American Jewish Congress declares boycott against Nazi Germany

8/20/1933

As soon as the persecution of German Jews began, various public figures in American Jewry, headed by Stephen Wise, a Zionist and the head of the American Jewish Congress, bruited proposals for tough action against Germany. Large segments of American Jewry were reluctant to defend German Jewry publicly because of antisemitism in America and the prevailing isolationist climate. Nevertheless, on March 19, 1933, the Association of American Jewish War Veterans declared a boycott of German manufacturers in response to preparations for the April 1 boycott in Germany, and in August the American Jewish Congress issued a boycott statement of its own. American Jewry, divided and fragmented, did not lend full and organized support to the boycott activity.