NEW YORK (Jan. 24)
The American Jewish Committee today telegraphed a message of thanks to President Roosevelt for his creation of a War Refugee Board for the rescue of Jews and other victims of enemy oppression who are in imminent danger of death. Hailing this action as a step in line with the century-old humanitarian traditions of the United States Government , the Committee pledged its aid and cooperation in mobilizing private individuals and organizations in support of the work of the Board.
Statements lauding President Roosevelt’s action were also issued today by the Jewish Labor Committee, the Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe and other Jewish groups interested in the situation of Jews in occupied Europe. The message sent to President Roosevelt by the American Jewish Committee, which was signed by Judge Joseph M. Proskauer, its president , reads:
“The American Jewish Committee hails with profound satisfaction and heartfelt gratitude the establishment by you of the War Refugee Board which is authorized to do everything in its power to rescue the surviving victims of Nazi terror. This step is in complete harmony with the humanitarian tradition of the American Government almost since its inception. For over one hundred years, the Presidents and Secretaries of State have expressed the sympathy of the American people with victims of oppression in other lands, and their abhorrence of barbarity and persecution. Whenever possible, our Government has also taken practical measures to extend a helping hand to such victims. Your latest step is the logical successor to other measures previously taken by you in this direction.
“The task lying ahead of the new War Refugee Board will not be an easy one. You recognized this by instructing the State Department to appoint special attaches with diplomatic status who are to be stationed abroad at strategic places. Furthermore you are to be commended for you instruction to the War Refugee Board and the State Treasury, and War Department ‘to accept the services or contributions of any private persons, private organizations, state agencies, or agencies of foreign governments in carrying out the purposes’ of the order.
“Nothing less than the cooperation of all individuals and organizations, which believe in working to achieve this sublime errand of mercy, can assure even partial success. The American Jewish Committee wholeheartedly pledges its aid and will vigorously cooperate in mobilizing private individuals and organizations in support of this vital project of saving human life.”
JEWISH LABOR COMMITTEE TERMS ROOSEVELT ACTION “HISTORIC”
The Jewish Labor Committee, through its president Adolph Held, issued a statement lauding President Roosevelt’s measure as “the greatest historic action for the rescue of European Jews.” Expressing pride at the President’s act, the statement emphasizes that “of special importance is the fact that the President spoke clearly of the Jewish situation and established in his executive order that the U.S. Government is aware that the Nazis are ready with their plan to exterminate all Jews.”
The Emergency Committee to Save the Jewish People of Europe, in a statement through Dean Alfange, it’s co-chairman, said that President Roosevelt’s decision to appoint a special Board to forestall the plan of the Nazis to exterminate the Jews of Europe “fulfills the content of the Gillette-Taft-Baldwin-Rogers resolution.”
“We believe the President’s action will serve immediate notice on the Axis Cellite nations to halt further deportations of Jews to the death chambers of Poland, the statement declared. “We are hopeful that the Board will take immediate action in collaboration with neutral and allied nations to carry out the purport of the President’s decision.”