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Dangerous Anti-semitic Under-currents Present in American Life, Fepc Reports

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Dangerous anti-Semitic under-currents are present in American life, and “the margin of our victory over religious intolerance has been narrow,” the Fair Employment Practices Committee states in a report to President Truman released last night by the White House.

“In war industries and government service citizens of the Jewish faith have been denied opportunity to serve their country,” the report added. “Yet it may still be said that such cases, however symptomatic, have been relatively few in number. The spread of religious intolerance has so far been kept in check by the force of the contrary opinion of the American public.”

It discloses that 355 out of a total of 4,081 complaints of employment discrimination to the FEPC during the fiscal year July 1 to June 30, 1944 were on grounds of creed, and of these 258 or 727 percent concerned Jews. The report quotes the American Jewish Congress as finding that economic discrimination against Jews in the Greater New York area exists in many industries and in many forms.

Of 1,000 discrimination complaints studied, almost half were in financial institutions, professional and related work, machinery and metal trades, chemical and allied industries and employment agencies. The report says “FEPC experience indicates that at the outset of the war there was considerable discrimination against the Jew in the aircraft and instrument industries.” Complaints were also received from War and Navy Department establishments, shipbuilding and repair, iron and steel industry and other activities vital to the war effort.

The report notes good results from campaigns to eliminate religious specifications in advertisements, notably in New York and in Cleveland where officials of major newspapers agreed to bar such ads. FEPC seeks to bar discriminatory advertisements when they are submitted to newspapers by industries under FEPC jurisdiction. FEPC also reports employers have rearranged work schedules in some cases to permit orthodox Jews to observe religious customs.

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