Birmingham (Jan. 6)
“The existence of an organized reign of terror inside Poland that is driving Jews from that country is a fact not fiction,” Major Judah Naidich, senior Jewish chaplain in the European theatre and former special advisor on Jewish affairs to Gen. Eisenhower, today told 300 delegates attending the Southeast Regional conference or the joint Distribution Committee at the Hotel Tutwiler here.
Criticizing the resent statements of Lieut. Gen. Sir Frederick Morgan, Major Naidich said: “I saw hundreds of those Jews enter Bavaria in a desperate effort to reach safety in the American zone. They were a ragged, penniless, pitiful lot, who needed all the help that the military authorities, UNRRA and the JDC were able to give them. The Jews who are escaping from Poland want to go to Palestine because they feel they can live in safety only in that country.”
Louis H. Sobel, secretary of the J.D.C., told a morning gathering of members of the J.D.C. board and national council living in the Southeast that J.D.C. relief programs were carried out in nearly fifty countries last year. He said “Though the J.D.C. spent $25,000,000 in 1945, this was usefully inadequate to meet the tremendous needs of the 1,500,000 Jews who have survived in continental Europe. In 1946, the J.D.C. has budgeted and will need the sum of $53,350,000.” The conference, in a resolution, endorsed the proposal of the United Jewish Appeal to raise $100,000,000 in 1946.
A Southeast Region of the Joint Distribution Committee was established at the morning session of the conference and William P. Engel of Birmingham elected chairman. The regional organization will seek to gain a wider understanding of the J.D.C.’s work, and includes representatives from eight states.