Council on African Affairs Criticizes Hoover’s Proposal for Settling Jews in Africa

In a letter sent to leading New York newspapers today, Dr. Max Yergan, executive director of the Council on African Affairs, condemned as “characteristic of the outworn ideologies of appeasement and imperialism” the suggestion made by former President Herbert Hoover for solving the problem of Fascist oppression of European Jews by providing for their emigration to and colonization in certain upland regions of Central Africa. Mr. Hoover’s proposal was made in a speech telephoned from San Francisco to the closing session of the Emergency Conference to Save the Jewish People of Europe, held in New York City last week.

“Hoover’s plan,” Dr. Yergan declared, “is of the same pattern and cloth as Senator Bilbo’s plan for solving the question of Negro rights in America by shipping all American Negroes ‘back to Africa.’” Dr. Yergan criticized the former President for regarding Africa, and particularly the mandated areas, as apparently uninhabited land awaiting “development” by “a white civilization.”

Negroes are fully sympathetic, because of their own experiences, to the plight of European Jews, the letter stated, and they believe that Africa, as well as all other continents should be open to Jewish emigres. But “Mr. Hoover’s proposal for the arbitrary segregation of the Jews at the expense of the Africans,” the letter continued, “runs counter to the principle of national self-determination embodied in the Atlantic Charter, and counter to the interests of both the Jewish and African peoples.”

Chairman of the Council on African Affairs is the noted Negro singer Paul Roebson. William Jay Schieffelin is vice-chairman and John Hammond, treasurer.

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