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July 29, 1966 - Image 13

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-07-29

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

On the Record I Pathological Society Under Nazism Described in Schoenbaum's Studies

By NATHAN ZIPRIN
(A Seven Arts Feature)
Stamp of Approval ...
Philip Slomovitz of The Detroit
Jewish News recalls in a recent
column that when he suggested in
1954 issuance of a postage stamp
on the occasion of the observance
of the American Jewish Tercert-
tary, . the proposal swas rejected by
the U.S. Post Office.
Obviously it could not have been
rejected out of reluctance to in-
troduce a religious element, since
observance of 300 years of Jewish
life marked basically a historic
rather than a religious event in
the history of Jewish settlement.
Now, 12 years later, we find the
Postmaster General of the U.S. not
only approving but defending pub-
lication of a Christmas stamp de-
picting the "Madonna and Child,"
a theme and a concept that is
unique only to Christendom. The
office of the Postmaster General
defended the action in a letter to
the American Jewish Congress on
the ground that those who find the
stamp offensive need not buy it and
on the further ground that the
painting is identified as part of a
work of art that is on display in the
National Gallery of Art in Wash-
ington, D.C.
The thesis that offended people
needn't buy the stamp is an argu-
ment unworthy of reply.
There can be no quarrel with the
Post Office people over their choice
of the work in question as a piece
of art, but the pertinent question
is: Since when has it been the func-
tion of that department of our gov-
ernment to promote art?
Had the Postmaster announced
that his office was embarking on a
campaign to promote the visual
arts and that the Madonna and
Child painting was one in a series
that would include the works of
major artists, ancient and modern,
there would be no quarreling with
him. But when he chooses the Ma-
donna and Child theme for a spe-
cific occasion, one that has purely
Christological undertones, we are
afraid that what the Postmaster
General has done, perhaps unwit-
tingly, was to give his stamp of
approval to a practice that is
clearly in violation of the concept
of severance of religion from gov-
ernmental functioning.
The Madonna and Child theme
has fascinated artists ever since the
rise of Christianity not only as a
subject of artistic and religious ex-
pression but as an instrument for
advancing the Christian idea.
Whether the artists at any given
time intended it so or not, the fact
remains that the Christological
theme in art has been welcomed
and encouraged by the Church pre-
cisely because of its potential for
promoting Christian thought, Chris-
tian values.
There is no questioning the fact
that the Madonna and Child paint-
ing that is to decorate the special
Christmas stamp is a work of art,
but only when it hangs on the walls
of an art gallery.
The moment it is placed within
the limited framework of a stamp
- designed to commemorate an ad-
mittedly Christian event, it loses
its character, ceases to be a work
of art and becomes instead the
bearer of a message.
By lending himself to that mes-
sage, the Postmaster General it
seems is distinctly out of step with
the climate in the land on the rela-
tion between church and state.

it

French Jewish Students
Pay Visit to Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thirty
Jewish university students, grad-
uates of Paris' famous Centre Uni-
versitaire D'Etudes Juives, are
spending three weeks here on an
intensive seminar.
Two-thirds of the students are
preparing for French university
degrees unrelated to Jewish sub-
jects, such as physics, economics,
law and medicine. The students
paid half of the cost themselves,
the balance being covered by
French Jewish social w elf a r e
agencies.

Nazi Germany's class interests that provide an understanding of nated, not concentrated, from
`normal' representatives of a
are reviewed in scholarly fashion, the attitudes that marked the op- 1933 on. Of the Nuremberg de-
pathological society."
offering facts and data of a re- pressive era under Hitler.
fendants, only two, Hess and
Important sociological facts are
vealing nature, in "Hitler's Social
Streicher, could be regarded as presented in a set of tables ap-
While the Nazi terror affected
Revolution," by David Schoen- the entire country in many re-
clinically abnormal, and both pended to the book. There is a
baum, published by Doubleday.
were men who had failed in very long bibliogrophy, indicating
spects, Schoenbaum, in this
Nazi society rather than suc- the vastness of Schoenbaum's re-
With a study of the role of farm- study, shows that "the anti-
ceeded. In both cases, real in- search work. The numerous notes
ers and workers, businessmen, Jewish boycott of 1 April 1933
sanity proved to be a profes- similarly point to depth in study
youth, women; as a review of was conducted against Jewish,
sional obstacle, not an advan- in research and serve the reader
social opportunities under Nazism, not against big, business."
Schoenbaum has delved into areas
When it served the Nazis' pur- tage. The rest, not mad but exceptionally well in gaining a vast
poses, their leaders intervened to `other-directed' men, were the amount of information about the
save some of the Jewish - owned real executors of the Third preparatory stages for the Nazi
■ ######~,*-~##~~~#~4
businesses. The eventual expro- Reich, in Hannah Arendt's ex- social terror in the years 1933 to
priations are known, of course, pression 'banal' in their evil, the 1939.
and: "During Goebbels' 1938 po-
Friday, July 29, 1966-13
grom, the Reichskristalnacht, 29 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
department stores were burned,
but it was significant that even
the boiling folk-soul, as the Min-
istry of Propaganda called it, had
distinguished successfully between
Jewish and non-Jewish department
store property."
Background material will be
found here on "the final solution"
plans, on Eichmann and his asso-
ciates. The Nazi leaders emerge
here as the plotters in preparation
—during the years 1933-1939----of
the "new social order" envisioned
by them.
Schoenbaum portrays "a dual
society" in which "the status of
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of the participants in this world
were seriously alienated from
the 'real' world, let alone clin-
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ically abnormal. Sadists, para-
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SCHMIER

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