I thought to win where Pharaoh lost, I thought to trample under heel The chivalry of Israel’s host With all my panoply of steel. Now is my triumph at its height, Now is the splendour of my power, This is the hour of my might; And there is danger in the hour. For gathering out of air and haze Are forces that I cannot see, And all the way from bygone days An ancient voice is warning me.
These verses were Lord Dunsany’s message to the great meeting of protest against the Nazi treatment of the German Jews, that was held in the Albert Hall on Thursday, December 1st.
“Many a great cause,” says the Jewish Chronicle, “has been pleaded from the platform of the Royal Albert Hall, London; many a protest made against some great injustice. None, however, could have surpassed in righteous indignation the great national demonstration against religious and racial persecution which was attended by 8,000 Jews and Christians on Thursday night.
“It was a remarkable gathering in every sense, the platform being crowded with some of the most distinguished leaders of every conceivable shade of religious and secular thought in this country, while the whole atmosphere in the Hall was charged with a dignity which could not fail to impress even the least observant.”
There were many speeches, but one spirit animated them all. The following passage from the powerful words of Mr. Amery expressed well the feeling of the gathering. He came, he said,
"At the request of the headquarters of the Conservative Party in order to make it clear that on the issue which had brought that meeting together there were no differences of party as there were no differences of creed. They stood there to express the views of a unanimous country. (Applause.)
They stood aghast not only at the brutality of the methods employed, but even more at the callous cruelty of that cold pogrom which aimed deliberately at the extirpation of such of Germany’s Jewish population as could not find asylum after being despoiled of all their possessions. They were there to express their sorrow and indignation that such things could happen; their pity for the innocent victims, and, he would add, their loathing of the instigators and perpetrators of this wickedness. (Applause.)
It was not enough merely to protest if they did not, within the field of action open to them, do what they could to help those who were suffering from that persecution. Their Government and its fellow-Governments of the Empire would be doing the right and, he believed, in the long run the profitable thing if they relaxed as generously as they reasonably could the restriction which in normal circumstances must be imposed upon immigration.
More particularly does it seem to me to be the part both of political wisdom and of pledged moral obligation if we afford immediately a wider entry for these Jewish refugees into Palestine. (Applause.)"
The following resolution was carried unanimously:
“That this great meeting of British citizens, representative of all religious bodies and all schools of political thought, strongly protests against the religious and racial persecution which is taking place throughout Germany, and pledges itself to support every legitimate form of action likely to alleviate the sufferings of all the victims of such persecution."
- The Christadelphian, January 1st, 1939
Writing in the Zionist Review for January 5th the Berlin correspondent touches on the concentration camps and says:
"About 20,000 Jews are still detained in the German concentration camps and the Government is willing to release only those who are in a position to leave the Third Reich. In order to force the Jews to emigrate threats are repeatedly being issued here that the Jews who fail to leave Germany soon will be sent to concentration camps.
Appalling news has reached Berlin from the Buchenwald concentration camp. Large numbers of Jews have died there as a result of the intolerable conditions of life in the camp. Many were beaten to death and some were electrocuted when they rushed away from the blows administered to them by the warders to the barbed-wire fences which were heavily charged. About 4,000 Jews still remain in the camp and all of them have been injured or incurably crippled by the Nazis."
- The Christadelphian, February 1st, 1939
German Concentration Camps
The British Government has published a White Paper setting out the revolting savagery practised on the prisoners in the Concentration Camps in Germany. Few countries have clean records, but the worst feature of the barbarism in Germany is that it is due to a settled policy of cruelty on the part of the rulers. The Spectator says:
"The persistent methods of torture applied with sadistic zeal by the S.S. guards in the camps are revealed as part of a system deliberately adopted by the camp superintendents, and ordered by the authorities “higher up.” They offer a terrifying exemplification of Goering’s words, “I will use the police, and ruthlessly,” and of an authority still “higher up,” Hitler himself, who announced at the beginning of his regime that sedition would be “burnt out with barbaric ruthlessness.”"
- The Christadelphian, December 1st, 1939
The Jews and Palestine
The Nazis are planning to concentrate the Jews from the German Reich, the Czech Protectorate, and possibly the whole of Poland, in a special reservation in the Lublin area. The Jewish Chronicle of November 10th, says:
"It is reported that the Nazis plan to have Greater Germany cleared of Jews by November, 1940. The ultimate population of the Pale, if all Polish Jews are included, will be between 3,000,000 and 4,000,000. Thousands of Poles have already been evicted to make room for them.
A large convoy of Jews from Bohemia is already reported to be en route for Lublin, and two convoys have left Vienna. Thousands of Jews from different parts of Nazi Poland have already been sent to the Pale. On Saturday Jews residing in the Lithuanian frontier districts, chiefly in Suwalki and Sejny, were ordered to leave. Numbers of other Jews have been rounded up by the Nazis and are kept under detention pending their deportation to the pale."
The Zionist Review, November 9th, describes the scheme as Hitler’s New Ghetto, and has the following comment:
"Germany is proceeding, with grim ruthlessness, to implement the plan setting aside a ghetto reservation round Lublin, to which Jews from all parts of Germany and Poland are being expelled. Hitler’s brutal policy of persecution and discrimination, designed first to throw the Jews as victims to the sadistic impulses of his followers and then, stripped, to fling them out of the Third Reich, finds its culmination in the latest diabolical project. The policy of the destruction of the Jewish people, begun by the Hitlerist regime in 1933, is now apparently to reach its climax in a gigantic return to medievalism. It is not simply a circumscribed area in a town, but a huge compound in Europe which is the Nazi purpose behind the Lublin scheme.
Jews are being rounded up and despatched as slaves to the new ghetto. Already, as The Times reports, some 22,000 Jews from Austria, Czechoslovakia and Western Poland, have been transported, and another large batch from various parts of Germany have been given only twenty-four hours’ notice before leaving. They have been permitted to take but three days’ supply of food, and only as much linen and clothing as they can carry with them. They have been forced to leave their property behind. Nor is there any possibility that they will ever have this property restored. The Jew transported to Lublin is not allowed to take his family, and no thought seems to have been given to saving the thousands of dependent women and children from starvation." - The Christadelphian, December 1st, 1939.