War Department Combats Racial Prejudice Among Servicemen, Navy Mum on Anti-Jewish Course
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War Department Combats Racial Prejudice Among Servicemen, Navy Mum on Anti-Jewish Course

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While the Navy Department continued to refuse to make any comment on the anti-Jewish material distributed among servicemen by the U.S. Armed Forces Institute, which operates under the joint auspices of the Army and Navy, the War Department today permitted publication of an "orientation fact sheet" instructing discussion leaders in the Army on how to combat-racial propaganda and prejudices among men in the armed services.

The "orientation fact sheet," which was sent by the War Department, last month, to all units throughout the world, emphaxizes that any American who spreads prejudice against minorities – Catholics, Jews, Negroes, foreign-born, and others – is, whether he knows it or not, playing the Azis game. It suggests that in talks on racial prejudice Army discussion leaders should stress the following points:

1. Racial and religious prejudices are not only un-Christian and un-American, but are deadly weapons used by the Germans and the Japanese in their war against democracy.

2. All of us are members of minority groups which have been scapegoated at one time or another.

3. Once prejudice is used against any group it spreads to other groups.

4. Prejudice makes all of us poorer economically and robs us of the potential contributions of minorities.

5. Prejudice diverts attention from the real issues and prevents us from finding solutions to our problems.

6. Prejudice means disunity which postpones victory and endangers world peace.

Emphasizing that "prejudice is contagicus" the "fact sheet" points out that Hitler started by persecuting Jews, but later he directed his attacks against Catholics, Protestants, Liberals and eventually nearly all the people of the world. "History has taught us that when we discriminate against one segment of the people, we set a pattern that may be used against other groups," the orientation guide states.

The story of American, the Army "fact sheet" says, is proof that there are no "superior" or "inferior" people. "Our country has been made great by people who came from every land under the sun – people with names like Carnegie, Sikorsky, Toscanini, Einstein, Osler – and thousands more," it points out. "But it isn’t only the big names, the Hall of Fame names, who have made America – any more than it is only the big names who are winning the war."

The Army guide then presents data compiled under the supervision of Louis I. Dublin, vice-president and chief statistician of the Metropoliten Life Insurance Company, showing that Jews, who comprise approximately 3.5 percent of the population of the United States, had, as of March 1, 1945, more than 500,000 in the armed forces, constituting a little over four percent of the men and women in service. It estimates that on March 1, 1945, there were 35,000 Jewish casualties, approximately seven percent of the Jews in service, which is the same as the percentage of casualties in the armed forces as a whole.

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