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to the charges Ford leveled against them in various ways. Some, such as
author and lecturer John Spargo, instructed fellow Jews to "leave him alone;
let him talk. Invite him to the Town Hall and let him tell you why he is
opposed to the Jews, if he will."76 Others,
such as lawyer Samuel Untermyer; were more vocal in their outrage. Declaring
Ford a "mad hatter;" Untermyer violently proclaimed that he was "densely
ignorant" on every subject except automobiles and was "blinded by a depth
of bigotry that belongs in the dark ages from which he has not yet emerged....
Why can't the people realize that a cheap, petty, ignorant man who has
grown rich can get just as crazy as any poor devil of an inmate of a lunatic
asylum? The only difference is that is that one is locked up for the public
safety while the other is permitted to roam at large to the great peril
of the public."
By mid 1921,
The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion had been publicly exposed as
a forgery. Philip Graves had researched the subject for The London Times
and Herman Bernstein had written a book on the subject entitled The History
of a Lie.78 Bernstein, editor of The Jewish
Tribune, wrote to Ford on the matter; stating that he was "on the wrong
track" and was promoting nothing but a fraud. The matter; however; only
got as far as Liebold. Regarding The Protocols, Liebold responded, "If
you will carefully read our articles, you will find that we have at no
time guaranteed their authenticity. We have merely stated what they contain
and have paralleled this with what actually took place and are leaving
it to the mind of the public to judge."79
In regards to Bernstein, Liebold added that he had no objections whatever
to talking with him, "except I have found that the moment we open ourselves
and extend interviews to the Jews, it is only used for the purpose of misquoting
and publicity which has no bearing on the issue...."80
In their understandable anger and frustration, Jews began to boycott
Ford products in droves. Humorist Will Rogers quipped that the boycott
"may not be a complete success yet- but it will be as soon as someone learns
how to make a cheaper car."81 Meetings
were held in synagogues across the country to come up with ways in which
to address the attacks that the Independent was leveling. Every effort
on the part of Jews to meet with Ford and clear things up, however; was
of the Protestant community were just as baffled by the attacks sanctioned
by Ford. The Reverend Charles Francis McKoy of Brooklyn announced from
the pulpit that Henry Ford did not represent the true Christian sentiment
of America: "If he did, I should be heartily ashamed of my brethren. "82
* Upton Sinclair blamed Ford's ignorance of history, proclaiming that Ford should
have studied the history of the Jewish people and then he would have changed
his view on these things: "But he never took the trouble...."
Some Gentiles noted that, while Ford was protesting the World War; Jewish
soldiers had bravely served their country and earned five percent of the
awards given for valor on the battlefield. Other protestors included the
famous lawyer Clarence Darrow, Salvation Army head Evangeline Booth, Stanford
University President David Jordan, President Woodrow Wilson, former President
William H. Taft, and future President Warren G. Harding. These public figures,
along with numerous other statesmen, clergymen, writers, lawyers, and professors,
signed a document in protest of recent anti-Semitism in the United States
that was clearly aimed at Ford.84 Taft
went even further; commenting in an address to The Anti-Defamation League
that one of the chief causes of suffering and evil in the world was race
hatred, "and any man who stimulates that hatred has much to answer for....
How much of the article is due to Mr. Ford's initiative and how much he
has yielded to the representatives of others in consenting to its publication,
one cannot say. But of course he is responsible for the effect.... "85
The Independent responded with an article entitled "Taft Once Tried to
Resist Jews-And Failed," and argued that Taft had "become one of those
'Gentile fronts' which the Jews use for their own defense."86
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*76. New York Times, 1 November 1921, 9.
*77. New York Times, 12 December 1921, 33.
78. Sachar, 313.
79. Jardin, 145.
81. Lewis, 141.
82. New York Times, 18 October 1920, 14.
*83. New York Times, 21 February 1921, 11.
84. Poliakov, 251.
85. New York Times, 24 December 1920, 4.
86. International Jew Vol. 2, 209.