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Articles by Yosef Cohen
© Yosef Cohen 2003.   Used by permission.

As it appeared in THE JEWISH PRESS
Friday, April 11, 2003 - OP-ED

Time To Leave The 1920's Behind Us

By YOSEF COHEN

The Jewish people were silent during the early 1920's when anti-Semitism was spawned by Henry Ford in his Dearborn Independent newspaper. Ford's articles inspired a young Adolf Hitler and helped pave the road to the Holocaust. A compilation of Ford's articles was later published in book form, and to this day The International Jew - The World's Foremost Problem continues to inculcate hatred of Jews.

The International Jew is freely printed and distributed today in many languages around the world (the copyright has expired and the book is in the public domain). It can be read on various hate websites and is still sold by "legitimate" book sellers. Many of the chapters from Ford's book were taken word for word and used by Hitler in Mein Kampf, which was written two years after The International Jew.

Hitler singled Ford out for praise in Mein Kampf: "It is Jews who govern the stock exchange forces of the American Union. Every year makes them more and more the controlling masters of the producers in a nation of one hundred and twenty millions; only a single great man, Ford, to their fury, still maintains full independence."

The New York Times on February 7, 1923 (from the Chicago Tribune wire services) noted that "Henry Ford's financial as well as moral backing had been given to Bavarian revolution-makers during the past year because a part of the program of Herr Hitler, leader of the Monarchists, is the extermination of the Jews in Germany...Herr Hitler openly boasts of Mr. Ford's support and praises Mr. Ford not as a great individualist but as a great anti-Semite. A photograph of Mr. Ford hangs in Herr Hitler's quarters in Cornelius Street, which is the center of the monarchist movement."

In 1938 Ford was awarded and accepted the Grand Cross of the German Eagle, the Nazi regime's highest honor. At the Nuremberg Trial Proceedings on May 26, 1946, defendant Baldur Von Schirach testified as follows:

VON SCHIRACH: "I shall only say in one sentence that these were works which had no definite anti-Semitic tendencies, but through which anti-Semitism was drawn like a red thread. The decisive anti-Semitic book which I read at that time and the book which influenced my comrades..."

DR. SAUTER: "Please . . . "

VON SCHIRACH: ". . . was Henry Ford's book, The International Jew; I read it and became anti-Semitic. In those days this book made such a deep impression on my friends and myself because we saw in Henry Ford the representative of success, also the exponent of a progressive social policy. In the poverty-stricken and wretched Germany of the time, youth looked toward America, and apart from the great benefactor, Herbert Hoover, it was Henry Ford who to us represented America."

The leaders of most Jewish organizations during the 1920's and beyond told us to seek only tolerance and to just ignore the hateful and inciteful anti-Jewish publications of Henry Ford. We were silent then and we are silent still.

Many of our organizations remain shy to voice the historical facts that led up to the Holocaust because they want donations to keep coming in - often from some of the very companies that were tied to the Nazis and the Holocaust. But donated money is not the real key to safeguarding our future, even taking into account the "good" that these organizations may do with it. Presenting history as it was, without attempting to conceal any of it, serves more to protect our people - and all people - from history repeating itself.

The philosopher and poet Santayana said that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, " while Einstein observed that "The world is too dangerous to live in - not because of the people who do evil, but because of the people who sit and let it happen."

The Holocaust did not end with Hitler's ovens but continues in a new form, appearing on the buses of Israel's cities, at a wedding, a holiday or Sabbath festivity, and many other places throughout Israel in the form of terrorist suicide mass murderers.

Our existence as the Jewish people and as the State of Israel cannot depend solely on the good will of the United States or the tolerance - which is practically non-existent - from the United Nations.

The Palestinians make no secret of their wish to make Jerusalem their capital. We are not perceived by our neighbors or the world as the weak, newborn nation we once were, as David was perceived when he went up against Goliath. Must we be in a weak position in order to loudly proclaim our dreams and aspirations?

It seems that whenever we forget and cast those dreams and aspirations aside, our enemies act against us as indeed they do now, which should serve as a reminder to us.

The media speak almost daily about "occupied territories," yet fail to acknowledge that the holiest occupied territory of all is the Temple Mount, where mosques were erected on the very spot which is the most holy place of the Jewish people and has been known as such throughout history by the nations of the world.

Our people need not apologize for this, although we should have long ago received an apology from those who twice destroyed our Holy Temple and from those who wrongfully continue to occupy its holy site.

We must leave the timidity of the 1920's behind us and proclaim that our dream is not just to live in peace or to be tolerated. Our dream is that which is found in the silent whispers of our daily prayers to "rebuild the Temple speedily in our days..."

Our dream is that which is expressed in Hatikva, our national anthem "To be a free people in our land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem."

~~~~~~~

Yosef Cohen resides in Holon, Israel and owns and operates the website Stock Maven® at www.stockmaven.com which has a new section called "Business and the Holocaust."



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