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Attlee Says Plight of European Jewry Must Spur Understanding Between Christians, Jews

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Declaring that ” the rise of anti-Semitism is a disturbing feature of our time,” Prime Minister Clement Attlee said today that “the plight of the Jews in Europe is a warning to all of us that we must promote understanding between Christians and Jews for the common benefit of all of us.”

The Prime Minister’s statement was sent from Paris to the inaugural meeting here tonight of the International Conference of Christians and Jews which opens tomorrow at Oxford University. More than 1,000 persons attended the meeting.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who presided, said: “We meet when the Jerusalem outrage is still fresh in our minds. This is good, because this is the time to rebuke passions and the time to proclaim that this and other acts of terror were not committed by the Jews, but by some Jews, and that Jews throughout the world utterly condemned it. Fanaticism is not confined to Jews alone.”

Judge Basil O’Connor, a member of the American delegation, said that the conference must lay down the foundations for an international movement of the brotherhood of man. There is common ground among all denominations on which to build such a movement, he added. “Appeals for hatred of Jews, Negroes and others are appeals to the emotions of dupes,” Judge O’Connor declared. “We must proclaim to the world that no group is inferior to others.”

Other speakers included Rabbi Leo Baeck, former Chief Rabbi of Germany, who was introduced by the Archbishop, who reviewed the years he spent in a concentration camp, the Marquess of Reading, Prof. Reinhold Neibuhr and Richard A. Butler, Minister of Education in the Churchill Cabinet. Mr. Butler praised the cooperation given him by the Board of Deputies of British Jews when he was framing education legislation and stressed that there must be freedom of religious teaching for all faiths.

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