From the J. archive

Nov. 20, 1931

Americans Protest Riots in Vienna University

On June 23, 1931, the Rotary International Convention opened in Vienna amid thunderous applause and moving phrases on “world amity,” “international brotherhood,” and “the cultivation of friendship across the seas.” About a mile away from the convention hall vicious attacks broke out at the University of Vienna against foreign and Jewish students. The rioting lasted five days, and more than a score of students were cruelly beaten. Little police protection was offered these students because of an unwritten law that the police cannot enter the university grounds. Police Commissioner Brandel later admitted that “there is no written law.”

From Nov. 13, 1931

Nov. 24, 1972

News, Entertainment Media Blasted for Incitement of Anti-Semitism

The news media and the entertainment industry came under strong attack this week in a discussion on anti-Semitism held during the 59th annual meeting of the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

The sharp criticisms flared during discussions on “Insensitivity to Anti-Semitism” which featured speakers Victor M. Bienstock, executive director of Jewish Week, a New York weekly newspaper, and Theodore H. Solotaroff, editor of the New American Review.

Bienstock, a veteran newsman and former general manager of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, said that the news media had “an abnormal if not frightening preoccupation with Jews and the American Jewish community” during the recent election campaigns.

He stated that, unlike non-Jews who made campaign contributions, “any Jew involved in the money end of the campaigns was identified as a Jew over and over again.”

Bienstock said that Jews, representing 3 percent of the total population and 4 percent of all who went to the polls Nov. 7, received “an unprecedented unhealthy and dangerous degree of attention and exposure.”

Solotaroff said that many, if not most, Jews feel secure in American society and that Judaism is generally thought of as one of the three major religious groups in the country. According to Solotaroff, the horror of what the Nazis had done to the Jews put an end to most overt anti-Semitism in America. He went on to say that “if there was a period following World War II when one felt there might be an upsurge of anti-Semitism, it was the McCarthy era. But anti-Semitism did not take root and flourish. Instead, we found McCarthy defending his two Jewish assistants [Roy] Cohn and [G. David] Schine.”

J.’s print editions go back to 1895, and have never been digitized. We seek funding to make this precious history available online for future generations. Please contact [email protected]