London (Feb. 24)
The five-day conference of Jewish representatives from various countries, sponsored by the Anglo-Jewish Association and the American Jewish Committee, opened here last night with an address by Leonard Stain, president of the Association, who emphasized that the function of the gathering was “to consider some of the problems of common concern for Jews in all parts of the world.”
Jacob Blaustein, addressing the conference in behalf of the American Jewish Committee, said that the parley will consider improving the status of displaced Jews and will discuss plans to assist the emigration to Palestine and the United States of those Jews who are unable or unwilling to remain in Europe. It will also discuss the implementation of the provisions of the charter of the United Nations assuring equality for all persons regardless of race, color and creed.
Mr. Blaustein expressed the hope that an agreement among the Jewish organizations from various countries would enable the Jews to speak with a more unified and powerful voice.
Prof. Selig Brodetsky, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, who is attending the conference as an observer, told the meeting that it “was not fully representative, not even representative of a majority of the world’s Jews,” since the American Jewish Conference and the World Jewish Congress had not been invited. He asserted that it would be “disastrous” if a new organization were to emerge in opposition to the already functioning Jewish representation. Prof. Brodetsky said that of all the problems facing the Jews the most important was to do away with Jewish homelessness. He also voiced the hope that all Jewish groups may achieve full unity.
Other speakers today included Judge Leon Meiss of France, Chief Rabbi Leo Baeck of Germany, General Max Wiener and Paul Philipson of Belgium, Frantisek Fuchs of Czechoslovakia and others.
Judge Meiss said that as a result of their sufferings, French Jews have achieved unity, despite their differences of opinion on various matters including Palestine. He said he hoped that similar unity could be obtained in other countries.
Rabbi Baeck urged a four point program of aid to Jews: 1. Immediate relief to Jews on the continent to make them self-sufficient. 2. Indemnification and restitution to Jewish victims of the Nazis as a matter of right. 3. Opening of Palestine to displaced Jews. 4. Restoration of Jewish communal life in all European countries with the exception of Germany.
Gen. Wiener paid tribute to the assistance the Belgian people gave the Jews during the occupation. He also expressed thanks for the aid given by British and American Jews, without which, he said, many Belgian Jews would be unable to live. Belgian Jews, he added, are faced with two alternatives: Assimilation or emigration. Philipson said that the displaced Jews in Belgium cannot be accommodated in the country’s economy and must go elsewhere.
The situation in Czechoslovakia, including the dangers of anti-Semitism in Slovakia, was discussed by Mr. Fuchs. The position of the Jews in Bulgaria was outlined by a delegate from that country.