Atlantic City (Dec. 17)
The three-day conference of the United Jewish Appeal concluded today after adopting a resolution asking that surviving Jews in Europe, regardless of their present citizenship status, “should have equal access to all facilities provided by governmental and intergovernmental bodies for the relief, rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims of war and oppression.”
The resolution emphasized that Jews must receive from these agencies “aid commensurate with their abnormal misery and their exceptional hardships.” “We are resolved,” the resolution continued, “that insofar as it lies within the range of our rural support, and our material resources, the Jews who have survived this time of unparalleled destruction shall be enabled to live again as free, and equal human beings. In the lands in which they live they must be granted the civil and religious status of all other citizens.”
A sharp attack on UNRRA was voiced last night by Joseph Rosenzaft, the chairman of the committee of displaced Jews in the British zone in Germany. Mr. Rosenzaft charged the UNRRA with replacing Jewish doctors and nurses in the Belsen hospital with Germen physicians and nurses, wearing Nazi uniforms.
Rosenzaft praised the JDC for its work at the Belsen camp, but severely criticized the Vaad haatzala, declaring that the latter organization has done nothing for the Jews in camps in the British zone.
Capt. Robert Gamzon of Paris, the president of the Jewish Scout organization of France, and a leader of a Jewish Maquie unit, addressing the conference, stressed that the survival of 150,000 Jews in France is due primarily to the efforts of the french people to protect their Jewish neighbors, “We can say without any exaggeration that at one time or another during the Nazi occupation every Jew who is alive today was seved by a non-Jew,” he declared. “The French people, at great risks, shielded the Jews in their midst from Nazi oppression and took special pains to save Jewish children.”
Capt, Gamzon, who is the grandson of the late Chief Rabbi Alfred Levi of France, expressed the gratitude of the Jews of France for the assistance extended to them by American Jews through the JDC during the dark period of the occupation. He appealed for further aid, emphasizing that if American Jews continue sending help to the surviving Jews of France, they will bring about the emergence of a new and vigorous Judaism that will be the answer of French Jewry to Hitler’s destruction.
COMMUNITIES URGED TO GIVE PRIORITY TO UJA ALLOCATIONS
Today’s session of the conference was devoted primarily to discussion of elaborate plans for assuring the success of the $100,000,000 United Jewish Appeal campaign for 1946, which the conference proclaimed yesterday. Among the measures suggested was a resolution urging local welfare funds and federations throughout the country to give priority to the UJA over all other allocations.
A graphic account of the situation of the Jews in Czechoslovakia was given last night by Leo Hermann, secretary-general of the Keren Hayesold in Jerusalem, who was among the first Jewish leaders to visit liberated Prague, and to discuss Jewish problems with high government officials. Mr. Hermann reported that of the surviving Jews in Czechoslovakia a great percentage are elderly people, mostly widows who are un- able to work. “Very few children,” he said, have returned from concentration camps. In all of Prague there are no more than two school-classes of Jewish children. Virtually the entire Jewish population of Prague is in need of assistance, and is dependent upon the JDC for food and clothing.”
The Jews of Prague, he added, are waiting and ready to emigrate to Palestine, which they regard as their major hope for permanent survival. “The Czechoslovakian Government, Mr. Hermann said, “will certainly not raise any objections to their emigration to Palestine.” He confirmed that anti-Semitism is very strong in Slovakia, and that the central government in Prague is taking all possible measures to control the situation there.
A report on the surviving Jews of Belgium was given last night by Paul Phillipson of Brussels, the vice chairman of the Association of Jewish War Victims in Belgium. He said that there are no more than 35,000 Jews in Belgium, and that they require assistance to help them survice the winter. He praised the Belgian Government its sympathetic attitude towards the Jews, but indicated that relief must be forthcoming from the Jews of the United States, if Belgian Jewry is to be enabled to regain its fromer strength and status.
Dr. Abraham Granovsky, chairman of the board of directors of the Jewish National Fund in Jerusalem, reported to the conference on the accomplishments of the JNF, emphasizing that the organization is in great need of large amoounts of money, because it is faced by a persistent and acute rise in the cost of land in Palestine. He expressed the conviction that Palestine can solve the problem of the homeless Jews of Europe.
Major Jdah Naidich, former adviser to Gen. Eisenhower on Jewish affairs, the recently returned home after 40 months of service overseas, reported on the conditions of Jews in the camps for displaced persons. He said that although their position improved after the issuance of the Harrison report, it has not improved suffisiently.