the fullest support to such defensive measures as may be proposed on behalf of German Jews.”
The first act of the joint Council was to dispatch a telegram to the Acting Secretary of State urging an increase in the number of visas granted to the Jews in Germany and requesting measures to prevent intimidation of Jewish applicants for visas.
The text of the message to the State Department follows:
“This communication is addressed to you on behalf of the joint Council composed of representatives of the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress and the B’nai Brith. The communications which you have been good enough to address to various representatives of these organizations in the past weeks have been to the effect that the Department ‘is making every reasonable effort to insure sympathetic and considerate treatment to those who are applying for visas under present conditions,’ this referring to the situation in Germany. While we have been gratified by these assurances we beg to call to your attention the fact that there has been no substantial increase in the number of visas granted to Jews in Germany by American Consuls. We also wish to call to your attention that we are informed that after Jewish applicants for visas leave the American Consular offices they are threatened with and sometimes suffer physical violence. We are deeply interested to know therefore what steps the Department has taken ‘to insure sympathetic and considerate treatment’ to Jewish applicants for visas in Germany. We also respectfully request that the Department take such measures as may be possible to prevent the intimidation of German Jews applying at American Consulates for visas. We should be grateful for a reply to this letter addressed to the Honorable Joseph M. Proskauer, 11 Broadway, New York.”
It was signed by Joseph M. Proskauer, Bernard S. Deutsch and Alfred M. Cohen.
While the aim of the Council is to provide for united action by the three constituent bodies, each organization, however, is free to pursue its own policies with reference to matters upon which unanimous decisions may not be reached.