Washington (Oct. 11)
Lieut. Will Rogers Jr., former Congressman from California, in his first public statement since his arrival from Europe two days ago, urged full public support to reinforce President Truman’s appeal to the British Labor Government to open Palestine to the surviving 100,000 Jews in the American zones in Germany and Austria.
“It will be a crime against the United Nations,” Rogers told a press conference, “if these people, the first victims of Hitler, are not allowed to go to the land of their choice when they have no homeland of their own.” Rogers, who said he is connected with the American Committee for a Free Palestine, expressed his opinion that Arab opposition to increased Jewish settlement in Palestine is mainly British inspired “on account of oil.”
Having visited several camps for displaced persons near Frankfurt about two months ago, Rogers said he was gratified that the Harrison report corroborated his observations on the desire of the majority of the Jewish refugees to go to Palestine. He declared that in the camps he saw, the DP’s, mostly Jews, were treated as “semi-prisoners,” were kept behind barbed wire and clothed in ragged American uniforms.
He emphasized that a permanent solution of the problem of Jewish survivors in Europe could only be reached through settlement in Palestine. Asserting that anti- Semitism would increase if they were kept in Europe, Rogers said it would be bound to seep over to the United States.