Funeral Services Today for Dr. Leo Motzkin, Noted Jewish Statesman, Leader
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Funeral Services Today for Dr. Leo Motzkin, Noted Jewish Statesman, Leader

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Funeral services will be held here tomorrow for Dr. Leo Motzkin, noted Jewish statesman and outstanding protagonist of the nationalist conception of Jewish minority rights, who died here yesterday at the age of 66. Dr. Motzkin had been in ill health for several years and succumbed yesterday to a sudden heart attack.

Dr. Motzkin had been present at every international gathering at which matters pertaining to the Jews were under consideration, for over a score of years. At all of those he fought earnestly for his conception of the Jews as a national minority with their religious and cultural development safeguarded by international treaties and obligations. The advent of the Hitler regime in Germany, with its consequent assault on the Jewish rights for which he fought came as a great shock to him and he was among the first leaders in movements of defense of the position of the Jews.

Almost single-handed, last Spring, Dr. Motzkin, as chairman of the Committee of Jewish Delegations, won action by the League of Nations concerning Nazi violation of Jewish minority rights in the plebiscite area of Upper Silesia when he presented and secured action on the petition of Franz Bernheim, an Upper Silesian Jew, by the League Council. His achievement was widely praised in League circles as a diplomatic feat of the first order.

Although suffering from the state of his health, Dr. Motzkin, after his success at Geneva, took a leading part in the Eighteenth World Zionist Congress at Prague, at which, as at many previous congresses, he served as president of the congress and as chairman of the Actions Committee of the World Zionist Organization. Respected and admired by all Zionist factions, his tact and diplomacy were frequently called upon during the congress to prevent serious splits between the various groups. He was elected chairman of the Administrative Committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, the body representing Jewry in negotiations with the League of Nations and Great Britain concerning Palestine.

He was also a prime mover, with American leaders, in the World Jewish congress held at Geneva in September to plan action in behalf of the Jews of Germany.

He was head of the Jewish delegation which declined to attend the National Minorities Congress because the congress could not agree to adopt a resolution censuring Germany for its violation of Jewish minority rights. Although the Jewish delegation did not attend the congress, Dr. Motzkin was elected to a post on the congress executive body but he refused to accept the election.

Dr. Motzkin’s death came as a severe blow to Jewish leaders here. Representatives of all the Zionist parties formed a committee to arrange for the funeral services. Interment will be in Montparnasse cemetery and it is expected that the body will be sent to rest in Palestine at a later date.

Isaac Naiditsch, Paris Zionist leader, presided over the first memorial meeting for Dr. Motzkin last night. Among the speakers at the memorial meeting were Dr. Marcus Ehrenpreis, Chief Rabbi of Stockholm; Dr. Nahum Goldmann, noted Zionist leader; Israel Jeffroykin, former member of the executive of the Jewish Agency; Leonce Bernheim, and the well-known French attorney, Henri Sliosberg.

An honorary escort was appointed, consisting of members of the Maccabee, Hechalutz and the Trumpeldorites, to function at a large memorial meeting for Dr. Motzkin, which will be held here in a month.

Today’s issue of the Paris Haint, French Jewish daily, was devoted to Dr. Motzkin.

Dr. Goldmann and Israel Jeffroykin have been named as possible successors to Dr. Motzkin as chairman of the Committee of Jewish Delegations.

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