N.P. N.P., 1950s? 8½” x 5¼”. Single sheet, text recto only. Very good with old folds.
This is a rare copy of an antisemitic rant that never happened and was attributed to Benjamin Franklin, decrying the emigration of Jewish people to the United States.
Allegedly transcribed by South Carolina politician Charles Pinckney during the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the speech first appeared in a 1934 issue of the Silver Legion Nazi sympathizer magazine Liberation. The vicious speech, purportedly made by Franklin at the Convention, calls Jewish people “vampires” and argues that “if the Jews are not excluded within 200 years, our children will be working in the fields to feed the Jews while they remain in the counting house gleefully rubbing their hands.”
The American Jewish Congress (AJC) published a complete exoneration of Franklin in 1938, authored by noted Franklin scholars, but damage had already been done. The speech, which came to be known as “The Franklin Prophecy,” was incorporated into the Handbuch der Judenfrage (referred to as the “Nazi Bible”) and was repeatedly broadcast over the radio and in the press in Germany and Italy. The AJC publication noted that:
“In America, its circulation is on the increase. Getting its start from official Nazi propaganda, it turns up in the form of chain letters. Printed copies, sometimes containing grammatical and typographical errors, are found in railway stations, trains, buses, and other public places. It was circulated in New York State during the recent election campaign.”
OCLC locates nothing similar. While Singerman at 274 references the printing of the speech in Liberation and the subsequent scholarship debunking it, it does not find this handbill.
A rare 20th century example of a problem that continues on a grand scale today. Very good. Item #7123