Menu JTA Search

Geneva Conference Delegates Protest Nazi Deals, Criticize Zionists for Entering Them

A demand for a protest against the World Zionist Organization on the score of the agreements reached with Germany for export of German goods to Palestine, was made here today at the conference of Jewish leaders meeting preliminary to the convocation of a Jewish world congress.

Ten speakers, mostly from Poland, including Dr. Henryk Rosmarin, Wiszlicki and Dr. Mazur, president of the Warsaw Jewish community, demanded that the world Jewish congress protest in the strongest terms against the German-Zionist deals.

The criticism of the Zionists drew a vigorous reply from Dr. Nahum Goldman, noted Zionist leader, who declared that the congress would not permit its platform to be turned into “a place for party politics against Zionism.” Dr. Goldman pointed out that it was not the Zionist organization, but the Palestinian cooperative, Hanotea, that negotiated the orange agreement with the German Land Trade League. He insisted that the sharpest line of demarcation must be drawn between the three million mark agreement and the orange deal, agreeing that the latter should be condemned and private deals for personal gains prohibited, especially by Palestine which should lead the fight against Germany.

On the other hand the three million mark agreement should be praised because it enables German Jews to establish themselves in Palestine and brings no profit to the German government, he said.

NATURAL TO NEGOTIATE

Dr. Goldman stated that despite the fact that the Jews were now at war with Germany, it was natural to negotiate and to take out of Germany as many people and as much capital as possible. He instanced the fact that when two nations were at war, they negotiate for the exchange of prisoners, and the German Jews are prisoners who should be taken out of Germany.

Dr. B. Z. Mossinson, of Tel Aviv, regretted the emergence of anti-Zionist politics and assured the conference that Palestine is carrying out the boycott against Germany better than any other country. He declared that while he was against any agreement with Germany, even the three million mark agreement, nevertheless the question must not be viewed from a superficial point of view and the possibilities of relief for the German Jews must be borne in mind.

Rabbi Angelo Sacerdoti of Rome, who is believed to be a close friend of Benito Mussolini, the Italian dictator, made an attempt to influence the political committee of the conference not to adopt a boycott resolution but met with strong opposition.

WISE ATTACKS DEALS

At the late session of the world Jewish conference held last night, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, delivered a stinging attack against the private deals between the Palestinians and the German Government. This section of the speech climaxed Rabbi Wise’s address which was concluded at midnight and turned the conference into a tremendous demonstration against the Hitler regime.

Rabbi Wise condemned in the strongest terms those who would enter into deals with the Nazis for private profit and demanded that they be driven out of Palestine. He asked however that no judgment be passed against those German Jews who in their anxiety to save themselves from the Nazis were compelled to do anything possible to escape from Germany and save what posessions they could.

He praised the French republic for opening wide its doors to the refugees and declared, “I am ashamed that my own country does not do it.”

CONTRAST TO ZIONIST CONGRESS

Yesterday, the second day of the World Jewish conference, furnished a strong contrast to the policy of the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress in its attitude toward Germany.

The strong, outspoken anti-German speeches by Rabbi Wise and Dr. Margulies clearly indicated that the conference will close with a definite anti-Hitler program and call the Jews of the world for a worldwide, organized boycott against the Nazi regime.

A demand made by one of the delegates, that the conference work out a program for the proposed world Jewish congress was denied. Dr. Goldman explained that the congress must work out its own program, emphasizing that the congress will have nothing to do with religious questions or discussions about Palestine.

DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS

The general debate yesterday, with Dr. Mossinson presiding, centered about the question of the composition of the proposed congress. The point at issue was whether the congress should be called on the basis of democratic elections or composed of representatives of the central Jewish organizations.

Several delegates, non-Zionists from Poland, opposed democratic elections while the Polish Zionists, headed by Dr. Rosmarin and Dr. Gottlieb, insisted on the election system.

In closing the debate, Dr. Goldman declared that democratic elections had been decided on at the conference held last year and accordingly elections to the Congress will be held.

NEXT STORY