New York (Jan. 31)
The importance of immediate American relief to countries liberated from the Axis in order to “prevent the spread of pestilence and epidemic from the concentration camps and the ghettos where Nazi leaders have willfully and deliberately allowed disease to run rampant as a means of exterminating whole races and nationalities,” was stressed tonight by Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations, Herbert H, Lehman, addressing a dinner in his honor at the Hotel Commodore here, tendered by the Labor Division of the American ORT Federation.
Pointing out that military leaders agree that relief activities are a prerequisite to establishing peace and democracy in countries freed from Nazi occupation, Mr. Lehman stated that “it is vitally important that if we are to win this war, that we be ready with plans, with materials and no sources and with personnel to follow up military operations with emergency food, shelter, clothing and medical facilities to give assistance to the men and women who kept burning the hatred of the Axis and the will to survive and be free.”
Mr. Lehman declared that “the great work with which I am entrusted is but an extension and tremendous elaboration of the work which you good people already have pioneered through the ORT.” Citing the 62 years of service by the ORT, the added that “the darkness into which the brutal forces of aggression has plunged the world has temporarily obscured the outlines of the ORT in Europe. But now as the liberating forces of the United Nations gather to deal the Axis a finishing blow, we can look forward toward the dawn of a new day in which the ORT’s principle of helping others to help themselves will be revitalized by all America and extended on a broader, even worldwide scale.”
Among the speakers at the dinner, who paid tribute to Mr. Lehman’s long record of humanitarian and welfare activities, were Gerore Backer, president of the American ORT Federation; former Governor Charles Poletti; leaders of the A.F. of L. and the C.I.O.; David Dubinsky, president of the ILGWU, Jacob Potofsky, secretary-treasurer of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and many others; Mr. Backer particularly thanked Mr. Lehman for his keen interest in the activities of the ORT. Adolph Held, chairman of the Labor Division of the ORT, presided at the dinner.