Pittsburgh (May. 20)
Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley, who reported last week to Congress on the findings of a special committee invited by Gen. Brenhower to inspect the liberated German horror camps, said today that “thousands of Jews in devastated Europe who survived the gas chambers and the soap factories must receive immediately the basic materials of human sustenance if they are to live.”
In his first public statement since his report to Congress, Senator Barkley told more than four hundred leaders from Jewish communities in Western Pennsylvania, Western Ohio and West Virginia, meeting at the Hotel William Penn to hear reports on the current life-saving operations of the Joint Distribution Committee, that “American Jews must make every sacrifice to bring relief and hope to their misery-stricken brethren overseas,”
“The organized crime of the Germans against civilians and humanity and decency can never be compared to even the most barbaric deeds of anciet savages,” Senator Barkley said. “Because the suffering of the Jews was worse than that of any other element of the population, I urge you to extend every support to the Joint Distribution Committee which, as you know, is charged with the solemn and historic task of rebuilding the shattered lives of the million Jews fortunate enough to have escaped the German hangman.
Dr. Joseph O. Hyman, executive vice-chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, said that “Germany’s surrender to the might of Allied arms has brought with it the long-awaited postwar period during which the huge problems of relief and rehabilition for millions of uprooted and impoverished people in Europe will have to be met if the lives of many thousands are to be saved.” Decribing the present emergency relief operations of the J.D.C. and outlining its long-range program of rehabilitation and reconstruction for the remaining Jewish communities in Europe, Dr. Hyman said:
“The work of the Joint Distribution Committee today can be divided into two phreses. One involves the distribution of emergency food, clothing and medicine grants to destitution Jews in scattered parts of the Continent. The other, which will develop in scope in the forthcoming few months, centers around the rehabilitation and rebuildent of Jewish life in Europe and helping in the emigration of Jews to haves of refuge, particularly Palestine.
Isaac H. Levy, vice-chairman of the J.D.C., emphasized the urgency of meeting the 1945 campaign goal set at $46,570,000. “This is the minimum amount the Jewish community in the United States must raise if the pleas for help coming from the imperished Jews in Europe are to be answered swiftly and effectively,” he said.