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Encyclopaedia Judaica

Boycotts 02: Jewish boycott movements against the Third Reich 1933-1945

Anti-Nazi boycott movements of the Jewish organizations worldwide - no big effect

from: Boycott, anti-Nazi; Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971, vol. 4, col. 1280-1282

presentation by Michael Palomino (2007)

and more information.

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[March 1933: The spreading boycott movement against the Third Reich]

<Boycott, anti-Nazi.

In protest against anti-Jewish excesses in Germany after the Nazi Party's victory at the polls on March 5, 1933, Jews throughout the world held mass rallies, marches, and a spontaneous anti-German boycott. This boycott developed into an organized movement after the demonstrative all-day boycott of the Nazis against German Jewry on April 1. The boycott proclamation of March 20 by the Jews of Vilna marked the launching of the boycott movement in Europe; Warsaw followed six days later. Soon the movement embraced virtually all Poland and was subsequently consolidated by the United Boycott Committee of Poland.

[1934-1935: Poland leaves the anti-Nazi boycott]

This boycott movement was short-lived, however, for in January 1934, (col. 1280)

Poland signed a ten-year nonaggression pact with Hitler, in which cessation of boycott activities was stipulated as a precondition. Under Poland's premier, Józef Pilsudski, the provision was ignored. But in June 1935, about a month after his death, the United Boycott Committee was liquidated.

[March 1933: Anti-Nazi boycott in England only partially successful]

A mass boycott movement in England first began in the Jewish quarter of London's East End on March 24, 1935. The English-German fur business practically ceased as a result. The boycott groups included the Capt. Weber Boycott Organization, the World Alliance for Combatting Anti-Semitism, the British Anti-War Council, and the Anglo-Jewish Council of Trades and Industries. However, the *Board of Deputies of British Jews opposed the boycott throughout the 1930s.

[before 1 April 1933: French Jewry only partially boycotts Third Reich]

In France, boycott sentiment was not as intense as in Poland or England; nevertheless, on the eve of the April 1 boycott, French Jewry warned that it would counter boycott the Reich if the Nazis carried out their plans, and they executed their threat by action similar to that of London's East End Jews. Two of France's most active boycott groups were the International League against Anti-Semitism, and the Comité de Défense des Juifs Persécutés en Allemagne. However, the *Alliance Israélite Universelle remained opposed to the boycott.

[March 1933: Anti-Nazi boycotts in Romania, Yugoslavia, Egypt, Greece, Latvia, Morocco, Palestine, Latin "America" and "USA"]

At the end of March 1933, the anti-Nazi boycott movement spread to Romania and Yugoslavia, eventually encompassing the Jewish communities of Egypt, Greece, Latvia, Morocco, Palestine, several Latin American countries, and the United States.

[The boycott - above all in the "USA" - is only affecting some parts of commerce, and in important war commerce there is no boycott].

[Jewish Anti-Nazi boycott boards in the "USA"]

In the United States the anti-Nazi boycott reached its peak. America's first established boycott group was the *Jewish War Veterans (March 19, 1933), followed by the American League for the Defense of Jewish Rights (ALDJR), a new organization founded by the Yiddish journalist, Abraham Coralnik, in May 1933. Three months later the *American Jewish Congress (AJC) made a boycott declaration and subsequently created a Boycott Committee.

In October, the American Federation of Labor, a non-Jewish worker's organization, also announced that it was in favor of the boycott. The ALDJR was first led by Coralnik, and after six months by attorney-at-law Samuel Untermyer. In a move intended to alter the League's Jewish character, Untermyer changed its name to the "Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights".

In 1934 the *Jewish Labor Committee (JLC) was created claiming to represent about 500,000 Jewish workers, and it immediately initiated a boycott program. Two years later, the organization's central body for boycott activities combined with the Congress' Boycott Committee to form the Joint Boycott Council (JBC). The Council and the League proved to be America's principal boycott organizations; the Jewish Veterans and other boycott groups that arose in the late 1930s cooperated with or joined these two organizations. However, attempts to unite the Council and the League were unsuccessful, the two organizations acting separately in consolidating the boycott on an international level.

The Joint Boycott Council's chairman, Joseph Tenenbaum, obtained passage of a boycott resolution at the *World Jewish Congress (WJC) in 1936. This was a reaffirmation of a worldwide boycott resolution adopted by the Second Preliminary Conference (1933), preceding the establishment of the WJC. Also in 1936, Coralnik and Untermyer convened a World Jewish Economic Conference in Amsterdam to coordinate the growing international boycott movement and help find for the boycotting businessmen substitutes for former German sources of supply. To this end, the Conference created a World Jewish (col. 1281)

Economic Federation, presided over by Untermyer. In keeping with his view that the boycott was a nonsectarian movement, Untermyer changed the Federation's name to the "World Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi Council to Champion Human Rights". American Jewry's failure to form a united boycott front did not prevent the movement from achieving success. Thus eventually the department store colossi of Macy's, Gimbel's, Sears and Roebuck, Woolworth, and others gave in to continued boycott pressure.

There is evidence that the Nazis, at least during the first two years of their regime, feared that a tight boycott would cripple their economy. Regarding the United States, for example, a memorandum prepared for Hitler by the Economic Policy Department of the Reich as late as November 18, 1938, cited the following comparative figures, which it attributed partly to the boycott:

[Table: Economic relationships between Germany and "USA" 1929-1937]
Import from the U.S.
Export to the U.S.

In January 1939 dissolution of the *B'nai B'rith in Germany moved its American counterpart to join the boycott movement. However, the American Jewish Committee remained unalterably opposed to the movement throughout the Nazi era. In the United States a non-belligerent until Pearl Harbor, the boycott was continued until 1941.

[Supplement: The boycott movement did not hinder any war
All this boycott activities did not affect the rearmament of the Third Reich with techniques of the "USA", and did not hinder "US" anti-Semites like Mr. Henry Ford to installate war production plants in the Third Reich. In fact, all this boycott movements had no big effect, and this is a really bad balance].


-- M. Gottlieb: Anti-Nazi Boycott Movement in the American Jewish Community, 1933-1941 (Ph. D. dissert., Brandeis Univ., 1967)
-- B. Katz: Crisis and Response (M. A. thesis, Columbia Univ., 1951)
-- J. Tenenbaum; In: Yad Vashem Studies, 3 (1959), 129-146
-- S. Wise: Challenging Years (1949), ch. 15;
-- AJHSQ, 57 (June 1968)

[M. G.]> (col. 1282)

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Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: anti-Nazi
                            boycott, vol. 4, col. 1279-1280
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: anti-Nazi boycott, vol. 4, col. 1279-1280
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: anti-Nazi
                            boycott, vol. 4, col. 1281-1282
Encyclopaedia Judaica 1971: anti-Nazi boycott, vol. 4, col. 1281-1282

Video with a speech of Benjamin Freedman from 1961, a Jewish insider, later catholic, with more details about the Jewish anti Nazi boycott

Here is a video with a part of a political speech of Benjamin Freedman with details how the Jewish anti nazi boycott was coming up: Jewish Zionist power clique in the "USA" defended Jewish communists in Germany, and Freedman indicates that the anti German boycott should kill Germany by hunger, and that the boycott provoked that no German products could be found any more world wide - so it was a good success (Benjamin Freedman: Juden fordern Boykott für Deutschland (Verbotene Rede in Deutschland)):

The speech of Freedman alone can also be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=628JzR74it0


                      Freedman, portrait
Benjamin Freedman, portrait

<Mr. Freedman, born in 1890, was a successful Jewish businessman of New York. He broke with organized Jewry after the Judeo-Communist victory of 1945, and spent the remainder of his life and the great preponderance of his considerable fortune, at least 2.5 million dollar, exposing the Jewish tyranny which has enveloped the United States. Mr. Freedman knew what he was talking about because he had been an insider at the highest levels of Jewish organizations and Jewish machinations to gain power over the United States. Mr. Freedman was personally acquainted with Bernard Baruch, Samuel Untermyer, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Joseph Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy, and many more movers and shakers of our times.

"There was a conspiracy between England, France, and Russia, that 'We must track down Germay', becaus there is not one single historian in the world that can find a valid reason why those three countries decided to wipe Germany of the map politically. Now, what happened after that?

When Germany realized that the Jews were responsible for their defeat, they resented it. But not a hair of any of the Jews was harmed. Not a single hair. Proffessor Tansil, of Georgetown University, had access to all the secret papers of the State Department, wrote in his book and quoted from a State Department document, written by Hugo Schoenfelt, a Jew, who had sent Cordell Hull to Europe in 1933, for investigating the so called camps for political prisoners. And he wrote that he found them in very fine condition. They were in excellent shape and everybody treated well. And they were filled with communists. Well, a lot of them were Jews because the Jews happened to be 98% of the communists in Europe of that time. And there were some priests there and ministers, labor leaders, Masons and others who had international affiliations.

Now, the Jews thought of try to keep the lid on this fact. They didn't want the world really understand that they had sold out Germany and that the Germens resented that. So they did take appropriate action against them. They... shall I say, discriminated them where ever they could? They shunned them. The same as we would, the Chinese or the negrow or the Catholic or anyone in this country that sold us out to an enemy and brought about our defeat.

Now, after a wile, the Jews of the world [the Jewish power clique] did not know what to do, so they called a meating in Amsterdam. Jews of every country in the worldattended, in July 1933. They sayd to Germany:

'You fire Hitler! And you put every Jews back into his former position whether he was a communist or what he was. You can't treat us that way! And we, the Jews of the world, are calling upon you and taking this ultimatum on you.'

Well, the Germans told them... one can imagine. So, what did they do (the Jews)? They broke up (the meating), and Samuel Untermyer [...]

Well, in 1933, Germany refused to surrender, mind you, to the world conference of Jews in Amsterdam, they broke up, and Mr. Untermeyer came back to the United States - as the head of the American delegation and he was the president of the whole conference -and he went from the steamer to ABC and made a radio broadcast brought to the United States in which he said:

'The Jews of the world now declare a holy war against Germany. We are now engaged in a sacred conflict against the Germans. And we are going to starve them into surrender. We are going to Jews a world wide boycott against them, that we destroy them because they are dependent upon their export biz [=business].'

And it is a fact that two third of Germany's food supply had to be imported, and it could only be imported with the profit of what they exported, their labor. So, if Germany could not export, two third of the Germany's population would have to starve. There would just not enough food formore than one third of the population.

Now, in this declaration which I have here it ws printed on this page - a whole page - in the New York Times on August 7, 1933, same Mr. Samuel Untermyeronly [...] [says]:

'This economic boycott is our means of self defense. President Roosevelt has act the used (of the boycott) in the NRA (Nation Recovery Administration) - on which you can remember - where everybody was to be boycotted unless they follow the rules laid down by the New Deal, what was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of that time. Nevertheless the Jews of the world declared a boycott against Germany, and it was so effective that you could not find one thing and any store anywhere in the world with the word "made in Germany" on it.>

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Photo sources
Benjamin Freedman, portrait: http://www.kevinalfredstrom.com/tag/benjamin-freedman/