The Story of Antisemitism in America
With Host Larry Josephson
NO DOGS OR JEWS ALLOWED: The Story of anti-Semitism in America.
The story begins in September, 1654, on the day 23 bedraggled, impoverished Jews landed in New Amsterdam, after being expelled from Recife, Brazil when the Portuguese retook the colony from the Dutch. Governor Peter Stuyvesant didn't want them.
John Lithgow reads Stuyvesant's 1654 letter to the Dutch West India Company requesting permission to expel the 23 Jews, calling them "blasphemers of the name of Christ." Permission was denied. Thus began a 350-year struggle with anti-Semitism which did not finally end until the 1960's. John Lithgow also reads General Ulysses S. Grant's infamous Order # 11, banning all Jews from the area under his command; and Lincoln's telegram instantly reversing that order.
The program includes Father Charles Coughlin's anti-Semitic radio rants and Charles Lindbergh's isolationist speeches accusing the Jews of pushing America into World War II. Paul Hecht reads from Henry Ford's "The International Jew," published in his newspaper, The Dearborn Independent, which excerpted the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion."
"No Dogs or Jews Allowed" examines the lynching of Leo Frank, a northern Jew falsely convicted of the rape and murder of a 13-year old girl, Mary Phagan, who worked in an Atlanta pencil factory he managed - the worst incident of anti-Semitism in American Jewish history.
President Franklin Roosevelt's refusal to admit 937 German Jewish refugees aboard the ship, St. Louis, is examined in detail. Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel reproaches Roosevelt, his boyhood hero. Samuel Rosenman, one of Roosevelt's closest political advisers, explains in an oral history excerpt, why it was politically impossible for the President to act.
Quotas kept most Jews out of elite universities, corporate jobs, private clubs, and restricted neighborhoods. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recalls that when she graduated from Columbia Law in 1959 at the top of her class, no one would hire her. "So there I was with three strikes against me: Jewish, woman and mother."
Anti-Semitism in America gradually declined and finally ended after the World War II, with Al Gore's selection of Senator Joseph Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew, as his running mate in 2000.
Host and Series Producer: Larry Josephson for the Radio Foundation.
This program was produced by Sarah Elzas, Sara Porath and Larry Josephson.
The interviews were recorded by Bill Siegmund, Robert Auld, Greg Smith and Andrew Morris of Buzzy's Recording in Los Angeles.
Mixed by Robert Auld and David Rapkin.
Funding from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The National Endowment for the Arts, Saul and Stanley Zabar,Edwin A. Goodman, Harvey and Thelma Reisman, The John L. Loeb, Jr. Foundation, and one anonymous donor.
Archival material supplied by Andy Lanset from the WNYC Archives; and by John Kalish; The Dorot Jewish Division of the New York Public Library; The American Jewish Committee's Oral History Collection and The Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site.
Distributed by the WFMT Radio Network.