Jews loyal to British throne, says Scheuer (1914)


Jews Responded Splendidly to England’s Cause

Sons of Israel in Great Britain Gave Themselves and Their Fortunes to the Cause


From the Toronto World, August 31, 1914

scheuerMr. Edmund Scheuer, the well known Yonge street merchant, has returned to Toronto after spending some time on the continent. Mr. Scheuer was in Holland when war was declared and had some interesting experiences. Fortunately before leaving Canada he had taken the precaution of providing himself with a Canadian passport. All the passengers returning from Holland to England were subject to a rigid inspection. Mr. Scheuer’s German name might have caused him some inconvenience, but the aforementioned document coupled with the statement that he had been a resident of Canada for the last forty-five years and had taught thousands of foreign children to say “God save the King” made things easy for him.

Mr. Scheuer states that the German people did not want the war, according to him practically the whole German industrial system has been ruined. He has some interesting stories to tell of the thoro way in which the London police sifted the German population of that city in their search for spies. Mr. Scheuer brought back with him one of the English one pound notes. Although an insignificant looking piece of paper, he says it circulates just as readily as gold.

According to Mr. Scheuer the Jewish population of England has shown the utmost loyalty, and no class has been more generous in giving men and money. Mr. Scheuer is convinced that the Czar’s announcement that in future the Jews of Russia would be given full right of citizenship was a clever political move suggested or dictated by the English government.

Jews Respond

wargb019A copy of the Jewish Chronicle which Mr. Scheuer brings back with him contains among other interesting things a long list of wealthy Hebrews who have given to the Prince of Wales Relief Fund, and the following article which shows the temper of the English Jews:

At the call of duty a considerable army of Jews from England have responded. Countless instances of the remarkable sacrifice and self-abnegation involved in this prompt answer are pouring in upon us as we write. Jewish mothers, who of all creatures on God’s earth have a tender heart for their offspring, have egged their sons – the apple of their eye to go forth and serve for the King and country. Jewish fathers who had fondly pictured for their sons careers, of advancement in commerce or profession have set their lips and bidden them and go help to overcome the enemies of England. In the day of trial, in the stress of battle, these sons of Israel will not be found wanting. The pluck and the spirit of old these Jews have not lost. They rely upon God for His protection, and upon their own strong arm for shielding the country which so nobly has sheltered their people. This spirit is no mere frothy and ebullient martial ardor. England is face to face with a test and a trial such as she has never been put to, and our sons have leapt gladly to the supreme opportunity of doing their share as English citizens.

Nor again has the spirit and sentiment of duty at this anxious time animated only those who have hurried to the colors for active service in the field. It has seized the whole community. Everyone, man and woman, is anxious to find some means where-by, if not in the field then at home actively or at least passively, they may help this country to victory. The energetic loyal co-operation in a hundred ways which Jews are now undertaking can be judged from such records as we are able to provide in another column. These do not by any means constitute all. They are at most, typical. Yet they are remarkable. For Jews are naturally a peace-loving people, to whom war is hateful, to whom the shedding of human blood is detestable, who traditionally and historically have magnified peace as an ideal, who turn day by day in their prayers to the city named of Peace. We Jews are conscious that today more than ever Peace is Jewry’s most faithful ally. But “we see this great country gone forth to a war which was forced upon it by a haughty and intolerable system of militarism. We see this country with a clear conscience and clean hands going forth to do battle for freedom, for freedom from an overbearing empire of “blood and iron.” We see this country defending with all its vast resources the rights of the smaller nationalities and the existence on earth of the smaller states free from the engulfing greed of the brute force of armaments. In such a cause we feel we have a cause for which to suffer, and to sacrifice, in such a cause it can be no matter for surprise that to a unit we are responding with a spirit worthy of the highest conceptions of our race. In such an hour it is but natural that we in this country should recollect and be inspired by the thought that “England has been all she could be to Jews,” and should determine that “Jews ill be all they can be to England.”

Jews ww1 chanukahThis prayer was offered up in every Jewish synagogue in England on August 15:

The Prayer

O Lord God of Hosts! Thou art our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. With anxious minds and trembling hearts we approach Thee today in prayer and supplication. Kingdoms shake and nations tremble. The shout of the warrior and the roar of battle resound to the ends of the earth because of the fury of the oppressor. The terrors of war are upon us; they have come close to our gates.

Yet we will not fear. Thou, who searchest the hearts of men and knowest the innermost thoughts of rulers, wilt judge our cause. Our fathers trusted in Thee and Thou didst deliver them. To Thee alone our eyes are lifted up. Who bringest low the haughty and protectest the upright in spirit. With Thine own wisdom direct the rulers and counsellers of our nation. Gird our hosts with strength and courage on land and on sea. Keep Thou far from us pestilence and famine; and shield our homes from sorrow and hurt.

Our Father, Our King! Hearken unto our cry; save us for Thy Name`s sake, so that loyalty and faithfulness be indeed the stability of our times. Speedily cause righteousness to triumph and the lovers of justice to rejoice; and hasten the day when Thy tabernacle of peace shall be spread over all the children of men for evermore. Amen. ♦