National Geographic : 1919 Jul
PROGRESSIVE WORLD STRUGGLE OF THE JEWS professions, and in business. They have retained always an acute interest in the welfare of their coreligionists through out the world. Their religious training has inculcated in them the duty of charity to all-Jew and Gentile-and they have given unsparingly to aid their brethren in distress. Individuals like Sir Moses Montefiore have given much time, money, and effort all over the world to the cause of their race. Baron Hirsch and Baron Roths child have planned and carried through rural colonies of the Jews in Palestine, in Argentina, and in Texas. The Zionist movement to secure a mi gration of Jews back to Jerusalem does not meet with the undivided support of the Jewish people, but it certainly has substantial strength as one project for relief of the congestion in east Europe. During the World War the Jews of this country and elsewhere raised a fund of nearly $25,000,000 with which to aid their poor peoples suffering in the train of the war. In the countries where they have money, power, and influence, great Jew ish committees have long been organized to help in securing civil rights, religious freedom, and equal opportunity for the oppressed of their race. The influence of the leaders of the Jews in Europe and America upon the Congress of Nations at Paris in behalf of the better treatment of the Jews has been weighty and we can be sure that it was courageously and wisely exercised. The direct interest we have in the Jew ish question in these Eastern countries was stated by Secretary Hay to the signatories of the Berlin Treaty in pro test against Rumania's persecutions and breach of her treaty obligation, to wit, that we are the world's refuge for such people, driven out by measures of op pression and restriction, and their coming in great numbers in their present condi tion imposes an unfair burden upon us. We may rejoice that more than half the members of this great race have won their long progressive struggle for merely an equal chance with other men; but we cannot tear out that distressing page in the history of Christiar. civilization con taining the record of seventeen centuries of persecution. THE JEWS IN THE NEW STATES TO BE PROTECTED The result of the war and the breaking up of Russia and the giving reign to the principle of self-determination of racial units have created seven independent European States in central and eastern Europe. Of these, the Baltic Provinces, Poland and the Ukraine, as well as the Czecho-Slovak State and the Jugo-Slav State, have many Jewish citizens. In addition to this, the Greater Rumania, which is to receive Transylvania from Hungary, is another State which will have many Jewish citizens. The German treaty specifically pro vides that the five great Powers shall make future treaties with Poland and with the Czecho-Slovak State securing the religious liberties of the people who constitute a minority in those States; and it is understood that similar provisions are to be included in the Austrian treaty in respect to the Jugo-Slav State and Rumania. It is to be hoped that the securities ex acted in these treaties will be of a char acter more effective than were the re quirements of the Congress of Berlin in respect to Rumania. Indeed, we can be sure that they will. The prejudice against the Jews still remains in those countries, and cannot of course be eliminated by mere legislation. But Jews can be given equal rights and be protected in those rights, and secure the equality of oppor tunity through such protection. The League of Nations is to be a con tinuous body and will have power enough to see to it that treaties of this character are performed by nations which the war has in fact created and which will con tinue to be dependent for some years upon the League for their own integrity and independence.