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Stop The Lobby!

      In an amazing development, archeologists digging in the campus grounds of Harvard University near the statue of John Harvard have uncovered a forgotten buried document about a long-defunct organization of professors and students operating on American campuses in 1937.
 
        Numerous campus organizations at that time were protesting the nefarious activities of the Czech Lobby, which was accused of suppressing free speech on American campuses. Professors from Harvard and the University of Chicago led the movement to expose and rein in the all-too-powerful Czech Lobby and to promote divestment from Czechoslovakia.
 
         Here are the exact contents of the document discovered and published this week by archeologists:
 

November 1937

 

         Faculty Members, Students, University Presidents, Journalists, and Patriotic Americans –
 
         At long last a group of courageous people is confronting the Czech Lobby.
 
         For too long, fear of this Lobby has intimidated professors and others. This Lobby seeks to suppress the freedom to criticize and to speak out against human-rights abuses by Czechoslovakia against the Sudeten Germans living in the occupied Sudetenland.
 
         For too long, American foreign policy has been undermined by this Lobby, which seeks to substitute the interests of the Czechs for those of the American people. Agents from the Czech Lobby and the Czechoslovakia-First neo-bohemians have infiltrated the American government and are forcing the United States to support Czechoslovakia in its obstinate refusal to grant self-determination to the Sudeten Germans and to remove its illegal Czech settlements from the Sudetenland.
 
        Moreover, the Czech Lobby is not content with imposing on the world its agenda of unbalanced support for Czechoslovakia in its aggression toward the Third Reich. The Lobby is also behind the foolish American policy of antagonizing Japan and of the ongoing bloody American occupation of the Philippines.
 
         The Lobby has been spreading propaganda about human rights abuses in Germany and about the oppressed status of women in Japan, but since when is it the proper business of the United States to interfere in the internal affairs of those sovereign states?
 
         The Czech Lobby has its appendages everywhere. It commands enormous sums of capital, controls large portions of the Western media, and uses these to terrorize those who express criticism of its behavior and those who oppose the reckless and abusive policies of Czechoslovakia.
 
         The Czech Lobby has begun exceeding all bounds, and its agents are even interfering with freedom of speech on American campuses. For example, a political science professor at DePaul University who built up his career by writing anti-Czech books and articles for the Der Sturmer newspaper in Germany was recently denied tenure.
 
         Clearly, the only reason he was turned down was because the Czech Lobby was pressuring the authorities at that university. A second professor who fell victim to the conniving of the Lobby was fired from the University of Colorado for suggesting the United States is an evil, imperialist country threatening world peace and that Americans would really deserve it if Japan were to bomb the dickens out of Pearl Harbor.
 
        Elsewhere, courageous academics willing to speak their minds about the inhumane and arrogant policies of Czechoslovakia have been harassed by the Lobby. The Czech Lobby controls so much of the American media; many of its loyalists among the ranks of U.S. columnists have unfairly attacked professors who endorse Germany’s demands that Czechoslovakia liberate the oppressed Sudeten Germans and allow them to set up their own state.
 
        Newspaper criticism of these professors is obviously a threat to American democracy and an attempt to suppress academic freedom and neutralize the First Amendment. Clearly the neo-bohemians and their fellow travelers have no respect at all for the Constitution.
 
        Meanwhile, a new book has been published by two courageous scholars who were willing to defy threats and intimidation – a book that exposes all of the machinations of the Czech Lobby. Written by professors Helmut Walther and Heinrich Johnsheimer, the book was brought out by a major publishing house and the authors are being interviewed on radio stations coast to coast. A whistlestop train tour is being planned to help promote their book.
 
        Meanwhile, the Middle European Studies Association has issued a series of statements condemning the Czech Lobby and its attempts to suppress academic freedom in America. It has called on DePaul University to reinstate the professor who was denied tenure because of outside pressure from agents of the Lobby.
 
        Awareness of the power and threat of the Czech Lobby has been growing among the public. We are seeing growing efforts to expose its nefarious aims. Campus teach-ins have been held. There is now a large movement to divest from Czechoslovakia until it frees the Sudetenland. Demands to boycott Czechoslovakian universities and sever all ties with Czech academics are increasingly heard.
 
        Delegations of international solidarity demonstrators are being sent to the Sudetenland to help protect Sudeten Germans from being abused by the Czechoslovak police and military. A multi-city film festival is being planned, featuring films documenting the discrimination and abuses suffered by Sudeten Germans living under Czechoslovakian occupation.
 
         We must liberate American policy from being held hostage by a group that serves alien interests. And we must defend academic freedom and the right of scholars to denounce and criticize freely the policies of the Czechoslovakian regime.
 
         Please, come join us in our campaign for freedom.
 
        Professors and Students for an Independent Sudetenland.
 

         Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at Haifa University. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at   steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

About the Author: Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.


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