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America Has Spoken
by Rabbi Stephen Wise
Opinion Magazine, 1938


Reprinted in
Stephen S. Wise, As I See It, Jewish Opinion Publishing Corporation, New York, 1944, pp. 107-111.

[21 June 2006]

Note: This is the 1938 article from which Francisco Gil-White took 9 words to use in slandering Rabbi Stephen Wise.  I have highlighted those 9 words in green, and the rest of the sentence in yellow.
--Jared Israel
Emperor's Clothes

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America Has Spoken [1938]

THE reaction of the American people to the recent barbarities in the Nazi Reich has been exactly what one might have expected from a great and democratic people. America has recoiled with horror and with loathing from the things that have been done in pitilessly brutal reprisal against the Jews of Germany. This loathing of Germany's shame has been embodied in the protest of him who is in truth not merely the President of the United States but the voice of America's conscience. It has been moving and heartening alike from the viewpoint of civilization to note that after infinitely patient waiting for nearly six years in the hope that reason might prevail over savagery, the Christian churches and peoples of America have spoken with one voice against the crime of a great people against its own loyal and law-abiding Jewish population.

If the American Jewish Congress has not summoned great meetings, as it did in 1933 and in 1934 and again and again, it has been because it was felt that what had happened in Germany since the lamentable murder of a German official by a grief-crazed Jewish lad, proved to the whole civilized world beyond the peradventure of a doubt, that this had ceased to be, if ever it was, a Jewish question, that this had ceased to be, if ever it solely was, a German question. What has happened in the last fortnight in the German Reich and is happening is obvi-

-107-

 

 

*** 

 

ously become one of the gravest problems of civilization.

For the first time in the six years of the Nazi horror the masses that spoke out included Americans of every faith and race and tongue. So that all that we American Jews found needful to do was and is to take our share in the sorrows and the protests of the whole American people. The leading statesmen, the princes of the church, the most eminent of our journalists, the greatest of our educators have spoken. We Jews echo and we thank God for the words of former President Hoover, of Governor Alfred Landon, of our own Al Smith, of Senator Robert Wagner, of William Green, of Bishop Manning, of Harry Emerson Fosdick, of John Haynes Holmes, of the most Reverend Archbishop Curley of the Catholic Church and of a great number of the most distinguished Americans who have lifted up their voices and helped Germany to understand that American civilization stands as one in detestation and condemnation of Nazi brutality against a people, despoiling them of their possessions, robbing them of their status, violating and desecrating their holy places beyond which not even Nazi savagery can go.

Not the least problem now before the American people --as it has not previously been, is the problem of boycotting Nazi wares and services. This has ceased to be a problem. It ceased to be a problem for us five years ago. For five years we have been insisting that no self-respecting American ought to touch Nazi-made goods or Nazi services. For five years the American Jewish Congress, in conjunction with the American Federation of Labor and other liberty-prizing bodies, has wielded the non-violent weapon of the boycott against Germany. Today the whole American people realizes that it can no longer traffic in the commerce to and from the German Reich. Even as Jewish persecution in Germany has ceased to be a Jewish

-108-

 

 

 *** 

 

question, so the boycott in America must not for one hour remain a Jewish boycott. It must be a boycott of all Americans who loathe the things for which Nazism stands, not that Germans may be hurt, but that Germany may be set free. The way to liberate Germany is to cease to have commerce with the German Reich.

THERE are many questions which we American Jews must come to face. We know that the Jews of Germany and Austria and largely Czechoslovakia, are on the march and that an army of involuntary emigrants is leaving and must leave and should be enabled forever to leave Germany behind them. The mass evacuation of a people rooted in Germany's soil for a thousand years is one of the most loathsome crimes of history.

Not being a race of beggars, though we are wanderers, we must make clear to the world that we are resolved that we are not to become, nor to be dealt with as a refugee people, even though the German-speaking peoples are forcing our brother-Jews into exile. The refuges for Jews are the lands in which they have lived for centuries and millennia. We raise our voice today against every proposal and program which deals with Jewish migrants or exiles as if they were to be further penalized by being settled in uninhabited lands, lands of doubtful title, lands of uncertain capacity for colonization and resettlement.

We lift up our voice in most solemn protest against any and every. thought of settling Jews in the German colonies of yesterday. Having lived under the blight and burden of the Swastika, no Jew must ever again be compelled to touch the soil over which the German flag has been lifted up. Moreover, we Jews do not believe in reprisal or in vindictiveness. We do not wish even the German people to believe that we desire to possess ourselves of lands

-109-

 

 

*** 

 

of which they have by war been dispossessed. Moreover, the destruction of any Jewish-occupied, one-time German colony would become the supreme objective of Germany. We would have Jews live anywhere outside of the Nazi Reich, live under almost any conditions, but we will never give approval or sanction to any plan which dooms Jews to live again in a land defiled up to the days of peace by that government which has sought to destroy them.

I would rather have my fellow-Jews die in Germany [Note from TENC: The preceding 10 words are the ones taken out of their context and quoted by Francisco Gil-White to provide false evidence for his slander that Rabbi Wise wanted the Holocaust! - JI] than live somehow, anyhow, in lands which bear the imprint of yesterday's occupation by Germany, in lands which may tomorrow be yielded back by England and France to Germany, as all other conceivable concessions are being made to the Nazi Reich.

With respect to the right of Jews to live in the lands of which they have been a part for many generations, one thing more remains to be said. If England truly and genuinely wishes to help German Jews to live, there are certain things that it can do. We do not speak of the Dominions, Canada, Australia, South Africa, for these must reach their own decisions, but we think of one mandated territory of England, namely Palestine. If the English Government wishes to help Jews, it will admit Jewish children into England as visitors. It will take such action as the President of the United States has taken with regard to temporary residence of German refugees. It will cooperate genuinely with the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees, under the leadership in part of two great Americans, Ambassador Myron Taylor and Director General George Rublee, in establishing temporary, transient homes or hostels for Jews of Germany, tens of thousands of them, pending their ultimate distribution among the lands, the provinces, the dominions, nations and continents in which they will ultimately be integrated.

-110-

 

 

  *** 

 

But the one great, indeed supreme, service that England can render the Jewish people, the whole Jewish people not merely German Jews, is at once, without a moment's delay, to grant the request of the Jewish population of Palestine that they be permitted to welcome ten thousand Jewish children out of Germany, another ten thousand Jewish adolescents, another eight or ten thousand relatives in German lands. In one word, England can do most today for German Jews by opening wide the doors of Palestine. World opinion, including American public opinion, will not only support the British Government, but the conscience of mankind will praise and bless the wisdom and the generosity, the statesmanship and the nobleness of England, if it say to the Arabs, to whom it can frankly speak: "This people is homeless. It wishes to go home. You must be big enough to welcome the homecoming Jews in Palestine." If Great Britain fails to take the largest steps to give home not shelter, home not refuge, to German Jews in Palestine, all else that it contemplates and proposes and announces will be in vain, and the very earnestness and sincerity of English concern with the German refugees will be questioned. This is the day for England to write a worthy postscript to the Balfour Declaration.

- 1938

-111-

 

 

Reprinted from Questia Media America, Inc. www.questia.com 
Questia offers a free trial subscription and has 14 million research sources including books, magazine articles, journals, etc.

Publication Information: Book Title: As I See It. Contributors: Stephen S. Wise - author. Publisher: Jewish Opinion Publishing Corporation. Place of Publication: New York. Publication Year: 1944. Page Numbers 107-111.

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