Introduced at Technion by Yank

Theodore Roosevelt

William Howard

Woodrow Wilson

was the last minute appearance at the committee meeting of Senator
John Knight Shields of Tennessee to vote in favor of Brandeis that
assured the 10-8 vote that clinched the appointment for the eminent
Jewish attorney who was by that time the acknowledged leader of
he American Zionist movement.
Senator Lodge had claimed that Theodore Roosevelt was "pretty
throuoghly. against" Brandeis, but Todd maintains that he could
find no evidence to substantiate this claim.
While President Lowell of Harvard rallied a few hundred associ-
ates as signatories to a statement opposing and condemning Bran-
deis, the overwhelming Harvard student and graduate sentiment was
pro-Brandeis. Felix Frankfurter, then professor of law at Harvard;
President-Emeritus of Harvard Charles W. Eliot, the distinguished
attorney Arthur D. Hill. who advised Senator Lodge not to oppose the
nomination, and others, strongly supported the Jewish nominee for
the High Court.
(Lowell's role was especially nefarious. When he was asked for
proof of his charges against Brandeis, he could not provide it, but he
stuck to his prejudice. It was a prejudice that persisted through the
years. as was indicated many years later in charges in Jewish News
Purely Commentary column of April 6, 1945, that was nationally syn-
dicated and widely quoted).
The New York Times was among the newspapers that joined the
opposition to Brandeis and treated him shabbily, but upon
Brandeis' retirement the most effusive praise came from that news-
paper. But there were editors in many parts of the country who
detected the political shams and endorsed President Wilson's choice.
Chief among the pragmatists in American journalism in defense of
Brandeis was the Christian Science Monitor.
Major in the Todd resume of the famous Brandeis case is the
role that was played by William Howard Taft. The former President
had hoped for the appointment for himself. He was to he named to
the Supreme Court several years later by President Warren Gamaliel
Harding. Wilson's selection of Brandeis infuriated him and he was
chief malcontent. He gave comfort to the opponents of Brandeis.
Friday, June 19, 1964

The world's only "Moon-Clock," plorers the position of the earth,
a time piece for lunar explorers, its phase as seen from the moon,
w a s unveiled by t h e Technion, the altitude of the sun and its posi_
Israel Institute of Technology. It tion above or below the horizon.
was brought to Israel by its in-
Unorothodox in design, the
ventor and designer, Dr.. I. M. Lev- "Moon-Clock" had to be built with
itt, director of the Fels Planetar- some of the following conditions
ium in Philadelphia, renowned in mind:
American astronomer and inter-
1. A full day on the moon is
nationally syndicated space colu- equal to 29 1/2 earth days in
The development of the clock is
2. Daylight on the moon lasts
considered of importance because for 14 3/i earth days, and there
of U. S. plans to put a man on the
are 143/4 earth days in one lunar
moon within the next six years. night.
Dr. Levitt feels that his clock could
3. Travelling east or west on
help to keep the first lunar ex- the moon makes it necessary to
plorers in tune with earth time correct the "Moon-Clock." Tray-
while living in the subterranean
caves or shelters which will be
their first home during their stay
on the moon.
NEW YORK (JTA)—An associa-
Since the first men on the moon
will be living in subterranean tion of Negro clergymen endorsed
shelters to protect them from the the unarmed car patrols organized
bombardment o f radiations a n d
by Hassidic Jews in the crime-rid-
meterorites coming from space, it
is considered a good idea to give den Crown Heights section of
the lunar explorers a visual dis- Brooklyn.
The group, representing 72 Ne-
play which will permit them to
gro churches in Brooklyn and Long
know the appearance of the sky.
Compact and relatively light Island, pledged the participation
weight, the "Moon-Clock" has two of the Negro congregations in the
dials, one of which shows Green- fight against crime in New York
wich time on earth, while the City. The Rev. B. J. Lowry, chair-
other shows local time for any man of the group, the Ministers
particular point on the moon. In Movement of Brooklyn and Long
addition, it can give lunar ex- ,Island, denied that Negroes would

elling north or south does not re-
quire any correction.
4. The earth, except for a
slight up and down and east and
west motion, remains stationary
in the lunar sky.
The • "Moon-Clock" was built by
Martin M. Decker, Philadelphia in-
dustrialist and long-thne friend of
the Technion.
Dr. Levitt is president of the
Philadelphia Chapter of the Am-
erican Technion Society.
The American astronomer prev-
iously invented and designed a
"Mars-Clock," as well as clocks for
time dilation, which shows the
change in time as the speed of
light is approached.

Negroes Endorse Hassidic Patrols

sponsor their own roving patrols.
He said that the number of Ne-
groes taking part in the roving
radio-equipped cars of the Hassidic
Jews would be increased.
The endorsement was considered
significant because Negro groups
in the area initially indicated a
belief that the Hassidic patrols,
originally called the Maccabees,
might be a vigilante effort aimed
at Negroes. The Negroes now say
that the citizens patrols are help-
ing to reduce crimes in the com-
munity. About 20 Negroes are
now riding in the patrols.

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