Much gratification is being expressed here at the successful conclusion of negotiations leading to incorporation within the Reichsvertretung der Deutschen Juden of the manifold activities of the Central Committee of German Jews. This merger puts direction and accomplishment of the many relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation projects undertaken by German Jewry since the advent of the Hitler regime into the hands of a single united and responsible agency. The merger will go into effect April 1. Certain aid and constructive work activities will not be incorporated within the Reichsvertretung, but will, however, be closely linked up with the major organization’s activities.
Under the terms of the agreement reached by the organization committee of the Reichsvertretung, the activities of the Central Office for Jewish Immigrant Welfare, the Jewish Labor Aid Organization (which is developing the agricultural settlement at Neuendorf), the Central Office for Jewish Economic Aid and the Central Welfare Office for German Jews will become component parts of the Reichsvertretung.
Commenting on this important development in the struggle of German Jewry to reorganize its existence along the lines made necessary by prevailing conditions in Germany, Dr. Alfred Hirschberg, editor of the C. V. Zeitung, official organ of the Central Union of German Citizens of the Jewish Faith, finds that the moral and actual responsibility of the Reichsvertretung will be enhanced and predicts elimination of the unavoidable collisions between Jewish organizations.
“It is an astonishing fact,” he declares in a recent edition of the C. V. Zeitung, “that almost eighteen months had to pass before it was possible to carry out this obvious concentration of effort.”
“But those who know how difficult it is to bring independent institutions to voluntarily surrender their own existence, will not deny the wise and energetic work of the Reichsvertretung. Those who work in the big Jewish organizations, and above all in the Central Union, know by their travels in town with what lack of understanding the participating Jewish quarters regarded the unavoidable collisions between the names of the Jewish institutions in Berlin.
“Even now the connection of the constructive work is not absolutely clear. What has now to be done is mainly a question of the energy of the leadership, than of the goodwill of the independent institutions. We consider what has now been achieved a further step in concentrating the leadership in the hands of the Reichsvertretung. It seems to us to be in conflict with the spirit of the times if in spite of all efforts we still find that there are a number of bodies dealing with the same questions in different ways. The moral and the actual responsibility of the Reichsvertretung will unquestionably be raised higher by this new arrangement, than it was when the various decisions of the institutions came to the Organization Committee. Now it is the decisions of the autonomous organizations that the Reichsvertretung bears. We think however that their authority is already strong enough and the approval of public opinion can be considered definite, if it stands out against the separatist desires.
“All work can be achieved only if it goes according to the tradition and experience of the organization. We are certain that when this completion of regulation of the Jewish work has been consummated people will ask with the same smiling astonishment why there was not long ago an end to the unhappy experiences of organizations working in the same field and disturbing each other’s activities by drawing this very natural conclusion that has now been realized.”