New York (Jan. 6)
Approval of UNRRA’s ousting of Lt. Gen. Frederick Morgan for his allegations against Jewish refugees from Poland is expressed in the New York press.
The New York Times in an editorial says. “Most persons who have in their hearts any feeling of compassion for the persecuted, whatever their color or race or religion, must resent Lieut. Gen. Sir Frederick B. Morgan’s purported description of the Jewish refugees from Poland as “well fed, rosy checked” and armed with “plenty of money.” Even if there was some basis for the description in individual cases, it was a heartless thing to say about a few survivors of the mass murder of millions of persons by the Germans and other anti-Semites of Europe. There is too much contrary evidence to accept Sir Frederick’s description as accurate for a whole class of refugees. It was an insult to 6,000,000 tortured dead. Most persons, we believe, will agree with the prompt action of UNRRA headquarters in asking Sir Frederick for his resignation.”
The New York Herald-Tribune published an editorial saying that no one should be surprised that many of the surviving Jews in Europe are seeking to reach Palestine. “The controversy stirred by the remarks of Lieut. General Sir Frederick E. Morgan concerning the migration of European Jews is confusing,” the article states. “There is dispute over the factual background of the general’s statements, over their effect and possible inspiration, over his very words. All of this is perplexing, unfortunate and, basically, irrelevant. Whether the Jewish migrations on the Continent are organized or not, whether they are motivated by present anti-Semitism or past terror, the main fact is that the Jews of Europe are desperately seeking haven from their terrible memories and their fears for the future.”
Pointing out that between many of the European Jews and their old homes stands “a dark curtain of years of persecution,” the Herald-Tribune writes: “Most probably the eventual trusteeship of a Palestine Commonwealth would be organized by the United Nations. The world organization, too, would have to take up the problem of those displaced Jews who, even under ideal conditions, could not find a haven in Palestine. The tragic failure, in the early days of Hitler’s persecution, to deal forthrightly with the actual and potential victims of anti-Semitism was the free world’s unhappy contribution to the great massacre of a people. Palestine must be the first item on the agenda in making what reparation is possible for that failure–but only the first. The problem is bigger than Palestine, and it can no longer be evaded.”
The New York Post says in an editorial, “It must be made clear that neither Gen. Morgan nor any other official can use UNRRA as a political sounding board. Foreign Secretary Bevin should be urged to keep his pledge to admit 1,500 Jews monthly to Palestine during the hearings of the Anglo–American Committee of Inquiry. The Committee of Inquiry must not be perverted into a cynical excuse to cover the closing, of the gates of Palestine while Jews continue to die in the desperate European winter.”