New York (Nov. 13)
The functions, operation and aims of Haavara, Ltd., Palestine trustee office of the execution of the German-Palestine barter agreement, continued today to be the subject of an international controversy.
B. Charney Vladeck, general manager of the Jewish Daily Forward, in a letter published in that paper today, reiterated charges he made at the recent Jewish Labor Committee annual conference that these who control the Haavara receive a twelve per cent commission on every transfer deal. Explaining that the source of his information upon which he based that charge was a recent speech by an outstanding Histadruth leader, Mr. Vladeck further charges that German goods find their way from Palestine to neighboring countries, thereby making the Jews agents of Hitler in the Near East.
The letter, Mr. Vladeck explains, was prompted by an exchange of cables between leaders of the Gewerkschaften Campaign and the Histadruth, Palestine labor federation. The former demanded to know if Vladeck’s charges of the twelve per cent profit were true. In its answer, the Histadruth stated that the Jewish Agency executive, under whose direction Haavara is now being operated, “categorically denies the false charges.”
Answering the denial, Mr. Vladeck points to the fact that it did not come from Histadruth but from the Jewish Agency Executive and that no denial is made of two vital charges: 1) That Haavara works in favor of Jews who do not emigrate to Palestine and have no intention of doing so, and 2) that goods from Germany filter through to countries of neighboring Palestine as a result of Haavara. Mr. Vladeck concludes by demanding publication of the complete text of the barter agreement and urging that it be established exactly how many German Jews have been helped by the agreement.
Earlier in the week, Vladeck’s charges that German goods were finding their way into Near East countries as a result of the transfer agreement were sensationally substantiated in Jerusalem when Hayarden, Zionist Revisionist daily, published correspondence between Haavara and German Government agencies indicating that the former was trying to expand its trade in German goods throughout the Near East.
The disclosure created an international stir, particularly since Haavara admitted to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency the authenticity of the letters, charging they had been stolen from the office files.
The Hayarden disclosures follows an attack on Haavara by Lt. Col. F. H. Kisch, a leader of the Jewish Legion in the World War, made in a letter to the Palestine Post, English-language daily. Col. Kisch charged that Haavara helps reduce unemployment in Germany, aids in “breaking the unity of the Jewish front, that Palestine industry suffers because of its sales below cost, that Britain’s intervention for German Jews is made more difficult because British circles get the impression that Palestine Jewry is rewarding German persecution by increased business. Col. Kisch, answering claims that Haavara greatly aids emigrating German Jews, stated that not more than 4,000 of the 27,000 immigrants from Germany brought over funds through that medium.
In its reply to Col. Kisch’s letter, Haavara pointed out that a special committee at the World Zionist Congress, comprising many prominent opponents of the barter pact, had examined the entire situation, approved the transfer agreement and requested the Jewish Agency to take control of Haavara.
Pointing out that Col. Kisch’s arguments against the transfer pact were among those gone into by the special committee, Haavara stated that “the consent of the former opponents of the Haavara was given in full appreciation of the fact that the circumstances calling for the work of the Haavara are more imperative and decisive than all those arguments which they themselves had to put forward against the transfer, more rigorously, perhaps, than Col. Kisch himself.”
Answering Col. Kisch’s contention that British imports suffer as a result of the pact, Haavara voiced regret that this argument was again brought before the public, pointing out that it had been examined at Lucerne where it was found that the apprehensions were “without foundations.”
Haavara cited in proof of this fact that “well-known firms such as the Imperial Chemical Industries and Archavsky and Manfield (Engineering Corporation Ltd.) with which Col. Kisch is connected, have been, from the beginning among the best clients of the Haavara.”
Haavara characterized as “nothing but innuendoes” the hints by Col. Kisch that there are vast financial interests connected with Haavara “masquerading as relief agencies for German Jewry.”