Louis Marshall, praised the action of Herbert Hoover, as head of the American relief work in Europe in 1919, to prevent the repetition of anti-Jewish violance, in a statement he made public yesterday.
Mr. Marshall related details of Mr. Hoover’s intervention in April 1919, in connection with the murder of thirtyfive Jew in Pinsk. The statement declared:
“Those who had occasion to see Mr. Hoover in action while he was engaged in carrying out the work of the American Relief Administration, will never forget the earnestness, the zeal, the enthusiasm, for this stupendous task manifested by him. In April 1919, while in Paris during the Peace Conference, engaged in the formulation of the Minority Treaties, I had an unusual opportunity to judge Mr. Hoover’s marvelous insight and lightning-like promptitude of action.
“The news came to me by telegram that at Pinsk thirty-five Jewish young men while engaged in a work of mercy, the distribution of money and supplies which had been brought there by the representative of the Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, an American organization, in aid of the helpless people of that community, were taken out of a public hall where they were so occupied and without the semblance of a trial or hearing, without even, yes, a drumhead court-martal, were stood up aganst a wall and slaughtered by the soldiery who were in occupation of that district, at the command of their officer inspired by religious fanaticism.
“I called Mr. Hoover’s attention to these facts and informed him of previous outrages of a similar character which had occurred, and expressed the opinion that he was the only man in the world who could prevent a repetition of them. In response to his question as to what could be done, I said that all that he would have to do would be to let it be known that any people guilty of such action could not expect assistance from the American Relief Administration.
“He asked me whether I meant that I was willing that people should starve. My reply was decidedly in the negative and that all that I meant to convey was that if it were understood how he felt with regard to such lawless and inhuman actions as those that had been brought to his attention and that he would not countenance or ignore them, nothing more would be required to be done. At once he recognized the desirability of taking this course, acted accordingly without a moment’s delay, and that was the end of these exhibitions of malevolence which had threatened to convert this region into bloody shambles as the result of an insane and malignant prejudice.”