LONDON (Jan. 24)
The world Agudath Israel has protested to the Home Office against alleged discrimination against Orthodox Jews interned in Canada, the religious organization announced today.
According to the protest, the deputy director of internment operations in Ottawa issued an order for internees in Camp B, “in connection with internees declining labor on the Jewish sabbath.” The order declared that internees must do compulsory labor six days weekly, with Sunday the only rest day. The following punishments were proposed for violators:
(1) Their names to be noted regarding any question of emigration which would arise or regarding permission to reside in Canada, from which they would be barred;
(2) Sabbath observers to be compelled to do all camp work on Sunday, including that normally done by the guards, receiving no pay for this work, although non-observant Jews receive payment;
(3) Unlike other camps, no light manufacturing plant to be installed in the camp of orthodox Jews, which would be placed on a basis of compulsory hard labor “in forestry work, which permits issue of pay, preference to be given to those Jews showing a spirit of cooperation.” Refusal of compulsory work on all days except Sunday “may result in judicial action,” the order said.
The protest declared that the proposed action was “contrary both to international convention and public opinion, and above all to the spiritual issues of the war.”