Letter, March 22, 1935, Page 2
Uniting Against War
The delegates to the Brooklyn Intercollegiate Conference against War and Fascism, which is being held tonight and tomorrow at the First Presbyterian Church, Henry and Clark Streets, must, before they assemble, have a clear idea of the problems confronting them.
The newspaper columns of the past few weeks indicate that peace is transitory, and war and Fascism imminent. Hitler's open defiance of the Versailles treaty has occasioned international unrest. Italy does not believe that six thousand wars of peaceful existence is enough to determine the right of the Abyssinians to live in their native land, this land being a source of profit for Italian capitalists. Bolivia and Paraguay are nobly fighting in the interests of Standard Oil, and the Royal Dutch Shell Company of England. Japan is conducting an aggressive campaign on the Russian borders. Here in the United States FERA appropriations are being cut, while the military budget is being increased by some forty millions.
The Brooklyn College conference reminds us of another, much larger in scope, which was held at Brussels on December 29, 30, 31 of last. year: the International Student Congress Against War and Fascism.
In the Hall of Grand Harmony, approximately 575 students and professors from thirty-one countries were assembled under the banner bearing the words, "Let us unite or the progress of culture and for liberty!" In the drafting of a proclamation, manifesto, and plan of work, dissension was smoothed out, and even though the political opinions of the delegates ranged from liberal, democratic, and pacifist, to socialist and communist, all the final documents of the congress were unanimously adopted.
During the three sessions, reports were delivered by delegates from each country represented, describing the status of war and fascism in this part of the world. Many delegates had come secretly under assumed names from the fascist countries–Germany, Italy, Poland, etc.
The Indian delegates pointed out that a total of eighty percent of their national budget is spent for military purposes, police, pay for British soldiers and officers, and as interest on the national debt–while 82.4 percent of their population is illiterate!"
A Nazi Storm Trooper, who came to the congress heavily disguised, painted the paradoxical picture of education under fascism.
"Our universities have become arsenals of war," he said. "The chemists are occupied with the preparation of poisonous gases, the doctors practice military surgery, the biologists prepare for bacterial warfare; technicians occupy themselves with instruction in artillery, the philogists [sic] and students of pedagogy see how much further propaganda in favor of war may be applied to youth. Lectures on military science are endless; all students must attend them."
He described the disillusion of German youth over the failure of Hitler's wonderful promises, and the wide anti-fascist and anti-war movement among dissatisfied Nazi students. "The anti-fascist struggle in the German universities will be a decisive stroke against the specially trained army of fascism," he said, concluding, "In this spirit we grasp hands! Death to Fascism! Down with war!"
James S. Morgenthal, Columbia University delegate to the congress and editor of University Against War, pointed out the necessity for united opposition to war and fascism in America in the February issue of the magazine. "'To remain apathetic any longer, as the majority of American students seem to be doing, to refuse to consolidate all possible anti-war strength–this, in the strictest sense, is suicide."
Not to be apathetic–to consolidate strength; that means to strike against war on April 12 and to join the Brooklyn Anti-War Conference.