Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

istic pleaders of the present: they have not concluded that the world will be committing the crime of centuries if it does not forthwith recognize their particular nationality as a sovereign state. It is therefore the more pleasant to review their works as contributions to the history of international relations.

Mr. Wolf's book is a general view of the whole subject of the diplomatic history of the Jewish question, done in the summary form of short historical statements, supplemented by appropriate documents, several of which are published for the first time. Mr. Kohler's book puts the publicists' microscope on two incidents of that whole history.

"The Jewish question is part of the general question of religious toleration," says Mr. Wolf. With the exception of isolated incidents. running as far back as 1498, it first came to public attention in England during the Commonwealth as a national policy. In 1744-45 an interesting intervention in behalf of the Jews of Bohemia was made by the English Government, with the result that a decree banishing many thousands of Jews was revoked and that they were permitted to return to their homes.

The Congress of Vienna in 1815 was the scene of the next appearance of the Jewish question. Its consideration there, says Mr. Kohler, "proved of considerable importance in the history of Jewish emancipation, though the narrative of the subject has been very much neglected." France, under Napoleon, had provided for an effective scheme for Jewish emancipation in the Kingdom of Westphalia; and Prussia in 1812, and Bavaria in 1813, had voluntarily followed the French precedent. Frankfort and the Hanseatic cities, on the other hand, were unsympathetic with Jewish toleration, either as a free gift or by purchase. At the Congress of Vienna, Prince Metternich for Austria, Friedrich von Gentz and Wilhelm von Humboldt were the principal proponents of Jewish rights among the negotiators. The Jews of Frankfort, Bremen, Hamburg, and Lübeck were represented by delegations at the Congress and were in constant correspondence and contact with the delegates mentioned. These men considered that the Napoleonic reforms had left the condition of the Jew in non-Germanic Europe in a satisfactory condition and they tackled the problem of securing civil rights within Germany. The measure of their success is found in Article 16 of the Confederative Constitution of Germany, which is Annex 9 of the Final Act of Vienna:

The difference of the Christian confessions in the countries and territories of the Germanic Confederation shall not entail any prejudice in the enjoyment of civil and political rights.

The Diet shall take into consideration the means of effecting, in the most uniform manner, the amelioration of the civil state of those who profess the Jewish faith in Germany and shall pay particular attention to the measures by which the enjoyment of civil rights shall be assured and guaranteed to them in the states of the Confederation, on condition that they submit to all the obligations of the other citizens. Meantime, the rights already accorded members of this religion by any particular state shall be secured to them.

The last sentence of this provision in its final form was a changeling successfully substituted at the last moment by Senator Smidt, of Bremen. Frankfort and the Hanseatic States at the time were, respecting the treatment of Jews, still under the French law. The last sentence of the article quoted originally related to "the privileges already accorded members of this religion in any particular state," it being the intention to make permanent all gains of the Jews under the existent French laws. But just before the signing of the Constitution of the Germanic Confederation on June 8, 1815, ostensibly as a matter of editing, the "in" was changed to "by,' so that the provision as officially adopted guaranteed the Jews only the rights accorded them by the states themselves. The Jews of Frankfort particularly suffered from this circumstance.

[ocr errors]

The Congress of Aix-La-Chapelle in 1818 had the Jewish question brought before it as a result of the memorial by the Rev. Lewis Way of Stanstead, England, who curiously enough had assumed as his object in life the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. Way presented to that Congress, which also had before it a scheme of the Tsar Alexander for Jewish emancipation, a memorial in which the Prussian statesman, Christian Wilhelm Dohm, also collaborated. Conditions at Frankfort were left untouched by the Congress, which in the protocol of November 21, 1818, declared sympathy "for the praiseworthy object" of the Tsar's proposals, and declared that the Jewish question was a matter which should "equally occupy the statesman and the friend of humanity."

There is little question, that this accomplishment of the protagonists of Jewish rights created, in the early days of the nineteenth century, a psychology of humanitarian interest in international relations which has since redounded very greatly to the advantage of other oppressed nationalities. For this reason the exceptional full

ness of Mr. Kohler's work respecting Vienna and Aix-La-Chapelle is enlightening. With a careful scholarship he follows through to the final decision all the projects relating to his subject which came before the gatherings, recounts in detail the social and political influence of Jewish individuals upon members of the conference, and takes pains to detail the personal relations of the principal delegates to Jewish personalities. Humboldt, for instance, is presented as having been in a measure educated by a Jewess, whose home at Berlin was a haven for a brilliant circle of literary tendencies. In fact, all through Mr. Kohler's restricted study the workmanship is exceptionally detailed and comprehensive. His device of combining his index and bibliography is one that I do not recall to have seen elsewhere.

The next appearance of the Jewish question, as Mr. Wolf points. out in his narrative, was at the conference of London respecting Greece in 1830. The Powers found themselves under the political necessity of insuring in Greece rights to Roman Catholics, in deference to Europe, and to Mohammedans, in deference to Turkey. The Jew benefited by a provision, which then amounted to a servitude, in the protocol of February 3, 1830:

That all the subjects of the new state, whatever may be their religion, shall be admissible to all public employment, functions, and honors, and be treated on the footing of a perfect equality, without regard to difference of creed, in all their relations, religious, civil, or political.

At the Congress of Paris of 1856, the London Jewish Board of Deputies appeared first as an active element in the struggle for Jewish rights. A Turkish Hatti-Humayoun of February 15, 1856, granted full civil rights to all non-Mussulman subjects of Turkey. The treaty of Paris of March 30, 1856, confirms the decree in Article IX, and this was made more definite by Article XLVI of the Paris convention of August 10, 1858. It is well-known that when Turkey was still further divested of opportunities for misgovernment by the Congress of Berlin in 1878, Jewish and other religious rights were guaranteed not only in Bulgaria, Rumania, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in European and Asiatic Turkey.

The fact that Rumania has never lived up to the engagement taken at that time is notorious. Mr. Wolf shows how, by a constitutional provision, the Bucharest Government succeeded in divesting

native Jews of civil rights by failing to consider them as Rumanians per se, and then making naturalization to depend upon the relinquishment of a foreign protection. Secretary Hay's note of July 17, 1902, laying bare the injustice of Rumania's anti-Semitism, is highly praised by the author and reprinted textually. That the American note narrowly missed becoming the basis of an international protest is perhaps not so well-known as the circumstance of the document itself.

The Conference of 1912-13 closing the Balkan Wars brought forward the London Jewish Conjoint Committee as the principal champion of racial rights. Its work was highly statesmanlike, and at the outbreak of the war it had secured a substantial assurance that territorial changes in the Near East would be ratified by the Powers only on condition of the protection of Jews and other members of minorities.

So much of Mr. Wolf's book is considered by him as instances of intervention on grounds of humanity. He next considers intervention by right under treaty, and cites a very interesting incident in 1815, when Turkey successfully claimed rights for her Jewish subjects resident in Austria, by virtue of the Treaty of Carlowitz of 1699. Between 1827 and 1855, Switzerland showed a distinct desire to discriminate against the Jew in her treaties. Mr. Wolf contrasts in favor of the action of the United States the negotiations respecting Jewish rights conducted by America and England under our Treaty of 1832 and the Anglo-Russian Treaty of 1859, respectively. It will be recalled that the resolution of the House of Representatives of December 13, 1911, called for the abrogation of the American Treaty because of Russian discrimination against American Jews.

The consular protection of Jews as Jews in Morocco by England, and the establishment of a system of such protection internationally by the Conference of Madrid of 1880, confirmed by that of Algeciras of 1906, adds an interesting feature to the study.

The Palestine question and the restoration of the Jews forms a section of Mr. Wolf's monograph. He finds that the Jews themselves were notably cold to the proposition from the time of its first seeing the light in 1621 until the arising of the Zionist movement twenty years ago. Col. Charles H. Churchill, then British consul in Syria, drew up such a project in 1841, to which the London Jewish Board of Deputies did not respond. About that time there were several

similar official propositions, but the idea of Palestine for the Jews did not really make headway until it was taken up by Herzl two decades ago. It is now apparently in process of realization, a number of the Allied and Associated Powers having officially expressed themselves as favorable to it.

DENYS P. MYERS.

Transactions of the Grotius Society. Problems of the War. Vol. IV. Papers read before the Society in the year 1918. With an Appendix (The Freedom of the Scheldt). London: Sweet & Maxwell. pp. lvi, 295. Price to non-members, ten shillings net.

The fourth of a series of practical studies of problems of international law in its relation to the World War, these papers were read at different meetings held by the Grotius Society during the year 1918. Prepared by men who know what they are writing about and are doing a kind of thinking that is worthy of serious scholars, this whole series of studies is a substantial contribution to the international law of the present day. It serves as much as any literature can serve to bring up to date treatises that were printed after the Second Hague Conference and before the beginning of the war. Although by no means technical in their literary style, these papers might prove to be too solid reading for the average layman; but they should be highly prized by college instructors, publicists; or legal advisers, who are more or less familiar with the topics treated and have occasion to refer to the latest discussions of them in authoritative form. Published for the advancement of truth, taking into consideration the welfare of humanity, pointing the way to rational international conduct, and showing a conscientious respect for international law, with no attempt to impose upon others a particular set of views, but full of suggestions for the reform of the laws of war and peace made in the general interest of the family of nations, the Grotius papers have a commendable scientific spirit.

Lord Parmoor, in an address on "The League of Nations," spoke before the Covenant of the League of Nations was drawn up at Paris, but that document is likely to be one of the chief topics in the report of the proceedings of the year 1919. He recognized, however, that the idea of the League is a feature of the intervention of America in the war and approved the platform of the League to Enforce Peace,

« AnteriorContinuar »