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Sunday, October 20, 2013

“Raise My Voice Against Intolerance.” The Anti-Nazi Rally in Madison Square Garden, March 27, 1933, and the American Public’s Outrage over the Nazi Persecution of Jews

by Dr. Robert G. Waite
Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved by the author.

“I have come to Madison Square Garden many times, mostly to speak on behalf of the political party to which I belong,” explained Alfred E. Smith, former governor of New York State and 1928 presidential candidate, to the 23,000 plus listeners crowded into the arena on the evening of March 27, 1933. Another 35,000 had massed on the streets outside, listening to the words of Governor Smith and each of the other speakers broadcast over a public address system. “But I don’t believe I ever came into it with greater satisfactions than I feel tonight to raise my voice against intolerance, bigotry and against the suppression of freedom of speech and the press and the abridgement of the right of public assembly.”1 Governor Smith was joined on the podium by a group of prominent figures, including New York City mayor James P. O’Brien, president of the American Federation of Labor William Green, Senator Robert Wagner, distinguished members of the clergy, and Rabbi Stephen Wise, president of the American Jewish Congress and the organizer of this mass protest against recent measures taken by the Hitler regime in Germany against its Jewish citizens. “This protest is not against the German people whom we love and revere,” Rabbi Wise assured the audience when he came to the podium. “It is not against the political program for Germany is master within its own household, but solely against the present anti-Jewish policy of the Nazi government.” Similar rallies were held in more than 65 cities in 25 states as a wave of outrage swept across America. An estimated one million were expected to join the protest meetings.

The rally in Madison Square Garden grew out of a far-reaching and deep-seated anxiety in America over the Nazi treatment of the Jews and the regime’s assault on organized labor and political opponents. As reports of mistreatment and discrimination were published in newspapers throughout the nation, Jewish communities, political figures, religious leaders, and rank and file labor became alarmed and they added their voices to the protest which percolated into a steady stream of letters to German consulates in the US and into rallies in cities throughout the nation. The rejection of Nazi policies was widespread, deeply felt, and sincere. The responses showed how much Hitler’s repression had touched a raw-nerve among the American people and not simply its Jewish citizens. Rarely have so many American from such diverse backgrounds, from such differing religious and political beliefs, come together in common cause to voice their outrage over persecution and repressive policies. The rally in Madison Square Garden culminated this spontaneous protest movement and sent a powerful message to political leaders in the United States and in Germany. Its impact was, however, mixed.

Concern about the repressive policies of the new government that came to power on January 30, 1933, in Germany had mounted steadily across the US as Nazi pressure on political opponents, labor unions and Jews intensified in the ensuing weeks. Reports of arrests, beatings, abuse, and rampant discrimination came regularly out of Germany. As early as 1930 American Jews viewed with some anxiety the anti-Semitic outbursts of Nazis troops.3 Following Hitler’s appointment as Reich Chancellor troublesome reports came repeatedly from Germany and “the news of these events shocked the outside world.”4 On March 3, for example, the Chicago Tribune’s correspondent in Berlin, Sigrid Schultz, reported the arrest of some 3,500 alleged communists and the political unrest in the capital city that had led to the death of at least three persons. The newly established auxiliary police, comprised largely of members of the Nazi paramilitary unit the SA, had occupied the offices of the leading Jewish organization. As these accounts spread across America, concern mounted. In St. Louis, a group of “prominent Jewish citizens” went in mid-March to the German consulate there “to protest the alleged persecution of Jews.”5

Widely cited in the press was an article in the London Daily Herald that asserted “plans are completed for an anti-Jewish pogrom…on a scale as terrible as nay instance of Jewish persecution in 2,000 years.”6 High ranking Nazi officials moved, however, to calm fears abroad, showing a remarkable sensitivity to world opinion. On March 14 the New York Times reporter in Berlin summarized a broadcast by Hitler “commanding the Nazi storm troops to put an immediate stop to acts of political terror, personal persecutions and interference with private business.” The result was, he wrote, “a visible relaxation of political tension throughout Germany.”7 Writing from Berlin, Sigrid Schulz reported in mid-March that Hitler had ordered the arrest of three Nazis in Cologne who had broken into the home of a Jewish merchant and robbed him. “The arrests are the direct result of Chancellor Hitler’s order to his followers to cease acts of terrorism and to refrain from interfering with the business life of the nation,” she observed. Similar accounts came from other German cities.8

The respite from Nazi inspired violence was short-lived, however, and before long actions on the streets of German revealed the regime’s intentions, its aggressive mistreatment of political opponents and Jews, and the Nazi leaders’ inability, actually their unwillingness, to curb radicals within their ranks. Throughout early March newspapers in Germany reported Nazi aggression and violence against Jews and Jewish owned businesses. Boycotts of Jewish stores grew more common and ominous with SA troops, thugs sporting the ominous brown uniform, blocking access to shops. On March 10 the Jűdischen Rundschau reported that “in a number of cities…numerous department stores and Jewish businesses were closed” as the result of such actions. SA men stood at the entrances with signs reading “Germans, buy in German shops.” Rumors of more closings spread when on March 11th “several uniformed SA people” barred access to the Karstadt department store in Hamburg. Department stores throughout Germany, even Woolworths which Nazi leaders quickly identified to their henchmen as American and not Jewish owned, were the subject to SA attacks.9

Throughout America, voices of protest rose during the month of March, the most vocal often coming from prominent figures in the Christian communities. The Reverend Dr. S. Parkes, a leader of the Protestant church, released a statement that called on Christians to unite against anti-Semitism. In Louisville, Kentucky, more than 150 residents met at the urging of the Louisville Council of Churches and adopted a resolution “appealing for the cessation of alleged persecution of Jews in Germany and asking President Roosevelt and the Department of State to convey the message to the German government.” Across New York City clergymen condemned Nazi oppression of Jews from the pulpits of churches during the services that preceded the Madison Square Garden rally. The rector of the French Church du Saint-Esprit on East 78th Street called Hitler’s policy a “recrudescence of medieval barbarism.” The congregation of the Community Church on West 43rd Street adopted a resolution calling upon President Roosevelt to “investigate the persecutions.” Views among the city’s rabbis were mixed, however. Rabbi William Rosenblum, Temple Beth Israel on West 91st Street called for a boycott of German goods. At Temple Emau-El the rabbi warned that protests might further imperil Germany’s Jewish communities. Representatives of New Jersey’s Jewish congregations met and adopted a resolution urging the State Department to take “suitable…action.”10 On March 20, the American Jewish Committee and the B’nai B’rith made public that they had asked the government “to make proper representations to the government of Germany” against the anti-Jewish policies of the Hitler regime.11 Even the editor of New York City’s German language newspaper, the Staats-Zeitung, joined the protest against what he termed the “insane persecution of the Jews.” Its publisher, Bernard Ridder, added in comments directed toward Nazi Germany: “Any regime founded upon the basis of religious or racial persecution must inevitably meet the united moral opposition of the civilized world.”12

Other prominent individuals and organizations joined the call for protests against the Nazi persecution of Germany’s Jews and political opponents. The editor of the influential magazine The Nation called the “official pronouncements and behavior” of the Hitler regime “barbarism without parallel since the Middle Ages.”13 In late March the American League for Human Rights adopted a resolution stating that it viewed “with abhorrence the persecutions and discriminations that have taken place in Germany,” and it strongly urged the US government to call upon the Hitler government “to put an effective stop to such abuses and to guarantee the exercise of essential rights to all within its borders.” The President of Princeton University called Hitlerism a threat to world peace. Some prominent figures advocated opening the doors for Jews and others fleeing Nazi oppression. “The Administration in Washington should adopt the most liberal and most humane interpretation possible under our statues, facilitate the grating of visas, and consider even a brief modification of the law, if necessary, to permit the entry of the German victims of political persecution,” argued an editor of The Nation.14

Governors, state legislators and members of Congress spoke out, too, adding their voices to the mounting wave of protest. The governors of South Dakota, Montana, Arizona, and California sent telegrams to the American Jewish Congress on the eve of the New York City rally voicing their concerns over Nazi policies and support for the protest rally.15 State legislatures issued resolutions urging the members of Congress representing these districts, the President, and Secretary of State to, as the New York Assembly stated, use their “best diplomatic efforts in an attempt to persuade the German Government to desist from any further outrages and persecution.”16 More states joined the protest against Nazi persecutions. In late March the Assembly of the state of Rhode Island passed a resolution protesting “against the atrocious demand of Adolf Hitler for the political and economic extermination of the Jewish people in Germany.” It termed “this anti-Semitic hatred, not truly representative of the German spirit,… an insult not only to the Jews of Germany but to the world as well.” The Rhode Island resolution called the policy of the Hitler regime “one of the most tragic events in the long history of Jewish martyrdom.”17 The General Court of Massachusetts adopted a resolution condemning “all acts of persecution reported to be committed against the members of the Jewish faith in Germany and urges the President and the Congress of the United States to present these sentiments to the German Government.”18 New York City Alderman James Kiernan added his voice to the growing outcry. On March 23 he released to the press a resolution he planned to introduce that called upon the city “to petition the Government of the United States to make vigorous and proper representations to the German Government to put an immediate stop to these barbaric persecutions and to restore to German Jewry its civil and religious rights and the protection of the laws of the Reich.”19

Congressmen also spoke out forcefully. Already on March 9, Representative Emanuel Celler (D-NY) introduced a lengthy resolution that identified the “serious antisemtic [sic] outbreaks,” the “oppressions and proscriptions of Jews,” the “denial of the fundamental rights of every human being” in Nazi Germany, and which called upon the State Department “to make known to the German Government that it does not view with favor the cunning cruelties, outrages, and insults now practiced against… Jews.” Congressman Celler termed Nazi policy “a sort of cold pogrom” and asserted that “unless there are changes for the better in Germany…we shall be compelled to use every weapon in the legislative arsenal to help put an end to the acts of these cowards and cravens.”20 On March 22, Representative Joseph A. Gavagan (D-NY) told his colleagues in the House: “The recent news of persecution and proscription against the Jew, coming out of Germany, saddens the heart and soul of the lovers of justice the world over.” And he added, “once again humanity is aroused from its lethargy by the persecution of a member race of the human family.” Several other Congressmen introduced concurrent resolutions condemning the persecution and calling upon the President to speak out strongly. “Whereas the present Hitler regime in Germany has taken measures to suppress and persecute certain groups within its borders, and has singled out for particular attack, according to press reports, Jews of that country,” wrote Congressman John Douglass (Democrat, Massachusetts) in a resolution submitted on March 22. It “authorized and directed” the President to make clear to the Nazi regime that this nation “view[s] with concern the tyrannical methods employed” and strongly urged “a more humane policy.” Two other resolutions passed that same day called upon the State Department to “make known to the German Government” its acute displeasure with the “cunning cruelties, outrages, and insults” directed against Jews.21 Concurrent with the final plans for the Madison Square Garden rally concern mounted across the nation and calls for the State Department to lodge protests grew.

As reports of Nazi oppressive measures and violence against Jews and political opponents continued to spread, plans for a series of anti-Nazi rallies across the US began to emerge. On March 12, the national executive committee of the American Jewish Congress met at New York’s Hotel Commodore to consider a range of economic and organizational issues as well as the recent events in Germany. The “turbulent three-hour session,” a reporter for the New York Times wrote, quickly focused exclusively on “the anti-Semitism of Adolf Hitler and his party.” Those in attendance united in their call for “widespread protest” and a show of unity in opposition. The meeting concluded with plans for a “mass meeting” in Madison Square Garden, as originally suggested by Dr. Samuel Margoshes, editor of The Day. Simultaneous meetings to “bring the matter before Congress” were planned for a host of other cities across the nation.22

In New York City, prominent business leaders went to the head of the German consulate “as representatives of their government to voice the most serious concern” with the planned Nazi boycott of Jewish businesses. Although American protests had subsided, the consular official telegrammed Berlin that the recent measures have prompted a “new sense of urgency” in America which “threatens to go to such an extent as to seriously threaten German-American relations.”23 The steadily mounting pressure on the Jews of Germany led in the US to the planning for a “nation-wide expression of indignation against the anti-Semitism of Adolf Hitler.” Rallies were scheduled in more than 80 cities. The American Jewish Congress took the lead and met at New York City’s Hotel Astor once again on March 19th to “formulate plans,” the New York Times reported. Emotions at the meeting ran high as some 1,500 representatives of various Jewish organizations sought entry. The session ran for more than four hours. Proposed resolutions called for designating a day in the near future for “mass meetings…in every Jewish community” to protest Nazi policy directed against Jews and for a mass rally in Madison Square Garden. Bernard Deutsch, president of the American Jewish Congress, told those in attendance that his offices were “flooded with messages from all over the country demanding protest action.” Jews across the nation were, he added, “unanimous” in their desire to express the “horror and indignation against the reign of terror to which our brethren are subjected in Germany.” The issue of a boycott of German goods was raised and vigorously debated.24

While plans for the rally at Madison Square Garden were being discussed, some opposition groups took to the streets in protests and marches. By March 12 demonstrations and mass meetings against Nazi violence had been organized in more than 20 cities in 18 different nations, from Buenos Aires and Rio de Janiero to Sydney and from Tunis to Istanbul. Most were called for by inter-denominational coalitions and some were, a reporter for the American Jewish Year Book observed, “held entirely under non-Jewish auspices.” The “most notable” demonstrations came later, in New York City on March 27, in Paris on May 10 and London on June 27.25

Already on March 23, an estimated 2,000 Jewish veterans paraded to City Hall in New York in a protest of Nazi repressive policies. The marchers walked quietly through the streets, from Cooper Square, down Lafayette Street to City Hall, organized in columns of four and carrying no placards. Some walked with the banners of the veteran organizations they represented, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Disabled American Veterans, and the American Legion. More than 10,000 spectators lined the route.26 In a strong show of support, New York’s Mayor Patrick O’Brien came out of his office and walked to the front steps of City Hall. He stood there for 25 minutes, watching the vets and their supporters march by carrying only American and Jewish flags. The mayor addressed the veterans and spoke out forcefully against the oppressive actions of the Nazi government. “Any regime that has for its basis religious or racial intolerance or persecution is bound to meet the moral opposition of the entire world,” O’Brien explained. He received from the leaders of the parade resolutions calling for a boycott of German goods and urging the US government to submit a formal diplomatic protest. The mayor assured the group’s leaders of his support and told them to wait until Monday to hear his words at the rally scheduled to take place in Madison Square Garden.27

Several days before the big New York City rally the American Jewish Committee issued a strong statement of protest of the Nazi regime’s policies toward the Jews of Germany and asserted that “Every proper step must be taken to remedy these injustices.” The call was made for a “day of national protest against the mistreatment of Jews in Germany.” Rabbi Stephen Wise was more frank in his comments. “The time for caution and prudence is past,” he told an attentive audience. “What is happening in Germany today may happen tomorrow in any other land on earth unless it is challenged and rebuked.”28 Prominent Christians and religious organizations such as the Catholic Truth Society spoke out against what its president, the Reverend Edward Lodge Curran, termed in a protest sent to the State Department “the unjust, unchristian and barbarous anti-Semitic activities of the Hitler regime.” Reverend Curran urged the State Department to lodge a formal protest because, he wrote, “A protest from the United States Government may be the means of awakening the great bulk of the German people to the folly of being represented by a former Austrian citizen whose path has already been marked by blood.”29 The American Jewish Committee and the B’nai B’rith formally asked the US government on March 20 “to make proper representations to the government of Germany” condemning the persecution of Jews. “The events of the past few weeks in Germany have filled with indignation not only American Jews, but also Americans of every other faith,” the statement read. “The conscience of the civilized world is aroused against this reversion to medieval barbarism.” Prominent leaders of Christian faiths joined the protest against Nazi policies.30

Local political organizations in communities across the nation raised their voices in protest. On March 25, Brooklyn’s Pallex Democratic Club forwarded to the German Embassy in Washington a resolution it adopted, a “solemn PROTEST against the appalling injustice of which German Jews have become the victims, and utter our deep sense of pain and resentment against the persecution and tortures inflicted upon the Jewish people of Germany.” The Pallex Club resolved to “ask the USofA in the name of Justice and humane mankind that they intercede in behalf of the tortured and persecuted people of Germany.” The German Embassy reported other actions, including, for example, a meeting on March 25 in Chicago of an estimated 200 workers “to protest fascist terror in Germany.”31

Throughout March leaders of the Jewish communities continued to meet in New York City to plan their course of action. They were “swamped with communications and telegrams of support,” the New York Times reported, as they discussed calls for a boycott of German goods and other measures.32 While meeting at the offices of the American Jewish Congress Rabbi Wise and other leaders finalized plans for a massive rally in Madison Square Garden. The American Jewish Congress assembled a group of prominent and well-respected Americans for the New York City rally, including former Governor Alfred E. Smith, Senator Robert F. Wagner, New York Mayor Patrick O’Brien, Bishop Francis J. McConnell, former president of the Federal Council of Churches, Bishop William T. Manning, officials of the Greater New York Federation of Churches and the Interfaith Committee. On March 23 New York’s Governor Lehman sent word that he too would join the speakers at Madison Square Garden, if work in Albany permitted. Organizers announced that similar inter-denominational protests were to be held in some 80 cities across the nation in a powerful statement of concern and opposition to the Nazi regime’s anti-Jewish policies and actions.33

The roster of speakers for the Madison Square Garden rally included some highly respected political, civic and religious leaders. Already on March 23 the American Jewish Congress announced that Governor Alfred E. Smith would be one of the featured speakers.34 That same day, William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor, made public his agreement to speak at the rally. Organized labor throughout the country had repeatedly petitioned against Nazi repression and Green told Rabbi Wise that he would be happy to appear and to express “the protest and indignation of the masses of organized American workers of all faiths against the outrages being committed by the Fascist regime in Germany against the Jews and all forward-looking movements in Germany.” His organization, the AFL, represented some three million Americans.35

Crowds began to assemble outside the doors of Madison Square Garden already by 2:30 in the afternoon of March 27. Over the next several hours subways and elevated trains continued to bring more men and women to “the already overcrowded area,” the New York Times reported. Shortly before six o’clock in the evening the doors swung open. Within half an hour the balconies filled with attendees and before long all of the Garden’s 23,000 seats were taken. An estimated 35,000 people “were unable to gain admittance.” Newspapers across the nation reported that tens of thousands had turned out to protest.36 Many assembled on the streets outside to listen to the speeches over a public address system. Telegrams from governors and members of Congress condemning the Nazi persecution of Jews and expressing solidarity with the aims of the rally organizers arrived.37

Shortly after 8PM former Representative Nathan Perlman came to the podium and introduced Bernard Deutsch, president of the American Jewish Congress and chair of the rally. Deutsch set the tone for the evening, telling the audience that the protests meant no “feeling of unfriendliness or ill will toward the German nation.” Rather, he continued, “The time has come when the civilized nations of the world should be concerned not only for the safety and protection of their nationals abroad, but should be keenly interested in the preservation of human rights of all minorities wherever they may be.” Rabbi Stephen Wise, an outspoken leader in the broadening protest against Nazi violence against Jews, struck a similar tone. It would be a grave wrong “to make German Jews scapegoats because Germany has grievances against the nations,” Rabbi Wise explained as he called upon the world to accept Germany’s position in the world. But the “elementary maxims of civilization” also demanded “the immediate cessation of anti-Semitic activities and propaganda in Germany.”38

The speeches of Alfred Smith, William Green, President of the American Federation of Labor, Senator Robert Wagner, and Mayor Patrick O’Brien and the others who addressed the rally were broadcast by the Columbia Broadcast System across the nation. Stations in cities as distant as Los Angeles carried the addresses live. They were published too, each in its entirety, the next day in the New York Times.39 “It is a privilege to be here this evening and to be able, in the name of the people of the City of New York, embracing as it does men and women of many races or creeds, to join in a protest against religious and racial persecution” in Germany, Mayor Patrick O’Brien told the audience. The reports from Germany on the mistreatment of Jews have been “so shocking as to seem well-nigh incredible.” The mayor continued, summarizing the outstanding contributions of Jews to German culture and intellectual life and insisting that the anti-Jewish measures were the work of the extremists in power. He found comfort, however, in the “assurance…from high German officials that resolute action will be taken in Germany to prevent the possibility of any further persecution of Jews in that country.”40

As Governor Alfred Smith walked to the podium he pulled out three envelopes upon which he had written notes for his speech, the main points he wished to address.41 Smith explained that prior to the rally he had received “all kinds of telegrams and all kinds of cablegrams” insisting that “there wasn’t any reason for a meeting,” that reports from Germany had distorted the events there. He did not accept such arguments, telling the audience “where this is a good deal of smoke there must be some fire.” The only course of action, the only way to deal with such abusive and growing discrimination was “to drag it into the open sunlight and give it the same treatment that we gave the Ku Klux Klan.” Smith turned next to the Hitler regime and the violence in the streets directed against Jews. “Now there is one thing that we are all sure about and that is the platform of the ruling party,” he explained. And that platform was anti-Semitic. Those who ran on it had “the avowed purpose…to separate the Jews from the life of Germany.” He noted the violence directed against Jews and stated, “This fact, however, remains: That up to the present moment, if we look at the record, the responsible head of the German Government has said nothing in denunciation of this conduct.” The best way to combat the violence, he asserted, “is by the expression of public opinion in a meeting such as this one.” His speech, the New York Times reported the next day in a front page article, “brought the otherwise solemn audience to its feet.”42

“As I read the reports of the occurrences in Germany that are responsible for this meeting,” Senator Robert Wagner told the audience in Madison Square Garden, “of the manifestations of intolerance, discrimination, and even violence, I am filled with horror and dismay,” echoing the theme raised by other speakers. Senator Wagner spoke of the economic hardships that men and women had dealt with “in a spirit of kindliness and cooperation.” Now, his voice rising, “a new shadow has been cast upon us,” he explained. “The black shadow of intolerance…laden with prejudice, heavy with discrimination, is deepening the darkness in which humanity has been groping in the effort to reach the light of a better day.” He condemned bigotry in all shapes, particularly that at work in Germany. “Our concern is not limited by the common kinship of our Jewish citizens with the Jews of Germany,” he added. “We have assembled under the common flag of civilization.” Senator Wagner concluded with these words: “Our purpose tonight is to give expression of our loyalty to the ideal of the nobility of man—regardless of race or creed—an ideal which, when attacked, will find its defenders under every flag, for upon it depends the progress of mankind and the happiness of generations to come.”43

A number of governors and members of Congress not in attendance sent letters to the organizers of the rally and many were read to the audience. New York’s Governor Herbert Lehman remained, however, close to his office in Albany where he did address a mass rally at the Capitol Theatre that same evening. Stating that most Germans were opposed to the Hitler regime’s discrimination of Jews, he continued: “The truth must in time allay the passions aroused by appeals to bigotry. All right thinking people, regardless of race, creed or nationality, must unite in the effort to hasten that time.” The Albany rally, with speakers representing the three major religious faiths, adopted a resolution calling upon “the Government of the United States to continue its vigilant and vigorous representations in order to secure for the Jews of Germany their civil and religious rights.” The same evening, more than 800 persons crowded into a Schenectady high school to voice their outrage, and they too adopted a resolution urging the State Department to lodge a formal protest with Hitler. A similar meeting was held in Troy.44

Organized labor had been forceful in its condemnation of Nazi policies, and its leader, William Green, President of the AFL-CIO, told the audience at Madison Square Garden “I come tonight in the name of Labor protesting, in its sacred name, against the atrocities which are being perpetrated upon the Jewish population of Germany.” Voicing deep sympathy for them and for German trade unionists, Green said: “Labor in American wishes them to know that it is not unmindful of the suffering to which all of them are being subjected and that it fully appreciates the difficulty and the distressing experience through which they are now passing.” And, he added, “We pledge to them our moral and economic support.”45

Bishop John Dunn of New York’s Catholic Archdiocese had agreed to speak but he withdrew at the last moment, basing his decision on a State Department announcement that it had been “assured that the mistreatment of Jews in Germany had been stopped.” Other prominent religious leaders did address the rally. Bishop William Manning denounced “the tyrannical and cruel persecution carried on against those representing all religious faiths and the brutal attempt to stamp out all religion” in the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. “Race prejudice, oppression, religious persecution have no right to exist anywhere in this world,” he concluded. Bishop Francis McConnell called for Germany to regain its place among nations, to be respected and treated fairly. He urged that the protests against anti-Semitism continue because “if there is no protest at all against so completely out of date a thing as the anti-Semitic movement at the present time, then we will come to a place after a while where the situation becomes intolerable, and then we resort to force.” Charles H. Tuttle, president of the inter-denominational Interfaith Committee appealed to the Germany people “not to permit within their borders continuance or resumption of the acts of aggression and injustice against the Jews, lest prejudice and hate overrun the world and civilization lose all that it has gained for tolerance and understanding since the Dark Ages.”46 Other speakers included John Haynes Holmes, Church of the Messiah NYC, Dr. Joseph Tenenbaum, chairman of the executive committee of the American Jewish Congress, Dr. Samuel Margoshes, editor of The Jewish Day, Morris Rothenberg, president of the Zionist Organization of America, James N. Rosenberg, Mrs. Rebecca Kohut, president of the World Congress of Jewish Women, Abraham Cahan, editor of The Jewish Daily Forward, Chaim Greenberg, leader of the Zionist Laborites, Alexander Kahn, president of the People’s Relief, and Abraham Goldberg, a prominent Zionist.47

Just one day after the rally in Madison Square Garden the New York City Board of Aldermen adopted unanimously a stern condemnation of Nazi policies. The resolution, introduced by Aldermen James F. Kiernan and Joseph Reich, both of Brooklyn, contained numerous grounds for blasting the German government. “Reports from Germany bring to America harrowing tidings of incessant atrocities perpetuated against Jews in Germany,” it began. The resolution then gave reasons for its scathing tone. “This persecution and intimidation of peaceful and law abiding people does not accord with the modern enlightened spirit of tolerance and is shocking to the conscience of civilized humanity,” and the “outrages” were directed against “a helpless religious minority.” They universalized the Nazi attacks, calling the persecutions “a most cowardly, inhuman and un-Christian assault upon every precept of civilized living,” and “in direct opposition to the spirit and traditions of American freedom of conscience and religious belief.” The sense of outrage extended across religious groups and a number of secular organizations had “raised their voices in protest against these Nazi outrages.” Having stated their argument, the two Aldermen turned to the other Board members and together they raised their “voice[s] in solemn protest.” The Board unanimously adopted the resolution that was directed squarely at the US government. Its stated aim was to move the Roosevelt to action, to at the very least “make vigorous and proper representations to the German government to put an immediate stop to these barbaric persecutions and to restore to German Jewry its civil and religious rights and the protection of the Laws of the Reich.” 48

Other political figures came forward, adding their voices to the mounting outcry. The New Jersey Legislature adopted unanimously a resolution “protesting against persecution of Jews in Germany.” In Detroit, 10,000 protested Nazi oppression of Jews.49 In the House of Representatives, William J. Sirovich (D-NY) took the floor and told his colleagues that “my purpose in taking the floor of the House this afternoon is to boldly, fearlessly, and courageously protest against the foul, iniquitous, and brutal treatment of the nations of Jewish extraction in Germany by the cowardly, sadistic, paranoiac madman of modern Germany, Adolf Hitler.” Not mincing his words, Representative Sirovich called Hitler’s chancellorship “an insult to the great men who have graced that position in the past.” Hitler’s “official robes,” he added, “have been bathed in the innocent blood of Jewish people.” Sirovich called upon Secretary of State Cordell Hull to “protest against this infamous treatment by Hitler and his associates of innocent men and women who have committed no crime outside of being born Jews.”50

During March and continuing into April the American Jewish Committee and other Jewish organizations called for Secretary of State Cordell Hull to register with the Hitler regime the Roosevelt administration’s interest in the welfare of Jews in Germany. Hull declined to act. In a March 26 telegram to the President of the American Jewish Committee, Hull explained that he had directed the American Embassy in Berlin “to investigate the situation and to submit a report.”51 The Embassy replied that “whereas there was for a short time considerable physical mistreatment of Jews this phase may be considered virtually terminated.” It concluded that “stabilization appears to have been reached,” and “there are indications that in other phases the situation is improving. I feel hopeful in view of the reported attitude of high German officials and the evidence of amelioration already indicated that the situation which has caused such widespread concern throughout this country will soon revert to normal.” A New York Times reporter in Berlin concurred. “The German rulers, under the pressure of world opinion, seem to be making a sincere effort to reduce physical persecution and place their regime in a better light before the world,” noted Frederick Birchall in the March 27 edition.52 The presidents of the American Jewish Committee and the B’nai B’rith maintained their pressure, however, and sent Hull a memorandum on April 9 urging that the US government intercede on behalf of the Jewish minority in Germany. On April 28 Hull assured Jewish leaders that he was “continuing to watch the situation confronting the Jews in Germany with careful and sympathetic interest.” The State Department, he added, would “do everything within diplomatic usage to be of assistance.”53

The mounting protests across the nation and the rally in Madison Square Garden gained the attention of prominent Nazis. “Reports of agitation in the United States on behalf of German Jews is hotly resented in the National Socialist newspapers, which regard it as unjustifiable interference with German affairs and propaganda calculated to arouse hostility toward Germany and the new regime,” a reporter for the New York Times cabled from Berlin. The German government issued a statement calling for “drastic measures” against foreign correspondents “guilty of spreading atrocity reports.” The Nazi Party threatened, “well-informed circles” in Berlin told another journalist, to organize a counter movement against Jews.54 Hitler termed the accounts of anti-Jewish measures “dirty lies” in a trans-Atlantic interview conducted on March 23rd by Joseph Connelly, vice-president of the International News Service in New York City. During the 15 minute conversation, Hitler, sitting in his office at Munich’s Nazi Party headquarters, the Braun Haus, stated: “There has been no discrimination between Jews and Christians” and he went on to assert, “As a matter of fact, our storm troops have in many cases under the risk of their own lives protected life and property of political opponents, among whom may have been some Jews.”55 The phone call from Munich was clearly intended to assuage the out roar coming from abroad, especially America, against Nazi persecution. It did not take long, however, for the Hitler regime to show its true intentions. A day later, on March 24 the Nazi Party newspaper Völkischer Beobachter carried an article on the march to New York City Hall by Jewish veterans and the rally planned for Madison Square Garden, identifying each as part of the “all Jewish hate and atrocity campaign against Germany.” The center of this “anti-German propaganda” was New York City whose newspapers “publish articles daily about the alleged incidents in Germany,” the Nazi Party organ announced. In an article headlined “The Jewish Power-Struggle Against Germany” the newspaper summarized the protests in New York City, framing them as foreign attacks on Nazi Germany.56 Other newspapers in Germany moved to fuel the already “strong body of home opinion against the charges abroad of atrocities in this country,” reported the New York Times on March 26. In a special cable the Times’ correspondent in Berlin wrote that the reports in the American press are “hotly resented in the National Socialist newspapers, which regard it as unjustifiable interference with German affairs and propaganda calculated to arouse hostility toward Germany and the new regime.” Berlin’s moderate Vossische Zeitung wrote in a front page article of the “defense against the anti-German hate-propaganda.”57 That same day, Hitler issued a “call to all Party organizations to boycott against the Jews” and a host of other anti-Jewish actions. Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels warned, the New York Times reported, that his agency would take “sharp counter-measures” against those who had launched “the atrocity campaign.”58 Hitler and Goebbels began to discuss a boycott of Jewish businesses. “Counter-Attack against the Jewish Atrocity Propaganda” is how a front page headline in the Völkischer Beobachter termed the planned boycott.59 Propaganda minister Goebbels in the days leading up to the Madison Square Garden rally prepared an article for an English newspaper, the Sunday Express, what he called a “very factual and objective essay against the atrocity propaganda.” Over the next couple of days Goebbels remained occupied with the New York City rally and what he referred to as the “atrocity propaganda” coming from America. He met with Hitler and they decided that “we will only be effective against the foreign hatred only when we force out its originators or at least the beneficiaries, namely the Jews living in Germany who have remained here untouched.” The pair called for a major boycott of all Jewish shops in Germany. A day later, Goebbels dictated yet another “biting essay” against the “atrocity propaganda of the Jews.” The boycott was to begin on April 1 in Germany.60

Other members of the Hitler government joined the fray. Foreign Minister Konstantin von Neurath sent a cable on March 28 to Cardinal O’Connell of Boston, attempting to reassure and assuage the American public. “According to newspaper reports, representatives of the Roman Catholic clergy will take part in large protest meetings at Madison Square Garden in New York, and elsewhere, tonight against alleged pogroms against German Jews,” Neurath wrote. “Such allegations are devoid of all foundation,” and the “national revolution” which aimed at stamping out “the Communist danger and cleansing the public life of Marxist elements, has proceeded with exemplary order.” He added further assertions, also devoid of truth. For example, Neurath insisted that “Hundreds of thousands of Jews carry on their lives throughout Germany as usual,” and that “thousands of Jewish stores are open every day,” as if little had changed following the Nazi takeover in January 1933. Neurath concluded that these stories of discrimination “evidently emanate from sources which desire to poison the friendly relations between Germany and the United States, and to discredit the new National Government of Germany.”61

While the US Secretary of State moved cautiously and did not issue a formal protest to the Nazi regime, the German diplomatic mission in Washington kept track of the mounting opposition. The information it sent to the Foreign Office in Berlin was extensive and included a 17-page chronology of protests from labor organizations against Nazi measures as well as numerous letters of protest from across the nation.62 Already on March 17, a telegram from the New York City consular office to Berlin described a recent speech by Albert Einstein calling for protests against Hitler as filled with “anti-German sentiment” which “dominated New York with Jews heavily dominating the press.” The slogan “’persecution of Jews’ is similar to the Belgium atrocity propaganda [of the First World War] and is used as part of a broader, anti-German campaign.”63 On March 26 the embassy telegrammed Berlin its appraisal of the upcoming rally in Madison Square Garden: “The attacks, to be expected at the assembly on Monday in New York, appear to be based on the following points: 1) anti-Semitic agitation in Germany; 2) the discrimination of Jews, also in economic matters; 3) the lack of legal safeguards and personal protection in the constitution; 4) measures against foreign or non-local Jews, especially the East-Jews [Ostjuden].” The German mission in New York City also provided the home office in Berlin a steady stream of material on reactions to the oppressive measures, such as the April 1 boycott. The New York office feared that the scheduled visit by the German ambassador would be used by “New York Jews” to “demonstrate” their hostility to Nazi policy. The Foreign Office in Berlin assembled an entire folder of materials for “combating the hate- and atrocity campaign.” Increasingly the tone of these cables within the Foreign Ministry mirrored that of the Nazi press and leadership – xenophobic and viciously anti-Semitic.64

Groups continued to speak out against Nazi persecution and the organized boycott, and a few observers noted rather optimistically at the time that the wave of protest across America might have tempered Hitler’s and Goebbels’ ambitions. A Berlin correspondent for the Universal Service, a distributer of news articles, wrote that the Foreign Office had indeed taken notice of the protests and was in fact “greatly disturbed.” He added that when vice-chancellor von Papen received a cable from friends in America describing the mounting hostility to Nazi German von Papen he went directly to Hitler.65 “The power of public opinion against the brown-shirt bestialities has been demonstrated,” stated an editorial in The Nation. “Before the expressed sense of outrage throughout the world, the Nazi head devils have pulled in their horns.”66

Protests continued to be registered in the weeks following the Madison Square Garden rally. Throughout New York City members of the clergy condemned from the pulpit the “persecution of Jews by the Hitler government and the Nazi legions.” The pastor of the Union Methodist Church went so far to urge the US government to “lift the bars of immigration to allow the persecuted Jews and others who are discriminated against to enter this country.” The American League for Human Rights and the Church Peace Union sent messages to President Roosevelt urging his administration to intervene “against the recent outrages committed in Germany.” On April 17 the Federal Bar Association of New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey adopted unanimously a resolution condemning the new restrictions on members of the German legal profession of the Jewish faith, “that many of our brother lawyers in Germany are being grievously persecuted” and forced from their positions and their occupation. “We hereby call upon all believers in human justice throughout the world to publicly condemn the indefensible course that has so far been taken toward those members of our profession, and other professions, by the present administration of the Government of Germany.”67

When the situation in Germany failed to improve and it actually worsened, calls for a strong statement against Nazi policy continued to be registered during the mid-1930s. Prominent Jewish organizations argued that oppressive measures would be soon directed against Protestants and Catholics as well. More protest rallies were held. A rally in Madison Square Garden on March 7, 1934, featured 23 speakers representing Protestant and Catholic churches, trade unions, political figures, and the American Legion. New York’s mayor Fiorello LaGuardia addressed the audience. Organizers called the rally “the case of civilization against Hitlerism.”68 Several years later, on March 15, 1937, another rally was held in Madison Square Garden. Organizers now called Hitler “a menace to world peace” and concluded that his regime’s destruction of “all vestiges of democracy and human and civilized procedure in Germany” was but the first step in “an onslaught upon democratic society everywhere.” A resolution adopted at the rally concluded that “Hitlerism constitutes the gravest threat to peace, civilization and democracy.”69 Once more resolutions were adopted and forwarded to the State Department and Roosevelt administration; once more they declined to act.

Major newspapers showed a remarkable reluctance to criticize or discuss at length Nazi policies through at least the mid-1930s.70 Furthermore, not only the top political leaders but also the Jewish community in America was divided on what actions to take, on their appraisal of Hitler and his anti-Semitic policies. Rabbi Stephen Wise and the American Jewish Congress called, on the one hand, for decisive action and had already organized a conference of Jewish organizations that met on April 19, 1933, in New York City to build on the momentum of the Madison Square Garden rally. “Never before has the situation of the Jews required a greater concerted effort of American Jewry than today,” the announcement for the meeting read. “The German Government gives assurances that the wave of atrocities is at an end. However the so-called dry-pogrom is being carried on by the authorities of the Reich with shocking vigor.” Within Germany large numbers of Jewish professionals continued to be “forcibly thrown out of their positions.”71 The American Jewish Committee, another prominent organization, concluded in 1933, on the other hand, that “The anti-Semitic campaign is but a phase of the intense national flame the Fascists have kindled. The greatest danger in the German situation is not just its anti-Jewish propaganda, unjust and inhuman as this is, but the nationalism that is blazing throughout the land.” 72 Across the nation hundreds of thousands of individuals from different religions, followers of differing political parties, men and women from big cities and small towns and from a variety of social backgrounds raised their voices in early 1933 to protest the intolerance, discrimination, and persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. This massive outcry culminated in the March 27 rally. A huge success by any standard, the Madison Square Garden rally and the massive public outcry against the Nazi regime’s repression of Jews failed to move the President or the State Department to act decisively. While the executive branch did take notice of the rally and the State Department received letters and cables from individuals, religious and human rights organizations as well as members of Congress, little was done. There were no formal protests to the German government coming from Washington, no open condemnation of Nazi persecution, no threat of economic sanctions, no hint at the severance of diplomatic relations. “I feel hopeful, in view of the reported attitude of high German officials and the evidences of amelioration already indicated,” Secretary Hull wrote in a cable to Berlin, “that the situation, which has caused such widespread concern throughout this country, will soon revert to normal.”73 Without forceful action from the President and the Secretary of State little hope for change in Nazi policy could be expected. Although official statements of concern and protest might have not moved Hitler and his lead henchmen to moderate their persecution of Jews, the reactions in Berlin to the Madison Square Garden rally and the 80 plus rallies held across America that same evening did indeed show that they were listening as the voices of protest across the nation grew louder.

About the author: Dr. Robert G. Waite is a historian at the German Resistance Memorial Center in Berlin. When back in the States he resides in Shushan, New York.

1 Quoted in “Smith Likens Nazis to Klan,” Daily Boston Globe (March 28, 1933).  “60,000 New York City Jews Protest Action in Germany,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 28, 1933).
2 “Thousands Hear Al Smith Condemn Jews’ Persecution,” Atlanta Constitution (March 28, 1933). “Monday Set Aside By Jews to Protest Against Persecution,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 23, 1933).   The estimate of one million protestors comes from The New York Times; see “250,000 Jews Here To Protest Today. More Than 1,000,000 in All Parts of the Nation Also Will Assail Hitler Policies,” (March 27, 1933).  Harry Schneiderman, in “Review of the Year 5693,” American Jewish Year Book 35 (1933-1934), 43.  Melvin I. Urofsky, A Voice That Spoke for Justice.  The Life and Times of Stephen S. Wise (Albany:  State University of New York Press, 1982), 260-269.  Adam Wolfson, “The Boston Jewish Community and the Rise of Nazism, 1933-1939,” Jewish Social Studies 48 (Summer-Autumn 1986), 308-309.
3 See, for example, “Review of the Year 5692,” American Jewish Year Book 34 (1932-1933), 27.
4 Schneiderman, “Review of the Year 5693,” 26-31; quote is from page 31.
5 Sigrid Schultz, “Nazi Terrorism Grows,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 9, 1933).  St. Louis, Mo., March 13, 1933, Bericht Nr. 23B, Politische Archive Auswärtiges Amt (hereafter PAAA) (Berlin) R98444.  See the editorials, “Terrorism Rules Germany,” The Nation 136 (March 29, 1933); “World Wrath at Hitler’s Attack on German Jews,”  The Christian Century L (April 5, 1933);  and “Back to Barbarism,” The Nation 136 (April 12, 1933), 388.
6 “Hitler Cabinet Revives Spirit of Kaiser’s Days,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 3, 1933).  “Anti-Semitism in Germany,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 13, 1933).  “Charge Reign of Terror,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 15, 1933). 
7 “Jews Promised Safety by Hitler,” Atlantic Constitution (March 11, 1933); and Guido Enderis, “Violence in Reich Subsides on Order,” New York Times (March 14, 1933).
8 Sigrid Schulz, “Jail Hitlerites for Terrorizing Jewish Family,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 15, 1933).  Frederick T. Birchall, “Nazis Combing Out the Storm Troopers,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Editorial.  World Wrath at Hitler’s Attack on German Jews,” The Christian Century L (April 5, 1933).
9 Das Schwarzbuch.  Tatsachen und Dokumente.  Die Lage der Juden in Deutschland 1933 (Paris:  Comité des Délégations Juives, 1934, reprinted 1983, Berlin, Ullstein Verlag), 284-291; quotes are from pages 286, 288 and 291.  “Terrorism Rules Germany,” The Nation 136 (March 29, 1933), 332.  Hannah Ahlheim, ‘Deutsche kauft nicht bei Juden!’  Antisemitismus und politischer Boycott in Deutschland 1924 bis 1935 (Göttingen:  Wallstein Verlag, 2011), 243-246.
10 Schneiderman, “Review of the Year 5693,” 45.  “Louis, Ky.,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Attacks on Jews Scored in Pulpits,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).   “Jews in Jersey Protest,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).
11 “Jews Here Demand Washington Action.”
12 Quoted in “German Paper Here Scores Hitler Rule,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).
13 “Back to Barbarism,” The Nation 136(April 12, 1933), 388.
14 “Roosevelt Urged to Plead for Jews,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  Schneiderman, “Review of the Year 5693,” 45. “Attacks on Jews Scored in Pulpits.”  “Nazis Against the World,” The Nation 136 (April 5, 1933), 360-361.
15 “Roosevelt Urged to Plead for Jews.”
16 Congressional Record.  Proceedings and Debates of the First Session of the Seventy-Third Congress, Volume 77, Part 1 (March 27, 1933), 856.
17 “Persecution of the Jews in Germany,” Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 2 (April 7, 1933), 1379.
18 “Petitions and Memorials, March 31, 1933, Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 2 (April 6, 1933), 1322.
19 Quoted in “City Protest Urged Over Nazi Policies,” New York Times (March 24, 1933)
20 Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 1 (April 20, 1933), 2019.
21 Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 1 (March 22, 1933), 771.  H.CON.RES.7, 73d Congress 1st Session, March 22, 1933.  H.RES.75, 73d Congress 1st Session, March 27, 1933.  See also, H.CON.RES 11, 73d Congress 1st Session, March 27, 1933; and “Ask House To Order a Protest to Reich,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).
22 “Nation-Wide Protest on Hitler Demanded,” New York Times (March 13, 1933).  A mass protest rally at Madison Square Garden rally was first called for by Dr. Samuel Margoshes, editor of the newspaper The Day.  Moshe Gottlieb, “The Anti-Nazi Boycott Movement in the United States:  An Ideological and Sociological Appreciation,” Jewish Social Studies 35 (July-October 1973), 198-199, 211.  “Monday Set Aside By Jews to Protest Against Persecution,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 23, 1933).
23 Telegram aus New York, March 22, 1933, PAAA, R98444, Bl. 522075.
24 “City Protest Urged Over Nazi Policies.”  “Nazi Foes Here Calmed by Police,” New York Times (March 20, 1933).  “Jews to Stage Nazi Protests in Many Cities,” Times Union (March 26, 1933).
25 Schneiderman, “Review of the Year 5693,” 43-46.  On the plans for a rally in London, see “Equality for Jews in Reich Demanded,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).
26 “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).  “10,000 March in Jewish Protest,” Daily Boston Globe (March 24, 1933). 
27 “O’Brien Reviews 4,000 Hitler Foes. Tells Jewish Veterans at City Hall World Will Oppose Nazis’ Intolerance,” New York Times (March 24, 1933).  Gottlieb, “Anti-Nazi Boycott Movement in the United States,” 198-199, 201-202.  “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation.”
28 “Jews Here Demand Washington Action,” New York Times (March 21, 1933).
29 “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation.”  “Jews Here Demand Washington Action.”
30 “Jews Here Demand Washington Action,” New York Times (March 21, 1933).
31 Pallex Democratic Club, 1840 Douglass Street, Brooklyn, NY, PAAA, R287849, Bl. 152; “Proteste aus Arbeiterkreisen,” PAAA, R287849, Bl. 16.
32 “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).  See, “The Boycott Question,” in The American Jewish Committee Twenty-Seventh Annual Report; and “The Anti-German Boycott.  A Statement of the Position of the American Jewish Committee,” 
33 “Al Smith to Speak at Jewish Protest,” Daily Boston Globe (March 23, 1933).  “Jews Here Demand Washington Action.” “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation.”  On Governor Lehman, see “City Protest Urged Over Nazi Policies,” and “Lehman Appeals To German People,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).
34 “Al Smith to Speak at Jewish Protest.”
35 See, for example, “Proteste aus Arbeiterkreisen,” a file of letters and protest resolutions sent to German consulates and the Embassy in Washington from labor groups in a number of American cities, PAAA, R287849.  “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation.”
36 “35,000 Jam Streets Outside the Garden,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).   “Thousands Hear Al Smith Condemn Jews’ Persecution,” Atlanta Constitution (March 28, 1933).  “Rabbis Denounce Hitler in Sermons,” New York Times (March 26, 1933).  “60,000 New Yorker City Jews Protest Action in Germany,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 28, 1933).  “250,000 Jews Here To Protest Today.”  See the photograph, “Overflow crowds listening to speeches at an anti-Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden,” Larry Gordon photographer, Territorial Photographic Collection, RG 120, United States 238, YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (NYC).
37 “Leaders of Nation Send in Protests,” New York Time (March 28, 1933).
38 “Other Faiths Join In.  Crowd Overflowing the Garden Hears Leaders Assail Persecution,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).   “250,000 Jews Here to Protest Today.”  Rabbi Wise announced that following the rally the American Jewish Congress would present the German Ambassador with “four vital demands,” including the “immediate cessation of all anti-Semitic activities,” the “abandonment of the policy of racial discrimination…and economic exclusion of Jews,” “the protection of Jewish life and property,” and “no expulsion of ‘Ost-Juden’ Jews who have come into Germany since 1914;” quoted in “250,000 Jews Here To Protest Today.”
39 “Radio Programs Scheduled for Broadcast This Week,” New York Times (March 26, 1933).  “Jewish Protest to Be Broadcast,” Los Angeles Times (March 27, 1933).  “City Leaders of All Faiths Voice Indignation,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).
40 The speech was reprinted in the New York Times, see “O’Brien Pays Tribute to Jewish Contribution to German Culture,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).
41 These hand-written notes are in the A.E. Smith Private Papers, New York State Library Manuscripts & Special Collections (Albany, NY), Box 33, folder 384.
42 For the text of Smith’s speech see “Smith Calls for a World-Wide Fight on Religious Bigotry,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).  “Other Faiths Join In.”
43 The text of the speech was printed in the New York Times; see “Human Tolerance, Not Judaism, Is the Issue, Wagner Declares (March 28, 1933).
44 “Leaders of Nation Send in Protests,” New York Times (March 28, 1933.  “Lehman Appeals To German People,” New York Times (March 28, 1933); this article contains the Governor’s entire speech.  “Albany Plans Protest Meeting,” Times Union (Albany, NY) (March 23, 1933).  “Albany Jewry Protests Nazi Excesses Tonight,” Times Union (March 27, 1933).  The front page headline of the Times Union read on March 28th, “1,200 Albanians Protest Jewish Persecutions By Hitler.” “Gov. Lehman Addresses Meeting in City,” Times Union (March 28, 1933).
45 “Other Faiths Join In.”  “Protest on Hitler Growing in Nation,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).  See the 1933 publication of the American Jewish Committee, “The Voice of Religion.”
46 “Other Faiths Join In.
47 Ibid.
48 “No. 752.  Resolution Petitioning the Government of the United States to Make Vigorous and Proper Representations to the German Government to Put an Immediate Stop to These Barbaric Persecutions and to Restore to German Jewry Its Civil and Religious Rights and the Protection of the Laws of the Reich,” March 28, 1933, in Proceedings of the Board of Aldermen and Municipal Assembly, The City of New York, Volume I, Library of the City of New York.
49 “Suburban Groups Decry Nazi Raids,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).   “10,000 Detroit Jews Meet to Protest,” Detroit Free Press (March 30, 1933).
50 Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 1 (March 27, 1933), 884.  “Urges Congress Act in Interest of German Jews.  Sirovich Has Resolution of Protest,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 28, 1933).
51 “Hull Obtains Consuls’ Data on Jews’ Cases,” Chicago Daily Tribune (March 26, 1933).  “Nazis End Attacks on Jews in Reich, Our Embassy Finds,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Embassy Sees Trouble Ended,” Daily Boston Globe (March 27, 1933).
52 F.G. Vosburgh, “Hull Tells Jews Inquiry Proves Violence Ended.” Atlanta Constitution (March 27, 1933).    Frederick T. Birchall, “Nazi Combing Out the Storm Troopers,” New York Times (March 23, 1933).
53 Quoted in “The American Jewish Committee.  Twenty-Seventh Annual Report 1933,” American Jewish Year Book 36(1934-1935), 435-436. 
54 “Nazis Resentful At Agitation Here,” and “Reich Warns Correspondents Not to Send Atrocity Reports,” New York Times (March 24, 1933).  “Jewish Protests From Abroad Rouse Ire of Hitler’s Party,” Christian Science Monitor (March 27, 1933).   See the column by Claude G. Bowers, “Hitler Can Stop Attacks on Jews,” Times Union (March 28, 1933).
55 Albany’s Times Union newspaper ran front page headline reading:  “Hitler, In Trans-Ocean Phone Talk, Brands Jewish Persecution Stories ‘Dirty Lies’,” Times Union (March 24, 1933).
56 “Jűdische Boykottbestrebungen gegen deutsche Waren,” Völkischer Beobachter (March 24, 1933).  “Der jűdische Machtkampf gegen Deutschland,” Völkischer Beobachter (March 28, 1933). 
57 “Germans Aroused By Attacks Abroad; Deny Wide Violence,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Anti-American Feeling Grows,” Times Union (March 23, 1933).  “Nazis Resentful At Agitation Here,” New York Times (March 24, 1933).  “Abwehr” and “Auslandshetze flaut ab.  Erfolge der deutschen Gegenaktion,” Vossische Zeitung Nr. 147 (March 28, 1933).
58 “Goebbels Warns of Action,” New York Times (March 28, 1933). 
59 The full text of his speech is in Max Domarus, Hitler.  Reden und Proklamationen 1932-1945, Volume I (Wiesbaden:  R. Löwit, 1965), 248-251.  See the front-page article, “Gegenschlag gegen die jűdische Greuel-Propaganda,” Völkischer Beobachter, Nr. 83 (March 25, 1933).  “Ban on Jews Spreads.  Hitler’s Party Prepares Boycott in Revenge for ‘Atrocity Tales’,” New York Times (March 28, 1933).   “Gegenschlag gegen die jüdische Greuel-Progaganda,” Völkischer Beobachter, Nr. 87 (March 28, 1933).  Das Schwarzbuch. Die Lage der Juden in Deutschland 1933, 292ff.
60 “24. März 1933,” “26. März 1933,” and “27. März 1933,” in Elke Fröhlich, editor, Die Tagebűcher von Joseph Goebbels, Teil I, Band 2 (Munich:  K.G. Saur, 1987), 397-399.  On the April 1st boycott, see Ahlheim “Deutsche kauft nicht bei Juden!,” 247-262; and, for example, the front page article “Nach dem Boycott,” Vossische Zeitung Nr. 157 (Berlin, April 2, 1933).  “Boycott zunächst nur heute,” Vossische Zeitung, Nr. 155(April 1, 1933).

61 “Cable to Cardinal Denies Any Pogrom,” Daily Boston Globe (March 28, 1933).  “Neurath Denies Rumors,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Erfolg der Abwehr-Propaganda,” Vossische Zeitung, Nr. 149(March 29, 1933).  On the Nazi efforts to link Jews to the Bolsheviks, see  Zosa Szajkowski, “A Note on the American-Jewish Struggle against Nazism and Communism in the 1930’s,” American Jewish Historical Quarterly 53 (March 1970), 272-274.  Urofsky, The Life and Times of Stephen S. Wise, 266; “Nazis Against the World,” The Nation Vol. 136(April 5, 1933), 36; and American Jewish Year Book Vol. 35(1933-1934), 31-32.
62 “Protest aus Arbeiterkreisen,” March 22-29, 1933, PAAA, in Anlagen zu III A 1814/33, R287849, Bl. 155-172.
63 Telegram, New York, March 17, 1933, Nr. 20, PAAA, R80307. 
64 Telegram.  Deutsche Botschaft Washington, March 26, 1933, Nr. 155, Bl. 522106.  See the file, Abteilung III Akten Betriffend:  Bekämpfung der Hetz- und Gruelpropaganda sowie Boykottabewhr, vom März 1933 bis Juli 1933, Bd. 2, PAAA, R9844.  Consuleramt New York, Telegram, Nr. 34 vom 5. April 1933, PAAA, K31853. 
65 Karl H. Von Weigands, “Anti-German Feeling Grows,” Times Union (March 23, 1933).
66 Edwin L. James, “The Nazis Begin to Dodge Anti-Semitic Boomerang.  Hitlerites Weaken on Jewish Boycott in Face of World-Wide Protests and Peril to German Trade,” New York Times (April 2, 1933).  “Nazis Against the World,” The Nation Vol. 136 (April 5, 1933), 360.
67 “Attacks on Jews Scored in Pulpits,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Roosevelt Urged to Plead for Jews,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “Persecution of the Jews in Germany” (April 17, 1933), Congressional Record, Volume 77, Part 3 (1933), 2655-2656.
68 The Case of Civilization against Hitlerism Presented under the Auspices of the American Jewish Congress at Madison Square Garden New York, March 7, 1934 (New York:  Robert O. Ballour Publisher, 1934). 
69 Hitler a Menace to World Peace.  Addresses and Messages Delivered at the Peace and Democracy Rally at Madison Square Garden March 15th, 1937 (New York:  Joint Boycott Committee of the American Jewish Committee and Jewish Labor Committee, 1937), 117-119.
70 Frederick A. Lazin, “The Response of the American Jewish Committee to the Crisis of German Jewry, 1933-1939,” American Jewish History 68 (March 1979), 286-288.  Gottlieb, “Anti-Nazi Boycott Movement in the United States,” 221-222.  Margaret K. Norden, “American Editorial Response to the Rise of Adolf Hitler:  A Preliminary Consideration,” American Jewish Historical Quarterly 59 (March 1970), 289-293, 296.  Szajkowski, “A Note on the American-Jewish Struggle against Nazism and Communism in the 1930’s,” 272-273.  Wolfson, “The Boston Jewish Community and the Rise of Nazism,” 305-309.
71 Urofsky, The Life and Times of Stephen S. Wise, 265, 269-270.  Schneiderman, in “Review of the Year 5693, 54-56.  “New Protest Called by Jewish Congress,” New York Times (April 15, 1933).
72 American Jewish Committee, “The Voice of Religion.  The Views of Christian Religious Leaders on the Persecution of the Jews in Germany by the National Socialists,” (New York:  the American Jewish Committee, 1933), 31,  See “German-Jewish Controversy, June 5, 1934,” reprinted in Szajkowski, “A Note on the American-Jewish Struggle against Nazism and Communism in the 1930’s,” 282-289.
73 Reprinted in “Nazis End Attacks on Jews in Reich,” New York Times (March 27, 1933).  “A Need for Light, Not Heat,” The Christian Century Volume L (April 5, 1933).   On the actions of FDR, see See Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, FDR and the Jews (Cambridge:  Harvard University Press, 2013).