Atlantic City (Dec. 1)
A United Jewish Appeal quota of $170,000,000 for 1947 was recommended today by the resolutions committee of the national conference of the U.J.A. meeting here. The recommendation, which was scheduled to be presented to a plenary session of the conference either late tonight or early tomorrow morning, is almost certain to be adopted.
The committee’s decision was announced following an address by Maj. Gen. John H. Hilldring, Assistant Secretary of State, in which he declared that neither the U.S. Army nor the projected International Refugee Organization will be able by themselves to meet the needs of the displaced Jews in the coming year.
“Let no one build false illusions that effective assistance could be given to the displaced persons by the military authority or by the international organization without considerable outside assistance” Gen. Hilldring said. He emphasized that the biggest disappointment sustained this year had been “the lack of progress in finding permanent homes for Jewish DP’s.”
The United States, Hilldring said, has a two-fold responsibility: first to care for Jewish DP’s on as high a standard as possible, and second, to find them permanent homes. “We’re all familiar with our government’s efforts to obtain immigration visas for Palestine,” he stated. “If the unanimous recommendations of the Anglo-American inquiry committee had been adopted as President Truman urged last spring, our ships would now be shuttling thousands of Jews to Palestine, not to Cyprus.”
With regard to the efforts to alleviate the refugee problem through immigration to the United States, the State Department official said that the results from President Truman’s directive for facilitation of entry under the existing quota limitations “had not been as large as we would have liked.” He added that continued progress is being made in eliminating some of the obstacles to this “effective implementation, such as the lack of consular and transportation facilities.”
SECRETARY OF WAR BACKS ADMISSION OF DP’S TO PALESTINE AND U.S.
Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson, who addressed the conference last night, also emphasized his support for President Truman’s proposal “for the speedy admission of 100,000 Jewish displaced persons to Palestine” and expressed the hope that Truman’s proposal to authorize a limited number of displaced persons to be admitted to the U.S. will be approved by the Congress. “The total number of authorized immigrants need not be increased if the unused quotas for various countries could be made available for displaced persons on a proportionate basis,” the Secretary of War said.
Emphasizing that resettlement of refugees will not aggravate unemployment and that the displaced persons will “make their own way” in the new countries to which they may be admitted, and that by their labor they will contribute to the national wealth of these countries, Secretary Patterson declared: “The resettlement issue is too pressing and too large to be solved by individual projects alone. It is a world issue. All countries with low population densities and ample national resources should see the advantage as well as the humanity in opening undeveloped areas to the refugees, and to the courage and brains they will contribute to any nation. Our hope in organizing and carrying out a comprehensive plan must rest with the United Nations and its agencies and the International Refugee Organization. The United States, I trust, will be foremost in such a movement.”
The Secretary of War at the same time strongly appealed to the 1,600 Jewish community leaders attending the conference to give the maximum help to private agencies engaged in aiding displaced persons. He stated that there are today 150,000 displaced Jews in the U.S. zone of Germany and 30,000 in the U.S. zone of Austria. He pointed out that the displaced persons, Jews and non-Jews alike, who have been given a temporary haven in the U.S. zones in Europe have expressed their gratitude to the American army on many occasions.
He also stressed that despite the fact that an Allied government sanctioned the closing of the zone borders, the American Army “sympathetic to the oppressed, could not fall back on legalistic decision and took these people in, fed them, clothed them and gave them shelter.”
MASARYK WARNS AGAINST RELIANCE ON OFFICIAL BODIES; MORGENTHAU URGES UNITY
Jan Masaryk, Foreign Minister of Czechoslovakia, addressing the conference this afternoon, underscored the inadequacy of intergovernmental machinery in providing for the surviving Jews. He advised American Jewry not to rely on governmental or intergovernmental agencies to perform the tasks of rehabilitation and resettlement.
Henry Morgenthau, Jr., former Secretary of Treasury, said that there is entirely “too much hate between people, between countries and between different economic and religious groups.” He called upon the Jews of America to “set an example of brotherliness that will not only secure for the Jewish people their share of justice and freedom, but that will demonstrate the dangers that are inherent in trying to establish the structure of a new world on the basis of strife and animosity.” He emphasized that it is the solemn responsibility of the American Jew to come to the assistance of the 250,000 homeless Jews in the DP camps in Europe.
Robert R. Nathan, leading economist, and former Deputy Director of Reconversion, who was one of the principal speakers at the morning session, predicted “record prosperity for the United States for the first half of 1947” and scouted reports that a recession of “long duration or of great severity” was imminent. He said that the present economic outlook for 1947 was favorable to increased contributions on the part of the American public to philanthropic organizations.
WARBURG HAILS REHABILITATION ACTIVITIES OF JEWS IN POLAND
Edward M.M. Warburg, chairman of the Joint Distribution Committee, who returned to this country from Europe a few days ago, after studying at first hand the needs of the remaining Jewish communities in various European countries, told the conference today that the Jewish survivors in Europe are matching the relief sent to them by American Jewry with their courage and amazing ability. He especially lauded the Jews of Poland.
“In the face of incredible obstacles and difficulties,” he said, “they have built a chain of children’s institutions that assist 5,000 Jewish orphans and other Jewish children. These institutions would be a credit to any community in the world.” He pointed out that despite the fact that anti-Semitism has caused tens of thousands of Jews to flee Poland, those who remain are rebuilding a vital Jewish culture.
ROSENWALD SAYS UJA AID TO NEWCOMERS STRENGTHENS U.S. TRADITION OF ASYLUM
William Rosenwald, national chairman of the United Jewish Appeal, told the 1,600 delegates that “while the UJA bases its plea on the needs and possibilities of saving and rebuilding countless Jewish lives, it also deals with even broader issues than the immediate needs of the people who require urgent help.
He cited as an example the fact that in helping newcomer to adjust to American life–through the United Service for New Americans–the UJA is making it possible for the U.S. Government to keep the doors open to others. “Thus in strengthening the great American tradition of asylum,” he said, “we enable our country to set a great humanitarian example for other lands, and notably for Palestine.
ROTHENBERG REVEALS 26,000 JEWS ENTERED PALESTINE DURING 1946
Judge Morris Rothenberg, national co-chairman of the United Palestine Appeal, speaking last night, reviewed the work conducted in Palestine on funds supplied through the UPA and emphasized that the largest item of expenditure was in the field of immigration. He reported that about 26,000 Jewish refugees reached Palestine in one way or another during 1946, not including those who were transported to Cyprus.
Even if there are no changes in the present quota of 1,500 immigrants a month, there is reason to believe that at least as many as entered in 1946 will reach Palestine in 1947, he said. At the same time he pointed out that the arrival of visaless immigrants will no doubt continue regardless of the closure of the frontiers in Europe or the massing of British naval might in the Mediterranean. “The budget of the Jewish Agency for 1947 attempts to take this fact into account,” he declared.
Judge Rothenberg dwelt at great length on the establishment of new settlements in Palestine and pointed especially to the recent “Operation Land” when 12 new settlements were established overnight in the Negev. He revealed that in terms of money the cost of this single operation, including the original purchase price of the land, was $2,800,000, contributed jointly by the Jewish National Fund and the Keren Hayesod.
POSITION OF JEWS IN WESTERN AND EASTERN EUROPE REVIEWED BY DR. SCHWARTZ
A first-hand report on the changes that have taken place in the position of the displaced Jews in Europe, coupled with an appeal to American Jewry to help the Jews in various European countries who are still in great need of aid was made by Dr. Joseph J. Schwartz, chairman of the European Executive Council of the J.D.C., who came here from Europe to address the conference.
Dr. Schwartz emphasized that the position of Europe’s surviving Jews is as desperate as it was a year ago. For the Jews who are natives of France, Belgium, Holland, Italy and Czechoslovakia the need for reconstructive aid now takes precedence over even relief, he said. About a third of the Jews on the European continent, he pointed out, are in these areas and there is reason to believe, he said, that with proper aid, which provides for rebuilding communities and rehabilitating individuals, they will in the not too distant future be able to meet most of their own needs.
“But the situation confronting the displaced Jews in Germany and Austria will probably constitute the major problem facing the Joint Distribution Committee in 1947,” he continued. “The Jewish DP population in the American zone has trebled during the year. And the character of that population has also changed in a year. There were practically no children under 14 years of age to be found a year ago and relatively few between the ages of 14 and 18. Today there are 23,000 children under 18 years of age in the American zone alone. Several thousands of them are full orphans. The presence of so many children requires the organization of greatly enlarged facilities for their education.”
Dr. Schwartz also emphasized the fact that the displaced Jews in Germany, Austria and Italy realize by now that they will have to stay where they are not only for months, but many of them for much longer periods before they can all be moved to Palestine, the United States or some other countries. There has therefore been a new orientation, trying to develop a program of work and productive activity. “This program,” he said, “is vitally necessary to reinforce the vanishing morale of the people who are waiting so long for emigration opportunities.
To assure a real recovery of the distressed Jews of Europe, Dr. Schwartz presented a three-point program: full relief, even beyond the scale of 1946; full opportunities for emigration and resettlement for those who wish to go to Palestine and other lands; and full reconstructive aid for those who will continue to dwell in Europe’s more democratic lands.
INCREASE IN NUMBER OF REFUGEES ADMITTED TO U.S. SEEN BY ROSENBERG
A review of the work of the United Service for New Americans was given by Edwin Rosenberg, president of the USNA. He emphasized that it is reasonable to foresee that President Truman’s demand for the admission of more refugees to the United States may result in relaxing some of the administrative restrictions which have impeded the full use of immigration quotas.
In 1946, he said, only about 18,000 refugees entered the country including nearly 1,000 from the Oswego Refugee Shelter for whom the USNA undertook responsibility. About one-half of the Jewish newcomers in 1946 required extensive aid from the USNA after their arrival, Rosenberg reported. This was apart from everything which was done by relatives and friends and by local communities throughout the country in which the newcomers settled, he stressed. Describing the needs of the USNA for 1947, Rosenberg pointed out that the minimum estimates for the budget of the organization is $8,000,000.
MRS. LEVY LEAVING FOR EUROPE, PALESTINE TO SURVEY RELIEF NEEDS
Mrs. David M.Levy, chairman of the national women’s division of the United Jewish Appeal, who was recently named “Jewish Woman of the Year,” revealed in her address to the morning session that she would leave for a prolonged visit to Europe and Palestine on Wednesday of this week to survey the specific needs of relief and reconstruction in 1947. She called for increased aid for Jews in Europe and praised the heroism of the Jews in Europe and Palestine.
Other speakers today included Nathan Strauss, Stanley C. Myers of Miami, president of the Council of Jewish Federations and Welfare Funds, Harold J. Goldenberg of Minneapolis; Edmund I. Kaufmann, of Washington; Isaac H. Levy of New York; Rabbi Maurice N. Eisendrath of Cincinnati; and Charles J. Rosenbloom of Pittsburgh, one of three national co-chairmen of the UJA.
The conference was also addressed by a number of representatives of Jewish communities in Europe. Dr. Frederic Goeroeg, president of the Jewish Relief Committee of Hungary, told the assembled leaders that more than two-thirds of the 180,000 surviving Jews in Hungary are completely dependent for their basic needs on the JDC. About one- half of the survivors, he said, regard immigration to Palestine as their “sole hope for a future of peace and happiness.”
The remaining 50 percent, he declared, were confident that with the financial assistance of American Jews, through the United Jewish Appeal, they could rebuild their lives and restore their communities in Hungary. The present Hungarian Government, he stated, was friendly and sympathetic to the Jewish survivors, but “deep rooted anti-Semitism among certain sections of the population” has complicated the problems of relief and rehabilitation confronting the Jewish community.
Leo Bernstein, who arrived here from Italy as representative of the 15,000 displaced Jews there, told the conference that practically all of the DP’s are determined to reach Palestine. He praised the Joint Distribution Committee for its activities among the displaced Jews in the camps of Italy. Leo Rosskamm, a survivor of the Buchenwald concentration camp, also spoke.