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"For Peace, Not Socialism": The 1917 Mayoralty Campaign in New York City and Immigrant Jews in a Global Perspective.

As New York City's mayoral campaign was reaching its final stage in early November 1917, a Jewish reader by the name of John D. Nussbaum wrote to the New York Tribune: "The East Side Jews will vote for Mr. Hillquit [the anti-war socialist candidate] not because they have been converted to Socialism ... but simply as a protest against the old parties, whom they hold responsible for our entry into the world war. The Jews are primarily a peace-loving people. They simply detest war." Expressing a similar view in the same week in an open letter titled "For Peace, Not Socialism," Zionist leader Louis Lipsky explained the anxieties of immigrant Jews. He delineated the horrors of conscription to the Tsarist military and added, "It is because they fear that conscription means in this country exactly what it meant in Russia that they so vehemently oppose the draft." Socialist Yiddish journalist and historian Melech Epstein remarked later that the Socialists' battle cry was, "A Vote for Hillquit is a Vote to stop the War." But, "unfortunately, many Jewish people, in their eagerness for a speedy end to the war, were unduly credulous of the Socialist campaign assertion." (1)

Nussbaum, Lipsky, and Epstein's claims sound almost counterintuitive: the mayoralty campaign of 1917 signaled the high-water mark of the Socialist Party's (SP) electoral achievement, and perhaps nowhere was that success more evident than in New York, where ten state assemblymen, seven city aldermen and one municipal judge were elected on the Socialist ticket. Of those eighteen, sixteen were Jews of Eastern European descent. The SP mayoral candidate, Morris Hillquit, garnered 145,332 votes, an almost five-fold increase in the vote compared to the previous Socialist candidate for mayor. (2)

As Nussbaum, Lipsky, Epstein, many of their contemporaries, and other sources noted, most of the support for Morris Hillquit and other socialist candidates had much less to do with socialism than with those candidates' explicit anti-war stance. The fact that the vote had little to do with socialism per se was evident in the SP's substantially lower voting records in New York before and after 1917. It was also apparent in the pro-war position of many Jewish socialists, who formed the Jewish Socialist League (JSL), while Hillquit received the backing of some immigrant Orthodox Jews, who normally shunned the socialists. At the same time, whereas many American Jews indeed supported the war, large numbers of Jewish opponents of war remained after the U.S. entered the war as well, especially among the immigrants in New York City. Furthermore, the Jewish vote for the SP was a protest against pro-war Jewish leaders, whom the voters viewed as servile and timid, as opposed to anti-war Jewish socialists, who stood up for Jewish interests against militarism and nativism.

The mayoral campaign in NYC in 1917 has been analyzed by historians who have produced different interpretations about the role socialism played among Jewish immigrants during that time. They also come to different conclusions about the significance of the Socialist Party's electoral successes in that same period. Scholars who have emphasized the successes of socialism among Jewish immigrants, such as Melvyn Dubofsky, Irving Howe and Tony Michels, have seen the mayoral campaign and the SP's other electoral successes in 1917 as the peak of Jewish support for socialism. That argument sees 1917 as a quintessential moment that reflected, in Howe's words, "one last and overwhelming upsurge of immigrant Jewish socialism." (3)

Other scholars, such as Zosa Szajkowski and Beth Wenger, have stressed a different aspect altogether. Exhibiting an approach that highlights Jewish contributions to America, they underline Jewish patriotism and support for the war. Wenger has asserted, "As long as the United States maintained a policy of neutrality toward the war, Jews aired their differing opinions in dueling speeches and in the press, but once America entered the conflict, even most of the strident opponents conceded the issue." (4) Szajkowski has written that his "sole purpose is to prove" that "the role of American Jews in radical movements was far too often exaggerated by historians and sociologists." He has lamented that "the voice of anti-radical Jews was too often ignored," and hardly anyone knows that "over 30,000 Jewish immigrant families during World War I, bought over $10,000,000 worth of Liberty Bonds and Saving Stamps." (5)

While both arguments have much merit, this article offers a more nuanced understanding of the 1917 mayoral campaign. It demonstrates that a net of international meanings shaped many Jewish immigrants' opposition to the war: for example, the fear of the draft was transplanted from Russia into America, coupled with the anxiety that the United States would start to resemble Tsarist Russia. The peak of the SP's electoral achievement among Jewish voters in 1917 was for the most part derived from the party's strong anti-war position. Both the Socialists (including Hillquit himself) and their opponents acknowledged that the campaign focused more on the war and the ensuing draft, and less on socioeconomic issues, and ran their campaigns accordingly.

Beside Hillquit, the campaign of 1917 featured three major candidates. Incumbent John Purroy Mitchel, an independent reformer who had been elected on a Fusion ticket in 1913, made support of the war and "Americanism" a keystone of his campaign. Judge John F. Hylan, a Brooklyn machine Democrat, ran a populist campaign, but was considered by many to be a stooge not only for Tammany Hall, but also for William Randolph Hearst. Hylan remained mostly silent about the war, and eventually won the election. Finally, the Republican candidate was former State Senator William M. Bennett, who had surprisingly wrested the GOP nomination from Mitchel, but had little effect on the race and came in last. Mitchel's divisive message, which bordered on nativism, caused many immigrants and second-generation ethnic voters to recoil from supporting him. (6)

The Socialist candidate, Morris Hillquit, was born Moyshe Hilkovitch in 1869 in the Baltic port city of Riga. While Riga was part of Tsarist Russia at the time, Hillquit recalled that "culturally, linguistically, and even architecturally, it was a typical German city." Hillquit's parents were middle-class, German-speaking factory owners and fairly assimilated Jews, who educated their children in the spirit of German Kultur. Hillquit's native language was German, and it was only because the German-language gymnasium in Riga had filled its Jewish quota that his parents sent the young Hillquit to a Russian-language gymnasium. Later in life Hillquit wrote, "Germany was closer to me in spirit, culture, and temperament," though he grew up "a bilingual and cosmopolitan." (7)

Like many young Jewish students in Russia, Hillquit was drawn to radical circles with their messianic promise of universal emancipation and social integration, as well as toppling the oppressive Tsarist regime. He became a socialist as early as his gymnasium years. After losing his factory in 1884, Hillquit's father decided to immigrate to New York with his eldest son, and in 1886 Morris, his mother, and siblings joined them, living in poverty on the Lower East Side. In a trajectory that resembled many of his fellow Jewish radicals, Hillquit initially worked in the burgeoning garment industry and learned English. Like many Jewish immigrants, Hillquit Anglicized his name. Unlike most, he acquired a higher education, graduating from law school and establishing a successful law firm. Hillquit joined the Socialist Labor Party (SLP) at the age of twenty (1889), but deep disagreement with the SLP leader, Daniel De Leon--whom Hillquit termed "a fanatic"--led him to split from it in 1899. In 1901 Hillquit would be one of the cofounders of the new Socialist Party (SP). (8)

World War I was at the fore of the 1917 mayoralty campaign. When the Great War broke out in Europe, the bulk of Jewish immigrants in New York supported the Germans and Austrians (the Central Powers). Jewish immigrants from the Habsburg Empire (particularly Hungary, Galicia, and Bukovina) were typically enthusiastic Austrian patriots, and especially admired Emperor Franz Joseph, whom they considered the protector of Jews. The hostility of Jewish immigrants was not directed at most Allied Powers (the "Entente," meaning Britain and France, and later Italy) as such, but rather at their ally, the hated Tsarist regime. Jews hailing from the Pale of Settlement could hardly forget the harassment, anti-Jewish decrees, university quotas, pogroms, the recent Beilis blood libel (1911-1913), and the animosity of the Russian government. More importantly, the onset of war was followed almost immediately by shocking reports in the Yiddish press about the atrocities committed by Tsar Nicholas's soldiers: scorched-earth withdrawals, kidnappings, looting, torture, rape, and sadistic savagery. Furthermore, the Russian military initiated a series of massive expulsions of hundreds of thousands of Jews from their homes in the western regions of the Pale of Settlement, ordering them to leave their homes, often at no more than twelve-hour notice. The ominous newspaper reports from Europe were filled with the names of sbtetlekb and cities from which many immigrants had come, and suffering was the lot of many Jewish immigrants' parents, siblings, and offspring. (9)

Yet after the Tsarist regime was toppled in March 1917, and as America entered the war in April 1917 and began full-scale conscription, the mood shifted. By the spring and summer months of 1917 the question of loyalty and patriotism became ever more acute for American Jews, and the rift between supporters and opponents of war became the deepest schism within New York Jewry. The patrician American Jewish Committee (AJC), the Americanized middle class, most of the New York Kebillab, most Zionists (with some notable exceptions), most fraternal orders, and an important minority among Jewish socialists, came out for the war. Shortly before America declared war on Germany, the Jewish League of American Patriots (JLAP) was organized, including almost all the editors of the non-radical Yiddish and Anglo-Jewish periodicals, together with corporate lawyer Samuel Untermyer and Tammany's Judge Aaron J. Levy. The JLAP sought to "undertake the systematic mobilization of the forces of the Jewish race with the view of placing them at the disposal of our country" by "arousing our men and women ... to the patriotic duty of enlisting in the army," and propagate pro-American and anti-German sentiments on the Jewish street. (10)

After the SP adopted (April 1917) a strong anti-war stance in its St. Louis conference, pro-war socialists left the party and began organizing as a group. In July 1917 the American Federation of Labor (AFL) founded the American Alliance for Labor and Democracy (AALD), directed by Robert Maisel, a Jewish socialist journalist. The AALD included non-Jewish pro-war socialists such as John Spargo, William English Walling, and James G. Phelps-Stokes, as well as such Jewish socialists as Yiddish journalist William Edlin, attorney and former New York State chairman of the SP Henry L. Slobodin, and Labor Zionist leader Nachman Syrkin. They formed the Jewish Socialist League (JSL) as a branch of the AALD to work among Jewish immigrants. Such diverse supporters of the war as the AJC's president Louis Marshall, Zionist and Reform rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Edlin, Yiddish journalist Louis E. Miller, and socialist columnist M. Baranov, called on fellow Jews, in Baranov's words in June 1917, to "act as Americans, not as foreigners." In July 1917 Miller warned, "the American people view us with distrust and many Americans claim openly ... that we are traitors," before ominously imploring, "Do not go any nearer to the brink of destruction." (11)

On the other side stood the majority of the powerful Jewish labor movement that strongly opposed the war. Among the opponents of war were the United Hebrew Trades (a federation of Jewish labor unions that by 1917 had some 250,000 members), the Jewish-led garment unions, the SP's Yiddish-speaking section, which was called the Jewish Socialist Federation (JSF), many branches of the fraternal order Arbeter Ring (Workmen's Circle, with nearly 60,000 members), the influential and most widely-circulating Yiddish daily, the Foruerts (Jewish Daily Forward), anarchist groups, the Kehillah's leader and Reform rabbi Judah L. Magnes, and most of the Labor Zionist party Poalei Zion. Jewish labor circles participated in organizing the People's Council for Democracy and Peace, which became central in the opposition to the war in New York and elsewhere. Both the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA) refused to sanction "no-strike" pledges. Even before America joined the war, socialist journalist and activist Moyshe Olgin complained that his "beloved, free" America was abused by a different America: "yelling, bloodthirsty, hate-spurting ... I notice in her the soldier figure of Wilhelm II; I detect in her the smell of 'Holy Russia' and the Prussian barracks." At the New York convention of the Arbeter Ring in May 1917 William Edlin tried to speak in favor of the war, but was quickly shouted down by angry delegates. (12)

During the mayoral campaign, there was little doubt which candidate enjoyed most backing in New York's Jewish neighborhoods: tens of thousands of women and men, workers, union members, and even schoolchildren participated in Socialist meetings, parades, and demonstrations. Jewish socialists promoted Hillquit as "one of our own"--an Eastern European Jew, who worked his way up from a garment sweatshop to become a successful labor lawyer and a socialist leader. Hillquit's peace plank was tremendously popular among New York Jews, as were his promises to lower soaring food prices, to provide municipal ownership of public transportation, establish municipal nurseries, and open a free beach at Coney Island. Another significant campaign issue was women's suffrage, as the mayoral election coincided with a statewide referendum on the issue. (13) In addition, Democrats and especially the Socialists tapped into Jewish dissatisfaction with the Gary Plan, an initiative to extend the school day so it could include laboratories, workshops and recreational activities, which was introduced to some New York City schools in 1915 and endorsed by Mayor Mitchel. Jewish parents believed that the plan stressed vocational education over academics and feared it would hamper their children's chances to obtain higher education. (14)

Before 1917 Hillquit's ethnic appeal to Jews was anything but certain. Though his campaign presented him to downtown Jews as "one of our own," Hillquit generally distanced himself from his Jewish identity. His native language was German, and although he taught himself Yiddish in New York, he viewed Yiddish as "nothing but a corrupted, illiterate, and ungrammatical German," that needed to be purified "with the ultimate aim of converting it into modern German." Like other radicals, Hillquit eschewed religious Judaism. In 1924 he said, "I do not approach political problems from the Jewish point of view." Two years later (1926) he said in a speech that he was "not convinced that the Jews as an organized nationality can make a distinct and valuable contribution to the world's culture." (15)

Indeed, before 1917 immigrant Jewish voters were hardly convinced he was one of them. True, when Hillquit ran for congress on the SP ticket in New York's ninth congressional district (in the mostly Jewish East Side) in 1906 and 1908, the Forverts did champion him as a working-class immigrant Jew. On the other hand, Hillquit's Jewish detractors, such as former socialist Louis Miller, claimed that "when he comes among strangers [Hillquit] denies that he is a Jew." The conservative Yiddish daily Yidishes tageblat (Jewish Daily News) reminded its readers that the young Hilkovitch changed his name to Hillquit "because he thought it is more appealing to be a Gentile than a Jew." The conservative daily asserted, "Hillquit belongs to those cowards ... who crawl after the Gentiles on all four." The poet and novelist Harry Roskolenko, who grew up on the East Side in the 1910s, recalled that Hillquit hardly looked like a resident of downtown or a socialist: "He was too fastidious ... too aloof." Apparently, many Jewish voters thought Hillquit was not "one of us," since he lost both campaigns. (16) The reluctance to vote for Hillquit was compounded by the mounting Jewish concern over immigration restriction. While by the 1900s the goal of keeping America's gates open united most American Jews, Hillquit and the SP were seen as ambivalent on the issue. Hillquit stoked Jewish worries by insisting that there was indeed "undesirable immigration" (though he referred primarily to Asian immigration). (17) New York socialists would learn their lesson from Hillquit's defeat. Socialist lawyer Meyer London was considered more intimately familiar with the East Side and its sensibilities than Hillquit, and in November 1914 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as the first socialist from the East Coast. (18)

Hillquit's earlier electoral defeats in New York make Jewish support for the Socialists in the 1917 election particularly remarkable. That support is especially noteworthy when considering the host of leading Jewish figures and institutions--the AJC, all of the non-radical Yiddish newspapers, certain downtown societies, Jewish Republicans, Democrats, and pro-war socialists--who led a concerted intimidation effort aimed at persuading Gotham's Jewry not to vote for Hillquit. They pictured a terrible future for American Jews if New York elected its first Socialist mayor. One of the gravest warnings was made in private in August 1917 by the Supreme Court Justice and Zionist leader, Louis D. Brandeis, who cautioned his colleagues at a closed meeting of the Zionist leadership, "I think there is a very strong reason to fear that the pacifistic attitude of the Jews is exposing us to a danger ... of an anti-Semitic movement. My own mail has an indication of that, and I hear it expressed in many other ways. I cannot help feeling myself that the pacifistic attitude of some Jews is a danger to all Jews, and some form of a pogrom would not be at all unlikely." (19)

Brandeis was scarcely alone. The president of the AJC, Louis Marshall, published several appeals in Yiddish dailies, warning of "an outbreak of antisemitism which was thought impossible in this country," and thundering that "the American people would be justly agitated against those who proved to be enemies of our liberty and democracy." Extending the danger also to Jews in Europe, Marshall claimed, "Every vote for Hillquit means a vote for the Kaiser and for the reinstatement of the Tsar." Democrat Samuel Untermyer, who headed the JLAP, pleaded with an audience of Bronx Jews to prevent "the catastrophe to our race" that Hillquit's election would bring. In print, Untermyer argued, "The Jews are the bulwarks and constitute the main voting body of the Socialist Party in this city ... The Jews will be held largely responsible in the public estimate for the seditious creed ... of that party [Socialists]." Those threats were accompanied by big, somber advertisements in the Yiddish papers that proclaimed Election Day to be a "Judgment Day for Jews." (20)

All the non-radical Yiddish dailies joined in the anti-Hillquit chorus. In an ironic turnaround, the same nationalist and orthodox papers that usually stressed Jewish pride now called Jews to refrain from anything that might seem as Jewish separatism. The Orthodox Tageblat demanded, "The Jewish neighborhoods of New York must not be an exception in comparison to other neighborhoods ... It is not good when Jews separate themselves from all other Americans." The paper contended that "many in the general non-Jewish population start to look at the Yiddish quarters" as the centers of "wild shouters who resemble Bolsheviks rather than American residents." Editor Gedalya Bublik wrote to his readers as "a Jew to Jews" and asked them if they wanted "to give a chance for our neighbors to say that we are not loyal enough to America?" He warned that if Jewish quarters heavily supported Hillquit, "it would provoke hatred against Jews in circles where it earlier did not exist." (21)

The alarm felt by Jewish leaders of very dissimilar viewpoints and backgrounds was far from unwarranted. Even before wartime hysteria engulfed the country, more and more Americans rallied against "hyphenated Americans," who allegedly divided their loyalty between their former countries and America. Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt paraded the motto, "America for Americans" and wrote (1915) to the Tageblat's editors, "We have no room for a Jewish or English or German or Irish nationality." When America entered the war, Germans became the main object of animosity. The suspicion toward anything German was directed also at German Jews, despite the latter's nearly frantic attempts to show they were "one-hundred percent Americans" too. But suspicions were stronger toward the newly-arrived Eastern European Jews. As early as July 1917 Louis Miller argued, "a job would be given to a German in preference to a Jew, and that not because of anti-sematics [sic], but because they trust a Jew less today than they do a German." (22)

The increasing intolerance toward any perceived expression of "anti-Americanism" was echoed in the nervousness of Jewish dignitaries and their calls to display utter loyalty. With "Uncle Sam ... now at war" and "many of our boys ... already in France," the Orthodox Morgn zhurnal (Morning Journal) predicted that Jews would cast "almost all of the votes" for Hillquit. Although it assured its readers that he would not win, it warned that Jews must not mark themselves as "treacherous." The paper wondered why "the Jewish roomer should be a ... grumbler in our great boarding house," and urged Jews "to vote more in harmony with the American sentiment that dominates the other parts of New York's population." Yiddish journalist and former radical Yankev Magidov argued that Hillquit's ticket was not socialist but "anti-American." Every vote for the Socialists was a vote against America, wrote Magidov, "and a slap in its face." (23)

Such patriotic views were echoed in a pro-Mitchel petition signed by many Jewish storekeepers on the East Side, organized by Morse M. Frankel of The Mediator, the organ of the East Side Bakers Federation. The East Side Lincoln Republican Club and the mostly Jewish Hungarian Republican Club of New York signed similar petitions. The indefatigable communal and former labor leader, Joseph Barondess, authored an emotional plea to New York Jews: "To-day the eyes of the nation are fixed upon the Jews of New York ... every cheer we give to those who are betraying the government, is a betrayal of our sons in the camps ... |it] will single out those boys in camps for suspicion ... and other needless suffering." Those terrified of the possible linkage between Jews and disloyalty were probably elated when the New York World published a sample of Mitchel's Fusion Committee's interviews with nearly a hundred Jewish draftees at Camp Upton (Yaphank, Long Island): the young men were arch-patriotic and denounced Hillquit's pacifist platform. One conscript, a Herman Bernstein of Forsyth Street, said, "Tell the people on the east side they are wrong to talk against the war." (24)

The pro-Tammany Varhayt utilized similar arguments, sneeringly writing, "Hillquit can stop the war just as a mite can stop a running locomotive." The daily warned that the Socialists "gave a pretext to our open and hidden enemies to taint all Jews with the suspicion that they are against the government." "Hillquit has no shred of affinity to Jewishness," an editorial charged, and he would "mislead the Jews into a fire that might burn the whole Jewish people." After Life magazine, the New York World, and the New York Herald published antisemitic caricatures that featured Jews as hook-nosed, foreign-looking shirkers and Bolsheviks (the latter paper showed Hillquit as "Hillquitter"), the Varhayt called them the "first fruit" of what might come if Hillquit won. The paper claimed that a big Jewish vote for Hillquit might bring out "the wrath and embitterment of the American people." (25)

Moreover, a stark alarmist note within the SP camp came from none other than Socialist congressman Meyer London. He was an opponent of the war, and just before America declared war on Germany, London called it "wrong, inexcusable, indefensible." London believed, however, that once war was declared, continued resistance was "essentially wrong and immoral in a democracy like the United States," and paid no heed when the party called on him to introduce a bill for the repeal of the Conscription Law. Like many other Jewish voices, London was afraid Jews would be smeared as traitors. During the mayoralty campaign London remained noticeably absent, probably because of his disagreement with Hillquit's pacifist line. When he did speak at a Socialist meeting in Manhattan two weeks before the election, he told a somewhat hostile anti-war crowd, "Socialists cannot afford to see the war ended until Belgium has been restored, until every German soldier has been removed from the revolutionary territory of revolutionary France." While the audience cheered the congressman's denunciations of capitalism, his war references were greeted with silence or even heckling. In a last-minute warning not to vote for Hillquit, a pro-war group called the "American Jewish Defense Society" mentioned London's emotional appeal to a group of Jewish socialists to stop their dangerous anti-war propaganda, or "expect the most dangerous pogroms." Though published by a group dedicated to Hillquit's defeat, its depiction of London's position accurately matched his public addresses. (26)

All those grave admonitions notwithstanding, the Socialists in New York's Jewish quarters were never stronger, and their opponents' warnings only seemed to increase their strength. A large segment of the immigrant Jewish population now believed that Jewish socialists stood up for them against the uptown Jews, other Yiddish papers, and pro-war socialists who inflamed antisemitism by telling the American public that radicals were typically Jewish. Even the non-radical organ of the Zionist movement, Yidishe folk (Jewish People), which did not back Hillquit, called the actions of his adversaries "either political stupidity or a betrayal of Eastern European Jews." The American Jewish Chronicle did not support Hillquit either (though often espousing pro-German attitudes before America entered the war), but asked, "Why must we Jews always be under the spell of what will the Gentile say?" (27)

The appeal of the SP on the Jewish street was so popular that it even made inroads into a segment of the Jewish population that generally opposed radicalism--the Orthodox. Shortly before the election, a downtown rabbi who was aware of that appeal, Y. Aaronson, published a passionate call for Orthodox Jews not to vote for the Socialist ticket: "We are a small minority ... let other nationalities elect a Socialist, but not us." The rabbi wrote, "They [Gentiles] don't like us for many other things" so Jews should particularly prevent "the suspicion that we are all Socialists." Aronson's plea, together with the exhortations of Bublik and the Orthodox Morgen zburnal to their readers not to vote for Hillquit, reflect the attractiveness of the anti-war stance, which managed to gather support even among those Jews who were historically anti-socialist. (28)

In the 1917 campaign Socialists managed to convince numerous Jewish voters that despite their class-based politics, they were the defenders of Jewish reputation. While Hillquit flatly denied that the Socialists were appealing to Jews as such, he nonetheless compared Jewish patricians to Booker T. Washington, "who worked on the Negroes: 'Be good; Don't be independent.'" "As a Jew to Jews," he told a Bronx audience, "you don't have to be good; you have the right to be as bad as the rest of the world." Yiddish novelist Sholem Asch sounded a similar note, accusing the pro-war established Jews of awakening hatred and suspicions toward Jews. The Forverts blamed "Jewish politicians" for dragging the Jewish issue into the campaign. The anarchist Fraye arberter shtime (Free Voice of Labor) sardonically mocked the fears evoked by Hillquit's rivals: thank God "for the Gentile and pogroms, they keep us straight." Journalist A. Voliner (penname of Eliezer Landoy) wrote in the socialist-Zionist Yidisher kemfer (Jewish Fighter) that Jews should be on equal terms with non-Jews; hence Jews should be allowed to vote "without having the Damocles pogrom-sword" above their heads, even if their "ancestors did not arrive with the 'Mayflower.'" (29)

It is noteworthy that despite the profound gap between the Jewish supporters and opponents of the war, their perceptions of the increasingly menacing nature of American society actually coincided. The organ of the JSF, the Naye velt (New World), described in October 1917 the growth of antisemitism in America: "Before America joined the war, antisemitism remained hidden ... its place was in clubs, associations, offices, hotels, but not in public ... it was against the good traditions and the taste of Americans to bring out their private antisemitic feelings in public. Today, however, antisemitism became part of patriotism." The newspaper claimed the military was "a nest of antisemitism." Yiddish playwright and poet Dovid Pinsky wrote, "Jew-hatred would not begin with Hillquit's election. It has been here since the days of yore. It came over here with the 'Mayflower.'" Pinsky alerted his readers that "also in the free, democratic America ... you cannot act as freely and candidly as your neighbors." Abraham Cahan, a towering figure in the Jewish labor movement and editor of the Forverts, was still more defiant, replying to Untermyer's warnings by saying, "Well, if we are destined, heaven forbid, to have the antisemitic bear come at us, then let's not give our vote to a corrupt gang." (30)

Despite, or perhaps because of, the nativist wave, Jewish support for Hillquit's candidacy did not wane. In the weeks leading to Election Day, the Socialists indeed set the tone on the Jewish Street. By organizing mass meetings, street corner soapboxing, marches, parades, and public debates at which tens of thousands of women, men, and children cheered Socialists and hissed their rivals, the SP managed not only to mobilize its supporters, but also frequently silenced any opposition. As early as August 1917, AALD director Robert Maisel wrote to the president of the AFL, Samuel Gompers, "The Yiddish reading public remains ignorant of the facts, and it is no wonder that they claim this to be an unjust war." As the campaign heated up two months later (October 1917), Maisel wrote to Gompers that on the East Side there was "a spirit of absolute intolerance of any propaganda or any kind of work in favor of the war." Maisel added that antiwar "intimidation" had led Nachman Syrkin and William Edlin to fear that they would "lose all opportunity to make a living" as writers if they continued their pro-war work. Maisel admitted, "We [AALD] are now practically without Jewish speakers," adding, "We have arranged three meetings this week, but were compelled to abandon two of them as we have no speakers." (31)

When the JSL held a meeting at the New Star Casino in East Harlem, the speeches of Syrkin and Henry Slobodin were constantly interrupted by jeering and booing of more than a thousand people. As the disorder grew, the proprietor called the police, but not before another speaker, Jacob Chaikin, who felt threatened by the pro-Hillquit hecklers around the platform, threw water from a glass at them. Aaron J. Levy, a municipal judge and prominent Tammany politician, wrote two weeks before the election, "It is impossible for a Democratic or a Republican orator to speak at a street-corner meeting" on the East Side, and that any anti-Socialist speaker risks "having his platform seized from under him, tipped over, and the candidate precipitated to the pavement." Another Tammany man, Louis Eisenstein, who like Levy grew up on the East Side, remembered how the Socialists used "campaign mischief" and strong-arm tactics against their rivals. (32)

As many contemporary observers--both radicals and non-radicals--correctly commented, many Jewish voters (especially immigrants) supported Hillquit and other Socialist candidates mainly because of their fear of the draft and naive belief that his election would somehow shorten the war. Hillquit himself said immediately after the election that Socialists "have made the campaign to a large extent on the issues of democracy and a speedy world peace." Years later he admitted that, "during the campaign the social and economic planks were soon overshadowed by the issue uppermost in the minds of the people--the all-absorbing issue of war and peace." As the abovementioned John Nussbaum mentioned, most supporters of the Socialist ticket were not converted to socialism, but opposed America's entry into war. Marie Ganz, who came (1896) to New York from her native Galicia at the age of five and was active in the anarchist movement, described insightfully after the war the political inexperience of many Jewish immigrants: "If there were [draft] slackers most of them were men who had lived under Russian tyranny and who had come to this country with the belief that they were to be free forever from military oppression." Furthermore, those immigrants "knew nothing of the causes that had brought America into the struggle. To them government had never meant anything more than a mysterious power that subjected the masses to the will of the autocrats." Therefore, "their first impulse was to avoid military service." That view was echoed by Avrom Pinkhes Unger, who came to America in 1910, became active in the ILGWU, and was also very familiar with the Jewish labor movement. He remembered that when America entered the war there was great "sadness" in many Jewish homes, because even though they had escaped Russia, they would still have to send their children to the military. What exacerbated their dejection was that their children would be asked "to spill blood for Russia," which even after the toppling of the hated Tsarist regime, was hardly a popular prospect. (33)

The large Jewish membership in anti-war organizations such as Emma Goldman's anarchist No-Conscription League, and the Women's League for the Repeal of Conscription (WLRC) was quite noticeable in the months leading to the election. When the WLRC held (June 1917) a mass meeting in New York, many speeches were delivered in Yiddish, and the Forverts building hosted one of its rallies. After a policeman arrested (June 1917) the twenty-five-year-old Bessie Switzsky for making a "seditious" soapbox speech in Yiddish against the war at a Bronx WLRC meeting, a crowd of hooting women, including many Jews, followed him. (34)

There were numerous Jewish commentators who condemned Hillquit and the Socialists' manipulation of Jewish immigrants' cultural and historical sensibilities--fear of military draft, lack of political experience or understanding of how a democracy functions, distrust of the regime, and lingering animosity toward America's ally, Russia--for their political gain. The JSL manifesto (September 1917) saw "a large majority" among Jews, which "under the influence of ancient prejudice fell victim to German pacifist propaganda." Writing in a similar vein, Zionist leader Louis Lipsky argued that it was not the fault of Jewish voters, but that of Hillquit and the "men and women in the Socialist party who have deliberately confused their minds and given them a wrong interpretation of the issues involved in the war and of the implications of the draft." Lipsky, who declared his support for Mayor Mitchel, accused Hillquit of making false claims, "for he knows very well that as Mayor of the city he cannot in any way affect the decision of the war." A comparable view was expressed by one Salomon Toledano, who claimed Hillquit was not "too honest," as "he knows that the election of a Socialist Mayor of New York would not stop, or even shorten, the war," but "he is quite willing to take the votes of men who really believe that if he is elected he will get the boys out of the trenches by Christmas." (35)

Jewish Democrats also voiced their frustration with Jewish immigrants' political inexperience and what they saw as a Socialist manipulation of that naivete. Judge Aaron J. Levy maintained that Jewish immigrants came to America believing its promise of freedom "without possibility of enforced military service," yet shortly afterward "found their young sons drafted for army service." As many immigrants were "in this non-comprehending state of mind along comes Mr. Hillquit with his anti-war, anti-draft propaganda" and "so many of the Jewish voters will not realize that the Mayor of New York has nothing to do with the Federal draft." Russian-born Democrat Benjamin Antin, who came in 1900 to America at the age of sixteen and later served in the state legislature, argued that most Jews who supported Hillquit did it as a protest against the war and not as support for socialism. There were surely also Irish-Americans and German-Americans, Antin wrote, but also "misled, misguided, hopelessly misunderstanding" Jewish voters, who really believed Hillquit could return the boys back from the trenches. (36)

Moreover, Hillquit's opponents were frustrated over the way he and his campaign had adopted a dual tactic regarding Jewish sensibilities and identity: flatly denying any ethnic appeal to Jews (only to "workers") while making such an appeal nevertheless. They had a point. As Election Day approached, for example, Hillquit said at a mass meeting, "We do not appeal for votes as Jews," but a few minutes later he sounded a different note, appealing to Jewish sensibilities by arguing, "As a Jew to Jews, you don't have to be good." (37)

For their part, the Socialists were determined to prove their base of support was much wider than Jewish voters. Jewish socialists boasted during the 1917 campaign that among the Irish there was much support for socialism. The Forverts reported with pleasure that the Irish World and the Gaelic American, as well as the Irish Progressive League, endorsed Hillquit's candidacy. The popular daily also claimed that the "most educated Anglo-Saxon Americans" supported the SP. (38) The fact that Hillquit was both a native speaker of German and an opponent of war made him a natural candidate for many German-Americans, and he addressed a few mass meetings in German. But, as he later recalled, during the campaign a delegation of German-American leaders visited him, saying that many German New Yorkers were hesitating between him and Judge Hylan, and hinting that they preferred him as he "was more familiar with the 'German culture.'" But Hillquit clarified to them that he opposed the war purely as a socialist, while "my personal sympathies and inclinations are largely on the side of the Allies." After saying that he did not want the "German vote," he remembered, "the 'German vote' turned its metaphorical back on me forever," and Hillquit assumed most of those votes were cast in favor of Judge Hylan. (39)

Despite the Socialists' efforts to assemble a class-based coalition that cut across ethnicity, race, and religion, on Election Day the strongest Socialist vote came from the Jewish precincts. Out of a total of 642,445 votes, Hylan won by a large plurality with 313,956 votes. Hillquit managed to garner 145,332 votes, or 22 percent of the vote, running only 10,000 votes behind Mitchel. To be sure, many non-Jewish New Yorkers also voted for the Socialists. In fact, the Socialist vote leaped also among other ethnic groups in the city. Even though one of the elected socialists, Alderman Adolph Held, argued that socialist ballots were cast "only in Jewish districts," historian Thomas Henderson found that in mostly-German Yorkville Hillquit brought in 31.6 percent of the vote, in the Italian section of East Harlem he received 17.2 percent of the vote, and in mostly-Irish Hell's Kitchen he gathered almost 10 percent. (40) Nevertheless, socialism was closely identified with Jewish ethnicity in 1917. Hillquit was especially strong in Jewish sections such as the Lower East Side, East Harlem, Brooklyn's Brownsville and Williamsburg sections, and the East Bronx. His votes in the Bronx exceeded those of Mitchel by ten thousand. In some areas of the Lower East Side he won more than 60 percent of the Jewish vote, and in nearly all the election districts, which gave Hillquit a plurality or a majority of the votes, immigrants from Russia, Austria, Hungary, and Romania and their American-born offspring made up a disproportionate segment of the population. Whereas the exact number of Jewish votes cannot be determined, the correlation between Jews and the Socialist vote was unmistakable. (41) Nevertheless, that Hillquit was not elected while America at war allowed his Jewish opponents to breathe a sigh of relief. (42)

In subsequent election campaigns the Socialists' electoral power waned considerably. In 1918, the Socialist candidate for the New York governorship, Charles W. Ervin, polled 85,552 votes. In 1919 the Socialist candidate for President of the Board of Aldermen received 126,365 votes, despite the addition of women to the electorate. But as a Socialist attorney, S. John Block, noted in 1919, his party was satisfied with the electoral results, since "the large vote during the Hillquit campaign of 1917 cannot be used as a basis for comparison, for the vote was composed of a mixture of protests and was not wholly indicative of Socialist sentiment." Even historian Melvyn Dubofsky, who has stressed the socialist appeal among Jews, has concluded that the 1918 election "demonstrate that the previous year's vote was motivated as much by working-class Socialism as by anti-war sentiment." (43) Yet the emphasis on anti-war sentiment ought to come before working-class Socialism, as the former was clearly the stronger of the two.

Scholars have usually explained the waning power of the SP among voters in general, and Jewish voters in particular, by some combination of the following: government repression on the state and federal levels, splits and factional battles between Socialists and Communists, local Democratic-Republican coalitions to defeat Socialist candidates, gerrymandering, Tammany's strong-arm tactics, and a surge in Zionist support. (44)

But in the meantime, the developments on the Eastern front reversed the attitude of most socialists to the war. Jewish radicals saw the separate peace treaty between the Soviets and Germany (Brest-Litovsk, March 1918) as a humiliating sign of German belligerence and vulnerability of the young Soviet regime. As preservation of revolutionary Russia became the main priority for radicals, their attitudes shifted. A Jewish organizer for the Structural Iron workers, Sol Broad, reported that "there was a friction between the Jews and the German-Austrian element because the Jews favored the war after the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The German-Austrian element has been somewhat antisemitic." By February 1918, William Edlin privately claimed that "everybody" on the East Side was becoming anti-German, and that transformation was especially noticeable among Jewish socialists. A week later the German-American secretary of the SP, Adolph Germer, wrote to Morris Hillquit that "95% of their [Jewish] membership have changed front" and support the war against Germany. (45)

The height of the SP's electoral success among Jewish voters in 1917 had little to do with socialism per se and was mostly related to the party's unequivocal anti-war position. The many socialists who joined the AALD, JSL, and other pro-war organizations (and the independent stance taken by Socialist Congressman Meyer London) on the one hand; and the support Hillquit received among the usually anti-radical Orthodox Jews on the other, illustrate that the main dividing lines in the 1917 mayoralty campaign did not revolve around socioeconomic issues, but around the question of war and the ensuing draft. Both the Socialists (including Hillquit himself) and their opponents recognized this and ran their campaigns accordingly.

There were undeniably many American Jews (probably a majority) who supported the American entry to war, and strongly opposed the Socialists. (46) But in the preceding months and during the campaign a net of historic experiences came to mold many Jewish immigrants' fear of war and opposition to it. Deep-seated anxieties about the military draft were transferred from Tsarist Russia to America, increasing the angst that the United States would start to take after Tsarist Russia. Furthermore, whereas in the past Jewish nationalists and Orthodox blamed Jewish radicals (including Hillquit) for being assimilators who turned their back on Jews and imitated the Gentiles upon whom they fawned, the 1917 campaign witnessed an intriguing reversal: Jewish Socialists emerged as those who stood up for the honor and rights of Jews against the "informers" (uptown Jews, other Yiddish papers, pro-war socialists), who inflamed antisemitism by saying to the American public that antiwar radicals were typically Jewish. That reversal showed non-socialist Jewish leadership in a weak and subservient light amid the dangers of increasing nativism and xenophobia.

The international context of the strong opposition among Jews (particularly Jewish immigrants) to the war, which lasted until at least the spring of 1918, has been neglected in the existing scholarship. Whether because of the desire to celebrate socialist achievements, or to hail Jewish patriotism, historians have been reluctant to look at the set of particular circumstances that led to the apex of the SP's electoral gains among Jewish voters. A more comprehensive analysis is required, one that would engage less in touting a certain ideology or Jewish contributions to America, and more in exploring how judgments, prejudices, and fears continued to operate west of the Atlantic as well.

A more penetrating question is warranted whether the warnings of ideologically diverse public figures such as Brandeis, London, Marshall, Miller, and Untermyer (among many others) proved to be right. While Christopher Sterba has claimed that "no anti-Semitic backlash materialized" in the wake of the 1917 election, antisemitism did increase after the Great War. To what extent did Jewish radicals help to fuel the antisemitic and nativist wave after the war that would lead to immigration restriction? Were those Jewish dignitaries' worst fears born out when America closed its gates in the early 1920s? (47)

It remains unclear whether most Jewish voters were aware that they were voting for the SP more as an anti-war protest than a firm belief in socialist ideology. (48) While support for the Socialist cause and anti-war stance were not mutually exclusive, election results before and after 1917 clearly demonstrate how public opposition to America's entry to war had galvanized a massive vote, channeled to the SP as a vehicle for anti-war sentiments. This is borne out by the voting behavior of a substantial segment of the non-Jewish American public, which resembled, to a great extent, the political behavior of Jews in New York City.

(1.) Nussbaum's letter appeared in New York Tribune, November 6, 1917, 8. Lipsky's letter was published ibid, November 3, 1917, 12. Melech Epstein, Jewish Labor in U.S.A. (1953, reprinted, no city mentioned: Ktav, 1969), 2: 78.

(2.) New York Times (hereafter NYT), November 8, 1917, 2; New York Call, Nov. 8, 1917, 1-2; Nation, November 8, 1917, 500; Zosa Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism: The Attitude of American Jews in World War I, the Russian Revolutions of 1917, and Communism (1914-1945) (New York: Ktav, 1972), 1: 153-55.

(3.) Irving Howe, with the assistance of Kenneth Libo, World of Our Fathers (1976, reprinted New York: Schocken, 1989), 319; Melvyn Dubofsky, "Success and Failure of Socialism in New York City, 1900-1918: A Case Study," Labor History 9 (1968): 369-72; Tony Michels, A Fire in Their Hearts: Yiddish Socialists in New York (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2005), 2-4, 218-19. For a more critical assessment of that campaign, see Annie Polland and Daniel Soyer, Emerging Metropolis: New York Jews in the Age of Immigration, 1840-1920 (New York: New York University Press, 2012), 201-02; and Ehud Manor, Forward--The Jeivish Daily Forward (Forverts) Newspaper: Immigrants, Socialism and Jewish Politics in New York, 1890-1917 (Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2009), 88-90. See also, James Weinstein, The Decline of Socialism in America, 1912-1925 (1967, reprinted New Brunswick Rutgers University Press, 1984), 149-54.

(4.) Beth S. Wenger, "War Stories: Jewish Patriotism on Parade," in Imagining the American Jewish Community, ed. Jack Wertheimer (Hanover, NH: New England University Press in association with Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2.007), 101; and idem, History Lessons: The Creation of American Jewish Heritage (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010), 109.

(5.) Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: xx-xxii. In a similar vein, Christopher M. Sterha has written that, "The ultimate goal" of his book "is to bring national events and a concern for 'contributions' back into the story." Good Americans: Italian and Jewish Immigrants during the First World War (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), 6.

(6.) Studies that have focused on the Jewish aspects of the campaign are Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: 141-61; Sterba, Good Americans, 153-74; Irwin Yellowitz, "Morris Hillquit: American Socialism and Jewish Concerns," American Jewish History 68 (1978): T63-88. Other studies are by Kenneth S. Chern, "The Politics of Patriotism: War, Ethnicity, and the New York Mayoral Campaign, 1917," New York Historical Society Quarterly 63 (1979): 291-313; Thomas M. Henderson, Tammany Hall and the New Immigrants: The Progressive Years (New York: Arno, 1976), 196-219; Edwin R. Lewinson, John Purroy Mitchel: The Boy Mayor of New York (New York: Astra, 1965), 206-47; and John F. Hylan, Autobiography of John Francis Hylan (New York: Rotary, 1922). On Hillquit's failed bids for congress in Harlem, see Jeffrey S. Gurock, When Harlem Was Jewish (New York: Columbia University Press, 1979), 76-85; and Chris McNickle, To Be Mayor of New York: Ethnic Politics in the City (New York: Columbia University Press, 1993), 25-26.

(7.) The quotes are from Morris Hillquit, Loose Leaves from a Busy Life (New York: Rand School, 1934), 7-8. Norma Fain Pratt, Morris Hillquit: A Political History of an American Jewish Socialist (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1979), 3-6.

(8.) Morris Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 41-54 (the quote about De Leon is on p. 46); Pratt, Morris Hillquit, 9-12, 37-45; Weinstein, Decline of Socialism, 9-10. On name changing among immigrant Jews, see Rudolf Glanz, Jew and Irish: Historical Group Relations and Immigration (New York: by the author, 1966), 102-103; Kirsten Fermaglich, "Too Long, Too Foreign ... Too Jewish: Jews, Name Changing, and Family Mobility in New York City, 1917-1942," Journal of American Ethnic History 34, no. 3 (2015): 34-57.

(9.) Daniel Soyer, Jewish Immigrant Associations and American Identity in New York 1880-1939 (1997, reprinted Detroit: Wayne State University, 2001), 120; Joseph Rappaport, Hands across the Sea: Jewish Immigrants and World War I (Lanham: Hamilton Books, 2005), 20-44; Jonathan Frankel, Prophecy and Politics: Socialism, Nationalism, and the Russian Jews 1861-1917 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 134-37, 473-99, 509-12; Gil Ribak, "'A Victory of the Slavs Means a Deathblow to Democracy': The Onset of World War I and the Images of the Warring Sides among Jewish Immigrants in New York, 1914-1916," in War and Peace in Jewish Tradition: From the Ancient World to the Present, eds. Yigal Levin and Amnon Shapira (Oxford, UK: Routledge, 2012), 203-17; Eric Lohr, Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign against Enemy Aliens during World War I (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2003), 137-50; Y. Lifshits, "Repercussions of the Beilis Trial in the United States," Zion 28 (1963): 206-22 (Hebrew). On university quotas, see Benjamin Nathans, Beyond the Pale: The Jewish Encounter with Late Imperial Russia (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002), 268-71.

(10.) The quote is in an undated appeal of the JLAP (signed by Joel Slonim) in the Joseph Barondess Papers (New York Public Library, hereafter NYPL), box #4, folder "1916-1918 Jewish Affairs." See the League's letter (May 16, 1917) to Edlin, William Edlin Papers (YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, hereafter YIVO), folder #83. On the AALD see "Reminiscences of John Spargo," Columbia University Oral History Research Office (hereafter CUOHROC), 266-78. Frank L. Grubbs, Jr., The Struggle for Labor Loyalty: Gompers, the AF of L, and the Pacifists, 1970-1920 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1968), 39-46.

(11.) The text of the St. Louis Manifesto is in Albert Fried (ed.), Socialism in America: From the Shakers to the Third International: A Documentary History (1970, reprinted New York: Columbia University Press, 1992), 521-26. Baranov is quoted in Rappaport, Hands across the Sea, 109. Miller wrote in Miller's vokhenshrift, July 6, 1917, whose English translation is in the AFL Papers (Wisconsin State Historical Society, hereafter WSHS), series #11A (hereafter 11A), box #61, folder #2: 2, 5. The manifesto of the JSL (Sep. 14, 1917) is ibid.

(12.) All translations from the Yiddish are mine unless otherwise noted. Olgin wrote in the Forverts, March 22, 1917, 3 (quotes in the original). On the resistance to war in the Arbeter Ring convention see in Fraynd (Friend), June 1917, 41; Fraye arbeter shtime (Free Voice of Labor), May 26, 1917, 2; and Epstein, Jewish Labor, 2, 72. See also, Tog (Day), April n, 19 17, 4. On the resistance to war among those circles, see New York Call, April 10, 1917, 1-2; Yidisher kemfer (Jewish Fighter), April 20, 1917, 4. See also Nina E. Hillquit's unpublished biography of her father, "Morris Hillquit, Pioneer of American Socialism" (undated), Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #7: 44-50; Weinstein, Decline of Socialism, 126-33; Melvyn Dubofsky, "Organized Labor in New York City and the First World War," New York History 42 (1961): 380-400; H. C. Peterson and Gilbert C. Fite, Opponents of War, 1917-1918 (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1957), 8-9, 74-76.

(13.) On the 1917 campaign, see Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 180-210; Sterba, Good Americans, 153-74 ("one of our own" is on p. 157). The 1917 food riots in New York are discussed by Bruno Lasker, Survey, March 3, 1917, 638-41; Dana Frank, "Housewives, Socialists, and the Politics of Food: The 1917 New York Cost-of-Living Protests," Feminist Studies 11 (1985): 255-86; William Freiburger, "War Prosperity and Hunger: The New York Food Riots of 1917," Labor History 25 (1984): 217-39; Kathleen Kennedy, "Declaring War on War: Gender and the American Socialist Attack on Militarism, 1914-1918," Journal of Women's History 7 (1995): 27-51.

(14.) Samson Benderly, "The Gary Plan and Jewish Education," The Jewish Teacher 1 (1916): 41-47; New York Tribune, October 17, 1917, 9; Evening Post, October 22, 1917, 1, 8; World, October 20, 1917, 1, 3; October 22, 1917, 10; New York Call, October 28, 1917, 1. Varhayt complained that the demonstrations "bring shame on Jews" and "brutalize the children," October 20, 1917, 4. See also, Diane Ravitch, The Great School Wars: New York City, (1974, reprinted New York: Basic, 1988), 195-230.

(15.) Hillquit's quotes are in Loose Leaves, 37, 17. On Hillquit's attitude to Jews and Yiddish (and his 1924 and 1926 quotes), see Pratt, Morris Hillquit, 15-19, 152-53, 159.

(16.) Forverts, October 5, 1906, 4; November 10, 1906, 4; Arthur A. Goren, The Politics and Public Culture of American Jews (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1999), 83-99 (Miller is quoted on p. 88); Yidishes tageblat (hereafter YT), October 26, 1908, 4; November 1, 1908, 4. See also Varhayt, November 3, 1908, 4. Hillquit wrote to Aleksej M. Peskov, January 30, 1907, Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #5. See also, Moses Rischin, The Promised City: New York Jews 1870-1914 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962), 229-34; Frankel, Prophecy and Politics, 456-57; Charles Leinenweber, "The Class and Ethnic Bases of New York City Socialism, 1904-1915," Labor History 22 (1981): 31-56.

(17.) See Hillquit's speech in Forverts, October 23, 1908, 4; Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 107-16; Ira Kipnis, The American Socialist Movement, 1897-1912 (1952, reprinted New York: Greenwood, 1968), 206, 276-88; Yellowitz, "Morris Hillquit," 166-72; Henderson, Tammany Hall, 41, 132-133.

(18.) Gordon J. Goldberg, Meyer London: A Biography of the Socialist New York Congressman, 1871-1916 (Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2013), 41-77; Harry Rogoff, An East Side Epic: The Life and Work of Meyer London (New York: Vanguard, 1930), 56-60; Howe, World of Our Fathers, 315-17; Morris Goldovsky, Fun vayten amol un haynt: mayne 60 yor lebn un kamf in der arbeter bavegung (New York: Published by a Committee, 1959), 120-21; Harry Roskolenko, The Time That Was Then: The Lower East Side 1900-1914, An Intimate Chronicle (New York: Dial, 1971), 204. He also mentioned Jewish ethnic voting patterns, ibid, 10, 29. A handbill by the Arbeter Ring (1916) for London's reelection clearly shows his ethnic appeal--Meyer London Papers (Tamiment Library at New York University), box #1, folder BF. On Hillquit's "bourgeois" and assimilated manners, see Richard W. Fox, "The Paradox of 'Progressive' Socialism: The Case of Morris Hillquit, 1901-1914," American Quarterly 16 (May 1974): 136-37.

(19.) Brandeis's words were said at a meeting of the Provisional Executive Committee for General Zionist Affairs, quoted in an appendix to a letter by Jacob De Haas to Israel Friedlaender, Sep. 11, 1917, Israel Friedlaender Papers (Jewish Theological Seminary), box #6, folder "Sep. 1917" (italics added). On the question of American Jews and wartime loyalty, Gil Ribak, Gentile New York: The Images of Non-Jews among Jewish Immigrants (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2012), 157-62.

(20.) Marshall's appeals were published in the Varhayt, October 31, 1917, 4; Tog, Nov. 3, 1917, 7. Untermyer wrote in the World, November 6, 1917, 9. See also NYT, November 1, 1917, 2. See the ads in the Orthodox Morgen zhurnal (Morning Journal, hereafter MZ), November 2, 1917, 6; Varhayt, Nov. 4, 1917, 3. See the internal memo (October 1917) sent by the chairman of the Businessmen's League of New York, Joseph Yeska, warning of "the growing strength of Hillquit" as a "dangerous menace to New York City"--in the Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #2.

(21.) YT, November 4, 1917, 4; November 5, 1917, 4; November 6, 1917, 6. The Polish-born Bublik would become a central figure in orthodox Zionism in America: see Gershon Greenberg, "Jerusalem, Vilna, Chicago: Gedaliah Bublick's Wartime Dilemma," in America and Zion: Essays and Papers in Memory of Moshe Davis, eds. Eli Lederhendler and Jonathan D. Sarna (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2002), 255-75.

(22.) Roosevelt's letter (October 29, 1915) was actually sent to congratulate the paper for its thirtieth anniversary: Kasriel and Ezekiel Sarasohn Papers (American Jewish Archives), scrapbook #2; American Jewish Committee, Eighth Annual Report (1915), 19; NYT, January 23, 1915, 10. Miller wrote in Miller's vokhenshrift, July 6, 1917, 2, in AFL Papers (WSHS), series #11A (hereafter 11A), box #61, folder #2; David M. Kennedy, Over Here: The hirst World War and American Society (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980), 59-69; John Higham, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860-1925 (1955, new edition New York: Atheneum, 1978), 204-19, 178-79. On the Germans in New York, see Peter Conolly-Smith, Translating America: An Immigrant Press Visualizes American Popular Culture, 189J-1918 (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian, 2004), 245-70.

(23.) Magidov and the other quotes are in MZ, October 28, 1917, 5, November 1, 1917, 4-5, November 5, 1917, 4, October 23, 1917, 4, October 24, 1917, 4; and Rappaport, Hands across the Sea, 120.

(24.) On Morse and the Lincoln Club, see Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: 148; Joseph Barondess Papers (NYPL), box #4, folder "1916-1918 Jewish Affairs." Barondess probably read it at a pro-war rally. World, October 18, 1917, 9. On Jewish soldiers at Camp Upton see Sterba, Good Americans, 105-29.

(25.) Varhayt, October 21, 1917, 4, October 18, 1917, 4, October 31, 1917, 4, November 5, 1917, 1, 4, November 2, 1917, 4; Life, October 25, 1917, 675; World, November 5, 1917, 20; Herald, November 2, 1917, 1.

(26.) London's first quote and a discussion of his wartime stance are in Goldberg, Meyer London, 153-73 (the quote is on p. 157). London's second quote is in Rogoff, East Side Epic, 104-05. The rally quote on Belgium is in NYT, October 22, 1917, 4. The account of London's meeting in New York was given in an ad that the group published in Varhayt, November 4, 1917, 3. See also the editorial ibid, November 2, 1917, 4.

(27.) Yidishe folk, November 9, 1917, 2; American Jewish Chronicle, November 9, 1917, 1-2, 17-18. On that paper's pro-German views and its editor's (Shmuel Melamed) connection with the German Information Bureau's activities, see the Senate Sub-Committee of the Committee on Judiciary, Hearings on Brewing and Liquor Interests and German and Bolshevik Propaganda, 66th Congress, 1st Session (1919), 2: 1448-49. Yiddish historian Herts Burgin and fellow socialist Max Goldfarb blamed pro-war socialists for trying to cast "Jewish and German" socialists as traitors--see Forverts, May 4, 1917, 4, May 10, 1917, 3. See also, Groyser kundes, November 9, 1917, 1.

(28.) Rabhi Aaronson wrote his plea in Varhayt, November 5, 1917, 8. The appeals of Bublik and MZ are above, op cit. On the Orthodox deep distrust of Jewish radicals, see Jeffrey S. Gurock, Orthodox Jews in America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 94; and B. Vaynshteyn, Di yidishe yunyons in amerike (New York: Fareynigte yidishe geverkshaftn, 1929), 106.

(29.) Hillquit is quoted in the New York Call, November 5, 1917, 6. Asch wrote in the Forverts, November 5, 1917, 6. See the editorial ibid, November 6, 1917, 4. Fraye arbeter shtime, November 10, 1917, 4; Yidisher kemfer, November 2, 1917, 4.

(30.) Naye velt, October 5, 1917, 1. Pinsky wrote in Yidisher kemfer, November 9, 1917, 1, 6; Forverts, November 4, 1917, 1. See also Bronzvil un 1st Nu York progres, November 9, 1917: 4.

(31.) Letter from Maisel to Gompers (August 8, 1917), AFL Papers (WSHS), 11A, box #25, folder #4; Letter from Maisel to Gompers (October 17, 1917), ibid, 11A, box #27, folder #4. On some of the Socialist tactics, see Evening Post, October 23, 1917, 16; and the letter of a former labor leader, John A. Dyche, NYT, October 27, 1917, np.

(32.) On the JSL meeting, see New York Call, October 6, 1917, clipping in the Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #8; NYT, October 6, 1917, 6. Levy was quoted in Evening Post, October 23, 1917, 16. Louis Eisenstein and Elliot Rosenberg, A Stripe of Tammany's Tiger (New York: Robert Speller & Sons, 1966), 26-27.

(33.) Hillquit's first quote is in NYT, November 7, 1917, 1. See also ibid, September 28, 1917 (non-paginated). His second quote is in Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 182. On Nussbaum's letter, see op cit., 1. Marie Ganz, Rebels: Into Anarchy and Out Again (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1920), 270; Avrum Pinkhes Unger, Mayn heymshtetl Strykov (New York: Arbeter Ring, 1957), 261. See also the letter of Marcus Weingarten to the Evening Globe, quoted in Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: 151.

(34.) On Goldman's activity, WI.RC rallies, and the Bronx arrest, see Emma Goldman, "The No Conscription League," Mother Earth 12 (1917): 112-14; NYT, June 16, 1917, 1, 18, June 22, 1917, 14; World, June 2, 1917, 1-2, June 18, 1917, 8.

(35.) The JSL manifesto is in AFL Papers (WSHS), 11A, box #61, folder #2. Lipsky's letter was published in New York Tribune, November 3, 1917, 12. Toledano's letter was published in NYT, November 6, 1917, 12.

(36.) Levy's interview appeared in Evening Post, October 23, 1917, 16. Benjamin Antin, The Gentleman from the 22nd (New York: Boni and Liveright, 1927), 70-71. See also the explanation of the popular Yiddish columnist Dovid M. Hermalin, who argued that "the more ignorant and unsophisticated" Jews read the Forverts and were convinced by it to oppose the war--clipping from World, October 21, 1917, in Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #8.

(37.) Hillquit's first rally speech is quoted in clipping from the New York Call, October 24, 1916, Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #8; the second is also from the New York Call, November 5, 1917, 6. See also, Yellowitz, "Morris Hillquit", 178-80; Pratt, Morris Hillquit, 125-30, 155-57.

(38.) Forverts, October 23, 1917, 3, October 27, 1917, 14, November 1, 1917, 4, November 7, 1917, 4. See also Hillquit's appeal to Irish voters, in the clipping from the Tribune, October 26, 1917, Morris Hillquit Papers (WSHS), reel #8.

(39.) Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 204-05. Melvyn Dubofsky has argued that when America joined the war, Germans and Irish in New York's labor movement became highly patriotic--"Organized Labor in New York City," 395-96.

(40.) NYT, November 8, 1917, 2; New York Call, November 8, 1917, 1-2; Nation, November 8, 1917, 500; Hillquit, Loose Leaves, 204-08. Held's quote is in "Reminiscences of Adolph Held," CUOHROC, 5. Henderson, Tammany Hall and the New Immigrants, 215-16. See also, Chern, "Politics of Patriotism," 306-10; Sterba, Good Americans, 157-58; Yellowitz, "Morris Hillquit," 184. Szajkowski has contended that the pro-Hillquit vote was not a "Jewish vote"--jews. Wars, and Communism, 1: 153-55. Yet the correlation between the Jewish vote and the SP was clear even according to the Socialists' opponents: see the letter from Maisel to Gompers (October 17, 1917), AFL Papers (WSHS), 11A, box #27, folder #4. Letter from Phelps Stokes to Gompers (October 17, 1917), ibid. See Syrkin's anti-pacifist speech at Clinton Hall, printed in Tog, October 28, 1917, 4. Current Opinion, November 1917, 293-94.

(41.) Harry Best, "The Melting Pot in the United States," Social Forces 14 (May 1936): 591-96. See also, Sun, November 7, 1917, 1; NYT, November 8, 1917, np; Henderson, Tammany Hall and the New Immigrants, 217.

(42.) On Jewish leaders' opposition to the very existence of a Jewish vote, see the open letter of Rabbi Samuel Schulman to Untermyer, where he insisted, "I have always held there is no such thing as a Jewish vote," NYT, November 8, 1917, np; David G. Dalin, "Louis Marshall, the Jewish Vote, and the Republican Party," Jewish Political Studies Review 4 (Spring 1992): 51-84; Ira N. Forman, "The Politics of Minority Consciousness: The Historical Voting Behavior of American Jews," in Jews in American Politics, ed. L. Sandy Maisel (Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001), 141-60; Polland and Soyer, Emerging Metropolis, 204-05; Deborah Dash Moore, At Home in America: Second Generation New York Jews (New York: Columbia University Press, 1981), 200-230; Lawrence H. Fuchs, The Political Behavior of American Jews (Glencoe: The Free Press, 1956), 41-62.

(43.) NYT, November 7, 1919 (not paginated). Block is quoted in Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: 159. Dubofsky, "Success and Failure," 370-71. Dubofsky has shown how SP votes in predominantly Jewish assembly districts declined in 1918.

(46.) Sterba, Good Americans, 153-74; Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: xx-xxi.

(47.) Sterba, Good Americans, 155, 162. Cf. Leonard Dinnerstein, Antisemitism in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 78-96.

(48.) On non-socialist Jewish voters who explained why they would vote for Hillquit, see Szajkowski, Jews, Wars, and Communism, 1: 151-52.
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Author:Ribak, Gil
Publication:American Jewish History
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2017
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