Benjamin H. Freedman

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Benjamin H. Freedman at the age of 82, center (third from left) with bow tie, receiving the Service award from the Anti-Communist Federation of Polish Freedom Fighters in Salem, Massachusetts, 1972. Freedman's wife, Rose Schoendorf, depicted at the far left.

Benjamin Harrison[1] Freedman (1890 – May 1984)[2] was an American antisemitic and anti-Zionist activist.[3][4][5][6][7] Freedman was a partner in a dermatological institute and in small business. He converted from Judaism to Roman Catholicism.[8]

Contents

Biography

Freedman was, from 1925 to 1937, a partner with Samuel D. Leidesdorf and the John H. Woodbury Laboratories, a dermatological institute[9] and a derivative company of the old Woodbury Soap Company.[10] Benjamin H Freedman was listed on the letterhead of the Institute for Arab American Affairs and around 1946, along with his wife, listed as "R M Schoendorf" (Rose M. Schoendorf Freedman), "sponsored a series of advertisements under the imprint of 'The League for Peace with Justice in Palestine'".[11] In 1946 he sued the American Jewish Committee for libel and the case was thrown out in less than a month.[12][13]

In 1988, the Institute for Historical Review published Robert John's Behind the Balfour Declaration, including a single acknowledgment, to Freedman. John wrote that Freedman "gave me copies of materials on the Balfour Declaration which I might never have found on my own and (he) encouraged my own research."[14]

Activities

He was a financial backer of the author Conde McGinley, publisher of the periodical Common Sense.[15] In the 1955 libel trial by Rabbi Joachim Prinz against McGinley, Freedman testified that "he [Freedman] had given Mr. McGinley financial support of 'more than $10,000 but less than $100,000'".[16] Prinz had sued McGinley for calling him a "red rabbi."

At the Henry George School, Benjamin Freedman spoke on "The Genesis of Middle East Tensions".[17] Long John Nebel reported on WNBC that Freedman would discuss anti-Semitism.[18] Freedman was politically active until the mid-1970s when he was well over 85 years old. He died in May 1984 at the age of 94.[19][20]

Freedman opposed the nomination of Anna M. Rosenberg to be Assistant Secretary of Defense in 1950.[21] An article in the ADL Bulletin entitled The Plot Against Ann Rosenberg attributed the attacks on Rosenberg's loyalty to "professional anti-Semites and lunatic nationalists," including the "Jew-baiting cabal of John Rankin, Benjamin Freedman, and Gerald Smith."[5]

Freedman, an apostate Jew, was well known to the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee as an active supporter of the Arab cause in the Middle East. (fn 33) In the course of his erratic and often contradictory testimony before the Senate committee, Freedman revealed the roles played by anti-Semitic agitators and right-wing anticommunists — including Gerald L.K. Smith, Conde McGinley, the "Reverend" Wesley Swift, Congressman John Rankin, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and J.B. Matthews — in the campaign against the Rosenberg appointment. (fn 34)[5]

He is mentioned in a report by the House Un-American Activities Committee.[22]

Works

Notes

  1. ^ House Committee on un-American activities, pg 17, calling him "Benjamin Harrison Freedman ... of 960 Park Avenue"
  2. ^ Social Security Death Index: "born Oct 4 1890, died May 1984 Benjamin Freeman [sic] Garden City, NY"
  3. ^ "In the meantime, however, a vicious campaign against Mrs. Rosenberg's nomination had been launched by a group of professional anti-Semites. The leaders of the group were Benjamin H. Freedman, a retired New York businessman... and Gerald L. K. Smith, the notorious leader of the 'Christian Nationalist Crusade.'" Robert K. Griffith, The Politics of Fear, p. 136.
  4. ^ "[Fulton Lewis Jr.] went on the air to denounce Freedman as a 'violent anti-semite'." Robert K. Griffith, The Politics of Fear, p. 138.
  5. ^ a b c Stuart Svonkin, Jews Against Prejudice, p. 120.
  6. ^ New York Times, May 8, 1948: Anti-Zionist Tells of Dinner in Capital
  7. ^ New York Times, May 9, 1948: ANTI-ZIONIST LISTS POLICY 'DICTATORS'; Lehman, Baruch and Warburg Named as Among Those Who Influence U.S. on Palestine
  8. ^ New York Times, May 5, 1948, p. 35 :"Mr Freedman who was born in the Jewish faith, but now practices Catholicism...."
  9. ^ Scribner's Magazine
  10. ^ Nomination of Anna M. Rosenberg to be Assistant Secretary of Defense, Freedman's testimony starts on page 145
  11. ^ Cairo to Damascus by John Roy Carlson. Knopf 1951 (PDF 4.5M)
  12. ^ New York Times, Jul 8, 1946
  13. ^ New York Times, May 27, 1948, pg 23
  14. ^ Introduction Behind the Balfour Declaration: the hidden origins of today's Mideast crisis ISBN 0-939484-29-3 OCLC: 20481166;
  15. ^ Preliminary Report on Neo-fascist and Hate Groups pg 18
  16. ^ New York Times, Apr 1, 1955, pg 9
  17. ^ New York Times, Feb 14, 1964
  18. ^ New York Times, Sep 2, 1965
  19. ^ Social Security Death Index: "born Oct 4 1890, died May 1984 Benjamin Freeman [sic] Garden City, NY"
  20. ^ New York Passenger Lists, online at www.ancestry.com : Arriving on the Queen of Bermuda, 24 Feb 1936, from Hamilton, Bermuda, Sheet 126 "Benjamin Freedman 46 born 1890 New York City, residence 2138 Edwin Ave, West Hill, NY". Next entry is "Rose Margaret Freedman 30 born 1905 New York City, residence 2138 Edwin Ave, West Hill, NY
  21. ^ Nomination of Anna M. Rosenberg to be Assistant Secretary of Defense
  22. ^ House Un-American Activities Committee, pg 17
  23. ^ Yearbook of the United Nations 1946/7

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