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December 4: The Jewish Army, 1941

December 4, 2015

CollectionImageSamuel Harden Church, president of the Carnegie Institute, presided at a meeting of the Committee for a Jewish Army of Stateless and Palestinian Jews in Washington, DC on this date in 1941. Church proposed an army of 200,000 Jews who would be exempted from the draft, trained in Canada, and armed with Lend-Lease weaponry. “Jews will fight with grim determination to inflict a retribution so terrible,” he said, “that history will provide no parallel for its consummate execution.” The army would then go to Jerusalem, he continued, to reclaim the Jewish state and bring in “all the stricken refugees.” Messages of support were received at the conference from Secretary of War William Stimson and three U.S. senators. Church was actually a far-right activist who helped shape the Carnegie Institute’s funding of the American eugenics movement — the racist, pseudoscientific movement that sought to “cleanse” the American gene pool through sterilization, aimed especially at poor people, non-whites, Jews, Southern Europeans, and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a great admirer of the American eugenics movement, which he praised in Mein Kampf.

“Samuel Harden Church, President of the Carnegie Institute, who presided, declared the proposed Jewish Army would not only increase the strength of the anti-Axis forces in the Near East but would also be the foundation for the creation of a postwar democratic state there which would bring peace and security to that section of the world.” —Jewish Telegraphic Agency