A firm resolve not to permit Hitler’s Voelkischer Beobachter or any other race hate newspaper in the reading room of the Jerusalem YMCA was expressed yesterday by Francis S. Harmon, general secretary of the International Young Men’s Christian Association, in an exclusive interview with the Bulletin.
Waldo Heinrichs, general secretary of the Jerusalem “Y,” when asked for comment on the Jewish Telegraphic Agency dispatch stating he had resigned because the Board of Directors had insisted on keeping the Hitler-controlled newspaper in the files of the “Y,” voiced bitter condemnation of Hitler’s anti-Jewish decrees and said that the J.T.A. dispatch was “substantially correct.”
FOUGHT FOR ALLIES
Although born in Prussia, Heinrichs told a Bulletin reporter how he had fought in the French, British and American air services and had been shot down behind German lines and imprisoned in a German camp for the last two months of the war.
Fearing to embroil the International “Y” by an inadvertent statement, Heinrichs introduced the reporter to Harmon, who, recently returned from Germany, showed copies of over a hundred speeches attacking the Hitler anti-Semitic campaign.
“I could not live up to my speeches against race prejudice,” Harmon said, “if I did not oppose the introduction of such hate-spreading paper into the Jerusalem ‘Y’.”
A negotiating committee of tow has been sent to Jerusalem to clear up the matter with the local board of directors. Meanwhile, Harmon said, Heinrichs’ resignation has not been accepted, and he is on a six months’ leave of absence. He will leave for Honolulu in the near future to spend the summer with his wife.
INSISTENT ON BAN
The result of the negotiations, Harmon said, is that the Voelkischer Beobachter must come out of the reading room no matter what settlement is reached by the committee. The committee consists of F. W. Ramsay and V. F. Slack.
This committee is negotiating with a subcommittee appointed by the local board, and no decision has been reached as yet regarding the anti-Semitic newspaper or the retention of Heinrichs as secretary of the Jerusalem “Y.”
“I am opposed to animosity between races,” Harmon stated. “The primary object of our world program is to bridge chasms of ill-will between races, religions and nationalities and to turn hot spots of hatred into centers of cooperation.
“Several months ago we made representations to the Jerusalem board of directors, requesting it to modify a resolution giving any group of fifty members the right to name one paper in the reading room, because this tended to divide the membership of the Association into its national groups.
“When the Board adopted the resolution, a national group asked it to order the Voelkischer Beobachter, our representative properly opposed this move. When the paper was ordered anyway, we arranged for a special committee to go to Jerusalem to resolve this difficulty in conformity with our international, inter-racial and inter-religious program.
“A cable just received from our special representatives brings the news that ‘a procedure has been agreed upon which we believe assure a satisfactory conclusion to the matter with no harm to our principles’.”
The board of directors of the Jerusalem “Y” includes sixteen Arabs, seven Britons and one American.