Jewish Leaders Hold Three-day Conference to Discuss Anti-semitism in America

Problems concerning the fight against anti-Semitism in the United States will be discussed at a three-day conference of the National Community Relations Advisory Council which opens here tomorrow. It will be attended by representatives of the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith, the Jewish Labor Committee, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States, the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, and 21 local community relations councils affiliated with the NCRAC.

Henry Epstein, chairman of the NCRAC, in his report to the conference on the current status of anti-Semitism in the United States, points out that while there has been “a resurgence of professional hate-mongering throughout the country” since the and of the war, “pro-democratic forces seem more than ever disposed to prevent the peddlers of bigotry from gaining influence.”

Basing his report on facts and opinions gathered from cooperating national Jewish agencies, Mr. Epstein declared: “The public reappearance of Christian Front elements in New York City; the reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan; the militancy of the native fascists since the disintegration of the sedition trials; the rise of pro fascist veterans groups; the renewed activities of Gerald L.K. Smith; the violence in such incidents as the Columbia, Tennessee, race riot; all these, in the opinion of one agency, are grim forebodings of what may lie ahead in race relations in the United States. But the same agency goes on to say that organizing efforts by Gerald L.K. Smith, Kurt Merting, Homer Maertz, Edward Elmhurst, the Klan, and other groups are meeting brisk opposition, exposure, and in some instances, prosecution in the courts. Pro-democratic forces seem more than ever disposed to nip such efforts in the bud before these elements can build mass followings.

“Another agency describes the current period as a momentary lull. In its opinion, organized anti-Semitism is at a low ebb. Gerald L.K. Smith and a number of lesser agitators, like Elizabeth Dilling, Gerald Winrod, Harvey Springer at al continue to dispense their poison from the rostrum and through the printed word, but there is no reason to believe that their following is growing. They have by now been effectively exposed, and are avoided by all respectable elements,” Mr. Epstein reported.

Isaiah M. Minkoff, executive director, in his report referred to the increase in requests for service which had come to the Council during the recent period, to the number and variety of problems which it had been called upon to meet, and to the growing utilization of the Council as a coordinating agency for the community relations field and as the central representative of the field.

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