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Business and the Holocaust
Historical Media Reports

Copyright, 1921, by The New York Times Company.
Unedited Full Text. Used by permission.

February 22, 1921; page 10


Denounces Progaganda of Anti-Semitism as Treason to America.


Calls Him Poverty-Stricken Intellectually, Morally and Spriritually

-Addresses Chicago Audience.

Special to The New York Times.
CHICAGO, Feb. 21.--John Spargo, Socialist author and formerly of the Industrial Relations Commission, spoke before 5,000 Chicago Jews at Sinai Temple tonight on "The Jews and the American Ideal." In referring to recent attacks on the Jewish race, Mr. Spargo said:

"Henry Ford is poverty-stricken intellectually, morally and spiritually. I regard him with profound and unmeasured pity. No more pitiful figure can be found in our history. With all his material wealth, he is poorer than the poorest wretch to be found in the bread lines of this city. His poverty of soul is so great that he is incapable of partaking of the American spirit."

Mr. Spargo began his address by explaining that he was not a Jew and had investigated the anti-Semetic campaign because he felt that it was a monstrous thing which should be exposed. He sketched the history of Jewish immigration into this country, and maintained that the Jews had at no time been outranked by any other element of the citizenship in loyalty to American ideals, he continued:

"Yet we are witnessing the shameful spectacle of an organized campaign of hatred and calumny against the Jews of America, a campaign having for its object the creation of a terrible and dangerous antagonism between Americans, an antangonism founded upon racial and religious differences. Such a campaign cannot be accurately described as other than foul treason to America and a dangerous desecration of American ideals. It is not necessary to stigmatize that campaign; it is quite sufficient to describe it accurately for what it is. In prosecuting that campaign its leaders have not hesitated to seize upon the occasion of the anniversary of Lincoln's birth to besmirch his resplendent fame and glorious memory. Instead of seing in the war of secession the result of a conflict of economic and political systems, these men-alien to America in soul if not in speech - have spread broadcast through the land the infamous charge that the fateful struggle was deliberately brought about by Jewish agents intriguing for the accomplisnment of Jewish purposes.

"I do not insult my Jewish fellow-citizens by pretending to believe that this fantastic charge needs refutation. I refer to it only that I may voice my indignant protest against the infamous insult thus heaped upon the name and memory of Abraham Lincoln. If the charge were true, he whom we have loved to honor as the noblest and fairest exemplar of American ideals would have to be regarded as a deliberate traitor compared to whom Benedict Arnold was a very patron saint of patriotism and loyalty, or as a poor silly dupe of others, a mere moron in fact. And whichever of these verdicts was rendered against Lincoln would have to be rendered against Seward and Chase and Welles and ther rest of his advisors. No foul slander of America that emanated from the gutter press of Berlin during the war matched the infamy of this.

Pity for Henry Ford.

"I do not abuse or condemn Mr. Henry Ford here today. On the contrary, I regard him with profound and unmeasured pity. No more pitiable figure can be found in our history. With all of his material wealth he is poorer than the poorest wretch to be found in the bread line of this city. His poverty of soul is so great that he is incapable of partaking of the American spirit. He is poverty-striken intellectually, morally and spiritually. I would rather be starving so that I envied the dogs their crusts, and homeless so that I envied the very rats their holes, but with an understanding love of American ideals in my heart, than be the responsible owner of The Dearborn Independent.

"In its attempts to poison the well springs of American faith and inspiration The Dearborn Independent has retrieved from the sewers of the reactionary politics of Europe the so-called Protocols of the Wise Men of Zion. It professes that in publishing and distributing widely this notorious forgery it has only a patriotic motive, and that it is no part of its purpose to promote that hideous evil which we unscientifically call anti-Semitism, that evil of prejudice and hatred against the Jew as Jew. So professed the Bessarabetz of Kishinev, but pogroms resulted from its propaganda nevertheless. The success of the indecent and traitorous campaign of The Dearborn Independent would mean pogroms against the Jews in America, let there be no mistake upon that point. Fortunately, there is no likelihood of that success occurring, for the good sense of the gentle population of America is a bulwark against which the prostituted hirelings of the ignorant man of millions will spend themselves in vain. We shall beat anti-Semitism to its knees and crush it because it is a menace to the America we love and an affront to everything in which we take pride.

History of the Protocols.

"As many of you are aware, I have taken great pains to trace the origin and history of the so-called 'Protocols.' There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that they were deliberately concocted in the headquarters of the old secret police of Russia under Czarism as one of the means of combating the great struggle for democracy and self-government. This is made evident by the testimony of no less a person that the mysterious Nilus, reported author of the book in which the protocols were first given to the world. Nobody has been able to produce this mythical personage; no responsible person has been found to testify to the actuality of his existence. If he could only be found and placed upon the witness stand and cross-examined, what a sight it would be for gods and men!

"In 1903 the first edition of a little book bearing his name appeared, a diatribe of such fanatical mysticism as Rasputin, of malodorous memory, might have written. In that book, despite its anti-Semitism, there was no reference to the protocols. In 1905 a second edition appeared containing the protocols. In that edition he tells us that the protocols came into his possession in 1901. He offered no explanation of his failure to use them or even to mention them in the first edition of his book in 1903, though they served his purpose so wonderfully well and had been in his possession for two years prior to its publication. I know the reason and will presently explain it to you.

"In that edition of 1905 Nilus told how the protocols came into his possession. He said that the protocols had been stolen by a woman from 'a highly initiated Freemason.' He said that the protocols were signed by representatives of the Thirty-third Degree of the Masonic Order of Zion. The name of the Freemason from whom the documents had been stolen was not given; the name of the woman thief was not given; the names of the Freemasons who signed them were not given. Not so much as a facsimile of a single page was offered as evidence of the authenticity of the documents. Indeed, Nilus naively admitted that he never saw the originals; that what had been handed to him was a manuscript purporting to be an 'authentic translation' of the documents stolen by the woman from the careless Freemason conspirator--evidently in some Swiss cabaret where the wine flowed freely. On the basis of such a flimsy story as that no judge or jury in the United States would convict a pickpocket. Yet The Dearborn Independent would convict three millions of our citizens of treachery to this republic upon that testimony.

"In 1917 appeared a new edition of the protocols, with a new introduction by the mysterious Nilus. Keep the date well in mind, together with that of the first publication of the protocols in 1905, for the dates are of the utmost significance. In this edition Nilus says of the protocols: 'This manuscript was called "The Protocols of the Zionist Men of Wisdom," and it was given to me by the now deceased leader of the Tshernigov nobility, who later became Vice-Governor of Stavropol, Alexis Nicholaievich Sukhotin. I had already begun to work with my pen for the glory of the Lord, and I was friendly with Sukhotin because he was a man of my opinion, i.e., extremely conservative, as they are now termed.

"Sukhotin told me that he in turn had obtained the manuscript from a lady who always lived abroad. This lady was a noblewoman from Tshernigov. He mentioned her by name but I have forgotten it. He said that she obtained it in some mysterious way, by theft, I believe. Sukhotin also said the one copy of the manuscript was given by this lady to Sipiagin, then Minister of the Interior, upon her return from abroad, and that Sipiagin was subsequently killed.

Evidence Against Nilus.

"This second story comes pretty close to convicting Nilus of being an agent of the Czar's Secret Police. Sukhotin; from whom he claims to have obtained the manuscript, was a notorious anti-Semite and leader of the Black Hundreds. Sipiagin, who is mentioned as having also had a copy of the manuscript, was also a bitter anti-Semite and one of the most infamous of the late Czar's bureaucrats. He was assassinated by Stephen Balmashev in 1902. Thus, if this story is true, Nilus is linked up in a very definate way with the secret agencies of the old regime. At the same time, it is worth while noting that Nilus names Sukhotin and Sipiagin only when they are dead and beyond questioning. He presents no evidence to substantiate his tale. He has 'forgotten' the name of the 'noble-woman from Tshernigov.' Criminologists would deduce from these two stories that the author belongs to a well-known criminal type.

"Let me call your attention to two interesting facts in connection with this story of 1917. The first is that Nilus omits all reference to his previous statement that the protocols were 'signed by representatives of Zion of the thirty-third degree.' The second is that having told us in 1905 that the friend who gave him the protocols in 1901 assured him that they had been 'stolen by a woman,' and told us in the introduction of 1917 that the friend from whom he received the documents was Sukhotin, who told him the name of the woman thief, which however, he managed to forget, he adds as an epilogue to the story in which he tells us that the protocols were actually stolen, not by a woman at all, but by Sukhotin himself! And that instead of having been stolen by a woman from a careless Freemason, Sukhotin stole them from a safe in Paris. His words are that the protocals 'were stealthily removed from a large book of noted on lectures' and that 'my friend found them in the safe of the headquarters office of the Society of Zion, which is situated at present in France.'

"Was ever liar more confused? First we have an unknown woman stealing the documents from 'one of the most highly initiated leaders of Freemasonry; next we have the documents presented as having been obtained by Sukhotin from a 'noblewoman from Tschernigov' whose name Nilus has forgotten; finally, we have his friend-i.e., Sukhotin-named as the thief. The woman thief disappears and the 'highly initiated Freemason' disappears. It is Sukhotin who is the thief and he steals the protocols from a safe in Paris. So much for Nilus. I may add that I am assured-though I cannot vouch for the statement-that Sukhotin was not outside of Russia between 1890 and 1905.

"And now let me explain the significance of the dates of publication to which I have already referred: When the first publication of the protocols took place, in 1905, Russia was seething with revolution. When the second publication took place, in January, 1917, Russia was again seething with revolution. No one who is familiar with the history and practices of the Russian secret police and the Black Hundreds can have the slightest doubt that the publication of the protocols was in each case designed to create anti-Jewish uprisings to divert the minds of the Russian people from revolutionary agitation. That was a familiar method of Czarist police and Black Hundreds. It was a backfire.

Suppression of Evidence Charged.

"This, then is the history of the protocols, a history of indecent forgery by the unscrupulous, conscienceless agents of Russian Czarism. It is upon materials so rotten and reeking with dishonor that this elaborate campaign is erected. I regret to have to say that those who are responsible for the publication and distribution of the protocols in this country-which includes not only Mr. Ford's paper, but publishing firms hitherto regarded as reputable-have been guilty of conduct as dishonest and dishonorable as the original concoctors of the protocols themselves. They have suppressed, deliberately and without the slightest explanation to the reader, passages from the original Russian publication of the protocols which would have made them the laughing stock of the English-speaking world.

"In 1805 a book was published in France which attempted to prove the existence of a worldwide conspiracy against Christian civilization. In that bok the theory was advanced that the English people are all of the Jewish race, and that the British Government is the central force of this worldwide Jewish conspiracy. In his book Nilus reproduced this fantastic theory but, recognizing that it would cause the protocols to be laughed out of court, The Dearborn Independent, The London Morning Post and all the other publishers of the protocols in England and America have carefully deleted this part of the book by Nilus. The reason for the deletion is as obvious as the dishonor of it.

"Upon the strength of statements made in the protocols, The Dearborn Independent, The London Morning Post, and other organs of anti-Semitism have charged that the international Socialist movement is part and parcel of this vast conspiracy of Jewish world imperialism. Neither in the protocols themselves nor in any of the numerous comments upon them has any shred of evidence been adduced in support of this charge. As one who has given practically all his life to the Socialist cause, I indignantly repudiate the charge that I have either consciously served such a conspiracy or been ignorantly duped by it.

"The ignorance of Henry Ford upon all that pertains to American history is a matter of court record, and need no demonstration here and now. Were he less ignorant of history he would know that the charge thus leveled against the Socialist movement has been leveled against almost every great modern movement of protest. It was made against the Protestant Reformation, against the French Revolution, against Mazzini and his followers in Italy, against the German revolutionists of 1848, against trade unionism in England. Whether socialism is right or wrong, desirable or undesirable, is a question upon which honest men and woman may differ. It is a question to be answered upon its own merits in the American way. Whoever injects into the discussion of that question the passion engendered by racial and religious prejudices and hatreds is unworthy of America. He who propagates in this country antagonism to any race or creed represented in our citizenship, whether it be against Jews, Poles, Germans, Irish, English, or negroes; or against Judaism, Catholocism or Protestantism, assails the very foundations of our most cherished and characteristic American institutions.

"Majority of Bolsheviki Not Jews."

"The Dearborn Independent, like all the rest of the anti-Semetic press of both hemispheres, charges that Bolshevism in Russia and elsewhere is a movement instigated and led by Jews as part of the conspiracy to bring about the Jewish domination of the world. In support of this charge, the protocols are offered in evidence. The reasons for making the charge are quite obvious-Bolshevism is repugnant to the moral sense of the great mass of civilized mankind. It is the negation of virtuous principles which the enlightened of all races and all religions hold in reverence. It denies the ideal of government based upon the sanction of the governed and accepts that of government by brute force wielded by a few. To persuade the people of America that Bolshevism is essentially a Jewish movement, part of a conspiracy to reduce civilization to chaos and to prepare the way for a Jewish super-government of the world, would mean the uniting of all the rest of our population against the Jews. That is the object.

"In support of this most serious charge not a scintilla of credible evidence has been offered. It is true, of course, that there are Jews among the Bolsheviki in Russia, but it is equally true that the overwhelming majority of the Bolsheviki are not Jews, either racially or by religious faith and affiliation. It is also equally true that the anti-Bolshevist movement in Russia, that heroic struggle of democracy against an unspeakably brutal despotism, is very largely carried on by Jews."

Mr. Spargo contradicted the statement of The Dearborn Independent that "every commissar in Russia today is a Jew." Enumerating Lenin, Tchitcherin, Krassin, Dzerzhinsky, Umarcharsky, Rykov, Kolontal, Borch-Brouyevich as non-Jews, he went on to assert that of the seventeen members of the Council of Peoples' Commissars only one, Trotzky, was a Jew, and while there were many Jews holding minor places in the Bolshevist regime, there were also serving in it many ex-officers of the Czar's army who were of Christian faith and for the same reason-because 'what else could they do?"

He went on to point out that Bolshevism was the negation of the faith and morals which constitute the strongest bond of the Jewish people, and cited the fact that the use of the Hebrew language had been prohibited under the Soviet, adding:

"There is not a single Jew connected with the Bolshevist movement in Russia in any prominent capacity who is not an apostate, having renounced all the faith and ties of Israel. There is not one of them who ever took the slightest part in the affairs of the Russian Jewry. As against this mere handful of apostate Jews, for every one of who there are a hundred non-Jews among the Bolsheviki, we have the many millions of the Jewish population of Russia who are the innocent victims of Bolshevism. Hundreds of thousands of Jewish merchants and small business men, comprising a large part of the hated and perscuted bourgeoisie, have been ruined by the Bolsheviki, thousands of Jewish families have been deported from Soviet Russia, and are now dragging out a miserable existence as refugees in Siberia and elsewhere. Billions of Jewish wealth have been confiscated by the Bolsheviki. The Soviet Government has shot and is still shooting Jewish public men, lawyers, engineers, physicians, teachers and workmen, for participation in the struggle against Bolshevism. In view of these facts is it less than ridiculous to charge that Bolshevism is part of a Jewish conspriracy? Surely any intelligent person must see that the only hope for the success of any such conspiracy must lie in maintaining a Jewish solidarity in Russia, which could only be attained, if at all, by devising some means of exempting the Jews from the suffering and oppression imposed upon the non-Jewish population.

"For the problems which arise from the presence in the same land of Jews and non-Jews, in large masses, solution must be sought and found by the best and ablest minds, Jewish and non-Jewish, working together in earnest, co-operation, united by love of America and loyalty to its ideals and institutions. Because anti-Semitism makes that impossible, and thereby prevents the peaceful, wise and speedy solution of these difficult problems, I denounce it as treason to America and all that America stands for in our affections."

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