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A history of American antisemitism
The E-mail Address es you entered is are not in a valid format. Please re-enter recipient e-mail address es. You may send this item to up to five recipients. The name field is required. The case was to be tried before Judge Fred M. Raymond in Detroit, because Sapiro wanted it in Ford's "own back yard. Nicoll was fired, however; after Ford discovered that he was a smoker.
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Reed of Missouri was then chosen to act as chief of Ford's legal staff. But when a man goes out and hires Jim Reed for his lawyer- that's inspired genius. The other side needs Moses to compete with him. According to an associate, Ford privately referred to Gallagher as a "Christian front" and was to refer constantly to Catholics in general as "tools of the Jews" after the trial.
Early in the trial, the Sapiro counsel was dealt a stunning blow. Senator Reed was somehow able to convince the judge that race was not an issue in the case. Ford's ideas of the Jews as a whole and his attitude towards them as a people will be barred," came the ruling from Judge Raymond.
It was, apparently, irrelevant that the two had often been interchangeable in the pages of the Independent. Now, the defense merely had to prove that Ford had been completely ignorant of the attacks carried out in his paper. They needed a patsy and they found one with William J. At the beginning of the trial, Ford's attorneys had asserted that Ford had never read the Sapiro articles in The Dearborn Independent, had never spoken of Sapiro, and had never even heard of Sapiro before the suit was launched.
The International Jew: The World's Foremost Problem
Cameron, during a testimony that lasted for over six days, accepted full responsibility for the contents of the paper. Ford on any article on any Jew," he claimed from the witness stand. As Cameron gave his testimony, Sapiro found himself the target of much ridicule and praise in the public spectrum.
Senator Reed also received letters condemning Sapiro. One proclaimed that "every Jew is sworn to knock out three teeth of a Christian when kissing him" while another "blood-curdling" note was anonymously signed by "An American of the Sixteenth Century Blood. Others, however; shared the view of Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, who praised Sapiro as "a man ready to face the richest and, in some senses, the most powerful man on earth, and say, 'You may libel me, but you shall not lie about my people.
In the midst of Cameron's testimony, the Sapiro team called a key witness on their own to the stand.
When asked if Ford had ever mentioned Sapiro, Miller answered in the affirmative: "Mr. Ford asked me why I didn't write about the Jews in the reserve bank down there and he asked me if I knew Aaron Sapiro He said that he was organizing the farmers for that bunch of Jews down there. The evening before he was scheduled to testify, Ford stumbled through the gates of his home bearing a number of cuts and bruises.
He told his shocked wife that he had just been involved in an automobile accident, and was quickly rushed to the nearby Henry Ford Hospital. Constant news bulletins updated the nation on his condition, which ranged from being on the brink of death to rapidly recovering. It was eventually revealed that Ford had suffered no broken bones or internal injury. Although he had a cut on his forehead and bruises on his chest, the attending doctor reported that "the shock of the mishap was the chief thing the matter with Mr.
Ford's account of the accident held that a mysterious Studebaker had forced him off the side of the road. He was then plunged down a fifteen-foot embankment and into a tree, barely avoiding a fall into a nearby river. He would be in no condition to testify for quite some time. Meanwhile, in the words of his doctor; all he could do was wait "for nature to heal him.
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As sympathizers sent letters of encouragement to Ford and wished him a fast recovery, it was obvious to some that the whole episode was ridiculously suspicious. The only witnesses to the incident were two boys. One had not really seen anything while the other; Carl Makivitz, claimed to have seen the Ford coupe in a ditch, with one man pushing it while another sat in the driver's seat. The account was dismissed by a Ford investigator; who stated, "Malkovitz, a talkative boy, told several stories in his excitement.
This seemingly obvious conclusion was expanded on years later by Ford's chief investigator of the period, Harry Bennett. I don't know how it got down there.
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But now we've got a good chance to settle this thing. We can say we want to settle it because my life is in danger. While Ford was at home "recovering," Sapiro had taken the witness stand in the ongoing case. As Ford's lawyers grilled him over his business practices, however; Ford's detectives were making examinations of their own. Some fifty investigators had been put to work tapping phones, wiring rooms, and harassing various witnesses.
According to the investigators, juror Cora Hoffman had told witnesses before the trial that having her on the case would be unhealthy for "old Mr. Hoffman denied the allegations in The Detroit Times, adding, "It seems to me that someone is trying to keep this case away from the jury. As a result of Mrs. Hoffman's comment to the press, Judge Raymond declared a mistrial, adding that justice had been "crucified upon the cross of unethical and depraved journalism.
Sapiro and his attorneys, for one, were convinced that they had been on the road to a winning case. They felt that Ford and his attorneys also realized this, and had sabotaged the trial before such a verdict could be declared. Sapiro had been on his way to victory according to one juror; who declared, "The jury almost unanimously believed that the defense had collapsed and that the plaintiff was justified in bringing the suit.
He was in a fair way to get a verdict. On July 1, it was ruled that the retrial for the case of Sapiro vs. Ford would be held in September. However; exactly one week after this announcement, Ford made a public declaration of his own that surprised everyone. Desiring an immediate end to the ongoing case, Ford had Joseph Palma, a New York government agent, contact Louis Marshall and ask for his assistance in making amends.
Marshall, along with Arthur Brisbane and a few other members of the American Jewish Committee, drew up the apology for Ford to give to the press. Ford investigator Harry Bennett received the apology and called up his boss. Ford," Bennett informed him.
The worse they make it, the better. Although it was Marshall's goal to humble Ford somewhat with the apology, it actually was not as bad as it could have been. The apology went along with what Ford's attorneys had argued during the trial in that he had been totally ignorant of what his newspaper had been printing. However; in his "multitude of activities," he had been unable to pay attention to what made up their contents. This led Ford to direct his "personal attention" to the subject and claimed to be "deeply mortified" by what he had found. He saw it as his duty as an "honorable man" to make amends to his Jewish brothers by "asking their forgiveness for the harm I have unintentionally committed.
This statement was a remarkable attempt at public image revisionism. In order for the public to accept it, they would conveniently have to forget all of the press interviews in which Ford had condemned the Jews. They would have to forget the anti-Semitic statements found in his own autobiography. They would have to forget his proclamation in that he had a "five years' course in sight" of anti-Jewish articles.
Liebold himself would later state, "Mr. Ford knew everything that was going on There was no one who could get by with putting anything over on Mr.
Ford such as conducting a campaign against the Jews. As long as Mr. Ford wanted it done, it was done. Remarkably, however; the statement was largely embraced by the press. The New York Herald Tribune praised Ford for conducting himself "in a manner which handsomely emphasizes his regret" and his intent to end his anti-Semitic publications.
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