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April 16, 1965 - Image 17

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1965-04-16

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Coughlin's Blind, Unreasoning Anti-Semitism
Exposed in Dr. Tull's Book; Reveals the News
Editor's Controversy With the Radio Priest


"Father Coughlin and the New I
Deal," by Prof. Charles J. Tull of
DePaul University of Chicago, pub-
lished by Syracuse University Press,
is timely. It appears just at the
time when the Royal Oak priest
has announced his retirement from
his pulpit.
But whenever it were to appear
it would be tim-
ely because of its
expose of the''''
Coughlin tactics,
h i s differences
with Franklin,
Roosevelt after
he had supported
him strongly, his
Prof. Tull des-
cribes Fr. Cough-
lin as "a frus-
trated, disgrunt-
led demagogue,
lashing out at the
world around
him," but he does
not believe he
was a fascist.
Nevertheless, eveything told by
Dr. Tull points to facism, all the
Coughlin activities indicate bias
the priest refused to abandon.
As a matter of fact, we are told
in the revealing book' that "over-
whelming all else was Coughlin's
espousal of anti-Semitism in the
summer of 1938 in Social Justice,
and more dramatically over the
radio in November of the same
year. The priest had previously
demonstrated anti-Jewish feelings,
but in November he openly re-
vealed pronounced anti-Semitic
sentiments. The Jews became the
convenient scapegoats for all prob-
lems, foreign and domestic. This
theme was repeated over and over
again with little variation until
Coughlin's suppression in 1942."
Prof. Tull's thorough study des-
cribes the priest's frustrations —
his endorsement and eventual aban-
donment of Roosevelt and his pol-
icies, his sponsorship of William
Lemke for the presidency, his at-
tempts at dominating the political
scene, the power he exerted at the
outset and his eventual decline.
Coughlin's anti-Semitism is evi-
dent in the numerous activities re-
called by Dr. Tull. Pointing to the
absurdity of the charge made in
the March 16, 1942, Social Justice
accusing the Jews of having start-
ed the last war, Dr. Tull writes:
"As proof, Social Justice cited
an Aug. 6, 1933, radio address made
by Samuel Untermeyer, an Ameri-
can Jew, urging all Jews to engage
in an economic boycott of Hitler's
Germany. Social Justice twisted
this 1933 talk into a Jewish dec-
laration of war against Germany.
Page 1 headlines ran: 'Who Start-
ed "Sacred" War? SOcial Justice









211 S. SAGINAW, PONTIAC/LI. 9-6161

answered its own question on Page
" 'Soon nine years will have el-
apsed since a worldwide 'sacred
war' was declared on Germany not
by the United States, not by Great
Britain, not by France, not by any
nation, but by the race of Jews
. . . Americans were under the im-
nression that this was a war to save
Oemocracy; a war to guarantee the
lastingness of the four liberties.
Mr. Untermeyer has been truthful
and told us the real objectives of
the war.
"Answering the frequent charge
that Father Coughlin was pro-Nazi
and un-American, Social Justice de-
clared: `If pro-Americanism con-
sists in boycotting a suffering 40-
million Germanpeople upon whose
neck there rested the yoke of the
Nazi party; if pro-Americanism con-
sists in casting the entire civilized
world into a seething cauldron of
bloody war for the protection of
600,000 racialists or religionists —
as you care to call them; if pro-
Americanism is identified with
secret economic conferences at
Amsterdam and dictatorial decrees
emanating from Prague which null-
ifies the peaceful progress of our
country — then Americanism, un-
der that interpretation, is not
worth while fighting for."
Was this the declaration of a
fascist?. There is no doubt that it
also was contrary to truth and to
the basic principles of American-
ism, and on the score of his be-
lieving Coughlin was not a fascist
we disagree with Dr. Tull.
Yet, when this reviewer, as ed-
itor of the then Detroit Jewish
Chronicle, as quoted in the Tull

book, condemned Coughlin's anti-
Semitism, the priest denied he
was biased. Here too, it is inter-
esting to note that Dr. Tull states
that "Coughlin absolutely denied

any anti-Semitism and took pains
to show that he had been equally
critical of gentile money interests
such as the House of Morgan. It
is entirely possible that the priest
did not intend any slur upon the
Jewish people. It would have been
sheer folly on his part to alienate
so numerous a group during a
presidential campaign." But sub-
sequent events proved the priest
DID intend the slurs.
Coughlin's paper began to re-
print the nefarious Protocols of
the Elders of Zion. Prof. Tull goes
into great length to describe that
portion of Coughlin's activities. He
tells about "the Detroit priest
(who) accused the Jews of regard-
ing Russia as a haven because it
was the only country in which anti-
Semitism was outlawed," and re-
calls the charge aganst Kuhn, Loeb
& Co. that it "had financed the
Russian Revolution and that the
Jews had controlled Russia since
that time." Then Dr. Tull writes:

"Despite the numerous charges
of anti-Semitism leveled against
him for publishing the Protocols,
Coughlin • stoutly • maintained in
the Sept. 19 (1938) Social Jus-
tice that if anti-Semitism ever ap-
peared in America he would be
the first to fight it. The following
week the priest exhibited a rare
display of journalistic objectivity
by publishing an article by Phillip
Slomovitz, Editor of the Detroit
Jewish Chronicle (now merged
with The Detroit Jewish News),
which thoroughly exposed the
Protocols as being nothing more
than an anti-Semitic fraud. Soc-
ial Justice quickly countered with
an article by one of its regular
staffers, Ben Marcin, entitled,
`The Truth About the Protocols.'
Commenting on Slomovitz's schol-
arly attempt to disprove the aut-
henticity of the Protocols, Mar-
cin declared 'that neither Father
Coughlin, nor the oppressed mil-
lions of the world's population,
nor myself, are interested in their
factuality and particularly in the

Plans Take Flight at Manager Meeting

factuality of the inordinate con-
trol of the world's economy under

the Jewish system of modern cap-
That is how Coughlin negated
truth and refused to correct errors
when they were called to his at-
Dr. Tull shows how Coughlin
linked Jews to many of the coun-
try's ills — issues interpreted by
him as evil—at once being branded
"a Nazi," "a fascist," "an enemy
of democracy."
On the refugee question, Cough-
lin isquoted as having stated:
"The persecution suffered by the
Jews in Germany is not to be com-
pared . to the persecution now being
suffered by the Christians and Gen-
tiles." Dr. Tull's comment on this

"This last statement reveals
Coughlin's blind, unreasoning
anti-Semitism more vividly than
his previous public pronounce-

District managers from 11 El Al offices met in a three-day
session in New York to review promotional sales plans for the

coming season. Seated at the left is Reuven Goldstein of Detroit.
El Al's newest district offices are in Boston and San Francisco;
During the coming season, El Al will offer 14 trans-Atlantic flights
a week out of New York. On June 1, a unique weekly non-stop flight
from New York to Athens will be inaugurated.


D re ss

There is an interesting conclud-
ing paragraph in this book. Dr.
We're ready for spring
Tull states:
and summer with the
"Any serious • political ambitions
Father Coughlin may have had
latest styles, fabrics and
were doomed from the start. There
colors in SUITS, SPORT
was simply no chance of a Catholic
priest's gaining the support of a
meaningful political coalition of
. . to compliment your
American fringe groups. Some of
these organizations, such as the I
wardrobe . . . a fine
Black Legion in Coughlin's home I
selection of accessories
state of Michigan, were openly I
anti-Catholic, and the Huey Long-
and smart KNIT SHIRTS.
Gerald L. K. Smith crowd was too
militantly Protestant ever to sup- I
port a Catholic priest. The hard
core of Coughlin's support seems j
to have come principally from
working-class Irish and Germans in I
the East and Midwest. His follow-
ers were a desperate, uneducated,
naive group who easily fell under
the spell of his persuasive oratory.
Coughlin was never a serious
threat to American democracy, but
the mere fact that he could win
the support of so many Americans
for such incredible notions should
alarm any American who believes
that our democratic system is
worth saving. There is no sure
guarantee that the demagogic chal- •
lenge of a future Coughlin would
be offset by the tremendous pop- g+?;]:::4.*.X.>1.X:::=iWK5>WKX.*X>Z4i1KaK*IKX*1<i>: ■ .:K?:WaK4i2,:iIK*1?;:]>:+1K-::: ■ .WiE7XCilzg.
ularity of a responsible political
leader such as Franklin Roo-
This reviewer can attest to the
"desperateness" of the naive
group who backed Coughlin: when
he differed with Coughlin, he was
the recipient of threats during un-
godly morning hours.
Father Charles E. Coughlin had
an opportunity to atone for his
misdeeds against Jewry when he
purchased Israel Bonds some eight
years ago. He could have emerged
as one who erred but had the cour-
age to retract and to apologize. He
—P. S.





Russ Mission in Australia
Gets Book on Bigotry

embassy spokesman confirmed
here that a book describing Soviet
pressures on Russian Jewry, which
had been sent to the embassy for
transmittal to Soviet authorities,
had arrived and would be sent "in
due course" to the appropriate
Soviet officials.
The book, written by I. Leibler,
chairman of the public relations
department of the Australian Jew-
ish Board of Deputies, is called
"Soviet Jewry and Human Rights."
It has a letter, as part of its
introduction, written by Rex Morti-
mer, prominent Australian Com-
munist, who was among the West-
ern Communist critics of Soviet
propaganda attacks on the Jewish
religion. The book was released
officially this week.

Friday, April 16, 1965-17

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