New York (May. 8)
In response to a call by the Synagogue Council of America, which includes Orthodox, Conservative and Reform congregations, most syna gogues throughout the United States held special services this evening at eight o’clock to mark the official announoement by President Truman that the war in Europe bad ended.
Special prayers prepared for the occasion gave thanks for the victory that has beea achieved, expressed the hope that the final victory would not be long in the saking and commemorated the millions of people, Jews and non-Jews, who have fallen since the war began nearly six years ago.
Yesterday, although the announcement of V-E day was unconfirmed and unofficial, many synagogues were filled with worshippers who flocked there spontaneously after the the first flash was received over the radio. Impromtu prayers were recited in both synagogues and Jewish institutions. Today, statements hailing the final defeat of Nazism were issued by many Jewish leaders.
Greeting the end of bloodshed in Europe, Henry Monsky, president of B’nai B’rith, in a V-E Day statement, called upon American Jewry to remain mobilized until the cessation of hostilities in the Pacific and to remember the tragedy of European Jewry and not to relax its efforts until Jewish rights are recognized by the peace- makers.
Rabbi Jonah B. Wise, national campaign chairman of the Joint Distribution committee, pointed out that “while the civilized world rejoices today in victory over the forces of tyranny and oppression we in America face an urgent responsibility to undo as far as possible the destruotion Hitler wrought, For hundreds of thcusands of Hitler’s victims there can be no complete victory until that is done. During the last month at least 500,000 Jews have come out of concentration camps with tortured starved bodies but with hope for new life. Another million have been living in terror and hiding in German-occupied lands. These million and a half who survive need help desperately. Large numbers barely alive will die unless American aid comes promptly,
Mrs. Moses P. Epstein, national president of Hadassah, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America, in a statement sent to 150,000 members of the group, called upon Jewish women “to mobilize a new to assure the complete extirpation of the remaining forces of evil. We must not cease our labors until there is world-wide resurgence of freedom for all peoples, among whom the Jews have waited longest and in greatest travail for victory, the statement read.