U.S. Jewish Soldiers Died for Country: Parents Get Nothing

Although small fortunes in the form of insurance bequests left by this sons is awaiting them, the parents of several hundred American Jewish soldiers who lost their lives in the war are unable to obtain a cent of it and many are facing starvation on account of the residence of the beneficiaries in Russia.

George G. Cohen, representative of the Jewish Welfare Board in Washington explained that several hundred of these American soldiers had named as their beneficiaries their parents living in Russia, but the Veterans Bureau is unable to pay these claims because the seal of an American Consul must be affixed to the demand for money from a foreign country and there are no American consuls in Russia.

“We ought to make an immediate effort to remedy this situation”, Dr. Cyrus Adler, Chairman of the organization’s Army and Navy Committee declared. “One suggestion that comes to my mind is for a number of parents in one city to send a representative to an American Consul at Riga or some nearby city in Poland or Latvia and have the papers authenticated. Another suggestion which may be more practicable is that we ask the Joint Distribution Committee, which is represented in Russia by Dr. Bogen to cooperate. Perhaps Dr. Bogen could secure the necessary papers and have them authenticated by the nearest American consul. This is a very serious question and it must be given immediate attention. I would never have allowed this situation to continue if I had known the facts”.

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