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October 18, 1974 - Image 56

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1974-10-18

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

7 WZR:ir3;17.,

+iRu r

The Anguish and the Grandeur

The Nelson Rockefeller Probe
and David Schwartz's Paper

Recalling Chaim Weizmann's Historic Services

Editor's Note: Meyer W.
To beg of you, forgive Me!
Weisgal, chancellor of the
Forgive your God, you
Weizmann Institute, was the
that ,have been shamed
right hand man and guide of
forever!
Dr. Chaim Weizmann in the
For all your dark and
1930s and to the end the life
bitter lives Forgive Me,
of the first president of
and for your ten times
Israel. The folowing article is
dark and bitter death!
one of a series to be pub-
(Trans. Helena Frank)
lished on the centenary of
Weizmann must ha v e
Dr. Weizmann'sF birth to be brooded often during the
observed in November.
carnage of 1939-1945 upon the
By MEYER W. WEISGAL significance of Malik's_ pow-
In one of the finest- elegies erful lament for a massacre
ever Written, Chaim Nach- that was to be dwarfed by
man Bialak, acknowledged the Nazi Holocaust: I often
Hebrew poet laureate and saw him in those years,
one of Chaim Weizmann's stricken by the fate that had
closest friends, penned these engulfed his people — a fate
lines in the wake of the of which he had warned long
Kishinev pogrom in 1904: • before the catastrophe ma-
Go, look and look, behold
terialized..
them where they lie
Only another Bialik could
Like butchered calves, and have expressed the agony of
yet thou hast no tear
the Holocaust or rendered its
To give to them,
full and dreadful depth. But
as I have no reward.
in 1944, when the horror of

Aid for Retarded Children

Theme of U. S. Postage Stamp

MEYER W. WEISGAL

the genocide- first became
known, Bialik was no longer
alive; and it was left to
Weizmann to face the the
scope of the tragedy and to
proclaim its implications to
the remainder of the Jewish
people. The record shows,
incredibly, that Weizmann's
dirge fell largely on deaf
ears.
That period in Weizmann's
life, the ten years between
his 65th and 75th birthdays,
began and ended in two ex-
tremes of human and polit-
ical experience. One, on the
eve of war in August 1939,
was marked by the lowest
ebb in the tide of Zionist
fortunes; the other, in May
1948, came in the swell of
hope that attended the cre-
ation of the .Jewish state
born in the stormy, confused
aftermath of the second
World War.
Bowed' under his almost
unbearable load of personal
grief and political woes,
Weizmann struggled, far be-
yond the capacity of his in-
creasingly f r ail health, to
snatch victory for the Jewish
national cause from the jaws
of actual and further poten-
tial disaster.
As the years go by there
has been a tendency, at times
unconscious, at times delib-
erate, to confine Weizmann's
political creativity to the Bal-
four Declaratioin and the
succeeding two decades, and
thus to imply that he was
only a spectator of the activ-
ities leading to Vie establish-
ment of the state of Israel.
Rather than explOre the mo-
tives behind this distortion of
history, I prefer -to refute it
with the record of the events
as they occurred —. and as
they have been narrated.
That record proves that, in
the autumn of his life, Weiz-
mann was the decisive fig-
urge in several of Israel's
most formative' moments:

I the creation of the Jewish
1 Brigade; the resolution of
the UN General Assembly
on Partition (Nov. 29, 1947);
the inclusion of the Negev
within the borders of the
Jewish state; t h e recog-
nition of Israel-by President
Truman, which served as the
basis for the present partner-
ship between the United
States and Israel; and the
recept of the `first $100,-
000,000 loan from the -U.S.
administration. Without Weiz-
mann's stature and unique
personality, none of these
could have been accom-
plished.
It is not irrelevant that
Weizmann talked always of
the Jewish people, rarely us-
ing the terms "Israel" or
"Israelis." For him, world
Jewry and the Jewish state
were indivisable, one integ-
ral entity. And he himself
represented a national ideal
that was global in its sense
of destiny and in its practical
fulfillment. He would, I know,
hugely have disliked those
elements within the state that
have become parochial today
and carelessly tolerant of
expediency.
In his speech of acceptance
when he was sworn-in as
Israel's first president on
Feb. 16, 1949, in Jerusalem,
he repeated the Biblical
phrase, "Where there is no
vision the people perish." He
believed vision to be a hu-
man imperative, a goal to be
fiercely pursued,, the means
towards never wholly
achieved ends. He spoke also
in that inaugural address, of
the benefits of science to
mankind and urged, "Let us
build a new bridge between
science and . the. spirit of
man."
Shortly before he died, as
I sat at his bedside while he
held my hand tightly, he
talked to me too about sci-
ence, about the need to pro-
tect freedom of inquiry,
about the sacred character of
science and work for their
own sake, rather than for
ephemeral rewards. In those
last moments, his wonderful
mind was concentrated on
the problem of national ethics
and the challenge of the uni-
versality of science.
Today the Jewish people at
large and the people of Is-
rael in particular, would do
well, I am deeply convinced,
to look back to the content,
the nobel spirit and the style
of Weizmann's statesman.:
ship. Any spark of it today,
however small, would do
much to illumine the future
path.

,

By DAVID SCHWARTZ

(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)

The Rockefeller fortune is
now a central issue. One
thing about the rich has al-
ways puzzled me.
Let me illustrate: Some
years back, the great indus-
trialist, financial tycoon, An-
drew Carnegie, head of the
steel corporation, was a
guest at 'a dinner of the Jew-
ish Educational Alliance on
the Lower East Side. Car-
negie after the dinner didn't
have money to tip the waiter.
The superintendent of the
Educational Alliance lent him
$3. Carnegie wrote a check
for the amount- and gave it
to the superintendent, but the
superintendent didn't cash
the check. He framed it.
They tell a story about one
of the Rothschilds. A Jew
once came to him and asked
him for a loan. "Sorry," said
Rothschild, "but I cannot give
you the loan, but I tell you,
I will be at the synagogue
Saturday. You come there
and you can sit with me and
we will walk out together,
and when you are seen walk-
ing out with me, you will be
easily able to get your loan
elsewhere."
So we say, what do the rich
need money for? It's wasted
on them. Congress has
been probing Rockefeller's
wealth. I can recall the first
time I did some probing of
wealth. I remarked to my
mother about some neighbors
that they must be very rich
as they had sweet rolls for
breakfast.
My parents came from Rus-
sia. Papa wasn't rich but he
was a pretty strong fellow
and hardly ever sick. Not like
his brother, who was always
going to the doctor and then
saying later, "The doctor
feels better. I gave him $2."
don't recall papa ever going
to a doctor. If he took sick,
he would take some Epsom
salts or perhaps eat some
vegetable or fruit recom-
mended in the Talmud. If he
had the $2 he didn't pay
every time he didn't go to
the doctor, he would have
had a fortune.

NELSON ROCKEFELLER

Once he thought he almost
had a fortune. Papa read in
a Jewish paper about an up-
holsterer finding $300 in a
couch he was repairing. He
immediately turned uphols-
terer. He had some mechani-
cal ability and was a good
upholsterer, but he found no
hidden cache and he finally
went back to peddling; his
original trade in America.
Later he opened a second-
hand clothing store.
The father of John D.
Rockefeller also was a ped-
dler but he didn't keep Shab-
beslike papa did. Saturday
then was the busiest day of
the week, the day when
stores made the most m
,-
but papa's store was c166,..a.
On Saturday, he would not
even hold a coin. Papa was
a student of the. Talmud and
it is written there "Who is
rich — he that is satisfied
with his portion."
.Henry David Thoreau
seemed to have-had the same
point of view. When-he was
a young man, Thoreau de-
veloped a pencil which in-
terested some money people.
They approached him with a
view of merchandising it.
Thoreau said he was just in-
terested in making the best
,possible pencil and after that
he was no longer interested
in it. Thoreau, like the Tal-
mud, had his own view_ of
riches. He said you don't
have to make more to become
rich. You can become rich
by making your wants few.
Papa worked hard. He had
to go around buying up the
old clothes then he had to
repair and press them — he
did it all by himself .— then
he would have to sell Ahem.
When he sold, I used to get
the feeling that maybe he
was pOlitical minded. When a
customer would put on one
of his suits, which he had
cleaned and repaired, he
would beam and say, "This
is good enough for the gov-
ernor."
But he never wanted to be
vice president. He was presi-
dent — of one shul.
He believed in going to the
top.

DAVID SCHWARTZ

Central American- Fruit Dealer Recalled After Hurricane Fifi

BY JOSEPH POLAKOFF

(Copyright 1974, JTA, Inc.)

A specially designed postage stamp bearing the theme
"Retarded Children Can Be Helped" went on sale at U.S.
post offices Monday. In' Detroit, Postmaster Edward L.
Baker, right, presented the first sheet of the commemor-
ative stamp to Harry Berlin of Southfield, president of
Detroit Association for Retarded Citizens. A print run of
150,000,000 stamps, Baker said, focuses national attention
on the needs of the nation's 6,000,000 mentally retarded
persons.

56—Friday, October 18, 1974 THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

WASHINGTON — Among
the communities wiped out
on the Honduran north coast
by hurricane Fifi is Omao,
known .because it was . cor-
porate headquarters of the
United Fruit Co. when the
legendary Bessarabian - born
Jew, Samuel Zemurray was
its principal executive offi-
cer.
Zemurray was among the
most important figures in the
world's banana business dur-
ing much of this century.
Both as private planter and
as t h e administrator of

United Fruit, and as a major
stockholder, Zemurray em-
bodied those qualities of in-
genuity and a will to build
that enabled foreigners to
make personal history in
Central America. He died
Nov. 30, 1961, at age 84.
Zemurray's career began
at age 14 on the docks of
Mobile shortly after his fam-
ily emigrated to Selina, Ala.
from Russia where he was
born in 1877. His job was to
buy bananas that had been
rejected by wholesalers be-
cause they had ripened in
shipment from Central Amer-
ica. Zemurray disposed of

them to small dealers and
peddlers.
I
Seven years later, in 1899,
he entered the fruit business
on a large scale by contract-
ing to buy United Fruit Co.
shipments. New Orleans was
then America's banana- capi-
tal and he began operations
there. He met Sarah Wein-
berger, daughter of Jacob
Weinberger, who also was in
the fruit business and they
married in 1904, making
their home in New Orleans
where his widow continues to
live.
His next step was to form
a partnership with Ashbellio

Hubbard, the fruit dealer in
Mobile. In 1910 they founded
the Cuyamel Fruit Co I
stifle its competition in p.
ing and growing in Central
America, United Fruit bought
out Cuyamel and Zemurray
became its general manager.
Shortly before the Wall Street
collapse in 1929, Zemurray
sold his United Fruit stock
and left the company.
Weakened under the im-
pact of economic depression
and inferior management,
United Fruit recalled him as
its president and he restored
the company's strength. He
retired in 1357.

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