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men held by the neck to the bottom of hell. It fills one with gratitude and with hope to know that there are such men and women living in the same world with one. If Russia but realized it!
What was the disaster of the Mazurian Lakes, what was the loss of those hardwon Galician conquests, what was the fall of Warsaw, what were they all in comparison with that grinding humiliation that came to Russia from the lips of those grand Jews!
It would not be consistent with the dignity of Judaism, that creed most despised by Russia, that Jews should have to give pledges for their good conduct to the country to which they are tied by birth through many generations. But it was consistent with the dignity of mighty and invincible Russia to distrust these people. and be afraid of them. It was consistent with the integrity of a great power to uproot from their native soil the children of its own protection, and destroy in an hour the labors and the hopes of their lives for crimes they did not commit, and were not going to commit, if Russia herself were asked, and gave herself time for a second thought before making answer.
But the end of the story is n't yet, for the end of the war is n't yet. More Jews will bravely and unquestioningly fling their lives away for Russia, and Russia will go on in her own unthinking, unfeeling way, where her Jews are concerned, and continue driving more of them from their homes. For where suspicion finds a footing there is always more and more room made for it.
And even when the war is over and all else will be at an end, there will still be no end to the woes of Russia's Jews. They will continue growing, and growing worse. For what are at present placed as mere suspicions will then be turned into a cause against the Jews. It will be remembered against them that they could not be trusted in their own homes during the war, and they will be branded as traitors for the rest of time.
It is seeing all this, and seeing no end to it, that has finally given rise to that
new war-cry among the Jews of the American Ghettos, starting from New York, and rolling on till it has reached the rest of them in Philadelphia and Boston and Chicago and elsewhere.
At first, when the European War broke out, the Ghetto Jews of New York held their breath. They wondered what was going to happen to their brethren, especially in Russia. They had their hopes. They placed no faith whatever in the grand duke's proclamation, in the name of the czar, that Jews were to come in for their full citizen rights, and they smiled bitterly at the czar's own appeal to his "beloved Jews." But they hoped that there was going to be a rebirth of Russia herself, that the war would bring out a newer and freer Russia. Russia's very alliance with two such enlightened nations as France and England was taken as an earnest for that; and in turn the latter two countries were looked upon as pledges or sureties for a freer and better future for the Russian peoples.
The Russian nation may still continue to cherish that hope. For the Jews of New York it was a short-lived one. Only too soon reports began to come in of Russia's treatment of her civil Jewish population. The New York Ghetto gave up all hope and lost all patience. They wished to keep quiet, they wished to do full honor to President Wilson's proclamation of neutrality; but blood will cry out. And, after all, America's declaration of neutrality did not include Russia's internal war on her Jews. And so the great East Side broke out openly against Russia. Wherever two men gathered they cursed Russia, and prayed that this war might be the end of her, that she might be crushed out of all recognition. The Yiddish press, with its half-dozen dailies circulating by hundreds of thousands, and numberless weeklies and other journals, took a malicious delight in magnifying Russian defeats, and prophesying more of them and worse ones. The tables were turned, too, on France and England, especially England, by reason of her past championships of the Jewish cause. Being the allies
of the arch-enemy, France and England cannot be the friends of the Jews. Stories were set in circulation of a new-born antiSemitism in England, and of an intensified one in France, where the Dreyfus case has not yet been forgotten. From antiRussian to pro-German was the natural evolution. To-day the New York Ghetto is frantically, fanatically pro-German. It is the measurement not of love for Germany, but of hatred for Russia.
But prayers and curses and wishes and talks at meetings and editorial comments are blunt weapons. The Jews of America had real battling to do, if ever their six or seven million brethren in Russia were to be redeemed.
From time to time during these last twelve months, ways and means of all sorts came up for consideration. Toward last autumn a campaign was launched in the Yiddish press for the creation of a Jewish conference, one paper after the other taking it up. Which is to say that the Ghetto saw a good thing in it, and none of the papers could afford to keep
This conference was to consist of a body of representative Jews from all countries, and be kept in readiness for that blessed day when the warring powers have sheathed their swords and met together to discuss peace. The Jews must not then be permitted to be overlooked. The Jewish conference would step in at the psychological moment to press the cause of all Jews in all countries and demand full citizen rights for them.
Peace was not yet on the horizon then, but of course it would not do to wait for the last moment. The Jewish conference must be gotten together betimes. Armies of interviewers were sent out by the Yiddish press to gather the opinions of the great ones in the land, Jews and Gentiles, as to the necessity of a Jewish conference. Those that could not be reached in person were circularized, and others were cabled to abroad. The answers came variously. Some were enthusiastic; others, while approving of the idea in the main, contended that the moment was not yet ripe to talk of it, and premature agitation might per
haps harm the cause. The latter were left unheeded, and the talk and the inkspilling went on. Hester Street and Wall Street, as the landmarks between the Ghetto and the wealthy uptown Jews of German extraction are picturesquely termed, were ready to join hands together for the building up of a Jewish conference. They met and deliberated and squabbled and exchanged reproaches and came to agreements.
And while this was going on a rare new spirit was seizing upon the dense working-masses of the Ghetto. Characterized hitherto by their inertia to all things specifically Jewish, and interested only in their unions and, at most, in the politics of their ward, they have now awakened to a new life, a new dignity. "Si scopron le tombe, si levano i morti," as they have now taken up the cry from the song of the Garibaldists.
The unparalleled and wholly unnecessary sufferings of his people in the eastern war-zones just because they are Jews have inspired the workman of the Ghetto with a new nationalistic sense, haunting him with it for these many months and dinning it into him day by day. He feels there is something for him to do in piecing together a nation torn to tatters; and he thinks he is going to do it, and alone.
Hester Street is now going to stand on its own legs. It will not go to Wall Street with hat in hand, craving its spokesmanship and godfatherhood. And besides, Wall Street cannot come with Hester Street this time. For Wall Street does not believe in a Jewish nationality. Wall Street knows only of Americans of the Jewish faith. And Hester Street means to demand of the world a separate existence for Jews, as sure as Hester Street sees in Jews a separate race and nation.
And so instead of a Jewish conference, there is to be a Jewish congress. At the moment the Ghetto is afire with the idea. The means by which it is to be worked out are so far visible to no eye. Our concern is merely to record the many war-cries of the Jews, and the latest and newest is: "A Jewish congress! a Jewish congress!"
By WINTHROP TALBOT
illiterate democracy is as vain an imagining as a creditless business a creditless business and a formless art, for government by representation rests upon the intelligence of all, and in turn intelligence depends upon general and rapid transfer of thought and information by the printed page. Yet the recent researches of the United States Bureau of Education demonstrate graphically that in nineteen States the numbers of adult white illiterates are steadily increasing. In the majority of the New England and the Middle Atlantic States, now tending to become the Black Belt of America, the numbers of these illiterates have been increasing not merely by thousands, but by scores and hundreds of thousands, coincident with the vast increase of immigration from the south and east of Europe.
Simultaneous with declaration of peace in Europe will occur inevitably an exodus. of hordes of destitute and discouraged war-victims from devastated, tax- and plague-ridden countries-Russia, Poland, Austria, Italy-to seek asylum in this land of opportunity. If in normal times the tide of illiterates has become flood tide, with the resumption of immigration we may reasonably expect it to be an inundation, threatening standards of citizenship and impairing representative government. Warning lessons have come to us already. in the costly strikes of the mining districts of Colorado, Illinois, and West Virginia, and in Passaic, Roosevelt, and Bayonne, New Jersey, communities that have unusually large percentages of illiterates. Increasing numbers of illiterates lower the sense of civic responsibility and increase disease, industrial inefficiency, and that isolation which hinders social advance.
The self-complacent American, nativeborn, who fancies that a decreasing percentage of illiteracy is sufficient to insure safety, and who therefore would deny the growing menace of the illiterate, is blind
indeed. To offset the lack of solicitude concerning illiteracy in the North, the Southern States without exception have been bestirring themselves so successfully that they have reduced the numbers of their illiterates one third in the last ten years and have effected a cut of fifty per cent. in their percentage of illiteracy during the last two decades. Moreover, in Kentucky, where the number of illiterates decreased by sixty thousand from 1900 to 1910, the community, being inspired by the elimination of illiteracy in Rowan County through "moonlight" schools, has established a state commission on illiteracy, and is bent on wiping away the stigma of illiteracy within its borders. Meantime the sovereign States of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts watch with apparent equanimity an increase of the number of their illiterates by scores of thousands in the short period of the last decade. New York State, where illiterates are so numerous that they would replace every living soul in so great a city as Buffalo, is taking no organized measures even to estimate the immensity of the problem of its illiteracy, much less officially to institute adequate extension of schooling to adult illiterates industrially employed. Connecticut is in even more dire straits.
We should bear in mind also that for one wholly illiterate person there are several near-illiterates, and that the larger number even of those who can read seldom do read. Probably among adults in general more than half are non-readers who must form their opinions and judgments, and must base their actions, upon what they happen to learn by word of mouth from fellow-workers, friends, or neighbors.
It is difficult for those who can read easily to form even a bare conception of the mental limitations of the illiterate, the near-illiterate, and the non-reader. It is
still harder to appreciate the material handicaps to earning a livelihood entailed by illiteracy. While illiteracy does not necessarily imply ignorance, it does predicate lack of information and intelligent understanding. It increases prejudice, suspicion, and passion, and diminishes mutual appreciation and power to coöperate; yet coöperation is the essence of modern civilization, and inability to coöperate is the basis of race hatred. So that illiteracy is clearly a just topic for solicitude, and its eradication a proper subject for governmental action.
The States have not only need to diminish materially their adult illiteracy, but they possess also the ability to accomplish this. An effective mechanism is not lacking. The public-school system when supported by public sentiment is equipped to reach out to every adult illiterate industrially employed. It has been proved to be economically practicable and advantageous in every way to extend publicschool instruction in reading and writing to illiterates in factories and other workplaces. The proper adaptation of publicschool teaching to adult illiterates can be made materially to increase individual ability for self-support and thereby the prosperity of all.
Public-school classes for illiterates in factories of New York and New Jersey have been carried on successfully, in which it has been demonstrated that a non-English-speaking alien of average intelligence can learn to read and write and acquire a ready use of six hundred English words by an hour's instruction daily, five days in the week for twelve consecutive weeks, or sixty hours in all. The instruction is given by a public-school teacher in a quiet part of the factory or place of employment, the pupils being released from their work without loss of wage for the purpose of being taught. This adequate means for the public education of adults at work has proved its value. Its wider use is practicable, and the public may insist rightfully that every illiterate immigrant shall acquire at least ability to read and write in English as a
condition of continued residence. men employers in the home and managers in industry should properly require elementary public-school instruction for all illiterates in their employ, and by encouragement and aid substitute in them hopefulness for apathy, intelligence for ignorance, and confidence for jealousy and distrust.
Although it will require large expenditure of effort, time, and money to counteract existing illiteracy among foreign adults in the United States even though for many years to come there were no new immigration whatever, it is of supreme importance for the nation to prepare for a still greater drain upon its educational resources in providing elementary instruction to illiterate aliens when they flock again to our shores in even larger hejiras.
Illiteracy is a potent cause of social waste and industrial unrest, and is a matter of vital concern to national prosperity, the more so because its evil results are not always directly evident. This will be more generally acknowledged as the American public becomes acutely aware of the inevitable implications of illiteracy. upon industrial, social, and civic wellbeing.
Requirement of a literacy test for immigrants has been vetoed in turn by President Cleveland, by President Taft, and by President Wilson. There exists doubt whether any literacy test for immigrants would be effective; yet the nation has to deal with industrial and social problems arising from the presence of increasing numbers of foreign-born illiterates.
The present policy of laissez-faire is too costly to be enduring. Therefore it is essential to learn with accuracy the amount and nature of this illiteracy and follow its distribution in order to comprehend and combat its evil effects. Since we have been able to devise no means of barring the illiterate from our shores, but, indeed, have made the way easy and inviting, we are under the compulsion of caring for him and for her upon arrival or suffer inevitable consequences in the social
and industrial suffering and political debasement which are the accompaniment and consequence of ignorance.
The problem concerns women in the home quite as much as it does industrial managers, educators, and legislators. How shall we set in operation effective means of reaching educationally through. the public school the grown-up child in industry and those helpers in the home who have never acquired even the first rudiments of knowledge because of lack of opportunity, interest, or guidance during childhood? By dealing effectively By dealing effectively with this problem of adult illiteracy we contribute materially toward an intelligent comprehension and treatment of problems of basic importance to industry and society, such as the reduction of disease, the prevention of accidents, unemployment, minimum wage, sweat-shop evils, and every form of social and industrial relation which contains the element of foreign citizenship and alien labor.
Illiterates are decreasing in Southern States, but increasing in Northern States; yet Southern States feel compelled by the
importance of the subject to establish state commissions to study their illiteracy problems. How much more important for Northern manufacturing States to face new issues squarely, and for each to establish similar commissions which would give authoritative and expert study to their own illiteracy problems, with a view to informing the public and to devising and providing the best local remedies against the growing community menace.
The problem of immigrant illiteracy cannot be solved by educators or by legislators alone. It requires the force of an informed public sentiment. It is a matter which concerns every woman as well as every man who would conserve the wellbeing of the home as well as industrial prosperity. Its solution helps preserve industrial peace, representative government, and community life in so far as these are endangered by increasing inert or menacing masses of untaught adults who form mere aggregations of ignorance, disease, and dependency, and who are incapable of amalgamation, absorption, or union with their American fellow-citizens.
War and Religion
N China the great masses of the people have practised Buddhism, a religion of peace. In accordance with its teachings they have been patient and long-suffering; and they have been preyed upon and oppressed by Tatar conquerors, by all the powers of Europe, and now by their neighbors, the Japanese. In Japan, also, Buddhism was long the established religion, but it never completely superseded the more warlike Shintoism; and since the country entered upon its campaign of national aggression after the Western fashion, Buddhism has been disestablished by its barbarous rival.
In Europe, as in Japan, there have been two religions, although they have
been practised under the one name of Christianity-the religion of the Old Testament and the religion of the New Testament. The former is the religion. of war. It postulates a tribal god and a chosen people. It is Kipling's religion when he addresses his patriotic verses to the "Lord God of Hosts" and invokes His discrimination against the "lesser breeds without the law." It is the kaiser's religion in his proclamations of thanksgiving to the Almighty for victory over his enemies. It is the religion of the German soldiers in their hymn "Ein' feste Burg ist Unser Gott." It is the religion of German philosophy when it teaches that "history is the movement, the march of God